Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Raise the debt limit or we'll shoot this dog

So the big chatter today is that the NY Times' token moderate David Brooks wrote that Republicans who reflexively vote against any tax increase "have no sense of moral decency."


Let me restate, as I have before, that I agree that there must be some taxes to go along with deep budget cuts so that we can rein in a runaway budget that is currently borrowing 46 cents for every dollar spent. It's foolish to play "chicken" with the credit of the United States. Mr. Reasonable has called for yet another chit-chat session, and the Republicans should carve out the best deal possible.

But let me respond to Mr. Brooks and others: there are quite a few of us in flyover country who think that piling historical levels of debt on future American generations is the real moral indecency. This particular outrage, which animated the Tea Party, is one that this President has never grasped given his empty rhetoric and risible "budget cutting" proposals. Now we have a couple dozen new GOP faces in Congress who were elected largely on this issue that we cannot keep borrowing and spending. According to Mr. Brooks, they should ignore these voters and "do the right thing" because the heavens will fall if the debt limit isn't raised just one more time (and again after the election, one supposes.)

Maybe we wouldn't be engaged in this latest round of brinksmanship if Congressional Democrats or the President had proposed a federal budget - as required by law. Or if Obama had adopted the recommendations of his own bipartisan debt commission. Or if the Democrats had simply raised taxes on "the rich" when they had filibuster-proof majorities in Congress. Or if they had adopted a stimulus program that didn't just pile another $800 billion of new debt to make things worse than if we had done nothing.

Ah, but now it's the Republicans who are being unreasonable about raising the debt limit.

Extra - Town Hall: "David Brooks needs a vacation" "Perhaps David Brooks should reserve his lectures on moral decency for the party that has shamelessly accelerated our debt crisis through its reckless spending binge."


Anonymous said...

Megan McArdle, the Atlantic: "Why Can't the GOP Get to Yes?"


"I am getting the same sinking feeling that Brooks is having--that there is a sizeable faction on the right, and worse, in the GOP caucus, that is willing to default rather than make any deal at all. In fact, I think it's worse than Brooks suggests. It would be bad enough if these people were simply against higher taxes, because then you might persuade them by pointing out that if we default, we're probably going to end up with higher taxes, right now, in order to close the current gap between spending and tax revenue....

Imagine that the GOP forces through an all-cuts deal--or forces the country into default? What's the next logical step? Why, probably that an angry nation sends more Democrats to Congress (and Obama back to the White House), where they happily "restore" the programs that "brutal" Republicans tried to "gut" with "draconian" cuts. Those Democrats will probably get elected to office by lying about the possibilities for closing the budget deficit via nothing but tax increases on the "rich". So what? Their GOP predecessors got there by spinning fairy tales about the massive dynamic effects of changes in tax policy.

This is why the budget deals that have succeeded generally had bipartisan support. If one party tries to do things all their own way, well, the other party will promptly be elected to undo some of those changes. I can admire someone who's willing to be a one-term congressman in order to do something big and important. But what's the point if your big, important legislation doesn't live much longer than your political career?"


Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic - "The GOP Negotiating Position Is Weaker Than David Brooks Thinks"


"Better to address the fundamental problem: the Republican Party has failed to persuade the American people that the small government vision it claims to favor is the right way forward. The failure spans many decades. In fact, almost every pathology on the right is explained partly by the refusal to acknowledge this, and thus the inability to either find a remedy or to adopt an alternative vision of conservatism."

Anonymous said...

Agree to tax increases, and see how many GOP congresscritters will be back next year.

If the alternative is ever-increasing spending, who cares which party gets the committee chairmanships?

What's so hard to understand? You have to stop spending and passing the check to the unborn. Period.

Bram said...

Convince me that the Federal Government isn't wasting $billions daily. Make it obvious that there isn't one redundant program, not one bloated agency, not a single unnecessary Federal Civil Servant…

Once I’m convinced that all this is true and that the government won’t just waste any additional “revenue” they extract by force from my hard-earned paycheck – then I’ll agree that tax hikes are the answer.

Until then, F*CK OFF.

Anonymous said...

If you want higher taxes, why would you elect GOP?

Bram said...

Or, If the GOP raises taxes, why would I bother ever voting for them again?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you be off dynamiting your own architecture somewhere, you bold, unassisted self-producer?

Or, since you stand exclusively on your own shoulders, there's always a contortionist gig at the circus.