Thursday, April 14, 2011
Budget (2011): How 38 BILLION Became 352 MILLON (Hohn Thune, R.I.P.!!!!!) (Republican Party, R.I.P.) (Greta Van Susteren, Idiot)
I am often asked (well, I should be): How does it feel to be right so often, IN FORESIGHT? Yes, review my articles--especially criticizing Fox Newes--saying that the bottom line NUMBER as to budget "cuts" for the rest of the 2011 budget year was MEANINGLESS? You heard the mainstream media, including Fox, and Democrats talking about how the parties had almost agreed on the "number", and that Democrats had already reached the "number" that the Repubicans had originally demanded. Problem: What difference does the "number" make if it is NOT REAL. The Republican Speaker even warned about "smoke and mirrors", but failed to warn that he, himself, would agree to a "deal" consisting mainly of smoke and mirrors. Yes, it was always obvious that the "number" was NOT the important thing. It was ONLY the details that matter. But I was about the only one telling you that truth (in terms of the media, anyway, and FEPUBLICANS failed really to vigorously make this obviious point, calling into sever question whether they were being honest about how "ard" they were fighting fro REAL spending cuts). Ente the CBO (Congressiional Budget Office). Now the CBO is hardly perfect. Democrats, especialy, leearned to GAME the CBO in the health care debateby REQUIRING the CBO to make certain assumptions, and putting in "back loaded" "cuts', "savings" and even taxes that will never actually take place. Still, when the CBO says that numbers are FALSE, they usually are. The CBO found that the supposed 38 BILLILON dolllars in "cuts' for THIS fiscal year (ending in October) will only reduce the deficit 3352 MILLION dollars. Now you know why the despicable Associated Press had a featured headline (on Yahoo "News"--boycott Yahoo) saying: "Most Americans will not notice budget cuts." There are few REAL cuts, and Repubicans are hardlly even making a case that the CBO is wrong. Duncan Hunter--in another deisgraceful Republican performance--ADMITTED it was a bad deal , and did not even try to challenge the CBO. He said that all he was worried about was paying our military. Talk about not being serious about cuts!!!!!!!!!!! The Republican Party still does not get it, and I have nlong since pretty much given up on them (only the Tea Party giving me hope). Segue to Greta Van Susteren--last night (Wednesday night on Fox). You will remember that Van Susteren was one of those who was talking as if the "bottom line" "number" was all that mattered--as if lthe details did not matter. Well, last night she called HERSELF an idiot by acting outraged that Republicans so misled us by touting 38 billion dollars, when the REAL number appears to be more like 352 million dollars. Note that MORE than 352 million could have been saved by defunding Planned Parenthood, NPR, PBS, and the Natioinal Endowment for the Arts (and prohibiting the money from being spent elsewhere). Bu;t Republicans--especailly the establishment--obviously had no stomach for the budget battle. You wonder-actually I don't, since I know they are--if Republicans are not reallyl Big Government people at heart (establishment Repubicans who spent like that when they were in power). Anyway, Van Susterne asked John Thune, Republlican Senator, about this CBO report that the 38 billion is basically accounting tricks (Van Susteren ignoring that she was thereby also criticizing Fox and HERSELF for being UNINTERESTED in the DETAILS of the "number" "saved" by the supposed "cuts"). More foresight. This is the SECND article where I have put John Thune, R.I.P. in the title of a previous article. That was when Thune, in a smarmy, whining performance, said he would not run for President because he did not think ANY Republican could beat Barack Obama in 2012, or raise enough money. The HONEST thing to say, of course, was that THUNE did not have enough support to raise anywhere near enough money for a Preesidential run. But Thune chose the DISHONEST approach, which was used by the mainstream media to try to sabotage the chances of any Republican to take on Obama. Yes, Thune tried the old gambit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I bnet you thought this blog could never be PROVEN right on Thune? Guess again. Thune gave an answer to Van Susteren that was even more SMARMY and dishonest than what prompted the previous article--proving this blog right on many levels. First, Thune said that try;ing to analyze whether this budget "deal" actually CUT spending was going "into the weeds", and beside the point. You will remember (foresight again) that my article criticizing Fox News for not wanting to talk about the details of what "cuts" were being discussed said that Fox used that exact description: "going into the weeds" (Fox trying the same gambit as Thune, implying that people don't want you to "go into the weeds" because it is too boring and complicated--showing CONTEMPT for you and I). Thune then went way beyond the INCOMPETENCE and dishonesty of Fox. Thne (I should leave this as an exercise for the reader, since you should know what a SMARY, dishonest politician would say) proceeded to say that it was IRRELEVANT how much this budget deal actually "cut", because Repubicans had won by getting everyone "talking about cuts, instead of spending increases", and that is the first time that has happpened. Thune, you are a LIAR.--a smarmy one (which I can't even adequately describe). Ihave been following politics closely since at least 1964, when I strongly supported Barry Goldwater. I can't even tell you how many times politicians--Democrat and Republican--have TALKED about "cutting spending".. Democrats even pulled this game on Reagan--promising spending cuts that never happened. They pulled the same thing on Bush 41, as he BETRAYED the Reagan revolution ("Read my lips"). Clinton did nothing but talk about "cuts", along with raising taxes. The Repubicans, of course, actually did impose some spending discipline on Clinton, but then EXPOSED themselves as Big Government guys when they got control of the government. OBAMA has done nothing but TALK about "cuts', except when he is talking about spending. Remember when the Liar-in-Chief said he was ging to go through EVERY spending bill LINE BY LINE in order to cut every dime that was not being spent wisely? Nope. Thune, you are one of the WORST liars I have ever seen, outside of our Liar-in-Chief. ALL we have done FOREVER is TALK about "cuts". The problem is that the "cuts" are NEVER REAL> So all this budget deal represents is "politics as usual". And there are indications that too many Repubicans think like Thune. TALK is NOT going to cut it for the Republican Party. This is their last chance. If they betray us again, the party will absolutely not survive it. At some point, Republicans either have to be willing to acdtually ACT, or there is no reason for the Republican Party to exist. See my articles on Donald Trump--an intellectual joke, but a person willing to tak turkey in a way that Republicans seemingly can't. As I have shown previously,m if Republicans cannot even PUBLICLY make a case against Planned Parenthood and NPR to shame the Democrats willing to shut down the government over funding them, then Repubicans should not be there. They are worthless. No, Thune was NOT through being smarmy (believe it or not). He went on to tout a BIANNUAL (two years at a time) budget as some sort of procedural way to help our budget process. Thune, you are NOT qualified to be dogcatcher of Mt. Ida, Arkansas (the small Arkansas town in which I spend my pre-high school years). That is my test for whether a politician is hopeless, and Thune is one of the most hopeless I have ever encourntered. Talk about "in the weeds"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we are suposed to let politicians play even more games by making the spending bills TWICE AS BIG ( (two years covered instead of one), enabling politicians like Thune to have TWICE as much "cover" to hide their spending. Nope. Any Repubilcan who believes they can sell this one automatically does not qualify to even by dogcatcher of Mt. Ida (a charming town, at least when I lived there, but less than 1,0000 people when I lived there). Again, it is disturbing that it is not just Thune who has floated this particular balloon (with the excuse it will give Congress time for OVERSIGHT, and other things--as if that is a GOOD thing). Thune, just go away. You disgust me. Okay,m Skp, what would you do? Well, first I thought Repubilcans were going to have all Federal agency spending, in the "discretionary" areas of the government, go back to the levels of the 2007 (they may have said 2008, but the 2007 budget ENDING in October of 2008 is the appropriate standard). That does not mean GAMES. That means really CTUTTING spending authorization back to the 2007 levels. ELIMINATE farm subsidies. If we do not do that now, when politicians and the Fed have raised FOOD PRICES to incredible levels, then we never will. End ethanol subsidies. Yes, I WOULD end most "tax expenditures", by which I do NOT mean raising tax rates for the "rich". Whaty I mean is what the President's Debt Commission recommended (in large part, anyway, as I am sure not all of their recommendations are the type of SSPECIAL TAX BREAK I mean. What do I mean? Yes, eliminate SUBSIDIES for oil companies. Again, if we are not willing to do that now, when will we (with gasoline and oil near all--time highs). But this also means "tax expenditures" for ALTERNATIVE ENERGY--tax breaks that distort our economy and really HELP THE RICH (and people feeding off of the Federal trough). End ObamaCare . That will save us a TRILLION dollars. If they made sense, we could even keep the 500 billion dollars in Medicare "savings', which we desperately need to SAVE MEDICARE. But nobody expects those "savings" to really happen anyway (more fantasy "cuts"). Yes, do what Paul Ryan suggests, and give MEDICAID to the states, who have a CHANCE of more efficient administration (with block grants). No, I am not wild about Ryan's proposal on Medicare, even though the criticism o fit are ridiculous. We already HAVE something like Ryan's proposal in both Medicare Advantage (which Democrats want to get rid of--the only apart of that 500 billion which they ever indtended to happen, to pay off AARP), AND the Medicare Drug Benefit Program (Bush) is basically Ryan's plan, and already PART OF MEDICARE. So I have nothing against trying Ryan's plan, but Ryan is talking about 2040, or some such time period. That will NOT keep us solvent. We need cuts NOW, to get us to 2040. Yes, Medicare and Social Seucrity need to be "reformed' to SAVE MEDICARE and SOCIAL SECURITY (and keep them from eventually bankrupting us). but that is really ong-trm stuff. Long-term "cuts' DO NOAT HAPPEN (the message of the last 50 and mroe years, desipite the terrible John Thune). So. Not only go back to 2007 levels, but CUT 5% off from EVERY government agency, and EVERY government salary. Yes, I would exemt the military, except I would include people in the military with a rank of full colonel or above. That is, I would exclude lthe military from most of the SALARY cuts. I would cut the military budget that 5%, and tell the MILITARY to figure out where. Van Susteren (idiot) keeps talking about "waste and abuse". Forget it. We can never approach it that way. We need to tell government agencies they only will have so much money, and MAKE them tell us where they can cut. THAT has a CHANCE of getting rid of a lot of waste and abuse. I am not through. RETIREMENT. Federal emplyees are NOT part of Social Security. Maybe they should be. But, assuming they should have a retirement plan of their own, it needs to be REDUCED. States are doing it. The Federal Government is just as broke, but is not required to "live within its means". CONGRESS has the world's best "retirement" plan: full salary after ONE TEMR> Forget it. CUT THAT DRASTICALLY. No, desite the Debt Commission, do NOT cut the mortgage deduction. It is too much intertwined with the housing industry. Deductoins, by the way, are much better than CREDITS (like on so many "alternative energy" iteems). Credits are TAX PAYMENTS. Deductonis are merely, well, deductions where you still pay mot of the cots. You don't get full credit for every dime--to the point of getting a WELFARE PAYMENT if you don't have taxes enough to absorb the credit. I would--as the main part of my "tax expenditure" "reform"--pretty much ELIMINATE tax CREDITS (welfare payments for specific industries or groups). Yes, I would even do a ONE TIME ONLY reduction of Social Security payments for ONE YEAR ONLY--in a nominal amount like 2%. Are yo telling me that Social Security recipients cannot afford a 2% reduction in their checks for one year? Shared sacrifice, anyone (and I receive Social Security). In fact, maybe a ONE YEAR fee could be imposed on EVERYONE receiving money from the Federal government, besides salaries and retirement, such as that same 2%. I know we went the opposite direcdtion with that DEAL at the end of 2010, but that WELFARE PAYMENT/"stimulus" was STUPID. It, and the ridiculous continued extension of unemployment benefits to almost two years, COST us several times the most optimistic measure of what Repubicans "saved" from the 2011 spending. You should get the idea. REAL cuts NOW. Republicans AND Democratrs keep saying that revenue has fallen (Federal revenue) to a post-World War II low, while SPENDING has risen to a post-World War II high. When that happens to a private business, the business has to CUT BACK--including cutting salaries and employees (which I have not even mentioned, because it could be includied in that 5% reduction in ALL agency budgets). The point is that we are not really serious about matching revenues and spending until we start cutting NOW. No, even I do not think we can balance the budget in one year, although I think we can come CLOSE. We have a 3.7 TRILLION dollar budget, and something like 2 TRILLION in revenue (to get to the 1.65 trillion dollar deficit). Can we run the Federal Government on 2 TRILLION dollars? I think we can, and I further think low taxes and a return to a PRIVATE economy can RAISE revenue. But I doo not count on it. We CAN plan on existing on the revenue we have, Not one year (for balancing the budget), but you can see from my suggestons that we could come fairly CLOSE. And by two years, or 3, or 5, we CAN do it. Republicans are talking about 30 years, and that is ridiculous. No battle plan survives conntact with the enemy, and no government budget makes any sense for ten or twenty years down the road. The purpose--the only legitimate purpose--of a ten or twenty year "estimate" by the CBO is to let everyone know how much a spending program may cost OVER TIME, so that we can think twice about it. It is absurd to take these ten year estimates of deficits seriously. Think what has happened since 2007, if you doubt me on this. We have PERVERTED the proper use of a ten year projection to use it to PLAY GAMES by postponing "cuts' to the later years. ObamaCare. Yes, I say above it should be ended. But I have not told you how badly we need to end it. Do you realize that ObamaCare is another ENTITLEMENT program where the costs are surelly underestimated. Our PRESENT "entitlement" programs--Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security--are BANKRUPTING us in unfunded liabilities. WHY would we NOW add another entitlement program--poentially bigger than all of the others? It is INSANE> If we let ObamaCare stand, we deserve what e get. No, I do not delude myself that all of my suggetions are politically possible. But if Repubicans cannot do better than they are doing as far as the "politically possible", then they are doomed (as a party). And I believe that my suggstions could actually be SOLD, by someone talented enough to do it (not me). Too bad no present Republican seems that talented. Again, that is why Donald Trump--joke that I believe him to be--can get so politically popular so quickly. He seems willing to actually consider doing away with "politics as usual" (much as I doubt he really means it). He can even get the public to consider whether Obama was born in Kenya, weird as making that a political "issue" is. If we are not willing to REALLY "think outside the box", then we deserve what we get. We might even get Donald Trump, and I am actually beginning to wonder how bad that would be (see how DESPERATE Republicans, and so many of you people, are making me). Nope. NO tax rate increases for the "rich". More about this later, as I have said enough for now. P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). I know. "The Horror; The Horror" (quoting Joseph Conrad from "Heart of Darkness"). Facing the above, knowing the typos and other mistakes are all still there, has to discourage even the most courageous among you. But I have no sympathy for you. First, I used up all sypathy I was born with by age ten. Further, if "you people" are intent upon me facing the horror of a government out of control, without even any theoretical way it can work, then you DESERVE to have to read my stream of consciosness rants (which is not to say I don't ut a lot of time and effort into them). As I have repeatedly stated, people get paid money for composing puzzles not as challenging as my non-proofread articles. You should appreciate me more.