Trump head fakes a veto

…decides swamp is a wetland.

Trump is signing an insane anti-budget delivered to him by a Congress of Fools.

Economically unhinged. Justified as funding the military, but an existential threat to the country.

$500 million for Planned Parenthood. NICS checks to be changed to keep some Seniors from owning guns. Continued funding of sanctuary cities. 25% of the Bill’s paper volume is dedicated to earmarks.

Democrats made me do it. Trust me, I won’t do it again.

Sickening.

Protection racket

I don’t remember where I found the link to the ThinkProgress post entitled Republicans Reject Obamacare ‘Fix’ Because It Includes Too Many Consumer Protections, and I am certainly not going to risk sending them any traffic by providing it here. Still, the hypocrisy should be noted for its humor. The post castigates House Republicans for rejecting a Democrat bill that allowed insurance companies to provide consumers with the plans Obama promised them they could keep.

The Democrat version differed from the bill the Republicans (along with 39 Democrats) did pass in that the Democrat version:

1- Did not allow new policyholders to buy the plans
2- Mandated that insurers notify policyholders of exchange options
3- Mandated that existing rate review processes apply to renewed plans

In other words, it put further burdens on insurance companies – making it unlikely they could even offer the plans in the new few weeks. Both “fixes” allow the plans to be sold and, therefore, equally violate consumer protection by offering the plans the Democrats call “substandard” “junk.”

There is a more humorous aspect, however. The consumer protection laws ThinkProgress finds so important absolutely prohibit false advertising and fraud. Those are crimes the President committed when he repeatedly lied about Obamacare. What consumers need is protection from the President.

The #SeekRenters

The sequester debate isn’t about spending cuts, it’s about a tiny slowing in the rate of increase of funds transferred to Federal rent seekers. Noted in the Wall Street Journal: The Unscary Sequester

In Mr. Obama’s first two years, while private businesses and households were spending less and deleveraging, federal domestic discretionary spending soared by 84% with some agencies doubling and tripling their budgets.

… from 2008-2013 federal discretionary spending has climbed to $1.062 trillion from $933 billion—an increase of 13.9%. Domestic programs grew by 16.6%, much faster than the 11.6% for national security.

Transportation funding alone climbed to $69.5 billion in 2010 with the stimulus from $10.7 billion in 2008, and in 2013 the budget is still $17.9 billion, or about 67% higher. Education spending more than doubled in Mr. Obama’s first two years and is up 18.6% to $68.1 billion from 2008-2013.

… total discretionary domestic spending is up closer to 30% from 2008-2013. The sequester would claw that back by all of about 5%.

… The sequester will surely require worker furloughs and cutbacks in certain nonpriority services. But most of those layoffs will happen in the Washington, D.C. area, the recession-free region that has boomed during the Obama era.

If Mr. Obama were really serious about improving the equality of income distribution, he might consider that a positive. According to Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, about

“…15 cents of every dollar from the entire federal procurement budget stays in or around the government’s hometown. …”We’re seeing an enormous transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the Washington economy,” said Fuller.”

Upton Sinclair was a socialist, but when he said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it,” he was on to something; though he did neglect to mention the mendacity of politicians in fostering said ignorance. The threats issuing forth from the Obama administration – to prioritize cutting baby food and meat inspection rather than not funding the next Solyndra or ending high speed rail boondoggles; and putting slashing veterans benefits ahead of cancelling the DOD’s “green” projects – show a cynical disregard for taxpayers and reveal the deep hypocrisy of the president’s purported compassion.

Creative Accounting

Reuters reports “U.S. posts $3 billion budget surplus for January“. They fail to note that from December through January US debt rose by $137 billion.

This “surplus” is as if you counted a $500 per month raise as extra cash, while calling the $20,000 you borrowed and spend at the race track “long term debt.”

The Clown the Cop and the Clown

New York Times blogger Timothy Egan, in a post titled The Clown and the Cop, attempts to demonstrate why “Tea Party” types are ignoramuses whose priorities are fatally skewed because of addiction to FOX News. Instead, he demonstrates over-immersion in the Statist echo chamber, and reveals a general allergy to principle.

The first Clowns of the title are GSA employees who dropped nearly a million dollars on a party in Vegas. The Cop is the guy the GOP wants to “put on the street,” and not in an employed way. In between there’s mention of a $642 billion dollar defense appropriations bill (“$8 billion more than the Defense Department asked for.“).

These introductory themes are somewhat loosely coupled by Egan’s disdain and blind faith.

  • Disdain for the GOP’s hatred of public employees in general, and Mitt Romney’s deplorable views in particular.
  • Blind faith that Barack Obama is not responsible for anything that happens on his watch.

Oh, and there’s a slap or 3 for FOX News – really for anyone possessed of the temerity to disagree with the NYT narrative.

Egan: [M]ost people are unaware that the Republican majority, the same politicians who rode into office in 2010 (on a pledge of not spending beyond our means, voted to run up the deficit last month on behalf of those parochial projects.
The Republican majority?  Egan is apparently unaware that the Democrats control the Senate and the White House as he writes, and in 2010 also controlled the House, where they, like the Democrat Senate, were busy not passing budgets.

Egan: “[Obama] has been stymied by a Congress that wants to end his presidency by sabotaging the economy”
The Democrat majority Senate has a poor record in resisting this sabotage. It voted 0-0 for a budget in 2010 (no budget was considered in the Democrat House or Democrat Senate). The president’s proposed budgets were defeated in the Democrat Senate 97-0 (2011) and 99-0 (2012). The Democrat Senate has not performed their legal budgetary responsibility since April of 2009. 

The president has tried to kill the Keystone pipeline, encouraged the EPA to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant (Obama’s stated plan was that electricity rates “would necessarily skyrocket”), conducted withering class warfare against job creators, wasted tens of billions picking “winners” like Solyndra, and made investors wary by demonstrating his willingness to ignore the rule of law: The 100% loss he decreed for GM and Chrysler bondholders, the shipment of firearms to criminals in another sovereign state and subsequent coverup, and suspension of immigration law in defiance of Article Two, Section 3, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution, to name but three.

Egan: “Obama is a relative miser on the [spending] growth chart”
Only because the baseline jumped so high with TARP – which the tea party opposed.  Obama, in 3 years, has run up a deficit – on top of TARP as a baseline – greater than the combined previous deficits since 1787.

Egan: on Romney “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president,” Romney said in Colorado last month. “Let’s send them back home and put you back to work.”

Again, this is simply not true.
There are, in fact, 145,000 more Federal government employees.  (You have to go to the 4th from last paragraph, that is an ABC report, after all. It’s amazing they even noted it.)

Those 145,000 are the ones under president Obama. Egan disingenuously counts local and state government employees, and though that’s on whom the vast majority of the stimulus money was spent, it is not what Mr. Romney was talking about.

And while I know “The private sector is doing fine,” Mr. Egan might further have noted that job losses run 11 to 1 against the private sector – 11 private sector jobs lost for every 1 government job lost, even when you consider those state and local employees.

Mr. Egan’s general ignorance of principle, however, is his largest failure. He does not know that the clown and the defense department are of equal importance, because it is not the amount of money that is the point.  It’s the venality on steroids, and in-your-face disrespect for the rule of law that are at issue for this administration. For example.

Analysis of our president’s address to a Joint Session of Congress

Anyone who opposes me… blah, blah… Democrat applause line… blah, blah… is a foolish, anti-American, baby eating Republican… blah, blah… applause line no one could disagree with if they believed he meant it… blah, blah… Democrat applause line… who deserves to be tarred and feathered because he hates teachers, old people and bridges… blah, blah… blah, blah… hundreds of billions… blah, blah… fiscally responsible, will be paid for… bleh, bleh… there’s an election in 14 months… blah, blah.

He does seem to have got his 2008 teleprompters back in service. They did a fine job.

Iceberg ahead, Sir! Steady as she goes, Helmsman.

Nancy Pelosi is being coy about her support for the Government bailout of the Government. Congressional Liberals are whinging about ‘Satan Sandwiches.’ The statist street is suggesting Obama has betrayed them – again. The Vice President called the tea party “terrorists.” “Hostage takers,” is the Progressive phrase of the day. If the hard left doesn’t like it, it must be good, right? After all, the Wall Street Journal is calling the debt deal a ‘big win’ for the tea party, though continuing to criticize those who were elected for keeping their campaign promises.

It’s a set up. All this angst is to reinforce the idea that the tea party philosophy is rigid and unreasonable. It is not rigid, it is principled. It is not the least unreasonable. Still, in the next round we’re going to hear, “You terrorist cretins refused to compromise last time, and THIS TIME you’re not getting your way.”

Here’s the terrible thing those moronic Hobbits wrought:

  • $9 trillion Baseline increase over ten years
  • $0.917 trillion spending reduction
  • For a $8.083 trillion Baseline increase over ten years

  • Add to that a $1.5 trillion Budget Act Super Committee tax increase, (my prediction) and you get… a $9.583 baseline spending increase over ten years.

And that’s if future Congresses don’t go back on the promises of the current pirates, and the largest tax increase in American history is enacted by letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

Oh, and we get to have a fantasy vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment in the Senate.

Status quo on the debt trajectory. Size and scope of government unchanged. Summary: We avoid a liquidity crisis by increasing the ongoing solvency crisis.

Here are two examples of what the debt ceiling deal means will continue.

Graphs courtesy Zero Hedge.

You decide if that represents an immediate, existential threat to the United States.

If the tea party are Hobbits, John McCain is Boromir

Nominations for Grima Wormtongue are open.

John McCain quoted the Wall Street Journal the other day to the effect that tea party aspirations for an end to fiscal insanity resemble a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy.

…[T]he tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

Yesterday, the Journal found it expedient to explain the obvious:

These columns drew much notice after John McCain quoted our July 27 “tea party hobbits” line on the Senate floor. Senator (sic) Sharron Angle responded that “it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.” Well, okay, but our point was that there’s no such thing as a hobbit.

Serious debt reduction achieved in a bi-partisan kumbaya outbreak is a fantasy. It’s right up there with belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Social Security ‘Trust’ fund. And it will forever be a fantasy, absent some major shake-up. The Journal’s core assumption is that not raising the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps not.

As to fantasy, the same could reasonably have been said, and was, of the Declaration of Independence. The difference between the Revolution and the debt ceiling question is the immediacy and level of perceived risk.

If you do not think resolution of the Federal spending question involves an imminent, existential threat to the Republic, why would you think Hobbits are imaginary?

If you assume we will return to fiscal sanity at some later date – savings and investments intact, ‘social compact’ reformed – because the GOP will fix it all when they take the Senate and Presidency in the next election: You may be indulging in a fantasy. As Senator McCain has demonstrated, we wouldn’t even be having the debate if we hadn’t elected the Hobbits.

If you assume the Democrats will seriously address spending, or even co-operate in so doing, you are beyond fantasy.

The WSJ‘s analogy could be extended. The Hobbits didn’t want to take on Sauron, they were forced to. They got little aid and no little betrayal from a corrupt establishment. They won, despite terrific odds which would only have become worse had they decided the problem could wait for an election in Mordor.

Twenty Two and Sixty

Who voted for a “voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion:”

Justin Amash (Mich.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Chip Cravaack (Minn.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Scott Desjarlais (Tenn.)
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Tim Huelskamp (Kans.)
Steve King (Iowa)
Tim Johnson (Ill.)
Tom McClintock (Calif.)
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)
Ron Paul (Texas)
Connie Mack (Fla.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Paul Broun (Ga.)
Tom Latham (Iowa)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Steve Southerland (Fla.)
Joe Walsh (Ill.)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)

Tim Walberg and Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) are notably absent.

Now Senator McConnell needs to stick to 60.