Here’s a gift. Some common sense from Rand Paul. Here’s to getting more of folks like him elected in 2014.
Category Archives: Federal Debt
I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I sure am. First of all, it’s Christmas Day and we are wearing shorts. Snow looks pretty in pictures, and the kids lament the lack of sledding, but dang. Snow is cold.
Second, we’ve had our first Christmas sans Santa, and I’m so glad to be rid of that fat man. The following opinion offends a lot of people, but here it is anyway: I hate Santa Claus.
There. I said it.
I’ve never understood why parents are so protective of the Santa fantasy. You stay up half the night, wrapping and assembling and crafting a Santa scene. You do all the work, and he gets all the credit.
Santa also encourages the idea that a child can have whatever he wants, if he is on the “good list.” Nevermind the cost, child. Santa’s little elves will construct it for free in their little workshop. Also, nevermind the “made in China” label.
So, I broke it to the younger son sooner than necessary. Some folks were disappointed, but lemme be honest. The fact that I maintained the pretense for seven years is just short of a miracle. I found myself apologizing for spoiling the fun too early, but being told the truth isn’t what upsets my younger son.
“That’s okay Mommy,” he says. “But I don’t get why everyone lies to their kids about Santa. That violates the Ten Commandments.”
What do you say to this logic? Feel free to berate my lack of Christmas cheer in the comments. Don’t even get me started on the newest deception crowding the Facebook feed, however: Elf on the Shelf. Seems like maybe he’s just Big Brother’s easy-going little brother.
School is going well, and we’ve found a church to attend. Who knows what is in store for all of us in the next few years, but nevermind. At least it’s bound to be interesting.
We’ve had family visiting all week. Tomorrow we travel to visit more family. Just having some time off is reason to celebrate. Yeah, the fiscal cliff, sequestration and all that still looms ahead. Beyond personal preparation, there’s nothing much to be done, really. Our fellow citizens want to play chicken with the Gods of the Copybook Headings, and in the short term we can’t stop them.
Here’s this year’s tree, looking suspiciously like last year’s tree:
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year to you all. Hold on to your butts, because 2013 is sure to be a bumpy ride . . .
So this debt ceiling thing is dragging on a bit. On one hand, this fact is heartening because it means the GOP hasn’t caved. (Yet.)
On the other hand, the longer the battle rages through soundbites and news clips, the more ridiculous everyone sounds. All of us.
Here’s a perfect example. The other day, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee emails me a message that begins:
“Washington is focused on the debt ceiling – and how Republicans will allow our nation to default in order to score political points and hurt President Obama.”
That’s just crazy talk, right? Of course it is.
What about this little two-word switcheroo:
Washington is focused on the debt ceiling – and how Democrats will allow our nation to default in order to score political points and help President Obama.
Does that sound like crazy talk? I’m gonna be honest, and admit it sounds pretty plausible. If you are a fiscal conservative, you might agree.
Yeah, I know what’s missing so far: facts to back up or refute these dichotomic arguments.
If you haunt my little corner of the ‘net regularly, you probably have lots of facts already tucked in your memory and your bookmarks. You’ve read voraciously, listened to the talk radio and talking heads, and even shared your own analysis in the blogosphere.
Imagine for a moment, however, that you have no facts to support or refute either argument. Imagine that you are one of those uninformed types. (Like these.)
These folks have little knowledge of political science and economics. They’ve never followed this stuff or personally examined the philosophies. Yet, they aren’t dumb. In a culture increasingly comfortable with higher levels of civic ignorance, one cannot swipe a broad paint stroke and call them all “stupid.”
Many of these voters are plenty smart. They have higher-ed degrees, professional jobs, specialized skills and talents, and at least moderate financial success. Sure, Mr A doesn’t know Keynes from Hayek, but he can renovate your house. Yeah, Mrs. B doesn’t know about the outrageous Obama-Pelosi spike in spending as a percentage of GDP, but she makes beautiful scrapbooks.
These are the folks to whom the President was referring, when he empathized with those who have too much on their plates to be worryin’ about Treasury auctions. These are the people that got him elected. They do have full lives and full plates, even if their brains are devoid of hard political fact and analysis.
They may vote Democrat simply because that’s what their parents did. Who can blame a person for never critically pondering political science, anyway? When one is spoon-fed over a lifetime the idea that Democrat-style “liberalism” is kind, generous, and progressive, it’s understandable that many just absorb the notion and move on to more interesting things.
In addition, this particular topic–the debt ceiling–is no walk in the park. The information Keith Hennessey provides in The Substance of the Budget Negotiations is enough to make my eyes glaze over. We’ve got Randall Hoven at the American Thinker, explaining that Social Security and Medicare should be covered by current revenue, even if no deal is reached on 02 August. (That article is via Conservatives on Fire, thanks Mista Gourdie.)
We’ve also got heavy-hitter Jennifer Rubin, with a sober warning that if conservatives push too hard and artificially create a situation that requires drastic cuts, “voters are going to get rid of you, not the spending.”
We’re into the tough stuff, guys, and I’m pretty much sick of it all. Here’s a safe bet: my non-political friends and neighbors are probably sick of hearing about it, too. So, I’m doubting whether anything we conservatives say will have a positive effect.
It doesn’t matter how crazy or full of baloney “The Left” is, because the minute “The Right” counters vociferously, they sound just as crazy and just as full of processed beef by-product and mechanically separated chicken.
We’ve reached saturation point. The uninformed are done. They’ve tuned us out. The normalcy bias makes our debt warnings ineffective. At this point, politics sound like a broken record, necessitating that people tune out before the din drives ‘em nuts.
What do you think? For the love of all things holy, please tell me why I’m wrong. This “crazy talk conundrum” has bothered me for days now.
And you: the apolitical type. The one who doesn’t follow this stuff much. If you have actually read my ramblings, I especially want to hear from you. What do you think? What can I say to get you engaged in the civic debate?
Want a snack?
For us unwashed masses, since weer sew dum.
First, Condescension 101:
“Let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. You know, the public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury auction goes. They shouldn’t. They’re worrying about their family, they’re worrying about their jobs. They’re worrying about their neighborhood. They have got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it.”
Aw, ain’t that thoughtful of our leader? He’s protecting us from worrying our purty wittle heads about Boring Stuff That’s Hard.
Ugh. News flash, Sir Professor Snooty-old Smarty-pants. You, your wild-spending, no-budget-passing Dem buddies and complicit RINOs are the reason we have to worry our purty heads about the Boring Old Debt Limit.
Also, being patronized is my #1 pet peeve. Well, maybe #2, right beneath disrespectful feral children in the neighborhood, whose parents get angry if you yell at their precious angel who actually needs scolding more often.
Ahem. Anyhow, on to the next class, Microeconomics 101. It’s not just any microeconomics class, though, because that would just be more Boring Stuff That’s Hard. (We’ve got paid experts to worry about that stuff, you know. Obama says so!)
This particular microeconomics class is A Very Special Edition For True Believers:
“A provision in President Barack Obama’s health-care law that requires small businesses to begin buying health insurance for their workers when they hire their 50th employee–or otherwise pay a penalty to the federal government–’will actually be a great incentive’ for businesses to grow, stated Sebelius.”
Did–did you catch that? When businesses who do not insure their employees are faced with a penalty for hiring the 50th employee, they have incentive to grow?
Oh, oh dear.
I’m going to have to cut our tutoring session short today, everyone. Terribly sorry, but I think my brain has finally exploded. I can’t see much, just a lot of red. Disorderly thoughts intruding . . . the chickens got loose from the pen. And wait ’til you see all them bats . . .
UPDATE: I’m feeling better, thanks to Planet Moron’s Advanced Moonbattery Course.
UPDATE #2: James Taranto says it better:
“What got our attention about this exchange as reported by Cantor is the president’s threat to take his case ‘to the American people.’ Would those be the same American people who aren’t paying attention and don’t understand all this complicated stuff?”
At the same link, Mr. Taranto provides extra nuance from a WSJ reader email:
“The correct quote is: ‘The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They’re worryin’ about their family; they’re worryin’ about their jobs; they’re worryin’ about their neighborhood. They’ve got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it.’
It may seem insignificant, but it should be noted that every single time the president mentions the great unwashed masses ‘out there’ he instantly drops his precise pronunciation of ‘-ing’ endings, and launches into what he imagines all those ‘folks out there’ talk like. We’re jes’ workin’ and hopin’ and waitin’ for him to help us out, y’know? He does it midsentence. It is quite jarring when you listen for it. It is also very telling and very insulting.”
Well, this nerd’s heaven anyway. So brilliant.
“the economy’s not a class you can master in college
to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge.”
Brings me back to undergrad. I earned my business degree with an emphasis in economics. By the time I reached senior level courses, none of it made any sense. My professors would rattle off premises and formulas and act as though it all made perfect sense, but it sounded more like the chanting of magic spells.
I memorized what I had to, regurgitated it and promptly forgot everything but the accent with which the Cambodian professor said, “International zeh-Bahnk,” by which she meant the IMF.
Funny to look back on it now. I chose economics because of my freshman level macro-economics class, which was taught by a nice young non-Keynesian who I would never see again. The introduction of that simple supply and demand chart made a profound impression. The idea that price served a function, that it was not arbitrarily set–revelation! That macro-econ class thrilled me somehow (yes that’s why I’m a nerd), and I didn’t find that kind of thrill again until I read The Road to Serfdom almost twenty years later, on Instapundit’s recommendation.
The realization that I have this econ degree and yet had never even heard of Hayek–well that was a revelation too, just not a good one. Still angers me to think about what a complete waste of time all those classes were. Oh well, at least I didn’t major in Women’s Studies.
Rush Limbaugh introduced me to politics at roughly the same time as my econ 101 class. 1990? (I’m really bad with dates, just ask hubs about the date inscribed in his wedding band). I worked at a sporting goods store, and the fellow in charge of inventory would listen to Rush in the warehouse. Next thing I know, I’m lingering in the back to listen when I should be helping the customers out front.
At the time I didn’t even realize economics and politics were related. I also didn’t realize the philosophical influence of my favorite Heinlein books.
It just takes awhile for a thick girl like me to put the pieces together, that’s all.
Sometimes I wonder, though, what it’s like to have been a “liberal” in the past and then convert to conservatism. Perhaps my lack of conversion is the reason it’s hard for me to accept the fact that so many people embrace the irrationality, lunacy, and evil of Collectivist Thought.
Whew, enough rambling. I’ve strayed far from the reason of my post, to share the latest Keynes v. Hayek rap:
The EconStories website is here, via Instapundit of course.
For any of you who actually missed the first one:
And if you are a nerd like me, maybe that’s not enough. Hear from the creators of this unlikely rap duo here: