Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alas, All For Nothing

I'll make a safe prediction this evening (5:30 pm CDT, July 14, 2011). Republicans will emerge from the debt ceiling increase/budget cut debates with absolutely nothing. The nation's Debt Ceiling will be raised significantly and there will be no budget cuts of any importance made.

In other words, America loses.

The reality is that the Republicans always had a losing hand. And they played it horribly with arrogance and stupidity. Anyone hoping to save our nation had to sit back in absolute horror as Representative Eric Cantor displayed ignorance and arrogance simultaneously.

The Republican position was untenable. Tax increases, or as the Democrats misleadingly describe them, "Revenue Enhancements" are inevitable. Had the Republicans not overplayed their weak hand, they might have engineered a significant budget cut in exchange for modest "revenue enhancements."

Instead we Americans get placed on the bus, with no brakes and no driver, down a slippery slope and a deep cliff. Look out below.

In the end, the Debt Ceiling WILL BE RAISED. There was never any doubt. How Eric Cantor or any Republican thought they could hold the government and American People captive is beyond imagination.

I don't look for anything to improve. President Obama is unbeatable (at this time, at least). And, while he's gotten pretty good at his job at his day job, he lacks any vision of the future and lacks any political power to push needed changes through Congress.

All we've accomplished is insuring that true and full government default will happen around 2016. Kiss your nation goodbye.


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

More taxes on the wall street crowd to put more jobs on main street. Medicare for all! Obama doesn't get it, but neither do you. As for the true wrecking company, look no farther than your GOP leadership

Bob Keller said...

Doc, as you can tell from the blog entry I wrote, I do place the blame directly on the Republicans. Tax increases will have to happen if we are even going to attempt to close the budget gap.

Neither side is serious about solving the problems facing this country. It's all political posturing, graft, greed and corruption.

To see the worldwide impact of our dithering check out this article from the London Telegraph.

shoo said...

Tax increases? Really? Do the math. Taxing the rich at 100% of income does not being in enough revenue to close the deficit. The taxes being proposed by Obama and the Democrats will be about $60 billion per year (by White House estimates): enough to close about 4% of the annual deficit.

There simply is no tax policy that can possibly close the deficit. We must rein in spending.

This problem is really not hard to solve at all. Modest adjustments to entitlement programs can rein in spending, we can cut out dramatic amounts of bloat from the budget (like the approximately $1 trillion Obama added), and we can keep a sensible tax policy that allows the economy to grow. After Reagan's tax cuts, the economy great at over 7% per year. Allow the economy to grow like that and we will find we have full employment again and dramatically increased tax revenues.

If you want to know why the economy isn't growing faster, look no further than our government. People who run business are afraid to hire due to the constantly changing rules. Nobody knows what the rules and tax rates are going to be next year or the year after, so everyone is afraid to make investments. And of course it doesn't help that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.

Bob Keller said...

Shoo, you make my point! A modest, tax increase as part of a trade off for serious entitlement adjustments is one hell of a good trade and one President Obama was prepared to make.

Republicans prefer to get nothing instead of compromise. That's just plain stupid. Although not as stupid as Democrat Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (see my next post).

Chris said...

After the "modest" tax increase fails to change the situation in any measurable way, due to the refusal of the administration and the Democratic leadership to cut spending, then what? Another "modest" increase, that places a further drag on the economy because more money is being siphoned away from the private sector to the public? I'm sick and tired of having my pocket picked to support the unproductive. I'll be damned if the President and his cronies will take more of my earnings to hand out to his sycophants and supporters.

If no one takes a principled stand to rein in spending, then we as a country are going to continue the death spiral. If you want to blame those whose constituents sent them to Washington for the specific purpose of stopping the insane spending spree we've been on for the last several decades, then you're part of the problem as well. It sure is easy to appear reasonable when you have no principles except to remain in power.

shoo said...

I am all for compromise to get something done so long as we keep a few points in mind.

1) Spending is 20x the problem revenue is. If we are making vast spending cuts and token tax increases to give political cover, fine.

2) Most Republicans signed a "No New Taxes"" pledge. The main reason Democrats are trying to force the tax increase issue now, instead of say 7 months ago when they could have done it with virtually no government support, is they want to force the Republicans to renege on that pledge. They can probably get away with closing some tax loopholes, changing depreciation rates, etc. But raising tax rates is simply a non-starter.

Bob Keller said...

Chris and Shoo - I agree with both of you, but we simply can't underestimate the extent and severity of the problem. Our entire future as a nation is at risk.

It's going to take really brave men and women from both parties to save this nation. At this moment I can't name but one or two who are up to the task. To get the needed bills through Congress it's going to take a lot more.

Chris said...

Name one Democrat who wants to reduce spending by the amounts necessary to stave off catastrophe. There are very few Republicans who want to do so, despite the American public sending a clear message in the last election.

How do you compromise with someone who is wrong? Are you supposed to be half wrong? How do you compromise with someone who has shown no inclination to bargain in good faith, such as this President? He may have been elected to lead, but he doesn't much care for it, does he? Beyond servicing his core supporters, he hasn't shown much interest in solving any of the problems he either inherited or created.

Bob Keller said...

Chris, Please see my two more recent blog posts. I agree we are headed for failure because of a complete lack of leadership.