Saturday, July 30, 2011

Debt Schmebt!

That seems to be the Democrats' attitude toward the current crisis. I've heard a lot of fulminating aimed the Tea Party Republicans, but that won't solve the problem. Obama's approval ratings are plummeting because of his failure to lead. All he's been doing is scolding Congress and the country, but never offering a plan of his own. I don't think he really has any concept of the damage he's done already and he seems constitutionally unable to think in terms of cutting spending.

The TPRs (Tea Party Republicans) are in office and all the rage from the media and the Democrats won't change that. The Democrats seem convinced that the GOP will blink at some point, but I don't think there's any more blink Boehner can deliver. They're headed for defeat next year, but they seem to think that the only thing that can save them is higher taxes and more borrowing and spending.

If I were in Congress I'd spend my time trying to explain to people what this generation and previous ones have done to our children and grandchildren by pursuing the socialist dream, the religion of government. Government is not society. It should be a creation of society, but today it is seems to think that it most control everything to make us all live in a dream world that can never exist. As the Book of Mormon states: "There must needs be an opposition is all things." Mankind were not meant to live permanently in the Garden of Eden.

Utopia is an emergent phenomenon, not poured out on us from a central power, but built from the bottom up by individuals who behave morally and seek the society of other like minded individuals. They make laws to maintain that society, because true freedom comes from independence and responsibility, not from allowing yourself to pursue pleasure and avoid consequences, or enabling those who do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sky-high hole blown in the AGW theory. I don't expect this is get much traction in the media, though.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jen Rubin makes the case for supporting the Boehner plan. The key thing for me is helping put the blame on Obama and the Dems for this fiasco. If it does that and the GOP wins next year, it's fine with me. If it doesn't work, well, we're pretty much screwed and I don't see a future for this country.

The editors of the WSJ have caused a minor eruption by expressing contempt for the tea party:
But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner's plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout.
It's not a sure thing that if the House passes Boehner's proposal the Senate will do the same, so the differences may be academic. I've never thought that the 2010 elections finished the job. The tea party activists, as much as they hate anybody they consider a RINO, are going to have to work and donate to make sure the GOP regains the majority in the Senate and that Barack Obama is limited to a single term.

The House has already passed bills and a budget keeping the tea party's promise, and the Senate has stopped them cold. The hope with Boehner's new plan is that it will pass in the Senate because it contains cuts that the Democrats have agreed to during earlier negotiations. Reid has blustered and the White House is saying that Obama will veto Boehner's bill. That may be true or it may be what Jay Carney called "gorilla dust," a new term to me. (It refers to the bluffing by gorilla males confronting each other, beating their chests and throwing dust in the air.) Either way, I think the GOP has reached its limit.

The real question is who will be blamed if the government shuts down and defaults on its debts. A lot of conservatives whose opinions I respect are saying this is the best we can hope for, counting on victories next year, partly because it will be evidence that the GOP offered to raise the debt ceiling, but was rebuffed by the Democrats and the President. Don't expect the mainstream media to report it that way. The GOP will have to win the PR war like it did in 2010, by circumventing the media. It needs the tea party and the WSJ's editorial only enhances the view the tea party grassroots that the GOP "establishment" doesn't care about what conservatives think.

All I can say now is that if there's a chance to hang a shut down around Reid and Obama's necks, we should take it. What's really at stake here is the 2012 elections. If we lose them, the debt ceiling increase won't matter. If we block the debt ceiling increase and lose next year's elections, it won't have been worth it.

I can't understand why these trillion dollar deficits don't scare the bones out of every American, but the Democrats' "me first" approach seems to have wide appeal. It never seems to occur to anyone that we can't all be first.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watching a congressional hearing leaning on the credit rating agencies. Of course, they can't really violate the free speech rights of these people, but they're sure trying. "Blame anybody but yourself," seems to be the motto in Washington.

I keep thinking that we ought to let the government default and suffer the consequences of its irresponsibility. Yes, it would be a crisis for big business, but I think Americans would muddle through. Most people still have jobs. A lot of "seniors" would hurt, because they never put aside anything when they were earning, but a lot of them can still work. I think a rational system would make social security and medicare means-tested. As they are now, they're just an intergenerational wealth transfer mechanism. I don't think the government should be issuing checks for anything but payment for services or products and repaying debts.

The GOP should just tell Obama to pound sand as he's done to them.

I've been watching the prize winners for the Power Line Blog challenge to explain the size of our fiscal crisis and was reminded of this explanation by the late J. Reuben Clark, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and former attorney for the State Department:
Interest [on debt] never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. ...

Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.
That should be hammered into the minds of every American and instill in them a determination to pay off their own debts and to force the government to do the same.

Debt is a useful financial tool, in order to finance major purchases and manage cash flow, but it should be remembered that electricity and fire are valuable tools, too, but all three must be carefully controlled to prevent disaster. The federal government and a number of states have lost control of their spending and thus are sinking in debt. Those of us who relied on government to support us and pay our medical expenses are going to have to suffer, one way or another, or let our children and grandchildren suffer.

I'm for lowering the debt ceiling and restricting the government's ability to borrow and to raise taxes. That is the only way the people can regain control of it. It can't be done overnight, but it must be started.