We occasionally give Frequent IHateTheMedia.com commenter Perlcat a soapbox. He climbs aboard and issues one of his epic rants:
I don’t want a balanced budget amendment.
Let me explain.
Government is very good at screwing stuff up, and then selling us on a solution that screws things up still more, and then selling us yet another screwup. It’s like an out-of-control episode of the Three Stooges, but with tequila and lots of Other People’s Money.
How high can it go?
Why is a BBA on the table in the first place? Because our politicians lack the political will to keep government at the proper size, doing the proper things. A lot of the things they have going on now are well outside of the constitution. Yes, I know, they got rulings favorable to them in a lot of cases — but in many more situations, they simply ignore the Constitution. You can’t tell me that, for example, raising the national drinking age by tying it to highway funds is within the spirit of the Constitution. If it was, they’d simply vote directly upon it. They have no mandate, so they use excess tax money that they confiscated beyond their needs to violate the Constitution in spirit.
If you think that the BBA will keep government in check from doing the things that they aren’t supposed to do, what makes you think that they will pay attention to this one, too? Examples from human nature:
Obama knows how his bread is buttered. With the labor of generations of tax payers yet to be born. And the president is willing to fight tooth and nail for his right to benefit from that labor far more than most of our children ever will.
Obama puts his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office and laughs about the thought of your grandchildren toiling to pay his bills
The Hill is alive with the sound of this administration’s muzak:
The White House on Monday warned President Obama will veto GOP legislation to “cut, cap and balance” spending and the budget.
In a statement of administration policy, the White House Office of Management and Budget labeled the GOP bill as an “empty political statement.”
The House Rules Committee is expected to take up the measure on Monday, and it is likely to receive a floor vote on Tuesday. The measure would cut spending in fiscal 2012 by $111 billion, cap future spending at 19.9 percent of gross domestic product and allow for the debt ceiling to be increased if a balanced-budget amendment is approved by Congress and sent to the states.
The administration said the measure, which is not expected to move through the Senate, is unnecessary and unrealistic.
Yes, of course. It is unnecessary and unrealistic to expect the government to live within its means. Especially at a time when the taxpayers are expected to live so far below their means in order to finance all the votes and favors Obama is going to need if he expects to have a prayer at getting re-elected.
Freshman Republican Ron Johnson, sent to Washington by the voters of Wisconsin, has issued a threat to Senate Democrats:
Do the job you were sent here to do and present a budget or I’ll use arcane Senate rules to shut the place down.
National Review reviews Johnson’s threat:
“America is going bankrupt, and the Senate refuses to pass a budget,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, this has become business as usual in Washington.” If fact, it’s been almost 800 days since the Senate has done so under Democratic leadership.
As a freshman senator, Johnson said he was sent to Washington to reject “business as usual,” and that is exactly what he intends to do. “America is simply too precious to subject out financial future to Washington’s ‘business as usual,’” he said. “So unless we receive some assurance from the Democrat leadership that we will actually start addressing our budget out in the open, in the bright light of day — I will begin to object. I will begin to withhold my consent.”
“The Senate needs to pass a budget. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”
Johnson says he’ll begin objecting to “unanimous consent” agreements that are used to keep the Senate from getting bogged down with countless housekeeping issues. As the name indicates, all members of the Senate routinely vote aye on unanimous consent items, so one nay vote can bring the place grinding to a halt.
We’re certain that many members of this august body would be in favor of such an action because it would allow them to schedule their cocktail parties earlier in the day.
Next thing you know, the President will send a Navy Seal team after Erskine Bowles.
Bowles, a Democrat who co-chaired the Presidential Deficit Commission and was appointed by Barack Obama, says the President’s budget proposal falls short on several key goals. In fact, he says it’s inferior to Paul Ryan’s plan.
Bowles: It is $4 trillion, however, over 12 years. It is heavily back-end loaded, so when you compare it to the Ryan plan and to the Commission’s plan, which also has $4 trillion in savings, it is probably more like $2.5 trillion. And in fairness, the way it is setup, according to our analysis, it really doesn’t stabilize the debt, and the debt as a percentage of GDP gets up to around 77 percent and it never gets to primary balance, which is about a deficit-to-GDP ratio of around 3 percent.
Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
House Republicans passed a common sense bill on Friday. In light of the trainload of fiscal disaster racing down the tracks toward us, they voted to freeze federal employees pay for three years and to allow 10% of the federal workforce to wither away through attrition.
Typical federal worker
As you might imagine, it makes a lot more sense to us than it does to federal workers.
Federal News Radio has the details:
The House passed a fiscal year 2012 bill today that freezes federal pay for three years and cuts the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.
The budget plan by House Republicans – called the Path to Prosperity – also requires federal employees to pay for half of the defined benefit they receive at retirement.
The GOP plan proposes a plan that promises $6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade compared with the budget President Obama unveiled in February.
The final vote in the House was 235-193.
The National Treasury Employees Union called passage of the resolution a “mistake for America.”
“Apart from the broad social changes the resolution seeks to make, its anti-federal employee provisions would result in federal agencies having great difficulty not only in retaining the highly-skilled, dedicated employees they now have, but in recruiting new talent to the government,” said NTEU President Colleen Kelley in a statement.
Colleen, honey, you seem to miss one very important point: We don’t need to recruit any more of that great talent to the government. We need to cut it to the bone.
The same bone you’re using on the American taxpayers.
The more we see this Rand Paul, the more we like him. His basic concept: quit pussyfooting around with meaningless budget cuts. The only way we’ll save the nation, he says, is by cutting entire governmental departments.
He’d start with the Departments of Education, the Commerce, and Agriculture. And he’s just getting warmed up.
Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling has in interesting perspective on last week’s last minute budget cuts.
CNN.com has the details:
Hensarling agreed that the United States should not default on its loans, but put the onus on Obama.
“I continue to agree with 80 percent of what the president says, but I just disagree with 80 percent of what he does,” Hensarling said. “He’s going to have to work with us to cut up the credit cards and put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path.”
But the better line was when Hensarling said, “On the one hand, this is the single largest year-to-year cut in the federal budget, frankly, in the history of the America in absolute terms and in inflation-adjusted terms, it’s the biggest since World War II. Probably for that we all deserve medals, the entire Congress. Relative to the size of the problem it’s not even a rounding error. In that case, we all deserve to be tarred and feathered.”
We’ll get the tar. You get the feathers. Let’s meet up on Capitol Hill.
In The Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow wanted a brain, the Tin Man wanted a heart and the Cowardly Lion wanted courage. In the U.S. Senate, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn is looking for something far more difficult to find:
Senators with balls.
In this clip syndicated radio talker Hugh Hewitt talks to Coburn about the problems he faces in 2012 budget negotiations.
Jerrry Brown was sworn in as California governor on January 3. So it’s time to check in on the Honorable Governor Moonbeam.
Last October, gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown told a crowd of leftist lunatics, “I’m not going to sign any bills until we get the budget solved and that may take me a couple of months.”
As we said at the time, “Note that he said it may take him a couple of months. This guy’s such an economic wizard that he may just get the whole thing wrapped up in a couple weeks. With a little luck, maybe just a day or two.”
How’s that little budget problem going, Jerry? Solved it yet? What’s that? You want to raise taxes to solve the problem but can’t get the Republicans to cooperate? And you want to cut spending but can’t get the Democrats to cooperate?
Maybe you should California residents an exit fee at the Arizona, Nevada and Oregon borders as they flee the state. That should balance the budget in no time at all.
You elected him, California. You’re getting what you deserve.
Our first thought on watching this video was, “Who?” Then we remembered when a young, slim, hot Kathleen Turner starred in movies like Body Heat and Romancing the Stone.
Our second thought was, “Wow. Get fat, lose career.”
Our third thought was, “Lay off the cigarettes, honey.”
Our fourth thought was, “We’re having trouble placing Kathleen’s accent. What country is she from?”
And our fifth and final thought was, “What’s with the hostess bimbo ending the interview with, ‘Love you’?”
But putting all that aside, turns out Kathleen Turner is very upset that those dastardly Republicans want to strip federal funding from that well-know abortion mill, Planned Parenthood. So she showed up on Good Morning America to explain what “most women in America” believe.
You’re excused now, Kathleen. Please return to obscurity.
Not all conservatives agree that the budget deal was a victory for conservatives, but considering how many liberals are damn near suicidal about it, we’re willing to give Boehner the benefit of the doubt. At least it’s one step – albeit a small step – forward.
You won’t believe this one. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) invited Alec Baldwin to Washington, DC to talk about campaign finance reform. (Unbeknownst to us, the actor has apparently developed an expertise on that subject in between screaming at his young daughter and shooting a ratings-challenged sitcom.)
Baldwin was asked if President Obama has lived up to his expectations. That’s when we learned that poor ol’ Obama just hasn’t been able to spend enough money.
CNS News reports Baldwin’s bizarre theory:
“Well, I mean, I think so because I think that when you come into office and you want to put your mark on things — this is just my opinion, when you want to put your mark on things, you want to be able to spend. And what’s crippled Obama’s administration, as far as I’m concerned, is the financial crisis and it’s prevented him from doing any new spending,” said Baldwin, who publicly supported Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.
“He’s not able –- if the country was as flush as it was under Bill Clinton and he had money — these things cost money — he could have made more of a mark,” said Baldwin. “I think right now he’s had to do a lot of counter-punching; a lot of back peddling. He inherited this crisis from Bush and Paulson. He had to extend the TARP. I think it’s been very difficult for him to spend his whole first term trying to, you know, correct our course financially. I think a second term of Obama, we’ll see a lot more of what we want to see from him.”
Obama and Baldwin are perfect together. One can’t speak without a Teleprompter, the other shouldn’t speak without a script.
There’s nothing more entertaining than Jesse Jackson ranting on the friendly turf of MSNBC. His latest foray into hallucinogenic history came on the Martin Bashir’s show (minus Martin).
“This really is a Civil War fight,” Jackson claimed. “This is making the federal government dysfunctional on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. These guys will support three wars. They’ll support tax dodgers. They’ll support the wealthiest Americans getting tax breaks. They want to cut into education and health care. This is an ideological battle.”
Ahhh, but the good reverend wasn’t done. In fact, he was just getting warmed up.
“This is a Civil War fight,” he insisted. “I think Time magazine has it right. This is the 150th anniversary of the 1861 Civil War. Now those are determined to shut the federal government down to make their point — their ideological-religious point.”
“You have those who believe in states’ rights and those who believe in a more perfect union,” he said. “States’ right are anti-civil rights, anti-workers’ right to bargain, anti-social justice, pro-rich and significantly insensitive to poor people — that was the great divide 150 years ago and it’s the great divide today in the ideological sense.”
In other words, “Blah, blah, blah. Same ol’ crap I’ve been spewing for forty years, but it allows me to purchase some very expensive suits.”
Representative Louise Slaughter is back. We haven’t heard much from the wacko New York Democrat since the ObamaCare debate, but the current budget debate has nudged her out of her hole.
“This is probably one of the worst times that we’ve seen because the numbers of people who are elected to Congress,” Slaughter complained. “I went through this as co-chair of the arts caucus. In ’94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women.”
And minorities and children, Louise, don’t forget the minorities and children.
“Drill, baby, drill” now has a doppelgänger known as “Cut, baby, cut.”
Would someone please send the results of this new Rasmussen poll to John Boehner and the rest of the cowardly Republicans in Washington, DC:
Budget Chainsaw Massacre, starring Rand Paul, coming soon to a theater near you
A majority of voters are fine with a partial shutdown of the federal government if that’s what it takes to get deeper cuts in federal government spending.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think making deeper spending cuts in the federal budget for 2011 is more important than avoiding a partial government shutdown. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree and say avoiding a shutdown is more important. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.
Republicans want to make more spending cuts in the current budget than Democrats do, but 36% of voters think it would be better to avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at a level most Democrats will agree to. Fifty-seven percent (57%) would rather have a shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on deeper spending cuts.
Everyone in Washington is addicted to spending and there’s only one way to cure it:
Looks like Democrats are getting ready to dust off the old “baby killer” insult and try it out on Republican budget cutters. We haven’t really heard that one since the war in Vietnam was winding down, so we’d have to say it’s long overdue.
"I swear," Rajiv Shah said, "that those Republicans are baby killers."
ForeignPolicy.com has the story:
As Congress struggles to negotiate a budget deal to keep the government running, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told lawmakers Wednesday that the GOP version of the budget bill would result in the deaths of at least 70,000 children who depend on American food and health assistance around the world.
“We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified before the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee.
“Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back specifically. The other 40,000 is broken out as 24,000 would die because of a lack of support for immunizations and other investments and 16,000 would be because of a lack of skilled attendants at birth,” he said.
Put the long version of Innagaddadavida on the 8-track, fire up a fattie and we’re right back in 1968.
We take back all the horrible things we’ve said about President Obama. He’s a damn miracle worker. He made the Republicans look like fools yesterday by cutting a massive $2 trillion (with a T) from future deficits.
Oh, wait. Looks like we misread the story. Turns out it was the Congressional Budget Office that made Obama look like a fool by announcing that his estimate of the deficits was off by massive $2.3 trillion.
"The Congressional Budget Office said what?"
The Hill has the details of the deficit:
The Congressional Budget Office on Friday released its analysis of President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal and found it does less to rein in deficits and the debt than the administration had estimated.
CBO estimates Obama’s plan would produce 10 years of deficits totaling $9.5 trillion. By 2021, it would increase the debt held by the public to 87 percent of gross domestic product.
The administration, using different methods, estimated budget deficits would total $7.2 trillion over the next 10 years under the 2012 budget. It forecast that total debt in 2021 would be 77 percent of GDP.
The “different methods” include sprinkling pixie dust over the budget and flat out making crap up. Marc Goldwein of the CBO tells why:
He explained that the difference between the CBO’s $9.5 trillion estimate and OMB’s $7.2 trillion estimate comes from two sources: rosy economic growth assumptions by OMB and offsets for the Medicare doc fix as well as transportation spending OMB did not specify in the budget and which CBO will not factor in.
In other words, they overestimated the good stuff and underestimated the bad stuff.
With great fanfare, Democrats in Washington, DC have shamelessly announced a very painful $10 billion in budget cuts. Any deeper cuts would be dangerous. They’d threaten the fragile economic recovery. They’d disproportionately impact the weak and defenseless. They’d strike women and minorities hardest. Blah, blah, blah.
Perspective is now an economic phenomenon as well as a visual one
National Review puts those “draconian” cuts in perspective:
Senate Democrats have drawn the line at $10 billion in cuts to the budget in this fiscal year, already half-expired.
The national deficit for the month of February was $222.5 billion, or $7.9 billion per day.
Thus, the Democrats’ cuts are sufficient to get the government running even for roughly 30 hours. Those harsh, draconian cuts proposed by the GOP — $61 billion — would have the government running even for about a week.
Perspective. That’s the visual phenomenon that makes railroad tracks seem to come together in the distance. The same tracks, we assume, that the economic train is about to run off of.
Remember last week when the Democrats touted the fact that they were proposing a miniscule $6.5 billion in budget cuts? To hear them tell it, they were going after the budget with a chain saw, hacking away at spending like there was no tomorrow.
The CBO has wiped the smiles off Democrat faces
Surprise, surprise. The Congressional Budget Office – you know, the guys the Democrats said were unimpeachable sources during the ObamaCare debate – now says the Dems’ proposal doesn’t quite add up.
ABC’s Jake Tapper checks in with the specifics:
After last week’s meeting on Capitol Hill among congressional leaders and Vice President Biden, Senate Democrats wrote legislation and gave it to CBO to be analyzed.
CBO put the cuts at $4.7 billion.
Well, c’mon now. $4.7 billion with a b is nothing to sneeze at. And that doesn’t even include the Cowboy Poetry Festival.