Thursday, December 12, 2013

You can't make Chicken Salad out of Chicken Shit

The hopeless pile of hypocrisy that is the Republican party is spinning up a storm on the latest budget deal. Here's one such attempt at alchemy from the National Review.

It's full of LOLZ, but here's the craziest part of all:

"70 percent of the sequester remains in place in those two years, and after those two years the entire sequester remains in place."

This of course is 100% stupid.

They are modifying the sequester right now after it being in place ONE YEAR and this guy is assuring us that it won't get touched again in all the many budget deals that will have to be struck over the next 8 years.

Either he's a dope or he thinks all his readers are dopes.

People, the current deal isn't for 10 years. Once you establish a precedent of going back and undoing the sequester, it will just become easier and easier and easier to undo more and more and more of it.

I would love to wager the author, Yuval Levin, $1000 on whether or not this deal will be the only legislated change to the original sequester over the next 8 years, but I think he is actually smart enough to know that he's full of it.

Hat tip to LeBron.


John Thacker said...

The truth is, they only control one House of Congress, and these numbers are halfway between the House budget (which cut slightly from the sequester) and the Senate budget.

Perhaps they could have another shutdown over this, but the earlier shutdown probably ensures that another one would be blamed on them.

Anonymous said...

8 years is far to conservative for a $1000 dollar bet. Try two years and you might find a taker.

John Thacker said...

Hmm, this is the same Angus who wrote regarding why the previous shutdown was a bad idea and unachievable:

simultaneous control of the House, Senate and Presidency does not appear to be in the near-term cards for the GOP (nor even a veto-proof majority in both houses of congress).

Hopeless hypocrites are everywhere, it seems.

Pelsmin said...

The budget deal just agreed could be a good thing, if you make a few assumptions. The Republicans are inherently spend-crazy, despite claiming fiscal conservatism. The Democrats are inherently spend-crazy, and defend the righteousness of this view (albeit with no intellectual integrity.)
RIght now we have Repubs forced to negotiate with a party in power that wants to increase spending, increase taxes and even allow the deficit to grow, a triple play, so the only question is how quickly we will bring about our ruin.

If the Repubs keep their powder dry, avoid a shutdown which, justified or not, damaged their standing in the public's eye, they may take the Senate in 11 months. If they do, we will end up with Repubs professing their claims of fiscal prudence while confronting a financial disaster. Without the denier-Democrats in power, who don't even acknowledge the reality of the crisis, we may have a chance of reining things in.

This "optimism" isn't based on any faith in the republican leadership. It's more based on a hope that the current leadership will be thrown out and replaced with leaders more beholden to what the Tea Party movement claimed to support before becoming just another political group; smaller government, less spending and taxes, personal responsibility, reduced meddling in private lives.

Anyone on this blog oppose ANY of those principles? You may hate the hypocritical Repubs, but which of the two parties has the greater chance of delivering against that?

Angus said...

As usual John, your enlightened commentary flies above my pay grade. I get that you are calling me a hypocrite, but I don't really get why.

John Thacker said...

The Republicans control one house of Congress. The Democrats have a pretty consistent negotiating position. The Republicans have the choice of compromising, or breaking off talks and having a government shutdown (that they would most likely be blamed for, even if the stated Dem position is blowing up the sequestration caps.)

Angus, you were one of the people saying that a shutdown in order to push for something impossible that the Senate and White House wouldn't agree to was irresponsible and didn't reflect reality back a couple of months ago. (Whether the shutdown or trying to get cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.) Yet here you're saying that refusing to shutdown the government in order to push for something impossible that the Senate and White House won't agree to is "hopeless hypocrisy."

Seems to me like you change your position depending on the prevailing winds.

Personally, I certainly agree that it would be much better to force a shutdown fight over the sequester, and to have avoided a shutdown fight over the PPACA. I also think that the earlier shutdown makes it harder to pick one here. But I think that your extreme rantings, proclaiming advocates of the opposite tactic hopeless or crazy, are really weird, considering that you seem to change your own endorsement of preferred tactic yourself depending on the day.

John Thacker said...

Talk to Democrats; they also think that it's a sucky deal, very far from their original negotiating position.

It's certainly true that Yuval is silly to claim that the sequester won't get touched in the next 8 years. But it's also silly to pretend that it wouldn't get touched this year in a budget deal, particularly when the Democratic preferred budget and negotiating position was that the sequester must go.

It's just odd to find you now taking the position that you called loony a few months ago, back when people were calling others like you "hopeless hypocrites" for not supporting a shutdown to repeal PPACA.

John Thacker said...

And inversely, it's a bit odd to call other people "hopeless hypocrites" for doing what you yourself advocated a few months ago.

I agree with you on most of the specifics; the sequester was and is a good thing, should have been maintained, and the previous shutdown was a bad idea since the goal was unattainable.

I'm not surprised to find strong criticism of this deal from people who also supported the previous shutdown and opposed raising the debt ceiling without budget cuts, and flung around epithets to those who thought those were a bad idea. What I find weird are people who get in a high dudgeon for the two opposite positions, attacking people for holding their own previous position.

Angus said...

There is a big difference between a minority trying to change the status quo (repeal Affordable Care Act) and a minority trying to maintain the status quo (stick to the Budget Control Act).

In my opinion the first is not possible, the second is much more likely.