Friday, October 9, 2015

GOP Congress in Chaos

Gone West with Dog.  Here is an interesting discussion. MP GOP Mess

"I've yet to see a Democrat campaign for ineffective government. The fight among Republicans doesn't seem to do with issues, but with tactics. There are Republicans who want to keep the government functioning while they pursue their issues and Republicans who want to see it collapse unless they get their way immediately." Dan 

"Or... These are folks who really seriously want to "reduce government control, spending, ineffectiveness and tax growth..." because they truly believe that ~35% of our GDP is too much government control...  US Spend History

I am not a huge fan of their tactics however I am not sure how else to stop and reverse this slow slide towards excessive government expenditures, control, bureaucratic inefficiency, etc. And our indifference to over spending more than we collect is absolutely fascinating.  Bloomberg Debt Ceiling

If you were on the Titanic and saw the iceberg coming, what would you do?  Listen to the band or take drastic action?" G2A

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if the iceberg is a figment of your imagination and you veer off course in your maneuvering, putting you in real danger?

Joel

Sean said...

Earlier this week, a Republican Presidential candidate offered a tax plan that would increase the deficit by over $1 trillion -- that's right, TRILLION -- per year.

Meanwhile, President Obama has reduced the deficit by about that same amount over his term.

But, yes, please continue to tell me more about how Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility -- especially when many of them are willing to wreck the boat by defaulting on our debt.

John said...

Joel, We have been in the less government waters before with great results for the country, The more govt controlled waters are where the unknown risks are.

John said...

Sean, If I remember correctly, the GOP helped Obama "Just say NO" to spending.

Laurie said...

So which GOP presidential candidate has a budget plan that you approve of that will reduce the defict? I am pretty sure every tax plan that GOP candidates have released will explode the deficit.

As I am tired of the same views expressed over and over on your blog I am going to be lazy and just post a link:

Kevin McCarthy’s implosion signals a full-blown Republican revolution

Laurie said...

I agree with pretty much all the analysis of the GOP chaos by this journalist. Feel free to disagree his viewpoint in lieu of my own.

The Republican Party's Dysfunction Is an Embarrassment to Us All

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, trying to rate the GOP candidates based on their tax plans is like trying to fix the Titanic by choosing the better bucket brigade for bailing it out. We don't have a taxing problem, we have a SPENDING problem. If your household had an income of $60,000 per year and you spent $75,000 every year, how long before you would be out of debt? If you demanded your boss give you a raise to $90,000 per year, how much would you earn then? And how, exactly, are you going to make that balloon payment on your mortgage that you promised to make (like Congress has promised retirees)?

I'm still waiting for a candidate to propose the "tax plan" which says we will tax at 100% for the next 8 years and eliminate the problem. I would rather hear, of course, how a candidate proposes to get control of the runaway entitlement spending and get our fiscal house in order. Right now, "chaos" is a pretty good description and it is caused by the disconnect between Republican wishes to address reality and Democrat demagoguery denying it.

jerrye92002 said...

The other problem of course is that Democrats and their media allies have managed to get Republicans scared silly about being blamed for a "government shutdown" or "default on the debt." Poppycock. The problem is one of tactics and communication. The GOP won't stand up and pass a budget bill with a few items (like PP and Obamacare) excluded but that states there will be NO DEFAULT allowed on the debt. They can do that, and it is perfectly reasonable since we ALWAYS take in far more than needed to cover debt payments. And did you notice how hard Obama had to work to make good on his promise to "make the shutdown hurt" when he didn't need to do so? Just like in Minnesota, the FIRST thing we do is close the Parks, so highly visible but probably not the highest priority. And a "government shutdown" still leaves about half of it operational as "essential services," and funds almost everything else, if the Democrats would just let it pass as such, but NO, THEY want the "crisis." Put the blame where it belongs and the problem goes away.

Anonymous said...

The way to get your policies enacted is to win elections. People who are willing to shut down government in order to get their policies enacted don't control the White House, don't have a majority within their own party in Congress, and certainly don't have the majority in Congress as a whole. That's why their policies don't get enacted.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

In political terms, when government doesn't work, it's always a failure of the Democratic Party, the party of government. In this case, chaos within the Republican Party will ultimately be blamed on the Democratic Party by the electorate. Go figure.

By the way, here is a clip from the classic Mel Brooks movie that looks at the flaws of the Republican negotiating strategy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_JOGmXpe5I

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

"I am not a huge fan of their tactics however I am not sure how else to stop and reverse this slow slide towards excessive government expenditures, control, bureaucratic inefficiency, etc. And our indifference to over spending more than we collect is absolutely fascinating."

To reverse the slide of government expenditures, it's important to look at what's driving the slide. So what exactly is doing that?

Are we hiring more bureaucrats who are being paid more? The private sector paid Carly Fiorina 20 million dollars to go away. Do we see a similar inefficiency on the government side?

Among it's other problems, war is very expensive, both in the short and long term. The cost of the wars we are currently engaged in, burden both ourselves and future generations. Should we stop fighting them?

Besides wars and bureaucrats, what else is pushing government costs higher?

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

What is pushing government spending is NOT "discretionary" spending, which includes, believe it or not, Defense. What is pushing it is mandatory (interest on the debt) and entitlement spending, over which Congress exercises no control whatsoever until those programs are reformed to spend less. Right now that's over 50% of the budget and is expected to consume 100% sometime in the next 10-15 years.

Unfortunately the D (for Denialist) Party won't face the reality, so I guess we'll have to wait for disaster to strike and Nehemiah Scudder to pick up the pieces.

Anonymous said...

As always, the problem with entitlement spending is that we are entitled to it. That's why Congress doesn't control it.

==Hiram

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the D (for Denialist) Party won't face the reality, so I guess we'll have to wait for disaster to strike and Nehemiah Scudder to pick up the pieces.

I think we do face reality, or at least we try to. We don't try to hide choices behind euphemisms like "entitlements". The reality is clear enough. What is driving increased spending is the aging of the population. We can choose to deal with this problem, or we can choose to ignore it, but that's what the problem is.

Way to often we try to shroud the choices we make behind numbers. We say deficit is the problem, not the choices we make to raise and spend money. That would be fine if it worked, but somehow it never does. No one talks about the deficit when we decide to wage war in the middle east. No one talks about deficits when we cut taxes. Nobody talks about deficits when they have a child in the hospital in need of expensive care. Our budget is out of control, because we don't control the events that drive it.

--Hiram

John said...

"Our budget is out of control, because we don't control the events that drive it."

Correction... "Our budget is out of control, because we choose to not control the events that drive it." US Spending History

The government can choose to change the "entitlements" whenever they have the political will to do so. Things are going to get pretty interesting in about 15 years when the trust funds are exhausted, and incoming revenues only cover about ~75% of the outgoing "entitlement". Remember that the SS Disability fund is pretty well depleted... I wonder why we are not hearing about this?

And look at that increased Education spending... I know that K-12, diversity and Special Ed increased requirements have driven some of that... But a sizeable amount is also caused by the Union / Education Bureaucracy.

Sean said...

"Sean, If I remember correctly, the GOP helped Obama "Just say NO" to spending."

Republicans are great at that ... when a Democrat is President. They're not so good at that when they have power.

Sean said...

I'll believe we have an entitlement crisis when someone proposes that Baby Boomers get their benefits whacked.

"But a sizeable amount is also caused by the Union / Education Bureaucracy."

Such as? The reality, of course, is if you look at what high-performing countries do in education -- they pay their teachers more than we do, and in many cases (Finland, for instance) they are more empowered and less encumbered by "teaching to the test" and rigid top-down curriculums.

John said...

From the spending link above. There is a lot of money available, however the education bureaucracy and unions seem to have been using it ineffectively based on the first NCLB testing that was conducted 10+ years ago. Now people are starting to watch them more closely and demand results, not just a bunch of educators teaching what they think is fun.

"Education in North America began as local and individual. But the common schools movement initiated in Massachusetts in the 1840s began a process of centralization and bureaucratization that came into its full flowering in the 20th century.

Education spending began the century at one percent of GDP, primarily at the local level. In the early decades, from 1910 to 1940, spending increased to accommodate the build out of high schools.

After World War II, spending increased due to an expansion in higher education and the increases in teacher pay. Allowing for a dip during World War II and a bulge in the 1970s, government spending for education has steadily increased year on year, reaching 6 percent of GDP in 2008. Education spending is declining as a percent of GDP in the 2010s.

Throughout the history of government education, most education has been provided by local governments. However since World War II the federal government has increased its role, starting with the GI Bill and continuing with periodic enactment and expansion of educational grant programs to local K-12 schools and state colleges. (Note: the blue sector in the chart is intergovernmental transfer from the federal government to state and local governments, i.e., grants.)"

Sean said...

"not just a bunch of educators teaching what they think is fun."

Evidence this was occurring, or is this just a cheap shot?

John said...

Now I am very aware of this from years of talking to Teachers, and working with Engineers. It seems to be a shared characteristic, the desire to be creative and in control. I mean "they know what is most important"...

This source is interesting.

"The results of this study provide some key policy considerations for administrators at schools looking to recruit and retain high quality teachers. One key takeaway is that both teachers and administrators are skeptical of the effectiveness and value of highly structured, scripted curriculum. Administrators felt as though it was stifling and ineffective, while teachers saw it as undesirable to the point where they would require significantly more money to teach a scripted curriculum. This means that, if these teachers are representative, schools that institute highly scripted curricula will need to pay significantly more money to recruit the same teachers they would have access to if they offered more curricular freedom."

John said...

One interesting case study was the middle school science Teacher who loved monarch butterflies. My oldest daughter now probably knows more about Monarchs and other butterflies than most kids her age. Thankfully by the time child 2 got to sixth grade the Teacher had been brought back into the fold.

Now I have no problem with my daughter learning in great detail about butterflies, however the question is what did she not cover in sixth grade science that she should have been studying.

Sean said...

I think you're mistaking the "what" versus the "how". Generally speaking, my experience would be that the teachers want to control the how, not necessarily the what.

John said...

Imagine how great of a job the Teacher's used to have.

There was a rough curriculum that wasn't very enforced, so as a Teacher you could teach the kids about things that you were most passionate about at the time. And then you could skim over that "other less fun and less important stuff". And though you did want all the the kids to learn, you could really focus on the students that listened in class and you liked.

This flexibility and autonomy must have been incredible!!!

And then there is NOW... It is very clear what the kids need to know at the end of each grade, so you have to cover it all in depth. And you sure don't have time to take detours into areas you are passionate about.

And worse yet someone is going to "grade your performance" on how well you got your students to understand the content. "How dare they grade me??? I am the Teacher !!!"

John said...

How vs What.

As far as I know they have plenty of flexibility still in the how...
It is the what that has been taken away from them.

That is why they complain about "teaching to the test."

I don't think anyone cares how the kids get the correct answer. (ie multiple choice computer tests) It just matters that they get the correct answer. No one is grading the steps taken to get it.

John said...

And there is no partial credit for following the correct process, and getting the wrong answer.

John said...

So many styles possible

Anonymous said...

"I don't think anyone cares how the kids get the correct answer."

How does that explain the (mostly right wing) uproar over "Common Core"?

Joel

Laurie said...

teachers have been using standards to guide their teaching for about 15 years (or more) and education spending has been flat for many years. There is no sizeable increase in spending also caused by the Union / Education Bureaucracy.

some of your other opinions are probably based on faulty facts, too. Those 2 bits of misinformation just jumped out at me.

John said...

Joel,
Unfortunately those far right anti-common core folks are like the Engineers and Teachers. They are absolutely certain that they and those 20 local special interest folks in the district are more qualified to judge what should be taught and how than the experts who have conducted global bench marking and research.

Laurie,
Did you actually look at the Ed spending link?

Laurie said...

education spending looks flat to me from about 1970.

also, from what I see most conservatives are against common core, and most conservatives are also far right, so I guess I don't disagree with you, except that this is about 75% of GOP voters.

jerrye92002 said...

I couldn't find that education spending link, but both personal experience and previous research tells me that, since about 1970, per pupil spending has increased by somewhere between 2 and 3 times, without a corresponding improvement in achievement.

As for entitlement spending, I'll blame Congress all the way back to FDR, if you like, for making spending promises without understanding the reality of how those promises would be financed. Medicare is a great example. "In 1967 long-run forecasts estimated that Medicare would cost about $12 billion by 1990. In reality, it cost more than $98 billion that year. Today it costs $500 billion." -- Reason magazine