Rand Paul has the ability to force the Senate to raise sixty votes for every bill introduced that increases Washington’s spending for the next six years. He has, in other words, the power to create a massive ongoing political crisis for the bloated, wasteful perversity that passes for government in Washington D.C.
We think he will fold — we think he will pull an Obama and sell out the Tea Partiers who brought him to this quite spectacular position.
We would love it if he proved us wrong.
He has already signaled his willingness to cripple the earmark process in the Senate. And, now John “Maverick in Name Only” McCain is drawing a bead on Paul’s stated willingness to force massive cuts in the defense budget.
From the Huffington Post:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern Monday that some new Republican legislators would be defined by their “protectionism and isolationism,” two views that the Vietnam War veteran feared would result in a butting of heads within the party on Afghanistan and defense spending.
“I think there are going to be some tensions within our party,” McCain said during a conference put on by Foreign Policy Initiative, a DC-based think tank. “I worry a lot about the rise of protectionism and isolationism in the Republican Party.”
A prime example, McCain continued, was Rand Paul, Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator.
“I admire his victory, but … already he has talked about withdrawals [and] cuts in defense,” McCain said.
Indeed, Paul appears to have taken after the more libertarian side of foreign policy issues, much like his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R).
Never, in our memory, has someone so apparently clueless, seemed so likely to deliver on the precisely those things that have to be done to kill this economy for good, and bring the empire to its knees.
If he is even vaguely successful in challenging the status quo, we expect McCain will take the entire millionaires’ club hostage, automatic rifle in hand, in a frightening outburst of PTSD-driven, alcohol-charged, delusional rage.
We wish Rand Paul all the luck (and backbone) in the world.
The party of blue collar workers, the party who couldn’t stop out-sourcing, union breaking, and stagnant wages, the party who couldn’t end the war…
On its hands and knees begging the “Party of Wall Street” to help it bail out investment bankers!!!!!!
SHAME ON YOU DEMOCRATS!
So, we had time to kill watching this mess unfold on CNBC today. We stopped over to the Huffington Post to see if they had any news. While there, we posted this little note to tweak the noses of the, “Progressive,” wing of the Democratic Party:
Don’t you wonder how the Democrats get themselves into a position where they are holding the bag for a VERY unpopular president, to put together a VERY unpopular bailout, for the VERY wealthiest people in our country – all while the Republican Congressional delegation goes home to lead a peasant revolt against all four?
LOL…you can’t get this kind of entertainment out of Hollywood!
How gullible can you Democrats be??????????
That sparked this dialogue below with Mike169:
Mike169: As the Democrats made clear – they’re not holding the bag for anyone least of all these Republican morons. If this is as serious as they say then the Republicans (who are for fewer regulations and capital gains tax cut!) will be looking like the horses asses they really are.
Charley2u: Can you spell, O-C-T-O-B-E-R S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E?
I knew you could…bagholder.
Why do you think the administration came up with this a week before recess?
Let’s be clear here: this crisis began with stagnant incomes for working families over the past eight years. But, are your fearless leaders debating a bailout for them before going home to run for re-election?
Instead they are debating how to put together a package to bailout the debt factories of Wall St. The very people who have the Democrat constituency facing foreclosure and dispossession.
You people as a party are quite possibly the dumbest collection of losers every to accidentally cobble together a majority.
After you spend 700Bn to take care of the supporters of the GOP, what will be left to take care of your own???????
Mike169: Do you watch what is going on at all? When you figure this out please leave a message for me until then you’re living in a dream world. If this goes down and the country’s finances collapse (something you see as impossible) who will be the bad guys then. Also you have totally missed what the Democrats have said because like your fearless leader who knows nothing about economics by his own admission flew in to muddle everything up just in time for the October surprise which may well be the collapse of the Republican Party. Have a great day – I know I will!
Charley2u: I am so dissed about your answer!!!
You smack me down, and then support giving my hard earned money to the very people who own my mortgage and credit card debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a damn insult!!!!
Have all you democrats lost your mind??????
Charley2u: Boy are you wrong!!!! I am just a poor slob trying to figure out when you Democrats will wake up and fight for people like me…
No wonder you can’t govern; you don’t even know who your friends are…SHEESH.
Mike169: Really! Is it your intention that the financial system collapse or is it that you think that the Bush administration is pulling everyone’s leg (he is your republican president you know). Did you see the biggest bank failure in American history just happened yesterday? Do you understand the position of the Republican opposition includes little or no regulation of those elements who have brought this mess before the public? In watching out for “the poor slob” do you think Republicans ever have? If so when I’d like to know? As far as this criisis goes, I’ll even agree with you – let it goe down the tubes. Let the banks suffer from their own stupidity but also suffering from their stupidity will be the rest of country. You may want to try and pick up an econimics book sometime if can read. Pathetic!
Charley2u: Yes. I think the administration is pulling our leg on this. Not, that there are no problem in the debt vreation sector of the economy – what you call the financial system – but that this would fix it.
This began with mortgage defaults – which means working folk did not have enough money to pay their bills. “Fixing the credit markets” – the aim of this legislation – will not correct the original problem.
People are being foreclosed and evicted because their income has not kept pace with the cost of living for at least the past eight years. They have been supplementing their wages and income with debt from Wall Street.
If you want to fix this problem, you have to address stagnant wages and income, not the availability of credit.
I don’t know how to say this more simply: I and my neighbors are up to our necks in debt, more credit will not fix this.
A package which brings us tax relief would. And, if you reduced military spending to pay for it, our neighbors in the international community might breathe easier as well.
Mike169: “I don’t know how to say this more simply: I and my neighbors are up to our necks in debt, more credit will not fix this.”
Let’s take this point right here. You have put yourself in debt beyond your ability to pay it off. The bailout the government is giving the financial institutions should also be used to bailout you? Is this what you’re saying? You may couch it in tax relief but it’s much the same thing isn’t it?
Charley2u: No. I am clear of all debt, because I know what the scam is here – and I pay attention
I was just using it as an example: I am saying this is basically the situation for most of Democratic party supporters.
In fact there have been about 20 foreclosures in my small town, however. A blue state.
Which is why I don’t understand why you are giving our tax money to the mortgage and credit card debt speculators.
But, I’ll just find an economics textbook and figure it out.
And, you Democrats can look at the polling data when my neighbors find out you are giving their hard earned dollars to Goldman Sachs…
Mike169: “Which is why I don’t understand why you are giving our tax money to the mortgage and credit card debt speculators.”
If this is what is being done I’d be pissed but it’s broader than that and if you cared you’d have looked at the proposal as redefined by the Democrats. By the way even prior to this particularly gigantic bailout. Republicans, not Democrats bailed out AIG, Fannie and Freddie, Bear Stearns all without the Democrats “help”. You’re on the wrong track by attacking the Democrats over this and if you think we didn’t get into this without the anti-regulation stances taken by John McCain you are sorely mistaken. I still haven’t heard your response to my question do you want the whole thing to come tumbling down or is there some middle ground that you can live with?
Charley2u: I began with the middle ground:
1. Bailout Main St, not Wall St.
2. Emphasize real goods, not military spending
3. Encourage exports, not the exchange rate of the dollar
To sum up, for the supporters of Barack Obama out there, this bail out must be stopped. No package should be voted up that does not have these principles:
1. Bailout Main Street first (income), not Wall St (credit).
2. Focus on the real economy first (real goods), not government spending (military).
3. Support the domestic economy first (exports), not the international economy (exchange rates).
From this, it follows, the main emphasis should be on working families and their circumstances. The least emphasis should be on the dollar, and attendant international financial interests (Wall St., Sovereign Wealth Funds’ assets, etc.)
You can’t go wrong if the proposals you support stick to these principles. Obama is having a problem offering a serious proposal on this precisely because he is not using this template.
We admit it.
We are prone to excessive pessimism regarding the impending catastrophe facing you; to exaggeration; to hyperbole – indeed, you can even say we underestimate your ability to muddle, once again, through the dark tragedy which is about to descend on you.
The United States is not Argentina, the Dollar is not the Peso, you say.
Read this nasty little item from the Australian site, The Age:
A high-ranking Chinese economist has put his nation’s cards on the table in the global financial poker game by effectively telling the US to fix Freddie and Fannie … or else.
“A failure of US mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be a catastrophe for the global financial system”, Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China’s central bank, says.
“If the US government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic,” Yu said in e-mailed answers to Bloomberg. “If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system.”
“Men like Yu Yongding don’t just get up one morning and say this sort of thing.” We are told by the writer. “He is possibly the most highly accredited economist in China. A list of his positions would fill a little red book.”
Not a word this week from a single member of the elite bosses of the Party of Washington. Not a peep from the economic vandals of the Party of Wall Street.
Not a single response from The Presidency, the office of the Speaker of the House, nor from the office of the Senate Majority Leader.
Not a word of this and its implication for you and those you love from the lips of the nominee of the Party of Washington, who waxed eloquent regarding how life will profoundly change under his enlightened term in office.
He went on for forty-two minutes, we are told, yet found not ten seconds of it where he could have told the nation, “Uh, sorry. The Chinese just sent us an ultimatum: Either we fix our economy, or we are cut off from the spigot.”
Not a peep.
Let us speak frankly, so that you are clear about the stakes for you and your family, when next John McCain or Barack Obama hold one of those town meetings in your area.
There are only two choices here:
- Dismantle America’s Empire – withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, all overseas bases, pull back the fleets, recall the submarines, and stand down, or,
The setup of the speech is rather prosaic: America is surrounded by a sea of terrible threats, from which the military, diplomatic, and economic might of the nation must protect us – it helps if you throw in September 11, 2001 to graphically illustrate your point:
Today’s dangers are different, though no less grave. The power to destroy life on a catastrophic scale now risks falling into the hands of terrorists. The future of our security – and our planet – is held hostage to our dependence on foreign oil and gas. From the cave-spotted mountains of northwest Pakistan, to the centrifuges spinning beneath Iranian soil, we know that the American people cannot be protected by oceans or the sheer might of our military alone.
The attacks of September 11 brought this new reality into a terrible and ominous focus. On that bright and beautiful day, the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.
Notice how he framed this setup: “the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.”
Somehow, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, a veritable Garden of Eden had flowered within our borders, only to struck down by 19 lunatic hijackers.
Absent, of course, is any reference to the decade-long strangulation of Iraq, as well as, the training and equipping of Osama bin Laden and his fanatical gang by the United States government.
Absent, also, is any explanation for why, if indeed we were living in the Garden of Eden, we still needed aircraft carrier groups prowling every ocean.
If you notice here, Barack is using the template we have uncovered in the NSC-68: inspire fear in the rubes prior to reaching into their pockets:
As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy – one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin. I will focus this strategy on five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Not that we have any problems with some of these ideas. For instance, who wouldn’t want to end the war in Iraq, round up bin Laden, and, all those loose nukes?
By why stop there? Barack said he seeks a world with no nuclear weapons – why did he not use this opportunity to propose the U.S. destroy the ones it has? If charity begins at home, should not disarmament begin there also?
And, why is it necessary to:
keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq: targeting any remnants of al Qaeda; protecting our service members and diplomats; and training and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, so long as the Iraqis make political progress.
And, why, after the war is finished, does Barack promise:
I will restore our strength by ending this war, completing the increase of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines, and investing in the capabilities we need to defeat conventional foes and meet the unconventional challenges of our time.
We would ask of this last promise: would this not make it easier for the next Moron to embark on the next evil adventure? How is the security of the nation increased by placing even greater number of men, women and material in the hands of the president to deploy as he or she sees fit?
But, can he tell us why it will come from there?
Should we not have some idea of the motivations of al Qaeda before we commit ourselves to expanding the war in that region, and even pushing it into western Pakistan?
Should we not inquire as to whether some measure short of war might address the grievances of this insignificant gaggle of murderers?
If we can engage the Axis of Evil, why can we not engage cave dwellers before committing the live of Aghan and American citizens to expanded conflict?
If Israel could meet with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, why is so hard to reach for some level of agreement with al Qaeda?
If the United Kingdom could sit down with the Irish Republican Army, why is it so hard to sit across from bin Laden and negotiate some agreement?
Is it really necessary to commit thousands of troops to ongoing military operations of some unknown length to shut down a rogue band of nobodies in caves?
Finally, how more effective will American forces be than the battered over-extended Soviet forces who were forced to flee Afghanistan with their tails between their legs?
Being a Democrat, Barack is always ready to commit taxpayers’ money to some illusory scheme to solve some pressing issue through what, hilariously, they refer to as public investment.
Since energy has morphed from a simple problem of pollution and high gas prices into, “national security crisis,” Barack has outlined an impressive program to address it:
For the sake of our security – and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump – we must end this dependence on foreign oil. And as President, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Small steps and political gimmickry just won’t do. I’ll invest $150 billion over the next ten years to put America on the path to true energy security. This fund will fast track investments in a new green energy business sector that will end our addiction to oil and create up to 5 million jobs over the next two decades, and help secure the future of our country and our planet. We’ll invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy – solar, wind, and biofuels, as well as technologies that can make coal clean and nuclear power safe. And from the moment I take office, I will let it be known that the United States of America is ready to lead again.
It is best, when introducing a political gimmick, to loudly proclaim, “political gimmickry just won’t do,” and Barack has learned this lesson well.
To briefly address this: the oil crisis is not a national security crisis! Unless you are Washington politician bent on turning it into one – and treating the legitimate demands of every other nation for access to the resources necessary to human life as a threat to your survival.
Conservation is easier than nonsense phrases like public investment, and does not require $150 billion dollars over the next ten years to realize.
All the United States government has to do to achieve massive conservation of energy, and reduce its output of greenhouse gasses, is reduce the work week to four or even three days – bing! No crisis.
All in all, once Barack’s commitment to end the brutal slaughter of Iraqis is removed from this speech – and that promise is more than enough reason to vote for him – it is just another pathetic joke foisted on us by Washington.
So much for the non-politician.
There is no energy crisis
There is no need for politicians to trot out elaborate and unintelligible energy policy papers.
There is no need for the country to hand over money to pork barrel projects to “develop” exotic energy technologies.
There is no need to embark on a crash program to bring nuclear power plants online.
There is no need to begin drilling in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of our nation.
There are just two gangs in Washington, as usual, hoping to keep the most people miserable for the longest time in order to make all the above look reasonable.
From the New York Times:
Even as politicians heatedly debate opening new regions to drilling, corralling energy speculators, or starting an Apollo-like effort to find renewable energy supplies, analysts say the real source of the problem is closer to home. In fact, it’s parked in our driveways.
Nearly 70 percent of the 21 million barrels of oil the United States consumes every day goes for transportation, with the bulk of that burned by individual drivers, according to the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan research group that advises Congress.
All Washington has to do is reduce the work week to four days, 32 hours, and high gasoline prices will disappear.
If the guy you are supporting for president isn’t supporting a four day work week, he cannot be trusted with your vote.
It is that simple.
Jared Bernstein, the Democratic Party’s left-wing economist darling is on a tear again.
To paraphrase Former Vice President Mondale, Jared has revealed that Republicans will spend you into the poor house, as quickly as the Democrats – the difference being the Republicans won’t admit it, while the Democrats will wear their profligacy as a badge of honor:
… all this conservative talk about cutting spending is just that: idle chatter. When push comes to shove and political forces are in play — and when aren’t they? — McCain will support most government spending as much as the next guy or gal. Conservatives from Bruce Bartlett to Larry Kudlow to Grover Norquist can caterwaul from here to eternity about “holding the line on spending,” but the phrase is meaningless. It all comes down to cases, and there will always be cases, like these two bills targeted at offsetting the current failures in housing and labor markets, that are worth supporting. And enough politicians will support them such that they become law.
Having exposed the most recent Republican about face on the issues of unemployment benefits and the mortgage meltdown, Jared goes on to point out direct government spending as a share of GDP has held virtually unchanged at about 20 percent since 1959.
Thus, voters should expect to ante up at current levels despite the outcome of the November presidential elections:
… there are big differences between the D’s and the R’s on the role of government. But barring a percentage point of GDP either way, the differences amount less to the level of spending and more to competence and fiscal stewardship.
For Jared, this is good news for two reasons: first, it makes the current scale of government spending appear as the natural cost of governing a large, complex, and sophisticated economy which is, nevertheless, prone to, “market failures,” like economic downturns and crashing housing markets.
Second, It make it possible for him to declare, “If anything, the pressing needs of the environment, public infrastructure, and health care suggest that share is likely to go up before it comes down.”
So we are left with this Hobbesian choice:
No matter who runs the show, there will be spending, and it will cost roughly the same to have good government or lousy government.
We want to state, at this point, we a completely in favor of, “good government” – whatever that is. It is likely that, “good government,” is preferable to, “lousy government,” – and, we note, for emphasis, it has the word, “good,” right in its name!
Lousy government – who wants that:
… given [the Republican] addiction to big tax cuts and war, a conservative government would also be an evermore indebted government.
Wait a darn minute Jared. (We just loved his use of the word, “damn,” in his post – its just so edgy!!!)
Isn’t Barack in favor of big tax cuts and an unchanged pace of military spending?
Okay, he is against the war in Iraq – thus far – but he is offering no change in the level of military spending, promises to “rebuild” military forces, and will continue to wage a war in Afghanistan.
And, neither he, nor John McCain, will touch the sacred obligation of repaying the holders of the public debt.
So, how is he going to do all this, AND, address the, “the pressing needs of the environment, public infrastructure, and health care,” AND, stop accumulating more public debt?
Jared has the answer:
… we live in a complex world, where markets can provide only partial solutions to the challenges we face. Market failures abound, and government will unquestionably be called upon to repair these failures. For years, we’ve elected politicians who’ve railed against this reality, pretending that they can refund that fifth of the economy that we spend on government –“it’s your money!”– and still provide the services we want and need. To put it mildly, it hasn’t worked. We’re spending the same share as ever, yet we’ve squandered years when we could have been making progress against the challenges of globalization, of environmental degradation, of deteriorating infrastructure, of economic inequality, of costly inefficiencies in health care.
That answer, in short form is this:
For the past 50 years, your government “squandered” 20 percent of GDP and still failed to address fundamental economic damage caused by market failures.
Can we have some more?