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Friday, April 08, 2011

Scary thought experiment

Where would government spending be if the GOP had not won the House in 2010?

Did you work for that victory? Maybe, like I did, you sent more in contributions to good conservative candidates in tight races outside your home state. Maybe you spent an hour or three making phone calls in coordination with one of the GOP's on-line get-out-the-vote organizations.

Maybe you just showed up at the election polls and cast your vote, when maybe in some other off-year elections you hadn't bothered.

Compared to the norm, compared to most reasonable expectations, compared to anything but completely unrealistic fantasies: What a return on your investment you've seen tonight!

Bonus thought problem: Of all the political memes of the last few years, has any been more dramatically proven wrong than the one which went like this:

"Ahh, this Scott Brown election is Massachusetts is being over-read by the GOP. This is just a fluke, a combination of a hunky Republican running against a weak and self-contradictory Democrat in a special election for an open seat. It's certainly not the beginning of some political tsunami."

(Cue the intro theme music from "Hawaii Five-O," cut to dramatic shots of crashing waves!)

Posted by Beldar at 11:59 PM in 2010 Election, Budget/economics, Congress, Politics (2011) | Permalink


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(1) Beldar made the following comment | Apr 9, 2011 1:19:36 AM | Permalink

Preemptive disagreeing comment: "But these cuts aren't nearly enough, they're just a fraction of the deficit, and we might coulda gotten more if we'd called their bluff and shut down the government for a week or so."

You might be right; those assertions, being speculative, are not capable of being disproven. I disagree, but let's put this argument aside for a weekend, please.

In the meantime, can we agree that it is remarkable to have reversed the entire direction of government budgeting — going from the spending orgy of 2009-2010 into cuts totaling tens of billions?

Can we agree to be happy to resume our argument over the size of the cuts next week in an environment of spending cuts instead of spending increases?

If you think it's half a loaf, are you going to spit in it?

(2) Mike Myers made the following comment | Apr 9, 2011 8:34:51 AM | Permalink

Book 'em Beldar!

(3) steve made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 3:26:32 PM | Permalink

I don't know if the GOP could have gotten more if they stood firm but celebrating this as a victory (of any kind) is, you can take your pick, either an example of the bigotry of soft expectations or a case of defining victory down.

So we're hurtling towards the cliff at a fraction of a mile an hour slower than we were? We've delayed by a day or two the time at which the economy comes crashing down? Praise be, let's pop the bubbly.

If I were a Democrat (which you know I'm not), this would bother me not in the least. The GOP showed that when push comes to shove, they'll blink for fear of being blamed for shutting down government (any why should they care? government workers aren't voting for the GOP in any case). The Democrats gave up a few handful of billions of dollars in spending... but looked at another way, they got to keep 98% or so of the spending they put in place over the past couple of years. And the GOP couldn't even muster the guts to defund either Planned Parenthood or NPR. Wow.

Yes, it could have been worse for the GOP. But celebrating this is akin to a guy who gets beaten up and yet is happy that he didn't get killed. It all depends on your perspective and mine says this wasn't a victory.

(4) Jeff made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 3:28:43 PM | Permalink

anyone that thought that this CR was going to cut into the deficit dramtically is crazy ... same for the 2012 budget ... It is going to take 5 years to even think about an annual balanced budget ...

I say use the debt ceiling to force the cuts ... in the next few weeks raise the debt ceiling enough to cover the 2011 deficit, then in Sept. raise it enough to cover a 2012 deficit of 1.2 trillion, then in Sept. 2012 raise it enough to cover a 2013 deficit of 900 billion, in Sept. 2013 enough to cover a 2014 deficit of 600 billion, and so on ...

(5) Georg Felis made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 3:32:28 PM | Permalink

It's nice to hear optimism instead of the "Eeyore" point of view that so many Republicans (or sock-puppet Dems) are spouting today. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the journey to a balanced sustainable budget begins with a single cut. This journey will be neither short nor trouble-free, may the Republicans be strong enough to fight it thru to the end.

(6) Leon Dixon made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 4:05:58 PM | Permalink

I'm thinking that the tea party will have to invade democrat primaries. I like the optimism of Beldar but notice that conservative, Mr. Mike Pence, is not likely to vote for this weak beer. With regard to the Ryan Plan, it is the only serious proposal out there and, being Republican, it must be flawed. I hear laughing but folks are not laughing in Wisconsin and tea party sorts are not really Rino oriented. There used to be quite a number of fiscally conservative Democrats.

(7) srp made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 8:27:29 PM | Permalink


I would say we were in a straitjacket, locked in the trunk of the car, heading for the cliff. We just got one arm out of the straitjacket. We need to be encouraged and not panic. But we also can't relax.

(8) docweasel made the following comment | Apr 11, 2011 9:28:51 PM | Permalink

How insensitive of you to use the metaphor "tsunami".

Now the leftists will probably rhetorically shoot you in the head point blank, however I'm sure you'll make a miraculous recovery, finally winning the sympathy vote to win a metaphorical Senate seat in Arizona.

(9) davod made the following comment | Apr 12, 2011 3:06:21 AM | Permalink

The Republicans should have used the actual $ increase in govt expenditure to show even the $100 billion cut was not large enough.

(10) Mike Giles made the following comment | Apr 12, 2011 9:04:15 AM | Permalink

I think we should all remember that what just passed was the tail end of the 2011 budget, due to run out anyway in less that five months. The actual, whole, entire, 2012 budget fight, will be much nastier.

(11) Michele Bachmann-Turner made the following comment | Apr 12, 2011 4:09:40 PM | Permalink

New CNN Poll of Republicans has Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee tied for first-place as the GOP's preferred presidential candidate! Sarah Palin is third and Mitt Romney is fourth.


Beldar will dutifully support *any* Republican presidential candidate. Even if it's a birther. Beldar, tell me I'm wrong. :-)

(12) Leon Dixon made the following comment | Apr 13, 2011 10:20:56 PM | Permalink

It is interesting to compare the Monday morning Wall Street Journal Editorial on this matter with their Wednesday morning editorial on the exact same subject. It is time for new Republican leadership-folks are needed who can tell when smoke and mirrors are being used. The current R leadership was had-no bones about it or doubt either.

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