Saturday, July 23, 2011

Budget Bumble

The "budget battle" is depressing in 37 different ways, but let's focus on two. The press, and the GOP leadership.

The press has done no substantive research on the underlying facts and has taken no position on what will and will not work to bring the economy back.  They simply repeat what the various spokespeople say, spinning it with headlines, vocal inflection and facial expression. Obviously they like Obama and want to end up reporting that he "won" and will now certainly be re-elected.  "Those people" who differ with Obama's wishes are simply not as smart and sophisticated as "we" are, but will our anointed leader be able to fool them again or will they insist on being really tacky?

The GOP leadership is empowered by the new group of freshman Tea Party firebrands, but unfortunately they still have habits formed in the years of Democrat Domination. They still see themselves as having to make a deal just to get keep getting invited to the party. They see the press as representative of the people in general, like it was 1960, rather than largely representative of liberals, as it is today.  They are "playing the old tapes over and over" and repeating their previous destructive behavior.

There is only so much tax revenue that can be collected from our economic engine without slowing or stopping it.  Lots of reading material out there for wonks, but it looks to me like 20% of GDP is the maximum we can expect to get.  So that's the most government can spend.  Debt, or as the British say, "gearing" works well for profitable businesses, but not for governments.  "Obama-nomics" seems to insists on collecting and or borrowing 25-30% of GDP and redistributing the excess amount above 20% to achieve "economic justice".  It also seems to ignore the concept that 20% of a strong and growing economy generates more tax revenue (and allows "do-gooders" to do more good)  than 30% of an overloaded and under performing one.

Democrats are like a teenage driver who doesn't understand gears, transmissions, fuel/air ratios or back pressure - when they want to go, they stomp on the accelerator!  If they are going up a steep hill, they just stomp harder and harder and look for someone to blame for the lack of response.

Republicans seem to be willing to  let the engine be damaged and try to pay the bill later, rather than have a confrontation with the the driver or insisting that they learn how the car really works.

And both sides are pretending that there is no real danger of blowing the engine completely, or driving the car off the cliff. I wish that were true.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Faster and Furiouser

Sometimes the simplest explanation can also be the most disturbing.

Liberal activists in the DOJ believe and wanted to sell the silly syllogism that guns from America were fueling the drug trade in Mexico - and that was a reason to trample on Second Amendment rights in the USA.  But they never could find any hard evidence via the after the fact "tracing" programs run on guns seized in Mexico, and they never say which USA gun stores were selling RPGs to Mexican cartels!

But if you deliberately set up a program to let hundreds of guns go from US gun stores into Mexico, tell the gun stores who report suspicious purchasers to "go ahead and sell them and then shut up", disable network access to make the guns invisible to local LEOs for a while, and transfer ATF and DOJ people who are not "down with the struggle" around so no one really knows the whole story - well then you have produced hard serial number evidence to justify some "executive orders" restricting gun sales in the USA!  Let's start with semi auto rifles, eh?

And the Border Patrol agent and other persons yet unknown who died as a result of this scheme, well, they served the greater cause of Liberalism, whether they wanted to or not.  After all, they were probably "bitter clingers" anyway!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Big Deal"

Obama's announced desire to "make a big deal on the budget" today probably means even their own people cannot keep jiggering the numbers.  They know the economy won't go sideways for long - it will most likely continue downward from here to November of 2012.  So their only hope for 2012 is to either pin it entirely on the GOP or at least get them to share the blame.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Civics is to Politics as Olympic Wrestling is to Professional Wresting

In Olympic wrestling, you actually try to win the contest, judged on an objective basis.  In civics, you actually want a good result for the body politic.

In professional wrestling, you want to be entertaining and get paid - everything else is unimportant.  Not just secondary, but almost irrelevant.  And in politics, the only contest is the election (like ratings on TV) and what happens after the election matters only if it affects the next election.

This is a real advantage for some politicians - they only care about winning.   They don't have to worry about getting any real results, or truth, or reality, or being objective about anything.  They don't have to worry about actually accomplishing anything, and they never want to be evaluated objectively.  They just want to have their promises be believable between the day they make them and the day that people decide how to vote.

So your job as a citizen is to try to figure out which politicians are using this approach. Then the decisions get even tougher - but we'll talk more about that later.