Thursday, July 28, 2011

Time To Talk About A Jobs Agenda

My next article is up at Big Hollywood! Go take a look: (Linky, Linky)! (It's at the film site too.)

With the debt crisis continuing to spiral its way through the theater of the absurd, most people aren’t focused on much else right now. But there is an issue waiting on the horizon and I think the Republicans better start talking about it. . . jobs.

The jobs picture is bleak. Official unemployment sits above 9%. Real unemployment remains around 16%. May and June produced only 43,000 jobs, most of which were offset by 30,000 layoffs announced last week. Millions of Americans are out of work, many of them more than 99 weeks now.

Up to now, the Republicans have been happy to let the jobs picture remain bleak. With Obama and 21 Democratic Senators up for re-election, the current bad economy presents a nightmare scenario for the Democrats. Indeed, the Democrats have struggled mightily in recent weeks to come up with a jobs plan. But their ideology has limited them to (1) more stimulus, (2) job training, and (3) minor tax cuts for hiring. None of that will help.

But I think the Republicans need to establish an agenda. I think they need to show that they care about getting people back to work, rather than just cutting government spending. The need to insulate themselves from the charge of do-nothing-ism, and of indifference. They also need to cut off the inevitable Democratic claim that the spending cuts they get in the debt deal caused the current economic situation.

To that end, I propose the following plan for Congressional Republicans:

1. The biggest problems with our economy right now are (1) lack of certainty created by Obama’s constant threats of new taxes and regulations and (2) the drag caused by the red tape Obama and the Democrats have created. The Republicans should form a team to go through the US code/Federal Register (CFR) and identify specific laws/regulations the Republicans want to repeal.

Start announcing this list one agency every couple weeks. This will give business confidence of the change in the business environment to come and will highlight how much regulation the Democrats have piled onto business. One caveat though, don’t talk about repealing anything that is either popular or can be spun into “they want to kill orphans”. . . do those quietly.

2. Propose the elimination of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes for teen workers (under 18) and seniors (older than 65). This makes it cheaper to employee these people. This makes the skills the seniors possess more useful and teaches the teens good habits.

3. Propose tax cuts across the board combined with a “revenue-neutral” elimination of deductions/subsidies. This would provide a powerful incentive for people to work, and could not be attacked as helping the rich or as increasing the deficit. What’s more, the Republicans should be pointing out each week the most egregious deductions they will eliminate. This could be a big step toward a flat tax and will go a long to way to breaking the stereotype that Republicans are the tools of big business.

4. Eliminate the corporate tax and the capital gains on the sale of tangible assets (e.g. machinery). This will bring corporations flocking to the US and get them trading in their old equipment.

5. Tort reform. Eliminate class action suits entirely. Make plaintiffs file individual suits and let them be consolidated as multi-district litigation instead. This wipes out the incentive for lawyers to go plaintiff shopping . . . like the guys on TV. Eliminate punitive damages and cap pain and suffering at one million dollars.

6. Free trade deals. There are a series of free trade deals sitting there unratified. These include South Korea and Columbia. These would cause a farming boom in the US and would offset the loss of ethanol subsidies. I would also propose a free trade deal with England and Japan to tie us closer to our friends.
This would seem to be a pretty good start and should show the American public that Republicans are very serious about making the US a much more business friendly environment and getting people back to work. It also insulates the Republicans against the standard Democratic attacks.

In terms of the timing, I will be a bit cynical and suggest that the Republicans start talking now but delay passing these bills until mid-2012, so that the positive effects don't start kicking in until right about the time Obama is loading up the moving van for Chicago and not sooner.

There are other reforms we could talk about too. For example, doctors should be allowed to practice in any state. The teaching profession should be opened too, by federalizing the licensing requirement and then eliminating the requirement for an education degree. But I would suggest the big push should come on the jobs front.

So what would you add to/subtract from the list? What else do you want to see on a Republican Agenda?

90 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Jobs. Isn't that the three-letter word that Biden was talking about? ;)

I like it all. The one I like best is about social security. For two reasons. It is reasonable and totally new.

I predict a good portion of the lawyers will call you a Quisling for attempting to rid us of the class action lawsuits. I think that will be the hardest to sell.

The most damaging regulations are from the EPA. I think a little talk about maybe, just maybe, removing the EPA totally. Sort of like a remote possibility,... at some future date.....at least limit their regulations to have to be ratified by the Congress and signed by the President.

One thing I wish they would do away with totally. All Czars. Especially the jobs Czar.

P.S. I like your article at BH.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Joel! I'm glad you liked it!

On J-O-B-S, I thought about working a Biden crack in there, but couldn't quite make it work. LOL!

I think the EPA needs to be gutted. I am concerned that the public will buy into the "they want dirty water and dirty air," but there are many regulations of their that we can talk about eliminating and the rest should be done away with quietly when no one is looking.

Yeah, lawyers will hate me, but this is about the good of the country, not the good of one profession. Indeed, the way the system is set up now is no different than if doctors came along and passed a law saying you had to see a Board Certified doctor every month. It's pure trade-protection and it destroys business. We desperately need reform. At some point I may go through and talk about tort reform more in depth, but people would be shocked how bad the system is.

I like the Social Security thing too. I think it would play very well with the public and it makes a lot of sense.

Ed said...

Andrew, Excellent agenda! Let me add the perfuctory:

1. Repeal ObamaCare
2. Cut the government. I'd like to see it's budget halved ultimately.

Beyond that, I too want to see education reform to let it the private sector.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think those are everyone's lists! And they should be.

I like the idea of a 50% cut. That will take time, but it's the goal we should be shooting for.

Education reform is vital too and the only way to fix it will be to open it up for competition.

CrispyRice said...

Andrew, I think this is a great plan. I don't want the Republicans helping the Democrats though. But if they wait until 2012, then I think this would be a great idea.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: That would be a great start. What I like best is that your suggestions could be put into place almost immediately, they are not so broad or complicated that they would be lost on the public, and they would have a nearly-immediate effect.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That's why I think waiting until 2012 is a good idea -- start talking now, but wait until 2012. That way the positive effects won't kick in until after the election, but they will kick in in early 2013, so we don't have to wait until 2014 for the public to see the benefits.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Thanks! I agree. I think these are things the public would grasp right away and see the obvious benefit of. I also think they have very strong "stimulus" effects on hiring and economic activity, i.e. they would work.

I'd love to see the Republicans start talking about this. I think that could really just jam a pitchfork in the Democrats' re-election efforts.

T-Rav said...

Congrats on another successful BH article, Andrew!

I'll add something to the agenda: Repeal the freaking minimum wage laws. I don't see why this is so difficult for people to understand: if you're demanding employers hire you at a prohibitive cost, you will find yourself without a job.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks T-Rav! I'm glad people are enjoying it. Did you see that even one of the trolls is being participating in a positive way by listing villains? I was amazed.

I think repealing the minimum wage is a great idea... though I think the public would object. I would do it in parts. First, repeal it for certain industries (like summer industries), then repeal it for teens. Then never raise it until it becomes irrelevant. Then finally wipe it out.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. The next BH article probably won't be nearly as successful as I'm just going to recommend a film.

But that's ok, it's unrealistic to think each article will draw a couple hundred comments.

Ed said...

Andrew, I think a 50% cut would put our government right where it should be as our servant, rather than our master. Plus, I think half of what they do they shouldn't be doing, so 50% makes sense.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Interesting logic! But I can't disagree with it. But don't forget, not only do we need to shrink the size of the government itself, but we also need to shrink it's scope. It regulates too much even when it doesn't do it directly.

patti said...

andrew: look at you! our big-shot BH writer! love it.

as far as what to eliminate? obamacare is at the tippy-top of the list, as well as every czar, or back-doored employee of barry's. i want washington to go first with everything they propose: if they think universal health care is good for us, then it's good enough for them.

and that's just a tiny start.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Patti! I'm having a great time doing the BH thing! :-)

On your list, I couldn't agree more. Eliminating ObamaCare and banning czars is vital to our country and our government.

And I think Washington should ALWAYS be subject to anything they try to do to us. It's ridiculous that they get to exempt themselves.

DCAlleyKat said...

They need to turn the mantra of today...'GOP steals Christmas' to the "lack of jobs (Obama's economy manipulations) stole Christmas"!

C'mon guys it's past time to get tough already!!!

DCAlleyKat said...

Congratulations Andrew! Puts me in mind of the old days at BigGov and all of us watching the Academy Awards while entertaining and commenting with each other on BigHol...those were the days!!

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleykat, I totally agree. It's time to start kicking and punching. They should be out there lamenting the lack of jobs and the bad economy Obama has caused. They should be mentioning this all the time!

They should also be out there pounding away on the Obamacare issue -- mentioning all the cost hikes, the doctors leaving the field, the damage done to Medicare, and the fact that time is running out to stop the worst parts.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks DCAlleykat! It does have an old-time BH flavor to it and people seem to really be getting into these articles. Hopefully, this will spur more debate and keep people more involved.

CrispyRice said...

I also second education reform and of course repeal of Obamacare!

And yes, congrats on the BH article!

rlaWTX said...

RE: the present job market - I saw somewhere else about gov't jobs being cut this summer and then saw the below linked article about our area with the same issue.

I like the whole "communication" theme running through your ideas. I realize that R's have to work harder to get heard in the MSM, but they seem to have gone the other direction instead. While I wish that there were even more ways for people to get news, a lot of them still watch the Evening News and they need to hear from the R "leadership" about what they are trying to do. And if the MSM ignored copious numbers of R announcements, there'd be another type of reaction that could only help.

http://www.mywesttexas.com/top_stories/article_878e1685-ae47-5e55-9330-f95185b4b361.html

And Bravo!! on the BH article...

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Crispy!

I think repealing Obamacare is a must. Without that, nothing else will matter to people. But even with that, we need to seize the moment and shift America back to a saner, smaller form of government.

And I agree completely about education reform -- it's vital to America's future.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! I'm really enjoying the whole BH experience, though it's difficult to respond to that many people.

On the communication theme, I think it's absolutely vital that they start communicating more. They need a solid strategy to get their views out to the public and explain why those are good and why the Democrats are bad. That means doing their best with the MSM and going around the MSM to conservative forums.

Unfortunately, one thing Republicans have never been good at is talking about their ideas. That needs to change.

Here is your link: LINK

I understand that government jobs are being cut everywhere. I think there were more than 30,000 government layoffs in the June jobs report in fact.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

****WARNING*****WARNING*****
****THREAD JACKING IN PROGRESS*****

It seems the guy who "Reported Polar Bears are drowning" in 2004 is being investigated.

Also, NASA is figuring out the true data about global warming. It blows apart the computer models.

**You may return to your regular thread.

AndrewPrice said...

Who was that masked man?

Joel, That's very interesting. So they're investigating the guy for "scientific misconduct... possibly relating to the veracity of that article." Interesting. So he may have made it up?

T-Rav said...

Joel, those are unsubstantiated rumors being thrown around by corporate interests who want to squelch truth and science everywhere. And if you disagree, that means you're complicit in the murder of polar bears.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Are you sure it's polar bear murder? It sounds more like bearslaughter to me.

Koshcat said...

Great topic. The two issues I would add is:

1. GOP wholly adopting the idea that the business of America is business. That goes right into going through the regulations and eliminating those that particularly hurt the small to medium sized businesses. They should also do a better job pointing out the businesses who pay taxes and those who didn't and show the relationship with government (Exxon $10 billion in taxes last quarter. GE $0). Give good examples (and have multiple ones ready each week) who is really in bed with big business.

2. Get government entirely out of healthcare. OK, probably asking too much but a voucher system would be a great start. It is so frustrating to deal with the feds day in and day out. They are always looking at some part of the health care budget to cut to gain a quick buck. The most recent proposal was to cut reimbursement again to oncologists for chemotherapy. Most of the drugs, especially older, cheaper, generic ones, barely cover the cost of giving it and some are under water. If an agency makes an awful decision, it literally takes an act of congress to overturn it. With vouchers to buy individual coverages that the patient chooses, if one of those insurance companies tries to jerk me around, I can break the contract without loosing my pants.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, Thanks!

That is the greatest Calvin Coolidge quote ever and it totally captures the spirit of America.

Beyond that, I agree entirely. We need to make American friendly to all business, but small and medium size businesses especially -- they drive the economy and hiring. They are the American dream. And we need to stop giving big businesses like GE access to the government rule book.

I also totally agree the Republicans should be pointing these things out every single week. It’s time to tell America what needs to be fixed and what we’re going to do to fix it. It’s time to earn some trust.

I agree about getting the government out of health care too. They should deregulate as much as they can. Then convert Medicare into simply obtaining private insurance for most (long term care would need to be handled differently for cost reasons). Do malpractice reform. Open insurance to competition and let doctors arrange their own affairs just like any other business.

I don’t know if you were here during the CommentaramaCare series, but I talked extensively about medical reform. I used to go to a doctor who did a flat monthly fee deal that made him money and saved me a ton of money. It was win/win and all of his patients loved it. But the Board of Medicine in the state and the insurance industry had him charged criminally twice by calling this flat fee “selling of insurance without a license.” He incurred $200,000 in legal fees just to be allowed to run his practice. That’s despicable.

I also believe doctors need to be allowed to move between states. There is no reason that a doctor shouldn’t be able to move to where there is more demand or wherever they want to live. It’s time to break some of these state created monopolies.

Tennessee Jed said...

It has been established that conservatives politically need the out of work Reagan Democrats and independents to fashion the kind of majority needed to enact meaningful reform. You are so right in pointing out that Republicans need to start presenting alternatives. We actually do need to "feel their pain" by deeds as much as words.If you get too far out in front on it, however, we all know how competent our friends on the left are at spinning something we see as cut and dried into something controversial. The reality is to get businesses to risk investment, government has to provide an attractive environment to do so, particularly ease of entry for new entrepreneurs.

While creating less tax and regulatory uncertainty is absolutely vital, I think we also need a higher ratio of workers (tax payers) to retirees. One way to do so would be to encourage foreigners who come here to be educated (such as doctors) spend more time working here. Instead of recruiting future Democrat voting unskilled victims, how about a policy designed to attract math whizzes and engineers.

As far as regulations, perhaps pick out a few of the most eggregious to target now such as the SEC's fair disclosure rule that tends to work against new entrepreneurs.

Good article, Andrew!!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I agree that we always face an uphill battle with the media and the left, but that's all the more reason to plan very carefully.

I think it would be hard to twist these things into negatives. These are the kinds of common sense idea that most people think "well, duh." The devil is in the details of course. If we try to eliminate the wrong deduction or the wrong regulation, people will flip out.

I think the key is to avoid the democratic "hot button" issues and then take care of those quietly later. Just stick with the really obvious stuff for now.

I agree totally about needing more workers. I have no problems letting more professionals into the country. But I think the better plan is to get the ones we have here employed first. That means making it cheaper to hire Americans by lowering employment costs and taxes. And by raising the retirement age a couple years.

I also like the guest worker program for agriculture because it gets all these day laborers off the "grey-economy" and makes them into tax paying workers.

I also would like to see something done about the cost of college, which is distorting the professional market and making it hard for people to do anything except stay in huge cities to earn enough to pay back their loans. It's like a brain drain being inflicted on Middle America. And it's the fault of too much federal money in the student loan program.

T-Rav said...

So on a lark, I just called Senator McCaskill (bleh...that still makes me want to retch)'s office and wanted to know where she stood on the Boehner plan. Her staffer said something-something-doesn't do enough for Social Security-something-something-she does support a balanced budget-something-something. I just left a message that I thought she should vote in favor of the bill, because it's the best option for resolving the issue and neither the White House nor the Senate has done anything so far blah blah blah, and hung up. That was much more anticlimactic than I thought it would be, but oh well. I thought I'd try to get her ear before the vote came up. Probably didn't change a thing, but oh well.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It would be pretty shocking if a mere voter mattered to a Democratic Senator.

Nice try though! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Here's an interesting update on the debt deal. The Democrats are offering a compromise.

1. Take the Boehner bill.
2. Add the McConnell proposal, which would allow Obama to raise the ceiling, but would force Congress to vote on it. This would likely lead to two more votes in 2012.

Call me crazy, but this sounds like a horrible deal for the Democrats -- unless they aren't forcing Obama to make required cuts? I don't know that part yet.

Joel Farnham said...

As much as I admire the Tea Partiers, I know this is going to end badly. I was willing to give the TPRs credit for being new and being naive and holding things up to read the bill and run the numbers.

Rush is talking through his ass. This is the first time I totally disagree with him. He acts like Reid or someone in the Democrat party is some evil genius. It is quite simple. If the debt fault happens on the Republican's watch, it will be laid at our feet. If it happens on the Democrat's watch it will be laid at the Democrats feet. When I speak of watch, I mean when the actual debate and voting of the Debt Extension Bill. As long as we keep on giving the Senate bills to vote on and read, the Republican Party is safe. Now we will get the Democrat Bill a few minutes before the default and it will be on our watch when it blows up.

Thank you Rush, Thank you Tea Partiers, thank you Eric Erikson. Thanks for nothing.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I didn't hear Rush today so I'm not sure what he said, but this has been my concern.

I sympathize with the desire to get more, but there must be a realization that we can't leave ourselves holding the bag. We need to get these bills to the Democrats and make them be the bad guys. If this thing never leaves the House, this whole thing will blow up on us. Either we get the Democratic bill or we get blamed for the default.

The last I heard is that Boehner just recessed the Congress because he's still three votes short.

Frankly, Reid (who apparently doesn't have the votes for his bill either) must be laughing his rear end off right now that we're saving him so much trouble.

Joel Farnham said...

I sent you Rush's notes in a hurry. He says we are being played for saps. Erik Erickson says the same thing. The TPRs think they own the whole enchilada since the Republicans own the House. If they wait a year and a half, that might be true. Now, I don't trust them for any intelligent response except knee jerk ones.

This does play into the Democrat hands. Now, all the Democrats have to do is hold a red flag in front of the bull. Get the Republicans looking like they are abandoning "principles" and they will bolt.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Thanks, I just saw your e-mail. Yeah, this is the sort of thing that gives the Democrats the upper hand because the Democrats know they can divide the Republicans.

And you're 100% right that they are acting too soon. They might hold the government in 2012, but right now they hold 1/2 of 1/3 of the government.

Joel Farnham said...

It is even worse. The 178 is only 40 % of the House.

Hopefully the American People will remember that Obama is the one who started this crap. Boehner may be able to cajole a few more votes. Still.....

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's true. So their power is even less than it appears.

I am a little worried that Boehner getting a victory by the skin of his teeth isn't much better than losing. At least it will go to the Senate, but it won't scare the Democrats much like a 40+ vote margin would have.

I guess we'll see, but I'm thinking this whole thing is heading toward a compromise, which will make this even worse.

T-Rav said...

House was supposed to know right about now whether or not there would be a vote tonight. But one member is on record as saying Boehner is going to hold a vote whether he has 218 behind him or not. ?????? Paul Ryan said he was confident of it passing, but on the off chance that it doesn't...Again, ?????

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That might be a good strategy if he thinks people are bluffing. By making them vote, he's calling their bluff. BUT if they aren't bluffing, then this could get very ugly.

This is just depressing because the longer this goes on, the more blame the Republicans will get no matter what will happen. The story for the past two weeks (besides the steady fall in stocks) is Republican in-fighting. It's going to be hard to blame the Democrats for a default when all the public has seen is that the Republicans can't get their act together.

Plus, who wants to trust people who can't even work together to run the government?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I'm not entirely sure if that's how things will wind up. Practically every poll I've seen has had a majority of voters preferring no increase in the debt ceiling, period; and even bigger majorities supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment. So it's within the realm of possibility that the Tea Party will emerge with its support base intact. Or maybe, with things going down to the wire, maybe that would spook Reid and Senate Dems into actually doing some compromising themselves, being worried there's absolutely no chance of their own plan passing the House. Oh, who am I kidding? That would require them caring more about resolving the issue than about scoring political points.

The vote is supposed to be held sometime before midnight, so...yeah. The GOP still seems to be coming up about two votes short, depending on whose estimate you use. Oh, and the WH may be sending signals that it's considering the 14th Amendment option after all. Great.

T-Rav said...

...And now the bill's been bounced back to the Rules Committee, supposedly to get it more in line with CCB. Rand Paul told Sean Hannity a few minutes ago the change should yield 234 votes. I'll say it again: total clusterfudge.

Whatever this happens, Boehner needs to flatly tell Harry Reid: "This is our last offer. Your move." For God's sake, make the other chamber do something for once.

T-Rav said...

No vote tonight, according to FOX. Figures.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Thanks for the updates. I have no idea how this is going to end right now. All I know is it's a mess and putting the vote off is going to mess with the market a lot.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I was over at Hot Air. Some of the people understand the danger involved in NOT passing this bill. Some are stupid, hoping that Boehner goes down. I don't think they understand that Speaker of the House Term is two years. We have Boehner until he resigns or the end of 2012. Unless they can get something on Boehner, he is here to stay. I don't see him resigning.

Also, the Tea Partiers could have NOT voted Boehner in as speaker when they had the chance. They didn't. So, the TPRs have let Boehner and the rest of the Republicans down.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, you're probably right. The House Rules Committee is meeting right now to make whatever changes are in mind, and there'll be a vote on the new package in the morning. Supposedly.

T-Rav said...

Joel, I was just browsing over there. Some of the comments put me through the roof; I'm sorry, why are we high-fiving over Boehner's plan being defeated (for the moment)? How is this a victory for our side? I bet I know what Harry Reid would say if we could ask him who's winning right now.

Also, let me get this straight. So far, the list of newly revealed RINOs includes the following:

-Ann Coulter
-Thomas Sowell
-Mike Pence
-Fred Thompson
-Allen West
-Probably a couple others I can't think of right now.

Somehow, I find that a little hard to believe.

Okay, rant finished.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's true. They could have picked someone more in tune with them if they wanted to. And to try to toss him out now would cause a lot of problems. Again, I think the only people who benefit are the Democrats.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's what set me off at the Breitbart site last night. There were dozens of comments about Allen West (proven great conservative) being a "RINO", "socialist", "traitor", "selling us out to the establishment."

It really makes you wonder what is wrong with these people? This is literally like divorcing your wife if you don't like one dinner. It's truly twisted.

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

Amazing isn't it? Who knew? I wonder how many more they will out!

Too bad their registration is closed. Anyone of us commenting on Hot Air threads, the average IQ would jump twenty points.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel,

Are they really closed? I had no idea!

In terms of all the hidden RINOs, yeah, who knew? I'm telling you, these people would have hated Reagan.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry if I'm slow responding, by the way, I'm trying to respond to a bunch of BH comment... 471 and counting. Yikes!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

It has been closed for a few years. I suppose they might register one or two at a time, but it probably is by invitation now. It is a weakness and a strength.

Strength is that they curb the trolls tightly. Huffpo regulars can't overpower them. Weakness is they get in a rut and have no new blood. Hence the nature of their rants. Oh, and any who are smarter than the Ahab get banned.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I had heard that they ban people. In fact, I've seen several people complain about it and they at least make it sound like they did nothing more than question a piece.

One of the good things about the size of our audience is that we don't have to worry about things like that. And you all are way too smart for trolls to make any headway here.

Joel Farnham said...

From what I know of the history of Hot Air, Michelle Malkin created then sold it. I think she sold it to the two main commentators. I had tried to register when she owned it, so the restriction was in place while she owned it. My guess is she got tired of it or she needed the money.

Her personal blog is somewhat decent but I hardly visit it. Hot Air on the other hand is great for grabbing quick looks at current news. The comments leave much to be desired.

Eventually, the contributors to the comments will either be so incestuous or boring as to chase people away. The writers almost never join the comments.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, We're thinking of selling Commentarama to these nice Nigerians who keep e-mailing us! :-)


On the commenting thing, I see that all the time and I really don't understand why writers don't respond to their audience. Not only is it not particularly inviting of further comments, but it seems kind of rude.

On the audiences getting incestuous, yeah, that happens when websites stop growing.

T-Rav said...

Joel and Andrew, I visit Hot Air regularly to get a lot of my info and while I generally like it, I know exactly what you're talking about. The news and analysis is great, the commenters are often terrible.

I will say that the few times I've seen people get banned there, it was for some very egregious and personal threats. It may have been different in the past, I honestly don't know.

Also, why is one of the lead guys called "Allahpundit"? Is he an Arab or something? Just wondering.

AndrewPrice said...

You guys are two-timing Commentarama?

** sniff, sniff **

// wipes away tear

T-Rav said...

Ummm...uhhh...they never meant anything to me, Andrew! I swear!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

We don't talk to them. Honest!!

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Ok, I trust you guys this time!

Joel Farnham said...

I just thought of something. The Tea Party is against Boehner's bill. Reid is also against it. So the Tea Party and Reid are intellectual Brethren. :-)

Joel Farnham said...

Obama is with the TEA party. He and TEA are one! Who Knew!!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That will shake some people up! "I'm agreeing with who?"

The latest I heard is that there will be some requirement for a balanced budget vote (possibly if they need a second debt ceiling raise). I don't have a lot of details, but that sounds like it's in the new bill.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I sent an email to Rush.

I asked him if he is going to join Reid and Obama. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! It will be interesting to hear what he says today. It sounds like a ton of conservatives are lining up behind this. I just heard an interview with Mike Pence who was diplomatic but really called people out for thinking about default.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Rush is claiming victory for "conservatives" and it acting like they just defeated the establishment "because they are operating out of fear."

And he's calling all the people who said a deal was needed "the so-called conservative media."

This is total armchair revolutionary talk.

In any event, the new bill requires the Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment before Obama would get a second his second ceiling raise. Since it can't pass the states, that's called a gimmick. So Rush et al. were holding out for a gimmick.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I think he finally realized that his is a losing position. It has been a few days and I just now figured out that intellectually Obama, Reid, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and a good portion of the TEA party are in bed together. Strange Bedfellows.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Strange bedfellows indeed!

This sounds to me like face saving by declaring victory and claiming that only he and his loyal listeners brought about the true victory.

Joel Farnham said...

I think what changed his mind is the growing list of noted intellectual Conservatives backing Boehner's bill. If he didn't change it soon, he would be in the uncomfortable position of being in the same bed with Obama and Reid.

He covers himself very well, but Rush must be a little red-faced today. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think that's 100% right. I think it was getting to the point that he was going to be the last big name on the other side and declaring victory is a great way sneak out of that.

I've seen this with lawyers too who just go on and on about how the law works, etc. etc. and then find themselves embarrassed when the judge goes the other way, and start running around talking about how this is actually better for the client and how the lawyer actually pushed the judge in this direction blah blah blah. It's face saving.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Here's the most ridiculous bit of "reasoning" I've heard yet:

The Boehner bill is no good because it will go to Harry Reid and Obama who will change it, and thus Obama will get what he wants.


So what exactly is Boehner supposed to do to prevent his bill from "going to Reid"? Declare it law?

Also, doesn't it have to come BACK TO THE HOUSE if the Senate changes it?

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I hope you made an appropriate comment along the lines of maybe the guy should learn about the Constitution prior to turning on his computer. Better yet, give him the urls to youtube videos as well as the url to the Constitution. Something from School house Rock comes to mind.

Sheesh!!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It was a local radio guy -- I was in my car or I would have actually called in with a few choice words.

My jaw literally dropped when I heard that.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

That is interesting. If I were you, I would note it down and call the boss of the studio he operates out of. Ask if they are going to have the host go to remedial education or are they happy the host doesn't understand the school house rock level of the way laws are passed in the United States.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's actually not a bad idea!

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, The House passed the bill 218-210.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I am still having this Conversation over at the American Thinker.

A guy by the name of Smith says Boehner's credibility is in question. I objected. I said the Tea Party's group has credibility problems. It is kind of fun.

Link.

I have posted about five times on this one thread. The problem is that it is moderated and can take a couple of hours for it to post.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It looks like an interesting fight, but I don't think they want to listen. It looks to me like they made their minds up a long time ago and no amount of reasoning will change it.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

The ones I hope to influence are the ones who read it, but don't comment. Winning the other person over to your side is almost fruitless. Winning the person who just reads is more likely.

Still, I introduced an uncertainty with blind obedience to the Tea Partiers.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree. Blogging and commenting is about reaching the people with the open minds (left or right). The rest can't be helped.

Joel Farnham said...

Is it just me, or does the Tea Party people think that they own the country? Last time I checked, they didn't. They don't even coordinate. I am sure they don't think things through.

Ben Stein said that the Tea Party guys are way off base for demanding deeper cuts. I agree with Ben Stein. If we were to cut off spending the way some of the Tea Partiers envision, we would be putting too many people out of work. People who would vote against the Tea Party candidates. People who would have loads of time on their hands to vote down a Tea Party candidate.

Look down to see the comments. Over half of them think it is easy to cut. What they don't realize, most of the budget is on entitlements like social security, pensions, medicare, medicaid, welfare and the like. Direct payments to people.

This pie chart shows just what the budget spends. Now, if we do cut out a good portion of this by slashing everything, there better be a full two years before a new election. Otherwise there is going to be a huge group of people pissed off. Most of them will vote TEA partiers out in a second.

Right now, we have the elected Democrats in a precarious position. They have made too many changes. They have been too restrictive towards all businesses except their select few. They have been arrogant and unresponsive. And they have threatened the businesses who haven't left with more regs and taxes.

This has demoralized their base and destroyed most of the good will they have accumulated over the years. Now, we have the Tea Partiers and the recipients of government largess. If the recipients of government largess get in their minds that voting against the Tea Partiers Candidates keeps their goodies coming, and so far they haven't, they will make sure that the ones that promise the goodies stay in charge.

The Tea Partiers still don't have a chance in hell if the people who usually stay at home and don't vote but get most of the money decide that it is time to flex their muscle. The bad economy, the poor employment rate and the stupid things said by the Democrats have combined to create the notion that the Democrats shouldn't be running this country. This can change overnight.

The Tea Party is the largest winner so far, but in truth it has been long PR campaign. Forcing the US to default is not too bright just a year and four months out. It give the Democrats time and room to portray the Tea Party People as loons. A fantastic beautiful uprising will have been wasted because these people can't restrain themselves.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel,

Nice post, thanks for the links.

I think the average Tea Party person knows that (1) they can't really do anything yet, (2) it's not as easy as people want to make it out to be, and (3) defaulting would be a disaster. I don't think the self-appointed Tea Party leaders get this. I think they see this as a moment where they can "play to the mob" to excite people. ... and I don't think they care about the consequences.

The proof to me that something is wrong with the positions they are taking is that (1) they don't seem to have an end game, they are objecting for the sake of objecting, and (2) they have yet to propose anything or tell us what they want... "more cuts"... ok, name them -- they won't, and (3) they are holding out for gimmicks like the balanced budget amendment.

I call that a gimmick because (1) it can be faked out by playing with the numbers, (2) it doesn't stop the government from raising taxes to balance the budget, and (3) it has NO chance of becoming law. If they are really serious, they would disdain the gimmicks and be holding out for actual cuts.

In terms of default, this is something the Tea Party guys better realize. They've already cost investors the worst week in the Dow since 2007. If they go on to default, they will CRUSH pension funds. They will also hurt retirees, soldiers, welfare types (who will be energized as you note), government workers (who will be energized), anyone with an adjustable rate loan or credit card debt, anyone who needs a strong dollar (which will make gas and food a lot more expensive), and government contractors. That's tens of millions of people who will suddenly find themselves paying hundreds of dollars a month more for food, gas and interest, or won't be getting their checks to pay their rent. This would be a serious problem in the 2012 election.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice post, Andrew!

I'm glad you mentioned regulations first, because they, even more than taxes, drive costs up, hurt job creation and are the number one driving factor in US companies relocating to other, more business friendly countries.

Of course, it would be nice to see corporate taxes cut (or eliminated) and that would be helpful, but unnecessary, time consuming, costly, and insane regulations destroy businesses (or cause them to leave) more than taxes ever can.

Frankly, I'm surprised the GOP haven't addressed this problem more often.
However, they must be careful to communicate clearly what the problems are and they should stay away from safety regs until after tackling the rest since the first thing donks will do is accuse the GOP of not wanting us to have a safe work environment.

They will anyway, but why give them more ammo?

Yes, I know that most "safety" regs are also idiotic but before we address them it would be prudent to get the public's trust by addressing the easy stuff first.

Besides, donks would look pretty stupid (okay, more stupid) if they scream about safety regs when we aren't addressing that problem...yet.

Moreover, most people who have had a job can relate to the senseless regs.
Virtually no one likes them except for bureaucrats who are trying to give themselves more job security (and power).
And imbeciles.

I would bet that even most proregressives hate regulations that anyone other than a moron wouldn't think of, let alone seriously consider.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW, kind of related, Iowahawks post August 2nd doosday predictions:

Doomsday Predictions

Some of my favorites:

"At-risk Mexican drug lords forced to buy own machine guns."

"Chevy Volt rebate checks bounce, stranded owners more than 50 miles from outlet."

"No longer protected by government warning labels, massive wave of amputations from people sticking limbs into lawn mowers."

"With the Dept of Ed shuttered, national school quality plummets to 1960s levels."

"Nation's freeway exits croweded with desperate bureaucrats waving 'will regulate for food' signs."

They're all hilarios! LOL!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

PS-
Fortunately, in the event we ever do default (which will never happen because we can always simply print more money, or, as many on the far left have suggested we can print trillions of platinum coins (change we can believe in!) to cut out Congress and borrow against, LOL!)
we can rest assured that Obama will stop paying the Military and Medicare before he let's all those bad things Iowahawk talks about happen to bureaucrats.

That's hope we can bank on!
I feel better already!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Iowahawk is hilarious! He's definitely got a great sense of humor and is always well timed!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Sorry about that. Your first comment got caught in the spam filter and I didn't see it until now.

Regulations really are the real problem. Taxes aren't really all that high -- though they are higher than they should be. But everything is now regulated and the regulations make no sense. They are intended to help incumbent companies or help people sue companies or just bog things down. That needs to stop.

We need a total regulatory rethink in this country. And it needs to be done without lobbyists being involved and without "interest groups" being involved.

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