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Born on the Fifth of July

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So, yesterday, we celebrated Independence Day, recognizing the birth of out great nation and the courage of the men who took on the world’s greatest empire to be free of oppression. Despite my general curmudgeonliness about many things, I do love the Fourth. I read the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July and spent the hour before the fireworks talking to Sal 11000 Beta about our history and what it all really means (the iPad was out of juice).

Today is the Fifth of July. And on the fifth of July, we clear away the beer cans and fireworks and return to a nation that is doing far more to us than George III ever imagined.

For example, we live in a nation in which 80,000 SWAT raids are launched every year, only 7% of which involve an active shooter or similar situation. One- to two-thirds of these raids turn up no contraband of any kind. If you’re thinking that statistic sounds a bit murky, you’re right: hundreds of police agencies told the ACLU they were no under obligation to even reveal the number of SWAT raids they launch every year. Some of them have put these raids under the command of a private agency and declared information about them to be “trade secrets”. These raids can result in things like blowing holes in two-year old children.

We live in a nation where the Administration, when pressed to explain how they can claim the authority to drone strike Americans in foreign countries who might be terrorists, release a heavily redacted memo to justify their actions. That justification essentially amounts to “because terrorism”.

We live in a country where the NSA has now admitted that it shares an unknown amount of information with the FBI. The nature of this data is not clear but it is unlikely that it all involves counter-terrorism. And we know that the DEA has used similar information to bring drug charges and then lied about where they got the information from.

These are just a few examples of what is going on in the Land of the Free. I have chosen them because they are so far outside the pale — military raids on civilians, military attacks on Americans and universal surveillance. But would anyone doubt that our federal government has also “refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good”? That it has “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance”? That our government, when its agents do wrong, goes about “protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States”?

The thing is, we don’t have to fight a long and brutal war to change this. We still have the power of the vote and, more importantly, we still have the power of our voice. We have shown, in recent years, that we can be powerful when we try. Over the last few years, we curbed runaway spending, stopped SOPA and have turned the tide in the War on Drug (although the dark forces behind all three are relentless, and they will keep pushing until they get more spending, less internet freedom and more drug raids).

We can stop this leviathan of a state without a shot being fired. But we need to focus on fighting it instead of each other. When politicians see the Tea Party and Occupy attacking each other instead of their common foe, they laugh. We have to stop caring whether the person agitating about a bad government policy is a Republican, a Democrat, a libertarian, a communist or a crypto-monarchist. If “our side” supports a bad policy, we still have to oppose it. And if “the other side” opposes a bad policy, we should make alliance with them, at least on that issue. We can wash our hands after the threat to freedom is squashed.

Let July 4 remain a celebration. But let July 5 be a day we push harder to regain our essential freedoms. Let the rest of the year be a commitment to re-establishing our independence.

23 comments

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  1. richtaylor365 says:

    Noble goals, as usual, but where you go off the rails, as you usually do, is assuming that “they” want the same thing as “us”, they don’t. What you consider bad government policy, they consider it bad only because it does not go far enough. Their goal, their vision for America is nothing like ours, the sooner you figure that out, the sooner all this ,”why can’t we just get along” nonsense will end.

    Where we think we are taxed enough already, they wish taxes were higher, where we wish the Government would get the hell out of our lives and quit trying to influence our decisions, they see government as the answer and as the solution to society’s ills and shortcomings, and where we see a strong America as a good thing for the world, they see us as like any other and in need of restraint and humility.

    We have seen firsthand what the progressive vision looks like, and how toxic it is both to individual liberty and to American exceptionalism, “they” would tell you that like communism it just wasn’t practiced properly, and would like to stay the course but even more so. We do not need to work with them, we need to remove them from power and eliminate their influence.

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  2. Mook says:

    Over the last few years, we curbed runaway spending

    Exhibit A of Rich’s observation of Hal “going off the rails”. Deficit spending levels jumped to an extreme 2008-2010 with no rollback, and that is now considered the new norm. “Oh, since 2014 spending hasn’t jumped as much as 2009, that’s such an ‘improvement”. Spending has increased every year and cumulative debt and unpaid liabilities are at all time highs. Obama added more debt in his first 3 years than GW Bush in 8. And that’s something to celebrate, highlighting that extreme deficit spending levels are being “curbed”? Are you fcking kidding me?

    But I’m sure this immigration bull-rush of mostly illiterate and uneducated “new citizens” (and it’s not just kids at the border, it’s wholesale abdication of responsibility on the ‘legal’ immigration front too) will bring us the prosperity that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have promised us.

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  3. InsipiD says:

    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

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  4. Mook says:

    I agree with the overall message of this post, but disagree strongly that spending has been “curbed” in any substantive way.. and the ‘War on Drugs’ is less intrusive than the leviathan Obamacare monstrosity, Obamacare legislation which Hal partially supports and certainly doesn’t cite in this post as a main assault on our liberty, which it is.

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  5. Hal_10000 says:

    Mook, how many times do we have to go over this? Spending has not increased every year. It simply hasn’t.

    Federal spending by year:

    FY 2009: $3.52 trillion
    FY 2010: $3.45 trillion
    FY 2011: $3.60 trillion
    FY 2012: $3.54 trillion
    FY 2013: $3.45 trillion
    FY 2014: currently on pace for $3.5-3.6 trillion

    That’s flat spending and about half a trillion less than Obama was projecting back in 2009. If we had stayed on the pace that was set during the Bush years, our spending would currently be near $5 trillion. That’s not a typo.

    Rich, I disagree with you. The percentage of people who want bigger government is about a third. About 2/3, according to polls, want less government. But some of those are not “true conservatives” because they are independents or even Democrats are frequently turned off by the crazy rhetoric of the GOP. The GOP is even losing support among Cubans right now because of their anti-immigrant rhetoric and refusal to consider immigration reform.

    And my entire point is that even those who do want big government can be allies on things like SOPA and government surveillance. Those issues are important too.

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  6. richtaylor365 says:

    Hal, why do you think the trump card, the number one issue those Cochran goons used to mobilize the democratic base was ,”you want to keep your free shit and get more free shit? you better vote for our guy, he knows what you need”, and it worked. Your poll don’t mean Jack, no other issue swimming can turn out the vote quicker, the entitlement society is much larger than you think.

    I know your War on Drugs is your celeb de jour, that’s fine, but that is just a stiff breeze when you put it up against the entitlement tornado coming our way. You want a real society killer? The have nots ruling over the have’s, the ever growing deficits, and monstrous arbitrary punitive tax system that we have, those 3 things will kill us off more efficiently and much quicker than mopping about the unfairness of a crack dealer getting more prison time than a coke dealer.

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  7. Mook says:

    If we had stayed on the pace that was set during the Bush years

    This is why you’re an asshole Hal. Bush deficits accelerated at a high rate ONLY during the last 1 or 2 years with full support of Senator Obama, Not excusing Bush’s deficits, but only putting them in comparison to Obama’s EXTREME over the top deficits by comparison, you’re being dishonest as hell. And Bush’s final year spending was endorsed by House leader Pelosi and the rest of the Dem machine including Sen. Obama, near-unanimously opposed by House Repubs. If that’s your standard for “curbed” spending, then we’re living on different planets.

    That you think spending is “curbed” is fucked up beyond belief for most rational conservatives and libertarians. But if you defend it, you own it.

    Like Rich says, you’re totally out of touch with the reality of the “Obama factor”, jacking up the number of non-producer slackers and loser being able to outvote those who actually earn a living. Until you acknowledge that, you have no right to complain about the rest of your whining drivel about the “War on Drugs”. You’re a phony.

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  8. ilovecress says:

    I think very few people give a s*it about the size of the Government. They care about how much it’s involved in the things that they want it to be involved in.

    For every “Those damn republicans will cut money to your welfare” there’s a “Those damn Democrats will cut money to the military.”

    Obamacare supporters don’t want bigger Government and see healthcare as a way to get it – they want healthcare and see bigger Government as a way to get it. I guess if you offered most leftists a smaller military, they’d take it.

    The crazy thing is when the left and the right fight each other but are on the same side. The nepotism, corruption and back-scratching that the system runs on is opposed by pretty much everyone. Except they spend the entire time blaming big or small Government as the problem – when actually if we all just stopped and said that (for example) gerrymandering is wrong – then we might get something done.

    (I’m not just talking about the US by the way hered)

    Rich – The progressive blogs are all saying a similar thing, but reversed : “You want a real society killer? The have’s ruling over the have nots, the money wasted on overseas wars, the unfair tax system we have.”

    So while you guys are on your blog lamenting those damn progressives, the left are on their blogs lamenting those terrible right wingers.Meanwhile, those in power sell state assets or invade citizens privacy. Then line up a cushy job in a lobbying firm and set the whole wheel in motion again. All the while we’re arguing about the ‘size of Government’ for some reason.

    And that’s why I come here.

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  9. Hal_10000 says:

    This is why you’re an asshole Hal. Bush deficits accelerated at a high rate ONLY during the last 1 or 2 years with full support of Senator Obama, Not excusing Bush’s deficits, but only putting them in comparison to Obama’s EXTREME over the top deficits by comparison, you’re being dishonest as hell. And Bush’s final year spending was endorsed by House leader Pelosi and the rest of the Dem machine including Sen. Obama, near-unanimously opposed by House Repubs. If that’s your standard for “curbed” spending, then we’re living on different planets.

    That’s horseshit and you know it. Mook, the deficit only stayed “low” when Bush was President because we were in the middle of real estate bubble so tax revenue was swelling. Look at the amount of *spending* — which is the true measure of how much of a burden big government is — and the trend is very very clear.

    FY 2001 (Clinton and GOP) – $1.86 trillion
    FY 2002 (Bush and GOP) – $2.01 (8% increase)
    FY 2003 (Bush and GOP) – $2.16 (7% increase)
    FY 2004 (Bush and GOP) – $2.29 (6%increase)
    FY 2005 (Bush and GOP) – $2.47 (8% increase)
    FY 2006 (Bush and GOP) – $2.66 (8% increase)
    FY 2007 (Bush and GOP) – $2.73 (3% increase)

    So after 6 years of the ultra-responsible Bush and the GOP, we had increased government spending by almost 50% or about 6.6% per year. This was the most sustained spending increase in American history. It wasn’t just war either. Every single department saw its budget swell. No department saw its budget shrink — a first for a two-term President. That deficit peaked at “only” $412 billion was because of the real estate bubble (revenue declined for the first few years, then shot up when the bubble started). The underlying financial situation — as I and every libertarian pointed out — was horrific and getting worse. It would blow up in the next two years.

    FY 2008 (Bush and Democrats) – $2.98 trillion (9% increase)
    FY 2009 (Bush/Obama and Democrats) – $3.52 (18% increase — 11% was Bush, 7% Obama)

    Now Bush, Obama and the Democrats increase spending by 29% in two years. I know you think Bush was helpless before the all-powerful Democrats but he never used the veto pen, never proposed any spending cuts. Of that $800 billion spending binge, Bush signed off on $500 billion without an objection. A huge amount of that spending was TARP (which the GOP supported) and anti-poverty spending that kicked in once the recession started (which the GOP supported and expanded while they had both houses of Congress).

    Obama and the Democrats deserve blame for that too. And I heaped plenty on them at the time and since.

    Since then:

    FY 2010 (Obama and Democrats) – $3.45 (2% decrease)
    FY 2011 (Obama and Democrats + GOP recissions) – $3.60 (4% increase)
    FY 2012 (Obama and GOP) – $3.54 (1% decrease)
    FY 2013 (Obama and GOP) – $3.45 (1% decrease)
    FY 2014 (Obama and GOP) – $3.5-3.6 (final numbers TBD)

    Net spending increase over the last five years – 0%. Per year increase even including the stimulus and all the rest — 2%. Even if you blame Obama and the Democrats for everything since 2007 — which would be ridiculous — you’re at 4% per year.

    So yeah, Obama’s been bad. I’ve said so many times. But Bush was worse. And Obama+Republicans is the only spending restraint we’ve had this century.

    That restraint would not have happened if the voters hadn’t spent the elections whacking each party over the head with a 2×4 — first the Republicans, then the Democrats. That doesn’t happen if we keep the GOP in office in 2006 and 2008 after the longest most sustained spending binge in history. That 2008-9 explosion of spending would still have happened and would probably have been worse. Remember that Bush put forward stimuli of his own, as did the GOP. Remember that in 2006, the GOp leadership literally said there was no fat in the budget.

    That’s the point of my post. The voters who turned the GOP out in 2006 and 2008 and the Democrats out in 2010 weren’t all conservatives and they certainly weren’t all Republicans. The swing voters were independents who voted against whichever party was spending us into oblivion. That’s the only reason the situation has improved as minimally as it has.

    Flat spending doesn’t sound sexy, I know. I would prefer a lot more. But if we maintain that, the deficit will disappear within five years and the percentage of our economy going to spending will be at its lowest since Clinton was in office. That’s easier said than done, because we are now getting to the point where we will have to cut entitlement spending to maintain spending discipline (mostly Medicare and Social Security). Of course, the GOP right now is opposing entitlement cuts and calling for more defense spending.

    I’m an asshole, Mook, because I keep point out *facts* that are inconvenient to your political theology that Obama is the root of all that is wrong in this country and everything would be sunshine and fairy farts if we just got rid of him.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    The crazy thing is when the left and the right fight each other but are on the same side. The nepotism, corruption and back-scratching that the system runs on is opposed by pretty much everyone. Except they spend the entire time blaming big or small Government as the problem – when actually if we all just stopped and said that (for example) gerrymandering is wrong – then we might get something done.

    Exactly. The Tea Party complains that government has too much influence over business. The Occupier’s complaint is that business has too much influence over government. This is the same problem seen from different perspectives.

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  11. Hal_10000 says:

    I know your War on Drugs is your celeb de jour, that’s fine, but that is just a stiff breeze when you put it up against the entitlement tornado coming our way.

    1) We can chew gum and walk at the same time.

    2) I think a war that has imprisoned a million people, turned inner cities into war zones, launches 80,000 armed raids a year and is the source of almost very civil liberties erosion of the past 40 years is hardly a trivial concern. We’d have a few trillion dollars less debt if we’d never started that wretched thing.

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  12. richtaylor365 says:

    1) We can chew gum and walk at the same time.

    That has yet to be demonstrated, at least with any semblance of proficiency.

    We’d have a few trillion dollars less debt if we’d never started that wretched thing.

    Your bloated figures notwithstanding,given the track record of the current (and past) gaggle of primates in charge, I have zero confidence that any money will be spent responsibility or economically, it’s all a matter of picking which rat hole to flush it down. And this “wretched thing” was principally brought on by those recalcitrants who brought it upon themselves. Since we are throwing “trillions” around, how much of those was wasted on broken lives (and the families) brought on by drug addiction? Addicts don’t live in a vacuum, society picks up the tab, a fairly large tab. It’s like those whinny MC riders that don’t like helmets, this is America goddamnit and they should have the freedom to do what they want, except for when they crash and society (you and me) have to pay for their medical care and life support for the rest of their brain dead lives, how many trillions (what the hell, that is the new fashion word now) is spent on that? Funny, but I have never had my door kicked in on one of those gazillion raids you mention, neither do I know of any, maybe me hanging around law abiding citizens who don’t do drugs narrows it down for me. Yes, I know that mistakes do happen, but just maybe what is really wretched is the manner in which this war is waged, not the war itself.

    But if we maintain that, the deficit will disappear within five years

    {shaking head in disbelief}

    Hal, what on earth, anything at all, has lead you to believe this nonsense? What have you seen from any of these clowns (both sides of the aisle) that has revealed any austerity ambitions or plans to change course, become responsible and honor that fiduciary obligation, and actually spend what only comes in? When intelligent folks like yourself are so easily duped, no wonder they are never worried at night. Reducing spending 1% here or 2% there is not going to do it, that is what Mook is trying to convey to you, it’s nothing except a smoke screen for folks like you to say ,”See, they do care after all”.

    If pigs miraculously sprout wings and take flight and deficit spending is eliminated (which I see never ever happening) what are you going to do with the $20 plus trillion is national debt? Yes, twenty, because it will grow to at least that much in the process. Any plans for that? Any things you have seen from Washington that would reveal a workable plan, or at the very least a marginal understanding of the shit creek that puts us in?

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    We’d have a few trillion dollars less debt if we’d never started that wretched thing.

    You are delusional. The left’s – like you, it seems – is only pissed about this money being spent by someone else without their approval. Kind of like they see tax cuts for the people that actually make the money through work as stealing from the country or the usual crowd they use tax money to buy votes from. And these are the same assholes that fail to pay their taxes or create the loopholes they then use to hide their fortunes, only to lie about it when they get caught abusing the system. I guarantee you that had their been no Iraq that the left would have found a different way to piss away the money. Most likely it would have been used it to buy votes or line their buddies pockets, but that money – even if it meant big deficits – would have been spent anyway. That’s Keynesian economics 101 comnbined with more government control, for you.

    Anyone that still thinks the problem was Boosh’s doing is a fucking idiot. The right wastes money, but the left pisses it away at a rate that baffles the mind. The left accuses the right of being in politics to help themselves and their friends get rich because that’s the reason they are in politics. That’s dysfunctional projection from the left. Whatever they accuse the other side of doing, it’s because they are doing it and automatically assume its what everyone does. These crooks have already made it very clear that they believe the money doesn’t belong to the one that earns it, but to them to distribute to the fucking moochers and losers. And stupid people that keep giving these criminal progressives cover – like you do – are why they keep getting away with it.

    The age of Obama should have dissuaded anyone that actually pays attention to the facts and the reality on the ground that the left can ever be responsible or decent. These people all deserve a long prison stay for their corrupt and evil ways. These people pine for tyrannical government in their image for a reason. Ignore it at or own peril.

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  14. Hal_10000 says:

    Hal, what on earth, anything at all, has lead you to believe this nonsense?

    Because that’s how we balanced the budget in the 90′s. We actually used even less spending discipline — 2% growth per year — and the budget was balanced and paying off the debt within six years. 0% growth had cut the budget deficit in half in the last four years. Because if you hold spending growth down, revenue catches up to it.

    I’ll take that strategy — a strategy that actually worked — over the magical sky fairy view that we will somehow cut spending 40% when both parties have agreed that 90% of spending is off the table.

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  15. Xetrov says:

    See guys, not increasing spending (even though they are already at ludicrous levels) just shows Obama’s genius plans were so much better than that idiot warmonger, Bush. Somehow the public debt doubling again in 6 years is great news!

    Kinda like saying my ex-wife spent way too much on credit cards and she had to go because we were going bankrupt, but my new wife hasn’t increased it much beyond that level, which is how we’re going to fix our financial problems.

    I think Bush’s problem was he actually passed a budget each year per the law of the land. It’s harder to track what you don’t put down on paper.

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  16. Hal_10000 says:

    See guys, not increasing spending (even though they are already at ludicrous levels) just shows Obama’s genius plans were so much better than that idiot warmonger, Bush. Somehow the public debt doubling again in 6 years is great news!

    I didn’t say it was great news. I said it was an improvement. Spending has increased less under Obama than it did under Bush. No matter how much you try to twist and turn, that remains a fact. And if you keep spending flat, the budget will balance as revenues grow. That is also a fact. If we’d kept spending at FY 2008 levels, we’d be in surplus right now. If you keep it at FY 2009 levels, we will be in surplus by FY 2017. To keep spending at that level requires entitlement reform.

    Flat spending has a track record of balancing the budget. Radical spending cuts have a track record of never happening. If we can cut more, great. But I have no optimism about that happening.

    Kinda like saying my ex-wife spent way too much on credit cards and she had to go because we were going bankrupt, but my new wife hasn’t increased it much beyond that level, which is how we’re going to fix our financial problems.

    What you’re saying, to use your analogy, is that we should blame the second wife for the huge mortgage and car note payments the first wife left us with.

    Frankly, I’m sick of this bluster on the budget. There are a lot of people yammering on about how we need to radically cut spending with no real plan for doing it — either mathematically or politically. They say “we need to cut spending now!” and have no idea what to do other than shout that slogan. If you have a better plan — one that works and one that would get signed by the President — I’d love to see it. Until then, I’ll take the actual progress over any theoretical progress that could have been made if only we’d done … something.

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  17. Xetrov says:

    I didn’t say it was great news. I said it was an improvement. Spending has increased less under Obama than it did under Bush. No matter how much you try to twist and turn, that remains a fact.

    You know what else is a fact? Obama has more than doubled the public debt while in office. You can talk all about spending “increasing” less, the fact is that spending is still at absolutely asinine levels, and remains the problem, and no amount of new taxes or revenue is going to fix it. An increase is still an increase, and the DEBT doesn’t lie. It’s like you’re arguing that I could go out and buy a $2 million dollar home today, because eight years from now I might be able to afford it.

    What you’re saying, to use your analogy, is that we should blame the second wife for the huge mortgage and car note payments the first wife left us with.

    So we don’t blame the second wife (Obama) for the doubling of the credit card balance?

    Actually what I’m saying is the spending problem at the Federal level is obscene, and both parties are to blame. Giving Obama some sort of pass or saying he is “better” because he did just a little bit worse (2%) in regards to the deficit than the previous spend happy idiot in office is stupid.

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  18. richtaylor365 says:

    But if we maintain that, the deficit will disappear within five years

    The CBO disagrees with you;

    http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

    Some easily digested bullet points;

    As it does regularly, CBO has prepared baseline projections of what federal spending, revenues, and deficits would look like over the next 10 years if current laws governing federal taxes and spending generally remained unchanged. Under that assumption, the deficit is projected to decrease again in 2015—to $478 billion, or 2.6 percent of GDP. After that, however, deficits are projected to start rising—both in dollar terms and relative to the size of the economy—because revenues are expected to grow at roughly the same pace as GDP whereas spending is expected to grow more rapidly than GDP

    The large budget deficits recorded in recent years have substantially increased federal debt, and the amount of debt relative to the size of the economy is now very high by historical standards. CBO estimates that federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024 (the end of the current 10-year projection period). Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt).

    CBO projects that under current law, outlays will grow faster than the economy during the next decade and will equal 22.4 percent of GDP in 2024

    With outlays growing at twice the pace of projected revenues (as that chart indicates) we will never realize deficitless budgets, even with that magical flat spending you praise, your 5 year projection is a pipe dream.

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  19. Section8 says:

    “2) I think a war that has imprisoned a million people, turned inner cities into war zones, launches 80,000 armed raids a year and is the source of almost very civil liberties erosion of the past 40 years is hardly a trivial concern. We’d have a few trillion dollars less debt if we’d never started that wretched thing.”

    How can anyone down vote this? It’s absolutely correct.

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  20. Hal_10000 says:

    Rich, the CBO is not projecting flat spending. They are projecting increasing spending because of entitlements. You’re saying the CBO disagrees with something I didn’t say. If we can keep spending flat, the budget will be balanced. If we don’t, we will run up bigger deficits.

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  21. richtaylor365 says:

    You’re saying the CBO disagrees with something I didn’t say.

    OK, lets go to the tape;

    So yeah, Obama’s been bad. I’ve said so many times. But Bush was worse. And Obama+Republicans is the only spending restraint we’ve had this century.

    That restraint would not have happened if the voters hadn’t spent the elections whacking each party over the head with a 2×4 — first the Republicans, then the Democrats. That doesn’t happen if we keep the GOP in office in 2006 and 2008 after the longest most sustained spending binge in history. That 2008-9 explosion of spending would still have happened and would probably have been worse. Remember that Bush put forward stimuli of his own, as did the GOP. Remember that in 2006, the GOp leadership literally said there was no fat in the budget.

    That’s the point of my post. The voters who turned the GOP out in 2006 and 2008 and the Democrats out in 2010 weren’t all conservatives and they certainly weren’t all Republicans. The swing voters were independents who voted against whichever party was spending us into oblivion. That’s the only reason the situation has improved as minimally as it has.

    Flat spending doesn’t sound sexy, I know. I would prefer a lot more. But if we maintain that, the deficit will disappear within five years

    Maybe I’m wrong but it sure as hell sounds like you are praising Obama for his “flat spending”, saying that if we maintain that flat spending, the deficits will disappear within five years. The CBO report prefaced it’s findings with , “CBO has prepared baseline projections of what federal spending, revenues, and deficits would look like over the next 10 years if current laws governing federal taxes and spending generally remained unchanged. ”

    So it is factoring in the Obama years (current laws, current federal taxes and spending) and it is saying that not only is he NOT practicing flat spending, but even if some guy (you) wants to interpret it as flat spending because his deficits were less than his predecessors-something you went into great length to provide, it will still never ever get to deficit less budgets.

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  22. Hal_10000 says:

    CBO can only project based on the current baseline. The baseline *always* has increased spending. But what happens when an actual budget is passed is different. The CBO baseline in the early 90′s showed rising deficits, but controlling spending brought those deficit under control. The CBO baseline in the early 00′s showed we’d pay off the deficit, but tax cuts and massive spending hikes erased that. The CBO baseline five years ago predicted a smaller deficit, I think, because it projected that the Bush tax cut would end (their alternative baseline, which assumed the tax cuts would be extended and spending would rise, showed larger deficits). What the CBO is saying is “based on current law, deficit will increase”. I agree with that. What I am saying is that flat spending — which would be *below* current law — would bring the deficit into balance. By FY2017, revenues, without any tax hikes, will be $3.5 trillion, which is what spending is right now.

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  23. AlexInCT says:

    You know what else is a fact? Obama has more than doubled the public debt while in office. You can talk all about spending “increasing” less, the fact is that spending is still at absolutely asinine levels, and remains the problem

    I do not understand why the left gets this pass. If I were to jack up the price on a car I was selling you by 100% then shaved off 5% and told you I was giving you a great deal, you would kick me in the fucking nads for trying to fuck you over. And yet, that’s what progressive government does. As soon as Pelosi took reign of the congressional spending purse – back in 2006 – she jacked spending up by insane numbers. Our debt has all but doubled since Obama took office. Despite the predictions and the shell games being played, these fucks have managed to spend over a trillion dollars more than they collect a year (and no, the problem isn’t that they are not collecting enough, unless you think that $2.4 trillion dollars is just too little), pass legislation that will absolutely cripple any economic growth while guaranteeing drastically higher entitlement spending, and blamed everybody but themselves for it.

    Our problem isn’t that we are not paying enough taxes. It isn’t even that these retards have destroyed the economy, because despite whatever harm government causes, the private sector historically has managed to keep things moving forward. Our problem is the progressive belief that government should replace the role of god in religion and that their mission is to create heaven on earth. Instead of heaven however, these fools whom can only deliver misery, create hell. The proof is outhere. Every single one of these attempts devolves into the same shit eventually. Spare me the crap about how NZ is working right now. In a few decades you will be where all the socialist spots the left defended with the same argument you are using back a couple a decades ago, are now. If the left, which pretends to hold science in such esteem, really believed in science, they would understand that Darwinism proves that any attempt to tamper with the natural order will just produce disaster directly translates to their cultish behavior. You can’t force society to become Candyland, because you can’t bend the laws of economics and human nature. Wishful thinking has its limits.

    The belief that the solution to the world not being fair is forced wealth redistribution, especially in its current incarnation where a small elite enriches themselves while pretending to be the ones that care, is not just idiotic: it is destructive. When you reward unwanted and bad behavior you will get more of it. Eventually, when there is too much of it and the entrenched crowd that now feels entitled to other people’s money won’t budge, the whole thing collapses.

    That’s the future we are heading for with these people. They just don’t care, because they figure if they collect the lion share of the wealth, disarm the populace while keeping the means to violence for themselves, and control the basic things most people need to live, they will hold power, even after things collapse. That’s progressivism in a nut shell for you. The shit they sell you, all that caring and other pretend nonsense, is window dressing for the real shit they are doing.

    The nanny state is man’s worse idea. I am convinced it will usher in another dark age when it brings everything crashing down. Then it will be back to the lot of us being serfs to these do gooders.

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