Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shutdown: No One Won?

The Republican's say they didn't win and the President says no one won.

MSN New Panel
CNN Shutdown
CNN Obama 16Oct13 Speech
CNN Obama 17Oct13 Speech (partial)

I guess I disagree, I think the President won the battle and Republicans gained a chance to win the war.  I mean repeatedly the President went on record saying he would negotiate on anything after the government was running again.  Well now it is running again for awhile....

Let's see how true his word the President will be...  Thoughts?

I mean Bush and Obama jacked up spending significantly due to 2 wars and a recession.  And one can not forget the SS/Medicare benefits that are exceeding the premiums being collected, or the extra expense of the ACA program.

G2A Spending Trends
Forbes It is a Spending Problem
G2A Political Continuum

55 comments:

jerrye92002 said...

If you are hoping that Obama will keep any "promise" he makes you are going to learn the difference between Hope and Change. I can almost guarantee that if the subject is ever again broached, he will deny he ever said any such thing.

My expectation is that since the bullying, outrageous lies and deliberate punishment of the citizenry succeeded, we can expect more of the same when the next "negotiation" comes around.

Anonymous said...

It's like a child's tantrum. When after a lot of screaming the child has decided to quit, has the child lost anything? Has a parent who has refused to give in to demands won anything?

--Hiram

John said...

Using your condescending titles.

In this case the "Parent" has agreed to bargain with the "Child" in good faith during the next 4 months.

Now will the "Parent" keep his promise like "Parent" or break it like a "Child"? That is the question...

History for better or worse is with Jerry on this one. All of the people in government seem to be rather immature. (ie childish)

Anonymous said...


In this case the "Parent" has agreed to bargain with the "Child" in good faith during the next 4 months.


That's what adults do. The president has always been willing to talk to Republicans about stuff. Republicans and Democrats both have their wish lists. And they both have stuff that's non negotiable. What the president wasn't willing to do was negotiate under this threat, and Republicans should ask themselves exactly why he didn't have to.

--Hiram

John said...

I don't hold high hopes for compromise based on the President's first speech.

WP Obama 17Oct13 Transcript

John said...

Like Liz Warren, he almost sounds like a Republican in his definition of government.

"And we hear all the time about how government is the problem. Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways. Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries. It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe. It helps folks rebuild after a storm. It conserves our natural resources. It finances startups. It helps to sell our products overseas. It provides security to our diplomats abroad."

And yet when it comes to policy, he promotes government as needing to provide food, housing, healthcare, education, etc to able bodied adults. Is this an intentional attempt to mislead the Moderates and Republicans? (ie lack of character)

Or what am I missing here? I mean he obviously is pro-socialized healthcare, welfare, etc... Why doesn't he come out and say that he believes a key role of government is to arbitrate fairness by raising the taxes on the rich so the money can be given to the poor?

No where in that speech does he even indicate or support a core part of his platform... I mean I don't see ACA or Medicare expansion in those priorities. Wouldn't someone with character say "I am very concerned about the wealth distribution problem in the USA, let's do something about it? Because the people of America think it is important !!!"

Thoughts?

John said...

Hiram,
He didn't have to because he and the markets knew the Republicans will not allow default to occur.

Which means he is likely smarter than most of the Liberals who say the GOP is out to "destroy the country..."

Now we will see if he is actually willing to listen and negotiate. During the first 4+ years he has been poor at this. Now he has 4 months to prove he is capable of doing this... It will be interesting...

Anonymous said...

Here is something I wrote elsewhere:

"President Obama is often accused of divisiveness, yet the bill that passed the Congress last night raising the debt ceiling was passed with the votes of 87 Republican congressmen and 27 Republican senators. Is this what non divisive, bipartisan leadership looks like here in the second decade of the 21st century? Or is it necessary for all of us to gather together and sing Kumbaya?"

I choose to focus on those numbers. To my liberal friends who say that the GOP is out to destroy the country, I tell them no. When destroying the country was put up for a vote, 87 Republicans in the House voted against it. In the Senate, 27 Republicans voted against it. I, for one, find that profoundly encouraging and that gives me hope for the future.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

Doesn't negotiation involve making some concessions? From the perspective of the many periodicals I read the GOP has been unwilling for many years to concede much of anything.

So what might this grand bargain look like? what kind of deal is the GOP prepared to make?

Supposedly Robert Costa is the go to journalist for insight into the GOP. It seems that any sort of deal is very unlikely.

John said...

Laurie,
You seem to forget that they gave tax increases just last December.

Thank heavens for the sequestor debacle or government costs would still be growing too fast. (see pg 9 of CBO link) Which also occured because the GOP was willing to bargain hard. How much do you think we would be spending if the GOP was not there to offset the Democrats.CBO Forecast May2013

And I can also give credit to the Democrats, I have no heart burn that the tax rates were raised on the wealthy. As long as we don't go to that well too often. And we use the receipts to pay our bills, not to pass their income on to the unlucky/unsuccessful folks who could be out working.

The question is what is Obama willing to give?

Remember if he had been more agreeable, we wouldn't have had a shut down... It takes 2 to have a fight... And per PG 9, we are still spending at higher than their "avg rate"...

John said...

I commented over at MinnPost again. This time regarding my Warren/Obama thought. It will be interesting to see if it gets through the screeners...

MinnPost Sad / Happy

Laurie said...

You seem to forget that the GOP didn't agree to a tax increase, they agreed to extend the lower rates for the middle class. If they could have they would have prevented the rates on the wealthy from increasing, which is a bit ironic as they were the ones who put into the tax cuts that the lower rates would eventually expire.

about - if he had been more agreeable, we wouldn't have had a shut down... It takes 2 to have a fight. Could you explain this, it makes no sense at all. Obama should have given in to GOP demands because why?

It seems to me that Obama could get the dems to agree to some entitlement reforms in exchange for additional revenue for their priorities. What is the compromise the GOP is willing to make?

Laurie said...

I read through the comments on the MNpost story and it made me curious about what percent of the federal budget is spent in support of moochers, looters and freeloaders. When I googled that question I came up with an Amazon link to a book that you might enjoy; A Nation of Moochers: America's Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing

I thought briefly of reading it until I learned a little bit about the author.

I also clicked on this link which may or may not be accurate;NO, MOST PEOPLE ON ENTITLEMENTS AREN’T MOOCHERS

As someone making $50,000/year, I don't mind paying: $22.98/year in Unemployment Insurance, $36.82/year for Food and Nutrition Assistance, and A WHOPPING $6.96/year for TANF.

Anonymous said...

It's generally the view of Democrats that the deficit while important, isn't important as the high level of unemployment or the struggling economy. But if Republicans are serious about the deficit, the solution is obvious, cut spending and raise taxes. There are certainly good faith negotiations to be had around those issues. I am sure President Obama is willing to engage in them in ways that make the mainstream of his party very uncomfortable. If Republicans are willing to join him, maybe progress can be made on issues they seem to worry a lot about.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, somehow you missed the part where Republicans voted at least SIX TIMES to end the shutdown, in all or part, and every time Democrats voted against it, backed by a threatened Obama veto and totally unnecessary but "painful" prosecution of the shutdown orchestrated out of the White House.

This is not a president who compromises or accommodates or negotiates. Quote: "I will not negotiate with Republicans."

John said...

Laurie,
Yes, you are technically correct. The GOP voted for a tax cut for the majority of American's, which thereby allowed taxes to go up on the high earners. Still it was a concession they made to the Democrats to "save" us all from higher taxes.

I don't think I have ever said that the majority of those on gov't assistance are moochers. I think I have said that there are moochers/looters who are receiving government assistance.

And I think this occurs at many levels. Excessive number of bureaucrats / costs to oversee the many different and overlaspping components of the "welfare" system. People who unknowingly receive benefits that they don't need. (ie every preschool, daycare, and school receives food money from the Ag program, no matter how wealthy the student body is) People like those from the Pelosi video who are actively working to milk the system.

So if you truly want to make sure the poor and disabled receive the funding, how do we cut the number of programs thereby reducing the overhead, stop funding for those who are middle/upper class, and stop giving money to the Pelosi folks?

Throwing more money at it just hides all the wastes noted above.

Personally I don't think the Feds should be in this business at all. This role should be done at the state level. As Obama and Warren said... Fed gov't should be Defense, Regs, Trade, Infrastructure, etc.

John said...

Also, please remember that SS and Medicare become wealth transfer devices as soon as the trust funds are gone.

And since people are getting back more than they put in, people in all income levels are taking advantage of this.

John said...

Hiram,
It looks like the government is functioning just perfectly then...
CBO Cut Spending and Raise Taxes

John said...

We just have to do a little more cutting though.

Anonymous said...

"This is not a president who compromises or accommodates or negotiates."

Health care was the result of an endless series of negotiations and what emerged from those negotiations was something very different from what the president wanted. He caved in on the 2011 negotiations. Some things are non negotiable for the president, but everyone has things that are non negotiable.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

Reminder of the Day: When It Comes to Long-Term Spending, It's All Health Care, Baby

also, The GOP did not let taxes go up on the wealthy, that was the law that the GOP created. Voting for a tax cut that you support is not a concession. Not getting a policy you support (such as a tax cut for the wealthy) because you don't have the votes is not a concession.

John said...

The GOP wanted the "Bush" Tax Cuts to continue for all American's for the good of the country. The Democrats wanted the "Bush" Tax Cuts to only continue for certain groups. The GOP could have let all the Tax cuts lapse.

Instead they conceded to go against what they felt was the best way to stimulate the country, so that the Democrats would not "destroy the country" by raising taxes on all of us.

It is all in perspective. The Democrats were willing to allow all of our taxes to increase, just to attain tax increases on the wealthy. Thankfully the GOP conceded, since Obama wasn't willing to give.

Sean said...

If Republicans wanted the Bush Tax Cuts to be permanent, then they should have passed them as such originally instead of putting s unset on them in order to game the CBO budget deficit projections.

Laurie said...

Under this new definition of concession I am going to explain what the dems conceded in the recent shutdown.

The dems really wanted to reduce the sequestration cuts to the government, but agreed to let the government reopen with the cuts still in place for the good of the country

TJ Swift said...

The GOP lost big time. No, not the battle against the Democrats; they lost all of the people that worked so hard since 2006 to keep them at the table.

They lost the Tea Party.

Tea Party leaders are not politically savvy; they're not smooth talkers; they aren't good at spewing meaningless platitudes. They're in office because they made promises to reign in government spending, and they're working hard to make good those promises.

If the old guard GOP can't come up with ideas of their own, and clearly they can't, they could provide guidance to TP members in there doing the heavy lifting.

Instead, we have John McCain and (to my shame) my Senator, Lyndsey Graham out there twisting a knife in our chests.

I'll probably never vote for a Democrat, but the NRCC isn't going to get another dime out of me and their candidates that are not screened by the TP are going to find getting my vote a tough sell.

John said...

Sean, I think most laws should have a sunset provision. It seems politicians are more interested in passing new ones instead of cleaning up the mess.

Laurie, I agree, both sides are giving and taking. No one said it is supposed to be easy.

TJ, Welcome. My Parents share a lot of your views it seems. Of course they make no sense to me... They say that Conservatives did not get out and vote for Romney because "he was not Conservative enough"...

Would the Conservative voters really be foolish enough to sit at home and let that "Liberal Obama" win the Presidency because Romney was not Conservative enough?

Just as are you will to give up supporting the Republican party just because they are not Conservative enough? Thereby letting the Democrats win...

Please explain the rationale?

TJ Swift said...

It's simple John.

Since FDR, the government's reach into our lives has grown steadily each year; this has occurred during both Democrat and Republican administrations.

Lord Acton's insight withstands the sands of time:

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

The only way to restrain the federal government is to remove as much funding as possible, until there is just enough to pay for the very limited scope of it's constitutionally granted mandate.

The United States has lived under two party political system (nearly)since it's inception. Oddly enough, during President Washington's time the parties could accurately be described as Federalists and Antifederalists.

Since that time, and up until the 1930's (and the emergence of the Communist inspired "Labor" movement) the differences between the parties remained rooted in the overall direction of our country's Big Questions: Slavery, the Gold Standard, Isolationism all divided us at one time and directed our political fights.

Today, in keeping with Acton's insight, the political parties are focused upon power...over our lives.

The Tea Party is the first genuine, grass roots revolt with any clout at all since 1776. If we allow it's purpose to be watered down, or it's elected members to stray from the principles we elected them upon, it will surely follow the inevitable path all of it's predecessors followed: Corruption and betrayal.

There's a reason the Democrats want a government take-over of the medical system, and it's not altruistic; it's control and power.

I'd rather fight leftists honestly and openly than continue to hitch my wagon to a party that is willing to sell my freedom for thirty pieces of silver.

It's time to re-focus the fight as among Federalists and Antifederalists.

Anonymous said...


"Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Is anyone under the impression that President Obama is possessed of absolute power? I think it's important to bear in mind that Lord Acton was commenting on the British Parliamentary system where the Prime Minister is vastly more powerful, at least within the confines of the political system than any president could ever hope to be in this country.

This recent dispute centered around nothing more than whether the government should pay it's bills, among the most basic of it's functions. Yet without the support of Congress, and indeed a minority faction of Congress, the president was unable to keep the lights on. This is something possessors of absolute power can do routinely. Certainly the politicians Lord Acton served, would have had no trouble doing it.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

"Is anyone under the impression that President Obama is possessed of absolute power?"

Yes! Obama himself believes exactly that. And his actions during the shutdown display how petulant this man-child becomes when the world does not obey his every whim.

John said...

I must agree that his "there will be no negotiations until the government is open" and "this is a dangerous precedent" speeches did seem very condescending. Especially since negotiating our way out of shutdowns and debt ceilings has apparently been done multiple times before.

Anonymous said...



I must agree that his "there will be no negotiations until the government is open" and "this is a dangerous precedent" speeches did seem very condescending.

I am sure they were. The fact that folks like Ted Cruz just don't command respect is a reality they have to deal with.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

Ted Cruz doesn't demand respect. That's Obama's game. Ted Cruz DESERVES respect for standing up for what is right.

Laurie said...

It has been bugging me how blind you conservatives are to the extremism of the modern GOP, so I put together a reading list for you:

Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

My break with the extreme right

GOP apostates
Disillusioned Republicans explain their party's hard-right turn


Revenge of the Reality-Based Community
My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong.


If anyone finds this interesting we could also do a book study on the topic, as there will be nothing much going on in DC for the next year.

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted

It looks like the dems take some hits in this book as well, though I am sure not as much.

Anonymous said...

Ted Cruz doesn't demand respect.

And he doesn't get it either.

--Hiram

John said...

Blind like the LIberals I comment with that insist government spending hasn't been increasing consistently since 1960.. And it5 is not sustainable. It is interesting..

I'll read them later. Thank you.

Laurie said...

That's funny, because I am one of those liberals that doesn't believe that spending has been consistently increasing since 1960 and is not sustainable, and that is even after reading your blog for a couple of years

John said...

Perfect example... See how difficult it is to see clearly through those blind spots.

jerrye92002 said...

The further Democrats move to the left, the more "extreme" they will claim that Republicans, who haven't moved at all, may seem. Besides, it's all just Democrat character assassination-- attempting to paint those who disagree as evil, stupid, and a threat to all humankind. Such distractions make it a lot easier for Democrats to hide the FACT that their profligate spending, over-regulation and socialist utopian pipe-dreams are destroying the country.

John said...

How do you rationalize that "government" cost 10 % of GDP in 1900 and now costs 38 % of GDP is not an increase? That does puzzle me to this day...

John said...

I,
I am not sure they are "destroying" it. I just can't understand how they can say it is the GOP that is changing with a straight face as the costs keep changing.

John said...

Laurie,
Couldn't you have found some less verbose opinion pieces? I am about half way through though...

Laurie said...

I didn't think you would actually read them. I chose them because they are all written by republicans who felt the GOP party left them as it moved further to the right. I did start reading the book I linked to, which is pretty good and does slam the dems as well.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, yours is an interesting perspective. I know all manner of people who have left the Republican Party because they don't think it is far ENOUGH to the right. I also know a lot of former Democrats who claim "the Democrat Party left me," Ronald Reagan being one of the more notable.

Maybe one way to look at this is to try and consider it "scientifically." Assume for the moment that the best government is the one that strikes a balance between the extremes of left and right-- the "all compromise, all the time" position. [I personally think that's absolutely the wrong way to govern, but let's see it through.] Now if, say, moderate Democrats become an endangered species, the "center" of the Congress will shift to the left making even moderate Republicans "extreme" by comparison. To restore the balance point, it is moderate Republicans that must be eliminated. I believe this hypothetical is exactly the situation we now see being played out. The problem with it is that there can not be a compromise between these two extremes, and a few votes in the middle will alter the balance of power and send the country careening dangerously off to the left or safely back towards the right (sorry, that's my belief). For example, imagine if Al Franken had NOT managed to steal 300 votes in 2008 and had NOT become the 60th Senate vote for Obamacare. Should the country really fall because of 300 votes out of 122,394,724?

Here's yet another way to look at it: Obamacare became law with every Democrat in favor and every Republican voting against. Tell me, which side is the extremist side?

John said...

Laurie,
Of course, I try to read everything that you folks recommend when time permits.

Now the question is do you have an answer as to how a large group of people including yourself can see 10% of GDP as the same as 38% of GDP?

Laurie said...

I don't think most people compare govt today with govt 100 years ago. Thirty years seems like a more reasonable time frame. Some liberals (me) see charts that show spending is not increasing.

Federal spending as % of GDP

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, nice chart. Unfortunately the time frame-- 1975-2007 doesn't offer a lot of perspective. The Obama years have seen a sudden uptick to near 25% of GDP, and the years before 1975 were running even lower than 20% (about 18% since the 40s). Are conservatives "extreme" for wanting to cut Obama back to the historical norm. If other Presidents averaged 18-20%, isn't OBAMA the "extremist"?

Also interesting is that the amount spent on interest has gone down so considerably while borrowing (think debt ceiling) has gone up and up. If the FED ever comes off of its "QE" campaign of cheap money, federal debt payments will skyrocket.

Laurie said...

Jerry, in 2008 the dems won at all levels- house, senate, and pres, after campaigning about improving access to health insurance. The reason no republicans voted for Obamacare is they opposed the goal of universal access. The dems worked for many months in the senate trying to get at least a few senators to support the bill and would have made compromises in exchange for votes.

Extremism is putting politics ahead of compromise in creating policy that helps millions of citizens. Our constitution does not require a super majority to pass legislation.

jerrye92002 said...

"The reason no republicans voted for Obamacare is they opposed the goal of universal access."

That's an exceedingly biased statement. You are saying that every single Republican hates people and wants them to die. Or at least that's what Democrats have said about Republicans who oppose Obamacare, and they cannot possibly be right. The typical liberal problem raises its Hydra heads again here; while the goal may be admirable in general terms, the means for it to be achieved at all is doubtful, the means for it to be achieved by government even less so, and the notion that it can be "comprehensively" solved by Congress and the federal bureaucracy would be laughable if it were not currently being visited on us in exactly the terrible fashion anyone who understood the problem and the legislation predicted.

"Universal access" is not something that government can grant. The FREEDOM to seek or to provide health care is the only thing that government SHOULD simply leave unhindered. In all other goods and services, the free market has provided the greatest good for the greatest number.

You also overlook that Republicans have offered many, many "solutions," though none so arrogantly "comprehensive." The problem Democrats have with these common sense solutions is that they do not place the government in total control of your life. It is very hard to build your Utopian dreamworld when people have free will.

John said...

"Extremism is putting politics ahead of compromise in creating policy that helps millions of citizens."

Or is it extremism to put politcs ahead of compromise in creating policy that helps millions at the expense of ten of millions?

ACA was not a free exercise that helped millions. The expense is being carried on the backs of others that are receiving no benefit from ACA. Now if that is good or bad is a different discussion. However to ignore that reality seems like an extreme denial of reality.

TJ Swift said...

With the passing of the "baby boom" generation, the SSI Ponzi scheme is nearing it's natural, and completely predictable nadir.

Our children, and certainly not our grandchildren, won't ever see a SSI check. In a very few years (10-15) it will be necessary to admit it's done, which will leave the federal government without the "legitimate" means to collect the vast amounts of personal information it needs to control the population.

Enter ObamaCare.

By the time SSI is a smoldering ruin, OC will have incorporated all of the information, and more, now collected via the SSI ruse...the fact that the IRS is hiring tens of thousands of new agents makes that fact impossible for all but the most committed leftist to refute.

John said...

That's amusing because often the Liberals say it is the Conservatives that want all that information and control of the people.

Personally I think you are now into the Libertarian vs Fascist aspect of the Nolan curve... Where Liberals and Conservatives can reside at either extreme very comfortably...

G2A Right, Left, Up or Down?

Sean said...

I think you're on to something, there, John. I do believe that we are seeing what could be start of the fracturing of some of the traditional political coalitions in both parties over things like the NSA programs. The two-party system as it currently stands is likely to stand, but I think it's actually on these sorts of issues where you are more likely to see bipartisan cooperation than on budget issues where traditionally a coalition of moderates in both parties could push a compromise.

John said...

Another example were Arizona's immigrant status check laws. I have never seen some of the Libs/Cons in such lock step.

John said...

It is strange, I have some comments that get through the moderators and some that don't...

MinnPost GOP Crazy

I'll try to continue my thoughts here if they don't show up soon.

John said...

Or maybe they are limited to 69 comments since it has not moved...