Free Markets, Free People

Government dependency climbs aided by Republicans

If you haven’t seen the Heritage Foundation report on government dependency for this year, you need to spend some time at least perusing it.   Some of the charts will shock you. 

I’m planning on looking at different parts of it over the next few weeks as appropriate and I get the time.

We often hear the Democrats cited as the reason we’re in this mess today, but that’s a cop out.  The right in the guise of the Republican party are just as guilty as the Democrats.  In fact, I’d argue they’re more guilty.  The reason we’re in this mess today is because over the years the Republicans have accommodated the Democrats by compromising their principles. 

The most recent examples are Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind – two huge government programs one of which put a new entitlement in place and the other which increased federal control of education (at an equally huge cost).

Here’s a quote from the Heritage Foundation report I’d like you to focus on:

The last decade has seen a significant expansion of benefits provided by Medicare, including the new prescription drug benefit created under Medicare Part D. From 2004 to 2010, Part D was responsible for $214 billion in federal spending.[26] Though the role of competition in its defined-contribution model has caused estimates of its 10-year cost to drop 41 percent from initial CMS projections, the program has added substantially to health care entitlement spending.[27] Additionally, the publicly funded Part D program has crowded out private coverage alternatives. Research by economists Gary Engelhardt and Jonathan Gruber suggests that before Medicare Part D was enacted, 75 percent of seniors currently receiving public coverage held private drug coverage. Part D also increased average spending on prescription drugs by seniors, an expense that is funded by an increase in public spending of 184 percent, accompanied by a reduction in seniors’ out-of-pocket spending of 39 percent and private insurance plan spending of 37 percent.[28]

First, remember that we’re talking about the “richest” demographic in our country when we talk about seniors.  Yes, everyone knows that, like every demographic, there are exceptions, but for the most part, seniors are pretty well set.

Now, notice the effect that this program has had.  It has “added substantially to health care entitlement spending”    It has “crowded out private coverage alternatives”.  And it has “increased the average spending on prescription drugs by seniors … funded by an increase in public spending of 184%”.

So A) it increased public spending in an ear in which we can’t afford increased public spending, B) it basically destroyed a market that was apparently working prior to its implementation  C) the taxpayer is on the hook for more spending as seniors, who now pay less out of pocket, shift the cost to them.

This wasn’t a program supported just by the left, folks.  This was negotiated, passed and signed into law with the blessing of a Republican President.

THIS is why we’re in the mess we’re in.  THIS is where the precedent for ObamaCare was set. 

As much as the other candidates want to hit Mitt Romney on RomneyCare (and they should), one should remember that Rick Santorum voted for Part D (although he now says that was a “mistake”) and Newt Gingrich lobbied for it.

It is those sorts of compromises and accommodations which have put us in the mess we’re in today.  The party of smaller government has consistently caved in to larger government programs all the while hollering about the left.

This is one reason there’s so much disgust on the right with the party, at least among activists and Tea Party types.

As I said, I’m going to be spending some time on this report, but this is one area that needs to be illuminated and discussed.  If the GOP ever wants to recover its soul, it has to quit compromising its principles and find a way to explain, in a compelling way, why programs like this are the wrong way to go.  They managed that with ObamaCare.  They need to take that lesson and translate it into all future actions.

They need to back away from the trough of federal money and truly embrace smaller less costly government.   In terms of entitlement and dependency, if we’re not at a tipping point, we’re very close.  The critical nature of this upcoming election can’t be over emphasized.

If ObamaCare becomes law, we’re sunk.  I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who said the reason she wasn’t able to accomplish as much as Ronald Reagan was because of the National Health Service. 

Unfortunately, since Reagan’s time subsequent Republican administrations have helped build one here.  

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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69 Responses to Government dependency climbs aided by Republicans

  • ‘If the GOP ever wants to recover its soul, it has to quit compromising its principles and find a way to explain, in a compelling way, why programs like this are the wrong way to go.”

    But a predicate to that would be UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTING this is the wrong direction. There are R Collectivists, too. Being for limited government is hard…so hard, that even a lot of conservatives get very confused about accepting government largess.

    • @Ragspierre Well, we can stick with the current approach until it becomes time to ‘fix’ things like they are in Greece right now. I’m amazed that burning the infrastructure ‘fixes’ things, but it must.

      • @looker Isn’t tourism…like…THE prime revenue generator in Greece? Helluva boost for that!

        • @Ragspierre @looker They aren’t dumb enough to shit in their own backyards. They trash the city center, business districts etc, you know where the 1% get their morning paper or whatever. Can bet your ass they leave the holiday resorts and beach ares well alone. Don’t want to upset the fat Germans on holiday with all that lovely money. And if the riots make the holiday packages a bit cheaper for Herr Fritz and Frau Frufru then all the better!

      • @looker @Ragspierre Since I saw reports of Newark and Detroit burning as a child, I have never been able to grasp the psychology of riots. I mean, if you want to inflict pain as retribution for your pain, it would seem obvious that you don’t burn down your own neighborhood.

        • @Neo_ @Ragspierre Counter intuitive I know, I was discussing it with the wife this morning, reminding her when we got really angry about things we were going to have to set fire to OUR neighborhood to punish those who made us angry.

          I guess it’s sort of a carry over from “think globally, act locally!”

        • @Neo_ @looker @Ragspierre I don’t get it, either, but it happened in both the Watts and King Riots.

        • @Achillea @Neo_ @Ragspierre We ought to reflect however, that in celebration of local team national championships, even in Canada, it seems cities must sometime be burned to demonstrate our appreciation to the gods. Perhaps this is the reverse, burnt offerings to get the gods to intervene and make things better.

          I figure our actual level of civilization is about the depth of the veneer on your average piece of particleboard furniture, with a very grim and essentially primitive interior core.

    • @Ragspierre Agreed. They aren’t compromising their principles. Their principles are what you think. The Republican party has the same desires for power as the Democrats. That is their dominant principle.

  • “The reason we’re in this mess today is because over the years the Republicans have accommodated the Democrats by compromising their principles.”

    This is the byproduct of “divided government” and coming to DC “wanting to get something done.”
    Ironically, the “do nothing Congress” of the last year and the preceding two years of “Democratic insanity” is the only thing that kept matters from being worse for the Republicans. Meanwhile, we now have so many programs (that OMG can’t ever be cut) that we will probably end up raising everybody’s taxes and then slashing, slashing, slashing.

    Today we get to look at Obama’s latest “pipe dream” when he sends his budget request to Congress (about a week late according to the Budget Act). We will still have another trillion dollar plus deficit.

    Equally as corrosive are the twists of the law (OK it’s downright illegal) that keep appearing in program after program. The latest was the 10 waivers given to states for NCLB. There is no provision for waivers in NCLB in the legislation passed by Congress. Frankly, I haven’t seen so much down right illegality in regard to manipulating of budgeted programs since Richard Nixon got his hand slapped for sequestration of funds.

    • @Neo_ This is the Obamabanana Republic, remember? Outlawry is the order of the day…any day.

      The guy is a dictator wannabe, who’s getting to be.

  • The Times has this great graphic that shows the problem:
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/02/12/us/12entitle-graphic1.html
    I guess they got so engrossed on the “safety net” that they forgot what they were doing:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/even-critics-of-safety-net-increasingly-depend-on-it.html?pagewanted=3&_r=3&hp

    • @Neo_ Nice of the Times to forget to mention that if you fail to pay into the safety net, the government will send nice men around to visit.

      These men will be carrying pieces of paper that allow them to place liens on your property, your wages, and anything else you may have that is of value.

      If you try to resist these nice men, they will be forced to come back and visit you accompanied by men who are carrying fire arms and are often prepared to use them on you if you refuse to help the nice men attach the liens to your property and your possessions.

      And nowadays, it’s possible the men armed with guns will show up wearing masks, Kevlar vests and helmets, carrying automatic weapons, and possibly with armor support just in case you might have turned your easy chair into machine gun bunkered Festung Wohnzimmer.

      There’s a really good chance if you have dogs they will become casualties.

      • @looker @Neo_

        “And nowadays, it’s possible the men armed with guns will show up wearing masks, Kevlar vests and helmets, carrying automatic weapons, and possibly with armor support just in case you might have turned your easy chair into machine gun bunkered Festung Wohnzimmer.”

        I believe in the enlightened 21st Century that those men are called “Pragmatic Pacifists”.

        • @DocD @Neo_ I’m convinced they’d use close air support as well, but have to wait till the AC-130J armed with AGM-175 Griffin missiles become ‘surplus’ and make it practical for them to deploy for zero lot line neighborhood use.

        • Doh, silly me, those Griffins can be fired from drones, now that we have permission to have more military drones overseeing us in our daily lives here in Free America, they won’t have to go to the expense of maintaining the AC-130′s at all. Carry on.

        • @looker I wonder how long it will take before your dog-catcher has an armed drone, the way DHS has pushed military hardware down into the local government…

        • @Ragspierre Reading my mind man, reading my mind. Think how much easier it will be if bowser can’t evade by ducking through a hole in the fence. What dog can outrun a UAV? We just need the hover version and piece of cake. Bowser stops to check his six, and he’s ours.

        • @Ragspierre @looker I’ve seen varying opinions of the disbursement of military hardware. Some believe it allows the federals to escalate quickly, while others believe it will aid the “rebel opposition” if they get to it first.

        • @Neo_ @Ragspierre On way or another, it’s ANOTHER thing Republicans have allowed to occur.

          Neo, that sounds like the plan the pro southern government officials prior to the Civil War to move gear to southern based government arsenals.
          Let me tell you, I worry much more about my local officials using that hardware than I worry about the US Army ever coming in to my neighborhood with bad intent. Call me foolish if you will.

        • @Neo_ @Ragspierre @looker Just hope the pooches don’t rise up and seize the shooting-irons. Hey, I read PETA is trying to get dolphins or killer whales or something liberated as slaves so it only makes sense that SpartaFlippercus leads the dogs in a revolt.

          Seriously, one bunch of loonies in the US is intent on wiping out household pets while another bunch thinks they’re slaves. Just what is up with all of that?

        • @looker Fired from drones??? Sheeeit! You mean Erb really DOES have a rocket in his pocket?

        • @looker Fired from drones??? Sheeeit! You mean Erb really DOES have a rocket in his pocket and isn’t just boasting to the purty undergrads??

        • @DocD @Neo_ @Ragspierre We have surplus personal wealth and surplus personal time. The wealth and time was a goal, the use of the time is an unintended consequence brought about by too many years anthropomorphizing wild life.

        • @looker @DocD @Neo_ There was an Atlantic piece a day or two ago on how kitty is making you crazy.

          It goes a long way toward explaining “cat ladies”…

        • @DocD @Neo_ @Ragspierre You know, friendly killer wales, the kind that play water volleyball with seals before they nominate them to be dinner.

        • @DocD @Neo_ @Ragspierre You know, friendly killer whales, the kind that play water volleyball with seals before they nominate them to be dinner.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @Neo_ Well pussy does often make… oh nevermind…

  • Here is a perfect example of the problem (never mind that the speaker is a Democrat):

    “This budget is a nervous breakdown on paper,” said Cleaver during an interview on CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning. “We’re still in a recession, we’re still struggling. Unemployment is still too high,” he said.

    The Missouri lawmaker said he understood the need for Congress to rein in spending. “We do have a serious ailment as a nation and certainly as Congress,” he said. “We suffer from ‘spendicitis.’” But Cleaver said the president was not “the one who spread this disease” and had inherited those problems when he came to office.

    While he praised Obama for attempting to tackle challenging fiscal issues, Cleaver feared GOP pressure “for the federal government to turn the spigot off completely” could push the nation “deeper” into economic turmoil.

    Now find the stereotypical BS:
    1) understands there is a serious ailment
    2) inheritied it, so should do nothing to fix it now.
    3) present situation demands more

    These are classic symptoms of addiction.

  • Back to the subject at hand – so why? Is it because they really believe in being Democrat Light? Is it because they’re doing it just to get re-elected or are they doing it because they figure they’ll never get an accurate message out in the first place because the media will see to it that saying “I hate the idea there are poor people” becomes “I hate poor people” on the Six O’clock News and on the front page of the New York Times.

    • @looker Partly that. But also an elitism that goes with power and certain kinds of (ah-hem) indoctro-education, and just the drive to get a piece of the money/power puddle.

    • @looker I’ve concluded that part of the problem is that they work and socialize with their Democratic colleagues, and get to the point that they feel worse about disappointing them than they do their constituents.

      They only have to face their constituents at election time, and even then they have all the people they’ve done favors to buffer themselves against the limited government types. But they work with those “across the aisle” all the time. It takes more intestinal fortitude than most people, and especially most politicians, possess to stand up to the people with whom they work every day.

      Naturally, I don’t think they consciously realize that motivation on their parts. They rationalize that they are doing the right thing. But, in part, they seek those rationalizations to gain and maintain the approval of the other members of the governing class. After all, in many respects, those people have more influence over the politicians’ careers than the people back home, who just have to be sung sweet reassurances every few years.

  • “over the years the Republicans have accommodated the Democrats by compromising their principles”

    Like Ross Perot, Newt sometimes says something worth listening to, such as when he called Bob Dole (and, in effect, the rest of the Rep. establishment) the tax collector for the welfare state.

    • @timactual

      Newt is a special case because he has no principles to compromise.

      • @jpm100 @timactual I have to agree, Gingrich strikes me as conservative as a matter of convenience a lot of the time.

  • This ought to make things interesting …

    “The Treasury Department is now contemplating the prospect of invoking “extraordinary measures” to keep the government funded through November. Barring a major economic shock — a financial meltdown in Europe, for instance — the emergency measures should be enough to get the federal government past the election. But even under a rosy scenario, the next Congress will be forced to raise the debt ceiling as one of its first orders of business in 2013, if the lame duck outgoing body doesn’t do it.”

  • Ayn Rand referred to it as “Me-too-ism”….way back in the late 1950′s. It’s only gotten MUCH worse since.

  • The entire US economy, from a political standpoint, is an exercise in immediate gratification and deferred consequences. The consequences are here, now, but they did not ever need to be so dire. as noted above, except for the pretense that Republicans were compromising principals to Democrats. Republicans have only had one economic principle since they took power in 1994 and kept it for most of the period until 2008, that principle was simply not to raise taxes, anytime, on anyone, for any reason. There were no qualms about spending more, the government grew at it’s fastest when Republicans held ALL the power. That principle is not a principle at all, merely a tactic to appear to have the slightest consideration for the wallets of every American, but the reality is that every new dollar spent without either or a corresponding cut somewhere else or a tax increase, was simply a deferred tax increase. Anyone who paid attention knew that the bill would come due when we could least afford.

    So, now we are looking to re-elect the same GOP, who are saying the same exact things, and somehow, this time they are going to mean it?

    I’ll take the honesty of a guy who says we are going to have pay more to get us out of this mess than the pollyanna who says no worries, I’ll get you out of this AND lower taxes.

    We should just raise 2103 taxes today to match government spending expected for 2013. Let people spend some time pondering the impact. Then see what folks are willing to do without when not doing without means doing without a signficant amount of earned cash.

    Watch how fast liberals will agree to reform entitlements and watch how fast conservatives are willing to reduce defense spending. And watch how fast that all powerful senior voting block can be marginalized by a more powerful “everyone else” voting block.

    The pols on every side pretty much suck from the point of view of citizens, but it has been a while since citizens were really their constituency. Citizens don’t fund multi-billion dollar political campaigns, groups, organizations, PACs, corporations, unions do that, and they generally get what they want at our expense.

    • @CaptinSarcastic I wouldn’ t mind so much the paying more to get us out (well, I would, but we’re in it now with not to many alternatives to get out), but I DO mind plans to pay more and spend more, so his ‘honesty’ is pretty much the same ‘honesty’ of the Republicans you’re using the hickory switch on. Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s rainin. 1994 – 2008, uh huh, so we’ll just pretend some of the key note features of our economic problems had nothing to do with the tenure of the Democrats in Congress for 44 of the years between 1933 and 1981- with a 56 year solid control from then till today in the Senate to the Republicans 16 years (don’t try and add it up, I skipped segments where the control was bare between one side or the other). The House is even worse, 64 years versus 14.

      So, I have to say all that damage wasn’t done in the 12 years the Republicans owned the house.

      In fact now that I look at it, maybe that’s the problem, the Republicans have been the American step child out of control of the legislature for so long the only people they could take lessons from on how to run government were Democrats, maybe that explains more than I thought.

      • @CaptinSarcastic to save the math challenged and to make the point –

        Over the last 77 years, the Democrats controlled the House for 64 of those years, they controlled the Senate for 56.

        They controlled the White House 43 of those years against the Republicans 36.

        For 34 of the last 77 years when a Democrat has been in control of the White House, he enjoyed complete party control of the Legislative and the Executive branches.

        Here’s the fun one – When a Republican was in the White House he enjoyed complete party control of the Legislative and Executive branches for…..drum roll please…..6.

        Only George W. Bush and Dwight Eisenhower have had all the planets in alignment but neither for their full terms in office (And they constitute the 6 years mentioned above).

        Nixon, Ford and Bush the Elder had NONE.

        Democratic Presidents -Roosevelt , Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter had complete alignment, control for the entire time of their terms.

        Clinton and Obama each had 2 years of their total term (and we don’t know about how Obama’s will finish yet).

        So, boy, I guess we really CAN blame it all on Bush. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the many other entitlement programs all the fault of 6 years of the last 77 when the Republicans controlled Washington DC.

        So, according to you…..
        Now that I look at it, Damn!!!!! I’m impressed, the Republicans obviously know how to get shit done!!!!! even if it screwed everything up!

        The Democrats? Cripes, they’ve practically pissed away 34 of the last 77 years doing nothing at all!

        If Democrats glossing over history didn’t have the Republicans to depend on, they’d have to invent them.

        • @looker @CaptinSarcastic Consider also that Nixon was a Progressive who ALSO (like Barackah) LOVED fascist economics and BIG GOVERNMENT.

          That R or D isn’t always a reliable indicator. Just like a pretty face and a nice shape in Hollywood…

      • @looker Look at spending and deficits for those years. I looked at it in every way, and in every way you can look at it, Republicans spent more and had higher deficits (ie; they did not pay for their spending). One note, this disaster should probably have happened in the 90′s, but the false economy of the dot.com bubble brought revenues up to meet spending. In the early 2000′s, we had a chance to have a balanced budget, whether through spending cuts or tax increases, or a combination. We had moderate growth, and with all the power in the hands of the GOP, we spent and spent, and LOWERED taxes. Take away this one assertion: Republicans have NEVER opposed spending more, they have only opposed taxing more. It’s silly to even argue it, look at the numbers, compare the debt and deficit numbers under Dems and Republicans for as far back as you want. the GOP is all hat and no cattle. The Dems suck too, but at least when they spend and spent, they didn’t shy away from trying to pay for it.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker Idiot, WHO passed a BALANCED (at least according to the accounting of DC) budget…the FIRST and ONLY one in DECADES…???

          What a liar.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker “…we spent and spent, and LOWERED taxes…”

          AND raised revenue. Really, there is no lie you will not tell, is there…???

        • @CaptinSarcastic Right Cap, the Republicans did all that in their 6 years of complete control, all of it, all the spending without the paying. Okay, that’s silly, they didn’t do ALL of it, they just did MOST of it. Over the last 77 years MOST of our deficit is because of the 6 years of Republican control. 2 in the 50′s and the other 4 in the 2000′s.

          In their 6 total years, they spent more and had higher deficits, so bad that the 34 years of frugal, nay! harsh! Democratic led social cuts and budgeting were unable to reverse the trend of the 6 years when the Republican sailors looted the purser’s office, went ashore, spent every dime they’d looted and then ran up incredible tabs drinking rum and gin.

          You’ve looked t it from every way. You even believed we had a ‘balanced budget’ and a surplus! There was no fuzzy accounting that would land you or me in jail, nope, it was all paid for. They had pieces of paper that said so, and if you closed your eyes and squinted to avoid seeing the unfunded mandates and programs that weren’t on the books or the borrowing from Peter’s government accounts to pay Paul’s government bills with IOUs, it was ALL legitimate and accounted for. Yes sir

          Now when the Republicans ran things, dam! They just spent and spent and spent, on defense and corporate subsidies no doubt, and cut taxes for their buddies and increased entitlement spending and promoted government largesse and wrote all kinds of bad checks.

          Now, do the Republicans oppose spending? Heh, for several years I’ve said the Republicans have us on the slow train to hell, so do you think I think they do anything to oppose spending other than to say they oppose spending?

          But history, time, duration of control, and implementation of long term deficit inducing social largesse all belie your ‘fact’ that the Republicans caused all this.
          For a considerable portion of the last 77 years, the Republicans didn’t even have to bother to show up for work every day.

        • @CaptinSarcastic In other words, it’s a false dichotomy. The Republicans have only gone along with Democratic programs they found in place when they finally got control but you want to blame them for all of it.

          And that’s EXACTLY what will happen with Obamacare, IF they regain complete control, they’ll tinker with it, try to ‘fix’ it, probably make it worse, rather than heave it over the side, just as they do with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

        • @CaptinSarcastic So – to summarize as I did elsewhere – if Obama inherited programs from Bush, or an economy from Bush, it was Bush’s fault it Obama couldn’t fix it,

          AND if a Republican inherits programs from previous Democratic administrations in place for 30+ years, it’s the ALSO the REPUBLICANS fault for all the spending those programs cause.

          It’s really a very very sweet deal when you can “arrange reality” and history that way.

        • @CaptinSarcastic So – to summarize as I did elsewhere – if Obama inherited programs from Bush, or an economy from Bush, it was Bush’s fault if Obama couldn’t fix it,

          AND if a Republican inherits programs from previous Democratic administrations in place for 30+ years, it’s ALSO the REPUBLICANS fault for all the spending those programs cause.

          It’s really a very very sweet deal when you can “arrange reality” and history that way.

        • @Ragspierre @looker We have not had a balanced budget in decades, the closest we came was spending every dime of general revenues and only partially spending the SS surplus. And I said, we did not get that so much from politics (of either Clinton or the Republican Congress) but from the massive revenues that came from the false growth of the dot.com bubble.

        • @Ragspierre @looker When the economy grows, revenues go up, pretty basic math, as long as you don’t lower taxes to the point where they actually go down, or unless the economy doesn’t grow. Certainly you can lower taxes and revenues CAN increase, but the idea that you can lower taxes and revenues will increase MORE than if you hadn’t is a myth that has been completely debunked.

        • @looker I am pretty sure I did not say we had a balanced budget, I said we had a chance at a balanced budget. The mythical balanced budgets of ’99 and ’00 were just that, mythical, as in not real. But we got closer than we had in a while by only spending every cent of general revenues and just partially spending the SS surplus. I did not say that Republicans caused ALL of this, I said that they were more inclined to spend without paying, which is after all the source of our debt.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker More complete, unsupported, bullshit. Why do you bother?

        • @looker I’ll give you Post War to 1980 where Democrats held the reins, but from 1980 forward, Republicans had the lions share of control, whether it being the Executive plus one house, or both houses minus the Executive, and that doesn’t even touch on the conservative Democrat Clinton or the Reagan Democrats. At best, you could argue shared power through much of that period, but really, just look at the policies of when the Republicans had complete control. They were not lead by Democrats, they actively enacted the policies that grew the debt dramatically during a period of good growth. Our government, both sides, have refused to make serious decisions, or even difficult decisions, for a LONG, LONG time.

        • Go ahead and try to support an opposing assertion. The data is on my side and any idiot could look it up. Please, I really want to see you make the argument that debt is not caused by spending which is not payed for with new revenues.

        • @CaptinSarcastic Wait wait wait, you’re going to claim that when the Republicans have control of one house, or the house and the executive or both houses minus the executive…..that that gave them MORE control than when the Democrats had those situations?

          They created Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Did I miss that?
          During the 12 years when the Republican’s had the house they had bare majorities, not at ALL like the ones the Democrats enjoyed for nearly 46 straight years.
          Their Senate majorities were just as crappy, never rising above 55%.
          Yet somehow they were more powerful than the Democrats were under like circumstances.

          Now, I’ll buy that BOTH sides have refused to make serious decisions or difficult decisions for a LONG LONG time. It’s been a big party mostly.

          It’s morning in America all right…it’s 3:00 AM, the police are at the door, the booze has run out and mom and dad just pulled into the driveway.
          But I don’t buy this is LARGELY the fault of the Republicans.

        • @looker @CaptinSarcastic Remember when BOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooosh touched the third rail, suggesting that SS be modestly, optionally privatized…???

          Yeah. That never happened. He never paid any price for it politically. Nobody from the Collective demagogued that…

          Remember those shut-downs during the “conservative” Clinton terms…??? Those weren’t “political” er nothin’…just a product of the dot-com bubble.

          CmdrStupid is just a liar.

        • @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic I don’t see it as lying so much as “conveniently remembering the past”. I expect us oldsters to do that ya know – with apologies to Shakespeare’s “Harry”…”but he’ll remember, with advantages! What feats his party did!”.
          I have no illusion of triumphs owed to the less than beloved Republican party, but it seems me not right to have them the most complete villain of this unfolding tragedy.

    • @CaptinSarcastic Well, you’re as full of sh!t as usual. Waste of time.

  • Gene Sperling, Obamic advisor, had this to say:

    “He supports corporate tax reform that would reduce expenditures and loopholes, lower rates for people investing and creating jobs in the U.S., due so further for manufacturing, and that we need to, as we have the Buffett Rule and the individual tax reform,

    ***we need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens.”***

    Isn’t that special. Make it so we can’t vote with our feet. All as I predicted 2+ decades ago.

  • No we’re not on our way to third-world socialism! We’re not I tell you! And don’t start up with that talk about how “universal” health care is going to lower life expectancy, and then call that true “entitlement reform.” And just two final words for you grandma: Cremation tax.

    As for the title of McQ’s post, dont forget that I hold the trademark on “Republican janitorial socialism” and “janitorial socialists.”

    • If you can *just* get people to retire later, at say 68.5 yrs., and then give them sufficient “universal” health care so that they die earlier, at say 71. 6 yrs., think of those savings! That’s going to make it much earlier for those public employees who retire at 50 and live until 90 to be kept in the manner they’ve grown accustomed to. Who said it was degrading to be a member of the nomenklatura?

    • If you can *just* get regular working people to retire later, at say 68.5 yrs., and then give them sufficient “universal” health care so that they die earlier, at say 71.6 yrs., think of those savings! That’s going to make it much easier for those public employees who retire at 50 and live until 90 to be kept in the manner they’ve grown accustomed to. Who said it was degrading to be a member of the nomenklatura?

      • @martinmcphillips Hey, the budget allows for them to get raises this year….you got complaints?

  • “Republicans have only had one economic principle since they took power in 1994 and kept it for most of the period until 2008, that principle was simply not to raise taxes, anytime, on anyone, for any reason.”

    The CmdrStupid Unified Field Theory of GOP economic doctrine.

    File it away.

  • Off-topic, but…

    Liberals insist that a) there is no voter fraud in America, and b) anti-fraud measures are really intended to suppress the votes of the poor, the elderly, and the more vulnerable members of our society. Well, tell that to the voters of Troy, N.Y.

    snip

    The trial is now in its third week. So far, prosecutors have presented 46 witnesses who have testified that their ballots were stolen. Who are these victims? According to the Times Union, they “have included public housing residents, college students, the semi-literate, a deaf man, the chronically ill and non-English speakers.”

    Sounds a lot like vulnerable members of society, no?
    –Hans Von Spakovsky

    Heh.

    • @Ragspierre Yeah, and you just KNOW that Social Security fix that Obama is promising to reduce the number of improper payments is going to have NOTHING to do with people having to properly identify themselves…

      But see, voting is a RIGHT so, it’s perfectly okay to let anyone violate your right to have YOUR vote count in order to make sure we’re not violating anyone’s right to not to have to identify themselves to vote.
      Why asking them to identify themselves is like Jim Crow laws! Poll Taxes! It’s just not reasonable and it’s meant to suppress votes for Democrats only!