The Road to Rosario

January 4, 2013

Historian Arthur Herman has a very interesting article at the Fox News website, which discusses the fiscal cliff, sequestration, and recent events in the city of Rosario, Argentina, where the good people have been rioting recently.

While unrest in Argentina is nothing new, Mr. Herman draws a very uncomfortable parallel between the events in Rosario and what is currently happening in this country, and calls out the real culprit, those actual takers: the unstoppably growing public sector economy.

Since 1970, America’s public sector has exploded as a percentage of GDP, rising to almost 25% last year. While the national unemployment rate hovers at the 8% mark, government worker unemployment rate is a cozy 3.8%. Sixteen percent of America’s workforce now work for government. By the time the Obama administration ends, we won’t be that far away from Argentina’s 21 percent.

Yet as an economic and social enterprise, government creates nothing. [emphasis mine]

Far from adding to people’s standard of living, government is the number one cause of poverty in this country. It forces those who depend on its largesse to live hand to mouth, with no time or money to plan for the future. They become unable to fend for themselves—and increasingly resentful of those who can… 

Obama and the Democrats are relative newcomers to the game. But Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation’s wealth get mugged by those who spend it–as just happened this week in Washington.

It’s the poor and the middle class, the very ones big government says it’s trying to protect.

At this point, I diverge with the author, as I have seen no evidence that the Obama administration is actually trying to protect members of the poor and middle classes. The only thing being protected here is the reliably Democrat voting bloc. And that’s happening in the usual way, with bread foodstamps and circuses Obamaphones.

Say what you will about Argentina, especially since the Peron era, the Obamas are no pikers. By the time Obama leaves office, there may not be much in the way of economic difference between America and Argentina.

And then the Obamas will waft away to gracious exile in Hawai’i, leaving the rest of the nation to topple, crash, and burn due in large part to the huge debt and even huger government that they deliberately created.

Rosario may look pretty good in comparison, by then.

Stoutcat


Do You Believe in SuperCommittees?

November 21, 2011

Well, it’s official. The much-vaunted supercommittee, which was appointed to try to dig us out of our mountainous debt has utterly failed to do its job.

It’s not that surprising, really. Our nation’s credit rating gets downgraded for the first time in history, and what do we do? We raise the debt limit yet again, and punt the problem to an all-knowing committee which is supposed to solve the problem. And they failed. No, really. That’s what actually happened! And in sad fact, this failure is being cheered by some.

The only folks who believed this clever plan might actually work probably also clapped their hands at this:

Hey, maybe if we all clap, they’ll actually cut something!

I think we should start calling them the Tinkerbell Congress

Stoutcat


Exit with Dirge

August 2, 2011

Major Garret over at the National Journal points out five new truths that he sees evolving from the debt deal.

1. A new precedent.
2. Bipartisan entitlement protection lives on.
3. Congress’s back-loading of spending cuts lives on.
4. Speaker John Boehner wobbled but didn’t fall.
5. The first quarter of 2013 will be a doozy.

He makes each point well, and based on the bare bones of his commentary, I’d say nobody won this time around, especially not our children and grandchildren.

I think Will Shakespeare may have been prescient when he said:

“The weight of this sad time we must obey,
“Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
“The oldest have borne most; we that are young
“Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”

Exeunt with a dead march.

Stoutcat


Fear Monger-In-Chief

July 27, 2011

For some time now, our President has been trying to frighten the public by saying things like this:

“I cannot guarantee that those [social Security] checks go out on August 3rd, if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.” (7/12/11)
 
My response? Mr. President, you lie. And we all know you’re lying. Yesterday, Bernie Goldberg wrote an article discussing this mendacity. In it, Mr. Goldberg quoted Dick Morris, and then added a zinger of his own:

Later that night, a perceptive Dick Morris told Sean Hannity the following:

“When he says that we’re facing a disaster if there is a default, I hate to disrespect the president, but he’s lying. He now doesn’t claim that we’re going to default on our debt. He says we’ll default on our obligations. Well folks, there’s enough money to pay the debt, the social security, Medicare, military pay and a hundred other things. The obligations he’s talking about are the bureaucrats in the labor department and the commerce department and the agriculture dept and the state dept.  And those obligations are not the obligations we really care about.  The president [is using] total fear tactics and it’s a lie.  A big lie.”

Bingo!

So now we’re defining “default” as the failure to pay bureaucrats on time?  Try that definition on the Wall Street crowd and they’ll laugh in your face.

I’d like to see all Republican members of Congress stand up and declare that until the Cut Cap and Balance bill is passed, they will not take another paycheck and that those salaries should be returned to the general budget to be used to pay down the debt.
 
Yes, it would be a  futile gesture, but it might show the country–and the President–that the Republicans are serious about this crisis.
 
Or at least more serious than our Fear Monger-in-Chief.
 
Stoutcat
 
 

Wait, When Did We Solve the Debt Crisis?

July 21, 2011

Well smack my face and call me Rip Van Winkle, because I must have been sleeping. Otherwise I wouldn’t have missed the fact that we’ve solved the debt crisis.

We have solved the debt crisis, haven’t we? The Gang of Six actually made a meaningful proposal that was accepted by everyone? Obama didn’t veto the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill? All those seniors are going to get their Social Security checks come August 3, right?

I mean, if that’s not the case, how could our President in good conscience pour millions of our tax dollars into new and unnecessary departments like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? And new arts initiatives like “Champions of Change“?

And he surely wouldn’t be taking yet another vacation, this one at the swanky Blue Heron Farm on Martha’s Vinyard if this crisis had not yet passed, right?

No, no, this crisis must be over. Otherwise every Republican in Congress would be locked in solidarity against such ridiculous and extraneous expenditures; and they’d be offering plans to solve the problem, as well as demanding to hear ideas from their Democrat counterparts, as well as the President. Wouldn’t they?

Wouldn’t they?

Stoutcat


An Open Letter to the Next Speaker of the House

November 8, 2010

Dear Speaker Boehner/Cantor/Bachmann/Whomever,

Speaking as a citizen, a conservative, and a Tea Partier, I’d like to give you some advice as you prepare to take up the reins for the 112th Congressional session. These suggestions come from my desire to get our country back on track, to mitigate the disasters wrought by the 111th Congress, and to start Congress delving into the bigger picture about what will happen to America if we allow ourselves to continue on our current path.

They are very simple suggestions, and I hope you will take them in the spirit in which they are offered.

  1. Get a normal-sized gavel. Hubris the size of Queen Nancy’s gavel is unbecoming in the People’s House.
  2. Fly commercial. We’ll spring for business class. I know you’re third in line for the presidency, but given our fabulously successful national security policy of depending on good luck to protect us from attacks on airplanes, you should be fine.
  3. Begin discussions of the  800pound gorillas in the room: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and state and federal pensions. Until those are addressed, all other fiscal discussions – including the current demand for a stand-alone vote on hiking the U.S. debt limit – are akin to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. On April 14, 1912. At 10:30 or so in the evening. All Americans must understand that the U.S. government keeps three sets of books: immediate debt, emergency funds, and financial obligations for the future. It’s that last set of books which is already sinking us and which must be addressed immediately.

I sincerely hope you will take these suggestions to heart. Otherwise, you might not like what happens in 2012.

Stoutcat


“The Brain” Says Spain Should Mainly Try to Rein

May 12, 2010

Yesterday, President Obama spoke with Spain’s Prime Minister Zapatero, encouraging him to curb spending:

“US President Barack Obama spoke to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero Tuesday on the debt crisis and discussed reforms needed to rescue the Spanish economy, the White House said.”

Rob Port of Say Anything wins the Grand Rants Calling A Spade A Spade Award with his post: Hypocrite: Obama Calls On Spain To Rein In Government Debt. :

The leaders “discussed the importance of Spain taking resolute action as part of Europe’s effort to strengthen its economy and build market confidence…

Port notes ironically:

Yesterday the Obama administration announced a 7.4% hike in its deficit projection for 2010 to $1.26 trillion. Spain’s entire economy, the nation’s gross domestic product, is $1.6 trillion. The national debt Obama is running in one year is roughly 79% of Spain’s entire economy.

By Jove, I think he’s got it!

Stoutcat