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  • No way to run a country

    No way to run a country

    The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough




    AS MIDNIGHT on September 30th approached, everybody on Capitol Hill blamed everybody else for the imminent shutdown of America’s government. To a wondering world, the recriminations missed the point. When you are brawling on the edge of a cliff, the big question is not “Who is right?”, but “What the hell are you doing on the edge of a cliff?”

    The shutdown itself is tiresome but bearable. The security services will remain on duty, pensioners will still receive their cheques and the astronauts on the International Space Station will still be able to breathe. Some 800,000 non-essential staff at federal agencies (out of 2.8m) are being sent home, while another 1.3m are being asked to toil on without pay (see article). Non-urgent tasks will be shelved until a deal is reached and the money starts to flow again. If that happens quickly, the economic damage will be modest: perhaps 0.1-0.2% off the fourth-quarter growth rate for every week the government is closed. The trouble is, the shutdown is a symptom of a deeper problem: the federal lawmaking process is so polarised that it has become paralysed. And if the two parties cannot bridge their differences by around October 17th, disaster looms.

    Battles over spending are nothing unusual—indeed, Congress has not passed a proper budget on time since 1997. But this battle represents something new. House Republicans are blocking the budget not because they object to its contents, but because they object to something else entirely: Barack Obama’s health-care reform, a big part of which started to operate this week (see article). Their original demand was to strip all funding from Obamacare. In other words, they wanted Democrats to agree to kill their own president’s biggest achievement. That was never going to happen. As the deadline for a budget deal approached, Republicans scaled back their demands. Instead of defunding Obamacare, they said that its mandate for individuals to buy health insurance (or pay a fine) should be delayed for a year.

    The bane of budgetary brinkmanship

    That may sound more reasonable, but it is not so, for two reasons. First, delaying the mandate could wreck the whole reform. Obamacare sits on two pillars. Everyone is obliged to have insurance, and insurance firms are barred from charging people more because they are already ill. If only the second rule applies, the sick will rush to buy insurance but the healthy will wait until they fall ill before doing so. Insurers will have to raise premiums or go bust, making coverage unaffordable without vast subsidies. Obamacare will enter a death spiral and possibly collapse. For some Republicans, that is the goal.

    The second reason is that Republicans are setting a precedent which, if followed, would make America ungovernable. Voters have seen fit to give their party control of one arm of government—the House of Representatives—while handing the Democrats the White House and the Senate. If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority. Washington will be permanently paralysed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.

    It gets worse. Later this month the federal government will reach its legal borrowing limit, known as the “debt ceiling”. Unless Congress raises that ceiling, Uncle Sam will soon be unable to pay all his bills. In other words, unless the two parties can work together, America will have to choose which of its obligations not to honour. It could slash spending so deeply that it causes a recession. Or it could default on its debts, which would be even worse, and unimaginably more harmful than a mere government shutdown. No one in Washington is that crazy, surely?
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    Unfortunately for the author of this drivel, this is exactly how to run a country. It is precisely what the Founders laid out in the first place.

    Clearly, this dimwit Limey is suffering from Reiditis. Only someone as astoundingly stupid as Harry Reid could actually go on national television and as "who do they think they are (meaning the House), declaring which parts of government get funded and which parts don't?" (paraphrase, but reasonably close). Well, Harry, you stupid bag of hair, they are the House of Representatives, and if you'd bother checking that Constitution that you swore to uphold, you would know that the primary purpose of the House is to declare which parts of the government get funded and which don't, you moron.
    Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
    No one will be denied:
    Big law suits and bathroom toots;
    We're all getting Dixie-fried.
    But somewhere Hank and Lefty
    Are rollin' in their graves
    While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

    Comment


    • #3
      Unless Congress raises that ceiling, Uncle Sam will soon be unable to pay all his bills.

      And here's another great big fucking lie the Left is desperate to push. Nothing could possibly be farther from the truth than this claim.

      A failure to increase the debt ceiling in no way, shape, form, or fashion means that we cannot pay our bills. It means that we can't borrow more money, but that has absolutely nothing to do with paying the bills. That's like claiming that because I'm maxed out on my credit cards, I'm automatically unable to pay a $100 electric bill even though I bring in $1000/week in income.

      The Treasury is bringing in about $2.3T per year. They have hundreds of millions of dollars coming in every single day in one form or another. We can most certainly pay what we currently owe, in the form of payroll, debt servicing, operating expenses, etc. What a lack of increasing the debt ceiling would do is prevent us from buying new shit, and perhaps force the federal government to go back on some of the other new shit that they have most recently promised to give away in exchange for pulling the donkey lever in the voting booth.

      Hitting the debt ceiling, maxing out the federal credit card means that we can't buy that 72" plasma screen at Best Buy. It doesn't mean that we can't pay the rent. Claiming otherwise, screeching "default" as the Left in this country has been doing for a couple of years now, is just a great big lie, and every single Democrat who has ever claimed that should be flogged with a shoestring in the public square, assuming that Obama hasn't fenced it off under the guise of a government shutdown.
      Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
      No one will be denied:
      Big law suits and bathroom toots;
      We're all getting Dixie-fried.
      But somewhere Hank and Lefty
      Are rollin' in their graves
      While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adam View Post
        Unfortunately for the author of this drivel, this is exactly how to run a country. It is precisely what the Founders laid out in the first place.

        Clearly, this dimwit Limey is suffering from Reiditis. Only someone as astoundingly stupid as Harry Reid could actually go on national television and as "who do they think they are (meaning the House), declaring which parts of government get funded and which parts don't?" (paraphrase, but reasonably close). Well, Harry, you stupid bag of hair, they are the House of Representatives, and if you'd bother checking that Constitution that you swore to uphold, you would know that the primary purpose of the House is to declare which parts of the government get funded and which don't, you moron.
        What are you talking about? They aren't advocating we dissolve the House, fire the Senate, and eliminate the Executive Branch and turn the reigns over to a computer program.

        Just because you can do something (partial shut down of the government, default on the debt, etc) doesn't mean you should.
        "There are four lights!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
          What are you talking about? They aren't advocating we dissolve the House, fire the Senate, and eliminate the Executive Branch and turn the reigns over to a computer program.
          No, they're just claiming (albeit tacitly) that the House should stop doing the one thing that they're supposed to do: control the national purse.

          Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
          Just because you can do something (partial shut down of the government, default on the debt, etc) doesn't mean you should.
          The ones who "shut down" the government are the Democrats, specifically Harry Reid and Barack Obama. There is no default on the debt and there never will be. That's a great big fucking lie by the Left. Just another case of Leftist fear-mongering that has no basis in reality.
          Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
          No one will be denied:
          Big law suits and bathroom toots;
          We're all getting Dixie-fried.
          But somewhere Hank and Lefty
          Are rollin' in their graves
          While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Adam View Post
            No, they're just claiming (albeit tacitly) that the House should stop doing the one thing that they're supposed to do: control the national purse.
            No they aren't. I did not see where they advocate the elimination of several clauses in Section 8 of our constitution.

            The ones who "shut down" the government are the Democrats, specifically Harry Reid and Barack Obama. There is no default on the debt and there never will be. That's a great big fucking lie by the Left. Just another case of Leftist fear-mongering that has no basis in reality.
            Okay, now you are just raving. Serious discussion cannot be had at this point. You are full blown into the Flavor Aid.
            "There are four lights!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
              No they aren't. I did not see where they advocate the elimination of several clauses in Section 8 of our constitution.
              Bullshit.

              Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
              Okay, now you are just raving. Serious discussion cannot be had at this point. You are full blown into the Flavor Aid.
              No one is buying that nonsense. Everyone and their brother already sees that the Democrats are the ones who shut down the government. This is not some FNC talking point. People see Harry Reid out there saying "why would we want to do that" when it came to funding the NIH to continue a clinical trial for kids with cancer, with the unanimously-passed House bill proffered to him to do just that. People see Barack Obama and Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrat(ic?) losers whining defiantly that they "will not negotiate." They see what's going on. They see that all of the desperate fear-mongering about how dreadful and horrible a "shut down" would be was nothing but bullshit, just like it was the last seventeen times that the Democrats bemoaned how awful a government "shut-down" would be, and nothing bad came of those, either. They see that Barack Obama is SO desperate for this to somehow be worse than it is that he would engage in, as you called it, "douchebaggery" and try to close the National Mall to a bunch of war heroes in wheelchairs, at a tremendous increase in cost. They see that the economy did not take some tremendous nose-dive (as if we had all that far down to go anyway) because of this, just like the economy completely and totally failed to tank like the Democrats' dire predictions over the "sequester." They see that the only defense that the Democrats have for the complete and total debacle that is Obamacare is to claim that "well, it's already the law," as if that somehow means that it's impossible or wrong to undo a bad law.

              The jig is up. People are opening their eyes to see that the doomsayers are full of shit. And all of those doomsayers are Democrats. Petulant, child-like Democrats. I'm loving every minute of it.
              Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
              No one will be denied:
              Big law suits and bathroom toots;
              We're all getting Dixie-fried.
              But somewhere Hank and Lefty
              Are rollin' in their graves
              While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Adam View Post
                Bullshit.

                No one is buying that nonsense. Everyone and their brother already sees that the Democrats are the ones who shut down the government. This is not some FNC talking point. People see Harry Reid out there saying "why would we want to do that" when it came to funding the NIH to continue a clinical trial for kids with cancer, with the unanimously-passed House bill proffered to him to do just that. People see Barack Obama and Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrat(ic?) losers whining defiantly that they "will not negotiate." They see what's going on. They see that all of the desperate fear-mongering about how dreadful and horrible a "shut down" would be was nothing but bullshit, just like it was the last seventeen times that the Democrats bemoaned how awful a government "shut-down" would be, and nothing bad came of those, either. They see that Barack Obama is SO desperate for this to somehow be worse than it is that he would engage in, as you called it, "douchebaggery" and try to close the National Mall to a bunch of war heroes in wheelchairs, at a tremendous increase in cost. They see that the economy did not take some tremendous nose-dive (as if we had all that far down to go anyway) because of this, just like the economy completely and totally failed to tank like the Democrats' dire predictions over the "sequester." They see that the only defense that the Democrats have for the complete and total debacle that is Obamacare is to claim that "well, it's already the law," as if that somehow means that it's impossible or wrong to undo a bad law.

                The jig is up. People are opening their eyes to see that the doomsayers are full of shit. And all of those doomsayers are Democrats. Petulant, child-like Democrats. I'm loving every minute of it.
                Yea. You really sound happy.
                "There are four lights!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
                  Yea. You really sound happy.
                  I'm ecstatic. I haven't been this delighted in ages.
                  • John Boehner finally found a pair of balls. Must have been in storage or he found them in Nancy Pelosi's desk drawer or something.
                  • The milquetoast GOP in the House and especially the Senate are now very, very sorry that they dicked over Ted Cruz.
                  • Harry Reid can't manage to walk past a pile of dogshit without jumping up and down in it.
                  • Barack Obama is even more tone-deaf than he was before, and everyone see it; indeed he just sounds like an absolute loon when he goes to a union factory in Maryland and tells them that it would be just crazy for them to quit work and shut the place down because they want something.
                  • Even CNN is realizing that this is the Democrats' doing and that the Republicans are being far more than reasonable.
                  • The federal government is taking a huge trim right now, and everyone else in the country realizes that it's no big deal to have a big trim on the feds.
                  • When we do come out of this "shut-down," we'll have a vastly slimmed federal government, like we did in 1996, and the economy will blossom because of it, like it did in 1996. Hell, we got an actual balanced budget out of the 1996 "shut down" AND some serious welfare reform; I can only wish and hope that Boehner has the guts to wrench Obama's hand enough to make him cry "uncle" like Noot did with Billy Jeff back in 1996. Fiscally, that would be the best damned thing that has happened to this country in a long, LONG time.



                  I'm tickled pink. I'm happier than a pig in shit right now.
                  Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
                  No one will be denied:
                  Big law suits and bathroom toots;
                  We're all getting Dixie-fried.
                  But somewhere Hank and Lefty
                  Are rollin' in their graves
                  While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yea. Jumping up and down in a house of mirrors might make you feel better.
                    "There are four lights!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I thought Billy was Bok's alter ego. Not seeing much difference so far.
                      We are so fucked.

                      Comment

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