Free Markets, Free People

What is the budget endgame? And why do I even care?

So, first off, sorry about no podcast tonight. Bruce is away for a few days, and I was caught up in something.

Anyway, how about that government shutdown, huh?

Obamacare is the central issue, of course. Republicans don’t want it, and Democrats don’t want to abandon it. So, the whole government shutdown is really about whether or not Obamacare gets repealed or gutted. Both sides have staked out their claim, and the only climbdown I can see for either side would entail a massive loss of face. I don’t see how any bill that can pass the House can pass the Senate. And even bills with almost unanimous House support, such as a couple of the peicemeal funding deals the House passed this weekend, are DOA in the Senate.

So far, it’s clear that the Senate Democrats won’t take up any piecemeal funding at all, since that is tantamount to surrender. After all, if they go down that path, there is one funding bill the Senate will never get from the House, which is an Obamacare funding bill.

What is the endgame, then? When does some sort of deal emerge? I dunno.

I suspect the Republicans will cave, because Obama will simply veto any bill they passed that defunds the ACA. I just don’t see how Republicans can win this, unless there is some surge of public disapproval against the Democrats that threatens them wholesale in 2014. Unless the Republicans were willing to shutdown the government for…well…ever over Obamacare, then they shouldn’t have shut it down at all. I don’t think Republicans are willing to do that, so I think they’ll eventually fold without accomplishing anything

My view, of course, is that a continuing government shutdown over Obamacare is pointless. I want the ACA fully implemented. I think it will be a staggeringly massive failure, and I want that that failure to occur.  The voters had their chance to elect a Congress and a president that would overturn it.  They chose to do otherwise. So…screw ‘em.  They voted for it. They should get it. Good and hard.

Over and above all that, I go back, once again, to wondering how long all of this can go on. The Right and Left in the country have fundamentally different ideas about the purpose and role of government. Those ideas are completely incompatible. So, why would either side continue to consent to rule by the other?

I just don’t know. I don’t know about any of it. That’s why I don’t write about politics much anymore. I’ve seen the idea of individual liberty be consumed by this ever-encroaching collectivism for my entire life. Nothing much has stopped it. I’m not sure that there’s much of anything that can stop it, other than to let it run its course, and for the American people, hopefully, to realize that the promises of collectivism are false, and that to the extent it brings economic equality, it is an equality of poverty—except for government officials and their cronies, of course. They’ll always have their dachas outside Moscow. Or farms in the Virginia countryside, as the case may be.

And if the American people don’t ever realize that…well…then they don’t, and they deserve whatever they get. I’m pretty sure that what I write about it won’t effect it much either way. And, frankly, the way things have gone for my lifetime, the long slow surrender to collectivism is almost at the point of no return. I expect I’ll do what I can to enjoy the dying fruits of the country our forefathers bequeathed to us for as long as I can, and hope I die before the Levellers finish looting it, and it’s gone.

So, I’ve been driving a new Chrysler 200 for the past few days. I’ll drive it a few more days. Then I’ll write about it this week. That’ll give me a lot more pleasure than writing about Washington power games and the declining state of our political culture ever will.

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54 Responses to What is the budget endgame? And why do I even care?

  • Dale, I agree with you – give them just what they want but with one little caveat – no exemptions, no delays, no waivers, no alterations from the original bill that does not have the full concurrence of Congress.  Like you said, “Give it to them good and hard” and sit back and watch the whole abomination implode.  And after destroys itself, hold every single Democrat to task for the failure.  Destroy the Democrats once and for all and shovel them into the thrash heap bin of history.

  • Given the pettiness and petulance of the Obama Junta, I think the Republicans should drag this out as long as possible – the optics are turning against the Democrats.

    Other than the Troo Beleevers, I don’t know of anyone truly angry at the Republicans – but they are all disgusted with how low Obama is going.

  • The problem is if we can’t unbolt it ever, even if it fails.  If it fails it will be replaced with an even more intrusive and highly rationed based system.  Which is the plan, imho.  But yeah its never going away.  This is the last chance.   I believe the Republicans will buckle.  In the long run its better for history for them to kind of claim with a straight face they did everything.
    The thing to salvage here is to point out.  “Has anyone noticed?”  Only about 30% of the government is shutdown.  But even so, if you didn’t tell me I wouldn’t know it.  I’m sure that’s not true for just me.  Pointing out that fact is the what Republicans need to gain out of this.

  • Congressional Republicans ought to memorize, and preface their every statement with, some simple formula. “One: Make Congress and the White House obey the same Obamacare rules you do. Two: Obama let business off for a year; we want workers to be let off for a year too. That’s the GOP plan. What part don’t you like?”

    —David Gelernter
    This is an argument conservatives can win.  And Dale is simply wrong…there are two clearly opposing camps, but there is also a broad swath of people who are not aligned, and, like it or not, they are likely to be the determining factor in forcing this to its conclusion.

    • We may lose the “battle” but win the argument. Which is fine. The whole purpose is to jog voter memory for when they do Obamacare in the next few months, or get their bennies cut to remember that there was a choice.  To many political junkies think that average voters follow anything that is not THROWN in their faces. Thus, if the GOP did nothing, and was quiet, then voters would say “oh well, I guess I have no choice but to accept X, Y, and Z.”
      My other analogy is a football game where you are losing by 2 scored with 50 seconds left…sure you have a tiny chance of scoring once, winning the onside kick and scoring again…but unless you try, your fans are not going to be happy.

  • I’ve studied Niccolo Machiavelli – it’s time the Democrats start using his tactics!  —Erp, the Collectivist tool

    Gee, Erp.  How ’bout we kill or get raped a few children in your government-by-malice administration?

    You think this is good messaging?  I actually am loving this…where you pukes are coming out in your full plumage.

  • On CNBC the other day, Obama went right to the message that Wall Street should be totally scared of these crazy Republicans on the debt limit… even as Boehner’s already indicated that he’s ready to deal on it.

    Obama is trying to make the stock market go down.
    I seem to remember Obama meeting with a bunch of “Wall Street” types just before this.
    What do you ant to bet that there are a whole bunch of Democratic supporters who have shorted the market big time ?
    If Bush was President, they would be calling for Congressional and SEC hearings.

    • I seem to recall that a certain Hungarian <strike>communist</strike> “Progressive” who made a bunch of money shorting currencies around the world, who has been supporting <strike>his fellow commie bast**ds</strike> Democrats for years.  Pushed Ear Leader before anyone else.

  • John Boehner knows the consequences of default and shutdown, and he knows there are enough GOP votes to pass a CR and to increase the debt ceiling.  This is an inside GOP game.  Boehner has a vocal minority he wants to keep from open insurrection, but he also knows he can’t be the man who threatened the American dream without holding a vote.  He will make sure this ends, Boehner isn’t a suicidal ideologue.  I do think Obama and Reid have to find a way to help him get ‘peace with honor’ and save face.  But when Peter King is openly blaming his party, Dennis Ross (R-FL) says “it’s about pride” and Stutzman (R-IN) says it’s about ‘not being disrespected,’ it’s clear Obamacare isn’t the issue.  Obamacare ironically is funded even with a government shutdown.   They know they won’t win that issue (unless it crashes and burns, as you expect), so now it seems to be a matter to stand down without get the extremists angry and not looking foolish for picking a futile fight.  Boehner is earning is money, if he pulls this off without an internal crisis or the US defaulting, my respect for him will grow (and I already think he’s doing a good job given the circumstances).

    • Moody’s CEO stated that Moody’s ruled out the chance of a U.S. government default,.  So there, the danger is past.
      On more important matters …

      A representative for the Washington Redskins said Monday that President Barack Obama has “better things to worry about” than the team’s name and questioned why he hasn’t commented about a certain Chicago hockey team.

    • It’s a fight they can’t win we’re going to get Obamacare no matter how lousy the first sign up software unveiling was.
      The main Republican power structure is Democrat-Lite.
      Boehner already has an internal crises, they had it last year at election time.  They’re too stupid to see WHY they lost and they think it was something else.
      And the Democrats are going to go ahead with it no matter how bad it goes because ‘the answer is more government!’ when government doesn’t work.
      But that’s not a bug, it’s a feature they planned from day 1.

      The government-by-malice meme is really not working for your poor, broken child…
      Is it, Erp…???

      • Hard to be impressed by a bunch of guys who are spending our money and say things like “might run low in as little as 10 days”.
        Is it just me, or do I detect that about half that small sentence consists of weasel words and phrasing.

    • ….but he also knows he can’t be the man who threatened the American dream without holding a vote.

      But we all know this is Harry “Why should I do that?” Reid.
      You lying Collectivist tool.

    • … he can’t be the man who threatened the American dream without holding a vote.

      You clearly do not understand the nature of The American Dream, if you think it is decided by a vote.

      • You clearly don’t understand the English language if you think I said that a vote decides the nature of the American dream.   It’s also comical how you feel compelled to call names.  I mean, really?  Calling someone an “idiot”?  I tell my fifth grader he’s too mature for that kind of behavior.

        • I’d be happy to teach you the broad distinction between name-calling and making a valid observation based on experience and discernment, if you will sign up for my course on the plain meaning of English.
          Don’t let your anger and ideology rob you of this opportunity.

        • It might be that the dream is more all encompassing than federal spending.   In fact it might be that the dream doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Federal Spending or Congressional voting, except perhaps where the government’s gluttonous consumption and overreach starves and strangles the dream.
          Just maybe you aren’t thinking as deeply as you think you are.

        • Here’s a hint, the average American doesn’t dream about government when they’re dreaming their American dream.  People who came here to be free and to make a good life for themselves and their children weren’t dreaming about what government was going to do for them, or give them.
          I know that may surprise you.

          • It does have to do with a stable and functioning economy.  Boehner is too smart to jeopardize that, he’ll have to fold.  But the Democrats hurt themselves if they make it humiliating, they have to give Boehner something to say he gained.  If our economy crashes, people can’t pursue the dream as effectively.
            Yes, my mother and father’s families all came from elsewhere to pursue the American dream.  It’s a grand thing we all believe in, Democrat, Republican and independent.  It’s sad (and a bit weird) that some people think only their side of the aisle believes in hard work, the American dream and freedom.

          • And I can assure you without fear of contradiction your parents families did NOT come for the free handouts.   They did NOT come for the ‘free’ healthcare.    They did not come for the free telephones, the free food, the subsidized housing.  They did not expect America would learn Deutsch for them.
            They did not come for those things, because they did not exist.
            As for weird and sad, well, you know your own frame of mind better than I would.   Don’t try and sell your twisted progressive plantation mentality as the real American dream.

          • If our economy crashes, people can’t pursue the dream as effectively.:

            Trace back the source of your predicate: profligate spending.  Revise: “When government borrows exorbitantly  so it can spend like a drunken sailor, people can’t pursue their dreams as effectively.”  An economic crash certainly would make things worse, but it isn’t even necessary to deny many Americans their shot at the American Dream.
            In Detroit, they can’t afford street lights, police, and other basic services everywhere within the Detroit city limits.  And yet, they spend increasing amounts on “Operation Compliance“, shutting down more than 900 businesses in the past 9 months.   The American Dream, in Detroit, lives in the shadows, attempting to avoid the compliance officer and survive in an area blighted by decades of ruinous Democrat policies, driven by the insane greed of union thugs.  Businesses which could help the economic situation are shuttered, instead.
            The American Dream has been harmed far in far m ore instances by the US government, and local governments, than by foreign enemies, terrorists, “evil corporations”, con artists, mafioso, or common street thugs.  Detroit is the canary in the mineshaft.

        • You clearly don’t understand the English language if you think I said that a vote decides the nature of the American dream.

          So explain what you meant by: ” … he can’t be the man who threatened the American dream without holding a vote.

          • Well if you check it out you’ll find that Scotty is now reduced to cutting pieces of his own blog and pasting them in here at Q and O. He’s reduced to regurgitating talking points he found elsewhere and then recycling his own wisdom verbatim here. Lazy? Nah, probably exactly what his students do.

          • Hey DocD, you’re again so eager to insult that you don’t stop to think that having a blog is the opposite of being lazy.  Lazy would be to just read a blog and bad mouth people who you disagree with or who annoy you.  That’s lazy!  😉

          • Did you, or did you not, just copy and paste from your own blog?
            Blather, rinse, repeat. What next? Another mano-a-mano challenge?

          • No, I did not cut and paste.  The subject matter of this blog entry was close to what I just posted upon, which is why I couldn’t resist the urge to comment about what I think the end game is.  I did not cut and paste or look at my blog, though I had just posted it, so the ideas were in my head.

          • DocD – do you think my logic is wrong, either in my blog or comment about the end game?  OK, maybe it was hyperbole to say the “American dream” is in danger, and I recognize that some people think Boehner is “Democrat light” (my argument is that the American system is built on compromise).  But do you think I’m wrong in what I think the end game will be?  Feel free to comment here or on my blog.  I’ll ignore any more posts that aren’t on that topic or lack substance, I really don’t want to get into the kind of exchanges that usually emerge, they have no substance (and I know, I’m to blame too for responding).

          • my argument is that the American system is built on compromise

            Which you had your pom-poms all fluttering the other day AGAINST.
            Seriously, DO you understand self-parody as a concept…???

          • Don’t hold your breath on that one Elliott.

          • …my argument is that the American system is built on compromise….

            Who makes these compromises and whose values do they compromise?
            Those in Washington purport to act as proxy for millions of Americans, and yet the result of their “compromises” inordinately serve the interests only of those in power.  And yet, the money they spend represents the work and talent of people whose interests are increasingly harmed.  Those people, whose values are burned in the great belching furnace of government waste, don’t benefit from such “compromises”.
            True compromise benefits all those whose values are involved in the resolution of conflict.

          • Compromise is done reflecting the values of the different participants, within a framework set by the constitution.  Democracy is predicated on the idea that we can’t trust one person or small group to have the right “values” – that people who are certain they are right are the most dangerous people of all.  Democracy requires individual rights be protected since denying participation would be undemocratic (crude majoritarianism is not really democracy).  Within that framework society can grow, change, progress, experiment and change.  Never before has there been a system that has yielded so much prosperity and freedom.  No country without functioning governments have worked, save really small tribal systems (and they have some form of governance – built on tradition and custom).   Over 90% of Americans consider our form of government legitimate, that’s extremely good.   True, popularity does not mean truth – but unless you can prove your belief true, unpopularity also does not mean truth, nor does your opinion mean truth.  Given the inherent uncertainties in this reality, democracy functions extremely well.

          • Over 90% of Americans consider our form of government legitimate, that’s extremely good.

            Bullshit, you liar.
            Most Americans hold our government to be detached and over-powerful.
            They MAY approve of the Constitution, but they know we have no…or very little…tie to it.
            Put up your citation, you lying Collectivist too.

          • ” that people who are certain they are right are the most dangerous people of all.  ”
            That didn’t strike you as being even a skoshi bit ironic did it.

          • Me, I always thought it was the people who knew they were wrong, and didn’t care, or those so deluded they believe what’s wrong is right.
            I’ve never had any fear of people who knew what was right and behaved accordingly.

          • Compromise is done reflecting the values of the different participants….

            Is there an echo in here?

            …within a framework set by the constitution.

            Or not. People outside of government can resolve conflicts through negotiations and come to a compromise which benefits all involved. Informal, following particular rules of order, votes by shares, bidding, etc. can be methods by which civilized people use reason to come to a compromise. No force necessary. When you transition to the government side of things, force is involved, if only the threat of force for those who disobey.

            Democracy is predicated on the idea that we can’t trust one person or small group to have the right ‘values’….

            No, it’s the opposite. The office holder elected in a democratic system purportedly acts as proxy for thousands or millions of people, substituting his own judgment for theirs, his values for theirs. If you don’t trust your neighbor to make his own decisions about how to pay his doctor and pharmacist, then why would you trust a select oligarchy in Washington, who know nothing of your neighbor’s needs or wants, to make his decisions for him?  Or, to make your own decisions for you? That’s the very opposite of the ideal you just put forth.

            …that people who are certain they are right are the most dangerous people of all.

            No one is a more striking example of such arrogance than a politician who gets elected, like your idol Obama or like the Republicans whose confidence infuriates you. Individualism is the rejection of the notion that dictators or elite rulers who are convinced they know what’s best for us actually do. You embrace exactly what you pretend to decry. Once again.
            I don’t know what is right for you and so I don’t want to tell you what to do.  But you have to keep pretending that I do, continuously lying about my intent to rule you, when I want to do no such thing.

            Democracy requires individual rights be protected since denying participation would be undemocratic (crude majoritarianism is not really democracy).

            Participation in the illusion of choice has nothing to do with individual rights. Had I cast a vote in the last election, I could not have changed the outcome of my state–the margin of victory was too substantial. Thus, I could not have impacted the election for POTUS. Other than making one feel like one has done something, what good does it do to vote? And, if enough of my neighbors are greedy mooches or ignorant bigots that they outnumber me, why does that create an ethical duty for me to follow their irrational, hateful choices?

            Within that framework society can grow, change, progress, experiment and change.

            Most of the growth, positive changes, technological progress, and positive changes (why are we repeating this one?) occur outside of the purview of government–oftentimes in spite of it. As far as “experiment”, that’s a repugnant term of art when discussing government: viewing individuals as lab rats on which the rulers can run experiments. These are real people living their one and only lives. You want to experiment? Do it with your own life and your own property, or at least with people who explicitly agree to be test subjects.

            Never before has there been a system that has yielded so much prosperity and freedom.

            Culture had much to do with it. And, small government not interfering too much. Of course, you’ll cite the “robber barons”, as though their buying elected officials through bribes, contributions, and backroom deals had nothing to do with government. The more government grows, the less growth in the private sector, the less we have to look forward to.

            Over 90% of Americans consider our form of government legitimate….

            A government is “legitimate” by definition. Look up the root of that word.
            Treat others with respect and do what you want, as long as you’re not hurting others.  If that is not legal, then the law is an ass.

            Given the inherent uncertainties in this reality….

            Mush-headed thinking.
            No one can know everything.  Why do you assert that such uncertainty is best handled by a select group of elites in a far-off city, who are insulated by their privilege and the exclusivity of those with whom they rub elbows at cocktail parties?  Do Obama, Boehner, or others have god-like abilities to cut through “uncertainty” and deliver to me better answers for how to live my life than I could determine myself?  Why?

          • Me, I always thought it was the people who knew they were wrong, and didn’t care, or those so deluded they believe what’s wrong is right.
            I’ve never had any fear of people who knew what was right and behaved accordingly.

            Scott incessantly attacks confidence among those with whom he has political differences.  And yet, he never argues against his own certitude, or against his confidence in Democrats “doing the right thing”.  They’re wise and “deft”.  But anyone else?  Oh, you’re not allowed to stick to your beliefs, because reality is just so uncertain and stuff.
            It’s a perfect illustration of the stolen concept fallacy:  I am certain that people who act with certainty come to false conclusions.

          • Yeeeup.
            There are templates we can use to tell us what rings true (to kind of mix a metaphor).  If we employ them, they almost NEVER lead us wrong.

    • “If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums,” Barack Obama said during his 2007 speech unveiling his health care plan. “That will be less.”
      In 2012, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said on Meet the Press that “everybody will have lower rates” under Obamacare. When asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD this summer about reports of large rate hikes for some Americans, Pelosi said, “I don’t remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium.”
      Ah, but WE DO REMEMBER.
      Lies.  Nothing but lies.

      • Remember this one?
        At March 15, 2010 – 1:22 Barack declares premiums for some companies will fall 3000%.   No on bats an eye.
        I know I learned old math, but 100% reduction in cost would be a zero cost.
        3000%?   The insurance companies will pay you to carry insurance?
        But here we are….

      • He held off all this stuff till after his re-election, but I think 2014 will be a very, very bad year for Democrats.
        People do not take direct hits to their pocket books kindly. They also do not like being blatantly lied to.
        That guy in SF who now understand where Boehner is coming from may end switching parties. Its things like this that make people do that.
        And these are not vague increases in taxes that are mashed up with SS and aircraft carriers – these are direct costs to voters.
        Not to mention tax penalties.
        And the coverage looks fairly sucky.

    • Flint-hearted Harry hates children with cancer!
      Harry: “What right do THEY have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded?”

      The one in Article 1, section 7. Thanks for asking, Harry.

      What’s amazing is that the GOP has actually won. The “shutdown” is no shutdown, just piecemeal petty nastiness to express hatred for the royal subjects. Since there is no shutdown, there is no reason for the House to pass a bill that fully-funds Obamacare. 🙂

      • Yeah, up until now I thought the government did more than let me look at Mt. Rushmore or walk across the national mall and see the various monuments in the Capitol.
        Who knew?

      • The Dem plan would have worked fine pre-internet.
        I think this is another case of too much good press from their lackey media allies ends up with decisions based on hubris.

  • Thank God Congress understand the need for Immigration Reform and are letting
    This immigration reform rally occur on the closed national mall
    /snark off
    Does Obmaugabe really think there won’t be investigations to see who was so selective in what is or is not stopped by the NPS?
    I know, it was low level interns who decided this was okay.

    • Fret not, for the complicit media will omit any mention of this glaring hypocrisy and spend half their broadcasts explaining how the Teahadists want children with cancer to die (again, omitting that Harry refused to vote to fund that part of the government).
      The fix is in.  Charlie Brown will eventually cave from the pressure and go kick the “compromise” football.  Iteration 1,934.  SSDD

  • There’s a part of the calculation that you are missing.  The brunt of the shutdown(slowdown) is being borne by a vital Obama constituency — government workers.  These are the people who do his dirty work — they persecute his political enemies, instill fear in the fourth estate, and harass his political opponents with audits and investigations.  He can not afford to lose them.
    Obama’s problem there is that the same sort of people are largely financially illiterate, and live hand-to-mouth.  Even if they are going to get paid eventually, the fact is, they have rent coming due on the 1st.  They’ll have missed two paychecks by then.  They have bills coming due now that they can’t pay.  It’s entirely a cash-flow problem for Obama’s brownshirts, and if they don’t get their money, his entire scheme comes apart at the seams.

  • I agree 100%
    Implement the law so the people of this country who voted for it can suffer.
    Note I won’t call them Americans.
    You can’t be an American and support those positions. Period.

    • No, see, it’s ‘compromise’ Shark.   Give the nice men with the guns what they want, and they’ll go away until next month.   Compromise!   Don’t be so stubborn!