President Obama’s Bipartisan Commission’s Useless Report on Deficit Reduction

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 14th, 2010

Deficit Reduction:  Increase Taxes, Molest Our Women and Have Old People Hurry Up and Die

President Obama’s bipartisan commission has issued their report on deficit reduction.  A lot of unpleasant things in it.  But, then again, what do you expect from a commission/blue ribbon panel?  Politicians lie and kiss a lot of ass to get elected.  And they’re not going to throw that all away acting like they got a pair.  So they hide behind commissions and blue ribbon panels and say, hey, it isn’t me that wants to raise your taxes and cut your benefits.  It’s these guys.  These commission folks.  And they get a report that will meet with certain opposition and die in committee.  But they can say they tried.  And that’s how you do politics when you got no balls.

You know, Sara Palin probably could have done a better job.  She’s hunted bear.  She’s got balls.  Figuratively, of course.  That’s what you need to do the tough stuff.  Guts.  Pity Barack Obama is no Sarah Palin.

So what’s in this report that’s got everyone talking?  More taxes.  And spending cuts (see Fiscal Panel Chiefs Eye $1 Tril Tax Hike, $1.5 Tril Outlay Cut by Jed Graham, Investor’s Business Daily, posted 11/10/2010). 

  • Raise taxes by a cumulative $1 trillion through 2020.
  • Cut discretionary spending by nearly $1.5 trillion over the decade.
  • Raise Social Security’s retirement age to 69 and beyond.
  • Trim cost-of-living increases for current retirees and disabled beneficiaries.
  • Apply a 15-cent gas tax.
  • Cut $500 billion from Medicare and other federal health programs over 10 years.

Well, we know higher taxes don’t stimulate the economy.  So, to pay down the deficit we are going to prolong the recession.  Swell.  Well, at least old people won’t have to worry much.  They’ll be put out of their misery with the ‘hurry up and die’ provisions included.  Less money to live on.  And less health care so they will hurry up and die before reaching 69.  And, if they do, not only does the government not have to pay them their Social Security benefits, but they can keep all that money the newly deceased paid into the system (the deceased’s Social Security benefits don’t go to their heirs which explains why government is so opposed to private 401(k)s – those contributions can be bequeathed to surviving heirs).  And the cuts in discretionary spending?

They proposed cutting annual discretionary spending by $200 billion, half from defense and half from nondefense.

Ah, yes, the ubiquitous defense cuts.  Gotta have defense cuts.  But you know what?  I don’t think they’re going to sit well after this holiday season.  The fondling of our wives, mothers and daughters in our airports.  Strangers looking at semi-naked images of them.  It’s not right.  Is this the price of safety?  The molestation of our wives, mothers and daughters?  I think not.  There are other ways.  And I’m not talking about the apology tour.  And before all you peaceniks start blaming this on America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, remember this.  We weren’t in those countries before 9/11/2001. It’s better to violate 3-4 enemy combatants a year (say by water-boarding) than having all our women and children molested whenever they fly.  And if it takes a great big fat defense budget to do this, so be it.  Let’s have someone else suffer the fear and humiliation for a change.

Republicans and Democrats Disagree.  Centrists See a Way to Lie to Independents.

So what are others saying?  Well, The New York Times notes there ain’t a chance in hell of it being enacted as-is (see the Op-Ed A Deficit of Respect by Tobin Harshaw posted 11/13/2010 on The New York Times).

“Among Democrats, liberals are in near revolt against the White House over the issue, even as substantive and political forces push Mr. Obama to attack chronic deficits in a serious way,” reports The Times’s Jackie Calmes. “At the same time, Republicans face intense pressure from their conservative base and the Tea Party movement to reject any deal that includes tax increases, leaving their leaders with little room to maneuver in any negotiation and at risk of being blamed by voters for not doing their part.”

And The Washington Post dittos that (see Analysis: Deficit panel pushes Dems, GOP by Andrew Taylor and Charles Babington, The Associated Press, posted 11/12/2010 on The Washington Post).

Their plan – mixing painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare with big tax increases – has no chance of enactment as written, certainly not as a whole.

But they also point out warring sides could reach compromise.

On the other hand, a 1982 Social Security commission chaired by Alan Greenspan came up with a plan for solvency that earned the blessing of President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Thomas O’Neill, D-Mass. It passed Congress easily and generated almost three decades of program surpluses.

Then again, President Obama is no Ronald Reagan.  Reagan listened to the people.  He communicated with the people.  Unlike Obama.  Who’s detached and aloof.  He pushed his agenda against the will of the people.  For him, it’s all about him.  And there are some Democrats who like him as much as he likes himself.  They look at this report and see not what’s best for the country. But what’s best for Barack Obama (see Deficit Directive Tracks GOP Aims by John D. McKinnon and Laura Meckler posted 11/13/2010 on the Wall Street Journal).

Centrist Democrats are encouraging the president to embrace bipartisan ideas for deficit reduction, even if these are unpopular with the party’s liberal wing. They say that among other benefits, that would help Mr. Obama regain credibility with independent voters he will need to win re-election in 2012. Independents backed him in 2008 but shifted to the GOP this year.

A fight with liberals might even be politically helpful, said Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. “If you’re looking at re-election, your No. 1 imperative has got to be winning back the center of the electorate,” he said.

It’s nice to know where some people’s priorities are.

Gridlock Can Reduce the Deficit.  So Can Repealing Obamacare.

Of course, all this bipartisan rancor can be a good thing (see Deficit report favors ‘do-nothing Congress’ by David Sands posted 11/11/2010 on The Washington Times).

The report’s scariest deficit scenario relies on a Congressional Budget Office projection that under what it calls “current policy,” the U.S. government’s debt will soar from the current 60 percent of GDP to 100 percent of GDP by 2023 and to twice the country’s annual economic output by the year 2035.

Current policy?  What’s that?

But “current policy” as defined by CBO does — in the sometimes upside-down world of Washington — require action. It assumes that Congress will pass and President Obama will sign a continuation of at least some of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts set to expire; that lawmakers will once again vote to ease the bite of the alternative minimum tax (AMT); that Congress will block a scheduled increase in estate tax rates; and that the government will continue to pass so-called “doc fixes” to shield physicians from mandated cuts in the payments they get under Medicare.

And all that means what?

But if none of those actions are taken — what the CBO calls the “current law” baseline — the deficit numbers look considerably brighter.

In layman terms, we haven’t spent a lot of this money yet.  If Republicans and Democrats simply agree to disagree and give us gridlock, actual deficits won’t be as high as projected.  Yes, there will be pain for some.  But the hole we’ll dig for ourselves won’t be as deep.

And this is really the frustrating part of this whole debate.  These are projections.  They haven’t spent the money yet.  So don’t.  Just don’t spend the damn money.  Repealing Obamacare should be a no-brainer.  That trillion dollar abomination hasn’t given anyone anything yet.  So kill it.  Now.  Before it becomes another entitlement like Social Security.  Come on.  Do the right thing.  And legislate like you got a pair.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #30: “Liberal talk radio is not successful because liberals are not deep thinkers.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 7th, 2010

LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE

The Left has long searched for an answer to talk radio.  It is one of the few mediums they do not control.   And it’s a powerful medium.  Lots of people listen to talk radio.  Few of them liberal.

When you hear ‘talk radio’, what do you think of?  Rush Limbaugh?  Probably.  Most people do.  When you hear ‘conservative talk radio’, what do you think of?  Rush Limbaugh again?  Probably so.  Now think of Liberal talk radio and what do you think of?  Silence?  Silence that is so silent that you can hear crickets chirping?  Probably.  Successful talk radio and conservative talk radio are synonymous.  Why?  America is a center-right country.  Limbaugh’s success isn’t due to any genius on his part.  He just says what a vast majority of Americans think.  And the Left hates that.  Because they’re not in the majority.

They sound big.  But that’s because they’ve got big mouths.  Sort of a mouse that roared kind of thing.  They’ve got the vast majority of the network news and print media.  The college professors.  The Hollywood elite.  And a bunch of rich people who assuage their guilt over their unearned wealth by proclaiming their liberal tendencies.  This is not a lot of people.  In fact, it’s quite few.  However, if we read or watch the news, watch a movie or a program about entertainers, go to college or hear the obscenely rich talk about helping the ‘little people’ they can’t stand and want nothing to do with, they’re there.  They’re in our face.  Some in positions of credibility.  So people see them as…credible.  However incredible they are.  Which makes it seem like there are a lot more of them than there actually are.  So, then, who are they?  Really?  These liberals?

THE GUILTY RICH

Some people have amassed vast fortunes for doing nothing. Some inherited it.  Some married into it.  Others have made vast fortunes by pretending to be other people (actors).  Some wrote books.  Others made it big in pop ‘music’.  Others rode a wave of celebrity for silly behavior for which they have no shame.  These people don’t live in the real world.  The kind of world where you get up with an alarm clock and go to work 5 days a week (or more) for a paycheck that barely pays your bills.  No.  These people don’t need alarm clocks.  And they never want for anything.  Except to be loved.

Because there are some in politics (i.e., Liberals/Democrats) that like to make everything into a class struggle, these rich people feel guilty.  For in class warfare, the rich are always the bad guys.  And they don’t want to be the bad guys.  Because people don’t love the bad guys.  So they show how much they care for those less fortunate.  They call themselves liberals.  And we forgive them for all that wealth.  The kind of wealth we say CEOs shouldn’t have.  But it’s okay for rich liberals.  Even though they don’t create jobs.  Or make things that make our lives better.

THE YOUNG AND THE STUPID

Kids are stupid.  Don’t believe me?  Ask a parent.  You tell them not to drink, do drugs, have sex, drive recklessly, skip class, lie, cheat, etc., and they still do.  Not all of them.  But many do.  They engage in reckless, stupid, irresponsible behavior all of the time.  And parents find drugs in their rooms.  Deal with a teen pregnancy.  Or an abortion.  Comfort a child with an STD.  Or help her deal with the trauma she suffers when her ‘private’ nude photos aren’t so private anymore (and seeing her arrested for distributing child pornography).  Or hearing from a child’s teachers (or your priest) that they were forwarded a sexting from your child.  Seeing a daughter in a Girls Gone Wild commercial (and seeing her lose a job because of it).  Go to the emergency room because of a car accident or drug overdose.  Enroll a child into rehab.  Or go to the morgue to identify a dead child.  Or something less traumatic, like babysitting a grandchild while your daughter dances at a topless bar.  Or is out turning tricks. 

Kids live in the now.  And they want to have a good time.  All of the time.  Sex, drugs, abortion and STDs.  That’s what they’re thinking about.  And the ‘skankification’ of women.  Of girls.  Boys want only one thing.  Sex.  And girls want to be loved.  So they’re liberals.  They’re all for the liberation and empowerment of women.  Of girls.  Anything that makes girls ‘easier’.  And helps a girl’s self-esteem by making them more ‘popular’.  So legalize drugs.  And lower the drinking age.  Makes it easier to get girls into bed.  And keep abortion legal.  So a girl doesn’t have to worry about getting pregnant.  Makes her less hesitant in putting out.  And cure those incurable diseases, damn it.  Sometimes you’d like to hook up with a girl without having to get her drunk first.  And she’d be a whole lot more cooperative if she didn’t have to worry about an STD or two.

LOOK AT ME

I drive a Prius.  Because I care.  And I’m better than you.  That’s the message.  But when a rich celebrity drives a Prius and then flies away in their private plane for some fun in the sun, they give a different message.  They’re saying, “I’m a hypocrite.”  And, of course, that they’re better than us.

There comes a time in a rich celebrity’s life when they realize they haven’t done anything worthwhile.  I mean, sure, they’ve become rich and famous.  But they did that by pretending to be someone they’re not.  Or by writing some songs that Big Music marketed well.  Or simply for being good looking.  At some point in that ’empty’ life they need validation.  That their life has meaning.  So they champion a cause.  Warn us about the oceans.  Global warming.  The hungry.  They become politically active.  And provide expertise in things they know little about.  They’ll testify before Congress not because they have scientific credentials.  But because they played someone in a movie who did.  And to show their cerebral prowess they’ll call themselves liberals.  And warn us not to vote for George W. Bush.  For if we do, he’ll legalize rape or send all the gay people to one state.  (And, no, I won’t say who said these things.  I’m sure they’re embarrassed enough.)

And we love our celebrities.  Want to be like them.  So we, too, drive a Prius.  Because we, too, care.  And, of course, because we’re better than you.

THE SELFISHLY NARROW MINDED

The single-issue people care only for single issues.  Gays and lesbians who vote based on only gay and lesbian issues are single-issue people.  People who vote based only on a person’s abortion stand are single-issue people.  People who vote based only on environmental issues are single-issue people.  Etc.  Social Security.  Welfare.  Anti-war.  Anti-nuclear power.  Race.  Redistribution of wealth.  Animal rights.  People can be passionate about any one issue.  And if they are only passionate about any one issue, they’ll vote to advance that one, narrow issue.  And damn the unintended consequences that result from advancing that one narrow issue.  And they’ll call themselves liberals.  Because they’re about the enlightened ideal.  Not profits.  National security.  The rest of us.  Or common sense.

IT’S JUST A JUMP TO THE LEFT, AND THEN A STEP TO THE RIGHT

Liberals are indeed a minority of the population.  And yet our government governs very liberally.  How does this happen?  Simple.  Politicians lie.

During the primary election, they have to appeal to their base.  And their base includes all the small little groups of people noted above.  And more.  To get that liberal vote, they have to show how liberal they are.  Once they get the nomination, they have to move to the center and lie to the independents and moderates in the general election.  Convince them that they are centrists.  If elected, they move back to the left to pay off the far Left that financed their election.  When their poll numbers fall, they then move back to the right.  It’s a dance.  Like the Time Warp.  From the Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
Put your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane,

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

And there is some pelvic thrusting going on.  But it’s not the good kind.  If you know what I mean.

IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?

So why isn’t there a ‘Rush Limbaugh’ in liberal talk radio?  Because liberals are a small demographic.  And it’s a demographic created from small, narrow, special interests.  And a lot of them have things on their minds other than monetary and fiscal policy.  Foreign policy.  Affordable housing.  They’re thinking about sex and drugs.  Where to jet off to next.  Or checking into rehab.  They’ll rock the vote at election time.  But after that, they have better things to do.  You add it up and there is simply no market for liberal talk radio.  At least, not like there is for conservative talk radio.

When Liberal talk radio succeeds, it’s often by shocking the audience.  Belittling conservatives.  Name calling.  Like on SNL.  Or John Stewart’s The Daily Show.  It’s heavy on the comedy.  Light on the issues.  Because their audience is there for the entertainment.  Not for deep, intellectual thought.

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