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Sequestration And What It Means For The U.S.

Sequestration is on its way. The next budget cliff. We’ll look at what all those cuts would mean for the country.

The Capital building in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Capital building in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Sequestration was never supposed to happen. It was supposed to be so gross, so ham-fisted, so dumb that Congress would never allow its blind, meat-axe, across-the-board federal spending cuts to kick in.

But just days from now – March 1st, a week from Friday – it looks like sequestration will happen. Congress is out on vacation. The President’s been golfing. Republicans and Democrats are so far off on their own moonbeams they can’t work it out. And the axe is about to come down. Maybe on you.

This hour, On Point: Looking ahead on the fast track to sequestration.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Cook, covers budget and the economy for the National Journal. (@nancook)

Dan Mitchell, senior Fellow at the CATO Institute. He was also the former Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy. (@danieljmitchell)

Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico ”Senate Democrats said Thursday they will move ahead with a roughly $110 billion budget package — evenly divided between new tax revenues and spending cuts — to forestall the across-the-board sequester cuts due to take effect March 1.”

CNN “While the White House and congressional leaders from both parties oppose sequestration, the approach for averting it has become the latest congressional showdown involving ideological differences over the size and role of government.”

Business Week “While both parties are beginning to position themselves for the showdown over the $1.2 trillion in automatic ‘sequestration’ cuts that take effect on March 1, Democrats are generally seen as having the advantage. The programs they’re most concerned about (Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition assistance) are, for the most part, spared the budget axe. The same is not true for Republicans. Sequestration makes deep cuts to the military budget, a source of intensifying concern for conservatives, who have already begun fighting amongst themselves over how to respond.”

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  • JGC

    Oh, great:  Mitchell was employed at the Heritage Foundation, prior to the CATO Institute gig. Here we go again.  By any chance, do you know Diane Katz?

    • nj_v2

      [[ Dan Mitchell, senior Fellow at the CATO Institute. He was also the former Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy. ]]

      Wherein “Citizens for a Sound Economy” is newspeak/language abuse/deceptive PR flack for “a bunch of hacks paid for by Big Industry to shill for deregulation and other policies to enrich their masters.”

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Citizens_for_a_Sound_Economy 

      [[ CSE was often described as a "consumer group," but according to internal documents leaked to the Washington Post, 85 percent of its 1998 funding came from major corporations. "The 'citizens' in question [are] companies like Amoco, Bell Atlantic, Citibank,General Electric and General Motors”, wrote Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein in the book Washington Babylon.[2]. “During recent years, the CSE, headed by C. Boyden Gray, who acted as counsel to the president under George W. Bush, has opposed health care reform and a rise in the minimum wage, while championing corporate tax cuts, deregulation and a balanced budget.”

      In 1995, CSE’s budget hit $10 million and its “research” – funded entirely by corporations, conservative foundations, and wealthy businessmen — is tailored to ensure results favorable to its patrons.… ]]

      (excerpt)
      More NPR “balance.” I believe i’ve made my last contribution to “public” radio.

      • Don_B1

        Paul Krugman had a post titled “Making It Safe for Fraud.”

        Note that C. Boyden Gray was big in the Federalist Society, the group that grooms lawyers to rise to conservative judgeships, notably Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

      • JGC

        Thanks for link to sourcewatch.org .  I doodled around on it for a little while, and was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) by how many think tanks to which the Kochs spread their money around.  They all have different names, but they are all singing for their Koch Bros supper.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      When it comes to wingnut welfare, is going from Heritage to CATO the mark of a rising star, or the equivalent of kicking someone under the carpet?

    • Gregg Smith

      What specifically did he get wrong?

      • JGC

        Oh hi, you’re back.  Hope it was a good vacation after so many years without, as you mentioned. And I also hope it was spent on a warm, sunny beach in Mexico, and not trapped on the Carnival Triumph off Cozumel (!)

        Back to the subject…I wrote my comment before this show was even on, but I had heard Diane Katz  earlier in the day on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau program; she was a true Kochbot and not even a particularly cogent one. (They should really ship her back to the Fraser Institute boot camp she originally came from,for reprogramming.)

        I guess if I had to name a few things that stick in my head about what he got wrong:

        1.) Comparing the U.S. situation exclusively to Greece/Spain, while willfully ignoring there are other countries with a social safety net that are not at all in those financial straits. (Canada, for example.)

        2.) Continuously throwing in the tired and gratuitous “class warfare” charge against Obama

        3.) The weird comment he made in the last few minutes of the show about “real private companies” being the true booster to the economy, brushing off the public companies (like Lockheed Martin) as having their “snouts in the trough”. 

          

        • Gregg Smith

          He said we were on the path to Greece and I agree. I don’t think that is comparing us to Greece. 

          I think the notion that Republicans want autistic kids to suffer so the rich can avoid a tax hike is class warfare at its worst. Then he frames it as if the rich are taking the poor’s money. It’s absurd.

          A company that survives on it’s own is far more a benefit to society than one that is propped up with other peoples money.

          It seems to me these points are a matter of opinion and not untrue or wrong. That’s my take anyway, I thought it was a good balanced show and would not have been so if Mr. Mitchell’s point were not presented. But that’s just my opinion.

          The vacation was great and yes I was on a sunny beach. We had a condo off the beaten path in Puerto Morelos. We swam in the ocean every morning, snorkeled the reef, scuba dived in cenotes, fished and grilled the catch, toured the Coba ruins, went to Vallalodid for a day and ate everything local to the area including shrimp and octopus ceviche, whole snapper deep fried, tuna tostados, lime soup and fruits of every color. 

          • JGC

            Mmmm…sounds delicious. Maybe we should be on the path to Mexico, instead of Greece.

          • Gregg Smith

            Mexico, like Canada and unlike Greece, has moved far to the right politically.

  • Jasoturner

    What the hell, On Point?  Why do we need a couple of flacks to try and spin this for us?  Surely there are good, non-partisan economists and/or reporters who could give this an honest debate.  Let’s leave the partisan bickering to Fox and MSNBC and try to maintain On Point as a  refuge for intellectual honesty.

    • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

      I would like to see a bloggers only day, where some of the consistent contributors to this blog participate in a live show. There is more knowledge and less partisanship in some online discussions than in the studio.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        “There is more knowledge and less partisanship in some online discussions than in the studio.”

        Yar,  you are absolutely correct.  

        The real info for Onpoint, or any mainstream network article or show, is in the comment section. 

        The show itself merely presents the issue, to which the guests (some outright shills) gloss over the facts and present their spin and blah blah.  

        I would love to be a guest of your blogger show. Now we’re talkin.

      • jefe68

        Are you reading the same forum as I am?
        Less partisanship? That’s hilarious.

        • DeJay79

           form – Greg Camp = less partisanship

          ahh JK Greg, we love you.

        • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

          (Some) have less partisanship. 
          I sent this as an email reply 41 minutes ago.  How long before the reply shows up.

        • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

          (Some) have less partisanship.

      • Jasoturner

        An interesting idea.  And On Point is just edgy enough to possibly consider it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      No economist? Yeah, that’s what this hour needs.

      Tangent: The pedant in me says “Don’t equivocate MSNBC and Fox News.”

      • Jasoturner

        I agree with the pedant in you.  I was undecided about writing that but finally just went with it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, it is a convenient shorthand sometimes.

          I hope that Marketplace will have an economist on the subject.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    On the verge of economic upheaval, congress goes on vacation… These irresponsable ignoramuses should be sent to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to our troops I’m Afghanistan!

    The republicans will risk everything to defend welfare for the wealthy. Who are the real terrorists now? … And who represent the 99%?

    Shame on ALL the hypocrits.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I was unaware that the Democrats stayed in secession.

      Personally I would like to see them empty bed pan here.
      http://www.washingtondc.va.gov/

    • hennorama

      The legislative bodies have interesting terms for recess.  The House calls them “District Work Periods” and the Senate calls them “State Work Periods.”

    • Don_B1

      I strongly agree with your sentiments, but the Republicans are probably going to wait till the last minute, or maybe go over a day or two until the furloughed air traffic controllers bring enough havoc to the airlines that they have to take a train back to Washington (oh, I forgot — the Tea/Republicans can probably get flown back to Washington on a Koch Industries plane).

      A lot of the other havoc may not affect them directly but their campaign donors might be on the phone with them; other pressures probably won’t work.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I don’t think anyone here could possibly know what sequestration means.  I’m sure the insiders know what’s going to happen already.  The process is so convoluted and dishonest, who could know?  Do any of you think this will be the end of the childishness in DC?

    We need term limits (2 max) and even tighter control over money and lobbyists.  It is hard enough to get the left and right to work together without these ridiculous outside influences mucking everything up.

    Imagine how this process might work better without the egos of Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      There are no short cuts to better government.  Work for what you believe in.  Do what is right because it is right. 

    • Don_B1

      1) While he probably cannot anticipate every detail, Scott Lilly was a Congressional staffer on budget committees during the 1996 Government Shutdowns, and he did lay out a lot of those government functions that will be affected, and he knows the details of the Sequester Law better than the guy from Cato/Heritage (not surprising).

      2) I am generally against term limits as I think they are like using a sledgehammer to drive a tack. A proposal that has been endorsed by Rep. Mickey Edwards (R, OK, 1977-1993) is to have open primaries (no primaries open to single parties) where the two candidates with the most votes then face-off in the final election vote.

      This would tend to eliminate the most radical candidates of each party in the primary, instead of selecting the most radical of each party.

      It might also lead to a better discussion of the issues as members of both parties would be competing in the primary with the possibility of the final election being between two candidates of the same party.

      3) I have not studied Sen. Reid for temperament and he has a daunting group of Senate wild cats to herd, but I really don’t think Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is driven all that much by ego. She does have a vision for the country but she does not promise what she cannot deliver, and when she was Speaker, she NEVER had to withdraw a vote on a bill because the votes were not there. She is a real leader.

      Speaker Boehner certainly has an ego which gets him into trouble when he overreaches, which is easy when he contemplates any deal on legislation.

  • Coastghost

    Tsk and tut: NPR’s Linda Wertheimer and WSJ’s David Wessel just covered this topic perhaps adequately in just under four minutes, though perhaps without requisite specificity.
    So more to the point: how would the sequestration impact NPR operations? Presumably, network hdqtrs. in DC will bear the brunt, to hear the “Morning Edition” synopsis. Will Jack Beatty FINALLY become a “former ‘On Point’ news analyst”?

    • jefe68

      You don’t have to listen to the show.
      Jack Beatty is not holding a gun to your head.
      If you don’t like him or On Point don’t listen.

      • Coastghost

        My commitment to the NPR trope of diverse perspectives requires me to listen, in spite of my better judgment sometimes.
        Plus, I’d sleep poorly knowing you were commandeering the Comments forum.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I just object to being forced to pay for it.

  • Michiganjf

    Republicans held America hostage financially, and sequestration was the only vehicle found to move past the impasse…

    Tom,

        please don’t let Republicans rewrite the blame for why this sequestration exists in the first place!

    • William

       Obama waned this plan and the Republicans reached across the isle and signed on board. Now, the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for Obama’s plan.

      • Michiganjf

        Yeah, right.

           Dems “wanted” it, so they brought it up out of no where… genius argument you’ve got there.

        • Coastghost

          The story being peddled by Republican stooge Bob Woodward is that Obama’s new pick for Treasury Secretary Jack Lew came up with the ingenious notion of sequestration during prior budget battles (2010 or 2011, haven’t read the tome). Obomber seems far more willing to listen to trustworthy Jack Lew than to his own budget commissioners Bowles and Simpson. Stay tuned.

          • Michiganjf

            That Lew came up with it is NOT the point.

              The point is, something had to be done to appease Republican intransigence, which consistently threatens America’s economic recovery… the vehicle of sequestration was THE ONLY THING that worked to mobilize Republicans, short of giving in to all the teabagger’s draconian demands.

            … THAT”S WHY republicans signed onto sequestration!

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            “…Republican stooge Bob Woodward…” I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.

          • Don_B1

            As I have asked before, name ONE, even ONE, House Tea/Republican member who would vote for Simpson-Bowles? In particular, is there one who would accept the increased revenues recommended by that Commission, or any part of that amount?

            Do you even know how much additional revenue the first Commission recommended?

            And Simpson-Bowles should be abbreviated B-S.

        • William

           Eventually, Obama has to lead and take ownership for the budget and over spending.

      • Don_B1

        As explained clearly by Scott Lilly, President Obama did not “want” the sequestration, but was forced to generate this plan to meet the Tea/Republican REQUIREMENT for across-the-board spending cuts in order to get the debt ceiling raised to prevent a sovereign default on the country’s debt.

        The Sequestration was driven by House Tea/Republicans, PERIOD!

  • Gregg Smith

    I know President Obama missed the deadline (again) to submit a budget. It’s required by law. Did he ever get around to it? His tee times are more important to him.

    • adks12020

      Here’s his budget. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview … google is pretty cool. try it some time.

      • toc1234

        oh right, Obama’s budgets…

        “A budget resolution based on President Obama’s 2013 budget failed to get any votes in the Senate on Wednesday.
        In a 99-0 vote, all of the senators present rejected the president’s blueprint. ”

        and 2012…

        “The Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject a $3.7 trillion 2012 budget plan that President Obama sent to Capitol Hill in February.
        Ninety-seven senators voted against a motion to take it up.”

        at least Harrry Reid is smart enough not even to bother to submit one (even though its been 4 yrs and its required by law.. details, details..)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Can someone fact-based come up with a cite for this? I mean, it’s not like I don’t trust you. But you’ve got a track record.

          • toc1234

            just google “obama budget senate votes”…. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You were better off lying and just calling it “Obama’s budget”. Hack.

    • Acnestes

      Yes, let’s start right off with an attack on Obama regardless of the topic.  I’m sorry Greg, at this point I just can’t pretend to regard you as a serious person.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Never let a good crisis go to waste.

        • Acnestes

           You I never even pretended,

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I appreciate honesty. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Obama  is an awful President. He is killing jobs  and the economy. He is dividing us buy race, age, sex and wealth. It’s awful. I am not going to praise the destruction of America. People are hurting…bad. It’s his fault.

        So, on the merits of my comment, He has missed the budget deadline 4 out of 5 times. NONE of his late budgets have garnered a single vote from either side. Do not tell me the budget is a concern of his. The notion turns logic on it’s face. I am very serious.

        As to your regard for me, I just think it’s sad that you are so willing to regard my comment as anything other than the cold hard truth you refuse to acknowledge. I care not what you think of me. Nor do I care what anyone else who clicks “like” thinks of me, and I check the names. The single exception is Anamaria23 but it’s not that I care what she thinks of me. It’s that I care what she thinks of the issue as she is young and, with all due respect, impressionable. It breaks my heart so many ignorant manipulated people are so willing to tolerate America’s destruction. The geezers have no excuse. I still am inclined to cut Anamaria some slack despite my noticing she “likes” any gratuitous personal attack on me. Maybe there is hope for the curious younger ones and I’m more than willing to take my lumps.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Anything from the President or the Senate are little more than requests and suggestions – budget bills have to originate in the House, even though the current House Budget Committee chairman is blaming everyone except himself for not leading this.

  • LinRP

    Sequestration means we are going to get it up the keester by our own government. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That has been happening since circa 1913.  Nice that you finally noticed.

  • Coastghost

    “Incoming Treasury Secretary Proposed Sequestration, Obama Concurred” : has this headline appeared anywhere, prominently or no? NYT, WaPo? What WILL our gatekeepers to Truth and Veracity tell us today? (Happy Copernicus Day, everyone!)

    • Jasoturner

      Buddy, you just made my day.  It’s my birthday today and I didn’t realize I shared it with the great Copernicus.  Way cool.  Thanks.

      • Coastghost

        Thank Google, not me, but you’re welcome, anyway. Happy Birthday, and have a great xst or xnd or xrd or xth year! 

    • Don_B1

      I doubt that headline occurred anywhere, though there might be a radical right-wing rag that would print something similar. The WSJ would reserve that title for an article on its OpEd page.

      The reason: it is FALSE! While the details may have been proposed by Mr. Lew, they were generated in response to Tea/Republican DEMANDS for across-the-board spending cuts BEFORE they would agree to raise the debt ceiling in August 2011, which avoided a sovereign default by the United States, and an unnecessary egregious blow to our economic standing throughout the world.

  • jefe68

    I put the lions share of this on the GOP who collectively think they can use the entire US economy as a hostage (yet again) for their own political gain is pretty disgusting. 

    That said I also put blame on the Obama administration for coming up with this lame scheme. What were they thinking?
    This is the height of dysfunctional government when they will throw the entire US economy into a recession just to score political points. I say all of the politicians and their staffs should have to go without a dime if this comes to pass.

    This is going to blow up in the GOP’s faces as they try to use this to tar the Obama administration. To bad it wont work and the effect could be not what they are wishing here. But there is the rub and how the party of crazy works. 

    NATIONAL SECURITY Two-week furloughs for most
    law-enforcement personnel will reduce Coast Guard operations, including drug interdictions and aid to navigation, by 25 percent. Cutbacks in Customs agents and airport security checkpoints will “substantially increase passenger wait times,” the Homeland Security Department said, creating delays of as much as an hour at busy airports. The Border Patrol will have to reduce work hours by the equivalent of 5,000 agents a year.
    The Energy Department’s nuclear security programs will be cut by $900 million, creating delays in refurbishing the weapons stockpile, and cutting security at manufacturing sites. Environmental cleanup at nuclear weapons sites in Washington State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Idaho will be delayed.

    AIR TRAFFIC About 10 percent of the Federal Aviation
    Administration’s work force of 47,000 employees will be on furlough each day, including air traffic controllers, to meet a $600 million cut. The agency says it will be forced to reduce air traffic across the country, resulting in delays and disruptions, particularly at peak travel times.         
     
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/opinion/sunday/the-real-cost-of-shrinking-government.html?hpw

    • William

       Obama refuses to cut any spending so just live with this Obama generated idea.

      • jefe68

        He has offered up cuts. By the way he won the election. The GOP is out to destroy our nation for political gain.

        • sickofthechit

           They are not “…out to destroy our nation for political gain., but they “…are willing to destroy our nation for political gain”.

          • jefe68

            I sau they are out to do this due to the evidence of the last few years.
            In my view it’s pretty clear what these extremist are about.

      • Don_B1

        President Obama has repeatedly said he is ready to make spending cuts in return for an agreement to raise revenue (in the spirit of Simpson-Bowles?), but it is the Republicans in the House that refuse.

  • NewtonWhale

    “Republicans and Democrats are so far off on their own moonbeams they can’t work it out.”

    Really, Tom? Too lazy to do anything but spew the same false equivalency that enables extremist right wing ideologues to avoid blame?

    Let’s look at why we have the sequester, shall we?

    1) Republicans have been determined to undo the New Deal since, well the New Deal: 

    (See Norquist quote)

    2) It’s not because they are opposed to government spending, which they support for Republican presidents:

    (see chart on debt ceiling votes)

    3) It’s because they think it creates voters beholden to the Democratic party: 

    (see Romney quote)

    4) Republicans voted for the sequester because they think it will help them attack Obama:

    (see Obamaquester picture. Every Republican in it voted FOR the sequester)

    5) And maybe even roll back Obamacare:

    (see Lindsey Graham quote)

    In short, Tom, we have the sequester because, while Democrats have been trying to figure out a way to pay our bills, The GOP does not care about policy, it only cares about politics.

    • Michiganjf

      Great Post!

  • Steve__T

    Sequestration:  Sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit. It first appeared in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act of 1985.
    Simply put, sequestration is the cancellation of budgetary resources — an “automatic” form of spending cutback.

    But their are some exempt programs, way too many to post.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/905

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I’d like to see the sequestration stay in place – there is no way  to cut back “painlessly” – and this will likely be the only defense cuts I see in my lifetime.

    Sadly though, I expect what will happen is things like defense will get quietly restored (and maybe even expanded) while endless media bandwidth will be taken up fighting and stalling over nickel and dime issues affecting those without a substantial lobby presence in Washington.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      On Point.
      More Can-Kicking to come…

  • Shag_Wevera

    Question;  What would happen if the United States completely demilitarized and declared neutrality?

  • Jim Cant

    Here’s a question for today’s show: What does it take for sequestration to  _not_ happen?  Does the legislation that call for seq.. specify that taxes have to raise by some amount? expenditures to fall by some amount?  the OMB to say the predicted deficit will be less than some amount?  Or does Congress just have to say “we’ve done what needed to be done; seq… is avoided!!

  • Scott B

    What did they think was going to happen? Have they met themselves lately?

    “We have met the enemy and they are us!”

    “Suppose I was an idiot. Now, suppose I was a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

  • http://politywonk.wordpress.com/ ERC

    om, you’re guilty of promulgating the right wing myth that Congress only works when they’re in Washington. These ten days are supposed to be IN THE DISTRICTS! If responsible media would encourage responsible citizens to get out to these town halls and meet’n'greets, i assure you, sequestration would be averted.

  • Coastghost

    Do tell: why did Obama go along with Jack Lew and NOT Bowles-Simpson? He had ample opportunity . . . .

  • DrewInGeorgia

    How bout’ that Stupor Committee?

  • toc1234

    let’s see if Tom acknowledges that the whole sequester idea was cooked up by the Obama team – Jack “I know nothing” Lew in particular… 

    • StilllHere

      Beautiful!
      This fact is completely ignored but the lefty commenters here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TIWQAIMORTN2P3V55OUE4FLWXU ChrisP

    Bring it on! Americans have been tightening their belts, it’s about time the public sector did as well. The nation will not collapse.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Bob Schieffer, demonstrating the both-sides equivalency one needs to hold down a Sunday morning network chair:

    “You’d think Washington could come together.”

    Washington’s ineptitude.”

    Partisan divide (is the problem).”

    While we’re “rolling the tape back” to last summer over the DebtCeilingCrisis!!1!!1one!, please roll the tape back to when the GOP cared about governance. I’ll wait.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      It’s going to take a while, they’ve got to locate the wax-cylinder machine.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’ll live that long.

      They seem stuck on “repackaging” the message rather than understanding that the CONTENTS of the package are the problem.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Same question as before:
     WHY did this “so bad we won’t let it happen” NOT get resolved in the last year and a half?

    WHAT were they doing besides PLAYING POLITICS?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I would say playing patty-cake but that would require reaching across the aisle.

  • Stephen_Mangion

    2 comments:
    .  Across the board cuts maybe/are the worse kind of a budget control mechanism – except for all the others – they NEVER occur.
    .  I hope that FOREIGN aid is also cut – across the board!

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

     I thought at first that my son was dead, until I realised that it was not my child.”
    “No,” interrupted the second woman, “she lies, my lord, she lies! The living child is mine and the dead is hers!”
    “No,” cried the first woman, wildly. “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.”
    King Solomon raised his hand for silence.
    “One of you says ‘my child lives and yours is dead ’, and the other says ‘your child is dead and my child lives’: there is a simple way to resolve the matter. Bring me a sword.”
    A sword was brought, and the assembly waited to see how the King would proceed.
    “Very well,” he said, “ cut the child in two, and give half to one mother, and half to the other.”
    The first woman turned pale.
    “O my lord,” she said in a faltering voice. “Pray, give her the child. I beg you, do not kill it.”
    But the other woman’s face remained hard.
    “Let it be neither mine nor yours,” she said, “divide it as the King has ordained.”
    Then Solomon arose, and pointed to the first woman.
    “The child belongs to her, ” he said. “Give her the child, and do not kill it. She is its mother.”
    Who is our mother?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Just watch what happens – just like pushing off the fiscal cliff, the government that always appears like it can’t agree on anything will again overwhelmingly approve something at the last minute.

    The circus that is Washington is just that – one big show for the masses while business always goes on as usual.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Too bad they didn’t spend the last year and a half figuring out how to run the government more efficiently, therefore more cheaply, and do a massive overhaul of the tax code.

      I’m SICK of the BS “job creators” argument.
      And “carried interest at long term Capital Gains tax rates” for venture capital managers who risk NONE of their OWN money, are paid plenty to work today and think they shouldn’t have to pay regular income tax on the FUTURE profits they get from companies their company backed (note the PAST TENSE) with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY that manage to succeed?

  • OnpointListener

    From thinkprogress.org:

    “Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major corporations were able to pay no federal corporate income tax, despite making a combined $205 billion in profits. According to a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice, Facebook joined that illustrious club last year, receiving $429 million in tax rebates despite making more than $1 billion in profits”.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/02/14/1597741/facebook-pays-no-taxes/

    Obama wants to close corporate tax loopholes, rebates and subsidies.  What is wrong with that?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Sure he does. That’s what he was doing with Tiger Woods, noted tax expert.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Now watch this drive.”

        Let’s go there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Republicans are “ardent budget cutters”? Since when? Since they went on the wagon and decided that nobody else could drink because the GOP couldn’t handle its proverbial liquor?

    And please talk to an economist about how little Social Security needs to be fixed right now.

    • Kathy

      They don’t want to cut the budget, they want to cut programs like social security and medicare that they disagree with for ideological reasons. 

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      “Tax and spend” liberals
      “Don’t tax and spend anyway” conservatives

  • ToyYoda

    “Congress is on recess until next week.”  Where can I get a job where I can sling blame around like chimps, have cadillac healthcare plans, vote myself a raise, *still* do insider trading, and DO NOTHING, and go on “recess” like I were still in grade school?  Sign me up for a congressional job.  I can do just as well, except I’ll actually do something during recess like play kickball, instead of kick the can. Sheesh…..

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Well, they COULD still be working – by talking with their constituents, the people they are supposed to represent.

  • Coastghost

    Arne Duncan: arguably, Federal education policy is “morally indefensible”.

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    Look, Congress has been getting more and more partisan over the last 40 years!  This is NOT a problem with a quick fix.  It is likely to get slowly worse.  Representatives will be asked to vote on legislation much too long and complex to even read before the deadline, yielding poorer and poorer results.

    Until we look much deeper at the roots of the problem, fundamental flaws in our governmental system, we’re doomed to repeat this according to the classic definition of insanity – trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

  • Michiganjf

    As the Republican primary, the last several election cycles, and goofs like Gomert illustrate, the modern Republican Party has severely reduced average IQ level in Congress… that’s why the stupidity of sequestration is no longer considered so bone-headed that it might be allowed to happen.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Because the boneheadedness of spending our children into slavery is lost on some.

      • Michiganjf

        That’s the most moronic BULLS#!+ you people push!!!

           As though all Americans aren’t UTTERLY GRATEFUL for the things OUR grandfathers did for the infrastructure in AMERICA, and what it did for ALL of us!!!

        No, Republicans will do NOTHING of the kind for the next generation!!!

        Selfish, self-centered GOONS!!!

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Thank you.  
          Do you have any thing to add about Quantitative Easing? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1027243471 Ren Glover

    I think we ought to fire congress and start over.  Really. No one else in this country could perform so poorly and keep their job. Will these “across the board” cuts affect their compensation? It ought to.

    • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

      I understand your sentiment, but my take is that no matter who is elected, the process will quickly devolve to something similar to what we have now.  I say that because we are trying to run a country of 315 Million people, with a technologically sophisticated world around us, based on a governmental structure appropriate for 1790, when we had about 100th of the population, and hand written letters delivered by horse drawn coach for communication.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Said it before and I’ll say it again:

      I say we pay them all Minimum Wage and be done with it.
      If there weren’t piles of cash to be gained you might actually wind up with someone in Congress that cares about doing their job. It would also go a long way towards making re-election much less of a concern.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        The piles of cash do not come from salaries.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I’m well aware of that. Tell me this:
          Who do you think is going to be more likely to game The System? Will it be the already wealthy individual looking for an opportunity to grow their mountain of cash or the Individual who is willing to work for peanuts to try and get this Country back on track? The more one makes, the more one takes.

          It’s harder to participate in The Good Ole Boys Club when you’re not already in The Good Ole Boys Club. And if I had a Dollar I’d be willing to wager that Policy would start to focus on The Majority, not The Minority.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Are you actually claiming that people can only get rich by cheating? And that others are poor because they refuse to compromise their morals.  Stunning logic. 

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I didn’t say only, cheating sure does make it easier though. The only person who deserves to be in a position of power is the one who has no desire to be. Illogical?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Have you studied the Mexican Revolution?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Are you actually claiming”?

            Hahaha. Really, try better.

      • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

        OK, but how do you get elected?  With about 720,000 citizens per representative in Congress, how can you possibly communicate with all those people who you are, what you stand for, and why they should vote for you?
        There’s no time to go knocking on doors, you can’t afford to mail them all a letter, and if the press doesn’t cover you, you’re invisible!  It nowadays takes tons of money to have a decent campaign.  So this means if you’re not going to get paid once you’re elected, only the very rich will be able to afford to run.  With a minumum wage, and all the costs of travel back and forth to one’s district and back to D.C., then there is even more motivation to take contributions from PACs, lobbyists, etc.
        From what I’ve seen, most of the people who really care about the job have left office in disgust because of the systemic pressures that make it almost impossible to do good things.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          This is why ALL Candidates for ANY Public Office should receive equal Air Time from The MSM. At NO charge. The MSM couldn’t run their high paying Dog and Pony Show without American Society and infrastructure, they should be held accountable for the responsibility that entails.

      • Steve__T

         Minimum wage for actual hours worked and objectives completed. No pay for just showing up.

    • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

      Ren.  Looks like you started a lively discussion!  Thanks for posting!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Does it matter who proposed it if they all passed it?

  • toc1234

    here’s woodward’s quote…

    At 2:30 p.m., [White House Budget director Jack] Lew and [White House legislative affairs director Rob] Nabors went to the Senate to meet with [Senator Majority Leader Harry] Reid and his chief of staff, David Krone.
    “We have an idea for a trigger,” Lew said.
    “What’s the idea,” Reid asked skeptically.
    “Sequestration.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      At some point, having source hoor Bob Woodwardn as the linchpin of your claim is not a safe bet.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I see our host is a bit taken aback by the guest calling the cabinet of the President “political hacks”. This is what happens when you look for a “reasonable righty” inside the Beltway. Good for Tom for pressing that point, and it shows much the goalposts have been moved.

    “Let’s fire the bureaucrats and make government make do, like households do all the time,” per Mitchell.

    Ah, the “gov’t is like a business and/or family” loser’s gambit. Really, is this CATO fellow the best they can do?

  • OnpointListener

    Tom, please no more right wing, “corporate paid” pundits!  The person from the Cato Institute just called the cabinet a bunch of “hacks” and accused the administration of lying. 

    So Leon Paneta was a lying hack when he explained what harm the sequestration would cause the military?   

    Tom, you are giving a voice to the crazies.

    • jefe68

      I disagree. I think want to hear this mans views, as belligerent as he is.

      He sounds like a nut case to me and I think it’s good to hear where some of the crazy ideas from the right are coming from.

      OK this rube is out to lunch.

    • Brent Coulthard

       That would be yes…

  • Kathy

    Sequestration doesn’t make deep cuts to the military budget, it makes meager cuts to it. Why don’t we talk about cuts to the Pentagon that are actually deep? Cuts along the lines of the 50% that George HW Bush made and which led to our balanced budgets of the late 90s? No, instead let’s throw Grandma off Medicare. That’ll fix everything.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Um, GHW Bush didn’t balance the budget

      • Kathy

        It wasn’t balanced during his term, but there’s no question that it was the military cuts he made and the tax increases he signed that led to a balanced budget during the Clinton years. Then we got Bush’s son, who destroyed everything they accomplished.

  • Steve__T

    Under sequestration, an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated is “sequestered” by the Treasury and not handed over to the agencies to which it was originally appropriated by Congress. In theory, every agency has the same percentage of its appropriation withheld in order to take back the excessive spending on an “across the board” basis. However, Congress has chosen to exempt certain very large programs from the sequestration process (for example, Social Security and certain parts of the Defense budget), and the number of exempted programs has tended to increase over time, which means that sequestration would have to take back gigantic shares of the budgets of the remaining programs in order to achieve the total cutbacks required, virtually crippling the activities of the un-exempted programs.

    Just more BS to do nothing because they won’t let it go through. They will kick the can at the last minute.
    Unfortunately the Congress still gets paid, altho they are not listed as exempt, and they should be the first to experience any cuts due to their inept ability do do anything.

  • Michiganjf

    Is this GOON really saying the RYAN budget was an answer to ANYTHING???!!

    What an idiot!

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       No no, it was the answer to EVERYTHING!!! ;)

  • Kathy

    So we have some right wing lunatics, we have an ineffectual moderate democrat. Where’s the representation from left of center? Why aren’t we talking about the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ budget plan which brings us surplus without throwing granny into the street?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “The House passed the Ryan budget, (which will fix things–paraphrase).”

    Geebus chripes, this CATO guy is a hack. Another right wing hack with breath control.

    Is this some bid to make Mona Charen look reasonable?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      No it’s a bid to make Diane Katz seem like a reasonable guest.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       ”Is this some bid to make Mona Charen look reasonable?”

      Geez, I wouldn’t have guessed that was possible.

      But I guess everything is relative. Reagan was a liberal compared to the current Republican party.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    How many people have lost their homes?  I am about to pull the plug on this show. We are not just fine. 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    WOW!!! I wish I could replay that bit…We’re gonna become Greece! We’re gonna become Greece!

    Tom you better call this clown out.

  • sickofthechit

    How did Grover Norquist get on here?

    • JGC

      HA! You know, while I was listening to Dan Mitchell, I thought how much the tonal qualities of his voice were similar to Norquist’s.  Separated at birth?

      • sickofthechit

         He sure seemed to sound the same and say the same thing.

  • J__o__h__n

    He included every single Republican talking point.  Even Greece was mentioned twice.  The CATO Institute must be an easy job. 

    • jefe68

      It’s pretty interesting how they spin things into a their world view which is based on fantasy.

  • Mike_Card

    Mr. CATO seems not to understand the differences between governments and “families sitting around the kitchen table.”  This guy is a total teabagger hack.

  • OnpointListener

    Dan Mitchell, CATO, does not understand macroeconomics.    Our government is not a “household”.

  • Kathy

    If you put Karl Marx on this panel, it would still be tilted to the right. Geezus, give us a break.

  • Brad Freseman

    Does anyone else agree with me that the current leadership in Washington is losing credibility through all of these poorly managed issues SO QUICKLY that I have almost no faith in anything they say or do? It’s a terrible shame we can’t find solid leadership in a country with so many resources and intelligent people. It’s time for the system of representation to change.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       I was unaware that credibility could be less than zero.

    • sickofthechit

       Bernie Sanders needs to be cloned!

  • Scott B

    Did anyone else catch the Daily Show segment where the Congress wants the Defense Dept buy 300 more M1A tanks that the Pentagon didn’t ask for, and doesn’t want or need, at a cost of $3 BILLION. There’s already several thousand of the same tanks sitting in the desert in mothballs that can be called up on a whim if needed. 

    This is just one example of government waste, yet some would only want the funds to come from those who can least afford to loose what little help  they’re getting.

    • Steve__T

      Yes I mentioned it a week ago, but not from the Daily Show. And those out in the desert in NV equal more than we have currently in service. 3000 vs 2400 being used.
      Congress doesn’t want their friends who make them, have less money to make more stuff we don’t need or use.

      • Scott B

        It’s right up there with the $200M to make a anther version of fighter jet engines that the Pentagon didn’t want, but were being built in Boehnor’s state.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Right, because it funds jobs in somebody’s district.
      Cut spending, CUT SPENDING
      .
      .
      .
      but not in my district

      • OnPointComments

        It’s darkly amusing to hear these members of Congress, who have been screaming about the defense budget for years and years, now whining that sequestration will affect a military base in their district.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Ooh, I must have been not keeping up with the talking points du jour. How many times can a CATOite say “Obama’s class warfare tax” before the midterms?

    • jefe68

      Dan Mitchell is really out there.

  • Coastghost

    Why do our trusted MSM fail to spotlight Obama’s (perceived) cowardice in NOT specifying entitlement reform and/or benefit reductions?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Oooh, golf ball. You’re a regular George Carlin.

      • Coastghost

        How about this one: “Obama Putted, Economy Gutted”?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Now watch this drive.”

          Keep playing those deuces as if they’re face cards.

          • Coastghost

            “Obama Drives, Economy Dives”?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Sorry, you’re just not butch enough when you’re not cutting brush on your pig farm.

          • Coastghost

            “Obama Tees, Economy Knees”?

    • nj_v2

      ^ Immune to public self-embarrassment, even after yesterday’s nonstop trolling performance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Jablonski/1835563435 Richard Jablonski

    It is not acceptable to the American public to do nothing about balancing the budget. The estimate that as a result of sequestration the GDP will only fall to about $2.4 billion in FY2013-2014 from around $2.8, avoids the fact that we need a growing GDP.

    The Administration has failed to lead, the Senate has failed to lead, and the House has fail to lead on the issue of balancing the budget. Incumbants should suffer in recognition of their inaction.

    We must not let sequestration occur. It will hurt the economy, hurt employment and hurt the vital capabilities of our Nation. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It is better than the alternatives.

    • William

       Minor cuts in the growth in spending which are long overdue.

  • toc1234

    Tom, you’re doing your best Jack Beatty impression today…

  • http://twitter.com/matt_brassard Matt Brassard

    I understand the whole “fair & balanced” concept, but why on earth would you include a political hack like Dan Mitchell on this program. Doing so only serves to force the other reasonable people on the panel (and Tom) to have to waste valuable time responding to Dan’s ridiculous statements and red herrings.

    ARGH! What a waste of time!

    • StilllHere

      Matt, what facts did he get wrong?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZYRYL3R4Q2ILKJPPK4HNONQISY Gerrit B.

    Dan is a tool.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       I suspect he doesn’t listen to himself “after the fact”.
      He’d have to slap himself silly.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    It is remarkable how unwilling to hear opposing opinions some people are.   

    • nj_v2

      It’s remarkable how vapid and vacuous some posts are.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I sure you are doing your best but you have such dreck to work with that one can only expect so much.  Silk purse out of a sow’s ear after all.

  • nj_v2

    Dan Mitchell: “Class warfare tax policy” from Obama.

    Right, Dan, Obama’s modest, timid attempt to get a fair share of taxes from the rich and corporations is now “class warfare.”

    There’s been class warfare on the middle and lower classes since Reagan. We’ve lost, and the well-off and powerful—the people whose interests that hacks like Mitchell gets paid to defend—have gamed the system and won.

    Now that the meek are fighting back, it’s “class warfare.”

    If corporate shills Mitchell continue to hold sway over the People’s government, and things continue to go the way they are, he’ll see real class warfare. Better build your compound walls higher, Dan.

    • sickofthechit

       It was “Class Genocide”.

    • superpage

      Romney’s 47% comment is almost the definition of class warfare.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Privatize TSA – and air traffic control – and if people don’t want to wait 4 hours in line, they can kick up an extra $250 and get in the fast line. I don’t know why I have to pay endless taxes so people can buy flight tickets at prices that only cover a fraction of the cost of their travel.

    But you’ll hear endless arguments of why we have to have this “entitlement”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Please tell us how anything has worked better and cheaper while privatized.

      And show us your papers. The AZ gov’s friend’s for-profit prison needs a few beds filled to make their quarterly profit projection.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        If that’s true for flying, it’s true for a lot of things. My actual point is most people don’t mind government spending that benefits them – so they whine about having to give their money to feed people or give them medical care, but they think they’re entitled to have me subsidize their trip to Disneyworld.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Eh, I’m not buying the particulars about air security anyway. At some point I consider it a part of infrastructure and needs to be paid for like any roadway, railbed or river dredging on the mighty Mississippi.

          (Disclaimer: I haven’t been on a plane since 2000. And the more I hear about the experience, the less likely I won’t be soon.)

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      How does the cost of the TSA reduce the cost of a plane ticket??

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        If airlines paid for their own security, it would be in the price of your plane ticket, instead of on my 1040.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

           Got it :)

    • sickofthechit

       Yeah right, privatization really worked real well for the soldiers electrocuted in Halliburton (Dick Cheney’s Company) showers in Iraq.  When a Republican says Privatize something, that is doublespeak for “Profitize” so their friends can benefit.

      Maybe you should begin flying on a private plane to avoid contact with everyday people.

  • http://twitter.com/biblioteq_tress la bibliotequetress

    If I hear one more pundit compare the national budget to a household budget, I will scream. If my household needs to “tighten our belts,” fine, good for my family for saving some money, BUT that will impact my local grocer, his vendors, after school the dance teacher for the kids, the movie theatre we won’t buy tickets for, etc. The national economy DOES NOT ACT like a household economy, it is not an extreme micro economy.

    On a second point, like the recent caller, I was, until recently, a federal employee for a field office which has become so short staffed that we were barely capable of doing our work, and not at all able to do it in a timely manner. I wanted to help our very needy clients but I was working so much unpaid overtime everything else in my life was suffering– and I was not management, this is overtime that I should have been paid. I left for a lower paid job that leaves me time to take care of my other responsibilities and a sick family member. The staffing for my region has dropped from 12 people just over ten years ago to 2. Yes, 2. 

  • Debra Girvan

    If I hear one more politicion say taxes pay for social security I’m going to screem! My pay check has social security as a seperate line item from Federal, state or local taxes. What’s his paystub look like?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       So VERY true. The SS “fund” has been raided since day one to run the government. What would it be worth if it had been “invested” in Treasury Bonds?

      • superpage

        All of the SS trust fund is invested in US Treasury Bonds.  

    • superpage

      Last I checked payroll taxes are still taxes.  Just because it’s a different line item on your pay-check doesn’t mean they aren’t taxes.  

  • http://twitter.com/matt_brassard Matt Brassard

    Also – it has become so tedious to have to listen to people of all political stripes compare the United States budget/deficit/debt issues with “family finances”. 

  • PithHelmut

    Anyone plugged into this budgetary sequester is just fooling with nonsense. We should be talking about the sequestration that is going to keep us alive. http://m.guardiannews.com/environment/2013/jan/27/nicholas-stern-climate-change-davos

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    How many jobs are paid for by the government?
    How many jobless people pay income taxes?
    Clearly jobless people buy fewer products and pay less sales tax than if they had disposable income.

    I agree with the last caller. Hack a massive chunk out of government spending and the unemployment rate will rocket.

    I have seen only two instances of “Trickle down economics” working:
    1) Government spending – funds jobs which provide income which creates buying which creates jobs which …
    2) Super rich people trying to buy elections last year. Lots of ads paid for trying to get their favorite politician elected. In  many cases, fools separated from a SMALL percentage of their money with nothing to show for it.

  • Tom_Goodwin

    Your Cato Institute speaker talks about scare tactics. Then squawks wildly about the US becoming Greece! Responsible economists know this is economic science fiction. And talking about how Americans and their households have had to factor in less money to meet their normal obligations… as if the economics of a Nation, both in scale and mechanics, have anything remotely resembling the micro-economics of an individual: delusional, dishonest… maybe both.

  • Ryan_from_Iowa

    Our personal household took an 11% cut during the downturn for just over a year. It was very hard on our household. We already lived on a tight budget. It took us 18 months of restored salary just to level out again. We found some consulting income to help plug some of the gaps. An across the board version of this type of cut on out government is just brutal. Look at what steep cuts did in Great Britain. Can you say double-dip?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlo-Danese/100002305865604 Carlo Danese

    ‘political hack’ — ‘class warfare’ – is that all Dan Mitchell has ? – I admire you Tom, that you can restrain yourself  - Mr Cato is stuck in the denial of reality that has sunk the republican party and they want to take the rest of us with them – Go to the Kohl Brother’s penthouse Dan, their boots need licking - 

  • ThirdWayForward

    The obsession with the debt in the midst of an economic depression is perhaps the most destructive economic policy that conservatives advocate. It is insane that they are trying to dismantle social programs such as Medicare and Social Security when the economy is still in the doldrums. You don’t need to have a Nobel in economics to understand this. Debt obsession is a conservative smokescreen to cripple government.

    Obama made the mistake of convening the Simpson-Bowles committee in the first place, and then compounded it by not challenging the whole debt ceiling obstructionism directly (by invoking the constitution or by the 1 trillion dollar coin). The Republicans are to blame for this, but the Democrats did not fight them when it was needed. This is too much like filibuster reform — the Democrats don’t resist the Republicans and then there is gridlock.

    If conservatives were sincere about the debt, we could:
    1. Get out of Afghanistan early
    2. Tax capital gains at the same rates as regular income
    3. Tax stock trades and earmark proceeds for debt reduction
    4. Eliminate nuclear power and oil company subsidies
    5. Eliminate farm subsidies
    6. Negotiate Medicare drug prices (big savings, $50 billion/year)
    7. Our military budget has doubled over the last 12 years, and yes, we could go back to pre-2001 real dollar spending levels,
    saving $300 billion/year

    • sickofthechit

       If anyone asks how it is we subsidize the Nuclear Industry just explain to them that we (the U.S. Government) provides the industries liability insurance because the private sector won’t touch it with a radiation suit and a thousand foot pole.

  • manuel_mota

    I am a computational neuroscientist, precisely the type of worker we will need for the proposed human brain activity map.  I am american, born and raised, and an ardent patriot.  When we slash the budget for NIH, it literally makes it impossible for me to find work in my field in this country, as the vast majority of all funding in this area of work is from NIH and NSF grants.  Chase me and my colleagues out of the country or out of our field, and you will have permanently damaged the economy, thereby adding to the long term defecite.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZYRYL3R4Q2ILKJPPK4HNONQISY Gerrit B.

      The country is destined to cut off its nose to spite its face. I’m sure your scientific brain will be put to good use in Europe if we are dumb enough to reduce federal funding for basic scientific research. R&D dollars spent by public corporations will not lead to new world changing innovations like the Internet, only blue-sky federal research will.

  • Tom Sturm

    Attributed to bank robber Willie Sutton:
    “Why do you rob banks?”
    “Because that’s where the money is.”

    This is the only logical way to approach balancing our budget: look for where the money is and use it to apply to the areas of need. In this case, since the wealth of the U.S. has indisputably flowed upward to the top 1% over the last 40 years, that’s where you have to go for the money. You can’t get blood from a stone.

    Some will argue that this amounts to “class warfare,” but I would counter that 40 years of the wealthiest Americans and corporations gradually siphoning off the prosperity that once belonged to the middle class, through lobbying for tax breaks, steering government subsidies and off-shoring jobs, was clearly the first shot in that war, even if it was hard to hear.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Yep. Big corporations:
       Workers compensation basically flat for the last 6 years.
      Executive compensation – straight up – “earned” by their amazing prowess. Buy your stock options today, sell them today for a multi-million dollar profit. More money in one day, several times a year, than any “regular” employee AND their kids will make in their lifetimes.

  • Scott B

    Dan’s yet one more Republican that denies fact, history, and experience (thank you for that great quote, Norm Ornstein).  Just Dan calling the wealthiest people “job creators” that won’t invest in anything of their taxes go up, alone,  flies in the face of history. When taxes were in the 90% range we had tremendous innovation and job levels, and people still invested in more innovation as well as the stock market.  It also goes against the many studies that show that people with money create jobs with their money. Those studies show that people use that kind of wealth to create money with more money, such as investing in hedge funds and bonds, rather than building and creating; then they get to keep more of that money because that’s all capital gains and somehow not earned income, like it’s a better class of money that’s beyond being taxed and spent on the unwashed masses of Ayn Rand’s dystopiac imaginings.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I never say “cut a guest’s mic because he’s not making any sense”, but…

    • Coastghost

      Well, in the same hour, Lilly said Bob Woodward got his facts COMPLETELY wrong before meandering for a minute to acknowledge that yes, Jack Lew DID put the idea forward.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You’re really reaching.

        • Coastghost

          Id est: you heard the same thing I heard.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QAMWMTO64VAXR3HREFMAGAUDRI Robert

    How can Mr. Mitchell seriously suggest that Obama is engeandering class warfare and that tax revenue is not a problem?  Our balance sheet was in fine shape before the Bush tax cuts and the 2 unpaid-for wars.  Add to that the Frank Luntzian terms like “death taxes” that conservatives use to reduce revenue from the wealthiest americans, the false suggestion that slight increases in capital gains tax would disincentivize investment, corporate welfare that has led to their share of total tax revenue (by %) at an all time low while individuals contribution at an all time high….to say nothing of stagnate middle class incomes in the face of our wealthiest being proportionally more wealthy than ever before.  The real class warfare is the conservative ployish concern for deficits vis a vis their “starve the beast” approach to eliminating programs they don’t like because they only benefitt people they don’t like.  If you bering the poor to their knees they will work for less and expect less, and the wealthy will not share in that hardship.  Tell me more about class warfare, Mr. Mitchell.

    • sickofthechit

       Class Genocide is what you mean.  How else does one explain that 20% of Americans control 87% of our countries wealth?  The rest of us 80% have 13% to work with.  Kind of discouraging, niegh on impossible.

  • DeJay79

    Dan Mitchell is an idiot “Its Obama’s fault! ask him”… “but I don’t want to make it seem like its all his fault” 

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    How about SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE. ONE pool of 314 million people.

    NO “big groups” paying less for the same service and drugs as the individual with no “big group” buying power?

    Why should one person pay twice as much for a given procedure as another?

  • http://twitter.com/matt_brassard Matt Brassard

    Mitchell is a typical corporate shill who solidifies his nonsense by talking louder & longer than everyone else.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Actually it sounded like the American Progress dude was talking over Mitchell every time he started to make a point.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Fabricating something and saying it insistently doesn’t make it a point.

        This show will be as polite as it gets in our mainstream media. Mitchell mistook that for the ability to just say anything he wanted and couldn’t back up with facts.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           So that is your defense of rudeness? LOL

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Heaven forfend! Fetch the fainting couch and smelling salts! Rudeness is the worst thing evah!

            You haven’t seen the start of rude, bub. Go to any right-wing infested site (RW or mainstream) and you’ll soil yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/whagist Warren H.

    Here’s that Urban Institute study just quoted… the amount you get out vs the amount you pay in actually depends when you turned 65: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/social-security-medicare-benefits-over-lifetime.pdf

  • http://twitter.com/biblioteq_tress la bibliotequetress

    Did that jackass just try to blame Obama for the bind on Medicare to not negotiate pharmaceutical costs? This dates to 2006-07. Nitwit.

  • sickofthechit

    We did not “elect” this group of people to the House, they were “Gerrymandered” to the House.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    McCain said it is the President’s job to lead them
    Tom asks “Why aren’t we there?”

    Old saw:
    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The President can only lead when the House is willing to follow him. And that ain’t ever gonna happen.

    • sickofthechit

       2014?

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    Tom,
    It is because the congress is trying to postpone the inflation tax.  All debt is eventually expressed as inflation, the Grand OLD party wants to hold the inflation tax until they die.  It is going to happen, that is why a minimum wage tied to cost of living is the closest thing to a balanced budget as any proposal I’ve heard.

  • sickofthechit

    Take Greece and shove it wear the sun don’t shine!

  • Coastghost

    I for one promise NOT to eat uninspected airlifted horsemeat after 1 March 2013! 

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    What about immigration,  we could lower our national age by simply opening up our boarders.  We could use the new labor to build our roads, our bridges, our nation.  All with new and old citizens.  Folks, the hive will die without some new bees!

  • jayhoward

    The Cato guy sounds like a moron. He would burn the house down to kill a fly. Thank God idiots like him didn’t get elected. 

  • sickofthechit

    No, we don’t appreciate their time today!

  • ThirdWayForward

    Tom, are there no sane conservative economic commentators out there? Do we have to settle for a parrot who is only capable of screeching Greece, Greece, Greece?

    • Ray in VT

      Don’t forget that Fred Koch made a bunch of money doing work for Stalin’s regime.  He also apparently had some interesting views race in America.

      • Mike_Card

        …and was one of 6 founding members of the John Birch Society.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I’m not being flippant here: He actually was? Wow.

          Now I’m being flippant: Just when I thought I couldn’t think any less of a fellow like Fred Koch…

          • Mike_Card

            Google John Birch Society; it’s all there.

        • Ray in VT

          Gotta love a group that thinks that Eisenhower was some sort of communist agent.

          • Mike_Card

            Not to mention that Fred was closed out of the biz in the US and moved his loyalty to Stalin.  His libertarian sons don’t talk much about the origins of their fortunes.

          • Ray in VT

            I wouldn’t either if that is where my family had made a bunch of money.

  • Mike_Card

    The “Ryan” budget eliminates ALL federal spending except Defense and Social Security by 2050.  Nice try, Idiot CATO, but continuing to insist a truly stupid idea is a good idea won’t turn it into a good idea.

    There’s a reason the teabaggers account for no more than 15 million voters–and the reason ain’t because only smart people genuflect at the knees of the Koch Bros.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      What dark corner of your imagination did that come from?  Please provide supporting links.  

      • Mike_Card

        JAQing, as usual?

        Google CRS (Congressional Research Service) report on the Ryan budget; suppressed by GOP senators & reps prior to the November election.

        As far as daddy Koch, google John Birch Society.

  • mattOC40

    Undivided! Unless we quickly unite  and undo what our “representatives” have  done, with our complicity, we will never  come to an agreement. We are all in different boats due to different tax rates, different ear marks, specific regulations that exempt some and penalize others. The institutionalized divide and conquer mentality of our congress has been used to peddle favors and we really need to clean house. 

    Wipe out earmarks and tax breaks, standardize taxes and start to heal our divides. Unless we all get on board the same boat we are going to continue paddling in opposite directions. If you’ve ever been in a canoe, you know how well that works. 

    I hope this has all come from a lack of leadership and not the intentional design of some very “clever” politicians.   

  • http://twitter.com/mrwakiki MrWakiki

    pllllleeease. Tell the tea party guy that we can stop referring to the U.S. Economics as a family household when the Koch brothers start contributing to my election to Head of Household. Have that gentleman list the lobbyist that have visited his ‘household’

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       http://www.usdebtclock.org/

      Check out your share of the debt and unfunded entitlement liabilities.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        We’ll fret over it the way we did when Shrub was being “fiscally responsible”, during a long expansion, not doing squat about it.

        And don’t bother with the “Waaah, he wasn’t a TrueConservative” crap.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          He served your cause you should be proud of him.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.

      http://www.adamsmith.org/quotes

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        And you should capitalize Tea Party if you are referring to the political movement and not the best way fight off ennui. 

        • jefe68

          Nah, lower case is quite appropriate for the tea party. 

          • nj_v2

            They warrant their own kind, special of type. Is there a sub-lower case?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, subscript is there if you need it. But I don’t know how to format it here.

      • Steve__T

         And you should not say Kingdom in referencing the US. or a US household. Our castles have been sequestered.

  • jefe68

    The sooner the tea party is a distant memory the better the nation will fare. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Why?  Because they want a balanced budget?  Are you against a balanced budget?

      • jefe68

        No, because they are nuts. Period.
        Clinton managed to balance the budget but he had a good economy to work with and higher tax revenues. 

        The tea party and the libertarians are out to make government dysfunctional to prove that it is. 

        This is not what I would call rational nor prudent.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Newt balanced the budget.  Clinton just likes to take credit for it.
          And pointing something out is not the same as “making” it.

          • jefe68

            Newt shut down the government.
            That’s what he’s remembered for. He’s the the beginning of the intolerance and craziness of the right. You folks seem to like to see this amount of dysfunction in government all the while you hide behind the flag and and slogans that look good on your bumpers. It’s amazing, really is.

          • pete18

             I love that you engage in sloganeering to denounce slogans. Typical.

          • jefe68

            How is pointing out that Newt Gingrich is a nutter a slogan?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Newt has made a fool of himself.    But he was the reason for the balanced Federal budgets.

          • pete18

            Slogan #1: ” You folks seem to like to see this amount of dysfunction in government
            all the while you hide behind the flag and and slogans that look good on
            your bumpers.”

            Slogan and straw-man. A twofer: “The tea party and the libertarians are out to make government dysfunctional to prove that it is.”

            Slogan and ad hominum attack, having nothing to do with the positions of the tea party or the reasons why people hold them:

            “Intolerance, indifference to others and for using fear in pushing their small minded agenda. “

          • jefe68

            How is it ad-hominem if it’s the truth. The kind of right wing talking points being put forth today by Dan Mitchell have been going on for years. 
            A slogan is usually something akin to the right sucks or better red than dead. 

          • nj_v2

            I’m looking forward to Newt’s moon colony!

            And having kids work as school janitors will surely help the country.

            Newt’s my hero, too!

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Luna will be Free!

          • jefe68

            Of air. Which might be a good thing in the case of Newt Gingrich’s disposition to use a lot of it up.

          • hennorama

            I half expected to see Newt trying to squeeze his head into a space helmet and his rotundity into a spacesuit, climb aboard a rocket, and try to rendevous with (and then mine) near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14.

      • RolloMartins

        A balanced budget would ruin the country. Everyone should be against a balanced budget. This is not 1970 and we do not have a convertible currency. 

    • pete18

      I’m wondering which part of the Tea Party platform you find so detrimental? What is it about the current state of affairs under Obama that you find so much more attractive?

      1: Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does (82.03%).

      2.Reject emissions trading: Stop the “cap and trade”
      administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.
      (72.20%).

      3. Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds
      majority needed for any tax modification. (69.69%)

      4.Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words – the length of the original
      Constitution. (64.9%).

      5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality:
      Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities. (63.37%).

      6.Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%).

      7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: De-fund, repeal, and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (56.39%).Pass an “all-of-the-above” energy policy: Authorize the
      exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence
      on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other
      forms of energy creation. (55.5%).

      8. Reduce earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%).

      9. Reduce taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax, and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011. (53.38%).

      • jefe68

        I rest my case. All of the above is not how a government the size of the US should be run.

        The restrictions on this list are a fools errand.
        I repeat, I loathe the tea party and for everything, and I mean everything they stand for. Intolerance, indifference to others and for using fear in pushing their small minded agenda.

        The day we see the last of them the better.

        • RolloMartins

          Seconded.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Funny, we were talking just the other day about how we all love you.  The name calling, the threats, the lies it really gives us a reason to come to forums like this one and offer our opinions.  
           

          • jefe68

            Name calling? If you mean using the word inane, well I’m guilty of using a word. Threats? Hardly. 

            We? Who is we? 

            Grow up.

      • RolloMartins

        #3 and #7 alone would ruin our country. The country has a fiat currency: a balanced budget would only take money out of the private sector. I thought you guys liked private enterprise? 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Not even close.  In fact #3 and #7 might be the only way to SAVE the country.

      • nj_v2

        A few kernels of good ideas, but mostly idiocy.

        Balanced budget rigidity. Idiocy.

        Expanded exploitation of hard-to-access carbon resource in order to burn them up a few years and exacerbate climate disruption. Selfish, mindless idiocy.

        Permanently reduce taxes. Yep, idiocy.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Still Here. 

      • jefe68

        Not for long. You guys are shrinking everyday along with all those silly hats.

  • nj_v2

    Greece, again!  And again!! Gonna have to do a “Greece” count on HackDan.

    Auuuuugggggghhhhh, not Greece!!!

    Oh, and Spain, too…

    Hey Dan, who’s actually responsible for the near collapse? Yep, the bankster mafia! Why are hacks like Mitchell allowed anywhere near a microphone that i helped pay for?!

    http://talesfromthelou.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/spanish-activists-seek-arrest-of-banksters/

    Spanish Activists Seek Arrest of Banksters
    [[ Like many other nations around the world the Spanish people face crippling austerity due to the bailing out of the corrupt global financial system, which collectively crashed the world’s economy due to reckless lending and fraudulent investments. Bankia, which was bailed out and partially nationalised like Britain’s RBS, was a causative factor in Spain’s spiraling debt crisis, and in order to loosen the immediate burden the Spanish Government are to accept a massive EU bailout package, which will be the responsibility of the people to pay back through cuts, taxes and privatization. ]]

    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/14635-banksters-rip-apart-spanish-health-care

    Banksters Rip Apart Spanish Health Care
    [[ On Sunday, protests swept across Spain, with thousands of doctors, nurses, and health professionals demonstrating against new conservative austerity measures that will privatize more than 40 public hospitals and care centers.
    Spain, like Greece, is indebted to the very foreign banksters who crashed their economy. And rather than telling those foreign banksters to take a hike like Iceland did, Spain's austerity-happy government is paying off the banksters by taking money from working people through cutting socials services like health care. ]]

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I wish the American right would stop calling wolf over fears of becoming a Greece or Spain because of the debt.  It’s ludicrous.

    Greece & Spain don’t print their own currencies.

    They are not countries the world goes to to hedge investments against fluctuations in the economy.

    Our debt ratio – while large – doesn’t come anywhere near theirs. And it goes on. 

    The comparison is fear mongering plain and simple – and makes me wonder whether their positions have any merit whatsoever. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The Weimar Republic printed their currency so that might be a more better analogy?

      Also, check your figures the US debt to GDP is higher than Spain.

      Keep in mind that we are blessed by historically low interest rates.  Historically interest rates can explode very quickly.  Once that happens the interest on our public debt will balloon and we will no longer have the ability to control our destiny.

      It may be too late to fix the problem but we can at least limit the damage by slowing the growth of Government  — NOW.

      • jefe68

        You need to read up on that. There is a huge difference between the Weimar Republic of the 1920′s and the 21st century US.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I am very familiar with the differences.  However, I was refuting the argument that the ability to print your currency is a defense against currency collapse and hyper-inflation.  Remember the late ’70s and early ’80s?

          It was very painful.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZYRYL3R4Q2ILKJPPK4HNONQISY Gerrit B.

            The wealthy will do everything to prevent inflation. Inflation has a much more limited impact on the working class. It has a huge impact on those with savings. It is nice that the wealthy also align with seniors – so they are in alignment against any kind of inflation. The US will eventually inflate its way out of this – I will probably be a senior then and forced to confront this. The austerians should not win this round of budget planning.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You really believe the wealthy control interest rates?

             So where were the wealthy in the ’70s?  Did they just arrive at this anti-inflation revelation now?

          • Coastghost

            Hmmm? Inflation actually HELPS the poor? Well, that has been the thinking of Venezuela’s Chavez for lo these many years, and during his tenure Venezuela has had THE HIGHEST rate of inflation in all of Latin America (last I looked, it still stands well above all others in the region at c. 20%).

          • jefe68

            We are not living in the 70′s or 80′s.

            So if you are familiar with the differences then why post such silliness?

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        W4C. I stand corrected on Spain. My point was in the scale of things we’re far less indebted than a lot of other countries. 

        If inflation comes, tax revenues will increase and it won’t change the fundamental relationship between our currency and others. 

        We have  leeway. And the impulse to  compare gov’t spending to one’s personal finances or the poorest examples in the deck is just wrong.

        I keep hearing the push to scale back gov’t spending to spare future generations the pain of paying for the tax less / spend more spree we’ve been on for…well, since the 60′s. 

        But if the government doesn’t spend where it needs to then what kind of deficit are you leaving future generations?  Private industry isn’t going to improve infrastructure, isn’t going to fund long-term research or invest in education. If you want to see what happens then, look to Spain or Greece.

        Yes, it might be too late.. but to agree with you is to concede the future looks bleak indeed.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           NOTB- I get your point about household finances not being a direct analogy to government debt.  However, there is so much government waste that the government has lost all credibility.

          I think most people would be OK with infrastructure spending IF they saw cutbacks in other areas (starting with EBT abuse).  Also, didn’t we have close to $800B in stimulus in 2009 with much allocated to infrastructure?  What do we have to show for that ‘investment’?  Where is Obama’s ‘Hoover Dam’?  Instead we got Solyndra.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            I don’t think anyone person would see where the money went…esp as an aggregate. 

            Somewhere out there there’s a ratio – between infrastructure improvement and net benefit to the economy.  What’s certain if the country gets too far behind, which we certainly are, you’d notice when a bridge fell down – especially if you’re on it at the time. 

          • hennorama

            Worried – I can’t let this “Where is Obama’s ‘Hoover Dam’?” stuff pass by unremarked.  I first debunked your use of this rhetoric about six months ago, and will merely repeat what I typed back then:

            “Using the Hoover Dam as an example is not close to appropriate.  The dam was authorized in 1928, 10 months BEFORE the Great Depression, and was built from 1931 to 1936, starting about 18 months after the beginning of the Great Depression, and taking nearly 5 YEARS.

            “Should Pres. Obama have used a time machine to go back to 2007, to convince GeeDub to approve some massive construction project to begin in 2010 which would last until 2015?”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DHRBQIXXPSWLDDNG3WF67XYG3I Phred

    This show was another example of Tom Ashbrook’s extreme left-wing leanings.  Just like the one where he had a bunch of Republicans on to discuss the rethinking the party was doing after their defeat in October, the guest from the Cato Institute representing the conservative viewpoint is a cartoon caricature of a conservative.  No reasonable and informed person (conservative, moderate or liberal) could truly believe that Obama is responsible for the structure of Medicare Part D or that the gulf between the super-rich and everyone else in American society is not a problem that is relevant to the discussion of federal spending priorities.  The scheduling of such moronic guest (like the Republican spokespeople on the earlier show) is clearly part of of Tom’s agenda to discredit the entire conservative movement.

    • jefe68

      And yet Mr. Mitchell sounds a lot like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, go figure. By the way he gave the right extremist a lot more air time than the progressive chap.

      You could of turned it off. I did after a while.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Who are the reasonable conservatives? Why aren’t they dominating all the rest of the commercial media with their awesomeness?

      You’re on the coattails of a right which which falsely claims “we’re in the majority” while their minions dominate an “advocacy media” (to put it politetly) that has no interest in journalism. You can’t then turn around and ask, in any seriousness, “Why aren’t reasonable conservatives on NPR?” Pick one of those ways, not both.

      The right gets so many bites at the apple. CNN can’t stop whoring itself out to the Tea Party. Every polite-sounding fool from inside the Beltway gets a shot on this show, and most of them end up embarrassing themselves.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/DHRBQIXXPSWLDDNG3WF67XYG3I Phred

        Dude! Does the phrase “tongue in cheek” mean anything to you?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          It means everything to me. But I can be taken in by an expert deadpan from someone I don’t know. Your imitation is excellent.

  • Mandala8

    We have a Congress dominated by adversarial approach to differences.  We need collaborative problem solving, which requires respect for each other’s ideas, a curiosity to understand them, and willingness and ability to negotiate.  If unions & employers cannot reach agreements, they bring in professional negotiators.  When divorcing parents can’t agree on parenting agreements, we use mediators.  Why don’t we bring in the best mediators in the country to facilitate negotiations, which would first search out common ground, then build solutions from there.  Perhaps part of orientation to Congress should include collaborative negotiation skill training. (Many in Congress were trained in law school, where you make your side look as good as possible and the other side as bad as possible, and the arbitrator – judge – will decide.)  2 basic problems block success:  “How will my decision affect my re-electability,” and a growing lack of respect for and commitment to the search for real Truth.

  • scb01890

    Please expect guests to not talk over callers or Tom, and perhaps other guests, and let Tom control interruptions.

  • Pingback: How Federal Spending Cuts Would Affect Mass., Region | WBUR

  • RolloMartins

    Cato Institute people, and Tea Partiers in general, like to say we’re about to become Greece. This is ridiculous. They do not understand how the economy works. We are a currency issuer. Greece is not. We could, if we wished, fully fund SS and Medicare, fix the infrastructure and not worry about balancing the budget–balancing the budget right now would actually be the worst thing to do. We do not want austerity. The deficit, as Cheney said, does not need to be balanced. That might have been the only thing he was right about.

    • jimino

      It really is amazing that anyone could put any weight on anything this guy says. The very idea that a spokesman from a so-called economic “think” tank could be so publicly and profoundly ignorant about economics makes it clear they have nothing of value to contribute to a rational discussion.

    • jefe68

      The US also does not have the same size of economy as Greece or Spain. This kind of illusion is a distraction from the failed ideas of the Cato institute and the tea party.

  • RolloMartins

    I wish, Tom, that you would have Stephanie Kelton, or Bill Mitchell on, somebody would explain macroeconomics and how we are not, nor could we ever be, Greece (or Spain).

  • hennorama

    The Commerce Dept’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimated that US Real GDP declined last quarter compare to the prior quarter.

    “Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”

    (Note: Real GDP is measured in chained 2005 dollars in an attempt to adjust for inflation)

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

    In light of this, why would anyone want to do anything that is guaranteed to decrease US GDP, e.g. sequestration?  The approx. $85 Billion of cuts scheduled for 2013 represent an amount that is more than 17 times the estimated $4.9B decrease in 2012 Q4 real GDP discussed above.  Two consecutive quarters of declining GDP = recession.

    IMPORTANT NOTE 1.  US GDP in current dollar terms (as opposed to chained 2005 dollars) did not decline in 2012 Q4 compared to 2012 Q3.  It rose 0.5% according to the BEA’s advance estimate.

    IMPORTANT NOTE 2.  US Real GDP increased 1.5% year-over-year from 2011 Q4 to 2012 Q4 according to the BEA’s advance estimate.

    IMPORTANT NOTE 3:  US Real GDP for 2012 Q4 is likely to be revised upward given the upward revisions in 4th quarter employment numbers and improving trade figures.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Your argument implies that Government spending always leads to economic output (ie – GDP).  That argument implies there is no government waste.

      The sequester is equivalent to 2.4% of the federal expenditures.  It also represents a slowing of growth — not a true cut.  Certainly we can find 2.4% waste in Federal spending?

      The problem is the Feds haven’t even tried to restrain their growth over the last 12 years.  They are unwilling to do anything difficult.  Let’s start with Federal pay.  Does Obama need $400K/year during these tough budget times?  He can take a 25% cut as a symbol of the seriousness of our plight.

      I remember when he said he would go through the budget line by line and cut out all waste.  That was 2009 and we are still waiting.

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your response. I understand and respect your views.

        Indeed not all government spending, whether it’s Federal, state, or local, is converted directly into GDP, but it’s pretty close. But there is virtually no doubt that a reduction of $85B in Federal spending will negatively impact GDP, even if the conversion rate is less than 100%.

        Are you arguing that reducing Federal spending does NOT reduce GDP? If so, please present some evidence to support that idea. Cuts of that magnitude will also result in job losses, both direct and indirect, as the impacts ripple through the economy.

        You’re arguing both that a sequester of $85B is small, AND that Pres. Obama taking a $100K pay cut would somehow have an impact? Not exactly consistent.

        A Federal pay freeze has been in effect since mid-2010, and has saved a reported $60 Billion. It’s not a “hard freeze” but is rather a COLA freeze – an ICEE, if you will. Federal employees can still receive longevity and merit raises – so-called “step raises.”

        Federal civilian employment levels have dropped by 45,000 (1.6%) over the last year, from 2.841 million in Dec. 2011 to 2.796 million in Dec. 2012. Since Dec. 2008, it is up 21,000 (0.8%).

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/12/federal-workers-complaining-but-not-quitting/?page=all

        Source: BLS Series Id: CES9091000001 Seasonally Adjusted

        Presumably you believe that Federal deficit spending and current Federal public debt levels are bad. Can you point out any actual negative impacts of recent Federal Deficits and increased Federal Debt?

        ON AVERAGE SINCE 1940, there have been Federal deficits of 3.28% of GDP. So this new “religion” that many have recently found – claiming that deficits and debt are horrible for the U.S. – is not borne out by the actual data. Overall, the US has fared quite well since 1940.

        Now let’s examine Federal Revenues (FR) during Pres. Obama’s administration, which have also been excluded from the discussion. They averaged (including 2012′s estimate) only 15.35% of GDP. Only two other 4 year periods since 1940 have seen FR this low – 1940-1943 (9.45%) and 1948-1951 (15.3%).

        What is similar about these periods? They came during and after periods of high and/or quickly rising unemployment.

        The moral of the story? There are 3 real keys to greater Federal Revenues and lower Federal Spending – jobs, jobs, and jobs. More jobs = more Federal income taxes, more payroll taxes, more corporate and individual business profits, resulting in higher tax revenues, AND lower spending for UI, SNAP, Section 8, Medicare and all the other Federal income support mechanisms, including some lowering of the refundable credits that so many seem to hate (and which lift the greatest number of people out of poverty) – the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

        We simply need more jobs, and the ENTIRE Federal government should be focused on ways to increase employment, not on this artificially created crisis.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           We can agree that growth is the only way out of this mess.  Thus my frustration when Obama balks at any talks of pro-growth tax reform.

          Yes Federal spending can be cut without impacting GDP.  Means test both SS and Medicare on a sliding, graduated scale.  This may not be politically feasible but would save a tremendous amount of spending without harming GDP.

          Obama made a campaign promise to cut government waste and he has failed.

          I am frustrated in Obama’s lack of action AND that he is not being held to account for that lack of action.

          • jimino

            I don’t think growth itself is the solution if it continues to be
            distributed the same way it has.  Since the start of the great recession, the
            top 1% has captured OVER 100% of the gain created by the recovery.  How
            can someone get more than everything, you may ask.  Well, by actually
            reducing what everyone else gets:
             
            http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2011.pdf

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Food for thought.  It doesn’t have to be a zero sum game.  It shouldn’t be about punishing one group to benefit another.

            Growing the economy will allow for expansion of the middle class and class mobility  upwards.

            The numbers are even more dire than they appear because up to 50% of recent college graduates aren’t starting careers for which they’ve been trained.  It will be difficult for these young folks to ever catch up to the dream.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your thoughtful response. I respect your views.

            Certainly no one supports wasteful spending, but this is an old political trope. One suspects that all politicians can recite the mantra “cutwastefraudandabuse” in their sleep. The trick is to get it defined and identified, and to get Congress to eliminate it – never an easy task. Sequestration does none of that. It makes no discrimination between “wasteful” spending and “AWESOME” spending, it imposes unfocused cuts across the board, AND exempts the program many point to as most needing “reform” – Social Security, with Medicare cuts limited to 2%.

            You do realize that Social Security and Medicare payments get spent and move through the economy, resulting in economic output, right? And there are some levels of mean-testing for both Social Security and Medicare currently – Social Security via the Federal tax code (up to 85% of SS benefits are taxable) and Medicare through premiums (those with higher incomes pay higher premiums). I agree in principle that individuals such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the Koch brothers have no need for either SS or Medicare benefits, and agree that means-testing has some merit. The trick of course is in the implementation. And no one is proposing any changes that would have ANY near-term impact.

            As to “pro-growth tax reform” – what this means is in the brain of the writer and the reader. One first needs to define what one is trying to grow through such reform – employment, wages, GDP, corporate profits, tax revenues? Only then can one move ahead with making such reforms.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Tom Coburn has published volumes on government waste.  It has been available to Obama for some time.

            I’m just sick of Obama’s demagoguery and playing political games.  Obama’s had 4+ years.  The closest he came was appointing Simpson-Bowles but then he ignored their proposals.

            btw – the GOP aren’t saints in this either but it is uniquely the President’s job to lead and he hasn’t built any good will over the last 4 years.  He was at it again today demagogueing his opponents.  

          • hennorama

            Worried – I understand your frustration and feeling the need to vent. Please continue to do so as you feel the need.

            Indeed, Sen. Tom “The Beard” Coburn (sorry I couldn’t resist due to seeing him during the SOTU address) has compiled what he thinks are wasteful spending items. As I said earlier, getting others to agree and then getting them eliminated are the issues.

            No one is out there saying “Let’s spend more on wasteful stuff!” And there is no realistic way to completely eliminatewastefraudandabuse.
            In the same way, it’s also unrealistic to raise revenues in any meaningful way only by closingspecialinteresttaxloopholes.

            One can view the public utterances on these topics through the prism of politics and be frustrated, regardless of party affiliation. There’s no shortage of players in the blame game.

            But when one steps back from the politics to examine reality, the fact of the matter is that there have been no discernible actual negative impacts of recent Federal Deficits and increased Federal Debt. Certainly there is reason for concern, but it seems silly to try to address these worries with indiscriminate, unfocused spending cuts that could cut economic growth by nearly one fourth. That’s what sequestration is likely to do.

            It’s also important to recall that when the BCA of 2011 was enacted in early August 2011, the political dynamic was much different than today. In mid-2011, the TEA partiers had first come into the Republican caucus in the House, and Pres. Obama’s overall approval rating (per Gallup’s weekly poll) was just over 40%, and under 30% on the economy.

            Unemployment was at 9.1% in July 2011, and Pres. Obama seemed very vulnerable.

            Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans (and various GOP presidential hopefuls) thought the deficit, debt, and the economy would be winning issues for the 2012 elections, and thought they were boxing Pres. Obama in through the BCA. They figured they’d win the Presidency and more seats in both houses of Congress, then do whatever they wanted with the budget, taxes, and spending. They felt no need to DO anything until after the elections they figured they would win.

            They guessed wrong. Things didn’t exactly work out the way Republicans had hoped, which is why they are being dragged kicking and screaming into ANY fiscal deal, and why they’re motivated to try to stretch these fights out. They’re hoping that something, anything, will “stick” to the President.

            It won’t work, but I doubt they’ll stop anytime soon. And Pres. Obama will continue to give Republicans as much rope as they want so long as they keep hanging themselves.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             They had already passed a budget that would have avoided the fiscal cliff.  However, you did a good job describing their calculus from August 2011 on. 

            What you left out was Obama’s calculus since the sequester was his idea. 

            I find it difficult to believe that Obama will continue to skate on — blameless.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not so sure, it’s amazing how willfully blind some can be. He gets away with a lot.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Also, how much time have they had to solve this?

            I am venting a bit because I am extremely frustrated with the lack of leadership in the WH.

    • OnPointComments

      “The Unscary Sequester” 
         http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324156204578276262281998922.html 
        
      The sequester would cut an estimated $85 billion from the budget this fiscal year starting in March. For comparison, Congress recently authorized $59 billion in deficit spending in one single bill for Hurricane Sandy relief. 
        
      “The most disingenuous White House claim is that the sequester will hurt the economy. Reality check: The cuts amount to about 0.5% of GDP. The theory that any and all government spending is “stimulus” has been put to the test over the last five years, and the result has been the weakest recovery in 75 years and trillion-dollar annual deficits.”
       

      • hennorama

        OPC – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

        I understand that there is a difference of opinion about whether the sequester is a good thing or a bad thing. But there is NO difference of opinion that the impact of the sequester on GDP will be negative.

        Real GDP growth was 1.8% in 2011, and an estimated 2.2% in 2012. Reducing GDP by 0.5% means reducing growth by nearly one fourth (22.7%)!

        This is COMPLETELY irresponsible in a time of such low overall growth, regardless of the opinion of the WSJ editorial board.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          hennorama, maybe I wasn’t clear.  I believe that the ‘magnitude’ of the sequester can be implemented with cuts and without detrimental impact to the economy.  My frustration is with Obama’s lack of leadership.  He appears to be only interested in tactical victories instead of solving the big problems.

          The House has offered (and passed) an alternative to the sequester and yet there is no equivalent offering from the other side.  The only thing they offer is additional tax increases.

          btw – the payroll tax holiday expiration in 2013 has a larger impact on the economy than the sequester yet I don’t see any angst from the left on that action (or inaction).

        • OnPointComments

          It’s ironic that when the top tax bracket increased by 13% in 2013 and the tax rate on dividends and capital gains increased by more than 33% in the top brackets, the liberals described these 13% and 33% increases as tiny; yet a 2.4% smaller than planned increase in government spending because of the sequester is devastating and draconian.  It seems a dollar taken out of the economy through taxes is different than a dollar taken out of the economy through a smaller than planned increase in government spending, and the deficit only matters when government revenue is decreased, not when government spending is increased.
           
          A March 2011 report from the GAO identified up to $100 billion in wasteful government spending, enough to more than offset the sequester cuts.  What did the Congress do with the report and GAO recommendations?  Nothing.

          • TheDailyBuzzherd

            “… $100 billion in wasteful government spending, enough to more than offset the sequester … What did the Congress do with the report and GAO recommendations?  Nothing.”

            Exactly. But what do Congressmen argue first? Cut “entitlements”, sparking the intended incendiary response for maximum exposure.

            As Tom remarked consistently and frequently today, “SMART cuts.” No smart budgeting in sight. Nope.

          • OnPointComments

            You’re right.  In my opinion, every dollar that is identified as waste is a dollar that a politician used to buy votes or amass more power.  And they’re not going to give it up.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for your response. I hear ya.

            I agree that reducing inefficiencies in government spending at all levels is a worthwhile goal. But sequestration is not about that AT ALL.

            And while I understand your argument about the differences in public characterizations of revenue increases vs. spending cuts – the fastest way to reduce deficits is to increase revenue AND decrease spending.

            Pres. Obama has consistently championed such a balanced approach, whereas Republicans, most notably the TEA caucus, have proposed spending cuts almost exclusively. This focus solely on spending cuts is not logical, not to mention the fact that the election showed that the public disagrees with this unbalanced approach.

            As you know, the Great Recession (GR) and its aftereffects resulted in both lower Federal revenues AND spending increases. Compared to FY 2007 levels, Federal Revenue has fallen a cumulative $1.2762 Trillion during FYs 2008 through 2012. Net New Spending (NNS) in the 5 year period was $3.7116 Trillion.

            Looking only at so-called “entitlement” spending increases – over the past 5 years, Federal Spending for Social Security and Medicare went up by $585.1 B and $365.7 B, respectively. That totals $950.8 Billion, or 25.6% of the NNS.

            I haven’t analyzed Medicaid spending increases in detail, but I believe they’re virtually equal to the Medicare increases, in the range of $350 to $375 B. Using the midpoint of $362.5B, that would give us another 9.8% of the NNS, for a grand total of $1.3133 Trillion or 35.4% of added spending.

            Which means that the vast bulk of NNS (about 65%) was in other areas, making a focus on so-called “entilement reform” also somewhat illogical.

            There’s no doubt that Medicare has significant issues, but Social Security is generally OK.

            Since Medicare came into existence, Federal Spending has averaged a bit under 21% (20.89%) of GDP, from 1967 thru 2012. Federal Revenues during this same period have averaged just under 18% of GDP (17.94%). So on average, we’ve had deficits amounting to about 3% of GDP for 45 YEARS! This did not happen overnight, and will not change overnight.

            Most of the increase in deficit spending can be attributed to Medicare, and to a lesser extent Medicaid. The problems stems in large part from the fact that only Medicare Part A is nearly self-funding, but Parts B and D get over 70% of their funding from general Federal Revenues.

            If one had to choose a single area to focus on (aside from Job #1 – jobs, jobs, and more jobs), it would be Medicare.

            See:http://www.kff.org/medicare/upload/7305-07.pdf

            http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/12/11/Thornton.pdf

            For info on the differences between Medicare Parts A, B, C and D:

            http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/167/~/differences-between-medicare-parts-a,-b,-c-and-d

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Birk-Conley/100000101000678 Cindy Birk Conley

    I work for a local senior center in Illinois, which gets both federal and state financing. The sequester will hurt us, especially as the state has sent us no money in this fifth month of our fiscal year. I feel that the cuts will be cancelled at the last minute, like the fiscal cliff. Our area director has been talking to our very conservative Republican congressman, who is certain the cuts will take place–I am sure he thinks they are good. We don’t have any place to cut, no local resources left. It is no fun to be a political football.

  • Dee

    It is time once again to tell the Republicans “to drop dead” 
    as the labor leader did when they proposed raising the SS
    retirement age in 2011. Or move to another planet as they 
    are so out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans..

    And the great injustice and ruthlessness in their call is 
    they were responsible for rubber stamping the 11 Tri-
    llion dollars George Bush ran up during the course of 
    his tenure. 

    Recall, the Clinton Camp left almost one Trillion dollar 
    surplus in 2000 and the Congressional Budget Office p
    redicted by the end of the decade there would be a 10
    Trillion dollar surplus….Instead , what the  Republicans 
    left the US Treasury was a 10 Trillion Dollar Hangover 
    (see URL

    And now they expect ordinary Americans to bear this 
    burden with cuts in government employment and cuts
    to entitlement and benefit programs while they refuse 
    to make the predatory class on Wall Street pay back
    and pay more out of their profits to help the country’s 
    egative balance. 

    Well, I say screw them now and let’s all do our part at
    the ballot box to make them and the other predatory 
    class in Israel (the Zionist apologists ) history…Dee

    The 10 Trillion Dollar Hangover after 8 years of Bush 
    http://kelsocartography.com/blog/?p=1320

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Actually the Clinton Camp left Bush a recession when the  internet bubble burst.

      Clinton (and the GOP congress) does deserve credit for a modicum of fiscal responsibility — a rare feat in Washington.

      • jefe68

        Blaming the internet bubble on President Clinton is a bit much. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           No. No. No.  I’m not blaming Clinton (although he could have tightened margin requirements to reduce wild speculation).

          • Dee

            The bottom is the Republicans ran up 2 illegal wars in Iraq & Afghan-
            istan (surges included to appease the Zionist apologists and hawks in the US government, (see URL) and hawks in the US Congress .Hence the American economy is bankrupted because of the the land thieves & war mongers in Israel…(Think about this criminal entity inIsrael not only corrupting the Ameri-can system of government but spill-ing US blood and ciphoning US tax dollars to keep its illegal presencepropped up in the Palestine…) In addition, to the GOP/Wall Street scams to rip off the US Treasury for the corporate thieves and “job creators” on Wall St. (They are often one of the same…)  See URL.I am waiting for someone to arrest those in our government–particularpeople like Paul Wolfowitz & Richard Perle, Dick Cheney & George Bush,with John Mc Cain &Lindsey Graham,Mitch Mc Connell (majority leader in the senate and John Boehner and hispredescessors in the US House) who helped make this public & corporate theft on the USTreasury in the name of”national security” possible…I believe this will occur asmany peo-ple such as Ramsey Clark, and the International lawyer Francis Boyle say many US groups are on board to make this happen. (Groups such as Peace and Justice groups, anti-war, Human rights, Civil Liberties, Veter-an groups, National Nurses Groups, 9/11 Truth Group & families for 9/11 want this level of US accountability. Hence this call for justice and public accountability is not going away butexpanding rapidly and will deliver…Especially, as Republicans push to further gut our American economy in the name of Wall Street & Israel. Dee Beneath Hagel’s Confirmation Hear..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/d-robert-worley/beneath-hagels-confirmati_b_2713710.htmlMitch Mc Connell blocks the GOP/Wall St Scam (on”Job Creators”before the Nov.6th election, NYThttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?_r=0The victims of this GOP/Wall St scam looking for jobs never createdhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/economy/lingering-unemployment-poses-long-term-risk.html?pagewanted=all Then , Republicans balk at Obam’s Job Programs to help unemployed GOP/Wall Street victims…..http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13obama.htmlThis is all GOP/ Israeli/Wall Street criminality beyond belief……..

          • Dee

            Here are those URLs again

            Nonpartisan Tax Report With-drawn after GOP Protest, NYt
            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html

            The victims looking for Jobs 
            that were never created 

            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/economy/lingering-unemployment-poses-long-term-risk.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            Republicans Block Obama’s 
            Job Program to help victims of the GOP/Wall St scam 

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13obama.html

            This is like the evil Goldman 
            Sach’s broker betting against
            stock he sold a shareholder…

            (The GOP/Wall St were deter-
            mined American unemployed
            would further be doomed…
            and Romney would win….)

  • Davesix6

    President Obama agreed to and signed the sequestration legislation into law, sequestration belongs to Obama.

    Anyone who has a greivence over sequestration, has a greivence with Obama.

    • hennorama

      Davesix6 – Sequestration belongs to Congress and the President, and by default, the entire US populace.

      But if sequestration goes through as is, Republicans are likely to get the negative political outcomes.  That’s partly due to the fact that 202 (59%) of the 343 total votes for the Budget Control Act were cast by Republicans.

      The House passed the BCA on August 1, 2011 by a vote of 269–161. 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for it, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against it.

      The Senate passed the BCA on August 2, 2011 by a vote of 74–26. 28 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 1 Independent voted for it; 19 Republicans, 6 Democrats and 1 Independent voted against it.

      http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll690.xml
      http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=1&vote=00123

  • taiyu57

    This whole thing demonstrates the triumph of ideology and rhetoric over fact. The US invented the middle class and in league with others the modern welfare state. We did it with policies that supported and encouraged economic growth in large measure by regulating revenue through progressive taxation. Beginning in the depression, and lasting in one form or another until the Reagan presidency, we understood promoting corporate and institutional interests wasn’t an end in itself but a means, if properly facilitated, to build and grow a better world for everyone.

    Now, the drumbeat from the right so dominates our discourse that we as a people are on the verge of forgetting these basic economic truths.

  • pm05

    Why in the world do you have someone from the Cato Institute! Why why why!!! I want to hear an honest debate not this crap!

  • lora1973

    Can we have a data supported discussion? Not a pivot filled, talking point scripted speech. Each party philosophy has something to offer to solve the problem. I’m sorry, but neither side has all the answers.

  • lora1973

    Can we have a fact filled honest discussion instead of this pivot filled, talking point speech making. Neither party has all the answers. Both parties have something to offer to the solution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      im starting to think neither party has anything to add

  • jsmetz

    I wish I had tuned in earlier.  Since there was such a wide diversity of opinion on your show today, it would have been good to hear the Heritage Institute justify the billions (trillions?) of dollars sitting in private hands because they are afraid to invest it.  If they would start investing that money in the US, and in US industries, I’m sure much of our economic angst would go away.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i dont see how that would help the working class. whenever we let the coprs bring back all their money thats piling up overseas at a low rate it results in 0 new jobs

  • jimino

    I don’t think growth itself is the solution if it continues to be distributed the same way.  Since the start of the great recession, the top 1% has captured OVER 100% of the gain created by the recovery.  How can someone get more than everything, you may ask.  Well, by actually reducing what everyone else gets:
     
    http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2011.pdf

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Your analysis ignores Obamaphones (and other handouts).

      • jimino

        More accurately, my attempt to engage in rational discourse ignore willful ignorance and stupidity by those with whom I would engage.

        The very thought that such fools consider themselves competent to comment on matters of public importance makes me extremely worried for my country. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          So you are actually saying Obama’s been a failure since the 1% are cleaning up under Obama’s policies? Or does Obama just golf with the 1% for recreation?

          • jimino

            Obama is the 3rd most right wing president in modern times, so of course the top 1% would do well under him.  The fact that you would consider him the cutting edge of socialism or some other similarly ridiculous threat to the growing inequality in income and assets that you celebrate and worship makes you about as reliable a source of information and legitimate commentary as the fool from the Cato Institute.  At least he gets paid to be a fool.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             ”3rd most right wing president”?
            By what metric?  Obama locked in government spending at between 24%-25% of GDP while taking no responsible action on annual budgets.  He also expanded government spending and liabilities by signing in Obamacare.

            Obama gives lip service to the deficit but has done nothing to address it.

            Obama is either grossly incompetent or worse.

          • jimino

            Deficits have never mattered to right wingers.  They have always run up the largest ones.  My metrics: continued historically low taxation of highest incomes; ballooning unaccountable defense spending; forsaking single payer health care for Heritage Foundation plan; expressed intent to go after Social
            Security put him in top 3.  If he succeeds with SS, may move to #1.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thanks for your reply.

            1) “Deficits have  never mattered to right wingers”
            On what planet? Cheney was roundly criticized when he infamously stated ‘deficits don’t matter’.  Of course the deficit he was referring to was an order of magnitude lower than the Obama deficits.

            2) Historically low taxes?
            The top 10% have 70+% of the tax burden.  I agree we need  tax reform to smooth out some gross inequities (like carried interest).  How about the bottom 50% that aren’t paying ANY income tax.  Shouldn’t they have skin in the game too?

            3) Obamacare.
            I’m sure Obama wanted single payer but there is no way it would have passed.  What did pass is horrible.  To me it looks like it was designed as a stepping stone to single payer — so you should be happy.

            4) SS only needs to be tweaked to be saved so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that one.

          • Coastghost

            Logic makes demands of its own: OR, Obama is grossly incompetent AND worse.

        • jefe68

          One does wonder how and why…

      • nj_v2

        Sensible people ignore your posts.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Feel free.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Ashbrook continually asks Cato, “SMART cutting” … and still Cato says, “Entitlements”.

    OK, Cato does right by going after The Pentagon Stye. But there’s LOTS more of that low-hanging fruit at the DoD, and there’s lots of dishonest posturing there. Pentagon says, “NO, we don’t want it,” yet, our loyal reps still pile on the fat.

    Cato, you tell me that cutting entitlements and non-entitlements such as SS is not going to threaten our threaten our national security.

    A society that doesn’t provide for its oldest and youngest members isn’t worth defending. Certainly not at the cost ours has incurred.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    would 1.2 trillion balance the budget or would we still be at a deficit and adding to our already massive debt? if not we need to cut more untill its balanced. if that means less oil subsidies and less battleships and less wars of choice i am ok with that

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.grover.90 Jamie Grover

    I find Dan Mitchell’s partisan assertions beyond reason. Over and over he departed from reasoned arguments for cheap and unfounded assertions. He even stated that the Congressional Budget Office is left leaning. Do I have to remind him that the CBO is a body controlled by Congress (both parties), designed to be non-partisan, and that uses objective transparent accounting and cost projections? It cannot be perfect, but it is the best we have, and we have to start somewhere.

    The facts matter!

    It is also the job of journalists to elucidate the facts and not to provide legitimacy to propaganda and unabashed propagandists.

    Overall, I find that NPR journalists and hosts do a remarkable job in a media environment that continues to go downhill in this regard. Based on today’s performance however, I would suggest that Mitchell not be given voice as an expert in any similar forum in the future. Any journalistic value of his point of view is outweighed by the bias he clearly pushes. I found it obnoxious.

    • Coastghost

      Well, but think of how US media commonly work: putting on guests likely to inflame auditors or viewers is SOP. And he may not’ve been first choice, either, as in the scant hour or so before the program began, Ashbrook & Co. had a WaPo reporter scheduled to participate, but then Nancy Cook took her place.
      Be kind to “On Point”! As I am.

    • StilllHere

      Your criticism would carry more weight, and not refute itself, if you had used one fact.

    • eat_swim_read

      …”not be given voice”…

      Now there’s a liberal idea. Let’s just muzzle those with whom we disagree; if they have the temerity to oppose us we will mock them.
      And let’s ignore elected pols who are representing the views of the voters who sent them to D.C.
      If they dissent they can safely be derided as “obstructing” what is right and good.
      There’s one playbook, one ‘right’ way. Get with the program or we trash you. (cue mashup of Fox News, Karl Rove, black helicopters, etc.)

      {Is there one Dear Leader as well?}

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’d suggest Mitchell try better, but he had an hour and it didn’t happen.

        When an NPR guest can’t even back up his own crap, that’s a sign that he’s not worthy of being included in the discussion.

  • AC

    i saw this show on History channel ‘US Presidents’ last night talking about the transition from Teddy Roosevelt all the way through to FDR. Focusing on who was against too much corporate tampering in government & those that wanted complete deregulation and no government tampering.
    Shockingly, nothing’s changed….its still all the same arguments. We’ll just swing back & forth between conservative and progressive and react to the consequences in-between.

    Perhaps this is America, the periods of balance between the stupidy of whoever’s holding too much power (temporarily)…..
    Still better than a lot of other governing styles….

    • AC

      btw, why can’t we have anotheer Teddy Roosevelt? He was awesome!

      • JGC

        You should be giving a nod to FDR as well, for that mother of all civil engineering projects, the Hoover Dam!  (Or do we have Hoover to thank for that one?)

        Speaking as a native Pennsylvanian, nobody ever seems to get nostalgic for our only president from Pennsylvania, James Buchanan… :(  

        • Coastghost

          NOT true! WBUR had a piece just this morning about the Corwin Amendment, which might have become the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, had the War of Northern Aggression not intervened. (It flashes still in the “Top Stories” banner at the top of this page: “‘Ghost Amendment’ Still Haunts Lincoln”.)

          • Ray in VT

            Who was it that fired the first shot in that one again?

          • Coastghost

            Maj. Anderson abandoned Ft. Moultrie for Ft. Sumter almost a week after secession was declared: he was politely invited to vacate the premises entirely between December and April.

          • Ray in VT

            He was “politely invited” to abandon Federal lands to treasonous rebels, intent upon upholding their peculiar institution.  He was right to have held out to the last.  Abandoning his post would have been tantamount to recognizing the legitimacy of secession.

          • Coastghost

            He abandoned Ft. Moultrie first: maybe his uneven retreat confused the secessionists.

          • Ray in VT

            If you will excuse the analogy, perhaps it was sort of like running from some animals.  It only makes them want to chase you.

            I figured that it was a tactical move.  Perhaps Moultrie did not lend itself well to defense based upon the strength of his force.

          • JGC

            The War of Northern Aggression!? 

            My mom is from the South, and she tells the story about when my sister came home from grade school one day (by this time the family was living in PA),  shouting, “Mom! MOM!”  Our mother was concerned and said, “What happened?”  My sister said in anguish, “Mom, I just learned at school today we lost the war!”

          • AC

            i’ve been working a lot down in Charleston lately & they’re strangely vague about it, like it’s not really over or something…..

          • Coastghost

            What you identify is simply “memory”. Tinged with myth more than with history, in every likelihood, but “memory” nonetheless.

          • Coastghost

            How about that, and this: my mom was from upstate New York. Almost to her death she could talk faster than most folks in the county could hear.

          • Ray in VT

            I watched a bit of the ESPN 30 for 30 film “The Ghosts of Ole Miss” this weekend.  This past fall was the 50th anniversary of the events depicted in the film.  They showed footage of the Governor of Mississippi at an Ole Miss football game about how they were going to uphold tradition and their way of life, etc., and the only flags that I could see flying were variants of the Stars and Bars.  It was eerie.

          • Coastghost

            Utterly in the interests of clarity: Wikipedia’s entry “Stars and Bars” illustrates the common misnomer. The flag you likely saw on display at Ole Miss was the Confederate Battle Flag, not the “Stars and Bars” as popularly misconstrued.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, it was more based on the familiar pattern of the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was incorporated into the second and third Confederate national flags.

            I couldn’t find an image that exactly matched, but it had the crossed bars with stripes on what looked like a white background.  It was rectangular with a recessed triangle at one end as best I remember.

          • Coastghost

            You got me. The state flag of Mississippi?

          • Ray in VT

            No, it wasn’t that.  It also didn’t appear to be the Ole Miss flag.  I don’t think that I’ve seen that particular one before.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           President Hoover started the Hoover Dam.

          • JGC

            Thanks, makes sense. I guess it must have been commissioned at the end of the Hoover admin, but then built during Roosevelt’s.

            I can’t wait for all those shovel-ready projects that will come in 2015, after the new Democrat-controlled House is seated. The Obama Tunnel (the new one Christie rejected, connecting New Jersey and New York), the Obama SuperGrid,  the Obama HighSpeed Rail (after Rick Scott gets the boot)…

        • hennorama

          JGC – On December 21, 1928 President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the dam, The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 (BCPA). 

          While he was Secretary of Commerce under President Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover was greatly involved in negotiating how water would be allocated among the seven states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) involved in the project. 

          After Harding died in office in 1923 and then-VP Coolidge assumed the Presidency, Hoover continued his involvement in the behind the scenes aspects of the project while Commerce Secretary, resulting in final passage of the BCPA.

          According to wikipedia,

          “During the years of lobbying leading up to the passage of legislation authorizing the dam in 1928, the dam was generally referred to by the press as “Boulder Dam” or “Boulder Canyon Dam”, notwithstanding the fact that the proposed site had been shifted to Black Canyon.”

          “When Secretary Wilbur spoke at the ceremony starting the building of the railway between Las Vegas and the dam site on September 17, 1930, he named the dam “Hoover Dam”, citing a tradition of naming dams after Presidents, though none had been so honored during their terms of office. Wilbur justified his choice on the ground that Hoover was “the great engineer whose vision and persistence … has done so much to make [the dam] possible”.

          Construction began in 1931 while Hoover was President, but unfortunately for Hoover, FDR kicked his butt in the 1932 Presidential election.  Adding insult to injury, in 1933 Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes renamed the site Boulder Dam, and that was the dam’s official name until 1947, when Congress resolved to rename the site as Hoover Dam.  FDR presided over the bulk of the construction, completion, and final dedication of the dam, on September 30, 1935.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam#Naming_controversy

          http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/History/articles/chrono.html

          http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g1000/lawofrvr.html

          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/timeline/hoover/
          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/hoover-president-hoover/

    • Coastghost

      Dear AC, Dear DEAR AC: “. . . periods of balance between the stupidy (sic) of . . .”
      Take it from a former copyeditor: “Once a writer, always an editor”. It does not hurt, and may actually help, to proof before, or after, you post.
      (I too regret Tom got your gender wrong on air.)

      • JGC

        Is it “I too regret…”  or “I, too, regret…”?

        • Coastghost

          Where commas might clutter, they can be dropped safely. (Don’t take my word for it, however: I haven’t picked up a Chicago Manual of Style since the 13th edition. Worse: I myself am nothing if not idiosyncratic.)

          • JGC

            Thanks for that; I’ll try to remember. It just seems so subjective, though. I guess I prefer the rule of law.

          • Coastghost

            Good for we!

          • JGC

            I just noticed that if a person does an edit to their post, they forfeit their “likes”. 

      • AC

        hahaha! i just noticed. i kinda like ‘stupidy’ now tho :)
        i’m sorry you read my comments, my editing skills are complete poop. i’ve forgiven myself because 1) i’m a math nerd, 2) i did take a linguistics class & they assured me the nature of language was that it was constantly changing and we must adapt. i read a book by Winston Churchill ‘Inisde of the Cup’, written in laborious victorian prose – it took him 10 pages to make a single point!!! great book tho…

      • AC

        darn, i’m torn between correcting it & leaving it as is!!

        • Coastghost

          Don’t change it, please, it’s growing on me, too.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Nothing’s changed?

      Alas, on every oscillation the Federal government grows and grows again … Now, we don’t even bother to pay for it.

    • Gregg Smith

      Who are those that want “complete deregulation and no government tampering”? I have never heard of such a creature.  

      • StilllHere

        Exactly, strawmen all over the place.

  • Michele

    So everyone is hyperbolic but Dan Mitchell?  We’ll end up like Greece!  Really?  The US has a huge domestic economy that Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc. do not have.  If we don’t cut our budget stupidly then we’re all doomed?  Glad there’s no hyperbole there…

  • jwhmeh1

    This would have been a much better discussion with a genuinely thoughtful conservative thinker in the mix.  The ideologue extremist Dan Mitchell spitting venom every time he opened his mouth (which was often) did not do justice to the subject or to a balanced conservative position.  A thoughtful exchange of ideas this was not.  On Point can do, and has done, far better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      sounds like how fox news had beckel to represent the liberal perspective lol

  • JGC

    OK, back to our regular programming…

    “I’m talking about the real private sector…”  says Mitchell near the end of the hour. He gave an example of Lockheed Martin, as a company “with it’s snout in the public trough” he said, and other companies like it. Presumably Mitchell’s employer, Koch Industries, is in “the real private sector” category.

    I’ll say it’s private: no shareholders, no accountability to the public good, just a big black box of pipelines and CoolMax and Dixie Cups and Stainmaster Carpets.  Next time you wipe yourself with a square of Quilted Northern, or squeeze yourself into your Spanx, think about how you are subsidizing the salaries of people like Dan Mitchell and Diane Katz and all their buddies in the many Koch-subsidized think tanks that commandeer our airspace. 

    • Ray in VT

      The reason that I have stopped buying the products that you mention is that I did not want to be subsidizing Cato or Freedomworks.  It might only be a few of my dollars per month, but I’d still rather have it go elsewhere.

      • Gregg Smith

        Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing, I wish I had that choice with NPR but I must admit this particular show was balanced.

        • Ray in VT

          You certainly have the freedom to choose not to listen to it.  I found Dan Mitchell’s comments to be more of the same that one generally hears from certain portions of the right.  I bet that I could have guessed that he was from Cato even if I hadn’t read it.  I wouldn’t have guessed Heritage.  Their people often have at least some useful things to say.

          • harverdphd

             you’re soooooo smart…when is Tom gonna have you on the show?

          • Tyranipocrit

             choit

          • Ray in VT

            He certainly can, and has, done worse.  At least I wouldn’t be going on about how we’re gonna be Greece and how the welfare state has failed, citing Spain and Portugal, while failing to note that the Northern European states are doing fairly well with their systems.

          • censeo

            I agree with your take, and am disappointed at the lowbrow, insulting comments I see here; didn’t expect to see it at NPR. Making the president a laughing stock indeed; I call it racism. I found Mitchell so distasteful that I looked him up when I got home to find he is generous at dishing out thinly disguised personal insults in his writing (for Cato, Heritage and his own CFP). He was an aid to Sen. Packwood, in whom he probably put the deregulation bug when the dearly discarded senator had no initial interest in the issue.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I think that a lot of people try to keep it basically civil, but many commentors have entrenched positions, and some just don’t like each other (at least one could assume that based upon the tenor of some comments).  It’s a pretty mixed bag, and the range of opinion is pretty wide.  It’s what you get with a forum that’s totally open to the public.  I hope that some of the comments that you have seen for which you do not care do not dissuade you from posting coments in the future should you feel that you have something useful to contribute.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s sick.

          • jefe68

            The pet answer.
            It’s not sick, there was a subtext of extreme dislike in Mitchell’s comments about President Obama.

          • Gregg Smith

            What’s sick is invoking racism in lieu of logic. Sick, sick, sick. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The thing about some of the regulars here is that they’re not racists. But golly, this board seems to attract every right-winger who can’t see the racists their side needs to win anything.

          • censeo

            Racism is an entrenched thing, which many would earnestly deny in themselves. These, it seems to me are the ones who ‘just don’t like Obama.’ Many more know it about themselves. Does not Obama get the message exemplified by McConnell’s call to make him a one term president? At the same time Mr. Obama is president he remains a  man who must walk a fine line, because he is black. And I have the greatest admiration for him as he slips through one needle’s eye after another while guiding the nation. He is to be admired in so many ways.

          • Gregg Smith

            You can choose not to support Freedomworks with your dollars. I don’t have that choice with NPR. Whether I listen or not is irrelevant.

            What did Mitchell get wrong? 

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I didn’t get to choose whether or not my tax dollars went to KBR or Blackwater, or whatever those mercs are calling themselves these days.

            Specifically that the welfare state has failed.  When properly managed and kept in line with the ability of the nation to pay for the obligations that it promises, I think that it has shown that such a system can produce some very good outcomes.

            I would also take issue with his suggestion that we’re going to be like Greece, that Obama is engaging in class warfare (did he by any chance charge Obama and the Democrats with soaking the rich?  I missed part of the show), as well as the general slant from Cato that basically government is the problem, that the markets will self regulate and produce the best outcomes when they do, and on and on.  I think that he also said that we don’t have a revenue problem, just a spending problem, and I think that that is also incorrect, given our low rate of federal revenue as a share of the GDP.  To be sure, though, we do need to address spending, especially in the area of entitlements.

          • Gregg Smith

            The Constitution has a little to say about the power of Congress to keep us safe. NPR, not so much.

            The welfare state has failed. It has not been properly managed and kept in line with our ability to pay our bills.

            We have low revenue because Obama’s policies are killing the economy. There is no way to fix it by taxing or cutting enough spending. Obama saying Republicans want dirty air and water so they can get a tax cut when none is proposed IS class warfare. He demonizes the rich full time.

          • Ray in VT

            The Constitution certainly has something to say about promoting the general welfare, and I think that an informed public certainly falls in that category.

            The welfare state has not failed.  Laissez-faire proved itself to be a failure long ago.  We just need to do a bit of adjusting and reprioritizing, and we can claw our way back out of our current mess.

            Obama’s policies had nothing to do with revenues under Bush that were significantly below those of Clinton, nor with the crash in revenue that started well before he took office.

            It’s funny how the economy has grown in all but one quarter over the past 3 years.  He’s really killing it.

            I think that we need some combination of cuts and revenues, and that is what most economists and policy makers seem to say.

            The President does not demonize the rich.  I’m so sick of that rubbish.  I mean it’s not like he has said that a huge percentage of the population is unwilling to take personal responsibility for themselves or something.

            Maybe the GOP would stop taking flak on allegations regarding dirty air and water when they stop taking in Senators like Ran Paul, who led an effort to stop clean air regulations from taking effect, and recently proposed an agenda which would massively cut the taxes on the wealthiest in our country.

          • Gregg Smith

            Wow. I’ll hit the points briefly but we are so far apart it’s probably a waste of time.

            The welfare clause!? NPR does not create an informed public. IMO it’s an Evel  Knieval leap.

            When Clinton moved 6 million from welfare to work to paying taxes and growing the economy it worked. Robinhood’s paradigm does not. 

            Growth is anemic as hell by any definition including Obama’s own projections. Growth is the ONLY solution. Tweaking taxing and spending is a slow suicide.

            The total and  complete bastardization of the 47% commentis too bizarre to address. Obama said Republicans want dirty air and suffering so the rich can get a tax cut. It’s a class warfare lie of epic proportions.

          • Ray in VT

            I will agree with you on one thing.  It probably is a waste of time for us to argue about these things.

        • jefe68

          Don’t listen.

          • Gregg Smith

            I still have to pay.

          • eat_swim_read

            @OnPointComments:disqus  Gregg – I like the way you think. I like a nice big brain on a fellow. Keep posting, ‘k?

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks, I’ve been gone a week spending the majority of my time eating, swimming and reading. 

          • jefe68

            Oh that 0000.01% that comes out of your taxes that goes to  NPR is that your problem?

            I don’t like paying for subsides for the oil corporations or for agribusiness.

            But being a rational person I do realize that taxes are the price I pay for being in society.

          • jefe68

            n 2010, NPR revenues totaled $180 million, with the bulk of revenues coming from programming fees, grants from foundations or business entities, contributions and sponsorships.According to the 2009 financial statement, about 50% of NPR revenues come from the fees it charges member stations for programming and distribution charges.
            Typically, NPR member stations receive funds through on-air pledge drives, corporate underwriting, state and local governments, educational institutions, and the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In 2009, member stations derived 6% of their revenue from federal, state and local government funding, 10% of their revenue from CPB grants, and 14% of their revenue from universities. While NPR does not receive any direct federal funding, it does receive a small number of competitive grants from CPB and federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce. This funding amounts to approximately 2% of NPR’s overall revenues.

          • Gregg Smith

            Let’s gives tad to Rush. Maybe just a pittance, I suggest a quarter of what we give to NPR. Your logic dictates that will be no problem.

          • Ray in VT

            Why do you want to make Rush a slave to government handouts?

          • Gregg Smith

            I want to show the vacuousness of Jefe’s logic but that was funny. You made me  LOL.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m glad that I could give you a chuckle.  How was the vacation?

          • Gregg Smith

            Great. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        is it worth a hemorrhoid?

        • Ray in VT

          Probably.  I’ll keep you posted.

    • StilllHere

      I buy only the products you mention, and in bulk.  That’s America!  

      • Ray in VT

        So do you eat the Dixie Cups or the Stainmaster Carpet?  I wouldn’t have figured you for a Spanx kind of guy, though.

        • StilllHere

          I mostly give them away to charity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      what company is “accountable to the public good”? I do love the quilted northern but not for political reasons.  What “good” does lockheed produce with all of our tax money? It seems the military complex is unstoppable if liberals are defending lockheed

  • Gregg Smith

    In November of 2011 President Obama said, “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts”. And now he says they are the end of the world. 

    The House has passed two bills to avoid sequestration that never got a vote in the Senate. President Obama does not want a deal. He wants to fundamentally transform America. It’s awful. The ignorance of the manipulated Obama voters is astonishing.

    • Mike_Card

      C’mon!  You know that those bills were basically, “Outlaw abortion and any possible future tax increases and total gun rights for anyone with a heartbeat, and–by the way–make sure sequestration doesn’t happen or something like that.”

      Just because some doofus teabaggers title their proposed pieces of dross legislation ”Most Important Issue Facing The Universe” doesn’t reflect any recognized reality.

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t think those things were in the bill but why no vote in the Senate? What is the problem with regular order? Wouldn’t the bills going down in flames be the best way to discredit them? Say a bill gets voted down 99-0 in the Senate, wouldn’t that make the sponsor a laughing stock?

        … Obama’s budgets notwithstanding.

        • Mike_Card

          You and I and pretty much everyone know that all those were only presented as attempts to embarrass the President.

          It’s a time-honored political ploy, but that’s all it is.  I’d like to think we civilians are actually arguing honestly.

          • Gregg Smith

            We pay them to vote.

    • StilllHere

      Thanks for the context missing from this whole discussion!  It’s willful ignorance on the part of some.

  • Steve__T

    Disqusting Disqus

  • tabrant

    Why cant we come up with an intelligent solution? 

    The reason is because government officials have no consequences for not meeting budget deadlines. If we “rehired” each position from Obama down to State positions, officials would start to compromise. Finally.

    • harverdphd

       Gee…I don’t know…because we’re not intelligent?  Read all the comments below an get your answer.

      • Tyranipocrit

         choit

  • censeo

    I found Dan Mitchell offensive in his use of cliched derogation of President Obama. And I question the selection of Mr. Mitchell as a guest when he is by reputation, clearly a fringe character, and who is given to repeatedly using thinly veiled personal insults in his writings about respectable, reputable professionals. To state that Obama has no concept of fiscal policy and macro-economics perpetuates an absurd concept continually hauled out by the likes of Fox News. Every time I read or hear someone slurring this president I have the uncomfortable sense that his race is the disqualifier. Whether one takes a for or against attitude about President Obama, he is worthy of respect. In a half century I recall many presidents disliked, even reviled, but attacked for their positions, not their person.

    • eat_swim_read

      I thought he made some good points, yet was shouted down too often.
      Made into a human straw man…

      • jefe68

        He made some good points? Hard to hear them through all the vitriol. 

  • 5Bill

    OUTRAGEOUS!!!  Three points.  First: I thought hostage taking was considered illegal and immoral (or is it legal and moral if Congress does it?).  The Republicans are holding the government, industry and citizens hostage, demanding the Democrats give in to their demands or else they will seriously harm the hostages.  It’s an irresponsible reckless game of chicken set up by the Republicans (with the assumption that no one in their right mind would let sequestration take place).  Yet the Republicans have already said they are willing to let the cuts take place if the Democrats don’t give in (which would grievously harm the hostages).  Do they really think they are of sound mind?  And they talk about individual responsibility, Christian teachings, revering the Founding Fathers, etc.
         Second: do the Republicans really think the government should be run by threats; any means to the end is justified, I can do more stupid things than anyone else, my way or the highway, hate, etc?  Many of them have run on a platform of no compromise.  Yet, the Constitution was formed by compromise; politicians for centuries have compromised (even Reagan, Tip O’Neil, Bush I, Clinton, Obama, etc.).  If they feel it is OK to be irresponsible, then they have to accept the idea that the same irresponsible tactics can be used against them- a real race to the bottom and irrelevance.
         Third: someone should add up the tremendous and totally unnecessary waste of time and money (much less aggravation) by literally EVERY government agency, contractor doing business with the government, and citizens and businesses that have to develop contingency plans, change in how they plan for the future, uncertainties, etc.  Not to mention the well publicized catastrophic harm to the country, businesses and citizens.  Yet the Republicans are being hypocritical by talking about reducing spending and the deficit, decreasing unemployment, and being compassionate while they are taking clear actions that are doing just the opposite.
         The American people should express their outrage to their representatives, including those in ultra conservative regions, denouncing the immoral and illegal tactic of hostage taking.  The Republican Party has a lot of soul searching to do before it can become relevant again to the American people.

    • OnPointComments

      How do you feel about ransom?  There are two sides to every issue.  The President and Democrats have said unless they are paid ransom through higher taxes, the automatic cuts will occur.  On the sequester, President Obama has gone from “It will not happen” to allowing the cuts if his demand for more ransom from the rich isn’t met.
       
      One who holds hostages, one who demands ransom.  Sounds like they were made for each other.

      • Mattyster

         Taxes are not ransom.  Taxes are the price of living in a civilized society.  Our taxes are lower than they’ve been in a very long time but they’ll never be low enough for those who want to drown the government in a bathtub.  And guess what, they don’t want to drown it to protect you and me.  They want to drown it so the rich can do whatever they want at the expense of the rest of us.  Bye-bye middle class, hello robber barons and peasantry.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i think the rich can already do whatever they want.  plutonomics is already in effect

      • jefe68

        So taxes are ransom now? 
        That has to be one the most absurd comments I’ve read on this forum. 

        • pete18

           If asking the government to live within its means and make modest cuts to spending
          is “hostage taking,” then demanding new taxes for more spending is indeed “ransom.”

          Metaphors on equal terms.

          • jefe68

            Do you understand how a government works? 

            Do you understand why we have a revenue problem?

            Are you aware that the GOP will not raise taxes even though besides cuts that is the only rational way to deal with the debt and the deficit.

          • Gregg Smith

            We have a crappy economy problem. There is no way to tax our way out and no way to cut spending enough. 

            That Obama is the biggest spending President in the history of the universe is a relevant and indisputable fact.

            You asked, “Do you understand why we have a revenue problem?”

            I am curious to know how you would answer it. Do you actually think its because the rich are not paying their “fair share”?

          • jefe68

            I think taxes are at low point. They were higher under Reagan, HW Bush and Clinton than now. My understanding of the situation as we move forward, and by this I mean the next 5 to 10 years, is that we need to find a way to keep the level of debt and GDP in balance. 

            We have a situation in which we have the baby boomers retiring at a large rate and are putting a lot of stress on SS and Medicare in the coming years.

            Taxing the rich, well that’s the right wing’s complaint when this subject comes up. 
            Are you aware that tax loopholes are costing the US 150 billion in loses in revenue. 

            http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/10877001/group-says-that-offshore-tax-havens-cost-us-150-billion-each-year

            Taxes are going to have to up, if you don’t agree due to your ideology that’s fine, but just cutting services and the size of government wont fix the problem.

            Yes the rich will have to pay more.

          • Gregg Smith

            You describe a completely useless endeavor. We are far beyond any easy fix.

          • jefe68

            So lets do nothing.
            That’s a plan.

            I disagree with your assessment.

          • Gregg Smith

            Pleasedon’t tell me what I think.

          • pete18

             Do you understand that your
            position is an opinion?

            So instead of wasting time indulging in silly metaphors that buttress your ad hominem attacks against politicians and people holding the counter position, and then
            switching to an affected literal
            translation when that side meets you with the same symbolic language, make your argument.

          • jefe68

            Making a comment that taxes are ransom is silly and is a sign that one does not know how taxes and government works. That you think my comments are ad hominem attacks speaks to my point.

            I’ll waste my time anyway I please.
            It’s funny how you right wing libertarian types are so quick to tell people what to do if it’s not in congress with you’re beliefs.

            Pot calling the kettle black.
              

          • pete18

             ”Making a comment that taxes are ransom is silly..”

            As is saying the republicans are “holding the country hostage.” I believe that was the whole point of OPC’s post.

            These terms are not analogies they are comedic metaphors.

            Both sides are negotiating by withholding any agreement until they achieve concessions from the other side. This is exactly how government works. The fact that you don’t like the demands of one of the negotiators doesn’t make the “hostage” comment any less silly or inaccurate.

          • jefe68

            Well I can use the Gregg defense, stop telling what to post and think…

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ve never said that.

          • StilllHere

            The guy makes stuff up.  Stay away.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s fun making his head explode. Think of it as a sport.

          • pete18

              It’s a suggestion.
            I’m looking to engender honest debate rather than double standard diatribes.

          • OnPointComments

            Thanks for trying to clarify my post.  Sometimes the original point of my comment goes over the heads of some readers, but if the comment irritates enough liberals I still count it as successful.

          • jefe68

            What a load of bull.

          • StilllHere

            Nicely done, but they won’t get it.

          • 5Bill

                 I still stand behind my post on “hostage taking”.  There is nothing wrong with “asking” the government to live within its means, make “modest” cuts to spending, “demanding” new taxes, or increase spending.  These are NOT hostage taking or “ransom” actions, as you assert.  My point is that “hostage taking” is totally unacceptable as a TACTIC to achieve those ends.  It is immoral (to threaten to hurt innocent people and cause incalculable harm if one’s demands are not met) and if not illegal, should be.  To actually implement the threat, as the Republicans have stated they will do if their demands are not met, is outrageously irresponsible.  The Democrats will probably act responsibly at the last minute in this game of chicken,
                 Conservative Republicans have embraced compromise for generations.  Why change now (other than hostage taking can be more effective, particularly if you’re irresponsible and can get your way without being concerned about “the means to the end”)?  What a helluva way to run a country!  The Republican Party has a lot of soul searching to do if it wants to remain relevant.  Let’s hope that traditional Republicans will reclaim their party from the extremists.

          • pete18

             Let me see if I’m getting you straight here. If the republicans, who have already compromised on tax increases
            over the fiscal cliff standoff, refuse to do it again and sequestration takes place they are hostage takers who are trying to hurt people. If the President and democrats don’t compromise and continue to insist on more tax hikes and we go into sequestration they  aren’t hostage takers and aren’t trying to hurt anybody?

            You’ll forgive me if I am again lost on the consistency of the standards that you are using
            to create your abductors.

      • StilllHere

        Obama’s behavior is criminal, but then he’s from Chicago.  

      • 5Bill

        Although there are distinctions between holding hostages and demanding ransom, the point is that I think both are considered illegal and immoral, and neither Republicans nor Democrats should use such tactics to govern. Compromise is the only rational way to resolve differences.
             The Democrats were forced into accepting a stupid and irresponsible congressional law of sequestration 1 ½ years ago to avoid the US defaulting on its debt obligations- the Democrats losing the chicken race.
             This time, Obama has tried to put pressure on Congress by saying sequestration “will not happen” (implying and saying it is such a really idiotic idea that no one in their right mind would vote for it). The game of chicken continues (which the Democrats probably will lose since they appear to have acted more responsibly in the past).  I don’t hear the Republicans calling for true compromise (other than we’ll compromise- do it my way).

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      as a taxpayer i would like if all the govt contractors went out of business and most of the agencys were eliminated.

      • jefe68

        So you would OK if we did not have an EPA, Center for Disease Control, Department of Defense, FBI, IRS, FAA, Department of Education, to name a few.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          keep going

          • StilllHere

            We’re going to need a bigger bathtub!

          • jefe68

            I’ll add NASA, National Weather Service, and FEMA as well.

            While we are at it on the local levels lets do away with police and fire departments and sanitation departments. 

            It would seem what you really want is to turn the nation into something akin to Somalia. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            we were doing fine before we had those things. local services are not and need not be under the perview of the federal govt.  i am sure Somalia’s problem is not a lack of corrupt bureaucrats or spaceships.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so the problem in somalia is not enough corrupt bureaucrats or spaceships?

  • Mattyster

     Dear Tom, How could you let Dan Mitchell get away with his completely
    misleading right wing talking points? The Medicare drug program that
    gives away the store to big Pharma was passed early in the BUSH
    administration and has NOTHING to do with Obamacare. How could you let
    him get away with blaming Obama?? Also our economic issues are NOTHING
    like those faced by Greece. How could you let him say say were heading
    toward being Greece with barely a challenge??

  • StilllHere

    There isn’t one criticism of Mitchell on this board that is fact-based, just a bunch of whining about how mean he is.  LOL. 

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s amazing. I give Mr. Ashbrook credit for having him. Not a dime will be cut with sequestration, who believes a show on the issue should ignore that fact?  Shooting the messenger is all they have.

      • jefe68

        Mitchell did not deal in facts and in my view he was a poor choice. Not because he was an extreme right wing ideologue, but because he was the wrong person for the GOP point of view on this.
         The man used tired old libertarian memes that are based on false assumptions and lies.The analogy that we are going to become Greece is one. That’s a factoid that is used by the right all the time and it’s absurd. There are a so many small nations to pick from, why not use Denmark, or Iceland?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          because in iceland they locked up the bankers that trashed their economy instead of bailing them out and paying them huge bonuses from the taxpayers? I wish we could become more like iceland in that way

    • JGC

      I thought there were plenty of fact-based criticisms.  Here’s one:  What do you think about Mitchell’s comment  at the end of the program where he said the “real private companies” were the drivers of the economy, not  companies like Lockheed Martin, which I guess is not a “real private company” like Koch Industries. Are publicly traded companies not contributors to the economy? I saw Lockheed employs 123,000 people worldwide, and Koch employs 60,000 people as one measure. I found Mitchell’s “real private companies” comment to be unfounded, and was probably there as a last-minute dog whistle to his employers, the Kochs, that he had performed his back flips well for the hour, and now it is time to give him a bone.

      • JGC

        And for Mitchell to say “real private companies” (like Koch Industries) are not at the public trough is absurd, given Koch has been given $85-million in DOD contracts; uses taxpayer money through the U.S. Forestry Service to construct roads through the forestland while only paying a small fee compared to the value of the resources they extract; pushes for the use of eminent domain to seize private land in preparation for the Keystone XL pipeline, while also receiving a special property tax exemption on the land they have seized which is projected to cost Kansas taxpayers about $50-million. And there are more examples of private company Koch Ind. at the public trough, but you get the idea. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          with the interrelation between these international corporations and govt its a lot like fascism

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think its perfectly valid to question how govt contractors contribute to the economy.

        • JGC

          I can agree with that.

        • Ray in VT

          Especially in light of much of the privatization that occurred with the DOD in the 1990s and how that has played out in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • StilllHere

        Did he say Koch was a real private company?  Did he mention Koch?  If not, then who cares.

        • JGC

          Well, if Koch is not a “real private company”, then who is Mitchell referring to?  Forbes says Koch Industries is the second largest private company in the U.S. (after Cargill). Of course Mitchell is referring to Koch Industries as the real and true patriotic hero company for the U.S.!  

          My ulterior motive here is to drive a wedge between the “real private companies” and their publicly traded counterparts, and hopefully get a real food fight going at the next meeting of the Business Roundtable. Cargill and Monsanto can lead the way, by throwing their GMO monster veggies at each other.

          • StilllHere

            I don’t know and neither do you, so you have no point.  Maybe by private he means, companies that derive the majority of their revenue from private sources as opposed to government contracts.  Please find an actual fact he got wrong. 

          • JGC

            Well, alrighty then.

          • Gregg Smith

            Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I knew you liked me. I like you too… not in a creepy way.

          • JGC

            I was saving that for just the right moment…

          • Ray in VT

            That would be possible if he had provided some actual facts, or supposed facts even, to refute.

  • Miles Wimbrow

    It seems to me that the Tea Party has advanced their position and made their arguments in defiance of Enlightenment-era thinking. Knowledge isn’t valued for being based in reality; rather, it’s created and informed through evaluating the attractiveness of ideology. It should be concerning to us all that these individuals would seem to find themselves in positions of power and could affect real policy decisions. 

    • pete18

       Examples please.

      • Ray in VT

        I do find it interesting that at least a sizable number of those in the Tea Party Caucus are evangelical Christians, some of whom deny climate change and evolution, such as Michele Bachmann and Pete Broun.

        • Gregg Smith

          I find it interesting so many Democrats are Catholic like Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and your Patrick Leahey.

          • jefe68

            All of whom understand the idea of Science and the separation fo Church and State.

          • ThirdWayForward

            CHON we understand, but helium (He)?

          • Ray in VT

            It doesn’t really surprise me.  At least here in parts of New Enlgand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it seems as though Catholics and immigrants were more aligned with Democratic strongholds in the cities, and the GOP often seemed to represent the WASP establishmemt.  In modern times, at least in terms of science stances, the Democrats are far more receptive to certain aspects of science, while some of the major groups supporting the GOP do not.  The Papacy says that evolution is a real thing, although part of God’s plan, while a lot of American evangelicals, at least white evangelicals, are concentrated in the GOP and many of those churches are adamently opposed to the theory.  Take Broun.  The guy sits on the science committee and thinks that the world is 9,000 years old and says the evolution is a theory from the pit of hell.  Those views don’t seem particularly widespread among the Democrats.

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Religion

            58% of Republicans surveyed said that God created man as is within the past 10,000 years.

          • Gregg Smith

            I think it’s a bit ironic that Kerry, Biden and the rest support abortion and claim to be Catholics in good standing. I seem to remember in 2004 that Kerry was denied communion but I may be wrong. 

            I don’t know about the pit of hell thing but it’s called the “Theory of Evolution” for some reason. However, I see no relevance to politics. I think it is far more relevant that Obama’s church says “God Damn America”. He willfully immersed himself in hate and racism for 20 years but for many it’s no problem.

          • Ray in VT

            There are plenty of pro-choice Catholics, and many also use contraception despite the Church’s opposition.  I think that that is between them and their church.

            It is called a theory because there is an extremely high bar for law in science.  There’s a reason that there’s no scientific Theory of Creation or Theory of Intelligent Design.  Those don’t even rise to the level of theory.

            I think that it says a great deal about one and one’s politics when one rejects mainstream science, and I don’t think that it bodes well for our standing in a world of science, technology and reasearch when some of our leaders promote such ideas.

            I don’t particularly see the comments of Reverend Wright to be a problem.  That’s his opinion, and there’s certainly a strain of that in some black churches, given how the community has been treated historically.  The man wore the uniform.  He put his butt on the line, so he can say what he wants as far as I’m concerned.

            “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

            He makes some flamboyant charges there, but he’s got a point regarding how we have treated some of our citizens historically.  I’d certainly take him over Pat Robertson, who’s said that we could assassinate Chavez so long as the oil kept coming and that 9/11 was punishment for liberalism, feminism and the ACLU, or something to that effect.  There’s also the likes of Hagee, who said that Katrina hit New Orleans because it was planning a “sinful” “homosexual rally”.  That’s some serious medieval b.s. there.

          • Gregg Smith

            And there are plenty of Baptist that believe in evolution. I am agnostic and respect all religious views I can’t disprove. It has no bearing on my vote. 

            That Obama immersed himself in the racist anti-American rhetoric of the hateful Rev. Wright is another matter. It’s a character issue. Even Oprah ditched that church. So again, we disagree. I do find your selective outrage a bit odd. Maybe you think the same of mine.

          • Ray in VT

            Views regarding faith versus science have a bearing on my vote.  If one thinks that the world is 6,000-10,000 years old, then I’m not going to vote for that person.  I prefer facts and reason over faith and prayer.

            Do you find it outrageous that the LDS long considered people of African ancestry to be subhuman, at least until God changed his mind in 1979?  How about churches that rail against gays and lesbians?  So it’s wrong for Obama to have attended a church with such views, but what about the churches of Republicans like Palin, Bachmann and the like.  Their houses of worship, and one of the bedrock groups that support the GOP certainly say some very hateful things.

            What aspects of Wright’s church do you consider to be racist specifically?

          • Gregg Smith

            Not going there. It’s irrelevant. I havemy opinions, you have yours. Also the box is small.

          • Ray in VT

            You can always do this if the box is too small.

            Is there a particular reason that you don’t want to go into it?  Are you unwilling to criticize the intolerance and bigotry of the Christian Right?  I think that it is very relevant to the direction of our country.  I don’t want to see our nation run by people who deny science because they have a super old book that tells them to hate gays or try to get the Jews back into Palestine so that Jesus will come back.

          • Gregg Smith

            The reason, as I said, is it’s irrelevant. There is nothing to gain and we won’t agree. I babble enough as it is.I’ve made my point.

          • Ray in VT

            So what?  There’s plenty on here that is irrelevant to one person or another.  Why not just air the laundry and give it a go?

          • Gregg Smith

            Obama won. Now it’s about the futile effort to save America. We’re toast.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, he won, so maybe there’s hope yet.  I only despair when true believers in holy books and the free hand of the market run things.  Our brightest days may yet be ahead.  You could always hole up with Rush in Costa Rica or that compound thing that Beck wants to build.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s just silly. This is bad.

          • Ray in VT

            Aren’t you always poo-pooing those who claim that the sky is falling.  We will only fail if we choose to let our nation fail.  We have survived worse internal and external threats than those which we now face.

          • Ray in VT

            A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.” – Wikipedia.  It’s not just something that someone throws against the fridge to see if it sticks or something that gets pulled out of a hat.

          • Gregg Smith

            A theory is a theory. I don’t know the answer but intelligent design makes as much sense to me.

          • Ray in VT

            A scientific theory has a basis.  Intelligent design is creationism in a cheap suit, and a party that promotes such an idea for science education in the 21st century is beyond hope at this point.

          • Gregg Smith

            It has nothing to do with party. Clinton is a southern Baptist.

          • Ray in VT

            and there are plenty of Catholics who are Republicans.  One’s faith doesn’t determine one’s party, but, let’s face it, the GOP is eyeball deep in Christian fundamentalists.

          • jefe68

            As what?
            It’s pseudo science and nothing more.

            Do you believe that the ingredients of the universe are for mostly made up of hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen?

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe we can find some in the GOP that will promote phrenology.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, it’s pixie dust.

        • Mike_Card

          Let’s not forget Ted Cruz!  The most recent dipshit, who makes Conryn sound almost reasonable.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t much care for Conryn, but he has worked on a couple of this with which I have agreed.  He worked with Pat Leahy in order to attempt to speed up FOIA requests, and he’s co-sponsored the Fair Access to Science and Research Technology Act, which would get federally funded research out to the public faster.

            I see that Ted Cruz is listed on Wikipedia as a Southern Baptist, and I think that it is safe to say that they’re not exactly supportive evolution, so Cruz may not believe in it either, but I didn’t see a quote that addressed it.  Maybe they can run him for Pres in 2016.

          • Mike_Card

            They might run him, if they ever get over loving Rubio.  A Bachmann/Cruz ticket; probably the first 50-0 presidential election, unless Texas secedes.

          • Gregg Smith

            I love Ted Cruz, his ilk will be our salvation. We need more just like him.

          • Mike_Card

            I am not surprised.

          • Gregg Smith

            Nor am I that you don’t like him.

          • JGC

            I don’t know too much about Cruz yet, but is he slightly to the right of Rubio?

          • jefe68

            Ted Cruz? The man is smart, but not fit for office. He will be gone by 2014 and most likely it will be his own party that gets rid of him. 

            If you think people of his ilk are the answer than you must want government to fail. What’s the point?

          • Gregg Smith

            Government has already failed.

      • ThirdWayForward

        Evolution and climate change are obvious examples, but supply-side economics, a staple of conservative ideology, is also a pseudo-science that is unsupported by empirical evidence.

        In the realm of gun control, conservatives have made it illegal for the government to fund scientific studies of the effects of guns on rates of gun-related violence. 

        There was the whole birther insanity on the right, and now rampant paranoia about taking away guns.

        If science produces results that contradict what one wants to believe, then defund the science. That’s the wacko-conservative way. Fundamentally dishonest. Might makes Truth.

        Then there are the almost daily fabrications of the right wing propaganda machine that attempt to slander their political adversaries by repeating unfounded rumors as if they were facts (the Chuck Hagel nomination has produced a spate of these). This is a shining example of how little the Right values truth.

        Somewhere between 1/5 and 1/3 of our population are afflicted with the psychology of reality denial.

        • pete18

          Like many leftists, you practice what you you condemn and are clueless about the irony. You just spewed a barrel of propagandist fabrications to make you case against propagandist fabrications. Evolution and climate change are not items on the Tea Party agenda. Instead of arguing with straw men that you invent, why don’t you do a little research?

          • jefe68

            You seem to think you’re being clever. You are not.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that evolution and climate change are one the Tea Party’s agenda either, but the movement certainly does seem to attract more than it’s fair share of those who deny either one or both of those, at least when it comes to national politicians who have taken the Tea Party mantle.

          • JGC

            I wish certain rightists (is that a word?) would do some research into global climate change…

          • Ray in VT

            They have done “research”, but it’s pretty much all backed by industry groups and others with questionable views on other matters of science.

          • JGC

            :(

          • Gregg Smith

            Like the UN and the IPCC.

          • Ray in VT

            Both are far more credible than Heritage, Cato, or the Heartland Institute.  97%-98% of active climate scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening and that man if playing a significant or sizeable impact.  The denial of that by many on the right doesn’t change the science.  It just makes them look like closed-minded morons.

          • Gregg Smith

            The IPCC is made up of bureaucrats and activist with a few scientist sprinkled in. I dispute your 97% number. Can you back it up?

          • Ray in VT

            Do you have any information to back up your allegation that the IPCC has “only a few scientists prinkled in”?

            “Doran determined that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role.”

            http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2009/2009-01-20-02.asp

          • Gregg Smith

            I hate to go up top, off topic but these dad-burn boxes along with the required specificity makes it necessary. I guess I asked for it.

          • pete18

            I suggest you read this article (see summary below) and tell me what you think the geologist & environmental scientist who has written it has wrong.

            http://www.aitse.org/global-warming-anthropogenic-or-not/

            Summary

            The current scientific reality is that
            the IPCC’s hypothesis of dangerous global warming has been repeatedly
            tested, and fails. Despite the expenditure of large sums of money over
            the last 25 years (more than $100 billion),  and great research effort
            by IPCC-related and other (independent) scientists, to date no
            scientific study has established a certain link between changes in any
            significant environmental parameter and human-caused carbon dioxide
            emissions.

            In contrast, the null hypothesis that
            the global climatic changes that we have observed over the last 150
            years (and continue to observe today) are natural in origin has yet to
            be disproven. As summarised in the reports of the Nongovernmental
            International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),
            literally thousands of papers published in refereed journals contain
            facts or writings consistent with the null hypothesis, and plausible
            natural explanations exist for all the post-1850 global climatic changes
            that have been described so far.

          • Ray in VT

            I took a look at it.  Certainly a those two authors have credentials.  I couldn’t find out much about their organization, but I did find it troubling to see that many of their experts were linked up with organizations like Geoscience Research Institute and the Discovery Institute, both of which advocate “creation science” or intelligent design.  I have found that proponents of such views tend to often be highly religious people who question not only evolution but climate change as well.

        • heatherGirl

          Hagel?  If Hagel had been nominated by a Republican, Democrats would oppose him……  probably saying he is homophobic.

          • Ray in VT

            Opposed perhaps, but let us not forget how terrible it was when a few Democrats were opposed to Secretary Rice’s nomination.  They were labelled as being partisan and petty, but they didn’t hold up a vote, as the Republicans in the Senate have done.  I don’t think that the politicizing of cabinet members over the past decade is a very good direction in which to move.

          • JGC

            I don’t think so. I don’t think Democrats reflexively dismiss all Republicans from the nomination process. In fact, just looking at the GWBush cross-party appointments versus the Obama cross-party appointments, they each have ten – and that is with GWB completing two terms, and Obama just at the start of his second. Democrats are more open-minded than the current iteration of Republican to including extra-party appointments, such as  Republicans and Independents (even Socialists!-Sen. Bernie Sanders) in their tent, and that is an empirical fact. 

  • buddhaclown

    The Tea Party is made up of stupid people and stupid politicians, everyone knows that except them. Is it any surprise, then, that the sequestration — which they shoved down our throats by holding a gun to our heads — is also stupid?

    • ThirdWayForward

      The Democrats are generally much less evil than Republicans and Tea Partiers, but they let themselves be suckered into this stupidity, and they never seem to learn from their mistakes (their recent abandonment of filibuster reform is indicative). It was President Obama who convened the Simpson-Bowles committee — what a bad roster of participants! — to the detriment of the whole country and both political parties.

      One problem that the Democrats face, from tax and financial reform to gun control, is a sizable blue dog faction — Dems are not united as a party to the same extent that the Republicans are united in their obstructionism and their advocacy for the interests of the wealthy.

      • heatherGirl

        Democrats are much less evil?  Obviously your a Democrat!

        Interesting that having an opinion other then yours is now called evil!

    • pete18

       Deep stuff.

    • Gregg Smith

      Sequestration was Obama’s idea. Then he signed it into law. It’s his Alinski like MO to work with threats instead of compromise. In 2011 he said he would veto any attempt to stop the automatic spending cuts. In 2012 he sang the praises of sequestration to the Des Moines Register. Not a dime will be cut with sequestration and the slowdown in growth is already offset by new spending he has proposed. Now he’s making speeches saying how awful it is. He’s a liar and a cheat. He’s an awful President. He is an outstanding snake oil salesman. It’s a circus for the ignorant that will not affect squat but there is standing room only under the tent.

      • Ray in VT

        He said that he would veto attempts to just do away with the cuts, while, at the same time, calling for some sort of more agreeable package of cuts and revenue that could replace it.

        • Gregg Smith

          No, he called a press conference the day the super committee officially failed in their mission to avoid the automatic spending cuts. At that point there was still a year left before they kicked in. He wanted the threat of sequestration which was his idea.  

          • Ray in VT

            Yes.  That is what he said

            “Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending
            cuts. My message to them is simple: No,” Mr. Obama said from the White
            House briefing room Monday evening. “I will veto any effort to get rid
            of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.”

             ”The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress
            gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by
            at least 1.2 trillion dollars. That’s exactly what they need to do.”

            http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57329146-503544/obama-pledges-to-veto-effort-to-undo-automatic-spending-cuts/

          • Gregg Smith

            We’re talking passed each other. My point is Obama wants sequestration. He now suddenly wants to frame it as Armageddon and blame Republicans for his idea. The best one can assume is he was bluffing. The Presidency is not a poker game.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that he does want it.  I think that he would like a different package, as he suggested in November of 2011.

            There’s plenty of gambling and horse trading that goes on in politics.  That’s the way that it has always been, and it is probably going to continue.  I don’t think that these rolling crises are a good way to go.  I would very much like to see both parties sit down and hammer out an agreement that probably no one will like but which they can at least get 50% plus one to vote in favor of.

          • Gregg Smith

            Then vote! Compromise cannot happen by guessing. Saying “it wouldn’t have passed” is pure speculation and a bill that doesn’t pass sets the stage. A vote draws the lines. It rules things in or out. From there things move forward. Clinton vetoed welfare reform 5 times! He submitted 5 budgets until one passed! It was good for the country. It’s absolutely essential.

            What we have now is my way or the highway. I think it’s despicable.

        • heatherGirl

          Yeah and let’s see what he thinks the solution is.  I will make a guess it involves tax increases and not spending cuts.

          Didn’t he just get his tax increases?  So isn’t it time for the spending cuts?

          Anyone holding their breath to see Obama propose them?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the President put some sort of entitlement reforms on the table late last year when he was negotiating with Speaker Boehner.  I think that a mix of both is needed, and I would rather see the cuts targeted, rather than across the board.

      • superpage

        President Obama’s Administration proposed sequestration in response to the tea party using a credit default as blackmail.  Never before in history has the debt ceiling been used as leverage but the tea party decided now was a good time.  President Obama got the country out of the debt ceiling mess and the tea party continues to refuse to work with anyone to get the country out of the sequestration mess. I don’t see the tea party bragging about how their antics cost the country and extra $80B in interest payments for the credit downgrade they caused.  

    • StilllHere

      Your ignorance is showing where the real stupidity is, and you should watch the violent rhetoric.

    • heatherGirl

      Sequestration was proposed by the Obama Whitehouse, not the Tea Party. 

      • StilllHere

        Facts don’t matter.

      • superpage

        It was proposed by the Obama Administration because the tea party was using an American credit default as blackmail.  For the first time in history.  If anything, Obama got the country out of one mess and apparently the tea party driven GOP Congress is refusing to be constructive to get us out of this one.  

  • Gregg Smith

    I brought this up earlier and it was poo-pooed with the “everybody does it” claim but it bears repeating. The House passed two bills that satisfied the requirements to avoid sequestration, just like they passed “Cut, Cap and Balance” which would have avoided the downgrade according to S&P. None of it ever got a vote in the Senate. Where is the outrage? If they were sham bills, as is the claim, then why no vote? What is the excuse for not letting real solutions come to a vote?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that they should have voted on them, for what it’s worth.  I would argue that they weren’t serious bills and that the GOP knew that they would never be signed into law.  H.R. 5652, for instance, saved money by stripping away money for health care exchanges, did away with the Home Affordable Modification Program, as well as other things that would be unpalatable to Democrats.  The House passed H.R. 6684 in December on a 215-209 vote, and the CBO basically said that this was just a modified version of H.R. 5652.  They could always try it again, unless Boehner is afraid that it wouldn’t pass a House floor vote.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m glad you agree they should have come to a vote. If Reid would have allowed it then the Republican blame game would have a basis.

        It is not the intent of my comment to argue the merits of the details. Looking at any single provision ignores the other mitigating factors. For instance, Obamacare took $500 billion out of Medicare. Obama also forced 2 million vulnerable seniors out of medicare and into a voucher system. They had no choice. I feel sure you could come back with a “yes but..” argument but my point is about the vote.

        You wrote: “ I would argue that they weren’t serious bills and that the GOP knew that they would never be signed into law.”

        I agree with half of that and it brings up an interesting thought. I just don’t see how you can call a bill the S&P said would have prevented the downgrade or bills that would prevent sequestration unserious. I disagree with that characterization. I do agree they had no chance for Democrat support or Obama’s signature. IMO Democrats in general and Obama in particular are not in the least bit concerned about a solution.

        • Ray in VT

          Wait, I thought that vouchers were great?  Are you opposed to them when Obama supports them?

          I think that the Democrats are interested in a solution, but they aren’t willing to cave in.  I think that each side must give.  As for calling something unserious, I think that it is certainly valid to label something as such if one is putting a thing forward that would be opposed by the other chamber and the executive.  They might certainly be serious about it, but I don’t think that the attempt is a serious one, given the likelihood of passage.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t recall ever saying vouchers were great but I do like them because of they offer choice. Obama forced it. He rails against vouchers. Most on this blog rail against vouchers but give Obama a pass. What the hell does he believe? Why is he so dishonest about it?

            So Obamacare did not receive a single Republican vote. By your criteria it’s unserious. Right? If not, it’s a hell of a contradiction. NONE of his proposed budgets got a single vote from either side. What say you about his seriousness of passing a budget?  

            This is not a game, people are hurting and the economy is in shambles. Obama doesn’t give a damn.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t care for vouchers myself, especially in cases like Louisiana, considering the content of some of the texts that public funds at religious schools teach.

            The ACA didn’t receive a single GOP vote, that is true, but it did pass both houses, whatever flaws it may have.  If the GOP had both houses of Congress and the Presidency, then what they could pass would certainly be serious, regardless of my opinion of it’s usefullness, as they would have the votes.

            The budget votes are interesting.  I know that at least some Democratic Senators issued statements saying that they were voting against it because it proposed too much pain on the poor, so it was taking hits from both sides.  Was it serious?  Then no, by my standard of would it pass.  I was looking at some of the proposed agency total numbers versus what was eventually approved the other day, and they were not that far off.  I wish that there was a nice source that someone had compiled of statements made as to why individuals voted against it.

            It is certainly not a game, and people are hurting.  The economy is not in shambles, though.  This isn’t 2008-early 2009.  I know that you may think that Obama may not give a damn, but you also said that you thought that he was an enemy of America, so I don’t expect you to have much nice to say about the man.

          • Gregg Smith

            You wrote: “… I think that it is certainly valid to label something as such if one is putting a thing forward that would be opposed by the other chamber… “.

            I did not see the caveat about who holds the majority. The fact remains solutions passed the House. 

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, solutions which didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it into law, and which were highly unlikely to make it out of the Senate.

          • Gregg Smith

            You seem to be saying they should have come to a vote but Reid was justified in denying the vote. That makes no sense to me but I’m weird in that way.

            It’s sad that solutions don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. I blame Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not saying that at all.  I think that Reid should have done a vote.  I just don’t think that it would have passed.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that you do blame Obama.  I give a good deal of blame to those who are unwilling to compromise, and I think that the Democrats are much more willing to do that these days.  I think that the GOP is far less willing to compromise, in part because it has filled itself with so many hard-right figures.

          • Gregg Smith

            Compromise wasn’t so important to Obama when he had majorities. 

    • heatherGirl

      Why is it a bill that contains something “unpalatable for Democrats” means a bill is bad.

      When Republicans vote agianst a bill because it has something “unpalatable for Republicans” they are accusaed of obstructionism.

      But Democrats can do the same thing and no such accusation is made!

      • Gregg Smith

        Good question. I think the best answer is the press is in charge of which accusations gain traction.

  • heatherGirl

    “…..Senate Democrats said Thursday they will move ahead with a roughly $110 billion budget package — evenly divided between new tax revenues and spending cuts — to forestall the across-the-board sequester cuts due to take effect March 1……”

    And let me guess…….. the tax increases begin immedietely and the spending cuts occur at some later, undefined date.

    I am just guessing.  But I think its a great guess!

    • Gregg Smith

      I think so too.

    • StilllHere

      And spending cut has its own and very different definition in Washington…

  • Gregg Smith

    Ray,

    I may have been exaggerating a bit, sorry. I do not know the actual proportion but I do know they are not all scientists and many are activist and bureaucrats. The “I” stands for intergovernmental. I also know some of the actual scientist did not support the 2007 4th assessment report which virtually all current the current “science” links back to in some way. They had to threaten lawsuit to remove their names. I learned this years ago here. I’ve posted it before, skip to 4:30 for the relevant exchange.

    Now I come to the squishy part. As you know, I don’t like the argument that shoots the messenger without addressing the merits of the argument. You did that in response to Pete. You did not address the points raised in any way, shape or form but instead impugned the source. Now I fond myself doing the same thing. I don’t like resorting to the same tactic but you provided a left wing hack site. You originally said  97%-98% of “active climate scientist” and then provided a link citing 3146 “earth scientist” (whatever that means) hand picked by a left wing hack site. With all due respect that does not impress me. Using that shoddy criteria I can beat it ten fold. I think I have some wiggle room on the magnitude of about 28K. 

    Look, it’s not settled. There have been scandals. If the worst is true, we can’t stop it without China and India on board. Even then it’s futile IMHO. The situation is entirely hyped and overblown. At best, all we can do is suffer draconian “solutions” for nothing.

    • Ray in VT

      I question a group when it is linked to the sort of extraction industries that would be hurt by attempts to curb emissions.  If you want to accuse me of shooting the messenger when I question the credibility and scientific integrity of a group that’s got a fair share of “experts” who promote non-science “science” like Intelligent Design, then I’m guilty of that, and I see no reason to back off of that.  If one forsakes the only scientifically tested explanation regarding the origins of life on Earth in favor of what is basically just Creationism, then one is likely to have other crackpot views.

      The poll did survey over 10,000 “earth scientists”, which probably also includes geologists, oceanographers and the like, as well as climatologists, but you will note that I excerpted the following:

      “climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest
      consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing
      humans play a role”Feel free to question the opinions of scientists in the field and to refer to organizations like the American Geophysical Union (presumably) as a “hack site”.  To sort of quote you, that’s cool.  I don’t think that such a view should be taken seriously, but then you have the gall to link to that bull crap petition?  I’ve got to tell you, by their standards I qualify to be on that petition if I wanted to.  I have an M.S.  That petition is linked up with a bunch of pseudo-science creationists, and Seitz did work for the tobacco companies and the National Academies of Science distanced themselves from him due some of his positions.  You want to talk about hack, well that is certainly a good representation of that.As far as serious researchers in the field are concerned, this is a fairly settled matter, both in terms of whether the climate is warming and whether human activity is playing a role.  This addresses the first bit, and my point above addresses second:http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Graph1.png

      • pete18

         Come on Ray, an unsourced bumper sticker is your only attempt to address the substance of the
        article?

      • Gregg Smith

        The environmental news service is the left wing hack site. Why do you presume I would label AGU as one? Was I not clear?

        “Probably also includes…”!? Earth scientist is a purposely vague and meaningless term and you are using it as the concrete evidence of the experts. Regarding the petition, I said the criteria was shoddy that was my point. It certainly has the wiggle room to throw out 2/3′s and still be as valid as your example. I also gave you a video of award winning NASA climate scientists and their view. Why do you dismiss the views of the most esteemed in the field of interpreting satellite data?

        The article Pete linked was chock full of thoughtful empirical data. Are you accusing them of making it up? Why not address any of it, it should be easy to debunk if you are correct. You’re not helping your case to shrug it off without addressing a single fact. I wonder if because Bill Clinton is a Southern Baptist you dismiss all he says. I don’t.

        I understand if you want to impugn the source because you can’t refute the facts. That’s not me being judgmental, it’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from the approach you are taking.

        I guess we’ll agree to disagree. I’m happy to let things stand as they are and let others decide who has made their case and who has not.

        • Ray in VT

          “Doran and his team sought the opinion of the most complete list of earth scientists they could find, contacting more than 10,200 experts listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute’s “Directory of Geoscience Departments.”  That was Doran’s sample, and he is also a top scientist who has done extensive research with NASA.

          I question a small group of very vocal dissenters, many of whom have questionable connections and affiliations, when they run in direct contradiction to the views discussed and published in the top peer-reviewed scientific publications.

          I’m not a climate scientist, although I do enjoy consuming some of the legitimate research done in that field.  My problem with many such dissenters is that their theories have either been shot down, or they found much of their views on attempts to exploit doubt.  I think that many earth scientists believe in one or many gods, but I would certainly question any of them who would throw out the science regarding carbon dating, for instance, in order to argue some sort of young earth view.

          I will leave the science community to argue the facts, as much of the math and research is beyond us.  The fact remains that climatologists are very united on this topic, a few outliers notwithstanding.

          And yes, I do get a bit angry and frustrated when confronted with constant, repeated positions which are fundamentally biased or false, such as the Hitler was a liberal or, worse yet, the one or two Holocaust deniers that I have met.

          I am more than happy to agree to disagree with you on this, because I think that you are so far entrenched in your position that there is no level of scientific consensus or evidence will sway you from your adament opposition to the conclusion of the vast majority of the scientific community.  I am not cornered.  The vast majority of the science community is at my back, which is why I have arrived at the view that I have.  I have gone where the evidence and the experts have led.

          One of my problems is confronting the irrational.  I have no place for creationism or intelligent design, because they have no evidence.  Much like Hagee or Ed arguing about how natural disasters are divine retribution.  Such views have no basis in fact.  It’s a pre-Enlightenment view of the world that most thinking people discarded some 200 years ago.  That we have reopened some of these discussions in this nation is certainly a warning, as far as I’m concerned, about what level to which we might fall.

          I will also let others decide who has made a case.  I have surveys of the views of climate scientists.  You cite views from Creationist, Intelligent Design and industry funded groups.  I tend to find that people who believe in one crazy thing tend to believe in others, which certainly explains the opposition to climate change for the first two classes.

          • Gregg Smith

            You know what? We’re cool.

    • pete18

       Yes, I found Ray’s avoidance of the substance in the article disappointing. Consensuses are not science, peer reviewed tests and data that can be replicated are.
      What Carter is arguing is that there is no such data yet available that can draw any firm conclusions about humans being responsible for climate change. Tell me where you think he is wrong, illogical or unscientific in the following statements:

      http://www.aitse.org/global-warming-anthropogenic-or-not/

      The DAGW hypothesis that I want to test here is precisely and only “that dangerous global warming is being caused, or will be, by human-related carbon dioxide emissions”.
      To be “dangerous”, at a minimum the change must exceed the magnitude or
      rate of warmings that are known to be associated with normal weather
      and climatic variability.

      Consider the following tests:
      (i)     Over the last 16 years, global
      average temperature, as measured by both thermometers and satellite
      sensors, has displayed no statistically significant warming; over the
      same period, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 10%.

      Large increases in carbon dioxide have
      therefore not only failed to produce dangerous warming, but failed to
      produce any warming at all. Hypothesis fails.

      (ii)   During the 20th century, a global warming of between 0.4O C and 0.7O C occurred, at a maximum rate, in the early decades of the century, of about 1.7O
      C/century. In comparison, our best regional climate records show that
      over the last 10,000 years natural climate cycling has resulted in
      temperature highs up to at least 1O C warmer than today, at rates of warming up to  2.5O C/century.

      In other words, both the rate and magnitude of 20th century warming falls well within the envelope of natural climate change. Hypothesis fails, twice.

      (iii)  If global temperature is
      controlled primarily by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, then changes
      in carbon dioxide should precede parallel changes in temperature.

      In fact, the opposite relationship
      applies at all time scales. Temperature change precedes carbon dioxide
      change by about 5 months during the annual seasonal cycle, and by about
      700-1000 years during ice age climatic cycling. Hypothesis fails.

      (iv)  The IPCC’s computer general
      circulation models, which factor in the effect of increasing carbon
      dioxide, project that global warming should be occurring at a rate of
      +2.0O C/century.

      In fact, no warming at all has occurred
      in either the atmosphere or the ocean for more than the last decade. The
      models are clearly faulty, and allocate too great a warming effect for
      the extra carbon dioxide (technically, they are said to overestimate the
      climate sensitivity). Hypothesis fails.

      (v)    The same computer models predict
      that a fingerprint of greenhouse-gas-induced warming will be the
      creation of an atmospheric hot spot at heights of 8-10 km in equatorial
      regions, and enhanced warming also near both poles.

      Given that we already know that the
      models are faulty, it shouldn’t surprise us to discover that direct
      measurements by both weather balloon radiosondes and satellite sensors
      show the absence of surface warming in Antarctica, and a complete
      absence of the predicted low latitude atmospheric hot spot. Hypothesis fails, twice.

      One of the 20th century’s greatest physicists, Richard Feynman, observed about science that:

      “In general we look for a new law by
      the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the
      consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that
      we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to
      nature, with experiment or experience; compare it directly with
      observation, to see if it works. It’s that simple statement that is
      the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your
      guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made
      the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment it is
      wrong.”

      None of the five tests above supports or
      agrees with the predictions implicit in the greenhouse hypothesis as
      stated above. Richard Feynman is correct to advise us that therefore the
      hypothesis is invalid, and that many times over.

      • Gregg Smith

        The thing that bugs me is I am not anti-science. I am not a “denier”. I am not a religious nutcase. I do not hold ideology over truth. But unless I accept the entire meme complete with all the implications I am labeled as all of those things. I’m not talking about Ray in particular.

  • superpage

    Several times Tom brought up the question, why can’t we find a smarter way to do this?  The reason is because of people like Dan Mitchell and the tea party.  

    Dan sounds like he got his talking points from Grover Norquest.  He made the other side’s point by calling out CBO budget increase numbers, $2.4T vs. $2.3T.  Then why do this?  The difference is probably so low because the sequester stunts growth and prosperity. 

    Let’s not forget, the tea party is the sole reason the sequester exists.  They used the country’s good faith and credit to blackmail Congress and the President to propose and pass such a ridiculous mechanism.  Otherwise they would not have raised the debt ceiling for the first time in history.

    Congress has never moved all that quickly, but never before in modern history has it been this incompetent and partisan.  It is no coincidence that the tea party has also formed during this time.  They are driving the GOP to over the right wing cliff helped by people like Dan Mitchell.  They offer nothing positive to the debate.

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