Monday, November 21, 2011


With the hours ticking down to a precious few, it's becoming increasingly likely that the SuperDuperCommittee to which Barack Obama passed his fiscal leadership responsibilities is about to present us all with a special Thanksgiving sentiment: "Get stuffed!"

Because almost no one is predicting that the members of the supercommittee are about to strike a deal (and even if they did, the amount they're debating is only about 10% of what any truly serious reform would require).

Of course, this isn't exactly wildly surprising. When they had a supermajority, the Democrats didn't even bother to create or offer budgets. Obama created one which was so repugnant and unrealistic (actually raising spending in virtually every area) that it wasn't supported by even a single Democrat's vote.

In this absence of leadership, Barack Obama created a "Debt Reduction Commission" which was supposed to get everything figured out. But they didn't, and such good suggestions as they had (and there were quite a few) were quickly buried out of sight by Obama in much the same way that a cat scrapes kitty litter over anything it finds offensive.

Then (and by "then," we mean when the Tea Party came to Washington in 2010) came talk of a possible Balanced Budget Amendment - which Obama promptly shot down, saying that it was ridiculous to think that we'd need to amend the Constitution just to get legislators "to do their jobs."

Which is why it was puzzling that the president subsequently gave those very jobs to his new "Supercommittee" which would find $1.2 trillion in cuts...or else a "trigger" would go off, automatically cutting the money from budgets - with half the hit coming out of our nation's military financing. An outcome which seems almost unavoidable at this point...and one which will come as great news to those who would like to see America's military might diminished (including the commander in chief).

Meanwhile, businesses and employment are in the dumper, despairing over the fact that they'll seemingly never have a secure idea of the financial future to base their planning on - and such uncertainty is unacceptable.

But at Hope n' Change, we think they're missing the bigger picture. After all, since the day of Obama's election there hasn't been one single sincere effort to cut spending, encourage business, or balance the budget. So there's really no "uncertainty" at all; businessmen can confidently assume that everything will get worse for the foreseeable future, and make their hiring plans accordingly!

What's that? Oh yes - they already are.

One is a mythic being from another planet who has powers far greater than other men,
has a closely guarded secret identity, and fights enemies in comic book fashion.

The other one is Superman.



Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Somebody remind me; why do we have a Congress? If they are constitutionally mandated to pass a budget and refuse to do so, and there is no consequence for that, what purpose do they serve...outside of personal enrichment and accumulation of power? And what good is a media that serves as a collective press secretary for the current regime? How sad that we are getting both a government and a media that we deserve. How tragic that we don't care enough to demand better.

Pete(Detroit) said...

AHD, some of us DO demand better - that's why 'old media' is continuing to swirl in the bowl... Not fast enough, sure, but going down none the less. But full agreed, we need to bounce pretty much all of 'em, and start over...

Chuck said...

This is exactly what I expected. The left set this up so that failure would be the outcome and the lion’s share of the cuts would be to defense … the one thing they would like to cut by 100%. And the right walked right into it, handing off their responsibilities (yet again) to an unprecedented “super committee”. Now, they think they have “it’s not my fault” rights! WRONG!

There is no way they are reaching an agreement today. I could be wrong, now … but I don’t think so.

@Angry Hoosier Dad – well said and too true.

John the Econ said...

If there needs to be a new amendment, there needs to be one that states that if Congress cannot pass a budget, (one of it's primary responsibilities) then Congress shall be purged and elections immediately held to replace it. That should do the trick.

I am not in favor of a "balanced budget" amendment for a couple of reasons. The first, believe it or not, is that Obama is right; It is Congress's responsibility to pass one.

The second is that there are legitimate reasons for governments to run deficits, in time of war, for example. Any such amendment would certainly have such a clause, which would create a moral hazard to create and sustain wars.

And last, the left would certainly see to it that any such amendment would require tax increases as part of any "balancing". This would only exacerbate the current problem we have, which is spending, while giving the Democrats cover for doing what they love to do, raise taxes.

Stan da Man said...

John, +1

Jim Hlavac said...

Strangely, perhaps even Pollyanna foolishly, I see some good coming out of this morass -- and the next one term president, (for the current Republican field is hopeless or feckless,) or even if Obama wins -- even if the economy gets worse in the next few years too -- for while true, the fringe right and left have seized the two parties, and the problems are huge, and the media is complicit -- ultimately, the majority of Americans, the Silent Majority perhaps they might be called (us here for instance,) -- simply will see that the reality is unsustainable, and those pretending to know what they are doing are knaves.

I believe that both the Dems and Repubs will be swept away, and third and fourth parties come to power, with far more rational governance in mind. I don't think we're going to get a police state or some Occupying socialist "paradise," no. Neither do I think we're going to cast the grannies into the streets or starve the poor; sure we might get some rabble rousing, but not wholesale violent revolution, no.

And when I say this to people, those who concentrate on the minute things of the day, I can't get any clearer than I was when way back in 1978 I said that the Soviet System would be gone by 2000 and gay folks would be far more accepted -- I was right. The fundamental system, the Constitution, the infrastructure, are sound -- it's the yahoos in charge that are morons -- and the nation is seeing this farce play our in ever grand sweeps of stupidity.

And there's just too many rational people -- Rick Santorelli, the tea party catalyst, for instance, for us rational people to just let it all go to hell. So, short term, it'll get worse; long term, a hell of a lot better. After all, you can fool some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. But fasten your seat belts; it'll be a bumpy ride.

beingretired said...

Did anyone actually believe that a panel of six committed tax and spenders and six fiscal conservative's would actually come to some kind of compromise a year before the biggest election is decades?

This was designed to fail so the Democrats could blame the Republicans and then let the media carry that story to next November. The Democrats, for the most part, and more than a few Republicans don't want to cut spending. They want the status quo and they either actually believe that they can sustain this or just don't care.

Until the Democrats and the RINO's are swept out of office we'll never see things change.

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

@Jim H, I do believe you are correct about where we are headed. Unfortunately, I think it is going to be a lot worse, and a lot sooner than you believe. 90% of those who have been to war and "smelled the smoke" DO NOT want to go again, nor do they want to see it happen in our streets, as it does regularly overseas. They know the horrors up close and personal, and will avoid it if at all possible. THIS fact above all else, is why there is such a push to take away our 2nd Amendment Rights - the government KNOWS how well trained we are ... and they fear us (rightly so) if it comes to armed revolution. However, far too many vets I read about and see every time I go to the VAMC are proceeding along the path that a citizens' revolution is inevitable, and very soon. A BAD thing for this country in general, but probably the only thing that will save our nation and restore it to where it needs to be and proceed forrward with the principals upon which it was founded. Far too many people, of all races, colors, creeds, and national origins that KNOW how great this country was, and should still be, are very disappointed, and are willing to fight and to die to return us all to the American Dream, a wealthy nation in general, with moral and personal convictions that made us the most powerful nation in the world for over 200 years. We only got called upon to be the world's policeman ... because we HAD the money - and the ability! America was feared by the despots and fear mongers of the world - not so any more. What I read online and hear in the streets is that many real Americans are convinced we can again be that nation.

At this moment there are far too many folks who vote themselves a living ... if this is not overcome, I fear armed revolution is the only way. If memory serves me (a long time since grade school history class) there was a time where only businessmen and real property owners (landowners) we permitted to vote and decide where our nation was going ... and guess what, it mostly worked pretty good!

Pete(Detroit) said...

Doc, I too recall 'free, white, male, 21, landowner' as being requirements to vote, but do NOT see it in the Constitution. Possibly Commonwealth of Virginia, but not whole US? Easy to find where the franchise was extended to non-whites, women, and the age changed, but apparently 'landowner' (tax payer) was never part of the program. Clearly, it's NOW part of the PROBLEM...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- Hopefully we will demand (and get) "something better" quite soon.

@Pete(Detroit)- I certainly agree with your toilet metaphor for the media (and we should all keep flushing!)

@Chuck- As you say, this was set up for failure from the beginning. It was yet another diversionary tactic intended to let Obama, the Dems, and some Republicans to pass the buck for the umpteenth time.

@John the Econ- I like the idea of automatically cleaning house if no budget is passed. I don't understand how in the hell the politicians can ignore this most basic of responsibilities...then still vote themseves raises and benefits.

@Stan da Man- +1 for your +1.

@Jim Hlavac- I don't doubt the "bumpy ride" part, I just wish I shared your optimism that things will work out in the long run. Then again, even if I don't feel optimistic, I can continue to work toward a hoped-for outcome. Come to think of it, that's what this blog is all about.

@beingretired- I completely agree. We need a powerful cleansing of Washington, and it can't come soon enough.

@Doc (Northern Nevada)- I really worry about the possibility of things taking a violent turn when it comes time to face reality (ie, "we can't and won't pay to give things away anymore.")

@Pete(Detroit)- It's interesting to try to think of how voters might be encouraged to vote for what's best for the country rather than their own personal interests. It seems more vital than ever that voters have some skin in the game...though I can't imagine how such a thing could be implemented.

Mike Porter said...

The last presidential election is proof that thirty years of historical revision, political correctness and progressive ideology in the classroom is finally beginning to pay off. You can't fool all of the people all of the time, but you can eventually turn the youth of today into the useful idiots of tomorrow, and tomorrow is already upon us. Too many of these thirty-somethings were further mislead in college, and are now in positions of authority, operating under unchallenged misconceptions that they hold as universal unspoken truths. Even a cursory study of Russian history reveals how truly dangerous our present situation has become... public sector unions supported by public sector employees who believe that these organizations are forces for good, and seem to be able to completely ignore their Marxist underpinnings and thuggish methods. Among a laundry list of necessary corrections, abolition of this particular type of union is paramount towards the restoration of our republic. We all know where the majority of unionized public educators stand on this issue. When push comes to shove, who's side do you think the majority of the cops will come down on? Not to disparage the police, but there is a reason why just the very thought of a unionized military causes progressives to go all glassy-eyed and begin to fondle themselves absent-mindedly.

As to this Uber-Kommittee horsecrap, John Boehner needs his compromising ass kicked for capitulating on the debt ceiling issue in the first place. And citing 'negative optics' as a motivating factor here is good cause for a healthy ball stomping as well. How any reasonably intelligent adult could call that mistake a conservative victory is beyond me. There was never any real danger of defaulting had they taken the fight to the bitter edge, and the loss of our triple-A rating was entirely predicated upon the half measure nature of the outcome. In any event, if this all leads to dark skies, red streets and jack-booted thugs, you can bet your ass that most armed Americans will teach any roaming Bolsheviks a thing or two about reeducation.

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

@Pete (Detroit) ... I didn't say it was in the Constitution, as I know it is not there. But, I do remember being taught that it was "that way" as a child in school, albeit a VERY long time ago! LOL! Maybe it was the way it was, because back then, this was the way most things were in governments. If you had (to steal another posters' line above) "skin in the game" you got to play, if not you didn't.

Colby said...

It's already started. Jay Blarney has firmly placed blame on those evil, anti-American, Republican, a-hole, bastard members of the Stupor Committee that are only interested in political gain and will flush the good old USA down the drain before doing something patriotic like taxing those other rich bastards until they are living on the street like the OTHER 99%.

I love run-on sentences!

John the Econ said...

@Jim Hlavac & @Mike Porter: I'd like to be optimistic, and I suppose I am somewhat. Ultimately, what you suggest, Jim, will happen. But only after a lot more pain; after the net-consumers ultimately come to the realization that the net-producers are no longer going to accept being slaves. Remember that today, for all practical purposes, roughly 50% of Americans are dependent upon the government for some aspect of their being; be it welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies (corporate or personal), education, housing, etc, etc. Just what percentage of those net-beneficiaries are going to say "Hey, I understand that America can't afford to pay my way anymore, and I'll vote for someone who not only will not be promising me more freebies, but will actually reduce them."?

Not too many, I am afraid. I am afraid that it will only happen once the net producers go on strike, and the net consumers are starved.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike Porter- Very good comment! And I was (and am) also disappointed that the Debt Ceiling "debate" didn't go all the way. It's obvious that NO meaningful changes will be made unless the government is FORCED to make them. If that includes running out of money and a credit downgrade, it can't happen soon enough for me. Would there be much pain and suffering? Certainly. But the republic might survive it, which is a more optimistic outcome than I predict if things continue down their current path.

@Colby- I have to do my deep breathing exercises and think of my "happy place" when I hear how the blame is already being apportioned for the supercommittee's failure. We need to get back to basics and ask why the supercommittee was even formed in the first place - and the answer is because the president and the Dems are refusing to deal with the debt.

@John the Econ- You have a gift for saying depressing things that make perfect sense (and with which I totally agree).

Proof said...

"The other one is Superman." Both had adoptive fathers. One taught his son to appreciate truth, justice and the American way, the other was an Indonesian.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Proof- Nice!

John the Econ said...

Arrrrgh! Watching CNBC. Of course, yesterday's market plunge was blamed on the stupidcommittee, which I think is highly misplaced. Failure of the stupidcommittee was a foregone conclusion the moment it was formed in lieu of Congress actually doing its job in the first place. I think yesterday's continuation of the market drop had more to do with the MF Capital fiasco (starring a former Democratic Governor and Obama crony, but they won't put it that way) impending collapse of the Euro, and traders freaked that the market is going to be closed over Thanksgiving while the nonsense in Europe continues unabated)

So now we have talking heads and politicians suggesting all kinds of new "temporary" fixes to stop the ongoing decline, which is the real problem. This is troublesome in two ways:

A) They STILL DON'T GET IT that it's their continual screwing around with the economy with more "temporary fixes" that IS THE PROBLEM! The market wants real, permanent fixes to problems; not more mickey-mouse crony capitalism that only encourages EVERYONE to defensively game the system just to avoid slaughter.

B) In the wake of the MF Capital, investors are beginning to come to terms with the reality that the Federal government doesn't respect rule of law anymore, and if you can't count on law to cover your back, when what can you count on? This is how business is done in banana republics. It isn't how it's done in prosperous societies, like the US used to be.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- I think you covered things pretty well with "Arrrgh!" but the other details were good, too.

The market never assumed that the supercommittee would do anything but fail. And they're increasingly coming to the conclusion that there's no financial sanity or stability anywhere in the world.

JustaJeepGuy said...

The markets are coming to the conclusion that Barack Hussein DOES NOT WANT FINANCIAL STABILITY anywhere in the world, he wants economic collapse. Especially in America. But he wants it on his terms, with him (or his socialist cronies) in charge. What he doesn't realize is, those socialist cronies will only let him be the figurehead as long as it suits them. The instant he's no longer useful, he'll be OUT.

However, if the "53%" go on strike, and stop carrying all the welfare queens and princes, maybe they will be able to get a reset of the Constitution. Like maybe the vote only goes to property owners again, or those actually gainfully employed (you know there would suddenly appear fake jobs), or just "no vote if your sole source of income is the government", with an amendment explicitly stating so.

pryorguy said...

Thanks, guys, great posts the last couple of days...I think I actually learned a few things, not being all that savvy with the economics of it and all!

But, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see that Congress, in large part, is totally corrupt with all their cronyism, (another way of saying it..."stealing"), and we have got ourselves a POTUS who leans toward the socialist way of thinking. So, you're right...things will get worse before they get better I'm afraid. Hang on and keep the faith, folks...we are on the right side! Pretty historic stuff, but very unfortunate.