Allahpundit digs through this NY Times/CBS News poll, which shows 60% of respondents disapprove weakening collective bargaining rights for public unions, and comes to the right conclusion on spending:
For whatever reason — misinformation or simple denial — the public isn’t remotely serious yet when it comes to making painful choices on spending. When asked if budget cuts are a good thing in the abstract, they’re plenty supportive, but start identifying specific programs and industries that’ll have to make do with less and those cold feet start turning icy. [...]
I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity. Maybe nothing. Maybe we’re going to have to elect a bunch of Republicans who are fully prepared to sacrifice their careers by taking tough but necessary votes on the budget.
That sums up the problem pretty well. Governors around the country are trying to make extremely difficult choices when it comes to their respective state budgets, and the left has acted as expected. Here in New Jersey, the NJEA and their thugs were out in force last year as Governor Christie tackled the problem directly, the unions responded with vitriol about his weight, his well-being, rallies, etc., and we’re seeing that times ten in Wisconsin.
But as it pertains to Federal budget deficits, if we’ve learned anything over the past three years, it’s that the Democrats, and now President Obama are really not serious about reigning in spending or deficits, much less entitlement reform. And even with the Tea Party dragging the Republican party to a majority in the House, I’m not sure Republicans are willing to take that big of a political leap either. It appears that the political process will play out as a game of chicken over the next few months.
The Fed’s latest Beige Book report is out and shows an economic pulse that’s barely beating:
The U.S. economy continued growing this summer but “with widespread signs of deceleration,” according to a new report on business conditions around the country.
The Federal Reserve’s “beige book,” an eight-times-a-year compilation of anecdotal information from companies in the 12 Fed districts, offers a portrait of an uncertain economic moment in which growth has slowed in much of the United States.
“Economic growth at a modest pace was the most common characterization of overall conditions,” said the report, released Wednesday afternoon and based on interviews with businesspeople from mid-July through the end of August. However, five of the regional Fed banks east of the Mississippi River “highlighted mixed conditions or deceleration in overall economic activity.”
The anecdotal information contained in the beige book is consistent with a slew of economic reports showing that the burst of growth in late 2009 and early 2010 has not persisted through the summer, as the impact of businesses rebuilding their inventories and fiscal stimulus fades.
Therein lies the failure of Keynesian government spending used to stimulate demand. It generally is a one-time shot in the arm and does little to promote sustainable long-term growth.
It’s about time Democrats start accepting some responsibility of the ship they’ve been running for the better part of three years now.
The horror of “the last 8 years” has become it’s own self-perpetuating meme. The problem is that it’s a meme without meaning. Two of those eight years – now stretched to three out of the last nine – saw fiscal and regulatory policies determined by the Democrat Congressional majority, elected in 2006. Every economic indicator available shows that this is where America’s recent tribulations began.
The real horror – the years since the Democrat Congress rose to absolute power – hasn’t seen much discussion. It’s “all Bush’s fault”, as they say. But as the last ten years recede into the rear view mirror, we can see them in context. And 20/20 hindsight can often be quite revealing.
And if they don’t take most of the responsibility, which I’m sure they won’t, the Republicans need to force it on them come the midterm campaign, and establish that narrative.
I wrote along these lines back in January and how Republicans need to keep pointing out this fact. I’m not excusing the blatant excessive spending of the Republicans back during the Bush administration. But as Goy notes in his post, those years are quickly receding.
One other point worth noting–the entire “success” of the Obama administration and to an extent, that of Democrats in control, depends on the “Bush and Republicans screwed things up and we’re making it better” meme. This is made easier thanks to a complicit media. If Republicans want to roll back healthcare, if they want to stop whatever more economic destruction the Obama Democrats want to bring down on the country from now until November, Republicans need to grow a backbone and fight back–hard.
U.S. President Barack Obama will freeze the salaries of senior White House officials and other top political appointees for savings of $4 million in fiscal 2011, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.
The official told Reuters that Obama, in his State of the Union address on Wednesday, would likely mention the move, which will expand on the pay freeze he ordered last year.
That freeze affected White House staff earning more than $100,000 a year. It will be expanded to include political appointees working across the executive branch and in all agencies. The total number of people affected will be 1,200 for a saving of $4 million in fiscal 2011 beginning Oct. 1, the official said.
“Across the country, families and companies are making tough choices and the president is asking political appointees to be part of a government that is more careful and responsible with taxpayers’ dollars,” the official said. “These are difficult times.”
Yes. A whole $4 million dollars.
This is really pathetic. But then again, it’s nothing out of the ordinary for this president, making a big deal of $4 million in pay freezes to a gargantuan federal budget. I imagine the federal government uses that much on toilet paper on any given day. What a hypocrite.
On the bright side, $4 million could buy about four more wasted trips to Copenhagen just to get slapped in the face over some global warming climate change fiasco.