Legislative Entrenchment

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Robert Cheeks
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason, your explanation is spot on as I understand it. Where I disagree is that the young turks/tea partiers/shirelings do NOT have to agree today when they vote. They can vote NO, and I’m contacting my rep, Bill Johnson Oh-6, to ask him to hang tough.
    If we can’t get REAL reductions in fed spending now, when will we? As you know there does not have to be a default. The country can pay its debt bill, ss, medicare, military and some other stuff, the rest can be put in abeyance. Let the commie-Dems sort out who they want to pay, in the meantime, let’s meaningfully cut fed spending and save the next generation.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Robert Cheeks
      Ignored
      says:

      If we can’t get REAL reductions in fed spending now, when will we?

      When the GOP controls Congress and the WH? Hah!

      What, you can’t take a joke?Report

      • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Actually, GOP control of both Houses will swing it. Post-1994, Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming into fiscal responsibility and now gets credit for it.

        Perhaps BHO will be satisfied with such a legacy.

        Mr. Kuznicki properly hears through the noise:

        The biggest problem here is that Congress is completely incapable of binding itself over time. And everyone knows it.

        I would hate to compare this episode to Ft. Sumter, as it will only encourage Mr. Cheeks, and besides the South lost anyway. But this is just the beginning. GOP control of the House is relatively safe—the primary [or at least most attainable] goal of the Tea Party was a “restraining order” on the BHO/Pelosi agenda of Euro-stating the US. A new Golden Age of expanding FDRism and LBJism has been thwarted for the foreseeable.

        GOP control of the Senate post-2012 would make actual cuts possible, leaving BHO only his last ditch, his namesake health care initiative, which could still survive albeit bloodied and bruised. Like Reagan on the Soviets and Dubya on Afghanistan/Iraq, BHO could prove flexible if he can keep his One Big Thing.

        As for defense spending, the DoD budget is only $7-800B. With a $1.5T yearly deficit, even abolishing DoD gets us not nearly enough.

        “I would say … that symbolically, that agreement is moving us to the point where we are having the final interment of John Maynard Keynes,” [Sen. Dick Durbin] said, referring to the British economist. “He nominally died in 1946 but it appears we are going to put him to his final rest with this agreement.”

        Well, we have that going for us, which is nice. But even military spending has a Keynesian effect, so mebbe not so nice.Report

  2. Avatar CaffinatedOne
    Ignored
    says:

    This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Isn’t the ability to change policies with elections sort of key attribute of a representative democracy?

    If you don’t like what they’re doing, then elect different people.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    ‘Fully half of that comes from defense spending. And note that I didn’t say “security spending.” The Pentagon takes the full hit if the trigger goes off.’

    So the big boys see their DoD contracts cut, and then reapply under the aegis of DHS or CIA or Justice or Treasury or….

    (and who doesn’t love ‘Whole of Government’ solutions?)

    (really, does Klein never listen to the ads on WTOP?)Report

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