American Elephants

Speaker John Boehner Shows a Great Deal of Leadership. by The Elephant's Child
April 9, 2011, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: ,

They got a deal at the last-minute.  I was surprised, I thought that Obama was set on shutting to government down.  The outrageous bloviating of the media over a potential shutdown for a day or two  sounded like Armageddon.  We were going to have bodies in the street, people were going to die, and the entire country would suffer.  They really went way overboard. The longest shutdown ever was something like 5 days.

Speaker John Boehner announced the deal around 10:30 pm last night.  He secured more than $38.5 billion in cuts, a higher figure than many expected.  He has managed to turn the Washington dialogue  into a debate on the size and scope of government. He got rid of earmarks at the beginning of the year, and now he got some real spending cuts. This is just the belated 2011 budget.  Harry Reid said that “we have to get this country’s fiscal house in order.” and that we have to make cuts.  Democrats didn’t seem to be aware that there was a spending problem,  and indicated that they just intended business as usual. This admission is a big step forward.

$79 billion less than it would have been represents the full level of cuts for all of fiscal 2011., and $38.5 billion for the rest of the year. Numerous studies of the health care bill will be ordered, leading into next year’s elections.  There will be yearly audits conducted by the Government Accountability Office and private industry on the impact of last year’s financial services reform package (Dodd-Frank), a major plus for Wall Street and the Banking industry.  Federal funding was restored for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships.  Funding for Planned Parenthood and the EPA threatened to sink the negotiations, but will be debated in the Senate. (publicity helps)  And the IRS is not going to be hiring hundreds of new agents. They have passes a quick continuing resolution to keep anything from shutting down. There were lots of little policy amendments that will become clearer when it all gets spelled out.

Many battles ahead. But now that they have dealt with past business, they can start dealing with the 2012 budget.  The president had lots of new spending in his budget request.  We’ll see if he has learned that there is really a spending problem, and spending does no create jobs.

Would You Buy a New Car From This Man? by The Elephant's Child
April 9, 2011, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Humor, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: ,

Having trouble with higher gas prices? Just trade in your old gas guzzler that only gets 8 miles to the gallon for a new Volt?  And the old favorite Big Lie: We only have 2% of the world’s oil and we use 25% of the world’s oil.  The U.S is often depicted as having only a tiny part of the world’s oil reserves at around 28 billion barrels (based on the misleading figure of “proven reserves”).  In reality, according to the Congressional Research Service, we actually have around 135 billion barrels, or 83% recoverable oil.

He claims that drilling more would not affect the price of gas—but if all permits for the Gulf were issued so the rigs could go back to work, it would have an effect.  The price of gas at the pump is partially based on future expectations. Yet at the same time the president suggests that regulating the industry to demand that they increase the fuel-efficiency of cars and trucks would have a prompt result at the pump, yet it  takes several years before the cars and trucks on the road all have a higher mpg rating. People are driving their vehicles longer before trading them in, partly due to the recession as well as higher prices for cars because of new mpg requirements.

The Headline comes from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, and was just too perfect not to repeat.

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