Friday, February 11, 2011

God Mocks Pastor Truthiness

After denouncing Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins) for doing the devil's work and supporting Middle East dictators, Egyptians have their freedom. May they us it wisely.

Time now to denounce Huckabee of Judea and free Palestine!

Time to Call the Bluff of Republi-CON Budget Hypocrites

UPDATE: "Over the past decades, spending in nearly every section of the federal budget has exploded to unsustainable levels. . . The greatest pressure comes from entitlements. " Read The New York Times, The Freedom Alliance, which states:

"The supposedly rabid Republican freshmen are actually big government conservatives. They will cut programs that do measurable good while doing little to solve our long-range fiscal crisis.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration theoretically opposes runaway debt while it operationally expands it. The president is unwilling to ask for shared sacrifice if the Republicans won’t ask with him. Fine. But he hasn’t even used his pulpit to prepare the ground. He announces unserious cuts with lavish fanfare.

Since most of the budget is untouchable, the budget ax will fall on every section of the discretionary budget. It will fall on the just and unjust alike, regardless of merit.

The implication is this: If people who care about this or that domestic program fight alone, hoping that their own program will be spared, then they will all perish alone. If they have any chance of continuing their work, they will have to band together and fight their common enemy, the inexorable growth of entitlement spending."

From The Atlantic, We Are All Budget Hypocrites:

"The classic test of whether politicians are serious about balancing the federal budget is whether they confine their suggestions to eliminating earmarks, foreign aid, and fraud, waste, and abuse. Politicians love to rail against these things because they're unpopular and therefore make attractive targets. But doing so is a dodge. All combined, they account for only a tiny fraction of federal spending, so doing away with them does little for the bottom line. Anyone who implies otherwise isn't being forthright about the problem or the possible solutions. But politicians have always gotten away with this because most voters don't know enough about the budget to realize they're being snowed. . .

But the budget battle won't favor Republicans nearly as much as it might at first appear to. That's because, as voters learn more about what's on the line, their preferences tend to shift: They become less insistent on keeping taxes down, as Republicans would prefer, and more invested in protecting the kind of entitlements that Democrats cherish.

A New York Times/CBS poll last month showed that 7 in 10 Americans considered the deficit a "very serious'' problem, but also that they didn't think they should have to pay higher taxes to solve it -- a mindset that lends itself to the Republican claim that the problem stems mainly from spending, rather than revenue.

But when presented with the type of reductions that would be necessary to bring about this scenario -- including deep cuts in programs like Medicare and Social Security that generate most of the long-term debt -- the respondents changed their minds. Nearly two-thirds indicated that they would prefer solutions that are anathema to Republicans, such as higher payroll and gasoline taxes, a new levy on employer-provided health benefits, and limits on popular measures like a tax deduction for mortgage interest. They were suddenly open to cutting military spending, too.

Under no circumstances will reducing the deficit be painless or easy. One attempt to minimize tough political choices by outsourcing the problem has already come up short. Last fall, the White House's bipartisan deficit commission recommended a package of cuts and tax increases. But Obama flinched from endorsing it, and Congress never considered it. Instead, Republicans and Democrats will tackle the job on their own.

Which party ultimately comes out ahead will depend to a large extent on how much the public comes to terms with the real causes of the long-term budget deficit and what really has to be done to fix them. Right now, budget ignorance remains widespread, and Republicans appear to have the upper hand. But that could soon change. America will never be a nation of budget wonks. But if the budget battle finally forces voters to understand what eliminating the deficit will entail, the debate may soon look a lot different."

Is the Republi-CON Plan to Destroy the Banking System and Divide the Country?

UPDATE: "We’ve always known that the modern G.O.P. wants to take America back to the way it was before the New Deal; but now it’s clear that the party wants to build a bridge to the 19th century, and maybe even to the antebellum era. Backward, march! " Read The New York Times, Abraham Lincoln, Inflationist.

"The Republican takeover of the House put a chairman's gavel in the hands of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the gadfly GOP presidential candidate with a cult following. On Wednesday, he used that gavel for the first time - to remarkable effect.

The hearing itself was lively - based on Paul's desire to abolish the Federal Reserve and bring back the gold standard - but what really stood out was Chairman Paul's leadoff witness: a Southern secessionist. "

Read the Washington Post, Ron Paul's economic Rx: a Southern secessionist.