July 28, 2011

Ceiling Our Fate (Carried to the Top; See Updates)

I’ll start with an audio clip from Mark Levin last night, and will hopefully have more to say later.

Sadly, I mostly agree with Levin, and am disappointed to this point with Boehner, who to be clear is mostly but not fully responsible for his awkward position thanks far more to people like the Gang of S*cks and other RINO undercutters than to people on the Tea Party side (with certain exceptions; final minute of the vid is an on-air ad):

Small disagreements with Levin: People who can’t handle being told “get your *sses in line” without crying about hurt feewwwwings have no place in politics. Also, despite one BizzyBlog commenter’s frequent assertions to the contrary, Boehner has been about the most conservative Congressman in the U.S. during his two decades in Washington. Whether that’s good enough in the current dire circumstances, or whether it translates into effective leadership, are entirely different matters.

(updates are after the jump)

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UPDATE: Rush thinks it’s a trap, and Rush is mostly right (some paragraph breaks added by me) –

We’ve Been Played for Saps, Folks: Boehner Bill Will Become Reid Bill

There’s a trap essentially that’s being set, and I noticed that there’s an AP story, and way down at the AP story: “In fact, Boehner’s plan has enough in common with Reid’s — including the establishment of a special congressional panel to recommend additional spending cuts this fall — that Reid hinted a compromise could be easy to snap together,” between his nonexistent bill and the Boehner bill. What does that mean? What it means is that over in the Senate Reid really doesn’t have a bill. He’s got an idea, but he doesn’t have a bill. And what he’s put forth as an idea hasn’t gotten all that much support. But here comes, let’s say the House, and Boehner doesn’t have the votes in the House yet according to Politico. And this is key. That was as of 9:30 this morning and they’re going to be working the Republican caucus all day long before the vote tonight.

But as of now Boehner doesn’t have the votes for his bill. But let’s assume he gets the votes. The Boehner bill then goes to the Senate where it’s dead on arrival. There are 58 senators that are going to vote against it, by design. However, they’ve got a bill over there now.

So Dingy Harry can take the Boehner bill and tweak it and rewrite it, make additions to it, take some things out of it, play with it however he wants, and get enough votes from Democrats since it becomes the Reid bill, and then it gets sent back to Boehner in the House looking nothing like his bill, but the rationale for passing the Boehner bill in the House is we’ve got to do this, the time is up, we’re not going to get blamed. So if Reid monkeys around with the bill that he gets from Boehner, and it passes in the Senate, with whatever changes that are not favorable to us, of course, they throw it back in Boehner’s lap, and then the pressure is going to be back on Boehner.

Okay, do you sign the Reid bill? Do you pass it? Do you get your guys to vote for it and send it to Obama, basically a Democrat bill. That is what a lot of people — and I sign on to the theory, too — this is one of the traps that’s being set. The Boehner bill is essentially being used to be a foundation for a nonexistent as of yet Reid bill. And thereby the Boehner bill becomes the Reid bill, therefore Democrat bill all in the absence of an Obama plan. No Obama plan at all in this.

There’s no Obama bill. There’s nothing set down on paper. So the Reid bill will become the Obama bill. The Boehner plan will become the Obama plan. I think that’s the trap. And, of course, the establishment, Republicans are all gung ho. “Gotta get this done. It’s the best we can get.” Because they’re telling themselves there aren’t any tax increases in it, and there aren’t. There aren’t any tax increases in the Boehner bill.

And there are spending cuts and there are caps, but what happens when that goes over to the Senate and Reid says, “You know what, I like some of this and I don’t like that. Let’s take some of this out and put some of this in,” and gets his votes for it and the Boehner bill becomes something unrecognizable, then goes back to the House, what are they going to do? They’ve already passed the Boehner bill under the guise that we can’t wait any longer, that AAA credit rating is in jeopardy, all this rotgut BS.

So that, essentially, is where things stand. Now, back to this Daily Caller story. The one thing in the Boehner bill, and Democrats don’t like this, is that the debt ceiling doesn’t get raised enough to get us through the 2012 election. In other words, the Boehner bill is not a full-fledged Obama Re-election Lifeline Bill. But that’s what Reid wants to turn it into. Now they’re attacking that aspect of the Boehner bill by saying that the Republicans want to destroy Christmas. “House Speaker and national grinch John Boehner is planing [sic] to spoil Christmas, White House officials are claiming, as they try to head off passage of Boehner’s two-stage debt ceiling bill.

The only reason it’s “mostly” a trap is that, unless Team Obama is successful in arm-twisting the ratings agencies (don’t rule they out), they will still ding the U.S. government’s credit standing for an unsuccessful effort at legitimate spending control.

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UPDATE 2: Now let’s get down to brass tacks, and why Boehner’s and the GOP’s efforts to this point appear to have been largely in vain –

  • President Obama primarily, for wasting six months holding out for tax increases he from all appearances isn’t going to get.
  • The Gang of S*cks, whose “perfect” timing gave the press the perfect excuse to ignore the cut, cap, and balance vote.
  • Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who haven’t produced a budget in 800+ days.
  • Weenies like Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard and the normally decent editorialists at the Wall Street Journal, who not only gave in too easily after CC&B received its predictable media drubbing, but also decided to take unwarranted shots at Tea Party patriots who don’t understand why Washington won’t do what individuals and families have to do when times get tough — cut spending, FOR REAL.

That gets to the most frustrating part of all of this.

There is no success whatsoever — not even a tiny bit — unless we spend less in fiscal 2012 than we are on track to spend in fiscal 2011 by at the very, very, very least $150 billion, which would represent a meager roughly 4% reduction from this year’s estimated $3.6 trillion – $3.7 trillion (possibly more; Obama projected $3.819 trillion in February). I don’t have the latest figures (and if I did, I’m not sure I could trust any of them anyway), but I have the impression that maybe — maybe — next year’s reduction is $22 billion. Or maybe that’s only the saving from an inflated Congressional Budget Office baseline that should mean nothing whatsoever when you’re trying to cut current spending to keep the boat from sinking.

If there is a next time, the debate has to be about how much to cut — really cut, permanently — next year’s number compared to the current year, and how much you plan to really cut each successive year in comparison to the previous year.

Nothing else matters. Annual spending is at least 30% higher than it should be — right now. It needs to be brought back to roughly 2007′s level within 3-4 years, at roughly the same rate each year (no backloading), or we’re definitely toast (BTW, we may be toast anyway, and no one seems to get that either). Any attempt to create “big” 10-year numbers for PR purposes by referencing CBO projections is an exercise in sheer fantasy. The media can indulge in these 10-year “cut” fantasies until they’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that the only real “cut” is one which causes spending next year to be less than spending this year. Boehner and Washington Republicans have from all appearances failed to do that. As the danger of fiscal Armageddon looms, the GOP caucus just to ask itself if it can do better than Boehner and McConnell (my answer is definitely yes to the latter; as to the former, give me a name of someone who wants it who would be better).

At the same time, the creators of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy, now aka the Fear-Based economy, and as many members of their party as possible must be decisively swept from power if tax collections are ever get back to where they were (and slightly higher) in 2007-2008. Nothing short of their expulsion and/or marginalization will lift the overbearing fear and fright which pervades this economy, and collections won’t meaningfully increase — certainly not to the extent the dreamweavers at the CBO believe they will — until that goes away.

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UPDATE 3: I’m reminded by the receipt of another email from Michele Bachmann that there’s an element on the right which also doesn’t get it. That would be the group who says we shouldn’t raise the debt ceiling, period, under any circumstances. That Bachman is clearly in this group is discouraging; it seriously tarnishes her credibility as a presidential candidate.

I would love to be able to oppose any increase in the debt ceiling, but it’s far too late to do that. As I detailed in this comment ten days ago, the math doesn’t work. No amount of wishful thinking by Michele Bachmann or any of the well-intentioned Tea Party folks who would like to see the debt ceiling frozen can or will change that.

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7 Comments

  1. Boehner, Schmidt, Ryan, McConnell are the Party of BIG Government! They offer no solition for my children’s future except more debt economic slavery and servitude!

    If Boehner, Schmidt, Ryan, McConnell, or any other Rino Republican
    was truly serious about cutting back government they would start with agriculture.

    You want solutions, Here is an excellent article by the Acton institute on cutting government welfare for biggest of American Corporations.

    ……………The glaring injustices built into farm subsidy policies explain why so many on both the political right and left routinely describe them as immoral. Subsidies reward large commercial enterprises — in good times and bad — and shut out small farmers. Developing countries that desperately need to boost agricultural exports cannot compete with subsidized, over-produced crops from wealthy nations. Subsidies also drive up the cost of food for the poor and working families…………………….

    Fertile Ground for Farm Subsidy Cuts

    http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2011/07/27/fertile-ground-farm-subsidy-cuts

    Comment by Greg — July 28, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  2. I think its time to to start bombarding Congress telling them to Impeach Obama and company. This time the prison sentences need to stick

    Read:

    Fast and Furious: Enter the IRS and White House
    The scandal grows wider, and deeper.

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45135&s=rcmp

    Comment by Greg — July 28, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  3. Tom, Who stands to make money with a USA default?  -Greg

    Read: Who Plays AIG in the Sequel?

    http://mindonmoney.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/who-plays-aig/
    July 27, 2011 at 9:39 am 

    As we watch the water rise toward the top of the government default levees, I am amazed that the market townfolk aren’t panicking, putting their most portable valuables into and on top of their cars and getting out of town.  Maybe they have so much flood insurance that they would actually want the levees to break.

    The least likely reason that big market players aren’t heading for the hills is that they think Washington will just increase the debt limit to cover spending they’ve already approved.  After all, that two-sentence, no drama option is only used most of the time, and would have already been used last April or May to avoid the cost and disruption of playing the extension games Treasury had played these last few months.

    I do notice how frequently these days I hear the offering levels of CDS (Credit Default Swaps) for US Treasuries.  In other words, lots of people (institutional, corporate “people” as defined by the Supremes) have been buying insurance.  Cheap insurance.

    It makes me wonder who is writing that insurance.  After all, the most famous recent new fortunes were made by people that paid pennies (often fractions of pennies, like 15 basis points per annum) to collect dollars when AAA mortgage bonds defaulted.  Not to mention the $360 billion paid out to CDS holders the day Fannie Mae CDS settled.  That was more money lost in one day than the entire two years’ worth of subprime mortgage credit losses in 2007 and 2008.  The best part was that the winners had paid out about $15,000 for a year of insurance that paid $1 million when insolvency was declared.

    We still don’t have any disclosure of CDS exposures, nor any requirement that providers of those insurance policies set aside capital to reserve for the risk that they have to pay off.  Those parts of “regulatory reform” went into the trash bin even before Dodd/Frank got a vote.

    So it leaves me wondering.  If the current game ends with yet another credit default triggering event, this time for the US Treasury, then who wrote the insurance policies?  Will the banking system freeze up again when the market realizes that JPM or DB or BAC might actually be bankrupt, but nobody knows? …

    Comment by Greg — July 28, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  4. Again Tom, Who stands to make money with a USA default?  -Greg
    Read:
    A $4.8 billion dollar bet against America

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/26/news/economy/default_cds_debt_ceiling/

    Comment by Greg — July 28, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  5. Please call the following House Republicans and ask them to Vote NO on the Boehner Debt Plan (S.627). We expect this vote to happen this evening. Thanks for everything you do for freedom. Feel free to post feedback in the comments section below. Thanks!

    Joe Barton (Texas) — (202) 225-2002; Dan Benishek (Mich.) (202) 225-4735; Dan Burton (Ind.) (202) 225-2276; Michael Burgess (Texas) (202) 225-7772; Kevin Brady (Texas) (202) 225-4901; Quico Canseco (Texas) (202) 225-4511; Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.) (202) 225-6831; Stephen Fincher (Tenn.) (202) 225-4714; Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.) (202) 225-3271; Trent Franks (Ariz.) (202) 225-4576; Scott Garrett (N.J.) (202) 225-4465; Morgan Griffith (Va.) (202) 225-3861; Randy Hultgren (Ill.) (202) 225-2976; Bill Huizenga (Mich.) (202) 225-4401; Walter Jones (N.C.) (202) 225-3415; Jack Kingston (Ga.) (202) 225-5831; Raul Labrador (Idaho) (202) 225-6611; Tom Latham (Iowa) (202) 225-5476; Jeff Landry (La.) (202) 225-4031; Tom McClintock (Calif.) (202) 225-2511; Tom Marino (Pa.) (202) 225-3731; Jeff Miller (Fla.) (202) 225-4136; Devin Nunes (Calif.) (202) 225-2523; Ben Quayle (Ariz.) (202) 225-3361; Denny Rehberg (Mont.) (202) 225-3211; Tom Rooney (Fla.) (202) 225-5792; Jean Schmidt (Ohio) (202) 225-3164 ;David Schweikert (Ariz.) (202) 225-2190; Tim Scott (S.C.) (202) 225-3176; Marlin Stutzman (Ind.) (202) 225-4436; Michael Turner (Ohio) (202) 225-6465; Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) (202) 225-5901; Joe Wilson (S.C.) (202) 225-2452; Kevin Yoder (Kan.) (202) 225-2865

    Comment by Greg — July 28, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  6. and now for a lighter but prescient note,

    Music Man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_Oe-jtgdI

    Here is the liberal strategy for creating an entitlement program.

    Comment by dscott — July 29, 2011 @ 1:20 am

  7. hmm, hmm, hmm, possible diversion necessary for Obama to win the 2012 elections, we are inching ever closer to war with Iran:

    Oh, by the way, the U.S. just accused Iran of working with Al Qaeda

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/07/28/oh-by-the-way-the-u-s-just-accused-iran-of-working-with-al-qaeda/

    A replay of FDR coming?

    Comment by dscott — July 29, 2011 @ 4:03 am

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