Democratic senators up for reelection in 13 months are now embracing, in their calls to delay Obamacare, the same themes as did the House Republicans and a few senators a few weeks ago—hoping to preempt mounting criticism. In this surreal landscape, three weeks ago Obamacare was unquestioned “settled” law (despite the fact that the president himself unsettled the law by suspending the employer mandate) that only dead-ender “anarchists” and “hostage takers” wished to stop or amend. Continue reading “Obamacare Redefines the Shutdown”→
No one knows what the effect of the presently unpopular shutdown will be 13 months from now on the eve of the 2014 elections, but it may be far less than the consequence of the Obamacare rollout. Continue reading “The Shutdown in 2014”→
The defunding wars are over. The accusations are fading. We are back to reality. Of course, America’s long-term prospects, at least in comparison with other countries’ futures — whether in terms of demography, military power, food-production constitutional stability, energy sources, or higher education — are bright.
But short term, we are walking over landmines that threaten to blow up the normal way of doing business, and pose far more harm for Democrats than for Republicans.
The real story about the debt is that by the end of Obama’s eight years, he will have matched the borrowing of all previous presidents combined. Yet incredibly, the present huge sum of $17 trillion in debt is serviced at the same cost that we paid over 15 years ago. Such free use of money without raging inflation is almost historically unprecedented — and it won’t last.
Indeed, we are paying today about the same amount in aggregate annual interest payments, in non-inflation-adjusted dollars no less, as in 1997 — even though the 2012 figure of $17 trillion in debt is about three times larger than it was a decade-and-a-half ago. That anomaly is possible only because today’s interest rate of about 2.2% is only a third of what it was back then. Continue reading “The Democratic Disasters to Come”→
The government gridlock is, to use now politically incorrect metaphors, only one lost battle in a long campaign, and we are now back to the original proposition of watching the administration try to implement Obamacare. We know the president does exceedingly well when he can campaign against the forces of darkness, but when attention, even for a moment, turns to his own efforts — Obamacare; the stimulus; Solyndra; cash for clunkers, Benghazi; the AP, IRS, and NSA scandals; gun control; Syria, etc. — as it will now for a few weeks until the next psychodramatic “war” against someone, he flounders. Continue reading “Where Now?”→
Republicans and Democrats are still name-calling in their arguments over the government shutdown, out-of-control federal spending, and the implementation of Obamacare. Yet if both sides would agree to just follow the earlier advice of President Obama, tempers might cool. And had President Obama himself just listened to earlier guidance from Barack Obama, his opponents might have had no cause for either a government shutdown or another debt-ceiling crisis.
In 2006, Obama rightly called for an end to the Bush administration’s intemperate deficit spending that had resulted in an annual deficit of $250 billion that year. Accordingly, Senator Obama voted to shut down the government rather than automatically to extend the debt ceiling. He explained his resistance this way: “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Obama rightly added an additional warning in forcing an impasse over further borrowing: “Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans — a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about.” Continue reading “Obama, Heed Thyself”→
Amid all the charges and countercharges in Washington over the government shutdown, there is at least one common theme: Barack Obama’s various charges always lead to a dead end. They are chaos, and chaos is hard to understand, much less refute. Continue reading “Obama as Chaos”→
At first glance, the Republicans seemed to be losing the so-called shut-down impasse, inasmuch as Obamacare, as the president termed it, was “settled law” and the Republicans did not have the congressional clout to overturn it. No one likes, after all, to be turned away from Yosemite on a pleasant autumn day, because of Beltway gymnastics.
Yet the politics are likely to change the longer this drags on, and at some point Obama will see the writing on the wall.
First, the legions of federally employed constituents, the lesser Lois Lerners of the bureaucracy, have played the shutdown badly. Like supervisors at the IRS, many want to freelance their pettiness to showcase their Obama fides—and thereby screw up. No one wishes to see veterans turned away from open-air monuments, while illegal aliens are invited into public federal spaces to protest against their supposedly insensitive host whose laws they are daily breaking (at a time of a government shutdown, try protesting en masse in the Zócalo in Mexico City for your inherent rights as an illegal, foreign resident of Mexico). Continue reading “Obama Will Cut a Deal Sooner Rather than Later”→