Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2013

Proposed Budget Deal: Doing the “Chef Toke” for Giant Deficits

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

There’s a new budget deal in the works, says Brad Plumer of the WONKblog. Under the proposed deal, we would give up increases in spending and “user fees” (read: taxes). In return, we would receive empty promises of spending cuts “down the road”:

Under current law, discretionary spending is set to fall from $986 billion this year to $967 billion in 2014. The proposed deal would raise that to somewhere around $1 trillion in 2014. The extra money would be split evenly between defense and non-defense programs.

In exchange, the deal would add other spending cuts further down the road and could raise new revenues by increasing some user fees. The goal is to keep the overall deficit unchanged over the next 10 years.

I’ll just go ahead and repeat that last sentence: “The goal is to keep the overall deficit unchanged over the next 10 years.”

That’s the goal.

The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase “chef toke” as follows:

The Chef Toke is performed to salute work of great quality and skill. It is done by making the “OK” sign (tips of the thumb and forefinger touching while the other three fingers are extended) and then kissing the point where the thumb and forefinger meet. The Chef Toke action is often accompanied by an exaggerated “Mmmwah!” kissing sound.

In my experience, the “Mmmwah!” sound is accompanied by a quick flick of the wrist outward, during which the thumb and forefinger are now extended such that the palm and all extended fingers now face the observer.

You should imagine me doing the “chef toke” as I observe that our 2013 deficit level is (“Mmmwah!”) just right at a mere $680 billion.

P.S. If we don’t impose higher tax–, er, “user fees” on people, how can we have money for important stuff like this?

The US State Department on Friday fended off criticism for commissioning a $1 million sculpture for its London embassy, saying it was “a good use of our limited resources.”

The piece by Irish-born artist Sean Scully was purchased as part of the department’s Art in Embassies program and will be reportedly installed at the new mission due to open in 2017.

“This piece was purchased under the market price after considerable negotiation with both the artist and the gallery. This is an important part of our diplomatic presence overseas,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Yes, $1 million is a very small amount in the context of the federal budget. Anyone making that objection, please give me the very small amount of $1 million.

P.P.S. If I’m going to spend a lot of money on a statue, I’m going to take your $1 million and hire a chainsaw artist to turn a tree on my front lawn into a Hook ‘Em Horns sculpture:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.11.08 AM
Credit: Gene Davis

A carving that turned a dead tree into a “Hook ‘Em Horns” sculpture has understandably generated plenty of buzz in the North Austin neighborhood where it sits and hand-signals.

The sculpture commissioned by Longhorn fan Gabriel Trinidad for his front yard made the news and, on an early Tuesday afternoon, caused multiple people to stop their cars and snap a photo. However, one person is a bit perplexed by all the attention the sculpture has received: Doug Moreland, the Texas Chainsaw Artist and musician responsible the artwork.

I just like the phrase “Texas chainsaw artist.”

Hey, I have an idea! Let’s set Doug Moreland and his chainsaw loose on our national budget!

P.P.P.S. Imagine me doing the chef toke, but instead of curling in the forefinger, I am curling in the middle finger and ring finger, as depicted in the photo above.

HOOK ‘EM MMMWAH!


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