Patterico's Pontifications

1/8/2013

Political Advice from an Amateur: Um, Republicans Might Want to Stop Saying They’re for a Government Shutdown

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:01 am

John Cornyn:

It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.

Ted Cruz:

I think we have to be prepared to go so far as to shut the government down if we don’t get some serious policies to stop the out-of-control spending, to tackle the debt, and to get economic growth.”

Newt Gingrich:

I helped close the government twice. It actually worked. Bill Clinton came in and said “the era of big government is over” after two closures, not before.

Uh, fellas?

Can I make a small suggestion?

If you don’t want to be blamed for a government shutdown, don’t say you’re trying to achieve a government shutdown.

Please read again my fantasy speech given by a Republican with a backbone. (Obviously a hypothetical scenario. Just read the speech if you haven’t already.) The emphasis is on trying to work things out by compromise, while choosing a principle (a balanced budget) that will not be compromised.

President Obama and Minority Leader Pelosi are right to blame Congress for overspending. Even though they asked for all that overspending, we gave it to them. Well, we’re not going to do it any more.

I want to stress that we are open to negotiation on how we pass a balanced budget. If President Obama wants to make a counterproposal that balances the budget in a different way, we will listen. But what we won’t do is consider any counterproposal that spends more money than we are taking in.

Rhetorically, Republicans want to say that the last thing they want is a government shutdown. What they want — indeed, what they insist upon — is a balanced budget.

They will propose their own, understanding that it opens them up to the slings and arrows of “OH MY GOD BABIES AND OLD PEOPLE WILL DIE!!!” headlines from the media, and class warfare demagoguery from Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

If the president doesn’t like it, he can propose a balanced budget of his own.

If he refuses to sign the House’s balanced budget, or provide one of his own, then HE is responsible for the government shutdown. The one Republicans tried to hard to avoid.

Stress that you will do anything — ANYTHING! — to avoid a government shutdown . . . anything, that is, except the unthinkable: to keep spending money we don’t have.

Surely the president doesn’t believe in spending money we don’t have. Surely!

But a government shutdown?

That’s the last thing we want.

It’s true. We want a balanced budget, not a politically damaging shutdown. So talk about what we really want.

They’re already going to blame us, guys. You really aren’t obligated to help them do it.

UPDATE: Thanks to Ramesh Ponnuru (whom my iPhone’s Siri calls Grommesch Honolulu) at National Review for the link, and thanks to Adam Baldwin and others on Twitter for linking this post. Please understand: I am not saying that we should keep the government doors open at all costs. i am saying we should not act as though we want to shut down the government — because, in point of fact, we don’t. We simply insist in fiscal responsibility, and if the other side won’t be responsible as well, then we can’t pass an irresponsible budget again. And that may mean a government shutdown — but if that happens, the blame should fall on those who refuse to pass a responsible budget.

102 Responses to “Political Advice from an Amateur: Um, Republicans Might Want to Stop Saying They’re for a Government Shutdown”

  1. Basically, it’s a way of taking a tough-as-nails approach while *sounding* for all the world like you’re being reasonable.

    To this I would add: don’t express cynicism about whether Obama will sign a balanced budget. Of course you know he won’t, but as a rhetorical maneuver, say you’re hopeful that he will, because after all, it’s critical to the country’s future.

    These people really need a crash course in how to express themselves. These concepts are not hard.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. They don’t care about facts or the law, they will hold the families of servicemen and social security
    recipients hostage, they ignore the law re Planned Parenthood and OCS drilling;

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/01/07/obamas-union-hack-nlrb-orders-companies-to-continue-collecting-and-turning-over-union-dues-after-collective-bargaining-agreements-expire/

    narciso (3fec35)

  3. See, what Republicans are saying is really shorthand for: we want to cut spending, but we know Obama won’t go along, and that situation is going to cause a government shutdown, because we are sticking to our principles. (I don’t believe them, of course, but that’s what they’re saying.)

    But the way they’re saying it is: we may need to shut down the government.

    Dude. It’s not us shutting down the government.

    Of course, part of the messaging that I want is for them to actually construct and pass a balanced budget. And of course, they won’t do that because they don’t want to face the demagoguery they know they would experience regarding the cuts they would make. So in a sense, they are telling the truth: they just want to threaten a shutdown to gain some piddling concessions that will turn out to be chimerical upon close analysis.

    The messaging I am looking for is depending upon acts of courage (actually drawing up and passing a balanced budget) that I don’t expect to occur.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  4. What’s the first thing a debt specialist does when you have personal debt issues? Cut up the credit cards. Draw up a budget that requires ZERO credit.

    What comes in is all you get to spend.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  5. Yeah, I don’t buy the account of a fracking journalister like Suzy Khimm, as the proper interpretation, and I’m willing to bet the CSM got the details wrong, as well

    narciso (3fec35)

  6. They can’t pass a balanced budget. Because then they will have to choose between funding Medicare or being a global military power.

    We can’t fund both at current tax levels.

    The public likes Medicare, a lot, so defunding it isn’t a viable option. And that means a massive drop in military funding, which would be a huge loss of jobs in many places, making that also politically impossible.

    Turk (6dbf78)

  7. Yeah, I don’t buy the account of a fracking journalister like Suzy Khimm, as the proper interpretation, and I’m willing to bet the CSM got the details wrong, as well

    These are all direct quotes. I doubt all three are made up.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  8. Like Romney’s 47%, are we really going there,

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Turk,

    Right. Any fiscal responsibility is politically impossible because American want more from their government than we are willing to pay in taxes. Because people like Obama lie to them and tell them it’s possible to have it all and not pay for it.

    So let’s tell them the truth. Let’s show them what a balanced budget looks like, using what we would want as the numbers if we were dictators and didn’t care about public opinion.

    I understand it’s short term political suicide and I don’t care. Something dramatic has to happen. We’ve tried the “go along to get in power” route and it doesn’t work anyway. So take a damned stand. Someone has to for this insanity to stop.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  10. I didn’t read any of those quotes as having a shutdown as a goal, just an acknowledgement that it is possible.

    Orange Speaker should pass 2006 budget and adjoun.

    JD (7782d6)

  11. Except Newt. But I don’t really pay him much mind.

    JD (7782d6)

  12. Obvious man is obvious.

    SPQR (768505)

  13. I didn’t read any of those quotes as having a shutdown as a goal, just an acknowledgement that it is possible.

    I’m sure that’s what all these gentlemen meant. It’s just not what they said.

    And I don’t care to have a discussion about which is more important because I don’t care to have that discussion. What everyone should be able to agree on is that it would be better for these people’s public statements to better match what they actually mean. This post is an effort to help them do that.

    Part of our political suicide is necessary; the part where we take a stand. But the part where we help the other side do their messaging for them is not necessary.

    When (not if) the other side is there to distort the meaning of these quotes, I’ll be right there defending them and explaining what they meant. But, dammit, it sure would help if they would say what they meant to begin with. Their jobs are all about communication. And they’re screwing up really simple concepts.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  14. Because people like Obama lie to them and tell them it’s possible to have it all and not pay for it.

    When you write “people like Obama” I assume you mean politicians of any stripe.

    Turk (6dbf78)

  15. Well as Malone said ‘when you go after Capone, you need to be willing to go all the way’ Obama does,
    and he gets rewarded for it,

    narciso (3fec35)

  16. Patterico,

    Somebody’s going to call you a RINO any minute.

    Calling for a govt. shutdown will be supported by a solid majority of the public as proven by the fact that the Tea Party candidates won every race in 2010, if you don’t count the ones they lost.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  17. and thanks to Adam Baldwin and others on Twitter for linking this post.

    Dude, you got linked by John Casey. How cool is that?

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  18. Right, as the Thompson, Allen, and Mack victories proved, wait you mean they didn’t win,

    narciso (3fec35)

  19. Not to mention Jayne.

    mal reynolds (3fec35)

  20. See, what Republicans are saying is really shorthand for: we want to cut spending, but we know Obama won’t go along, and that situation is going to cause a government shutdown, because we are sticking to our principles.

    I’m not so sure about that.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  21. Right, as the Thompson, Allen, and Mack victories proved, wait you mean they didn’t win,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/8/2013 @ 7:46 am

    What is your point?

    Gerald A (f26857)

  22. How did the last government shut down work for the Republican Party, again?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  23. How did going along with Obama work out, those great deals, that Boehner negotiated.

    mal reynolds (3fec35)

  24. How did the last government shut down work for the Republican Party, again?

    What sort of argument is that? Just because the liars in the media are always going to blame the Republicans, no matter what happens, does that mean they should just give in to blackmail and not do their job?! When the government shut down under Reagan, it was the president’s fault, and when it shut down under Clinton it was Congress’s fault. What are we to conclude from that, except that those who blame Republicans are lying liars, and should be ignored and held in contempt, as should those who perpetuate the lie.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  25. It’s not an argument. It’s a question.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  26. Actually, scratch that. It’s a rhetorical question, and therefore an argument (though not the argument you think I’m making).

    The argument I’m making is that the Republicans talking about a government shutdown seem to be forgetting how badly the last government shutdown screwed their party.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  27. Even if it’s unfair, the Republicans will likely be blamed for a government shutdown – as they were blamed under Reagan, as they were blamed under Gingrich. So I’d think they’d be trying to avoid the topic as best they could, rather than trotting it out like it’s something good for them.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  28. How did the last government shut down work for the Republican Party, again?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/8/2013

    Wrong question.

    The correct question is how well has a government shutdown worked for the cause of spending reform.

    Dustin (73fead)

  29. And in another sense, actually, it remains a non-rhetorical question: what was gained from the ’95 shutdown, and did what was gained outweigh what was subsequently lost?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  30. What sort of argument is that? Just because the liars in the media are always going to blame the Republicans, no matter what happens, does that mean they should just give in to blackmail and not do their job?!

    To get back to Pat’s point, they shouldn’t be trying to shut down the govt. Nor should they say they’re trying to shut it down. If they say they’re trying to shut it down, then I don’t know how the media would be lying in blaming the Republicans.

    The Republicans don’t know how to frame things properly which is Pat’s point. An alternative interpretation is that they really are trying to shut down the government, which is stupid. Either way they’re stupid actually.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  31. Cross-posted with Dustin. His question (“The correct question is how well has a government shutdown worked for the cause of spending reform”) is the right sort of question.

    Isn’t there a “correlation is not causation” argument to be made in response to your question, though, Dustin?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  32. The republican brand {professional compromisers} is about to bargain away all of it’s chips. It’s what they do extremely well.

    mg (31009b)

  33. No, we care about the facts, and he doesn’t, he actually say there isn’t a spending problem, Iran is a small country, electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket, Benghazi was due to a film no one saw,

    narciso (3fec35)

  34. they have given up on taxes, Pelosi wants more, she’s like the plant in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

    narciso (3fec35)

  35. The republican brand {professional compromisers} is about to bargain away all of it’s chips. It’s what they do extremely well.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 1/8/2013 @ 8:23 am

    They shouldn’t bargain at all, which is Pat’s point. Just pass a budget that’s balanced or at least gets us much closer to one than currently. Then make the point that Obama and the Democrats are shutting down the government by not proposing a responsible budget.

    The problem for the Republicans is that that argument is too complicated for them to make. They’ll just keep saying “We’re going to burden the next generation with too much debt” but forget to make the point that they aren’t trying to shut down the government, the Democrats are.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  36. You mean like the Ryan plan, they’ll never misrepresent that, right

    narciso (3fec35)

  37. Isn’t there a “correlation is not causation” argument to be made in response to your question, though, Dustin?

    Not a very strong one.

    The budget was far superior in 1997 due to the shutdown in 1996. The democrats kicked and screamed about cuts to the ‘investments’ they wanted to make, and it took a shutdown to force them to compromise.

    That compromise worked very well for democrats, politically. A budget responsible attempt to pursue many of their initiatives is just as likely to work as an irresponsible one, and they get a roaring economy at the same time.

    Actually, I think the best political move the GOP could make would be to give Obama everything he wants. It will continue to ruin this country, and the blame would be at Obama’s feet.

    But that’s the wrong goal. We need to cut spending, desperately. What this country is doing… what democrats are doing, what some republicans are doing: it is deeply immoral. We are robbing our kids.

    Dustin (73fead)

  38. You mean like the Ryan plan, they’ll never misrepresent that, right

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/8/2013 @ 8:30 am

    Of course they’ll try to misrepresent it. You have to be prepared to defend against that too, which the Republicans also aren’t good at. But the point here is on shutting down the government.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  39. I think there are two attitudes.

    One is to try to avoid the MSM’s casting of blame and distortions by being careful how we say things. Avoid the coverpages showing that the government shutdown is because Newt sat on a back of a plane, etc etc.

    The other is to let all that slide, accepting that it is impossible to avoid this kind of propaganda, and if the democrats hope that this propaganda will aid their negotiations for more spending, they are mistaken.

    I think our leadership should be stubborn and accept nothing less than a major reduction in government spending. There’s nothing to lose for trying.

    Dustin (73fead)

  40. Well said, Patterico.

    They should stop all the saber rattling on TV–which will do as much good as it did last month–and start defining the problem and hoping that the Dems do the right thing.

    You know, the Dems spent a lot of money on advisors who taught them how to frame problems in a way that wins voters. Maybe the GOP should follow suit. Or just read what you said!

    Patricia (be0117)

  41. They lied through their teeth every single time, from Fluke to Romney’s taxes to Benghazi,

    narciso (3fec35)

  42. One is to try to avoid the MSM’s casting of blame and distortions by being careful how we say things.

    It’s not just a matter of being careful how you say things. Shutting down the government should not be the objective at all. If that actually is their objective then they’re stupid. They’re actual and stated objective should be cutting lots of spending while avoiding a shutdown.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  43. They’re actual and stated objective should be cutting lots of spending while avoiding a shutdown.

    Therein lies the Republican problem. They don’t know how to say it that way, because it contains two parts – (1) Cut spending, (2) avoid a shutdown. While Democrats are on TV saying the Republicans want to prevent seniors from getting their SS checks and prevent the military from getting their paychecks, we’ll see Republicans on TV saying “We can’t leave all this debt to our children!” and forget part (2).

    Gerald A (f26857)

  44. But I DO want the government shut down! Or as much of it as possible for as long as possible.

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  45. Republicans DON’T want a balanced budget. At least not this year.

    No Republican leader says that they do, and in fact I think they would agree that an immediate balanced budget now would cause an economic slowdown. (whether that is accurate or not)

    What they want is for the debt to eventually stop rising before it gets too high.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 1/8/2013 @ 8:17 am

    The correct question is how well has a government shutdown worked for the cause of spending reform

    Badly, as it gave Clinton more influence.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  47. Comment by Patterico (8b3905) — 1/8/2013 @ 6:15 am

    To this I would add: don’t express cynicism about whether Obama will sign a balanced budget.

    There won’t be any budget. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid will prevent one for coming up for a vote, because the contents of a Senate budget resolution require only 51 votes in the Senate,
    and can affect anything involving taxes or spending, like Obamacare, while everything else pretty much requires 60 votes, unless some politicians think they’ll be hurt by filibustering something, like maybe a nomination for a Cabinet position..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. Absolutely right. Even the quoted GOP’sters don’t want a shutdown, but their rhetoric allows them to be heard as saying the DO.

    Endemic to GOP politicians is lack of rhetorical skill. (Democrats are much more likely to seek and hold government offices far earlier in life, so they’ve practiced it. Republicans are much more likely to be reluctant politicians whose first adult decades were spent in the private sector, doing instead of talking.) They need practice, as Patrick ably points out — as someone who knows from trial experience that rhetoric matters.

    Mitch (341ca0)

  49. What do you do, when he won’t yield, because he doesn’t,

    narciso (3fec35)

  50. Badly, as it gave Clinton more influence.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

    The deficit went down. Since I specifically made that my stated goal, the shutdown went well. Of course it helped Clinton. Why wouldn’t a president presiding over fiscal conservatism benefit? Similarly, Obama would benefit politically from a decent budget. But he is willing to spend his political capital to get growth in government. You aren’t seeing the big picture, Sammy.

    Republicans soon won a lot of elections and the deficit was low (only by current standards) until Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker.

    Republicans DON’T want a balanced budget. At least not this year.

    No Republican leader says that they do

    You have a habir of putting words in the mouths of others, and you often do so in a way they wouldn’t agree to.

    It’s not just a matter of being careful how you say things. Shutting down the government should not be the objective at all. If that actually is their objective then they’re stupid. They’re actual and stated objective should be cutting lots of spending while avoiding a shutdown.

    Comment by Gerald A (f26857) — 1/8/2013

    I think it’s clear to anyone who isn’t dishonest or… well… stupid that the objective of the quoted leaders above is long term fiscal stability and less government spending.

    You can tell from how they explicitly say that’s their actual goal. Words like ‘in order to’ show that the tough road, which may include a shutdown, is the means to the ends.

    I am not convinced that our grandchildren would be better off if the federal government didn’t shut down permanently. I think that a shutdown does come with a heavy cost in a lot of ways, but the sheer scale of the burden we are putting on our kids and grandkids is much worse.

    But this is not the actual goal. The actual goal is to get the government running on a decent budget.

    t may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.

    This is good communication. Cornyn is willing to take responsibility for a shutdown because in the current political dynamic it may be necessary for his actual goal: fiscal well being of our country.

    And imagine: people are saying his goal is a shutdown! How stupid and dishonest! But inevitable.

    And so what? If republican leaders are willing to take a painful step to get to something they deem necessary, they owe it to the American people to JUSTIFY IT OPENLY. Let’s stop this spineless aversion of responsibility. That’s the thinking that got us Romney. This ‘let’s not scare anyone’ ‘let’s be clever and phrase things as gently as possible’… it’s not going to work.

    The truth should be that the GOP is willing to put us through some hardship and massive cutbacks in government benefits. They need to keep making the case for it openly. If they don’t, then the democrats will point out the truth: that we do seek these painful cutbacks… which we should have been making the case for.

    It was poor strategy in 2012 to follow the ‘leadership’ of men who say they will preserve our entitlements, and react angrily to those who take the bold stand that they are ponzi schemes. That is short term politics based on kicking the can down the road.

    So own what we’re selling the American people. It is not going to be easy to get off this addiction to huge government, but there are reasons why we must that should be conveyed directly. It will probably take years of this to get anywhere.

    Dustin (73fead)

  51. I’ve been critical of Cornyn, in previous instances, but this time he stepped up, now as with all tools, I would use this one sparingly, but keep it in the arsenal,

    narciso (3fec35)

  52. Even the quoted GOP’sters don’t want a shutdown, but their rhetoric allows them to be heard as saying the DO.

    Saying it may be necessary to do something, or that we have to be prepared to go as far as something, is actually conveying that this is a negative feature, a burden, a price.

    And are they willing to pay that price? Turns out they are. So they owe that honesty to the American people. While they are at it, they need to justify it by explaining how bad the ponzi scheme is.

    Dustin (73fead)

  53. But hey, put it out there that there will be no back pay if there is a shutdown. What isn’t paid should never be paid. No entitlements, no paychecks, no grants. That’s how it works when a private business runs beyond the funds it has.

    Dustin (73fead)

  54. We have to stop living in mortal fear of getting “blamed”. This insistence on currying favor, on being liked, gave us that dumbass deal w/Obama last week….and unfunded Medicare drug benefits under Bush 43….and Bush 41′s outrageous tax increases despite “read my lips.” All of this and lots more was done because we didn’t want to be “blamed.” Well, conservatives are gonna get blamed anyway, for everything–it’s baked into the MSM DNA. Instead, we should focus on using all our leverage to accomplish our goals. So yeah, let’s shut down the govt. What follows will be instructive. And constructive.

    Kevin Stafford (1d1b9e)

  55. It’s not an argument. It’s a question.

    It’s neither. It’s a threat.

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  56. This would not be a government shut down.

    This would be a default.

    Turk (6dbf78)

  57. I think it’s clear to anyone who isn’t dishonest or… well… stupid that the objective of the quoted leaders above is long term fiscal stability and less government spending.

    You can tell from how they explicitly say that’s their actual goal. Words like ‘in order to’ show that the tough road, which may include a shutdown, is the means to the ends.

    But this is not the actual goal. The actual goal is to get the government running on a decent budget.

    So you agree that they want a shutdown to occur. The fact that it’s a means to an end is beside the point. A shutdown is an objective as well.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  58. i like how these ones seem to understand the gravity of the situation

    i wish we had a speaker of the house like that instead of a fuzzy boehnerturd

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  59. Government shuts down every weekend. During storms
    only essential govt. employees are requested to show up. Shut it down

    nope (949c1e)

  60. I agree it’s more about how you say it, but since a shut down is something to be avoided if possible, they should be saying that they want to avoid one, and keep the focus on how they intend to make real spending cuts.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  61. That is exactly right. There’s no avoiding it. Especially if there’s some truth to it (which would be spun into something huge).

    There seems to always be two camps of thought.

    One says there’s no point in winning if we didn’t win a mandate to accomplish something.

    The other says there’s no point in opening pushing for a mandate for painful fixes if it means we don’t win.

    The problem is with the latter camp is that we get quite a lot of the negative PR of reform even if we don’t really push for reform, and this is actually worse as the reform isn’t justified.

    Mitt Romney promising to preserve entitlements doesn’t help because the MSM will find a way (like the 47% comment) to convey that he’s an extremist… and at that point the platform is paying the negative PR for reform without the positive PR of justifying it (by explaining that it’s an unsustainable ponzi scheme).

    I think we knew that during the primaries, but the other candidates were generally pretty poor (including the one I favored) so we muddled through this painfully aware of the problem.

    But we do have another lesson that this lukewarm conservatism pays almost all the hysterical MSM price that a real conservative would.

    We can respond to ‘they are willing to shut it all down and cut your benefits’ with either some sophistry and a waving of the hands, or an honest ‘yes we are and this is why’.

    Good salesmen do not half heartedly endorse their wares. They act like if you knew all they knew about the product, you would buy twenty. A successful BMW dealer doesn’t stutter and hem and haw when you ask if his product is twice as valuable as the car that costs half as much work to purchase. He either justifies it or he loses the sale.

    But some GOP leaders can’t justify spending cuts and shutdowns and balanced budgets. They need big government and deficits almost as much as democrats do. And that’s why the party has lost the relevance it should have today.

    Dustin (73fead)

  62. This would not be a government shut down.

    This would be a default.

    Lie. Nobody is suggesting we don’t make our debt payments.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  63. My previous comment was a reply to Kevin’s 54. That’s what I think is right.

    Dustin (73fead)

  64. If we are the point where a shutdown seems imminent, then you say “We were hoping to avoid a shutdown by the Democrats finally agreeing to responsible spending cuts, but they are irresponsible” etc. Until then don’t even talk about a shutdown.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  65. yes the cnn propaganda sluts don’t need an excuse to blame republicans

    everything is narrative with these whores and it’s quite out of our feckless Team R’s hands

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  66. This would be a default.

    Comment by Turk (6dbf78)

    I remember the democrats saying that in 1996 too. The problem is that if we really can only barely afford to service our current debts… to the point where we have to keep borrowing just to make the payments, then we actually need to urgently cut our spending.

    By insisting on all of Obama’s government programs, aren’t democrats like you actually pushing for default at a later date?

    It’s no different from someone who can’t afford their credit card bills trying to get another loan. They are ensuring the default will happen, when they really should be finding a way to balance their personal budget.

    Dustin (73fead)

  67. He treats the Congress as irrelevant, even though his clout is nowhere near where it was in 2009,

    narciso (3fec35)

  68. This would not be a government shut down.

    This would be a default.

    Lie. Nobody is suggesting we don’t make our debt payments.

    So you are suggesting that Obama has the legal authority to pick and choose which debts and obligations to pay, and which not?

    If that were true (and I don’t know if it is), I think a wise move would be to first look to all federal workers, programs, grants, funding in the states that don’t vote to raise the debt limit.

    Actually, that would be the second thing. The first would be to suspend all salaries and health care to Congressman and Senators.

    Turk (6dbf78)

  69. Absolutely, they can prioritize. If they choose to not make debt payments, that is one them. There are hundreds of billions in tax revenues coming in the door monthly. They can pay our incurred debt obligations, before paying the legislative social justice wish list.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  70. So you are suggesting that Obama has the legal authority to pick and choose which debts and obligations to pay, and which not?

    Amusing.

    So if Obama doesn’t get his Obamacare, he doesn’t have to service the debt. Either he gets them both, or he refuses to pay either.

    This is the kind of argument one would find from a debtor with poor character. For some reason I hear this from democrat activists.

    But the real joke is that the democrats have failed to pass a budget in years, in violation of the law, and now they are talking about what they are legally required to do.

    Dustin (73fead)

  71. Sorry, but the real question is not How well has any shutdown worked, but How well have the government worked when operational>

    Gary L. Zerman (90c3ba)

  72. Something about the budget in 1981:

    http://twitter.com/jdickerson/status/288636603017076736/photo/1

    via @jdickerson: Just pulled down my copy of What it Takes in honor of Richard Ben Cramer. RIP pic.twitter.com/gRIMfFe0 via ABC’s The Note

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  73. SF: Badly, as it gave Clinton more influence.

    50. Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 1/8/2013 @ 10:04 am

    The deficit went down. Since I specifically made that my stated goal, the shutdown went well.

    No, you wanted spending cut. The correct question is how well has a government shutdown worked for the cause of spending reform

    There was none. The deficit went down because economic growth went up, not because of any spending cuts or spending reform the Republicans got with the shutdown that they wouldn’t have gotten without the shutdown.

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 didn’t pass because of the shutdown. It became law because Clinton didn’t want to veto a welfare reform bill for the third time in an election year.

    Of course it helped Clinton. Why wouldn’t a president presiding over fiscal conservatism benefit?

    ThClinton was actually pretending the budget situation was worse than it was

    . When we seemed iuunavoaiudably headed towaard a balanced budget, he came up with the idea of the Social Security lockbox.

    Similarly, Obama would benefit politically from a decent budget. But he is willing to spend his political capital to get growth in government. You aren’t seeing the big picture, Sammy.

    Republicans soon won a lot of elections and the deficit was low (only by current standards) until Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker.

    Republicans DON’T want a balanced budget. At least not this year.

    No Republican leader says that they do

    You have a habir of putting words in the mouths of others, and you often do so in a way they wouldn’t agree to.

    It’s not just a matter of being careful how you say things. Shutting down the government should not be the objective at all. If that actually is their objective then they’re stupid. They’re actual and stated objective should be cutting lots of spending while avoiding a shutdown.

    Comment by Gerald A (f26857) — 1/8/2013

    I think it’s clear to anyone who isn’t dishonest or… well… stupid that the objective of the quoted leaders above is long term fiscal stability and less government spending.

    You can tell from how they explicitly say that’s their actual goal. Words like ‘in order to’ show that the tough road, which may include a shutdown, is the means to the ends.

    I am not convinced that our grandchildren would be better off if the federal government didn’t shut down permanently. I think that a shutdown does come with a heavy cost in a lot of ways, but the sheer scale of the burden we are putting on our kids and grandkids is much worse.

    But this is not the actual goal. The actual goal is to get the government running on a decent budget.

    t may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.

    This is good communication. Cornyn is willing to take responsibility for a shutdown because in the current political dynamic it may be necessary for his actual goal: fiscal well being of our country.

    And imagine: people are saying his goal is a shutdown! How stupid and dishonest! But inevitable.

    And so what? If republican leaders are willing to take a painful step to get to something they deem necessary, they owe it to the American people to JUSTIFY IT OPENLY. Let’s stop this spineless aversion of responsibility. That’s the thinking that got us Romney. This ‘let’s not scare anyone’ ‘let’s be clever and phrase things as gently as possible’… it’s not going to work.

    The truth should be that the GOP is willing to put us through some hardship and massive cutbacks in government benefits. They need to keep making the case for it openly. If they don’t, then the democrats will point out the truth: that we do seek these painful cutbacks… which we should have been making the case for.

    It was poor strategy in 2012 to follow the ‘leadership’ of men who say they will preserve our entitlements, and react angrily to those who take the bold stand that they are ponzi schemes. That is short term politics based on kicking the can down the road.

    So own what we’re selling the American people. It is not going to be easy to get off this addiction to huge government, but there are reasons why we must that should be conveyed directly. It will probably take years of this to get anywhere.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  74. Ted Cruz is campaigning for a balanced budget amendment not a balanced budget for fiscal years 2013 or 2014.

    Nobody, I think, is suggesting a balanced budget now.

    Obama probably wants both spending growth and a lower deficit trend. His big idea right now is cutting the Defense Budget and Chuck Hagel has probably convinced him he knows how to do it safely.

    Obama expected the republicans to bring up theh sequester first in the last negotiations, because of the military cuts, but Boehner didn’t and he had to bring it up first.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  75. Obama is walking a real tightrope on this issue. He has his tax increases — “revenue enhancers” — and now wants to hold the line on spending cuts in the hopes that the economy will make marginal improvements, tax revenue will increase, and the deficit will slowly inch down. Any doubt that Obama and his media allies will declare total and complete success if the deficit goes from $1.2 trillion in 2012 to something like $800 billion by 2015?

    The risk he runs is that our economy will continue to be sluggish, especially after the new tax increases and the continuing problems in Europe as well as the possibility of real financial and political trouble in China. Instead of slightly decreasing annual deficits, we may see them start to inch up again, especially when we try to figure out how to fully implement ObamaCare. Obama’s legacy may be to codify $1.5 trillion annual deficits, at least until the creditors tell us the party is over.

    A really cynical political party might just allow Obama to have everything his heart desires, then hope to pick up the pieces in 2016 once it all comes tumbling down. Of course, I am not sure any of us will want to live in the economic basket case that is sure to follow.

    JVW (4826a9)

  76. Patterico, this is what I was sayign during the election. I didn’t think Romney would cut much because he wouldn’t say what those cuts were. Not very broadly anyway. I think they’re all cowards and have little hope.

    time123 (03e182)

  77. I didn’t think Romney would cut much because he wouldn’t say what those cuts were.

    Not cutting much and wanting to continue reckless overspending in perpetuity is not the same.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  78. #78

    I believed that he would push for repealing Obamacare. There was also Ryan’s Medicare reform plan. That was pretty specific and proposing it carried real risk. I’m not sure what you were expecting to hear.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  79. They wanted to hear specific cuts so they could say he wanted to kill old people, starve children, etc …

    JD (5ed6bd)

  80. If you are faced with a criminal holding a gun on a group of hostages, you really don’t want to say “Go ahead and shoot one”. The blame needs to be laid on the criminal, not the honest people.

    Phillep Harding (1b8b26)

  81. Romney was a results oriented person

    and that’s the nicest thing I can say about him

    I’m glad he’s gone to his quiet place

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  82. Giving advice to a politician not to talk about something is about the same as telling the ocean not to have tides – it is just in their nature to do things that Nature compels them to do, and no amount of advice, or discipline, can stop them.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  83. and the deficit will slowly inch down

    Why, Yes, with just small improvements in the economy where we can decrease the deficit by 5, or 6% each year, in 10-15 years it will have been taken care of.
    But, of course, in the interim we will have racked up another 6-12 Trillion Dollars in Debt.
    All that on the assumption that they don’t increase spending – which is a very big assumption.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  84. Among the many things that annoy me about the media is that Obama’s complete inability to actually negotiate competently is never mentioned.

    Everytime its necessary to negotiate something, Obama blows it up and some other Democrat has to come in to get negotiations done.

    SPQR (768505)

  85. When the insane in d.c. stop the baseline increases on every program, then and only then will I take this talk seriously.

    mg (31009b)

  86. I would be more surprised if Romney had repealed Obamacare than if Obama did. Obama wants Single Payer. Obamacare is very close to Romney’s ideal arrangement.

    This is where the GOP runs into trouble. We’re so caught up in tactics, blame, looking reasonable… we forget to actually say what we mean and mean what we say. It becomes a lot harder to know which candidates are etch a sketching it, and which are sincere.

    So to me, nothing beats a record. You can have a record that shows you support balanced budgets if you balance your budgets. Second to a record is taking stands when it actually is costly, such as standing up and explaining that you actually find a government shutdown justified by the cause of a balanced budget.

    If you do, then it is your ‘fault’ in at least some way, and it is only fair that you take responsibility for that (I admire those with the leadership to do so).

    Dustin (73fead)

  87. Tactics only work to support the underlying beliefs, in the debates, Romney revealed he couldn’t
    convincingly speak the conservative ‘patois’, so he was reduced to ‘practicing sociology with an open mike’

    narciso (3fec35)

  88. Romney’s a good man and I was harder on him than was fair, because I was so worried that Obama was going to get the gift of another RINO nominee. Unfortunately, the conservatives didn’t bring much of a competition, and Romney was possibly the best nominee.

    but yes, when Romney was criticizing those taking tough stands on entitlements, he was not convincingly conservative… to put it kindly. But I think he was being honest. He wants to preserve a very, very, very large government. A lot of Republicans do.

    Personally, I am not all that bothered by the idea of shutting it down for a while so I can see how much I really miss it. Maybe we don’t need it? Maybe the federal government could take a ten year break and let the states do whatever the hell they want (including paying a per capita share of the debt). I think that would be damn near ideal, except that democrat states would default on their share of the debt. It’s too bad this kind of concept is so impossible, and something much crazier is our reality.

    Dustin (73fead)

  89. @80, you’re right, Ryan’s Medicare program is pretty clear. Replace the current entitlement with a subsidy that seniors could use to buy health insurance. Costs would be controlled by increasing the voucher more slowly than the costs of health care. It’s not perfect, but it’s a starting point. But I didn’t think Romney had said he was adopting it as his policy. I think he said many times that he wasn’t. But if that’s where the GOP want’s to start than they should do so.

    Time123 (05096f)

  90. @81. I’m not sure about “they” but as I said before. If they won’t say what they want to do up front, I don’t have much confidence they’ll push for tough decisions. Maybe I’m wrong…but I don’t think I’ve seen it yet. The GOP is still loving cuts in the abstract but not wanting to talk specifics beyond “waste fraud and abuse” It’s like when the Dems talk about raising taxes on “the wealthy”.

    Time123 (05096f)

  91. Dustin, I think the red states get more in federal taxes than they pay, on average. Also, defense is important. We should have some.

    Time123 (05096f)

  92. It doesn’t matter how the Republicans say it, the media, and the bulk of Americans who rely on them, will blame it on the Republicans.

    If the other side can convince people that objections to a Democratic attack on religious freedom is a Republican attack on women, they can sell anything.

    It may be hopeless.

    John Moore (3f1a01)

  93. Dustin, I think the red states get more in federal taxes than they pay, on average.

    One reason this statistic is foolish to rely on is that federal spending isn’t worth all that much.

    It’s also untrue for my red state, which definitely puts more in that it gets out.

    But a lot of what we are forced to put in and forced to get back… we don’t actually want that anyway.

    Defense… you have a point there I agree, but the worst aspect of democrat spending is that it’s fueling China’s development into a superpower militarily. I think we’re a lot safer if we balance our budget.

    I am not seriously worried about the USA being invaded. I am an actual neo-con, though, and think the USA should export our democracy to promote stability. I don’t think that’s realistic with our current political outlook… correct me if I’m mistaken.

    Dustin (73fead)

  94. the money tree stands
    shriveled and fruitless no hope
    but where are we now?

    Colonel Haiku (c9a580)

  95. we’re just biden time
    and we dread teh Dead Fed Fred
    Obamanation

    Colonel Haiku (c9a580)

  96. Well we’re not at the same point as the usual South Korean and Taiwanese parliamentary shindigs, but I see the point, funny how the democrats were so insistent on validating tyrannies like Iraq and Syria, and now want every country to be an elected dictatorship in the Turkish model,

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. do even potential Republican presidents want a balanced-budget amendment? not giving the thumbs up to Obamaism but it does sorta straightjacket economic policy during downturns

    JDP (9416ce)

  98. I want environMentalists targetted for assassination. I want DC Metro to look like Detroit, or better yet, 1945 Tokyo.

    I look for the opening of the seventh seal, but of course, I would never say that. That would be cwazie.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  99. not giving the thumbs up to Obamaism but it does sorta straightjacket economic policy during downturns

    If you think the government needs to control the economy to limit our downturns, then you might not like the idea of limiting its ability to spend lots of money when we don’t have any. In my opinion, limiting the government a lot will lead to a more prosperous country.

    Those states that really try to abide by a balanced budget don’t have the kinds of downturns states that spend freely have.

    And yes, there were presidential candidates calling for a balanced budget amendment. Some to offer a stipulation for emergency spending with conditions on how to authorize it. Personally, I would rather see contingencies saved for.

    Dustin (73fead)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4791 secs.