Thoughts on the Budget Fiasco [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’m still scratching my head about the results of the omnibus budget that passed last week, in which it appears Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. About the only tangible victories were the ending of the ban on oil exports, and the torpedoes launched at Obamacare (i.e., cutting off the insurance company bailout, and postponing the “Cadillac” tax on health plans, though I acknowledge the contrary case that »

GOP: Say No To Another Bad Spending Deal

Featured image There are so many things wrong with the spending deal that John Boehner announced last night. Let us itemize a few of them. First, the Left is openly crowing about the fact that the deal is a huge victory for their side. The New York Times headlines: “Obama Wins on Budget Deal as John Boehner Cleans Out the Barn.” How much more do you need to know? The sequester was »

Senate votes to cut-off debate over budget compromise

Featured image By a vote of 67-33, the Senate has invoked cloture on the Murray-Ryan budget compromise, thus ending debate and paving the way for passing the bill. As I understand it, all 55 Senate Democrats voted for cloture and were joined by 12 Republicans. The 12 Republicans are: Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, Saxby Chambliss, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, John Hoeven, Johnny Isakson, Ron Johnson, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and »

Republicans look to stop bleeding; Dems look to attack sequester

Featured image The Senate reportedly is close to a deal that would reopen the government until January 15, 2014 and raise the debt ceiling until February 14. Under this deal, there would be bicameral budget negotiations through December 15 of this year to try to reach a broad bargain. On the Obamacare front, HHS Secretary Sebelius would have to certify that individuals receiving Obamacare subsidies meet the income levels required by law. »

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 »

The Sequester, “Austerity,” and Obama’s Attempt at a Comeback

Featured image On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office wrote a letter to Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, responding to Van Hollen’s questions about the effect of canceling the sequester of a modest amount of federal spending for the rest of 2013, and 2014. CBO director Douglas Elmendorf wrote, in part: In total, by CBO’s estimates, canceling the automatic spending reductions effective August 1 would increase outlays relative to those under current law »

Democrats Surrender on Sequestration

Featured image The Democrats proposed sequestration as part of a package to secure an increase in the debt ceiling, but they never expected it to go into effect. When it did, they felt double-crossed, apparently because they thought Republicans owed it to them to fold like a cheap suit, as usual. When the Republicans figured out that sticking with the sequester was a pretty good outcome–it represented a modest, but real, restraint »

Good Time Barry’s Got the Blues

Featured image The federal government is grounding military aircraft and cutting back on airport security lanes. I heard that a day or two ago, here in the Twin Cities, the airport closed all but one of its security lines, and TSA employees were walking up and down the line, telling people it was because of the sequester. But the sequester hasn’t cramped the White House’s style. True, if you are a regular »

Harry Reid Politicizes Marine Accident

Featured image When Harry Reid told reporters he had heard a rumor that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any taxes, I thought he had sunk as low as a politician possibly can. But I was wrong. Today, Reid outdid himself. He politicized the tragic death of seven Marines in a mortar accident by linking the accident to the sequester: Details are emerging. We really don’t know, the area has been blocked off. As »

That’s how they roll

Featured image That the sequester has thrown the Obama administration for a loop is understandable. President Obama, riding a long winning streak, may well have believed that Republicans would back down in the face of his threats to demagogue the issue. And he almost surely believed that, if he demagogued the issue, a clear majority of the public would take his side. So naturally, when things didn’t work out that way, the »

Sequestration — The Horror

Featured image Multimillionaire Steve Rattner, President Obama’s former car czar, is using Twitter (@SteveRattner) to provide real-life examples of the impact of the sequester. First, he tweeted: DoD just cancelled a summer intern program my son was going to apply to. As if this weren’t tragic enough, a few minutes later he added: And my friend’s son was just told his Capitol Hill internship would now be unpaid. Rattner offered no information »

Wednesday Wonders

Featured image So I’m out of pocket for one whole day, and what happens?  The stock market makes a new all-time high, despite—or perhaps because of?—the sequester.  Yesterday it was reported late in the day that Obama was picking up the phone and calling Republican leaders seeking some kind of deal to end the sequester.  Sounds like someone just blinked, as John notes was a distinct possibility in his post yesterday. As »

Making it hurt, as best they can

Featured image The Washington Times has obtained an email from an email from Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service official Charles Brown saying he asked if he could try to spread out the sequester cuts in his region to minimize the impact. The email indicates he was told not to do anything that would lessen the dire impacts Congress had been warned of. Times reporter Stephen Dinan quotes Brown’s message: “We have »

Obama’s job approval number tumbles

Featured image Is it because folks remembered President Obama’s promise during one of the debates that there will be no sequester? Is it because word got out that the sequester was Obama’s idea? Is it because folks don’t mind the sequester and resent Obama’s effort to make it sound like the end of the world? Is it because the flap with Bob Woodward was more storm than drizzle? Or is it just »

The Day Dawned a Little Brighter Today…

Featured image …because last night, President Obama signed an order directing federal agencies to implement the sequester cuts. So this morning, we can breathe a sign of satisfaction as we sip our morning coffee. (Champagne corks may be appropriate, but will have to wait until tonight.) What the sequester shows is that, contrary to the cynical conviction that was all too well justified by experience, government spending can be cut. Republicans don’t »

Where Does the Money Go?

Featured image With liberals shrieking hysterically at the prospect of small cuts in federal spending–equal to 2 1/2 french fries out of a Big Mac Extra Value Meal–this is an opportune time to talk about where all of that borrowed federal money goes. We are saddling our children with $17 trillion in debt to do what, exactly? Well, we are keeping Barack Obama in the style to which he has become accustomed, »

Barack Obama, Spending Junkie

Featured image One would hope that the spectacle the Democrats have made of themselves over the prospect of a modest increase in federal spending for FY 2013 would be enlightening to a lot of voters. The Democrats’ craving for federal dollars is not unlike that of a junkie for heroin, and the lengths of dishonesty to which Barack Obama and the Democrats will go to keep the money flowing are likewise reminiscent »