9 thoughts on “Sequestration

  1. Paul Milenkovic

    Is this end-strategy in the Game of Cliffs?

    There was idea that Mr. Obama was The Transformational Leader, kind of like Tony Blair’s New Labor coalition on steroids, that would cut through all of the ideology, cut through the spin, cut through the party labels, and present us with the Grand Bargain on the Deficit, Entitlements, and the Meaning of Life.

    C’mon people, at least the “Obamacons”, a David Brooks, a Peggy Noonan, and (yes, I am talking about you as well) an Ann Althouse “believed” this at some level.

    OK, people, you heard it here on Rand’s excellent Web page, and you heard it here first. There is no Grand Bargain? Repeat, slowly after me. There . . . is . . . no . . . Grand . . . Bargain.

    The reason we had the latest round of tax increases (darn, my paycheck just shrank, and I am not even “rich”) has to do with bad strategy in the use of fiscal cliffs, the current election (Menken’s motto about Democracy and the people getting the government they want, good and hard), and the President’s complete lack of sincerity about a Grand Bargain.

    There . . . is . . . no . . . Grand . . . Bargain. We may see the burgeoning Deficit as an existential threat, but no one else seems to see it that way, certainly not 51% of the voters and definitely not the President. We can be mad at Boehner for giving ground on taxes and not following “our” “let it burn” strategy, but we are really only mad at Mr. Boehner for what we think were bad tactics, but his heart is in the right place. Really. And seriously.

    It would have been nicer to hold the ground on taxes, but the tax increase is past history, and besides, as Mr. McConnell reminds us, if Mr. Obama (or Mr. Schumer or whoever) say we need “tax increases as part of a balanced approach for a Grand Bargain”, we need to tell the opposition (in the fashion of telling a sulking kid) “you already got your tax increases, what more do you want?”

    In other words, there will be more call for tax increases but don’t fall for any of them. Part of how our side got taken by the latest tax increase is that our people have been yelling “The Deficit, The Deficit, Cut the Entitlements, Cut the Entitlements” until we lost the last election. There . . . is . . . no . . . Balanced . . . Approach . . . because . . . there . . . is . . . no . . . Grand Bargain.

    We just need to “muddle through” the next four years. I think Mr. Ryan fully “groks” this.

    1. Edward Wright

      Milton Friedman said it 20 years ago. Deficits are not the problem, they are a symptom. The problem is the size of government spending.

      Trying to cure deficits with tax increases is like trying to cure a fever by bleeding.

      1. Gregg

        Friedman was a smart guy. He also said:

        “Don’t worry about getting the ‘right’ people into office; find a way to get the wrong people to do the right thing.”

  2. Paul Milenkovic

    Yes, Weepy the Cave Man.

    One of the thing about the Liberal side of politics is that they recognize their own. Like Bill Clinton of “triangulation” and the liberal-squishy DLC and with Dick Morris on board. Bill Clinton during his darkest hour of impeachment. Circling the wagons and all of that.

    Bill Clinton was given a lot of maneuvering room to do that “Moderate Democrat” thing. Kind of like the Marxist dialectic, where you sometimes advance, sometimes retreat, but you know the goal.

    Our side, why we scrape our hand on some sharp rocks, and we are screaming “medic! medic!” as well as want to cashier our generals.

    1. Al

      “where you sometimes advance, sometimes retreat, but you know the goal.”

      But that’s precisely the point.

      If (as an example) it were Paul Ryan doing the negotiating, there’d be a lot of slack cut for anything that sounds vaguely reasonable. Because he obviously knows where the goal is.

      But we get leaders who (a) can’t articulate what the goal is, (b) position themselves as “Against whatever -that- asshole is for“, and (c ) end up repeatedly declaring victory on “split the difference” compromises that are structural catastrophes. And we’re continually maneuvered into this exact bargaining situation by not having well-prepared alternatives to put forth before it gets to the “argue over the money” stage.

      1. Gregg

        “And we’re continually maneuvered into this exact bargaining situation by not having well-prepared alternatives to put forth before it gets to the “argue over the money” stage.”

        Well to be fair, Ryan laid out his budget proposal and did a lot of talking about it, but the whole thing was demagogued into oblivion by the Marxist – showing a Ryan look alike dumping granny off the cliff.

        I agree with you that guys like Boehner do not communicate well – or hardly at all. And the Conservatives are being beaten in the communication game. But it isn’t always because they have no proposals.

        Conservatives and the GOP have to come to grips with the fact that the other side will say the most outrageous things demagoguing any reasonable idea. And MSM will not call them on it. And a good chunk of the public will be sold by the Marxists – it’s hard to combat granny in a wheel chair with logic – one is emotional and the other is reason. In this nation emotion wins.

        Echo chambers like talk radio, and blogs, aren’t enough. Conservatives have to talk to *people* and lots of them and explain, in simple terms, how THEY are being pushed off the cliff.

  3. Gregg

    It would be interesting to get a list of all the places Reagan gave speeches between his time at the Screen Actor’s Guild and the 1980 inauguration.

    WHO did he talk to?

    He had the right message and was able to articulate it well……

    but who did he talk to?

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