October 12, 2006

Beyond the Democratic Event Horizon

Hatched by Dafydd

In the midst of a curious piece carried on Breitbart, AP's Economics writer, Martin Crutsinger, straight-facedly reports a rollicking "180" rejoinder from the Democrats that almost gave me whiplash.

The tale ledes with an in-your-face "toldja so" to the tax-hikers and Paris-Hilton spenders in the Democratic Party (the tax-cutting, drunken-sailor spenders in the Republican Party differ from their co-conspirators across the aisle, in that economic growth does not actually hurl them into anaphylactic shock):

The federal deficit in the budget year that just ended fell to a four- year low of $247.7 billion -- a figure President Bush touted Wednesday as "proof that pro-growth policies work."

The deficit for the budget year that ended Sept. 30 was 22.3 percent lower than the $318.7 billion imbalance for 2005, handing Bush a welcome economic talking point as Republicans battle to hold onto control of Congress in the midterm elections.

Bush called the outcome for Fiscal 2006 a "dramatic reduction" that redeemed his 2004 campaign pledge to halve the deficit earlier than his original 2009 target date.

"These numbers show that we have now achieved our goal of cutting the federal deficit in half and we've done it three years ahead of schedule," Bush told reporters at a Rose Garden news conference.

Blah blah. Good stuff. Shocked it appeared on Breitbart, but not as shocked as if it had appeared on Reuters.

The Democrats respond predictably: Yak blah five years of surpluses in the Clinton era blah yak blah Iraq blah blah mismanagement twiddle twaddle tax cuts for the rich. But then some Democrat -- we don't know who it was, only who it was not, and that is Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND, 85%) -- adds the following:

Republicans said the big improvement showed that Bush's economic policies were working to stimulate growth and boost tax revenues. But Democrats said the narrowing of the deficit would be temporary as the pending retirement of 78 million baby boomers will send costs of the government's big benefit programs soaring. [Great Scott! Who'd'a thunk it?]

"The fact that some are trumpeting this year's deficit number as good news shows just how far we've fallen. Our budget picture is extremely serious by any measure," said Sen. Kent Conrad, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee.

So I take it that the Democrats are now ready to get serious about resolving the unfunded liability of the Social Security scam and the Medicare manglement? Perhaps by --

  • Switching Medicare from a defined benefits program to a defined contribution program;
  • Capping automatic benefit increases in both programs to the actual rate of inflation;
  • Privatizing all (or at least some significant portion) of Social Security for anyone who wants to switch over;
  • Letting private investment and brokerage firms administer the accounts, instead of the government, which has a disturbing tendency to raid them whenever they run short of funds;
  • Making contributions to Social Security fully deductable, even for those who take the standard deduction;
  • Allowing taxpayers to deduct generously large payments to IRAs and MSAs (more than allowed now);

-- and other such elements to make both retirement and medical care part of the "ownership society," so that we can all control our own futures?

That the Democrats now believe that individuals are better able to handle their own savings, investment, retirement, and medical choices than Congress? That the party of Clinton, Carter, Johnson, and FDR is now willing, at long last, to embrace Capitalism?

Occam's Razor demands instead that we conclude that Democrats randomly belch out words and catch-phrases they vaguely recall having heard somewhere, in order to shout down the president... not even remembering that the danger they warn us about, Cassandra like, is precisely the same danger they scornfully rejected when Bush rang his own tocsin and demanded real, workable solutions.

The same imminent explosion they now raise to suggest the economy isn't as good as it looks is just what President Bush's programs were designed to prevent -- programs that the Democrats fought, filibustered, and finally finished off, with a great whoop and holler. (The hullabaloo was only topped by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Caesar's Palace, 100%, triumphantly -- and prematurely -- ejaculating "we killed the Patriot Act!")

I call the panic reaction of uncontrollably shouting out spurious slogans and jingoisms "Spurrette's Syndrome": the Tourette's-like eruption of spurious, anti-Bush non-sequiturs in the middle of debates, arguments, news stories, and the like. (I've been working on a post about it, but my natural inclination towards sloth gets in the way.)

But God, what must it be like to live behind Democratic eyes? They live in a world that is three days wide: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Anything more than a day in past or future is beyond the Democratic event horizon and ceases to exist.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 12, 2006, at the time of 4:29 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1338


The following hissed in response by: Infidel

"But God, what must it be like to live behind Democratic eyes? They live in a world that is three days wide: yesterday, today, and tomorrow."

Back in the 1960s, a conservative sociologist named Edward Stanfield wrote a book on urban policy called The Unheavenly City. It was influenced, he told me, by the Austrian School, as shown by his analysis of social classes according to time horizons.

The more upper-class people are, he said, the more they care about their posterity and their society. Even if they have no children, they're future oriented. These people are the opposite of the Keynesians and their "in the long run we're all dead." Like Mises, they uphold the good and true, for the long term.

These are the savers and investors, the entrepreneurs and producers who make a capitalist economy hum. They're also the generous givers, people who make charitable contributions to preserve what's right, and change what's not, over the long term.

Further down the class scale, said Banfield, people are more present-oriented. And at the lower end, they are more likely to be on welfare or criminals. Those on the dole have little concern for tomorrow. As to the outlaws, when they want money, there's no thought of working for it. They grab your wallet.

One of the worst effects of the welfare state, Banfield showed, is to skew all of society's time horizons towards the lower class. Thanks to redistribution and giveaways, there is far less preparation for the future: too many people feel that the government will take care of them, and the Fed's inflation generates a live-for-the-moment attitude as well.

All this is, needless to say, extremely damaging for individuals, nations, and civilization in general. Those who can postpone consumption for the future are mature and prosperous; those who must have it now, no matter what the consequences, are childish and poor. We know where America is headed.

That puts an even greater burden on the responsible and farsighted. The struggle to push back statism, restore the free market, and rebuild a responsible society is a long-term one. It requires people who understand the value of ideas and their effect on our future.
(from: Ludwig von Mises Institute)

The above hissed in response by: Infidel [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 9:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Ah to be a Democrat. Say whatever you please, whenever you please, consistency and facts be damned.

Of course the rise and fall of the deficit is very illusionary. What with supplemental spending measures constantly raiding the lock box and not being counted against the total.

How do you feel about means testing social security? Let's get rid of this illusion that the government takes my money only to give it back later, with interest.

Medicare is hopeless unless you address the causes of inflation for drugs and care, which is largely liability driven. How about making all medical care fall under "Good Samaritan" rules? Or perhaps you can be compensated for actual harm done, but only in kind. Whatever system is used, no lawyers need apply.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 9:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

I have said it before, but liberals have the amazing ability to hold two completely contradictory ideas in their head at the same time, and to believe that both are absolutely true! This results in their complete inability to lie, since whatever they say is true at the moment they say it, regardless of what they may have said five minutes previously. Lesser mortals can only stand agape before these all-to-frequent exhibitions of classic doublethink.

I myself have seen it so many times that I should be inured against it, but it is just as frustrating today as it was when I first noticed it many years ago. The only palliative for the frustration, I have found, is to work hard with, and on behalf of, those few politicians who retain a modicum of common sense. It is thin gruel these days, but at least there is some hope this way.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 9:37 AM

The following hissed in response by: SDN

So now they're admitting that Clinton never had a budget surplus either without raiding Social Security? Call the Vatican, a miracle has occurred.

The above hissed in response by: SDN [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 2:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Big D:

How do you feel about means testing social security? Let's get rid of this illusion that the government takes my money only to give it back later, with interest.

I go completely the opposite direction: rather than change the optimistic illusion to match the dire reality, let's change the dire reality to match the optimistic illusion!

By privatizing Social Security, we strike a compromise where folks really do get the money back later with interest... and at the same time, we protect society from those who would save nothing and demand welfare when they get old. (There will never be a consensus to let such grasshoppers starve in the streets.)

Medicare is hopeless unless you address the causes of inflation for drugs and care, which is largely liability driven.

I completely support tort reform, not only for med-mal cases but all lawsuits; but I have no opinion on the particular reforms you mentioned, not having yet thought enough about them.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 6:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

The annual cost for the democrat delays - now we see for cynical reasons- has cost us literally tens of bilions of dollars.
So the last few years of democrat pushback has given us Plamegate, which they knew was false. It has given us the DNC embrace of putting out the idea that we lied our way to war, which they know was false. It gave us their claims of culture of corruption, which we now see was false. And it gave us their veto of Social Security reform, which we know they did not really mean.
The only sincere thing the dems seem to have done was to back America's defeat in this war.
Have I missed anything?

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 2:38 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved