Monday, July 11, 2011

Deficit of Brains



Yesterday's Whitehouse summit meeting on deficit reduction got off to a rocky start after Obama and the Democrats were shocked - shocked! - by John Boehner's declaration that tax hikes were off the table. The Democrats, who are said to have brains the size of walnuts, were taken by surprise despite the fact that Republicans have been saying exactly the same thing for months now.

Going into the meeting, the Democrats were proposing a $2 trillion dollar tax increase on America's "evil rich" (which the rest of us call "small businesses") only days after the job market took another nosedive. Alert officials with the Guinness Book of World Records reacted quickly, and within hours had certified the raising of taxes as "Worst Economic Idea Ever."

Even so, much of the mainstream media predictably claimed that Boehner's refusal to let Obama demolish what's left of the job market showed that the Republican wasn't really serious about deficit reduction, and that Republicans are only interested in protecting the richest (and tastiest) members of their own species from extinction.

Which is why, once again, Hope n' Change would find it preferable to let the debt ceiling go unraised if no sensible agreement can be reached. Which, after the short (an hour and 15 minutes) and unproductive meeting seems more likely than ever.

Sure, it means a huge, destructive asteroid will hit soon and hard...but it might finally get the attention of the dinosaurs in Washington.

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25 comments:

drjim said...

Let's just hope they have the stones to KEEP the tax hikes "off the table"!

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Boehner knows he has millions of Americans behind him with pitchforks and torches raised. What he needs to know is that at least half of those pitchforks are aimed at him should he forget his promises. It may just be the reinforcing strength his backbone requires and he should be thanked and encouraged to stay that rocky but righteous road. Then again, the lot of them may be playing us for saps and we won't know it until it's too late...as usual. I pray the Democrat's threats and fear-mongering doesn't work this time. God help us if it does.

robert said...

I don't get these morons. Last week I heard that the US takes in about 2.2 TRILLION in tax revenue anually!! 2.2 TRILLION!!! You mean to tell me that they can't run a government on 2.2 TRILLION!! I bet I cold do it for less tahn half that number. I have to go lay down now, I'm just dizzy.

robert said...

(Sorry about the typo's in the last comment, I hit post instead of preview.)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@drjim- We'll find out soon.

@Angry Hoosier Dad - When you say they "may be playing us for saps," I think of the last budget negotiation, in which Boehner "won" $38 billion in savings (which the Democrats claimed was both painful and historic), and it all turned out to be accounting tricks and nonsense. The real savings were only $300 million...around 1% of the amount reported to the American people.

@robert- Governmentin' is expensive. Those private jets and limos don't pay for themselves, you know.

Pete(Detroit) said...

The line from last week, I forget now who said it, "we need more taxpayers, not more taxes" was choice.
Pssssst, hey! LOWER taxes to generate revenue - happens every time!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete(Detroit)- Exactly! In a healthy economy, revenues grow even if the tax rate remains unchanged. Raising taxes puts people out of work, forcing the government to raise taxes higher, and so on and so on. Ouroboros eats its own tail.

@Readers- Yesterday Obama told Republicans that this isn't a "banana republic." Today he told Americans that it's "time to rip off the bandaid" and "eat the peas." Is it just me, or does it sound like Michelle isn't feeding him enough?

John the Econ said...

Listening to the President speak as I type this. What a study in contradiction. Did the President who's theme out of the gate was "Never let a good crisis go to waste" just accuse the GOP of using the current situation to take advantage of him?

Also, the world's greatest orator just said the whole problem was because he hasn't been able to explain the problem to us properly. So what's the problem?

Then he accuses us of not understanding the problem, and then says we shouldn't be expected to understand the problem, since we all busy with our families and jobs (or lack of them) Translation: Stop troubling your pretty little heads about all of this; we know what we're doing and will take care of it. Ha!

Now he's selling "shovel ready" again, by "putting construction workers to work right now". Wait, wasn't this last month's joke?

The rest has been the usual class warfare rhetoric against private jet owners and oil companies; clearly this is going to be the re-election theme in 2012. Selling "hope n' change" after 4 years of business as usual would be comical.

Now he's just rambling. Does he not realize how ineffective and powerless he's making himself look?

He's talked to "business leaders". Which ones? The ones who are hunkered down facing micro-regulation, ObamaCare, inflation and more taxation, or the ones like GE who don't have to pay taxes because they're wired into Washington's "green" gravy train?

Now he's talking about giving businesses reasons to invest and create jobs. Really? More business-as-usual; debt, taxes, inflation, regulation will be a reason to invest? On what planet?

I'm still waiting to see real "change" from this Administration. There's certainly no "change" in raising the debt ceiling again with no plan to deal with the long-term problems.

Anonymous said...

I think the potential conservatives (aka Republicans) started this conversation off wrong. Rather than talking about having to cut spending in order to raise the debt ceiling, their starting point should have been: "Here's our proposal to lower spending, as well as to lower the debt ceiling in increasing increments until it's 15% of GDP or less." If they weren't looking forward to driving the gravy train for themselves, maybe we'd have a chance at meaningful change.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Nice play-by-play coverage. No one has a greater ability to speak without saying a damn thing than Barack H. Obama. And really, how hard is it REALLY to explain the situation to the American public: "The law limits how much the government can spend. But we spent trillions more than that without asking your permission, or having any idea where the money would come from. So now, to make up for our wrongdoing, we want to forget the old debt ceiling and make a new much-higher one that will keep us from being considered criminals. And to pay for that much-higher ceiling, we want to take $2 trillion more dollars from taxpayers who won't be able to spend that money on homes, cars, schools for their kids, medical treatment, or creating and investing in job-creating businesses."

There - was that so freaking hard?!

@Anonymous- It would be nice if we were in a position to do that, but as long as Obummer and Reid enjoy the power they do, we just can't get the whole enchildada yet. I think Boehner and company are doing the best they can to drive a hard deal which WILL get approved and do at least some good until the 2012 elections give us a chance (a last chance) at a conservative supermajority to really make change happen...and restore hope.

Jeff H said...

"Democrats, who are said to have brains the size of walnuts..."

Walnuts everywhere are insulted by the comparison.

Earl said...

Democrat brains are more the size of shelled peanuts. Similar in size to the green peas Obama wants us to eat.

pryorguy said...

Every tv appearance by our 'president' is just another exercise in futility, lying and nuances...spinning (lying) is the order of the day for this total politician. Well, ALL politicians do it to a certains extent, but the O is the ultimate! He knows exactly what he is doing and every party-liner democrat who fall in step deserves nothing but our contempt! THEIR asses are covered, so what do they care, as long as they keep their jobs, and please ol' elephant ears????!!!!!Good Grief! Somethins gotta give, man!

pryorguy said...

It's me again....Here's some info you might find interesting...

As of March this year...THE PRICE OF A GALLON OF GAS IN U.S. DOLLARS WAS...

OSLO...6.82

HONG KONG...6.25

BRUSSELS...6.16

LONDON....5.96

ROME...5.80

CANADA...5.36

TOKYO...5.25

NOW GET THIS....

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIS....O.O9

KUWAIT...0.08

CARACAS, VENEZUELA....0.12
Gee, if only the U.S. was an oil producing nation.....
Hey, wait a minute!!! we are ,what the hell happened!!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jeff H- I said their brains are the size of walnuts. I didn't say they had as much complexity.

@Earl- I must admit that when the president of the United States, after ignoring the financial crisis for over two years, orders us to "eat your peas" like he's the actual adult here, I want to call child protective services and report an abusive parent.

By the way, what would you call the president if he was full of peanuts? Answer: you wouldn't call him anything... you'd just close the lid and flush.

@Pryorguy- I believe Obama is the ultimate liar, but only because he's so ably abetted by the mainstream media. ANYONE can tell whoppers, but to get away with it you need to be surrounded by fools, synchophants, or both.

Chuck said...

Why are they talking about the debt and deficit like they are separable? When you are in debt over your head, step one is to stop spending more than you take in … by a greater margin than zero-sum. The second step is to pay down the debt until you are debt free. Next, you save for a rainy day emergency, and then, in the case of a government, you lower taxes further and let free enterprise flourish and your people prosper. In the case of a family, you save for the luxuries in life and engage them. Their ought not to be luxuries for government!

Or, you do what politicians do and spend more. Our government spending is like cupboards: it grows to consume available space, and then keeps growing until you are buried in it!

I’m sick of the rhetoric, and the lies and the fear-mongering. Not raising the debt ceiling is not enough … we need to lower it. We need a balanced budget amendment AND a steady reduction in the ceiling until we are living within our means and debt free. It’s past time for Uncle Sam to cut up his credit cards!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Chuck- You can't see it, but trust me - I'm standing on my chair applauding.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Chuck, reminds me of "The First Rule of Holes" - when you hit bottom, quit digging...

Andrew said...

Watching NapoleObama's oddly wandering-yet-condescending parental 11 AM lecture today to what he clearly sees as a nation of small unruly children( 'eat your peas'), I am struck that the Smartest. President. Ever.'s cluster of psychological/personality disorders are simmering along towards a rolling boil that is not going to have a happy ending--not for him, not for the pot, and not for the 300 million frogs therein.

There is nothing more dangerous than an individual with more ambition than intelligence, from humble origins and limited real life experience, plucked from obscurity and groomed for a Purpose by TPTB, then surrounded by sycophants/yes men/enablers, unearned Nobel Prizes and every other adulation, while progressively ever more insulated, by circumstance and preference, from any form of check or balance. In his short meteoric 'career' he's never had to experience serious opposition, much less defeat, and that makes him unstable.
We are watching a Caligula in formation.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Andrew- I agree, and am more than halfway expecting Obama to raise the debt ceiling by presidential edict. He shopped legal opinions to say that his war in Libya isn't a war. Obamacare was definitely NOT a tax (according to Barry) until it needed to be to meet constitutional requirements. I don't think this president really sees "reality" at all, but only his interpretation of it...and I think he's entirely capable of breaking some Very Big Rules quite soon. "Unstable" is exactly the right (and most frightening) word.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Andrew (and Stilt) - Right on!

Pete(Detroit) said...

Effing Tuesday, no post (as expected) Bummer!
Miss you Stilt! >snif<
Can't wait for 'new project' to be more done-er, and we getchya back here (in addition to what ever the Next New Thing is...)
Just sayin...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete(Detroit)- Duuuuuuude, I totally caught you napping! There was a Tuesday post this week because that little bustard in the Whitehouse pissed me off.

Here's the deal: I'm only guaranteeing cartoons on M-W-F, but there's always the chance that I'll post at other times if it keeps me from having an aneurysm.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Sure did! >blush<

Anonymous said...

@Stilton,

(sorry, I'm sure one of my logins will work on this site, I just don't want to bother...)

I agree that they would not be able to get a decrease in the debt ceiling passed. What I meant was that they should have started the argument at that level, rather than starting by already conceding the point.

If they were actually conservatives, they would be talking about the need to lower it rather than raise it. They're not. Instead, they have already concede that they're willing to raise it - but they want some "political points" out of the deal for doing so.

Driving the ship into Hell slower than the opposition doesn't change the destination.