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The Absurdity Of The Budget Debate

The president makes an appearance at La Raza—which stands for The Race: which race? the race—and announces that it would be keen if he followed Woody Allen’s advice and dictated his desires to his subjects, who would be required to heed.

His exact words were, “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”

The audience responded: “Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!” Which encouraged The Man Who Never Heard No to say, “Believe me — believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting.”

Considering, and doubtlessly chilled by these words, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, warned that Republicans are attempting to impose a “dictatorship”, which is being imposed upon them by “extremists” in their caucus.

Tea PartyShe claimed that the tea partiers “incite their caucus with, essentially, violent movie clips — pushing their people to inflict pain and hurt people.” Perhaps Schultz had in mind the fellow pictured on the left.

It wasn’t just members of the race that egged Obama to assume the accept publicly the crown which he has in private imagined himself wearing. Journalists who see it as their duty to lead the lesser beings who are their readers are also making the call.

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast is one of many who shout, “Obama Should Stop Being Reasonable,” and that he should “raise the debt ceiling unilaterally.” It’s true the Constitution forbids this. But it is a living document, capable of reinterpretation by journalists to fit the times, in much the same way those who populate health food stores wile away long winter evenings mining the words of Nostradamus to discover what will come.

And then we had Al Franken—whose fame was found in comically portraying simple idiots—head to the Senate floor with an enormous blue and yellow-lettered placard that shouted “WELCOME TERRORISTS.” Franken’s argument is that if we don’t allow the government to borrow and raise taxes without limit, then the terrorists will have won.

Al Franken Welcome TerrroristsFranken’s appeal did not fall on deaf ears. Each one of his compatriot Democrats were so overwhelmed by the possibility of terrorists running amok that all of them wrote a letter to John Boehner saying they would not pass any bill sent to them.

Democrats want to take more money from citizens so that politicians can use it for their own purposes. Some of this money would be used to create a nationally run and directed news service. At least, if Columbia University’s Lee Bollinger had his way. Bollinger feels that “state-controlled media” has a “global reach” and are a “wave of the future.”

How much money can the government finally coerce? Obama and the Democrat party say a “fair” share. This implies, of course, that there is an amount which, if exceeded, would be unfair. What is that amount?

Ed Henry, from the hated Fox News, asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this question. Specifically, he asked where, on paper, is Mr Obama’s budget plan? Carney replied that this question was a Republican “talking point.”

Henry retorted that this was an evasion and where, exactly, was Mr Obama’s budget? “We put forward a budget, we put forward a framework,” Carney said. But he was unable to produce one.

Perhaps our readers can help Mr Carney and Mr Obama out. How much exactly, precisely is fair? At what point is taking away somebody’s possessions unfair? Is the maximum confiscated a percentage or a dollar amount? Please to define.

Meanwhile, HotAir reports what our readers saw yesterday: that the size of the federal government has doubled over the last ten years. According to the OMB, the federal government spent $1.86 trillion in fiscal year 2001, steadily, nay inexorably, increasing to $3.82 trillion in 2011.

This rate, as the pictures yesterday showed, far exceeds GDP growth. It is in fact exponentially increasing. Simple, non-partisan math shows that this rate of increase is not just “unsustainable”, to use the banal politician’s word, but impossible.

If the government continues to grow at this rate, it will, in about a decade or so, be larger than the public sector, which will then cease to exist. The government will have bled its citizens dry, will have consumed them, and have taken control. (This is no exaggeration: the USA’s GDP is just over $14 trillion. It grows, but does not match the rate of government growth, and it must slow the more wealth the government confiscates.)

Unless those in office are stopped now, and reminded they are just us, temporary elevated to public office and are in no way the superior beings they feel themselves to be, the end must come.

Update We now have China—China—lecturing us about how to live within our means. Via Xinhua via WSJ:

With leadership comes responsibility. It is unfortunate and disappointing that when political leaders in Washington spar over who is doing good for their country, they take little account of the world’s economic soundness.

In the same issue of Xinhua, they have an editorial announcing “Aircraft carrier reasonable for China’s peaceful development: newspaper.” One of three stories about China’s increasing Naval presence and capabilities.

Update Just when you thought it couldn’t become more absurd, California’s own Nancy Pelosi reckons the budget fight against Republicans a matter of life or death for Mother Earth herself. “We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

11 thoughts on “The Absurdity Of The Budget Debate Leave a comment

  1. “Fair” is one of those vague and ambiguous words with no objective meaning. The dictonary contains about 25 different meanings for fair. When a politician starts saying “fair” you better grab your wallet and hang on tight.

  2. @Ray

    In the engineering world, the usual practice for subjective design requirements is to arbitrarily define one or more objective “figure-of-merits” for the otherwise subjective quantity. Theoretically, not much justification for this. But in practice, it often works.

    For an example, for the “fairness” requirement, we could define a figure-of-merit that measured the narrowing of the wealth gap between the richest X% and poorest Y% in America. To see if a certain policy was “fair”, we implement it (experiment – there is no substitute!) and then measure the change in the figure-of-merit.

    I could add the important constraint that the gap be narrowed more by the poor getting richer than at the expense of the rich getting poorer. But I guess that defines the difference between Republicans and Democrats. 🙂

  3. George Crews said : “I could add the important constraint that the gap be narrowed more by the poor getting richer than at the expense of the rich getting poorer. ”

    George:
    I believe this constraint applies to a static economy, and you may be in zero sum territory. That’s only realistic under a Democrat administration.

    Perhaps the constraint could be structured such that the relatively poor increase their income at the same rate as the relatively rich. Or, maybe it is reasonable that both groups incomes change in the same direction. This is probably more realistic, as the gains are most likely proportional to risk, and the relative increases in income will never be the same.

    Relatively speaking, of course.

  4. In the second paragraph preceding your first update, you say, “be larger than the public sector”. I think you intended to say “be larger than the private sector”.

  5. I find the difficulty with trying to be fair-minded (no, I’m not going to define ‘fair’) is when someone expresses an opinion of breathtaking stupidity that, as it seems to me, no reasonable person could possibly hold. How is dialogue possible? I like to be able to say, “I can understand why you would think that but I disagree”. But how can you talk to someone who believes that terrorist are such a monstrous threat that no limit should be put on the resources devoted to defending against them? How can discussion proceed without me becoming condescending or patronising to this poor deluded soul? So far in actual situations I find myself reduced to, “Um … well… maybe … Coffee?”

  6. “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”

    Bring it on. It will be win-win. He’ll get what he wants, then he’ll get what he deserves.

  7. Gotta love the Tea Party placard there (“I don’t belong to the Party of No. I belong to the Party of Hell No.”)

    For my part, I belong to the Judean People’s Front . . . or was it The People’s Front of Judea . . . I can’t remember . . .

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