Federal debt and deficit

Raise the Debt Ceiling. Because, Remy

Featured image We ran this GoRemy video a couple of years ago when it came out during the last debt ceiling fight, but given how little has changed (to the contrary–things are worse), it is worth running again: »

Democrats have the whip hand and use it

Featured image Earlier this weekend, a compromise proposal by Sen. Collins to end, or at least postpone, the fiscal showdown failed to gain traction due to lack of support from Democrats. Collins is the quintessential “moderate Republican,” the alleged disappearance of whom from the Senate causes such hand-wringing in MSM circles. Collins’ proposal would have extended government funding for six months and boosted the debt ceiling through the end of January. By »

Assessing the Government Shutdown: The Long View

Featured image The conventional wisdom right now is that the government shutdown ranks somewhere between a debacle and a catastrophe for Republicans, and their abject surrender is expected before too much longer.  I’m not so sure.  While I thought the shutdown was a dubious and unwise tactic, I think taking a longer view may cast a different light on the scene. First of all, like the sequester, have the majority of Americans »

The Boy in the (Media) Bubble

Featured image The network news and a lot of folks on the Internet were touting the photo below of the disappointed child locked out of the National Zoo in Washington because of the government shut down.  Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News seemed about to burst into tears over the photo, while bemoaning how this image exemplified the “high cost” of the government shutdown. Of course, it would be too much to »

Senator Obama rises: A dramatic reading

Featured image Rick Santelli gives a dramatic “guess who said this” reading to Barack Obama’s imaginary 2006 senatorial speech against raising the debt limit. Power Line readers know who “said it” (he didn’t actually say it) because John wrote about it here. We can’t go to the tape to hear Obama say it because Obama never gave the speech; he simply had the speech inserted into the Congressional Record. Santelli’s dramatic reading »

Colorado Students Blame Obama!?!

Featured image Evidence that my effect on Colorado goes beyond floods and sinkholes!  Actually, I had nothing to do with this video (even though it was shot close to my campus office), and none of the students interviewed are my students.  But they should be.  Still, this is fun (just 2:30 long): »

Obama gets folksy, keeps straight face

Featured image Barack Obama, who likes to talk about “folks,” was at his folksy best during his press conference yesterday. Several times, he used analogies to household living in an attempt to illustrate the folly of the Republican push for negotiations to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. He led of his remarks with this: Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand »

Raise My Debt Limit

Featured image So the video below, explaining in common sense terms what would happen to any of us if we tried to extend our credit at a bank the way our government is doing, is a couple of years old, but it is quite obviously apropos for the present moment (hat tip: Power Line reader Francis Drouillard): »

Who has the upper hand in the debt ceiling dispute?

Featured image John has written a very important post called “Memo to GOP: If Obama Won’t Compromise, Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling.” His post adds significant clarity to the debt-ceiling discussion. As to its conclusions, I think many of them are sound. Others, I’m not so sure about. Here’s the breakdown. First, I wholeheartedly agree with John that “if Obama won’t compromise, don’t raise the debt ceiling.” The balance of terror in »

Memo to GOP: If Obama Won’t Compromise, Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling

Featured image In any negotiation, the key question is, what is the default status? That is, what happens if you don’t make a deal? If you are negotiating a business transaction (e.g., a merger), the default status is that the transaction doesn’t occur and the parties walk away. If you are trying to settle a lawsuit, the default status is that the case goes to trial and both parties take their chances. »

This Is Not Your Father’s Gov’t Shutdown

Featured image Michael Barone observed back in 2009 and 2010 that Obamacare was the most divisive legislation since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which was one of the incidents that gave birth to the Republican Party, and was also a milestone on the way to the Civil War.  Had today’s liberal media been present at the time, I’m sure they would have decried the Republicans for “extremism” in opposing the Act and »

Barack Obama, imaginary president

Featured image Under President Bush in eight years we added $4.9 trillion to the national debt. Under President Obama in four years we have added more than $6 trillion. The debt limit will be raised again this month. If Obama has his way, it will be raised unconditionally. Raising the debt limit unconditionally is a matter of deep principle, or something. For a current take on the debt number see Terry Jeffrey’s »

Shutdown theater: How is it playing?

Featured image Over the past week we have witnessed the impressive shutdown theater engineered by the Obama administration. By shutdown theater I am referring to the closing or Barrycading of such landmarks as the WWII memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial. What is to be learned? This is political hardball, intended to induce unconditional surrender in the current and prospective budget/debt showdowns. Obama asserts a maximalist position »

On To the Debt Ceiling?

Featured image One way or another, the debt ceiling will soon be front and center. Perhaps raising the debt limit will be part of a “grand bargain”–for reasons I stated yesterday, I hope not–or a package deal with a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the next few months. Regardless, it is important to understand that much of the reporting on the debt ceiling is wrong. It is not true »

Dime’s Worth of Difference Dept.

Featured image I’m very glad Tom DeLay’s bogus conviction was overturned last week, but I still can’t help but recall the moment, back in 2005, when we could tell that the jig was up for the GOP House majority: it was the moment DeLay said that “after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared [spending] down pretty good,” and separately that the federal budget had been “cut to the bone.” Cue Nancy Pelosi »

Memo to IRS: Here’s How It’s Done

Featured image The good folks at BankruptingAmerica.org have a new video series under way that spoofs “The Office,” called, sensibly, “The Government.”  It is set in the office of DEBT (Department of Every Bureaucratic Transaction), and while the actors in these vids might not yet be ready for Broadway or Hollywood, these are a whole lot better than the IRS videos–another example of how the private sector outcompetes the government for quality. »

CRB: The bucks start here

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books has arrived, once again full of incisive essays and reviews attractively set off by the artistry of Elliott Banfield. As I have said once or twice before here, it’s my favorite magazine. You can subscribe here for the absurdly low price of $19.95 and get immediate online access thrown in to boot. I spent last week poring over the new issue »