Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's the Debt Dealio?

No doubt, some of you will be surprised to hear that Obama spoke to the nation last night. . . at least the part of the nation that still listens to him. No doubt, the MSM is full of articles (all written a couple days ago) that extol the brilliance of Obama’s speech and proclaim that the speech made the public cry tears of joy. . . it was joy, right? Also no doubt, many of you are totally confused about what is going with the debt ceiling negotiations. Here’s where we stand.

1. Why Obama Spoke: Obama went on television because he is losing the public relations war, despite media claims and fake polls to the contrary. Rasmussen reports that the public trusts Republicans over Democrats 45% to 35% on economic issues. Indeed, Republicans win 9 of 10 top issues -- education being the one Democratic “stronghold” (42%-38%). So Obama had no choice but to try to win the public over.

2. Obama’s Speech: Obama’s main line of attack was (1) failure to raise the debt ceiling until after the 2012 election will destroy our economy, (2) the Republicans are trying to cause a default because they are evil, and (3) why can’t we all just get along on my terms? His most effective line was: “If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills -- bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.”

3. Boehner’s Response: Boehner’s main line of attack was (1) I gave it my all, but Obama wanted a blank check and has never negotiated fairly, and (2) he wants tax hikes that will destroy jobs. His best line was: “The president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.”

4. The Reid/Obama “Plan”: Let’s start with the basics. First, Obama has finally given up on getting tax hikes.

Secondly, this proposal is a crock:

● They are calling it a $2.7 trillion debt “reduction,” but that’s a total lie. First, $1 trillion of that is from “winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” This is essentially an accounting trick, like claiming you will buy a million dollar house next week and then saying you cut your budget by a million dollars by promising not to buy it after all. Even Joe Lieberman has said “I don’t think it’s a real cut. It’s like a bookkeeping cut.”

● The proposal then includes $400 billion in “interest savings,” which appear to be more accounting gimmicks. These are like the magic “everyone will be healthier” savings in ObamaCare.

● Next, it includes $100 billion which have already been negotiated. Those are the only legitimate cuts.

● Finally, the last $1.2 trillion come from a promise that a committee of 12 politicians will agree to find more cuts in the future. That and $18 gets you a Double Sugarmoccacrappe at Starbucks.
So what we have is $100 billion in cuts over ten years (i.e. $10 billion a year.... 0.0003% of the budget), some false accounting and a promise to find more cuts. In exchange for this, Obama gets an immediate $2.4 trillion hike in the debt ceiling.

5. The Latest House Plan: Boehner’s latest plan calls for a two-stage approach. Stage one involves $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years combined with an immediate debt ceiling hike of $900 billion. This would be followed by larger cuts to be agreed upon later. The Democrats object to this plan because it would likely result in the need for an additional debt ceiling hike before the next election.

6. Boehner’s Problem: There are 178 House Republicans who seem to be taking the position that they won’t vote for anything, and apparently oppose the new House plan. This is actually fairly stupid. The point where everyone is desperate to get a deal is the time to lay out your demands and get some good cuts. By simply refusing to vote for any plan, these Republicans make themselves irrelevant and will eventually force Boehner to seek Democratic support.

7. Reid’s Problem: Believe it or not, Reid has lost the left because of potential cuts to entitlements and a failure to tax the rich. Thus, he will need a lot of Republican support. . . support he doesn’t have. His ace in the hole is the 178 House Republicans who will force Boehner and McConnell to deal to find Democratic support. That will give him a chance to buy back his left flank.

8. Something You Should Know: Believe it or not, raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with new spending. We need to raise the debt ceiling to cover amounts we already spent. Getting the public to see this as “new spending” has been a Republican PR triumph.

9. Who Loves You Baby?: A couple weeks ago, Boehner said that negotiating with Obama “was like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.” According to certain leftist reporters, Democrats privately say “much worse” about Obama off the record (and no, the reporters haven't shared what has been said).

114 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Do you blame the Republicans on balking at any vote at this time?

From what I can tell, this jumps the Republicans up a notch on the polls as well as clearly defines that Republicans are for cutting down government to a reasonable size. Something that has not happened in many a decade. It may be stupid, but then again, Boehner is usually the one to go running to the Democrats every time one of them farts out a speech.

CrispyRice said...

A Republican PR triumph? Be still my beating heart! ;D

Thanks for the summation of where we stand, Andrew!

DCAlleyKat said...

Kind of like, 'choose your poison'.

T-Rav said...

Since I apparently am a masochist, I ended up watching the speech last night after all. Reading other sites that are liveblogging it helps prevent brain damage, FYI.

I was actually highly impressed with Boehner's response, and a lot of the conservative base appears to have been as well. Whatever the details of his plan, something that cuts spending by more than it raises the debt ceiling deserves serious consideration, in my opinion. If there's more to it than meets the eye, that's one thing, but reflexively shooting down any plan to raise the ceiling (as more than one House GOPer has done) is not the way to go.

Koshcat said...

I'm not going to be as hard on republicans for standing their ground. It's a negotiation. Obama and Reid are just hoping republicans will cave again. Don't remember who wrote it, but there was a great editorial in the WSJ several months ago explaining the frustration of GOP voters with their elected congressman. She used a yard stick as a great analagy with the right at 0 and the left at 36. The general public gets the notion of negotiation: start at your end and work toward the middle until you find something acceptable. The problem with the party in the past is instead of starting at say 9 and negotiating to somewhere between 16-20, the would start at 16, or higher. It was because of this that so many GOP voters turned their back on the republican congressman in 2006 and 2008. At this point Obama and Reid keep offering a 34. So, who is really being obstreperous? The house has passed the Ryan plan and cut,cap,and balance. They have put their money were their mouth is. The democrats plan is to have no plan just criticize these until they turn public opinion. Don't try to tell me they are serious about this issue and the public knows it.

For all his faults, Obama's greatest is his inability to listen to the public. Something Clinton was a master at.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I blame them for not grabbing victory when it's within their reach. The key to winning negotiations is to get the other guy to blink. They've done that. But if you don't seize that moment and get your demands put into place, then the other guy will win. It's just a fact of negotiations. You go from being a brilliant negotiator to just being crazy and the other side will begin to treat you accordingly.

In this case, that means the Democrats finding the moderate Republicans who have so far been willing to along with the Tea Party folks and working with them to get a majority votes for a Democratic plan. That's what will happen if the Tea Party people don't put forward a plan that can succeed.

In effect, they will go from being able to get a lot of cuts to seeing the debt ceiling raised with few cuts OR things will default and they will discover that voters become very un-ideological when their checks stop coming.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome Crispy. I figured it was time to sort this out -- especially since the numbers being thrown around are so fraudulent.

Yeah, that's a pretty amazing triumph. I suspect people wouldn't be nearly as upset if they realized this was just paying old debts, and not new spending.

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleyKat, Choose your poison is right. The real crime here is that our side never came up with a solid, unified plan which they wanted from day one. Instead, the cutters have offered 4-5 competing plans, which gave the appearance of chaos on our side. It also got us negotiating against ourselves.

That's why it's hard to ever have Congress lead anything -- too many voices, too much disagreement.

At this point though, I think the new Boehner plan is a good one -- lots of cuts and force the issue to reappear in mid-2012. That's BAD for Obama and the 20+ Democratic Senator who are up for re-election.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Do you really think Obama and Company has blinked? I don't think nor feel they have. As Boehner said, "Obama won't take yes for an answer."

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, Don't get me wrong, I'm not being hard on the Republicans for standing their ground. My criticism of the 178 is that they don't see a victory when they have it. The Boehner plan, for example, is real cuts and a great political opportunity. What more do they want?

The problem is that I don't think they know what they want. I think they've talked themselves into a corner and now honestly don't know what to accept.

This is the point where the Republicans really need to rally around a specific plan that can be presented to the public as reasonable. Otherwise, they run the risk of taking the blame when things go wrong, or of forcing guys like Boehner to cave because Boehner will realize that nothing he proposes can with their support. When that happens, he will have little choice but to try to work with those who are willing to vote yes -- and that means the Democrats.

I also would criticize the Republicans (AGAIN) for lack of effective communication. They should be out there everywhere pounding away that Obama's "$10 billion plan" isn't even worth considering. I think they are winning the PR war, but they could be crushing the Democrats and Obama right now if they got smarter in their themes.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think Obama has blinked, believe it or not. The elimination of taxes in their proposal is HUGE and has sent the left into a rage. And I think they did that because they realized that the Republicans would win this thing if they kept on pushing for taxes.

I also think Obama and Reid would jump at Boehner's proposal if he increased the numbers enough to get through 2012. So I do think they have broken.

That said, the plan they've unveiled is a classic Democratic attempt at deception. I think they are hoping that the public buys the idea of $2.7 trillion in cuts v. $2.4 in debt raise and that this turns the PR war in their favor. But this reeks of last-chance-ism. And if the Republicans expose this as a $10 billion cut plan, that will implode and I think you would see the Democrats gravitate toward the Boehner plan.

Tennessee Jed said...

Had to laugh at my local paper. They ran a contorted column of the AP article on the front page so that Obama's smiling picture, a headline "Obama critical of Dept Plan" and sub-header og "Appeals for 'balanced approach'" were what was visible above the fold. Below the fold in a single column was 5 pararaphs of text all about Obama. Not until page 7 under a small header "Debt" could you find any mention of Boehner's response.

I think part of the reason he is losing the PR battle is he looked like an ass on Friday with his rant, and really looked like a spoiled little kid when congress cut him out of the negotiations.

The Boehner plan is a good and fair plan that was proposed by Krauthammer. I think we continue to do ads and Conservative talking heads pound the fake cuts, push tax reform not increases in a recession (remind folks of jobless rate) and pass the Boehner/Krauthammer plan.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, the one quibble I would raise with Boehner's plan (what I know of it so far, at least) is that the cuts appear to be spread over a ten-year period, as well. I'd much rather get them now; and I worry that with such an extended timeline, Congress may simply ignore the strictures. Beyond that, it seems fairly sound; as you said, the fact that Obama and Reid are giving up on tax increases is a huge victory in itself.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It's amazing how the MSM will really contort their coverage to make Obama look good isn't it?

I think the Boehner plan is a good one. I think the McConnell plan (if it is as described) is a good one. I could go for bigger cuts in the Boehner plan too. Whatever the plan though, this is the time for Republicans to (1) stand together with a plan that can be sold as a reasonable and responsible plan to the public (no taxes, no funky accounting, no surrender), and (2) they need to cut to the heart of the Obama/Reid plan and just blast away on television, on radio and in print that this thing is a not a genuine plan.... $10 billion a year? That shows you what the Democrats really think.

If they can do that, they will win a ton of cuts, refocus the government toward conservative priorities, and still put all the blame on the Democrats if there is no deal.

Sadly, I think tax reform is off the table because of the backlash against "tax hikes." And I suspect it's off the table forever because (believe it or not) reform will be harder in the next Congress unless we somehow win 60 seats in the Senate.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The 10 year things bothers me too because everyone in Washington now speaks in 10 year plans because it (1) makes everything sound bigger when it really isn't and (2) it lets them hide cuts out as far as 10 years.

So I would rather talk in 1 year plans as well, but that's not changing.

As near as I can tell though, Boehner's plan does involve genuine cuts that kick in right away and not things that won't happen for 7-10 years. His plan also does not use the Afghanistan garbage -- which is that CBO currently assumes the same cost of war from now until the end of time. So by assuming we won't be at war in 5-10 years, Obama is counting those years as savings of $1 trillion, even though everyone knows we won't be there in 10 years (or better not be).

My preferred plan is the cut and cap plan, but that was never going to pass -- it's just too much for the Senate to accept. And sadly, we won't see tax reform or entitlement reform -- that train exploded on the rails. So at this point, I think the Boehner plan is probably our best plan.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, if anyone sees anything about the ratings for last night's speech, let me know. Thanks!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm sorry, I totally missed your first comment somehow?

I'm glad to hear you were impressed with Boehner, I was too -- he was clearly more Presidential than Option D. I don't think Obama won anyone over last night. I think Boehner may have bought himself the support he needs in the conservative world. But we'll see.

I think the idea of having more cuts than the debt limit hike is an excellent one. Even the Democrats have basically accepted that idea by selling their plan in a similar way -- though the whole plan is deceptive. So I would be surprised now if whatever plan they come up with doesn't at least pretend to do that.

Koshcat said...

I don't know all the details of each plan but my gut scorecard using the yardstick:

Obama/Reid 34
Gang of six 30
McConnell 28
Boehner 22
Cut, cap, and balance 12

To get further republican support, he needs to have more assurances and less "we will do this and that later". I do like that the proposed cuts are more than the increased debt. I do like that there will be a balance budget vote but you and I know that if it can't pass now it won't in October either. I do like the the debt increase is small enough to keep the debate open. But it needs something more. Something simple might work such as a slow increase in age to collect social security such as by two month each year till inreases to 70 or even 72. Or drop the corporate tax rate to match others in world. Or eliminate lightbulb ban. Something they would love to get. Something even democrats especially from conservative areas can claim as a win.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I guess I am waiting for Boehner to start crying. If he starts crying it means he has gotten most if not all he wanted.

Actually, I think the 178 don't trust Boehner yet. Rugs have been pulled out from under them before. That may change with Allen West approving Boehner's plan.

I tried to find some ratings numbers, but all of them are confusing and not clear and nothing specific to the ratings on Obama's July 25, 2011 speech.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, I think those are all excellent ideas. Adding the lightbulb ban in particular would probably catch the public's attention.

I think the best approach would be to add them all to the bill and then let the Democrats try to peel them away one at a time. With luck, one or two would stick around, plus you'd get some really ugly votes by Democrats in the process.

The danger is that they would claim you are politicizing the process, but I don't think that will be a truly effective charge as these aren't hotbutton issues like abortion which one side or the other simply can't accept.

Writer X said...

Whenever Obama takes to the airwaves with his beloved teleprompter, you know he's desperate and angry that he's missing a golf game. I couldn't tune in. I'd rather walk on glass.

Thanks for the summary here, Andrew.

The next election can't come soon enough.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I have to say that I have a LOT of trust in Allen West. So if he's on board, that gives me a good deal of confidence that this is a good course. By the way -- I LOVED his Debbie Schultz comments!

Thanks for the link.

On the crying bit, LOL! I hate the trend of crying in public. It's so damn Oprah-ism and creepy.

I haven't been able to find anything about ratings either but I suspect these will easily be his lowest yet. If they are, that will confirm to me that he's lost the public's attention and he's finished.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Walking on glass rather than listening to Obama sounds like a very reasonable choice! :-)

And yeah, I think he knows he's in trouble. What funny is that a week ago he thought this was finally going to be his "transformational moment" (unlike the dozen others before it), and now he seems to be desperate for any deal he can get. It's a strange world where Harry Reid has become the party backbone.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I know the difference between genuine cuts and the old shell game. So does Obama, but he's hoping he's still got that carny barker magic that can sell it to the public. His "cuts" don't even rise to the level of an accounting trick.

I have one suggestion for the Republicans. We all know that a lot of corporate tax deductions and write-offs could be eliminated and more than made up for with a decrease in corporate and capital gains rates. So let the Republicans steal Obama's thunder and announce "The Corporate Jets, Rich People Tax Increase Initiative." We could take away Obama's best demagogic tool, which he is currently beating conservatives over the head with, appear to be increasing "taxes on the rich" while actually freeing up money for the corporations and private businesses to start expanding, spending, and hiring.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I like the idea... I'm all onboard with rate cuts combined with a code clean up. But you would be facing a very angry talk radio set who object to any hint of a tax increase of any type.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I actually thought of that. Along with announcing the Initiative, they could also announce that this is all in preparation for the 2013 Flat Tax/Fair Tax/Federal Sales Tax (or some version of those) Initiative. That way, they steal Obama's demagogic thunder on "corporate jets," while at the same time letting everyone on talk radio know that the time will shortly come for a complete overhaul of the tax codes when Republicans finally take over the Congress and the White House.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm a believer in flattening the code, eliminating the giveaways, lowering the rates -- so I'm sold. I just don't know if they can sell people like Norquist who seems to think the code is perfect?

Frankly, I think the Republicans really should be selling tax code reform as part of this. I think they should be making it clear to people that overall, there will be no change in the amount of taxes collected, but that the across the board reductions will offset the loss of deductions. And I think they should point out some of the insane deductions in the code, so that people understand that this isn't like eliminating their mortgage deduction, but is things like Rangel's tax breaks for his four contributors.

T-Rav said...

Yeah Andrew, I was starting to feel ignored and all... :-)

Boehner did impress me. I think there's considerably more goodwill towards him among the base than there has been the past few days, though how long that lasts remains to be seen. (Although, as far as that goes: if people in the blogosphere are going to call Allen West a RINO for supporting the Boehner plan, then apparently not all the country's dim bulbs reside in Washington. They're actually saying that.)

I don't see how Obama won any support with his campaign speech last night--that's what it was, after all. I heard that even the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, Politico, etc. thought it was a flop and not convincing at all. They didn't SAY that, of course; you have to read between the lines of smugness to get that. I think the thrill up Chris Matthews' leg is gone as he starts to realize his boyfriend might really lose.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav... talk to the digital hand! LOL!

Anybody who calls West a RINO is an idiot and deserves to be ignored. Unfortunately, there is a group of people out there bloviating all over the net who think that anything less than going to Washington and declaring that they intend to shut down the government once and for all makes you a RINO. That makes them IDIOTS. Frankly, those people need to be pushed back out of the debate -- they add nothing but anger and stupidity to the debate.

I think Obama will get his usual 3% bounce within his base and it will fade by. . . well, it's probably already faded. I don't think the bounce will have come from anything he said so much as all the positive press coverage about how he made all these great points.

On the press coverage, you're right, by the way, if you read between the lines, they didn't buy his speech last night and they don't think it will help. Of course, it doesn't help that it was a poor speech and poorly delivered (as always).

T-Rav said...

Yeah Andrew, I wouldn't count on a media-fueled bump if I were Obama. Between the remark by CNN's Gloria Borger that "Option D" is now the only person in Washington talking about tax hikes, and MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell saying the president needs to come out and "teach the American people" about spending and the debt, I'd say the MSM has completely failed at its job. They're either not trying at all, or trying in such a haphazard way as to hurt him.

Personally, I wouldn't mind that much to see the government shut down for a few days; but I have little patience for some in our crowd who will hail a politician as a conservative hero if they say or do something right-wing (John Doe 2012!!!) and then tear them down a few weeks later if they even look like they might compromise (Throw John Doe and the other bums out!!!). That's superficial and mindless.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's because you are rational and you want to see the government made more along conservative lines. These other people are not rational and often don't even know what conservative really means. Instead, they mistake "angry, anti-establishment" as conservative. They are the exact opposite side of the coin of the deep progressives on the left. They have a vague notion of utopia in their heads and they wrongly think that everyone is ready to jump on their bandwagon if the dirty RINOs/DINOs only had the courage to stand up and shut the government down/pass a socialist ___.

It's utopian, irrational, inconsistent with public opinion and inconsistent with human nature.

There is a lot we can do to make the government act in a more conservative manner. In fact, I'd say we can push pretty far. And that does require sometimes shutting things down to push things in the right direction. But there's a real difference between a plan of moving the government to the right and just tossing a hand grenade into the system.

What you are seeing is that these people are reacting to the anger. They are looking for a hero(ine) who will promise to destroy the world for them. And some politicians play into that. But the moment they actually do something intelligent, these people feel sold out.

You might be right about the media, there isn't a lot of positive feedback right now for Obama. I don't see much truly negative feedback, but I'm not seeing anyone jumping up and clapping and saying that he won anything last night either.

So now the question is, will his failure be enough to make Harry Reid blink? I suspect he's ready to blink, he just need a face saving way out at this point. But I guess we'll see.

Ed said...

Andrew, I'm hitting debt fatigue. I just want this thing finished.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I know the feeling. Hang in there.

USArtguy said...

"By the way, if anyone sees anything about the ratings for last night's speech, let me know. Thanks!"


try this

I don't know how it compares with previous Obama speech ratings though.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks USArtguy! That's about 23 million viewers. Add 2-4 million for cable and you're looking at 26 million -- half of what he got for his first speech.

His first address to Congress (2/24/09) got 52.3 million.

He got 32.1 million for Obamacare (9/10/09).

He got 40 million for Afghanistan (12/2/09).

He got 30 million for the end of Iraq (9/1/10).

He got 30 million for Tucson (1/13/11).

He got 43 million for his last 1/26/2011 SOTU speech.

And now he's got 26ish million.

So he's lost half his audience. And while it appears that he's found a base at 30 million (less than 10% of the public), his 26ish million means he may have fallen through that too.

CrispyRice said...

Very interesting stats, Andrew.

I also agree with Koshcat about us standing firm. The dems should be way over on OUR side of the yardstick for a change.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, It is interesting. It tells me that Obama simply can't reach the public anymore. I've been thinking this for some time now and I think this just keeps confirming it, that the public has stopped listening. That's very bad for him.

On the yardstick, I totally agree -- it should always be on our side of the stick.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, on the loss of public attention thing you and Crispy were mentioning, that's why I don't think he'll veto the Boehner bill should it get through Congress and wind up on his desk. He's said he will, but I doubt it. He needs positive press in the worst way right now, and if he vetoes this deal that both sides in Congress have agreed to (assuming that happens), that means it's all on him. If we default? His fault. If our credit rating gets downgraded? His fault, because he refused to sign a bipartisan deal. I'd put three-to-one odds that if this passes Congress, he'll sign it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree. If something gets through Congress he will sign it no matter what it is. The question is, what gets through both the Senate and the House? That's where our problem lies.


I actually see the lack of attention by the public as a much bigger problem for Obama. If you've ever dealt with people who simply have stopped listening, then you know that no matter what you do for them, they don't care. If the public has reached the point, and I think they have, that means that they've decided to vote him out no matter what and nothing he does from now on can change that.

I think his falling ratings and his low poll numbers show us that the public has tuned him out, especially because of how long they've been this low and how steady they've been. That's not normal for people who are just angry because anger ebbs and flows, so his numbers would bounce. Instead, this is people who have rationally decided they are done with him.

Joel Farnham said...

GOP REVOLTS

Hmmmm. Too soon. Give it a day, I say.

Got it from Drudge.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, This is going to get ugly.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I guess the Republican Freshmen aren't happy with Boehner. Also, they are not happy with compromising any thing. It could just be that they were told something different by the putative Republican Caucus leaders. We don't know.

I do know that Boehner couldn't have gone this far with out them. Boehner's career and future is now in doubt. If Boehner seeks out Democrat help, he loses what little good will he has accumulated not only with the American people, but also with Congress.

T-Rav said...

Well, it may not matter; now Harry Reid's said that the Boehner deal will not pass the Senate, that no Senate Dems will vote for the bill. We'll see about that; but I take his threat slightly--and only slightly--more seriously than I do Obama's threat to veto.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, All this does is force Boehner to seek the help of Democrats. This means we will get less than the Boehner proposal.

The alternative is to let things fall apart and see the Republicans blown apart in 2012.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, This is going to get very messy. But I have to say that right now Reid has gained an advantage if he can hold the Democrats together, but Boehner can't hold the Republicans together.

Scott said...

None of the alternatives seem palatable here. BO gets his political win...the Re"pubes" get a phony plan to cut spending which they will spin to us as a real reduction...and it's back to things as normal till 2013. On top of an ongoing effort to get a balanced budget plan to the states (Constitutionally, BO does not need to be involved in this by the way)I would like to see an effort to repeal the 17th amendment. We need to get these "Princes" out of the Senate and return rights to the states. It is just a dream of mine but I might be an idealogue...oh well.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Boehner can't afford to deal with the Democrats. He risks more than he gains. Yes, he might be praised by the media and Democrats. I know he won't be praised by his constituents, nor the Tea Partiers, nor any Republican wishing to avoid the RINO label.

He might even be fired this next election. Boehner better get with the Republican Caucus and talk to the Tea Partiers quickly. If he doesn't he also risks splitting the Republican Party. Something we have discussed before.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The problem with democracy is that you have to deal with people who disagree. And there is nothing that the public has ever done or said that says they care about amending the Constitution.

Plus, you'll never get it through the Democratic states like California. So a Constitutional amendment is D.O.A. So holding out for it makes no sense except as political theater.

In terms of the Republican cuts not being real, what would you could consider real cuts?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I don't think he has a choice. The alternative is to let the government default -- which would do serious damage to the Republicans and would blow our chance of getting power in 2013.

So instead of getting a good start on cuts plus the entire government in 2013, we would get either (1) default and Democratic majorities or (2) fake cuts, a Republican civil-war. Take your pick. Neither option is good.

patti said...

andrew: i couldn't stomach barry, so i went and watered the lawn, but i did make it back in the house in time to hear boehner's line: "“The president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.”

i thought it was brilliant because it applies to EVERYTHING barry does.

and then i went, smiling, and watered the grass some more...

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, That does describe everything Obama has done. He is the worst kind of person to negotiate with because he doesn't grasp the whole concept. He thinks he can just toss things out there at any point and change his mind over and over. That's not someone you can deal with.

StanH said...

Call me cynical, but, this is all phony brinksmanship for public consumption. They are going to make a deal that enhances statist Washington, in this I am certain. We must be very careful buying into the crazy Tea Party mantra, this will only fulfill the MSM’s narrative, and will diminish their effectiveness. This will not be fixed in one or even two elections, the election of 2010 is just the beginning, and if not for the Tea Party, do you think we’d be having a discussion on how much to cut? I believe this is all good, and will be over soon…Thank God!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

The elected Tea Party Republicans are upset at Boehner for not trying to erase Obamacare. TPR's feel they were sent to Congress for two things. First get rid of Obamacare. Second hold the line at spending. Obamacare is still here and there is some noise that Boehner or a RINO will help get the individual mandate removed thereby removing a reason for the Supreme Court to overturn it.

Now, 178 TPR's don't trust Boehner no matter how many times he talks eloquently after Obama. If he goes to the Democrats to get some sort of agreement going, he risks PERMANENTLY alienating the TPR's.

Boehner's ego might compel him to make a deal with Democrats. To the TPR's, it might be as bad Newt sitting with Nancy on that sofa. We just don't know.

This could easily get out of hand. It might start a viable third party movement the Republicans can never recover from.

Boehner better get with the TPR's and figure something out. He risks much.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, We definitely can't rule out that this is all for show. I tend to think it isn't this time as the sides really have become polarized, but we'll see. I wouldn't bet against what you're saying.

In terms of not buying the Tea Party is crazy mantra, I absolutely don't accept that they are crazy or wrong -- just that they don't have enough power yet to take an all or nothing stand. As you say, this will take 2-3 elections to sort out. So right now is not the time to act like we're already there. Now is the time to get what we can, point out who is blocking us from getting more, and avoid doing things that can only blow up on us. Causing a default would cut the Tea Party movement off at the knees with seniors, investors, business, and veteran, and would guarantee huge turn out for Obama's core constituencies. But getting a cuts only deal pushes the ball further along while demoralizing the left.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It's not ego, it's being responsible. Except for a few people, everyone agrees that we cannot allow a default. Thus, a deal must be reached. But the Tea Party people are making it impossible to reach a deal. Hence, Boehner will be forced to deal with the Democrats to avoid a default.

In terms of Boehner, I don't care one way or the other about him personally. I never liked him before, and I have him on a trust but verify basis (as I do with all politicians who aren't on the "verify only" list). BUT....

The Tea Party people are playing this wrong. They are taking a position that they either will not support a hike under any circumstances or they are demanding conditions that the Democrats won't accept.

That's a horrible strategy as it will end up just making the Tea Party people irrelevant to the debate. That's what happens when you make it clear that you can't be dealt with, people will instead look to deal around you -- and a great opportunity will be lost.

As for repealing ObamaCare, for any Tea Party person to think it could happen before Obama leaves the White House and we take the Senate is just wrong. This can't happen until 2013 at the earliest. So holding Boehner responsible for failing to do the impossible is not the brightest thing they could be doing. It's also a great way to end up unemployed in 2012.

They would be much better off showing progress toward their goals and explaining why they need more people and fewer Democrats in Congress than making pointless stands that end up making them look irresponsible or that (even worse) cause a default and turn a lot of people against the Tea Party people.

You have to win the public's trust, and you can't do it by causing defaults and holding out for things you can't get.

T-Rav said...

Joel, to throw my two cents in, I don't know everything yet but it seems to me like the TPR's are overreaching. Yes, ObamaCare needs to get the axe, and yes, spending needs to be drastically scaled back--but we're not in a position to do that yet. As long as the Dems control the WH and the Senate, the first of those is a nonstarter. The second is negotiable, but it's not as simple as snapping one's fingers and saying, "okay, either we cut $4 trillion now or we default." That's not politically possible.

Here's the problem. The political system of this country practically ensures there will be two, and only two, major parties. When the smoke clears in 2012, either the Democrats will control DC or the Republicans will. If there's a third party movement among Tea Partiers, they may well succeed in fully taking over/replacing the GOP, but that'll take at least an election cycle or two, during which time Obama and Co. will be free to call the shots while we're in disarray. For similar reasons, it makes no sense, as far as I can see, to break with Republican leaders on this.

This is a good bill. Not great, but good. The Tea Party has been invaluable in bringing this about by holding everyone's feet to the fire, but there is such a thing as the law of diminishing returns, and the longer it holds out, the more it runs the risk of running afoul of that.

T-Rav said...

This is worth mentioning too--Paul Ryan has "reluctantly" thrown his support to the Boehner plan. Like many others, he sees it as far from perfect, but also as the best viable option right now. Other RINOs supporting the bill include Allen West, Haley Barbour, and Fred Thompson; on the other side, Jim DeMint opposes it, but so does Lindsey Graham (????).

And there's also this to keep in mind from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/dem-game-plan-let-boehner-proposal-crash-and-burn/2011/03/03/gIQAFebvaI_blog.html?wprss=plum-line

To sum up, the article basically says that Democrats are in fact banking on Boehner's proposal failing; they then plan to put Reid's bill forward as an alternative in the belief that moderate Republicans will get increasingly spooked as the deadline approaches and end up voting for it. Yeah, that doesn't sound realistic AT ALL, does it? It would be a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation: either the Republicans get blamed for bringing on a default, or the Democrats take the credit for averting a default. That's what I mean by "law of diminishing returns."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Very well said. I second your two cents. Those are the points I'm trying to make, though you have made them better. Thanks! :-)

When you come to a point (like we are at now) where a pretty nice victory is in your grasp, you need to take it before it disolves. The Tea Party people should take these trillion plus in cuts before they vanish and we get something much worse which needs to be undone later.

Politics is a long term process and these are just the opening rounds of what will hopefully be a near-revolution in the way the government works. But the revolution will die if the Tea Party people can't show themselves as being both responsive and responsible. People need to trust their management as well as their goals.

Holding out too long or for things you just can't get diminish that trust.

And punishing people for not giving you 100% of your demands right away in a system that is designed to never give anyone 100% of what they want only hurts your own side.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

This is not a strategy. This is an attitude about Boehner. It could even be termed the Tea Party Attitude. It matches what the Tea Parties want. No more spending. Taxed Enough Already. No ObamaCare.

I am surprised Boehner got this far without caving. It is the Tea Party Republicans who are not going to back down. Everyone else will have to.

Also, it doesn't matter how responsible Boehner acts with regards to government. So far, the Republicans have been the responsible party. What has that got us? Nothing.

As Malcolm Reynolds said, "I aim to misbehave." The Tea Partiers were SENT there to misbehave. Why are you so surprised when they do? Why are you down on them for doing what comes naturally to Americans? We aren't like the Germans and the Norwegians who are going to do the nice polite thing when someone in power suggests it. Some of those idiot college Norwegians actually tried to talk to that nutcase because it was suggested to them by their college professors that it was the right humane thing to do. It got them shot.

You are applying rational thought to a pissed off people. Tea Partiers are pissed off. The polite hold-your-hat-in-hand-society that is imposed on Republicans is NO MORE.

I don't think there is going to be violence, but if the RINO's start a fight, or do something the Tea Partiers don't like; the Tea Partiers will end it.

I am not so sure it is an irresponsible act either. Defaulting might be just the thing this country needs.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Here's your link: LINK

That's the other point I've been trying to make above -- by refusing to back Boehner (and having no realistic alternative plan to offer), the Tea Party freshmen are strengthening Reid. If the Boehner bill (or an acceptable alternative) comes out of the House strong, the Democrats will cave. If it falls apart in the House, then Reid's proposal is the only one standing -- and it will sound reasonable to people because it has no tax hikes. So I would expect many Republicans will jump on it at the last moment because that's their only alternative.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, If that the course the Tea Party takes, then it's finished.

T-Rav said...

Joel, I admire your spirit but I'm not sure that's an entirely rational way to look at it. Are you certain that the TPR's are the only ones in DC who won't back down? The only ones?

I can't stomach the liberal Dem moonbats in Washington, but I also don't doubt many of them are as sincerely convinced of the rightness of their beliefs as we are of ours. That said, isn't it reasonable to believe they might make a "principled" stand as well?

And also, I would be very careful about touting a default. It wouldn't be the end of the world--not even close--but a lot of people are convinced it would be, and the Democrats are looking for people on our side to say those exact words. Again, I agree with you about not knuckling under to liberalism--we're all against that--but there's knuckling under, and then there's making the best of the situation.

T-Rav said...

Thanks Andrew! Glad I can be so articulate.

For better or worse, I guess I'm on board with Boehner, even if that means going against many Tea Partiers. I really don't see how we get a stronger hand than the one we've got right now. The GOP needs a united front at this point, not splits the Dems can exploit. (fingers crossed)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think a default would be much worse than people realize right now. There are many more consequences than people consider other than "it would be like a shutdown." We not just talking about SS checks, but private pensions would be affected as they might have to dump government bonds, the cost of ARM mortgages and credit card interest will go up, the dollar may lose its reserve currency status and is likely to crash, etc.

In any event, the problem with the all or nothing position is that it misjudges the public:

1. The majority of the public does not share the Tea Party world view any more than they shared the progressive view.

2. The public rallies behind wars after they start, but gets angry about things like shutdowns when they start.

3. It is one thing to stand on a principle like "we won't raise taxes" or "we won't let you socialize medicine," it is another to stand on a "principles" like: "we want a different debt reduction number" or even worse "we want a default."

4. There is no way to avoid blame for this (and all future bad economic data) if we can't even agree on a plan on our side.

Finally, you need to look at the end game. Where does the "reject everything" plan get us? It either gets us the Democratic plan or it causes a default and then gets us the Democratic plan. There really is no other likely outcome.

Joel Farnham said...

Don't get me wrong, Andrew. I truly do believe that Boehner's plan is the best plan. I also said, numerous times that Boehner better get with the TPR's not to admonish but to find out why they object to his plan. Then either modify his plan, or sell his plan to them.

What Boehner has is 178 Patrick Henrys who won't back down. And a good portion of this country is behind those guys. He must convince them. Boehner is a leader who must convince his strongest group to follow him. If he can't and tries to go around them.....he will be no better than Obama with ObamaCare. And the people will KNOW IT.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The Boehner plan is not my preferred plan either, but at this point, I don't see an alternative. So like you, I'm on board... though I wish this had been handled smarter from the beginning.

I'm particularly upset that we had a chance to do something deeply historic and conservative (flatten the tax code) and to start making Social Security solvent but we lost that chance because our side got stupid about the word "taxes."

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree entirely and I love your description of 178 Patrick Henrys!

I'm just trying to point out that this has been a bad play by the Tea Party guys -- they have taken a chance at a real victory and are on the verge of turning it into a defeat.

This bothers me because ultimately, I want to see them achieve their goals. But they need to learn to spot the incremental steps they can take to get there. . . that's how American politics works: one step at a time until you reach your goal.

As for Boehner, I think communication has always been a problem with the Republicans. In this case though, I'm just honestly not sure what many of the Tea Party guys want? They object to everything, but rarely mention what they want instead. I don't know if they've been more specific with Boehner or not? So I don't know who is to blame there.

T-Rav said...

Well, @#$%. Now, according to the CBO, Boehner's plan only reduces spending by $851 billion over the ten-year period: as opposed to the $1 trillion rise in the debt ceiling. And only $1 billion of that occurs this year. GOP leaders are now rewriting the bill to get it up to the $1 trillion number. So we're back to square one.

I'm getting off this thread. I'll have an aneurysm otherwise.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Don't worry, with ObamaCare you can now get treatment for your pending aneurysm! ;-)

On the numbers... ugh. At least they are talking about fixing the numbers rather than just running with it. Maybe this will result in a better plan? Who knows. But if people like Ryan are jumping on board, maybe he can help spruce it up?

By the way, "this year" ends September 30 in Government speak, so that's not as far off as it sounds -- though $1 billion sounds kind of crappy if you ask me.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Don't automatically blame the TPR's for this situation. Communication goes both ways.

We have all decried the arrogance of Obama, the Democrats and the Republican Elite. About how they handled the Town Hall meetings. How it fueled the flames of patriotic fervor. How, if they weren't careful, they will be sorry. How different would it have been if these lofty politicians came to those Town Halls with Hat-in-hand and at least dealt decently with the people who voted for them?

Well, the TPR's voted for Boehner. He came up with a plan. Did he share the plan? T-Rav now finds out that Boehner's plan isn't that good. Did Boehner come hat-in-hand to the people who voted for him to be speaker to get their approval. My guess is Boehner didn't. Now he has to.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I don't know who communicated what, so I'm not passing judgment on that point. I think the leadership has a history of failure in that regard, but I also know that I haven't seen anything from the TPRs as to what they would accept. So I could see either side or both being to blame. . . I don't know.

Though we will have to settle that issue when the late T-Rav's parents sue about his aneurysm.

But what I do know is that the TPR guys did not have a solid game plan going into this and that is a killer in negotiations. They needed a very clear plan of attack including their primary and secondary goals and how far they were ultimately willing to fall back. I've seen nothing of that sort come out.

I am hoping they learn from this that the only way to be successful in politics is to have a complete plan.

AndrewPrice said...

The Washington Examiner is reporting that it's actually either $5 billion or $13 billion in the first year, depending on what baseline you use, and the first year is 2012, not FY2011.

That's pretty crappy if you ask me and they should be able to do better than that.

T-Rav said...

Yeah Andrew, and even better, it'll be totally free without any negative consequences!!!

If you want a look at the CBO's numbers, they're here (I'm the linkmaster):

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/123xx/doc12336/HouseBudgetControlAct.pdf

See Table 3.

Looks like most of it's coming from spending caps and cuts to education programs (increased funding for Pell Grants is one reason why there's such a small net reduction initially). The numbers build over time to get to the $851 billion amount; but the one big thing that's been worrying me here is that future Congresses won't be bound by such deals, so this could all go by the wayside early on.

Eh, doesn't matter. No way this passes the House now without a lot of revising.

T-Rav's Grieving Parents said...

And he was so young and handsome too!!!!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

You don't always need a plan. The Americans didn't have it for the Revolutionary War. And they picked one of the worst tactician and strategist to handle the Continental Army. George Washington.

The only thing going for them is during the winter of 1777 George lived and endured the deprivations with his men. It was unheard of for a high ranking officer to stay in winter quarters. This inspired the men with a terrible resolve and in turn inspired others.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav! You're alive! It's an Obamiracle! :-)

Here's your link: LINK

That is a problem about future Congresses not being bound, but the truth is that by law, one Congress cannot bind another. Although one of the interesting things about spending is that when a baseline gets cut, that does effectively kill off the future spending.

Let's hope this gets some improvement.

As an interesting aside, Option D is threatening to veto even this. So what does that tell you about his willingness to make cuts?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav's Grieving Parents... I've heard that. ;-)

You'll be happy to know, however, that your son is alive and currently makes a living as a Mexican Drug Lord. He goes by the name El T-Rav.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I would rather rely on an effective plan than luck that things somehow work themselves out.

LawHawkRFD said...

The simple fact is that nobody, and I mean nobody, actually knows what will happen if we go into default because our elected representatives can't make a deal. It could be business as usual, and it could be the disaster that the Democrat prophets of doom are predicting. If I had a dime for every pundit, left or right, who has been wrong, I wouldn't have to worry about an economic collapse because I'd be a rich man.

Certain things will happen immediately, and they won't be pretty. Uncertainty damages the market, and if you think things are uncertain now, wait until we hit the debt limit.

My principles include conservative fiscal policies. But my principles don't include playing Russian Roulette with the economy. The Tea Partiers and the intransigent left need to get their heads out of their asses and wake up to the fact that they are risking the financial survival of a once-great Republic. I'm willing to tighten my belt. I'm not willing to become a martyr to the cause.

Sixteen year-olds play "chicken" aiming their cars at each other to see who will chicken out first. We're not playing chicken here. We're dealing with the financial future of 300 million Americans. Both sides need to grow up fast, start acting like fiduciaries of the public trust, and strike a deal. And if a "principle" or two have to get battered, tough!

No new taxes, make real cuts of trillions of dollars over the next ten years, free businesses up to expand and hire by reducing their capital gains and corporate taxes, take away the damned "corporate jet" deductions if necessary to close the deal, remove the uncertainty that is holding investment capital back.

This is no time for alleged adults to risk crippling the American economy over real or imagined insults. If there's a workable plan, let's have it, and quit worrying about childish hurt feelings.

LawHawkRFD said...

And let me add: Individuals and organizations have principles. Governments, politics and economies don't. They only have results, good or bad. Maybe the best we can expect for the time being is the least worst solution, but any solution that includes some real, serious cuts is better than no solution at all.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Tell us what you really think! LOL!

All I can add to that is.... yeah, I agree.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, those are ridiculous allegations on your part, and you would do well to stop spreading them. Otherwise, you just might wind up with a dead mule's head...and when I say "mule," I mean an actual mule. Godfather-style, baby!

AndrewPrice said...

All right, el T-Rav. . . I won't mention it again, but just because my freezer is already full of mule meat and I don't know what I would do with any more.

You Mexican drug lords don't scare me!

JG said...

OT: Thanks for the comment, Andrew! I'm pretty excited, even though it's just a truncated version of the one I posted to my blog. I didn't think we needed a 5th plot synopsis on BH. And I just saw yours - I'm intrigued! :)

El T-Rav said...

Andre: Say hello to my lil' friend.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, You're welcome. I'm excited too! I think you bring a lot of potential to BH and I look forward to reading your stuff! :-)

I hope mine is interesting.... you never know until people either respond or don't. But it's something I wanted to write about. Bad villains have been bothering me so much lately. So many films just use these generic villains and I think it handicaps the whole film. I really want to see Hollywood get more creative again.

And hopefully, some conservative filmmakers are paying attention?

AndrewPrice said...

El T-Rav, LOL! Seriously, I truly laughed out loud at that. Bravo!

T-Rav said...

Happy to provide comic relief, Andrew. God, we need it after the political clusterfudge this day has become. (sigh)....Maybe we should all just turn to drug trafficking to pay off our debts, huh?

AndrewPrice said...

Isn't that the truth! And we've got another week or so of this to come -- hopefully not more or things will get really ugly. At that point, selling drugs might not sound too bad.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew and LawHawk,

Consider this for a moment. The adults in the car are the 178 TPRs who fancy themselves latter day Patrick Henrys. All the rest are the children and near adults wrestling control of a car careening down the road to a cliff. Now, the adults (TPRs) are yelling at the kids to stop the car. The kids ignore them and continue their bickering, screeching, and grabbing at the wheel.

One adult (TPR) says to the another, "The children aren't going to listen to us, so we take away the gas credit card. Eventually the car will run out of gas and the car will stop and we won't go over the cliff." Another passenger, almost an adult, says, "But running the car dry will screw up the engine." The adult replies, "Running over a cliff won't help it either."

Something to think about when you demand someone to come around to your thinking. Are you sure you are the adult?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's a false analogy. There is nothing adult about not knowing what you want and then criticizing everyone else's plans. And there is definitely nothing adult about endangering our economy or playing chicken with the people who will be hurt by this when you don't know what it is you want.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: And we'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere without fuel, with our front wheels hanging over the edge of the cliff, without food and water, and hoping that someone will come and rescue us so that our attempts to get out of the disabled vehicle don't finish sending the car over the cliff. But we'll still have our principles.

T-Rav said...

Is this still going on? 100 comments or bust, people!!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yep, the big 100! Woo hoo! LOL!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Calling it a false analogy doesn't make it so. You must prove it false before you can go on. :-)

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Grab the keys from the kids, will you?

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

I got tired of people automatically thinking that the TPRs have not put forth ideas when they stopped to object to Boehner's plan. Good thing they did, because in the rush to get it through Congress, similar to the way the Democrats did with ObamaCare) the CBO found that it wasn't what it was purported to be.

They have been generally ignored and talked about in a desultory fashion.

Also, the Media has put forth that the TPR's have no plan. I don't believe it, because they have lied about the Republicans having no plans, yet had plenty of plans, just no media outlet willing to say they did.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I've pointed out why it's false -- because the people you've identified as the adults aren't acting like adults.


By the way, the freshmen are starting to come around to the Boehner plan.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Also, it wasn't anything the Freshman did that revealed the problems with the Boehner plan, it was the CBO. And now all the people who support the plan are fixing it, not the people who are still opposing it.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Calling 178 people children because they objected to a plan and not listening to what their plan is about isn't adult behavior. Aint no sech thang as a congress critter without a plan.

Still, the car is careening down this dusty road. Can you grab the keys?

T-Rav said...

Joel, I don't necessarily disagree with any of that, but it doesn't really have anything to do with the current situation. Yeah, the media and the Beltway elites are totally biased against us--that's not exactly news. But it still doesn't give us a third option besides the Boehner and McConnell bills. So now what?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Read my comment again, I am calling them the children (your words) because they are throwing a tantrum. They are upset and have no clue what they want, so they are objecting to everything. They have no plan.

As for the car keys, the voters are going to take those away if they aren't careful.

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

All I heard, was that the Freshman wouldn't vote for Boehner's plan. Not why they wouldn't vote for it. Now, if you were a reporter and you heard that the Freshmen wouldn't vote for a plan, would you just print that or would you find out why they wouldn't vote for it?

Bear in mind that the MSM doesn't like us, and wishes us harm. The headlines "Freshmen Won't Vote for Boehner's Plan" is much more damaging than "Freshmen Won't Vote for Boehner's Plan Until They Have Read It and Listened to the CBO's Report"

One is damaging to the virtual Picture of the Newbie's. The other is paint's the Picture in a more flattering way.

T-Rav said...

Joel, if I was an NBC or CNN reporter, I know which headline I'd choose. But a lot of House Republicans--the CCB group, for one--as well as several of their Senate counterparts were on the record as opposing Boehner's bill well before the CBO's report ever came out. And a lot of Tea Partiers have stated total opposition to raising the debt limit under any circumstances. So there are some opposing the bill because of the CBO report and are waiting to see what the revised version states, and there are some who are opposing the bill, period.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Knowing what you don't want is a plan as well.

You don't want your children to become crack addicts. That is the start of a plan. Knowing what you DON'T want.

If the Freshmen had voted yes on Boehner's plan today (AS WAS SCHEDULED), we wouldn't have gotten a good plan. Also, the August 2 deadline isn't real. It is August 10. It gives us another week with which to MAKE SURE Boehner's plan is a good one.

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

Yes, that is true, so, Why didn't Boehner make sure they were on board with his plan? Why didn't he do the necessary steps to convince the Freshmen to climb aboard? Did any one person call on them from Boehner's camp? Or all he thought was they were new and they had no ideas worth mentioning.

Remember, the Freshmen were sent there to put a stop to pusillanimous behavior of our representatives. Putting bills up with out reading them. Getting them passed before the CBO scores them. Shoving bills down our throats with no regard to the consequences.

This is how we got the Edison light bulb banned and replaced it with the curly cue light bulb. On paper, it sounded GREAT. In real life, the curly cue light bulb may be responsible for fires. It is a real life health hazard.

Here is another thing. This debt limit was known about for over a year. Why the last minute work on it? Why didn't they work on it before now? They could have worked on it in Feb? Mar? Apr? May?

T-Rav said...

Joel, I'm not saying the Republicans haven't made mistakes in how they approached this issue. They should have gotten their plans laid out sooner; they should have started out demanding much higher spending cuts than they did, since those initial numbers always get negotiated down anyway. Coulda, woulda, shoulda--but there's nothing we can do about that now.

Here's the two choices we now have: either the House passes the Boehner plan or it doesn't. What happens in either case, I don't know. Harry Reid has sworn up and down the Boehner bill is DOA should it reach the Senate. Fine. If it gets there, the burden for what follows is all on him and Obama. Make them own it.

If it doesn't pass, then what? The House votes on the Reid bill? That's not good; but if neither bill makes it out of Congress, and we hit the debt limit, surely you don't think the Tea Party is guaranteed to win, come what may? How is that a certainty? Isn't it just as plausible that we'll get blamed for the consequences of that event?

T-Rav said...

And along those same lines, there was a really dumb moment back on Monday when AZ Rep. Jason Chaffetz adamantly declared his opposition to Boehner's bill, and then later admitted he hadn't seen the numbers for it yet. Now we know what those numbers were, of course, but in the absence of such knowledge one way or another, isn't such a declaration just a little premature?

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav,

It isn't easy to predict these things.

MSM already has headlines that blame this all on the Republicans especially those mean Tea Partiers should it not pass.

A little known dirty secret is in the works. Erick Erickson of RedState sent an email this morning. Reid's plan is the same as Boehner's plan. Right down to the wording and Name of the plan. At least it did before the changes being written into Boehner's plan today.

On your next question, True. That is premature. Then again, he may have said something like, "I am against any plan I haven't read nor seen the numbers." Is there video of him saying he is against Boehner's plan. Or is that a paraphrase from a reporter?

I am willing to give the Freshmen a large benefit of the doubt.

There is an old game which is a variation on musical chairs. It involves a toy shaped like a bomb with a timer on it. The timer is set and the toy bomb is passed around. When it goes off, the one holding it is removed from the game. I loved it when I was a child. The eventual winner is the next to the one last holding the bomb.

This is very similar to that game.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I just realized I hijacked this thread. That wasn't my intent. I just wanted to get people to back off a bit from starting to diss the new guys because they object. There is more to it than just objection. Remember this has gone fast. No sooner than one proposal gets put up, then it gets shot down and another one gets put up. There has been little analysis of each proposal.

Ideally there should be four or five proposals where Congress can pick from. I also mean honest proposals. Not one where the proponents say it does something, yet in actuality it does the exact opposite.

Boehner made two mistakes. One, he thought he had the automatic backing of Congress Freshmen. Two, that his proposal was accurate. Not that he lied, but accurate in that it did what he says it does. I attribute the second to the speed with which this has moved. The first to Washington Hubris.

In quieter times, this would have been corrected well before the deadline. A deadline which I noted earlier is wrong.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Superb post, Andrew!

I'm still reading the comments but if no one else has mentioned it here is Thomas Sowell's take on Boehner's plan:

Not Perfect But It Ain't Bad

It's a good article and goes well with your post. :^)

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/579618/201107271800/Boehners-Plan-Is-Not-Perfect-But-It-Aint-Bad.htm

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, No one has mentioned the Sowell article yet. I saw it yesterday -- excellent read! Thanks for linking it.

I don't think anyone love this bill, but sometimes you have to take the best you can get. And right now, it seems that this is the best we can get.

(FYI, in terms of the comments, this discussion continued at the end of the Jobs Agenda post.)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mucho merci gracias, Andrew.
I'll go there next. Hafta do a few chores first. :^(

I concur with you and Dr. Sowell.
The timing (and cooperation) just ain't here yet, for a variety of reasons, but the main one is we only have the House right now.

So we go foir the lesser evil until we can strike (for lefty trolls the word strike in this sense means...aw forget it, you'll still twist the intended meaning you twits!).

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, You're welcome! I agree about the timing. We just don't have the power we need yet. So the thinking should be to (1) get what we can right now and (2) set ourselves up for a stronger 2012. That should be the goals.

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