Reader: the deal is a massive defeat for tea partiers

Randy B. writes:

Today the media have been “regrettably” promoting the overwhelming win of the Tea Party’s influence in the current debt proposal. Can Tea Party members be that dumb? This budget proposal is a massive loss for the Tea Party faithful, and a major win for Obama, Soros, and Progressives regardless of their level of insanity. Not one budget cut until 2014, and an almost instant increase in the debt ceiling by almost $2.7 trillion (the largest single spending increase by any government in world history). Massive tax increases in the form of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the fact that Obamacare looks to have survived all Constitutional challenges (short of the Supreme Court). And Obama, emboldened by the historic win, comes on the TV today and says that he will absolutely demand that “the wealthy have to pay their part.”

In addition, where the Republican’s had the upper hand, and could have brought this up again just before the 2012 election, they caved. Given Americans’ short term memory, who honestly believes that this “budget crisis” will have more than a few weeks shelf life? After the media get done spinning big lies, they will come back to the fact that Obama won, and because he saved us from the brink deserves reelection. If I were angrier at our elected officials, my head would pop off and hover over the residual heat thermals of my body.

The media are not wrong to believe that many of the Tea Party mindset will take their bait, move on to the next topic of discord, and swim off belly full of the Obama debt scare machine.

No, this is not a win, rather it is a further indication of the corrupt core of our government, showing that not even the monumental Republican victory in the House was enough to stop the Obama Marxist Socialist Machine. We are doomed.

- end of initial entry -

B.S. writes:

Randy B. is correct. The Republicans held all the cards, but gave their hand away when they stressed the debt ceiling would be raised. No Congress can hold a succeeding Congress to budget demands. Claiming savings over 10 years has always been nonsense.

We cannot make dramatic cuts after the federal debt has been increased by $4 trillion in just two and a half years?

We are doomed.

Lydia McGrew writes:

No doubt your reader Randy B. is right on the big picture and, economically, we are doomed. But I don’t quite understand his statement that Obamacare appears to have survived all constitutional challenges short of the Supreme Court. Judge Vinson declared the individual mandate unconstitutional and declared that it was non-severable. That was a pretty important setback. Of course the matter will ultimately be decided in the Supreme Court, but it hasn’t in fact survived all constitutional challenges short of that.

Richard W. writes:

I disagree with Randy B. The GOP only has the majority in the House. They cannot force their vision through; they must compromise. They could refuse to raise the debt limit, resulting in default, but that would mean endless “Nasty Republicans make Grandmother Eat Dog Food” news stories. As well as taking the blame for economic issues between now and forever. And for what? After a few days a compromise would have to be reached anyway, but with the GOP taking body blows it would have much weaker position in the negotiations.

Nope, this is as good as we could hope for. For proof, recall Gingrich’s gambit.

Gingrich, who thought he could govern from the House, took the debt limit tactic to its illogical end (with a GOP run Senate to back him), and let the government shut down. But he then could not take the heat of the shutdown. He caved. Clinton came out looking like the mature compassionate one, and Clinton won re-election. Newt scared the heck out of a lot of retired people in places like Florida and Arizona—states that Obama still needs to win.

Boehner and McConnell, in contrast, did not fall into the trap. The retired people are not terrified and are not buying the hysteria. The only one who really talked about not sending Social Security checks was Obama. They rope-a-dope’d him.

By taking it to the edge, but then agreeing at the 11th hour, the Tea Party has accomplished a lot. They have shown they can be trusted both to push hard for their ideals, but to compromise rather than cause a huge economic crisis to blow up. They have demonstrated that they are dead serious about cutting back the size of government, but that they can not do it with a Democratic President and Senate.

In the process they have made Obama look just terrible. Vain, arrogant, incompetent, hectoring, disengaged. It’s not a picture that will soon fade from memory.

This was not the ground to fight the final battle of the war, it was an early skirmish, and the Tea Party did indeed carry the day. Onward to November 2012.

Paul M. writes:

Randy B. wrote

“No, this is not a win, rather it is a further indication of the corrupt core of our government, showing that not even the monumental Republican victory in the House was enough to stop the Obama Marxist Socialist Machine. We are doomed.”

Isn’t despair a sin?

Randy B. writes:

Lydia—Judge Vinson’s decision has not stopped the forced implementation in his district. Not to mention he stayed his own decision. Obama wins.

Richard—The GOP only has the House, but that is all they need to stop runaway and corrupt government from the future demise of America. Anyone who believes that we would have defaulted on the interest on the debt, military pay, or Social Security payments is not only ignorant of our fiscal position, but wantonly buys into Obama’s scare tactics. The interest is six percent, military pay and Social Security is another six percent (plus or minus depending on who is doing the reporting). The Nasty Republican’s should not fear taking the blame, but should do as they were hired and take responsibility for stemming the tide of corrupt spending by a majority of socialist elected officials. Suggesting that compromise was our only option is a terrible mistake. I guess the world has swallowed the Blue Pill, and has bought into the lie that politics is all about compromise. The opposite is true, as compromise is the most corrosive tenet of politics and only ever means that everyone has to give something in the hopes of getting less.

The best we could hope for? The best we could hope for was a cut, cap and balance-budget amendment to the Constitution, but then what would it actually matter, since not even a third of our Congress believes in the Constitution, and a smaller percentage is willing to uphold it.

As soon as the Senate votes to follow the House’s coming out vote, the media will turn their story on the dime, and instantly start promoting this as a massive tactical win for Obama. VFR’s readers are well above being led down the primrose path by such a stratagem.

Paul—Reality is sometimes depressing, and stating facts should not be perverted to be suggested as sin.

LA replies:

You said we are “doomed.” Saying we are “doomed” goes beyond stating a fact. Also, it is not merely “depressing.” It is an expression of despair.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

Based on the usual superficial treatment in the press, at this point I tend to agree with Randy B. However, I need to read the complete text of the bill to arrive at a firm conclusion.

I expect that we will see that all future budgets exceed FY 2011. About 70 percent of the federal budget is on automatic pilot, which means formulas determine the level of spending. If Congress does nothing, the new spending levels automatically take effect. On the other hand, the so-called “discretionary” part requires that that Congress pass, and the president sign, 12 separate pieces of legislation. If Congress does nothing, then the discretionary programs don’t have authorization even to spend money they already have. The “cuts” we hear about really mean decreases from projected spending. Thus when the CBO “scores” legislation, they make a projection, called the “baseline,” and make an increase or decrease from there. The baseline usually rises with inflation. Don’t be surprised to see the budget increase even though it was supposedly “cut.” This brings up another gimmick, war spending. If in (say) five years we are no longer spending money on the Afghanistan war, then how does that effect the score? That depends on whether spending on the war goes into the baseline, this ambiguity opens up the opportunity to game the whole budget scoring exercise. Don’t take what you read in the media very seriously.

Keith Hennessey’s home page has three posts analyzing the Budget Control Act passed today. VFR readers might want to read his analysis. He had a good memo for freshmen Congressmen that explains the budget process, but I can’t find it anymore. Hennessey supports the Act.

August 2

Joel P. writes:

Paul M. writes: “Isn’t despair a sin?”

So is the compromise with evil that Richard W. and so many others thinks is so necessary. It is not.

I’m with Randy B.

Paul T. writes:

Question: Isn’t the despair that is a sin despair over one’s own salvation? As opposed to, say, despair that a mere country (a mortal construct in any case, whatever one’s degree of patriotic attachment to it) or its economy or its political system will survive? To take the point to an extreme, I might “despair” that my lottery ticket will be the one that wins millions, but that wouldn’t be a sin.

LA replies:

I don’t think so. It’s not just despair over salvation that is the sin. It’s an attitude of despair, of giving up on life, giving up on the good.

This is from Wikipedia’s discussion of acedia, which is a subset of sloth, one of the seven deadly sins:

Acedia (Latin, acedia) is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is similar to melancholy, although acedia describes the behaviour, while melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a willful refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world God created; by contrast, apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need.

So in a broader sense, despair means giving up hope of the good. This applies to hope of the good in this life as well as the next life. Obviously giving up hope of any particular good, such as winning the lottery (though that’s an inappropriate example of a good, since gambling is not something that pleases God) is not despair. What constitutes despair is giving up hope of the good itself.

Paul T. replies:

Many thanks! I have my own struggles with acedia - this was a very helpful reply.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 01, 2011 07:48 PM | Send

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