For the Love of the Money (or alternatively, fiscal responsibility)

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the O’Jays, as they are fellow Buckeyes.

    Maybe Don Cornelius has some ideas on reducing the deficit?Report

  2. That’s rather absolutist of you to say that government spending cuts won’t happen. You might see some deep,deep cuts before all this is over. America is sick of tax and spend, and while you think they might not want the government to cut their favorite programs, many, many Americans don’t get very much from government in the form of welfare, yet pay a whole lot in. The government can’t tax enough to pay for the coming state financial storm.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to mike farmer says:

      Well Bush and the Republicans certainly plumbed the limits of borrow and spend, Mike, which is why they can barely even say fiscal responsibility with a straight face.Report

    • Avatar Joseph FM in reply to mike farmer says:

      “Won’t” does not mean “shouldn’t”. That cuts of any real significance will not be happening until our creditors force them on us strikes me as an utterly obvious political reality regardless of what anyone’s preferences are. To say this is no more absolutist than any of your own statements.

      I mean, I think that eventually even the US will fall prey to the kind of international monetary crisis that have plagued most other states with excessive public debt, and will be forced into austerity. But I don’t think that’s what you were implying, Mike.Report

      • Avatar mike farmer in reply to Joseph FM says:

        Yes, that is what I’m saying, plus, I have no problem making absolutist statements (I was kidding with the non-absolutists — some things are amenable to absolutes) when economic laws are involved. If I spend more than I make, at some point I will absolutely have to cut spending, make more, or collapse financially. There is a limt to “making more”, so I have to cut spending if spending continues to exceed what I can bring in.Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    Jamelle, flat out eliminating the possibility of any government cuts makes no sense to me as a Democrat. Where is it written that we as a party must embrace the same absolutism that hurtled the Republicans off the cliff into the political wilderness? Your third suggestion: taxes on soda, is a prime example. Why why would we tax soda and sugar drinks when we are massively subsidizing the very sweeteners that are causing the problem? Obama currently is facing no challenge from within the party or without, where is this idea that he is enslaved to the agribusiness interests coming from?
    What is it about cutting wasteful harmful government spending that is so much an anathema to the left? Why can our party not embrace some sensible ideas from the center, capture the title of fiscally responsible party for ourselves, the loyalty of the intellectually honest libertarians and establish a majority for a generation? I don’t understand.Report

    • Avatar Jamelle in reply to North says:

      I think North gets my point. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have any cuts in federal spending – I, for one, would love to see significant cuts in our defense spending – but in all honesty, it’s very unlikely that the political will exists for those cuts.Report

      • Avatar Jamelle in reply to Jamelle says:

        Oops, and I meant to say, “I think Joseph FM gets my point”Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jamelle says:

          Here I was getting all excited. If your position is Josephs; that the political reality won’t permit cuts, then I am sorrowfully in agreement. I just don’t fully appreciate why. Surely there are some concrete practical cuts that Obama could make. What about no more business as usual? What about hope and change? What about bridging the partisan divide? What about political acumen?! I mean look at the libertarian wing of the right; they’ve been screwed more by Bush’s term than the left has. The rest of the party is essentially telling fiscal conservatives to “Shut up and pray” when it comes to policy. Even the lip service to libertarianism seems perfunctory. They’re hemorrhaging libertarians all over the place. I mean honestly, how many cuts would it take to swing them around even just for a cycle or two? The republicans gave them nothing when they had every reason to give them something. What kind of cuts would it take to have Libertarians reward Obama with votes next season? I don’t think it would take much. Hey Mike, Jaybird etc… if Obama axed some government programs how many do you think he’d have to slash to get your approval? How many would he have to cut to get rewarded with your vote next election? For the next two?

          Now I’m off to nurse my deflated ego. Curse you Joseph! *Fistshake*Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

            At this point, I don’t know what he could do to get my approval.

            I mean, even the stuff that I thought he’d be good at… he’s awful at.

            For example, I expected the DEA to stop raiding medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Not a big step, right? He could even hide behind the whole “people with cancer on chemo” thing and how he wants to bust dealers who are likely to be engaging in violence. Maybe he could even say something about going against California law isn’t his number one priority right now if he wanted Libertarians to swoon. Nope, medical marijuana places are still being busted.

            So it’s not like I can say “oh, drop the TSA and I’ll get on board” or something like that. I don’t have enough creativity to know where to begin that particular daydream.

            The stuff that would get me to say “well, I won’t yell anymore” (or similar) is stuff like “be good where democrats and libertarians are supposed to overlap”. Medicinal Marijuana. Gay Marriage.

            As it stands now, he’s another George Bush… the stuff where he’s worth defending are things where Democrats and Libertarians don’t overlap… and the stuff where they do overlap, he’s the opposite of good.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

              Thanks for the opinion Jaybird. I don’t consider him the second coming of W but I’m no great fan. I’ll admit, he’s surprised me, I expected something (anything) daring based on his rhetoric but I’m still waiting to see it. He’s got a while yet for me to see if this is one of his supposed long game/rope-a-dope strategems or just political cowardice/hypercaution.Report

          • Avatar mike farmer in reply to North says:

            I’ve written several times on my blog, that if Obama had begun his presidency by being a leader who ended corporate welfare, increased the power of private school alternatives, ended the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, and started trimming the waste in government, he would be wildly popular, but he has committed to so many grand government schemes, now, he would have to admit to having an epiphany. Recently someone said he has two faults — inability to admit that his views need to change and lack of economic understanding. Obama is an idealist who doesn’t understand the generation of wealth and the importance of wealth generation. Many of his supporters loved it when they thought he was a Clinton pragmatist, but he only talked pragmatism. Obama doesn’t understand that government is incapable of running the type of world he envisions. His lack of understanding regarding government limitations will be his downfall — he’s surrounded by people who believe an elite group of technocrats can manage the U.S. and it’s global interactions — this is sad, laughable, and just a little scary.Report

      • Avatar mike farmer in reply to Jamelle says:

        I got your point, too, I just disagree that spending will not be cut — it will have to be cut, and fairly soon.Report

  4. You forgot to add, “Put those N million people who work and live in this country but aren’t citizens on the tax rolls”. Sane immigration policy can actually be a fiscal boost.

    I do think there are quite a few venues for cuts in the national budget, but this will take actual, real action from fiscal conservatives (in both the Democrat and Republican parties) working on popularizing reining in spending… or a broad hand of a President who isn’t looking at re-election. Personally, I think conservatives who want financial responsibility can make big political inroads among moderates (who they’ve largely alienated) by proposing precisely those cuts in the military budget.Report

  5. Avatar Scott says:

    Why doesn’t Obama try a new tactic for Dems which is cutting spending? We’ve already had a stimulus spending bill, cash for clunkers and now he wants to spend almost a billion to socialize health care.Report

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