Posts Tagged ‘ Republicans ’

But the public is always right

Karl Rove once again demonstrates his incredible ability to construct an entire platform out of nothing but opinion polling data. My favorite bit is when he juxtaposes a report from OMB on the deficit impact of health care reform against an ABC/Washington Post poll on the same issue, and concludes that the poll is more accurate. The day I start going to polling data to justify policy choices is the day you can strip me of my degree and all the privileges I wish it bestowed.

This article is pure nonsense because it operates under the assumption that the Republican pledge during the midterms to repeal Obamacare was the most important part of their platform. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I’m pretty sure the GOP got its boost not from its position on the particulars of the health care reform bill, but on the promise to rein in government and cut wasteful spending. And it seems to me the House’s vote to repeal Obamacare did just the opposite, on both counts:

1) It showcased yet another example of politicians using critical time to air their petty grievances on a national stage, rather than tackle real issues such as deficit reduction; and

2) It was an utterly meaningless vote because it will not pass the Democratic Senate. And even if God, Yahweh, Allah, Shiva and Jacob Marley all somehow intervened to force the Senate to vote for repeal, Obama still has the veto. And no celestial intervention, whether great or small, could muster enough votes to overturn. In short, our money was wasted paying these officials for the time it took to prepare and vote on this bill.

So, in their first weeks at the big boys’ table, Republicans are already failing on their central pledge to make government responsible and efficient. I sincerely wish them the best of luck because our ossified system of government needs a good shake-up, but crap like this will not earn any brownie points with me.

G.overning O.nly P.assively

Fuck the Grand Ole Party.

Seriously, this is bullshit of the highest calibre.

They think that tax cuts are a panacea for all problems facing our society. So what happens when the Democrats offer tax cuts for more than 95% of Americans? They declare that they will halt all other legislative action unless those tax cuts are also given to the richest slice of America, even though it will add $830 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

Fuck the GOP.

And Kirk better cut the crap. In the House he was known for being a moderate Republican – and I think he has the potential to be a better senator than Giannoulias, who would’ve been a liberal partisan through-and-through – but this overarching fiscal conservatism that Republicans in Congress are using as a justification for opposing pretty much everything is really discomforting. If everything is to be solved by “small government,” then where do you draw the line?

Seriously, read Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit.” It very clearly defines most of the rhetoric coming out of Republican Party the last two years.

 

And the most invidious form of government is …

I forgot to include this little tidbit from the Wall Street Journal in my last post, but I think it greatly illustrates the point I made about how many of the incoming batch of Republican congressmen are not truly interested in helping the overall recovery, but about promoting a narrow ideology based on one theory of economics.

As the WSJ article points out, the “central bank for central bankers” recommends greater regulatory controls as a means to increase long-term economic output by about 1.9% versus what would be achieved without such controls. Specifically, they would require banks to maintain higher capital reserves. Admittedly, this doesn’t have anything to do with derivatives or proprietary trading, but there is a very strong general argument for regulation of potentially dangerous practices pervading the article: reducing the risk of crises.

[T]here’s a massive potential benefit in avoiding banking crises and all the human suffering they entail. When panic and credit troubles lead people to cut back on spending and companies to lay off workers, much of the lost economic activity is never recovered. Among various studies, the median estimate of the total loss is more than three fifths of an entire year’s economic output. One central banker, Andy Haldane of the Bank of England, estimates that the costs of the most recent financial crisis could amount to 3.5 years of economic output.

As I noted (following in the footsteps of countless individuals more knowledgable and engaged than myself), the practices which Republicans currently want to re-deregulate are the very same ones which sparked the crisis which may end up costing us 3 1/2 years of growth. If they really are interested in recovery, then shouldn’t they be trying to prevent the banks from playing fast-and-loose with our money and leading us into the next Great Recession?

Also posted on Fragmatic Idealism