GOP’s sense of urgency will be telling

The big question about Republicans in this election has been whether they have truly reformed themselves after their spending binge during the last decade. Will they prove willing and able to stop the debt-fueled car still speeding toward disaster (you know how President Obama loves his car-economy metaphors), or will they be nothing more than a speed bump?

We’ll get part of the answer after the election when we see the urgency with which Republicans focus on the budget, as opposed to issuing subpoenas to administration officials. Forget “airy-fairy beyond-the-blue-horizon” projections about a fiscal crisis looming mid-century, writes the incomparable Mark Steyn. There’s no time to waste:

The existential questions for America loom not decades hence but right now. We face not genteel Euro-style decline cushioned by America, but something faster, wrenching and far more convulsive — with nobody to cushion it.

We know American government is living beyond America’s means. What’s more interesting is whether it’s living beyond the world’s. Historically, foreign official holdings of US Treasury securities have been less than five per cent of the rest of the planet’s GDP. By 2009, they were up to seven per cent. Obama-sized budgets depend on foreign holdings rising to about 20 per cent of the rest of the planet’s GDP.

There is no evidence that the world will be willing to do that. And, even if there was, the net effect would merely be to accelerate the remorseless transfer of wealth to our enemies. …

When government spends on the scale Washington’s got used to, that’s not a spending issue, it’s a moral one. There’s nothing virtuous about “caring” “compassionate” “progressives” being caring and compassionate and progressive with money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born. That’s what “fiscal conservatives” often miss: This isn’t a green-eyeshade issue. Increasing dependency, disincentivizing self-reliance, absolving the citizenry from responsibility for their actions: The multitrillion-dollar debt catastrophe is not the problem but merely the symptom. It’s not just about balancing the books, but about something more basic and profound.

In a two-party system, you have to work with what’s available. In America, one party is openly committed to driving the nation off the cliff, and the other party is full of guys content to go along for the ride as long as we shift down to third gear. That’s no longer enough of a choice. If your candidate isn’t committed to fewer government agencies with fewer employees on lower rates of pay, he’s part of the problem. This is the last chance for the GOP to restore its credentials. If it blows it, all bets are off for 2012.

(The “go along for the ride” line is perfect, given that the same day as Steyn posted his essay — which you should read in full — Obama said, “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”)

The president doesn’t get it, and never has. Lord help us if the GOP doesn’t, either.

93 comments Add your comment

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

The first sign of republican reform, or not, will be to see whether Jerry Lewis is chairman of appropriations. You will know instantly.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
12:49 pm

Some of your posters will go ballistic for having a black man telling them that they have to sit in the back. Some people here are reasonable, moderate types. Others . . . not so much.

The fact is that Obama’s budgets have not been very different from previous budgets under Bush. The difference now is that, because we’ve been in a recession, revenue has dropped, which is causing the deficit to explode.

Having said that, I can agree that we absolutely need to reduce the deficits we’re running and long term reduce the debt (I just want to point out that of the $13.5 trillion in debt, about $10 trillion was created by Reagan and Bush’s I & II). If you’re going to be intellectually honest, then let’s start with eliminating all of the Bush tax cuts. They did nothing to stimulate the economy after they were passed, and that’s $4 trillion (over 10 years) that we can’t afford. Agree to that, and we can talk about defense, social security, whatever.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

Ragnar My friend. Nice to “see” you again. So, what do you think of the treasury selling TIPS with a negative interest rate?

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
12:54 pm

This is laughable because you somehow believe that Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) want to fix our problems. Lest you forget that the Bush Admin was spending out of control as well. Both parties are evil. How can you expect either of them to fix a problem that they both contribute to? What spending cuts are the Republicans going to put in place? None that mean anything. Cut social security or give me my deposits so that I can manage them. I don’t need the government to do it. Get rid of these welfare programs. Republicans have never and will never do that. They only talk a good game, but never deliver.

Think about it. The Religious Right is against healthcare coverage for everyone. Does that make sense? Would Jesus want you to die because you don’t have insurance?

Why do the both parties force estates to pay a death tax? If you paid taxes while you were alive, why does your family have to pay? Democrats can answer that.

What are the 2 parties fighting over? Power to control us and our money!

Unfortunately, our regard for education is so low that we have no clue how our local communities work, not to mention our federal government.

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
12:56 pm

Left Wing…..why do you feel the need to take our money and let the federal government waste it? The Bush tax cuts weren’t big enough!

It sounds like you think the best way to cure an alcoholic is to give him more alcohol to choose from.

Jefferson

October 26th, 2010
1:04 pm

Wouldn’t it be a nice change if they could actually show some credibility. The t-republicans don’t have a clue what they are in for.

TINSTAAFL

October 26th, 2010
1:04 pm

I don’t like it when people talk about how we need to ‘reduce the defecit.’ That really doesn’t make much sense to me. Am I supposed to be happy if we reduce a $1.3 defecit to $1 trillion? We’ve gotta eliminate it, and then some. It’s not going to be easy.

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

October 26th, 2010
1:35 pm

“Would Jesus want you to die because you don’t have insurance?

I would guess Jesus would want one to be responsible, get off welfare, foodstamps and other entitilement programs and be honest in working for a living.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

Obama-sized budgets depend on foreign holdings rising to about 20 per cent of the rest of the planet’s GDP…When government spends on the scale Washington’s got used to, that’s not a spending issue, it’s a moral one. There’s nothing virtuous about “caring” “compassionate” “progressives” being caring and compassionate and progressive with money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born.

The Obama-sized budgets that Steyn appears to refer to are budgets with growth arising primarily out of the growth in health care costs and their impact on Medicare as more and more baby boomers reach retirement age. They have little to do with Obama and would likely be even higher under a McCain/Palin administration (the Affordable Care Act reduced the size of deficit projections in out years).

Also, the premise of this article is that the 2008-2009 budget deficit is somehow a result of Obama/progressives. Those who blame spending from the Recovery Act, for example, fail to show the simple math of approximately $350 billion, give or take, of stimulus spent during the fiscal year ending in 2009 is responsible for a $1.4 trillion budget deficit. It’s also worth noting that the Recovery Act spent approximately $100 billion, give or take, during the fiscal year ending in 2010, but magically, $100 billion in added stimulus spending is responsible for the $1.29 trillion budget deficit of that year.

The reality is that we had a multi-trillion dollar hole in the private sector portion of our economy that led to these [Bush] deficits, and by plugging part of that hole, the stimulus actually helped to reduce the deficit from a projected $2 trillion, give or take.

Readers needs to be reminded that those who claimed that deficits don’t matter while more than doubling our national debt clearly meant that deficits don’t matter when Republicans are running the show. Now, rather than cutting obsolete weaponry and subsidies for industry (welfare for billionaires), they seek to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the poor while simultaneously seeking to shift more of the tax burden off the rich (“the producers”) onto everybody else.

Steyn’s nonsensical editorial is part of the scam, and those who fall for it are doing it to themselves and their loved ones.

Tychus Findlay

October 26th, 2010
1:44 pm

Modern medicine’s part of the problem.

1. It unnaturally extends life expectancy, in some cases excessively with substantially reduced quality of living.
2. People living longer means that they will collect SS benefits longer, which necessitates that they either raise the eligibility age considerably (read 75+) or eliminate them altogether and let people invest their own money.
3. The longer people live, the greater the cost of prolonging their declining life.

It may seem draconian to the bleeding heart’s of the world, but it’s criminal to force people to continue living diminished lives by pumping them full of taxpayer funded pills.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
1:46 pm

True Independent @ 12:56 – Because we’re running a large deficit (currently about $1.4 trillion) and debt (about $13.5 trillion). We absolutely need to reduce this. Currently we can refinance debt at a relatively low rate but eventually (meaning when inflation finally kicks in and interest rates rise) we’re going to be in a huge hole in this country.

BTW, this country has traditionally thrived when we’ve had higher marginal tax rates. This has given us the ability to pay for the services government provides. Just sayin’.

jconservative

October 26th, 2010
1:55 pm

This is an important column Kyle. Real important. Good job!

But you need to rise above the partisan politics. The truth must be laid on the table before any meaningful debate can start.

You wrote this: “The big question about Republicans in this election has been whether they have truly reformed themselves after their spending binge during the last decade.” Please correct this to read “their spending binge during the last three decades”. This all started with Reagan and has continued through all administrations since.
Democrats and Republicans are both guilty. There are no innocents.

There are to many solutions off the table. Everything needs to be on the table.

There will never be a substantial reduction of the National Debt of $13.7 trillion without Tax Increases.

There will never be a substantial reduction of the National Debt without serious cuts in Defense spending.

There will never be a substantial reduction of the National Debt without serious cuts in “corporate welfare”.

All of these must be on the table.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
2:03 pm

jconservative @ 1:55 – mark the date and time. You and I agree on something. And in the interest of bipartisanship, I’ll agree that there will have to be cuts in the entitlement programs as well. Let’s include all the foreign aid money we send abroad. And I’d still like to get rid of the Department of Indian Affairs. Seriously. The Indians make enough money off of their casinos.

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
2:04 pm

Left Wing, that’s the problem. Government is providing all of these social programs that they shouldn’t (or can’t) adequately provide. It’s not the role of government.

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
2:07 pm

A Hearty Cheese Sauce,

So, you think Jesus would want someone to die because they didn’t have money for healthcare? I’m assuming you’re an atheist or something….

I’m not for entitlement programs. I think they should be cut off and handled by other organizations such as Churches. But I don’t want people to die, either. Don’t get extreme over an easy question.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
2:13 pm

True Independent @ 2:04 – If you don’t believe that it’s the role of government to provide services, then stay off of the roads and bridges, return your library card, stop using your GPS, cellphone and internet (technology developed thru the government), the list continues for a very long time.

The fact is that you take advantage of everything the government provides (national security on down to that library card) and probably don’t think about everything they do for you.

But I was thinking of you just now, when I read this on Dr. Krugman’s blog:

Econ 101 tells us that there are some things the government must provide, namely public goods whose benefits can’t be internalized by the market.

So suppose we’re going to put $50 billion of resources that would otherwise be idle to work. Is it better to use them to produce public goods like improved roads, or private goods like more consumer durables? That’s not at all obvious — and anyone who tells you that basic economics settles the question, that is says that devoting more resources to production of private goods is better, doesn’t understand Econ 101.

And there’s a pretty good argument to be made that we are, in fact, starved for public goods in this country, so that it would actually be a good idea to shift some resources to public goods production even if we were at full employment; in that case, we should definitely give priority to public goods when trying to put unemployed resources to work.

Maybe he says it better than I could. I suppose it’s that PHD thingy he’s got in economics.

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
2:18 pm

The poor state of the roads and collapsing bridges indicate how well the government handles these matters. And don’t get me started on the wrong directions from my 2 GPS modules. I agree, let’s give even more money to these people that can’t manage what they’ve been given. That will show them. We should be glad to give 40% or more of our income to these intelligent bureaucrats, right?

Ha Ha Ha Ha…,,

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
2:23 pm

And, don’t forget to explain how I can get rich by giving the government more of my salary. I wan to hear that part.

A guy told me something similar a few years ago and l lost my savings and ended up with some swamp land.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
2:25 pm

If you agree that the state of the roads and bridges are bad, then that should tell you that we’re not collecting enough tax revenue to maintain them.

Don’t know what to tell you about your GPS problems. As I travel for a living, I have a portable one I take with me. I’ve used it in a dozen states so far, and only had 1 problem, in New Orleans (it told me the exit was on the right but was on the left). This is technology that’s used by literally billions of people every day. Our army uses it to pinpoint missile strikes (which is why it was developed initially). Is the technology bad or is it you?

Ayn Rant

October 26th, 2010
2:26 pm

No matter which way the midterm elections go, absolutely nothing will change in the federal government. Congress is moribund, entangled in its silly rules of procedure. Congressmen do not follow the party platforms or voter mandates; each member devises his own contrary and greedy objectives.

Obama couldn’t get enacted the programs he promised even with a filibuster-proof Democrat majority. So, the financial giants that caused the economic meltdown are still going about their dirty business as usual without the discipline of impartial regulation and the burden of proper taxation. The economy is barely moving out of recession because the stimulus spending was insufficient to do much more than keep us from sinking into all-out depression. The health care bill is not what Obama or any sensible person wanted: the heart of the bill, the public option, was torn out before it came to a vote.

It takes an act of Congress to raise taxes or reduce taxes. It takes an act of Congress to increase government spending or reduce government spending. Republicans and teabaggers shout about spending and deficit reductions, but they don’t have a clue about what to cut. The latest federal budget couldn’t be balanced if Social Security, Medicare, the Armed Forces, and Veterans benefits were entirely eliminated.

Vote or sit out the midterm elections. Your vote one way or the other won’t change a thing. Nothing worthwhile will be accomplished in Washington in the coming two years. You can bank on that!

left wing

October 26th, 2010
2:29 pm

And, don’t forget to explain how I can get rich by giving the government more of my salary. I wan to hear that part.True Independent

Please show me where I said that. I did say before and will say again that in times when we’ve had realatively high marginal tax rates we’ve had economic prosperity. From the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s we had very high marginal tax rates, a relatively high minimum wage and strong labor unions and possibly the longest streak of economic prosperity in this country’s history. Clinton raised taxes in 1993 and his economy ended up creating 23 million jobs with increases in real income across every tax bracket.

You may not understand why, but facts are facts.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
2:47 pm

True Independent You might want to read this article by Josh Barro. No one would seriously consider him a liberal economist. The gist of the article discusses the (relative) decline of funding for roads and bridges.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2010/10/26/a_good_grade_on_a_possible_gasoline_tax_98727.html

Kyle Wingfield

October 26th, 2010
2:58 pm

“From the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s we had very high marginal tax rates, a relatively high minimum wage and strong labor unions and possibly the longest streak of economic prosperity in this country’s history.” (my italics)

This is one of the left’s favorite myths, but that’s all it is: a myth.

Not even counting the recession that came at the end of WW2, there were four recessions during those 20 years (in 1949, 1953, 1958 and 1960-61) covering 39 months. That’s two more months than in 1990-2010.

The longest recession-less streak in U.S. history was from March 1991 (that’s right — a year and a half before “it’s the economy, stupid” got Clinton elected) to March 2001 (dot-com bubble burst). Ten years exactly.

2. February 1961 to December 1969
3. November 1982 to July 1990
4. June 1938 to February 1945
5. November 2001 to December 2007 (that’s right — the fifth-longest streak of uninterrupted growth in U.S. history took place while Bush, et al. were busy “wrecking the economy”)

Linda

October 26th, 2010
3:07 pm

The president does get it, & always has. The collapse of the US, if not stopped, will be by design.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
3:27 pm

Kyle: “This is one of the left’s favorite myths, but that’s all it is: a myth.

No myth.

However, I can see why Kyle feels that way since his metric for “economic prosperity”, uninterrupted growth, is incomplete. For example, if nearly all of the “prosperity” is going to a small percentage at the top while little or none goes to the rest, then I’m sure that he can see why most feel that this past decade hasn’t been very prosperous. (For a better measure of economic prosperity, compare the distribution of growth in the 50’s and 60’s to that of the Gilded Age that we barely survived under a Republican White House and a Republican Congress.).

Also, note that average annual growth during the last decade was among the smallest while federal income tax rates during that same period were among the lowest, reinforcing the fact that the “higher tax rates necessarily hurt the economy” is a fallacy. When Clinton raised taxes, the right raised holy hell, claiming the economy would sink into a recession/depression. They were wrong…again. When they’re prognostications are so wrong, so often, I honestly don’t know why anybody continues to take them seriously.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
3:29 pm

they’re prognostications = their prognostications .

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
3:39 pm

CJ, please explain in detail why taking more money from my salary for taxes is going to help me become financially secure. Spell it out for us and we’ll all vote for higher taxes.

Hillbilly Deluxe

October 26th, 2010
3:58 pm

The one thing you can count on with politicians is that they never learn. Let them get voted out and then recycled a few years later, and they always think they have some big mandate to do what they’ve always done.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
4:00 pm

True Independent,

If you eat, then you benefit from the FDA and USDA. If you take medicine, then you benefit from the FDA. If you’ve never had an infectious disease, then you benefit from the CDC. If you or your colleagues work in manual labor of any kind, then you benefit from OSHA. If you fly then you benefit from the FAA and NTSB. If you breathe and drink fluids, then you benefit from the EPA. If you’re secure, then you benefit from the police, fire department, and national defense. If you work with or any of your employer’s customers are educated then you benefit from public education. If you buy anything, then you benefit from the roads, highways, ports, damns, levies, etcetera. If you’re on the internet, then you benefit from the electrical grid, government research, and I suspect, satellites (NASA). If you borrowed money to buy a home, then you benefited from your government-backed mortgage. If you’ve ever boated or fished or played baseball or soccer or been to a company picnic or camped out, then you’re likely to have done so on government owned and maintained property.

I could go on, but in summary, you’re likely among the biggest welfare queens out there. I’d like to officially request that you stop sponging off of your fellow Americans.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
4:03 pm

officially request = respectfully request (sorry).

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
4:12 pm

CF, it’s actually quite the opposite. I employ 20 people and strongly dislike government programs like social (no)security, welfare and the like. The only thing I actually support is healthcare for all (starting with a healthy lifestyle). Unfortunately, government doesn’t run things very well. And, it’s primarily due to politics.

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
4:13 pm

Sorry, CJ….didn’t mean to call you CF.

John Franklin (JF) McNamara

October 26th, 2010
4:20 pm

Panic Time!!!!! LOL

I think the President does get it, but what options has he really had? He’s done what he felt like he had to do to keep things going, and he’s done a pretty good job considering that we were having massive layoffs and had just bailed out the biggest banks and insurers when he took over. Where we are now from when he took over is actually pretty phenomenal and the Republicans have resisted every action which led to this phenomenal result. I’m not worried about my job, losing my house, getting credit, or another great depression, so I’m good with him. In fact, I’m better than good since I bought a lot of stock at the bottom and the market has rallied consistently since he got into office.

Aside from healthcare, which was debatable, I can’t say that I would’ve done anything differently if I were in his shoes. Plus, its not like there’s an alternate universe where we can say definitively that the actions Republicans wish would’ve happened would’ve bought us from the abyss.

He says he’s going to get busy on the budget, lets see. By 2012 both wars should be done and he’ll have two years to hammer on fiscal items. We’ll see if its talk or if there is action behind it. If not, I’ll sit at home (or work) on election day in 2012.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 26th, 2010
4:29 pm

Good afternoon Left Wing @ 12:56, apologies for slow response. In asking the question you already know my answer, that loosey-goosey monetary policy makes no more sense than loosey-goosey fiscal policy, when the problem is what Keynes called “animal spirits.”

Re your opening note, I respectfully offer the following:
Aggregate Federal outlays, by Fed Fiscal year (000 omitted):

2006 2,655,057 military 521,827
2007 2,728,702 military 551,271
2008 2,982,554 military 616,073
2009 3,517,681 military 661,049
2010e 3,720,701 military 719,179

It is the nonmilitary spending that rages out of control.

AmVet

October 26th, 2010
4:31 pm

The big question about Republicans in this election has been whether they have truly reformed themselves after their spending binge during the last decade.

Kyle, it is but one of the BIG questions about the neo-cons.

The reason that the republicans got so absolutely blown out of the water in the past two elections was NOT simply because they spent like drunken sailors/became emboldened, unapologetic corporate water-carriers.

Yes that was part of the equation, but far from the entire equation.

And I have not found one single so-called conservative who will touch those numerous other issues with a 3.084 meter pole…

Ayn Rant

October 26th, 2010
4:33 pm

Kyle, the recent streaks of economic prosperity you cite were periods when the declinein the basic economy was disguised by slap-happy federal borrowing. Borrowed money gives the illusion of prosperity even as American wealth is being dissipated by foreign trade deficits as large or larger than the federal budget deficits.

Presidents Reagan and the two Bushes presided over the incubation periods of the recessions that followed their administrations. President Bush II didn’t cause the most recent recession, of course; the “financial sector” caused it.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 26th, 2010
4:33 pm

Dear CJ @ 3:27, I respectfully disagree with your analysis of the prosperity of the 1990s. You affirm that the Clintonian tax increase had no effect, but that is likely untrue; more likely it was dwarfed by the off-setting prosperity generated by NAFTA. Free trade more than covered the lunacy of higher taxes. Unfortunately the current occupant of the oval office lacks the wisdom to endorse the Columbian free trade agreement, and several similar documents floating around regarding free-Asian countries.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 26th, 2010
4:35 pm

Dear Ayn Rant @ 4:33, can we therefore agree that the record borrowings of the current administration mask what would be a much worse performing economy?

True Independent

October 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

Remember, Clinton left us a RECESSION.

CJ

October 26th, 2010
4:43 pm

Impossible Ragnar. Mexico’s economy is equivalent in size to that of metro-Los Angeles. Good or bad, NAFTA’s impact is small.

Churchill's MOM

October 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

Several weeks ago the Kiplinger letter interviewed the soon to be Republican committee chairmen. Everyone of them had 1 goal, spend more money, even the Ag. chair,am wanted to increase farm subsidies. I hope I’m wrong but it looks like the “new” Republicans are going to follow in the footsteps of the “old” Republicans by INCREASING the national deficit.

left wing

October 26th, 2010
4:57 pm

Kyle @ 2:58 – OK, longest streak of prosperity might have overstated the fact. To expect 20 years without any sort of downturn is a little unreasonable. However, I’m sure that we can agree that there were high marginal tax rates under Eisenhour were 91%, the minimum wage was $1 (median income was around $7532 in 1956) and strong labor unions was an indisputable fact.

Your starting date of Nov 2007 includes President Clinton’s term. If we look at the effect of Bush’s tax cuts (2001 & 2003) GDP in Qtr 4:
2001 – 11380.1
2002 – 11598.8
2003 – 12042.8
2004 – 12410.3
2005 – 12748.7
2006 – 13060.7
2007 – 13363.5
There may be growth there, but it certainly isn’t anything extraordinary.

Now let’s look at Clinton’s GDP in Qtr 4:
1992 – 8417
1993 – 8643.8
1994 – 9003.2
1995 – 9184.3
1996 – 9592.5
1997 – 10008.9
1998 – 10507.6
1999 – 11014.3
2000 – 11334.5
Looks pretty substantial to me.

No More Progressives!

October 26th, 2010
4:58 pm

Jefferson

October 26th, 2010
1:04 pm
Wouldn’t it be a nice change if they could actually show some credibility. The t-republicans don’t have a clue what they are in for.

As if Nancy Lugosi et al do.

I’ll give the new crew two years and no more; then it’ll be time for another change.

No More Progressives!

October 26th, 2010
4:59 pm

Kyle, it is but one of the BIG questions about the neo-cons.

What is a neo-con? Does anyone know?

left wing

October 26th, 2010
5:04 pm

Ragnar @ 4:29 – That’s OK, I was in a meeting myself (how do they expect me to blog when they interrupt me with all this work?).

You’re correct; I asked knowing the answer. When we’re caught in a liquidity trap, monetary policy becomes worthless. So, whattayagonnado?

The point of the military outlays is not necessarily the rate of increase but the absolute amount. We spend as much on military as the next 13 countries combined. In 2009, we spent $706 billion (you had 661,049; mine might include veteran benefits) and China spent $74 billion. I think we could cut back a little, don’t you?

Linda

October 26th, 2010
5:05 pm

Pelosi gave her inaugural address as speaker on 1/4/07. Since then, $5 trillion ($4,997,387,083,005.27 to be exact as of 10/22/10) has been added to the deficit. How has that benefited the economic security of my unborn grand & great grand children?

(Hint: They probably won’t live in China.)

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 26th, 2010
5:05 pm

yeah, neo-cons are dimwits who label anyone with a contrary world view as “progressives”.

AmVet

October 26th, 2010
5:09 pm

Take a stab at a reference book, No Mas.

(As for “does anyone know?”, you must presume that the rest of the nation is as ignorant as you.)

Nah, never mind, you’ll never open a book, so I’ll throw ya a bone instead:

ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-big-question-what-is-neoconservatism-and-how-influential-is-it-today-415637.html

(For you Luddites, type in an h before the ttp and past into a browser address bar and voila! A primer on neo-cons. There are many, many, many more…)

left wing

October 26th, 2010
5:12 pm

Linda @ 5:05 – It’s not that spending (outside of the stimulus) has increased nearly as much as revenue fell. After all, we were in a severe recession.

year receipts outlays (all in 2005 dollars)
2005 – 2,153.6 2,472.0
2006 – 2,324.1 2,563.8
2007 – 2,414.0 2,565.1
2008 – 2,288.5 2,704.3
2009 – 1,906.7 3,186.3 (Obama’s 1st year but Bush’s last budget)
2010 – 1,929.2 3,315.2 (estimate)

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 26th, 2010
5:19 pm

the only “urgency” demonstrated by either party is the urgency to get elected, get sworn in, and get paid. the very use of the word “budget” is misleading:

budget n. 1 – an itemized summary of expenditures and income for a given period USUALLY EMBODYING A SYSTEMATIC PLAN FOR MEETING EXPENSES. what part of ’systematic plan for meeting expenses’ do they not understand?