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Roger L. Simon

Mr. Ryan’s Dilemma

December 12th, 2013 - 9:24 pm

We saw that happen during Ted Cruz’s filibuster, when public approval for Republicans went to all-time lows. Cruz was certainly right about Obamacare, but the voters clearly didn’t care for his approach. Why repeat it, especially when you can get to the same place in other ways? And budget considerations are much more complex. With Obamacare, the bad results were in people’s faces almost immediately. The results of deficits are too far away and too easily obfuscated for most people to feel the pain immediately, even though it may ultimately be even more important.

So this is about strategy and it’s hard to see why Ryan didn’t have the correct one. He moves us closer to the goal, winning those elections and thereby being able to make serious change.

Although this is true, I can sympathize with those who are upset, even if I don’t agree with them. I am angry as well. Things have really gotten out of hand. But now is time for extra patience because the cards are still being dealt and they are coming our way. The wise poker player keeps his cool. Soon he may have four aces — or even draw to a straight flush.

In the meantime, we should be making constructive proposals, such as Rand Paul recently made about bringing “economic freedom zones” to Detroit. It is important to publicize such things widely because they are (relatively) fresh and creative. They expose the other side for what they are — stodgy, old and hypocritical.

Above all, when you are about to win, it is not the time to turn your guns on each other.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com elements, and with apologies to Muhammad Ali and George Lois.)

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Top Rated Comments   
It's funny how the left never worries about what levers of government they control when they insist on getting their way, even when Republicans are in control. You never hear them moaning about what a Republican President or a Republican House will find acceptable or unacceptable. You never hear them lecture their base about political realities and what can or can't be done.

Of course, there are plenty of "Republicans" willing to cave and vote with Democrats even when they have all three branches of government. For the GOP, there is never a hill worth defending, let alone dying on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We saw that happen during Ted Cruz’s filibuster, when public approval for Republicans went to all-time lows. Cruz was certainly right about Obamacare, but the voters clearly didn’t care for his approach."
============================
So what? LIV's have short memories.

Makes me wonder - whadda think the LIV's and the MSM would do with a Cruz filibuster - oh - maybe yesterday?

I'd say they might finally 'get it' - what he was trying to say.

As for bitching to conservatives when we rail against something like this - or O'Care or the sequester - and the 'reasonable' side of the conservative movement tell us "not now - this isn't the time for this fight" - all I see is a can rocketing out of sight down a dimly lit alley.

This is the message these 'reasonable' ones (small 'r') keep telling us. And what else are the small 'r' republicans saying? Wait till we get the senate - or wait till we get the WH. Gotta have all three to get anything done dontcha know?

Just seems like there never is a convenient time to go head to head with the never-ending progressive onslaught.

I'm tired of watching both sides kicking cans.

One side is winning - and it isn't We The People.

As for the 'circular firing squad'? Its more linear than you might think.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Why angry with Paul Ryan about the budget deal he made with Patty Murray?"

Oh I don't know... because a weak Obama now is better than waiting around for political fortunes that may never materialize.

If we don't have leverage with a president with low approvals and a moribund signature legislation around his neck WHEN?

2017 is too far down the road. Why wait until we are broker?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (210)
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We saw that happen during Ted Cruz’s filibuster, when public approval for Republicans went to all-time lows.

I keep seeing this. The fear that moment represents must be tremendous because I do keep seeing this moment in history referred to 'that horrible moment in which we all learned that is bad'

Not so.

I learned the precise opposite. For the next moment proves the point: the maliciousness of a malevolent oversized overdepartmentalized overbearing federal government.

Bring it.

Another please.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An attitude is not a strategy (as has been said of Obama's foreign policy.) Neither is "Forward, the Light Brigade!" Churchill's "fight them on the beaches..." was a strategy because he knew that eventually the Yanks would come. But no one will ride to our rescue unless we convince the bulk of the American people. Movement conservatives have an attitude; Ryan has a strategy.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger:

It's not that I am impatient with Conservatives (hell I have been waiting for along time for a conservative stand). It's more a problem with the GOP Sunday Soldiers who unwilling to fight. We've elected far too may of them.

If Paul Ryan would have said that this is the best deal we can negotiate with the current set of squishes in the House and the Senate, I would support the deal 100%. For the immediate future I am voting Tea Party candidates across the board.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Spending will go up and the debt is untouched. Please show how this moves "us" towards our goal. Show you work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Increasing spending next year by 5% is not 'treading water'.
Even were it, treading for what? A few more Senators, Senators!, to rush in and save the day?
As far as 'do no harm' that would have been sticking with current law and letting the Democrats in the Senate 'shut down the government' to eke out a little more spending.
There is not a whit of insight in the article. Boilerplate, baby.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, let's take a look at the summary of this budget deal.

First we had the Sequester, which did not cut a single non-defense budget item, but only reduced the rate of increase in the rest of the budget items by some tiny fraction.

Now we have this budget deal, which does not even hold to the tiny little budget restrictions that were *agreed* to, but instead increases spending *far* above these previously agreed to caps.

So now do you know why we were angry?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I generally like your articles and usually agree with your assessment. This time though you are simply making a political assessment on conservative criticism of Ryan's budget plan. In reality the criticism is because of the math and politicians, including Paul Ryan, don't like math. That was clear in Ryan's budget plans a couple years back as he never had a realistic balanced budget in it. Now he goes one step even further to the left and tells us he must increase spending in order to decrease the spending. Yes, and some pigs are more equal than others. Let's look at the math.

Our national debt is closing in on $17.3T. Annual interest payments on our debt (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm) $415B. That interest payment is based on our current average interest for Treasury Notes (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/rates/pd/avg/2013/2013_11.htm) which is right around 2%. Historically our interest on the debt is about 5%.

Why just 2% now when our national debt is skyrocketing higher than our GDP, and with no plan in sight to balance our budget? The Federal Reserve prints $85B each month. They hand that money to the large banks that are allowed to bid on Treasury Notes (a very exclusive club) in exchange for the Treasury Notes those banks bought usually just a day earlier. For their trouble the banks are guaranteed a very nice profit. $85B/month very conveniently equates to printing $1T per year. This has matched up nicely with the amount of money Obama has borrowed annually although last year it was actually more.

Take away the Feds money printing that is directly buying our Treasury Notes and our interest rates would be higher and likely closer to our historical norm of 5%. Back to Ryan's budget. By agreeing to spend more the Republicans have already locked in their agreement to subsequent increase the debt ceiling. To do otherwise would be foolish anyone would see right through a group the 1) agrees to spend more then 2) turns around and won't agree to borrow that money. So we're locked in for another significant debt increase. With his budget we're thus locked in for another $2T increase in debt. Long term projection is that we'll have $25T in debt.

Increase the debt and you increase the interest expense so add another 10% to our current $415B. Then what happens to our interest rates when the Fed can't or doesn't print money anymore? I am very certain Paul Ryan's budget assumes we will continue to have interest rates around 2%, for sure no higher than 3%. Yet once we stop printing money and rely again on real banks, people, or other nations to give us loans there is every reason to expect our interest rate to rise back to the 5% level. That makes our annual interest payments roughly $850B.

Where are we going to get the extra $430B? Will we raise taxes? Borrow even more money? Or cut spending? Republicans struggled to find 1.5% in cuts for the sequester, Democrats wanted to spend and borrow even more money. Who is going to come to the table with a 12.5% cut in government spending two years from now? On top of this mess from Ryan's budget, welfare payments will continue to increase under Obamacare.

That is how we just entered the economic death spiral with our national debt. We've ensured we're on this path for the next 3 years, until after the next President is in office. By that time it will be too late.

The Republicans' promise to fix all these budget issues when (if) they are in power rings hollow because the math doesn't add up. They say this is the best they can do. They are correct. That's why they are the wrong people for the job of fixing our government's spending and borrowing addiction.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Federal Reserve prints $85B each month. They hand that money to the large banks that are allowed to bid on Treasury Notes (a very exclusive club) in exchange for the Treasury Notes those banks bought usually just a day earlier.

Not completely...much of that $75,000,000,000 (QE is 75 not 85) is going to purchase MBSes which have little or no value. Essentially QE is replacing the toxic mortgages TARP (remember TARP) was supposed to purchase with USTs. This is a huge advantage to the banks because:

1. Treasuries have a high book value for capital purposes than the MBSes they replace.
2. BASEL III capital standards, which are being phased in, place limits on the amount of MBSes a bank can count as capital. After a certain point they quit counting as 100% of book value and that percentage declines as you gather more. Sovereign debt, however, is considered the most secure capital and always counts at 100%.

So, I'd argue it's worse. The government is basically handing the TBTF banks a profit and a nominally better capital structure free in order to keep interest costs on the deficit low.

I'll also tell you most bankers expect that to end next year. The Fed's most recent stress test was designed to force the banks to admit what happens if MBS values collapse next year (most likely cause, Fed stops buying and interest rates go up). The TBTF banks, in response so they can "pass" the stress tests and issue dividends, are clearing their balance sheets and investment strategies to replace MBSes with, wait for it, US Treasuries, which are about to revert to the historical norm and become the big profit center for the TBTF banks next year.

The banks will keep getting their Bankseter Geld from the Feds. The rest of us...well, take a guess.
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is Simon who demonstrates a lofo mindset. First off, if you are referring to polling, no the public at large does not substantially object to 'shutting down Congress'. At worst it is a near even split even at the time Cruz was at the podium. With time, even this has faded. Since when is a majority vote count the rule for legislating? You don't know what the vote count is until you.... take a vote. And if Rubio is to be believed, Ryan-Murray fails this test, unless you are ready to have a budget with unanimous appeal to Senate Democrats. In other news, it was the Executive who made all the decisions to push cancer kids out onto the sidewalk and book OT for the Park Police to drive off elderly veterans from open memorials that, in many instances, were not even federal property. Straight to hell with any compromise at all with the Democrats unless and until them make compromises with Reality. Is that happening? Not in Ryan's scheme. He's giving up what little was achieved and why? They say "Defense", but then they always do. Forward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is such a sad conversation, overall. Part of the problems are structural, and deep. I don't believe the combination of new education levels, demographic changes, and decades of de-education brainwashing (producing the new education levels) offers much optimism. I am thinking of a conservative FB friend from Texas, who occasionally posts here. He often talks about the racial issues, which I think is a correct, and dangerous, course. That you can't speak about these in the public debate is a big part of the problem. There is no true free speech (nor is the situation here much better, if at all). Conservatives have to shut up, or be reviled. I am thinking of Dubya Bush telling an interviewer between mediocre golf shots that he was worried about the Tea Party. So, aside from the fundamental changes and cultural superficiality that dumb the whole thing down, there is also the fact (as I see it) that Michael Walsh's analysis is objectively far closer to the truth than Roger's hoped-for baseline.

When I read Roger's pieces, I want to say 'yes'; and in this case, I actually have no idea if compromise was the right thing or not. Then I think about Walsh's pieces, and also those of Roger Kimball and Ed Driscoll, and think of my Texas FB friend's deep misgivings about the racial future of the US- will it be one big knockout and, eventually, counter-blows? I don't doubt all the posters here and at Breitbart who say they are armed and ready - don't doubt them at all.

Back to the first point, there is just a lot of despair in the air, and on the ground. Maybe it was always like this - somebody posted here a few weeks ago an insightful post that said everything started to decline in the 60s, and that the anti-war protests and the rest were really a mass outbreak of nihilism and pointless rebellion. Maybe so. At this point, it just looks slow, encroaching conquest by the 'Left' or the Big Government people, in which the Bushes, Romneys, etc., are basically on board - and the Tea Partiers are in everybody's sights. Grim.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed,
But we need very badly to be thinking that the dangerous mess we're in right now is caused by our changing demographic of steadily increasing numbers of our uneducable and those living off of food stamps and others' money.

And, add in those literally millions of uncounted illegals which are forming a much sought after and growing voting bloc. They're not going away; they're increasing.

The Democrats are effectively buying future votes.

The Republicans are agonizing [if only privately] how to "obtain" the votes of this enlarging new demographic without compromising their public stands of small Government and lower spending. They're simply behind a rock and a hard place.

Hence, the Republicans need to study and develop a more sub-rosa strategy undermining and the financing of Democrat give-away-vote buying and applied socialism.

In time, we're going to need a Gorbachev and a similar [hopefully bloodless] coup against the Democrat inspired socialist "apps". To be successful, this uprising will have to be nasty, an unaccustomed nastiness to Americans which will be shocking.

We're on a slippery slope.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Keep in mind that last year Mr. Simon kept insisting that the only GOP candidate who could beat Obama was Gov. Romney. How'd that work again?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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