Federal debt and deficit

Paul Ryan sells out Senate Republicans

Featured image Did Paul Ryan sell out conservatives by agreeing to a compromise budget deal with ultra-liberal Patty Murray? I wouldn’t go that far. In my view, reasonable conservatives can disagree on the overall merit of the deal. I tend to agree with »

Today’s Budget Agreement: Good Politics, Maybe, But Not Good Policy [Updated]

Featured image The current continuing resolution on federal spending expires in January, and Paul Ryan (on behalf of the Republican House) has been negotiating with Patty Murray (on behalf of the Democratic Senate) for an agreement to set spending levels for the remainder of FY 2014. It is not hard to understand the political considerations that drive House Republicans: the Democrats have been threatening to shut down the government again, as a »

The Can Kicks Back

Featured image The Can Kicks Back is a web site, and a campaign, run by a group of millenials. The group has embarked on a national tour in support of generational equity, which is described here. This video provides a quick introduction: The group’s theme is generational equity: young people are being shafted by the Obama administration and everyone else in Washington who refuses to do anything about the federal debt. This »


Featured image President Obama was triumphant yesterday, following the collapse of the Republican House’s ill-advised attempt to use the threat of a shutdown to block Obamacare. From the Democrats’ perspective, being threatened with a shutdown is like being threatened with a second helping of dessert. So the result was predictable. So what are we left with? A burgeoning debt, and no effort on the horizon to get it under control. Obama’s “victory” »

“We must increase our debt limit so that we can pay our bills.”

Featured image As Tyler Durden notes, this is the “most disturbing sentence uttered during the debt ceiling debate/government shut down.” America is now going on $17 trillion in debt, a level of insolvency that would already be regarded as catastrophic if the Fed were not keeping interest rates close to zero. The federal deficit declined in FY 2013, which ended on September 30. Final numbers are not yet available, but it is »

The High Cost of High Cost

Featured image I’ve been waiting for this: the New York Times whinging about the high cost of the faux-government shutdown.  With so many of the government statistical bureuax closed down as “non-essential,” how would we know? One of my rabbis on economic matters, Brian Wesbury of First Trust, wrote two days ago that “The bottom line on the economy right now is that there is no sign the partial shutdown, or anything »

Dershowitz Versus Cruz (and J. Madison)

Featured image While we wait for the dust to settle to get a clear view of the damage from the budget and debt deal currently hanging fire in Washington, I thought it worth taking note of Alan Dershowitz on CNN last night, who, while praising Ted Cruz as one of the best and brightest students he ever had at Harvard Law School nonetheless goes on to make a terrible argument that Cruz’s »

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. »