Posts Tagged ‘deficit’
We Won’, Part One
By Arnold Ahlert
63 House and 6 Senate seats later, “compromise” and “working together” have become the new memes for Democrat progressives and their media apparatchiks. That’s quite an amazing turnaround for those who, only a year ago, rammed a health care bill through Congress without the slightest concern for working together or compromise. It’s the very same bunch whose leader expressed his idea of compromise in two words: “I won.” Still, compromise sounds reasonable — until we get to the actual issues where progressives wish to “split the difference.” To wit:
• How do we split the difference between bankruptcy and solvency? Without the slightest interest in compromise, progressive Democrats rammed Keynesian economics down America’s throat with one stimulus package after another. They treated us to “3 million jobs created or saved,” “Recovery Summer” and “Quantitative Easing, Part 2.” The only thing “stimulated” was the unionized public sector workforce and a bunch of state governments with a pathological refusal to confront their own fiscal profligacy.
Millions of ordinary Americans didn’t get off their Barcaloungers and show up at rallies, town hall meetings, and the mall in Washington, D.C. because they wanted to slow down America’s headlong rush towards bankruptcy. They want it stopped — dead in its tracks. And the overwhelming majority of them know the bottom line: it’s the spending, stupid. Or, more importantly, it’s the spending, period. Spare us all the nonsense that raising taxes is an indispensible part of the equation. It’s only part of the equation for those members of the ruling class who wish to be relieved of making tough, responsible decisions, explaining them to a skeptical public, and standing by them when the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth begins.
The progressives’ “your killing granny and small children” strategy is hackneyed and tired. Bottom line: out-of-control spending is killing the whole country, grandma and small children included. And for those Americans who will inevitably say “cut every program but the one I like,” I have four words:
Snap out of it!
• Regarding war, what’s the middle ground between victory and defeat? Exactly what we’ve been witnessing the last eight years. Maybe the only thing dumber than fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda with one hand tied behind our back is telling them when we’re going to stop. Even the dimmest Afghani hillbilly can draw sustenance from that nonsense. And what does al Qaeda think when we allow them to remain open for business in North Waziristan, while were feeling up grandma and the kids at O’Hare Airport?
Memo to our clueless Commander-in-Chief: the last time we were faced with an enemy that used suicide to advances its political agenda, we nuked them. Twice. You want to “win hearts and minds?” Me too — right after we completely demoralize and destroy anyone unwilling to get with the program. In 1651, English philosopher Thomas Hobbs remarked that life was “nasty, brutal and short.” War should be an exponential expansion of that philosophy. If you can’t stomach it, bring our men and women in harm’s way home — or resign.
• What’s the middle ground between national sovereignty and a defenseless border? Again, exactly what we have now. Millions of law-breakers who not only don’t fear being here illegally, but who are now demanding the right to stay. This is perhaps the biggest black eye in history for a country which has long prided itself as being a “nation of laws, not a nation of men.” Even as Mexican drug cartels run wild — on both sides of the border — Eric Holder’s Justice Department is determined to sue Arizona into surrendering its own sovereignty for nothing more than political correctness and the progressive hope they can Dream Act their way to a 2012 Hispanic voting bloc keeping them power.
Last week a report, “Broken Neighbor, Broken Border,” complied for the House Immigration Reform Caucus was made public. It was a sobering and scary look at what may be the hottest war in the world going on right now, right on our southern border — and beyond. Two of its principal recommendations? First, “Let the states secure their own borders.” Second, engage in a “long-term deployment of a minimum 25,000 armed troops with enforcement power… on our southern border to preserve U.S. sovereignty and the lives of American citizens from organized armed forces hostile to the United States.” (italics mine)
Question: when does the deliberate failure to enforce the Constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense” rise to an impeachable offense? As for compromise, where in the Constitution does it say that national security is a part-time job, or a pick-and-choose affair?
• What’s the compromise between free-market capitalism and all-out socialism? Thirteen trillion dollars of debt and an unemployment rate of almost ten percent. Millions of jobs outsourced to “business friendlier” locales. Out-of-control public sector unions pushing virtually every state and local government in the country to the brink of insolvency. Banks, car and insurance companies and a host of other crony capitalists who despise genuine competition, bailed out by taxpayers because they’re “too big to fail.” An ideologically-inspired and idiotic refusal to allow the housing market to find a true bottom, even as the concept of moral hazard receives a steroid shot, and responsible Americans are made to feel like fools for being responsible.
Once again for the terminally clueless: progressivism, and its redistributionist mantra, is the super-highway to sloth, serfdom and subjugation. Anyone who thinks “more government” is the answer is either a moron — or a public school and university graduate. And anyone who thinks someone will bust his butt strictly out of the goodness of his heart — as opposed to having an incentive to do so — is even dumber than that.
There are reasons the United States has long out-performed all of South America economically, despite being settled by the exact same groups of people. There are reasons one of the youngest nations in the world leapt to the head of the pack in less than two hundred years. All one has to do is cast one’s eyes towards the individual states where progressives have been firmly in charge, or to Eastern Europe, where they broke the Berlin Wall down from the inside, to understand what happens to people when the “beneficence of the state” replaces personal ambition, individual achievement — and human dignity.
For those of you who are still unconvinced, two simple questions will suffice: could socialism survive without capitalism? Not a chance. Could capitalism survive without socialism? Absolutely, positively. The former eventually “runs out of other people’s money,” exactly as it’s doing now. The latter made us the most prosperous nation on earth.
Americans have to be realistic. The rejection of progressivism is, at the very least, a two-election process. Getting a majority of Republicans in the House can only stop the progressive agenda. Rolling it back will require an equally determined electorate in 2012. Not just to put Republicans in the control of the Senate and the White House, but to put conservatives in control of the Republican party. Heaven help us all if 2012 turns into another choice between an aging squish with liberal tendencies, and a dedicated Marxist looking for four more years to undo everything this nation has stood for, for two-plus centuries. As for his partner in crime, our current as Secretary of State, anyone who thinks Mrs. Clinton is any better than Mr. Obama is kidding themselves. That’s nothing more than a choice between two deck chairs on the Titanic.
Between now and 2012, Americans need to pay attention. The Democrats are a known socialist/marxist commodity which was made crystal clear by their re-election of one of the least popular women in American politics, Nancy Pelosi, to speaker. What that means is simple: the most left-leaning conglomeration of Democrats in the nation’s history have decided to lean further left, despite a complete repudiation in the 2010 election. Does that sound like “compromise” to you?
Republicans? Perhaps all they can do for the next two years is stand on conservative principle — but they sure as hell better do that. Memo to the RNC: Americans didn’t elect Republicans, they tossed Democrats under the bus. And while some common ground with Democrats may be found, Republicans had better understand that people who put them back in power have little patience for those willing to “go along to get along” when it comes to the critical issues mentioned above. These are Americans who saw the true face of Democrat progressivism, and weren’t merely upset, but thoroughly appalled.
They don’t want compromise. They want a line drawn in the sand.
W. House predicts record $1.47 trillion deficit
By Andrew Taylor ASSOCIATED PRESS
5:12 p.m., Friday, July 23, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) — New estimates from the White House on Friday predict the budget deficit will reach a record $1.47 trillion this year. The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends.
That’s actually a little better than the administration predicted in February.
The new estimates paint a grim unemployment picture as the economy experiences a relatively jobless recovery. The unemployment rate, presently averaging 9.5 percent, would average 9 percent next year under the new estimates.
The Office of Management and Budget report has ominous news for President Barack Obama should he seek re-election in 2012 — a still-high unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. That would be well above normal, which is closer to a rate of 5.5 percent to 6 percent. Private economists don’t think the unemployment rate will drop to those levels until well into this decade.
“The U.S. economy still faces strong headwinds,” the OMB report said. They include tight credit markets, a high inventory of unsold housing and retrenchment by state governments bound by balanced budget mandates. The European debt crisis has also had an impact.
“Despite these headwinds, the administration expects economic growth and job creation to continue for the rest of 2010 and to rise in 2011 and beyond,” the report said.
The gaping deficits are of increasing concern to voters. But Obama and Democrats controlling Congress are mostly taking a pass on deficit reduction this year as they await possible recommendations from Obama‘s deficit commission.
While there’s a slight improvement in the deficit for the current year compared to the administration’s February forecast, next year’s predicted $1.42 trillion worth , next year’s predicted $1.42 trillion worth of red ink — that’s 37 cents of borrowing for every dollar spent — is looking worse. It’s about $150 billion more than previously predicted, because of still-slumping tax revenues.
The current record holder is the $1.41 trillion deficit for 2009.
Economists agree that the most important measure of the deficit is against the size of the economy. Opinions vary, but many economists say a deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product is sustainable since it would stabilize the overall debt when measured relative to the economy.
The report put the deficit at 10 percent of GDP this year and 9.2 percent of GDP next year. It would never reach the 3 percent figure under Obama‘s predictions — which underestimate war costs and depend on assumptions of tax hikes that may not materialize.
OMB Director Peter Orszag said the numbers represent a “fiscal situation that requires attention.”
Obama “has done little to confront this domestic enemy,” said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. “Washington desperately needs real leadership. We cannot continue to postpone the hard choices and sacrifices that are necessary to stop this fiscal train wreck.”
Deficits have skyrocketed since the recession took hold in 2008 and Congress responded with a massive bailout of the financial system and last year’s $862 billion stimulus measure.
“What we should be doing now is putting in place deficit reduction policies that will kick in after the economy has more fully recovered,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota. “It is an unsustainable long-term course.”