American Elephants

Senator Jeff Sessions Takes On Transportation Secretary LaHood. by The Elephant's Child

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared before the Senate Budget Committee, and Senator Jeff Sessions was ready for him. President Obama’s budget has been largely derided as ‘unserious.’ The president has stated that his budget “reduces non-security spending as a share of the economy to the lowest levels since the Eisenhower administration.” This is a feat accomplished by redefining highway spending and a portion of Pell Grants as entitlement spending. Brian Reidl at Heritage compared it to the old headline from The Onion: “”millions lifted out of poverty by redefinition of the term.”

According to the administration’s own numbers, the 2012 budget would push debt (held by the public, not government trust funds) up to nearly $12 trillion at the end of 2012.  That’s up from $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008. The federal government would have borrowed as much during Obama’s four-year term of office as it had during the previous two-century-plus history since the Republic was founded in 1789.

Democrats hate the president’s budget too, but for different reasons.  They want (wait for it) more taxes on “the rich.”  The Hill says the” White House’s endgame is to use the budget to trap an aggressive yet fractured GOP. which it hopes will propose unpopular cuts and then have to defend them.” Secretary LaHood’s suggestion that we all just sit down and talk about it, is fairly offensive.  The White House is betting that people outside the beltway will think the president is willing to cut programs dear to him in an effort to get fiscally tough. Let’s redefine that: They think Americans are stupid.


Democrats Deny the Obvious! by The Elephant's Child

(click to enlarge)

One of the most worrisome things I have encountered are the numbers of  Democrats who insist that there is no debt crisis. That there is no need for Republicans to cut spending — nothing to see here,  just move along.  Liberals have long made a habit of opposing anything Republican, but basic 3rd or 4th grade math lets you subtract 2.2 from 3.5 — even if you don’t know decimals or, like most of us, really understand a trillion dollars.

“The Senate Democratic agenda pays lip service to the public thirst for budget cuts by adopting President Barack Obama’s call for a five-year domestic spending freeze while trumpeting new spending that the Democrats argue will create jobs,” reported Roll Call.

The Democrats are still wed to the Keynesian theory of economics that assumes there is a “multiplier” out there somewhere that returns a multiple of each dollar that is “invested” in the economy. Democrats also like to call their spending “investment.”  The sainted FDR believed in Keynesian economics as well, but it didn’t work for him either.  But if Democrats admitted that, they would have to admit that FDR did not, in reality, rescue us from the Great Depression but made it worse.  Sen. Charles Schumer tied Democrats to Obama’s message of out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world — an odd portrayal of an America in decline that needs to imitate Europe,  or India, or someone else.

The details included are relatively modest, recycled ideas that in the past have garnered at least some bipartisan support. The 20-item list includes finally passing a long-delayed highway bill, protecting stimulus smart-grid and clean-energy investments from Republican cuts, creating a Clean Energy Deployment Administration, and making the research and development tax credit permanent. Other items include perennials such as patent reform, tax reform and a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law. …
Democrats argued that their new investments in education, energy and highways in their five-page “Winning the Future” agenda, coupled with an overall spending freeze, are preferable to deep cuts across the government proposed by Republicans.

Democrats said cutting deep into education, infrastructure and scientific research, as the House Republicans plan to do this week, would cut future job growth and lead to deep cuts in both private- and public-sector jobs at a time when the economy cannot afford it.

The divide between Democrats and Republicans has grown to a chasm. Democrats want to play class warfare and talk about “the rich”, as if someone becoming rich made the poor poorer. The poor are and will always be the bottom 20% of the Treasury Department’s 5 sectors of American income — no matter how much the situation of the poor improves.  They are not the same people over time — America’s economy is outstanding in the mobility of people through income categories.

Democrats not only deny the debt crisis in the country, but at the state level as well, witness the snarling mobs of Madison.  There is no debt crisis, no one should be asked to pay even a small portion of their own health care or retirement, taxes should be raised on the rich and property taxes should be raised.  California continues its decent into bankruptcy, apparently assuming that the federal government will bail them out, but they cannot forego any of their useless green initiatives.

If  they won’t admit the problem, it’s going to be very hard to solve it.

(h/t: Randall Hoven)

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