Dog Bites Man, Part II

by Russ Roberts on May 8, 2009

in Politics

Congress can't handle $17 billion in cuts out of a $3.4 TRILLION budget. Too draconian:

President Obama's modest proposal to slice $17 billion from 121 government programs quickly ran into a buzz saw of opposition on Capitol Hill yesterday, as an array of Democratic lawmakers vowed to fight White House efforts to deprive their favorite initiatives of federal funds.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she is "committed" to keeping a $400 million program that reimburses states for jailing illegal immigrants, a task she called "a total federal responsibility."

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said he would oppose "any cuts" in agriculture subsidies because "farmers and farm families depend on this federal assistance."

And Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) vowed to force the White House to accept delivery of a new presidential helicopter Obama says he doesn't need and doesn't want. The helicopter program, which cost $835 million this year, supports 800 jobs in Hinchey's district. "I do think there's a good chance we can save it," he said.

The news releases began flying as Obama unveiled the long-awaited details of his $3.4 trillion spending plan, including a list of programs he wants to trim or eliminate. Though the proposed reductions represent just one-half of 1 percent of next year's budget, the swift protest was a precursor of the battle Obama will face within his own party to control spending and rein in a budget deficit projected to exceed $1.2 trillion next year.

Good luck, Mr. President.

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{ 44 comments }

Taylor May 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Why are they considering cutting spending (which would cut jobs) when they're increasing spending to save jobs?

Maybe this is inside baseball, and the spending targets various Democrats that have not shown absolute loyalty to the Fuhrer?

Taylor May 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Lil' postscript action here:

$835 million and 800 jobs to build one helicopter?

$1mil+/job on average

Nearly $1bil to build ONE helicopter that will be used by ONE man who does nothing to contribute to the productive efforts of anyone, anywhere in the world, and in fact does much to hinder and destroy their efforts, and it'll be used only occasionally (or not at all, since BO says he doesn't want or need it)…

"Danger, danger US citizens! That does not compute!"

Steven C May 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

If the President were a wise man, he would use his veto pen and keep sending appropriations bills back to Congress until they get it right.

He's never going to have more political power than he has today.

But I expect he's more concerned about his legacy of bold change.

I_am_a_lead_pencil May 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I'd like to highlight this again:

"And Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) vowed to force the White House to accept delivery of a new presidential helicopter Obama says he doesn't need and doesn't want. The helicopter program, which cost $835 million this year, supports 800 jobs in Hinchey's district. "I do think there's a good chance we can save it," he said."

Remember the stimulus money that is producing the "one time" new bridge, repaved roads and other unrelated politically connected construction projects?

I'm wondering about the ease with which this money, like the helicopter money above, will be able to go from X billion dollars to zero dollars – without any attempt to "reinvigorate" or "save" all of the jobs lying idle when these projects are complete. Can you not see folks (like congressman Hinchley above) clamoring to "save" these one-time stimulus jobs in his district?

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program"
– Milton Friedman

Ike May 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm

If it were a $17B increase, I'm sure it wouldn't be enough.

Sam Grove May 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm

This illustrates why I have such distaste for politicians.

Ike May 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Another observation.

At some point, it will become mathematically and financially feasible for me to justify quitting my job and protesting in front of Capitol Hill.

There comes a moment when the negative impact to my children's financial future from quitting will be less than the negative impact from me maintaining the status quo.

indiana jim May 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm

This "battle" over the cuts is just a show. This was completely planned. The point is to shift attention away from the $3.4 trillion in spending. Again, IT IS A SHOW. No one should be so naive as to be fooled by this red herring that the Dems. are deploying.

Frederick Davies May 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

This is a farce!

Nathan May 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Imagine an African dictator caught siphoning off billions from the public treasury to distribute to his family, friends, cronies, and backers. When caught, he shrugs his shoulders and says "My people depend on this money." Would even the most corrupt kleptocrat attempt to defend his theft this way? I imagine most would make at least a perfunctory denial, attempt to shift the blame to subordinates, etc. But here in the good old USA, representative Mike Ross can come right out and proclaim his support for the continued theft of billions by a small group of his supporters on just those grounds. Yeah democracy!

RL May 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

This is exactly why, if one really wants to cut the budget (and I don't believe Obama here), one needs to do it in large chucks–ending whole departments. As we see, they can't hate you any more than if you cut miniscule amounts, but with large cuts you can better develop an opposing interest group, like tax payers.

K Ackermann May 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

This illustrates why I have such distaste for politicians

And the worst part is, the politicians don't even care. One party is composed of sneaky liars, and the other party is composed of insane liars.

The Justice department has sent a loud and clear message for years now that they no longer investigate and prosecute official crime, and the message was received.

Jane Harman has always been a self-serving $%(^, but if the allegations that she was cutting deals with suspected spies in order to secure a committee chair, then a swift and public trial should be started. If they have her on tape saying what she allegedly said, then the only debate is if she is killed by firing squad, or hanged from a rope. Treason by an elected official must be punished by death, IMO.

The "lobbyists" have already been cleared of spying, even though they clearly passed secret documents from a Pentagon mole to Israel. The mole, a Doug Fieth disciple, has been sentenced to 13 years because the Justice department has to throw an occasional bone to the FBI.

The irony is that Harman wanted the intelligence committee chair. They will John-Deutch the whole affair, and she will probably end up as a Citi board member and AIPAC lobbyist.

indiana jim May 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Ackermann wrote: "And the worst part is, the politicians don't even care. One party is composed of sneaky liars, and the other party is composed of insane liars."

As I said in a response on another line where someone posted that BOTH parties were deficit spenders:

Yes, but, as Deirdre McCloskey keeps making clear, SIZE matters. The Reps. we now see are pikers in comparison to the Dems.

That is the Reps. are less bad by an order of magnitude that is not to be glossed over they way that your post might be read.

Again, Deirdre is correct.

So Ackermann, I say the same to you: both parties have people who are liars, but the Dems' lies make the Reps lies pale by comparison. The deficits and spending enthusiasically embraced as our salvation by the Dems make the deficits and spending enthusiastically embraced by the Reps look trivial.

Attempts to create a false equivalence between the parties are themselves a lie and must be bluntly labeled as such by anyone who cares about the truth.

K Ackermann May 8, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Of course there is an equivalence between the parties. Just because the republicans have more members sitting in prisons or resigned in disgrace doesn't mean the democrats are not going to catch up and maybe overtake them.

Democrats waste more money socially, while republicans waste it more globally.

Both parties have undermined the basic tenets of the constitution the same. Both parties show a willingness to throw their consituents under the bus in equal amounts.

The biggest difference between the parties, as best I can tell, is that the democrats are less likely to field politicians who say things like this.

indiana jim May 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Ok Ackermann, if you want to believe that the magnitudes don't matter, you are of course free to do so. Such disinterest in magnitudes ignores McCloskey's advice that "size matters." She is right, and you are wrong; but perhsps ignorance is bliss to you. Fare thee well, and good luck (you will need it more than I if you keep on your blinders).

indiana jim May 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Obama comments below in a CBS news story:

"In his remarks today, the president sought to change that tenor of that coverage. He mocked the notion that smaller savings are considered "trivial" in Washington and stressed that "these savings, large and small, add up."

And he told journalists directly that they should stress the fact that the cuts are "significant" – a surprisingly direct appeal to reporters concerning which angle they should take in their coverage.

"It is important, though, for all of you, as you're writing up these stories, to recognize that $17 billion taken out of our discretionary, non-defense budget, as well as portions of our defense budget, are significant," he said. "They mean something."

Ackermann comments: "Of course there is an equivalence between the parties. . . . Both parties have undermined the basic tenets of the constitution the same. Both parties show a willingness to throw their consituents under the bus in equal amounts."

No matter how persuasive Obama may be with his beautifully modulated baratone voice (when his teleprompter is set up correctly) and no matter how persistent Ackermann may be in saying that the magnitudes of expenditures and deficits don't matter, I ain't buying it from either. God never told anyone to be stupid.

Phil May 8, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Here's how the cuts go.. not making this up.

A friend of mine is a VOLUNTEER at the Steamtown National Historic Site who told me about this site. He and others shovels coal into a locomotive (interesting thing to volunteer for, but standing in front of a roaring fire dressed in coveralls when it's 90 degrees, not my thing)

They just got over 3 mil in stimulus money, but informed volunteers that no federal money can be spent on what was the annual volunteer banquet. Yessir, about 50 volunteers make it per year and figure that its probably 20-25 bucks a head-so they'll be saving $1000 to $1250.

K Ackermann May 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I'm saying it's a joint congress. The goose egg the republican's laid in response to Obama's call for a stimulus package was nothing but theatre. If you think their votes reflected some sort of strong statement of fiscal responsibility, then you are entitled to your opinions.

I saw it as hypocracy on the same level as the democrats votes on FISA. Remember, Rush put a call for republicans to hope the president fails.

brotio May 9, 2009 at 3:21 am

"Remember, Rush put a call for republicans to hope the president fails."

He didn't have to put out a call to me. When Obama campaigned for totalitarian medicine and, "spreading the wealth around", I was hoping he'd fail. Just as I hoped Bush would fail in his Prescription Drug Plan, and No Child Left Behind.

Yasafi also hoped President Bush would fail in his (successful) attempt to cut income tax rates, and the bailouts. In fact, Yasafi was opposed to bailouts up until the day Obama was sworn in, and then faster than Arlen Sphincter can change parties, Yasafi was suddenly in favor!

Max M May 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

I'm no conspiracy theorist but if Obama was as crafty as he seems, I'd say this was the idea all along. Now he gets to go on TV "Fighting his own party" against "all the pork they want to keep in this bill". He may even feel it would be best if he fought long and hard to cut this small part of the bill and LOST – as that might take the bite out of his opposition and put the heat onto other members of the democratic party, particularly members who dared to oppose him on his bill. Now they would be seen as the big spenders while Obama seemed like the underdog fighting against the big spenders of his own party.
So he looks good in the eyes of the public while getting the heat off himself and letting the media take care of hurting his political enemies. Fantastic! Brilliant! A job well done. His enemies will think twice before opposing him on bills again when he feeds them to the media as scapegoats.

Babinich May 9, 2009 at 6:11 am

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she is 'committed' to keeping a $400 million program that reimburses states for jailing illegal immigrants, a task she called 'a total federal responsibility.'"

Of course; why would a Democrat want to deport all those the Democrats wish to mold into the permanent indebted class?

"Remember, Rush put a call for republicans to hope the president fails."

I hope that the idea of rewriting bankruptcy laws fail, I hope that the idea that government can make better cars fails, I hope that the idea that this administration of the indebted can create a command economy for green energy fails & I hope the Tabula Rasa's plan for universal health care fails.

This moral cipher was a terrible public servant for the state of Illinois. All that has changed is the stage.

indiana jim May 9, 2009 at 8:04 am

Babinich and brotio are spon on in responses to Ackermann:

Just as one would desire Bush's Perscription Drug Policy to fail, so would one hope for the "Tabula Rasa's plan for universal health care" to fail.

The point that Ackermann has been trying not to have to deal with cannot be evaded in this context. Yes both Bushes Perscription Drug Plan and Universal Health Care interfere with the demand and supply of health care, but the relative SIZE of the interferences is HUGE. So one who argued against Bush's Perscription Drug Plan would logically argue against Obama's universal health care;the argument against universal health care would also logically be much more energetically made, owing to the vast differences in magnitudes of the interferences.

The movie line from "Tombstone" that illustrates the point is when Val Kilmer in the role of Doc Holiday says: "My hypocrisy goes only so far."

Is more limited hypocrisy less bad than a universal hypocrisy? Yes, this seems self evident; what say you Ackermann?

indiana jim May 9, 2009 at 8:05 am

typos,typos

Above: spot on, not spon on

vidyohs May 9, 2009 at 6:46 pm

K Ackerman,

Were you really stupid enough to say this:

"Remember, Rush put a call for republicans to hope the president fails.
Posted by: K Ackermann | May 8, 2009 11:49:53 PM"

Typical socialist lie. Take something and distort it to fit your own warped sense of reality and go with it, hell it doesn;t matter the lie, just lie and stick with it.

I happened to be listening to Rush the first time that was said, and what he said was HE hoped it would fail, strictly his own opinion.

You idiots on the left think that people listen to Rush to get thinking instructions and marching orders, it is your most cherished belief; and it is because without your socialist indoctrination you have no ability to think therefore all peoples must be just like you.

People listen to Rush for one simple reason, he has the microphone and is saying what they would say if they had it; and they enjoy hearing someone speak truth to the rabid left wing that is ruining a good nation.

Like someone above, I personally didn't need anyone to tell me to hope Obama and the democrats failed, hell I was way out in front of the curve on that one.

I don't look forward to the misery I know is coming with the socialist crap that is genning out of D.C., but it will serve to make the lazy ass Americans think a little about a government that can take everything.

Ray G May 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Picture Obama standing in front of a mountain of cash that represents the $3.4 trillion with him turning off a single 40 watt light bulb, and proclaiming he has saved the American tax payer money by turning off that light.

vidyohs May 10, 2009 at 10:30 am

Nice, Ray G.

Good on ya.

seanooski May 10, 2009 at 10:34 am

I think you wrongly characterize Ackerman as a socialist, vidyohs. He's expressed a number of very libertarian points of view many times in this forum. I think you are drooling a little too heavily. Calm down.

I increasingly tend toward anarcho-capitalism myself. I see less and less useful in government as time goes on, precisely because both parties are so increasingly alike. They both accept the notion of welfare, social security, farm subsidies, tariffs, wealth redistribution. Perhaps there are some degrees of magnitude, but a small shovel is still a spade just like a big shovel. In fact, it is the Republicans that have made it easier for the Democrats to do what they do, because they have legitimized their premises by embracing them, however small those embracements may be by comparison.

We don't have a two party system. We have a one party system with two competing factions within it. They are all complicit in destroying the foundations of our once briefly great republic. Our constitution is virtually meaningless, there are no longer any significant limits to the power of the state, and the Republicans are every bit as responsible for this as the Democrats. Until the actual freedom loving thinkers in this country recognize this, and quit voting for the major parties, it will only get worse. I think we are all freedom lovers here, with the exception of our resident socialist trolls. The Republicans are using us like cheap whores.

I look forward to a future where all political power seekers are dragged out and summarily shot. It'll never happen, but a free man can still dream.

indiana jim May 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm

seanooski wrote: "Perhaps there are some degrees of magnitude, but a small shovel is still a spade just like a big shovel."

Perhaps? perhaps? The difference is between, as I said above to Ackermann a limited hypocrisy and a universal one when it comes to health care. Again, as with Ackermann, I think you do a disservice to clear and complete discussions by asserting in effect that a grenade and an atomic bomb are equivalent. The assertion that every Congressperson in both parties is identical is just silly. Is Mike Pence the same as Pelosi? One is a champion of economic and personal liberty and the other is greasing the skids for socialism (the latter would be Pelosi, in case you don't know).

seanooski May 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I agree that Pelosi is "greasing the skids for socialism". Of course, we have had socialism for several decades now with the tacit complicity of both parties.

Let's have a look at Mike Pence;

"In June 2006, Pence unveiled a plan he describes as 'no amnesty immigration reform' consisting of increased border security first, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program requires potential participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job."

"Pence is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act[10] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pence

Hardly a "champion of economic and personal liberty". I understand you think that the lesser of two evils is the path to take. I believe that is exactly how we have ended up where we are now. You cannot defend liberty by compromising with its enemies. You merely make its demise inevitable, if a little delayed. On this point, no doubt we must agree to disagree.

indiana jim May 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Seanooski,

Nobody's without error. Your "close look" at Mike Pence is a joke. If you think Pence is anything by an anti-Pelosi you, like Ackermann, need to remove your blinders.

seanooski May 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Address what he supports Jim. He asserts government's right to disallow people to freely exist and he asserts government's right to tell us what we can do with our own money and time. He's a bastard, just like all of them. Give him power and he will just as readily as Pelosi abuse it.

indiana jim May 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm

No Seanooski Pence is an antiPelosi as I already said once to you. You resist my challenge to compare Pence to Pelosi, so be it. Both of us know what that means and even if you don't everyone else at Hayek does, your assertion that Pence is a "bastard" notwithstanding. How can people like you live with themselves?

Ad homenim is seen for exactly what it is by the elightened folk here at the Cafe: an attack against the man by an opponent who cannot sustain the argument.

Again: How can people like you live with themselves?

indiana jim May 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Seanooski:

BTW, another Rep. who you might want to learn about is Jack Kemp.

I suppose you can dig up something jack might have done that wasn't pure, so what?

Jack worked to reduce marginal tax rates massively, in case you are as unaware of history as you are of McCloskey's advice that SIZE matters.

Perhaps you think Kemp was a bastard too and undifferentiable from Pelosi and Obama and Reid. I do not suffer from your blindness, Jack was vastly different.

vidyohs May 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

"I think you wrongly characterize Ackerman as a socialist, vidyohs. He's expressed a number of very libertarian points of view many times in this forum. I think you are drooling a little too heavily. Calm down.
Posted by: seanooski | May 10, 2009 10:34:31 AM"

Perhaps I "drool", seanooski, because I see what you don't seem to see, or understand. Rush can take care of himself, I speak to the idiot socialist evangelical mantra regarding him.

"Remember, Rush put a call for republicans to hope the president fails.
Posted by: K Ackermann | May 8, 2009 11:49:53 PM"

That is the standard socialist evangelical mantra regarding Limbaugh and his listeners.

Did you get those words, seanooski? Standard socialist evangelical mantra. That Rush listeners tune in every day to get their thinking orders for the day, and that Rush can command Republicans rather than just use his popularity as the funnel through which people can make their opinions known.

Yet this individual you claim can't rightly be considered as a socialist dropped it into his screed as casually, subtly and smoothly as if it were fact and something "everyone" knows; and, he did so in a manner that shows it comes right out of his core belief.

So, is Ackerman just repeating socialist evangelical mantra as a good socialist would, while never actually listening and thinking; or, has he listened and been unable to understand the dynamics of the Limbaugh show; or, as I suggested is he just stupid enough to think that that statement would fly when it had no wings?

Have you, seanooski, ever stopped to think that his few comments that can be taken as libertarian just might be the sugar he coats his socialist medicine with?

Ackerman came onto this cafe from the get-go with the same sort of laid back, soft pedaled socialistic ideas that Daniel Keuin did. When he started getting caught out, not by me, I just read and watched for a long time, but by others, suddenly his writings began to include that shift to sugar coating and soft-pedaling.

Having a little socialism is like having a little skunk spray in the house, no matter how little it still ruins the standard of living until you get rid of it.

My uncompromising attitude, or position, might be "drooling" to you, you might believe that yes you can compromise with those who want what you create. I just don't want your mistaken belief to take me down with you.

indiana jim May 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

vids,

I think your insights about the evolution of Ackermann's posts are interesting.

Above, I tried to persuade Ackermann to make comparisons head on, instead of skirting away.
When he declined, seanooski stepped in and spoke on Ackermann's behalf. Unbelievably, eanooski argues that Pelosi and Pence are equivalent "bastards". This I find silly.

Your analogy of a little socialism being like a little skunk spray is also interesting, but I still think there is a difference between a grenade and an A-bomb (but of course there is little difference if you are standing close enough when either goes off).

Sam Grove May 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm

So Ackermann, I say the same to you: both parties have people who are liars, but the Dems' lies make the Reps lies pale by comparison.

I'll take some issue with this.
The Dems are outright advocates of socializing the economy, while the Republicans have portrayed themselves as friends of free markets and liberty.

The Dems may produce more fiscal damage, but the Republicans' betrayal of moral principles have empowered the left like little else, and have led many to question the value of freedom.

indiana jim May 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Sam,

Yes I agree that the Reps portrayals of themselves have been, as a group, at odds with their rhetoric and that by so doing they have surrendered the moral high ground. Yes the Reps screwed themselves.

Going forward, if either party can provide voters with a credible commitment to an agenda (like the old "contract with America") it might be a winning strategy. The problem here then seems to be finding a credible commitment mechanism. Given the "betrayals" and "lies" that you mention, this may be a very tall order.

seanooski May 12, 2009 at 7:11 am

Wow, Sam says nearly the same thing as I said about the Republicans enabling the Democrats and suddenly you play nice with him. Whatever.

"Having a little socialism is like having a little skunk spray in the house, no matter how little it still ruins the standard of living until you get rid of it."

This is exactly my point about Republicans. They are only different from the Democrats by degrees. They pay lip service to small government. Then, when they gain power, they propose constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage. Give me a break! You know it is true. I refuse to play that game anymore. I oppose all statists and the very foundations of their true philosophy, that government power is legitimate, and that the people are resources of the state.

Ackerman? I couldn't care less about him. I just thought you were a bit over the top vidyohs. Hell, I'm more anti-socialist than any of you.

vidyohs May 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

"Then, when they gain power, they propose constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage. Give me a break! You know it is true.
Ackerman? I couldn't care less about him. I just thought you were a bit over the top vidyohs. Hell, I'm more anti-socialist than any of you.

Posted by: seanooski | May 12, 2009 7:11:41 AM"

I frequently "go over the top", seanooski, and I do it deliberately. I would have thought you'd realize that by now. Deliberate over the top can effectively stimulate thoughts every now and then.

However, regarding your words I quoted above.

Let's compare your own examples to what democrats do when they get in power, as Sam says, it just don't balance.

Republicans: Propose flag burning ban.
Democrats: Propose nationalizing health care.

Republicans: Propose banning gay marriage.
Democrats: Propose intstitutionalizing labor unions in all fields.

Republicans: Propose outlawing partial birth abortion.
Democrats: Propose expanding worng headed Hate Crimes legislation to include sexual preference.

Republicans: propose tightening the rules on declaring bankruptcy.
Democrats: Propose allowing eliminating any rules on declaring bankruptcy.

Those are just some of the comparisons beginning with two you chose. Take each one, republican and democrat, and use your active imagination and run the scenarios out to their logical conclusions on how they will effect American business and private climate; then come back and tell me they are the same.

I have witnessed a deaf boy come into my Monday business classes I am teaching at a local HS, he is accompanied by his own personal interpreter (sign language) who hand talks to him as we speak or the videos I use play. His own f..king sign language interpreter who goes from class to class with hime day to day on your goddamn dollar, and you are gonna try and tell me that is an idea that came out of republican ideals?

Bullshit.

indiana jim May 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm

seanooski,

As the old saying goes: If you don't say what you mean, you can't possibly mean what you mean. If you meant what Sam said, you sure didn't say it (calling Pence a "bastard" on par with Pelosi).

I think vidyohs said everything else you might benefit from hearing.

Still, I'll repeat on point of vids's:

Bullshit.

seanooski May 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

Look, you guys think that choosing the lesser evil is the pragmatic choice in these situations, that's perfectly valid. I've had enough of that. Yes, incrementally, the Republicans are "better" than the Dems. In the long run however, they will all lead us to the same place. The political class has no intention of ever ceding power back to the states, much less the people. No Child Left Behind was a Republican back stab, Prescription Drug welfare was another. Bush pushed the TARP and so did McLame. Yes, House Repubs showed a bit of backbone at first, but they caved soon enough.

Like Rush says (and I listen as often as I can) the Repubs can't win by becoming Dem-light. I say they already have.

I've enjoyed this exchange. I get a bit over the top myself sometimes. Too passionate for my own good, I'd prefer blissful ignorance, but I'm not wired for that. You guys always entertain and enlighten, and I appreciate your opinions, even if I don't always agree (though more often than not I do). We are on the same team. I just don't have any faith in politricks anymore.

indiana jim May 13, 2009 at 9:12 am

seanooski,

I enjoy the exchanges too. For me the process helps me vent the frustration that I completely share with you about the liberties that Americans have lost.

Many Reps have become Dem-lites, you are correct. But this has put them behind the eight ball. Will they continue on this path? If I knew the future, I'd be rich. It seems clear to me though that if they stay Dem-lites they will do poorly in the 2010 mid-terms. Their self-interest seems to favor an attempt to persuade people that they are not "bastards". To do that a vehicle of pre-commitment will be, I think, paramount; something like a new contract with America.

Reagan struggled mightilly against the red (or pinko) tide; it was morning in American again. He was a cowboy who "rode for the brand", cutting taxes and winning the cold war. The Bushes are examples of presidents who contributed incrementally to our journey toward serfdom. Obama is a president who is bent on destroying the sea walls that hold the red/pinko tide off American shores.

We may agree on many things, but I think you risk throwing the baby out with the bath water if you say the Obama and Bush are equivalent. A false equivalence if false; overgeneralizations blur distinctions that are, in my view, necessary to persuade the uninformed.

seanooski May 13, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I think that's a valid point and food for my own thought. If it came down to it, I'd certainly vote for the bastard on the right before the bastard on the left, I do it every time. But it still hurts!

indiana jim May 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

seanooski,

We do agree!

:>)

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