Let Us Be Clear: Obama Deserves Chief Responsibility for Gov't Shutdown.

Boehner and the GOP may well be "anarchists" and Reid and the Dems may be useless. But it's the president who runs the show.

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  • John Galt||

    The little boy pretending to be a man in the Oval Office may well deserve the blame, but like most youngsters his mental age he'll certainly point fingers at everyone except himself.

  • Raven Nation||

    Good point. When I was a kid and screwed up, I would look for someone else to blame for what I had screwed up. The difference with the Obama generation is they truly BELIEVE nothing that goes wrong is their fault.

  • John Galt||

    "Victims" ...poor little fellas.

  • bersc52||

    I just want to add my story. I get paid over $87 per hour working online with Google! I work two shifts 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening. And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Its by-far the best job I’ve had. I follow this great link ,, www.Pow6.com

  • pelephant||

    good point bersc52. glad your comments are taken seriously by our moderator.

  • pelephant||

    When I get all old and bigoted can i blame everything on the next generation too? oh and enron realestate bubble iraq invasion drugwar jimcrow suck it

  • Sevo||

    Raven Nation|10.1.13 @ 9:11AM|#
    "Good point. When I was a kid and screwed up, I would look for someone else to blame for what I had screwed up."

    Typical kid comment: "It broke". Those who never grow up end up with the sightly more mature: "Mistakes were made".

  • pelephant||

    Mistakes were made by people you voted for in your gerrymandered district.

  • pelephant||

    Time for the obama generation to grow up and take responsibility for all the things rich white people did under Bush.

  • pelephant||

    Need more rich white men in the office. Strike down a bill that got signed into law and upheld by the suprime court by screwing everything up in a pointless display of macho power LIKE A MAN

  • TondoJondo||

    When will the Sheeple stand up and take back what was once theirs?

    www.Got-Privacy.com

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Lol, sometimes you just got to roll with it!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, come on. You can't blame Obama for this. He was on the back nine when it happened.

  • John Galt||

    The only real difference between Republican presidents and Democratic ones is the amount of time they can spend on the golf course before the news media takes notice.

  • Free Society||

    zing

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That's not true.

    The media never notices a D on the golf course.

  • pelephant||

    So was bush when he was warned of 911. cant be bothered with facts can we?

  • pelephant||

    so was bush when he ignored the 911 warnings

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Three billion American lives ended on October 1st, 2013. The survivors of the libertarian fire called the shutdown "Judgment Day". They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war to protect their buttholes from Warty.

  • Lord Humungus||

    that's a war we are sure to lose.

  • pelephant||

    Dont wory we have plenty more wars. THANKS HALLIBURTON!!

  • John Galt||

    "Three billion American lives..."

    The combined populations of all 57 states?

  • pan fried wylie||

    As of Marchtember 34th, yes.

  • ThomasD||

    Sorry, I don't speak Austrian, what day is that in the Gregorian Calendar?

  • sasob||

    Second Tuesday of last week.

  • Long Range Boredom||

    Those who accept their fate with Warty will become the heralds of a new world order. One of love and buttholes.

  • plusafdotcom||

    3 Billion American lives...???

    Is China now the 51st state? or is that 58th?

  • pelephant||

    lives outside of america don't count. thats why its okay to screw them over

  • mnarayan||

    and Obama insists he has the unlitaeral right to kill anyone

    Didn't Lucy die to free us from this type of sin?

  • Almanian!||

    DON'T TALK ABOUT LUCY (PBUH)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Chris van Hollen says it's Ted Cruz' fault. I think he wants Cruz summarily executed as a traitor.

  • Anomalous||

    I'm ashamed to say that Chris van Hollen represents my district.

  • Joec578||

    Given that the government is as large as it is and given the fact that Obamacare gets started today making the government that much bigger, I don't know if any President in the future can regain control of the government without first slashing and burning most of what currently exists.

  • pelephant||

    We could have spent that money on guns. guns to keep us safe from the terrorists.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    http://politicalticker.blogs.c.....n-schools/

    I guess...the NRA was right?

    "But the GOP made me do it. This time, though, the right people are in control. Like Joe!"

  • Anomalous||

    This will make the hoplophobes hopping mad.

  • Loki||

    Nine months after the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy, President Barack Obama is putting millions of dollars into funding armed police officers in schools across the country, an idea not too far removed from an National Rifle Association proposal to make sure schools are protected by “good guys with guns.”

    If the goal is to have "good guys with guns" then why the hell do they want armed cops in schools?

    This time, though, the right people are in control. Like Joe!

    "Buy a shotgun."

  • Killazontherun||

    Ninety percent of my problem with the NRA is with this type of crap, 'Enforce the laws on the books.' The laws on the books are the result of one hundred years of bad post policy.

  • pelephant||

    if only there was a way to only arm just the good guys. you know: rich white non-jewish men then we would all be so much safer.

  • Brutus||

    Looks like Obama has fallen under the spell of the sinister Svengali, Wayne LaPierre.

  • Loki||

    Let Us Be Clear: Obama Deserves Chief Responsibility for Gov't Shutdown.

    But I thought that everything "bad" that happens is BOOOOOOOOOSH'S fault?

  • Anomalous||

    Someone will find a way to blame the Shrub for this, I'm sure.

  • pelephant||

    O bama demonstrated that he can unlaterally push foe invasion, fight the drug war and throw wistleblowers in jail. Bush just did that stuff so much better. but he had daddy to help

  • Free Society||

    Let Us Be Clear: Obama Deserves Chief Responsibility for Gov't Shutdown.


    So I guess uh.... I should thank Obama?

    Boehner and the GOP may well be "anarchists" ...

    Like hell

  • John Galt||

    So I guess uh.... I should thank Obama?

    Obama waved his wizard wand and Christmas came early this year.

    Boehner and the GOP may well be "anarchists" ...

    Republican "anarchy" could make the GOP brand name electable. Republicans pols won't tolerate that.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Obama said: "They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government; that's not doing me a favor. That's doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities."



    Evidently, the Great Constitutional Scholar thinks that the House is supposed to just rubber-stamp his wishes.

    Maybe the House should fund ObamaCare, but give it a budget of, say, $20.

  • space junk||

    If the house gave it a $20 budget (which I find hilarious and cool at the same time), the senate will play the same games. They just wont pass a budget for another year...

    So if republicans can take the senate in 2014, then congress as a whole can give it a $20 budget. Which would be even more hilarious.

    Problem is, you still have the guy with the veto in the white house for a while. Either way, dysfunction will exist for quite some time...

  • Tony||

    Funding government at sequestration levels is "Obama's wishes"?

  • JWatts||

    Yes, Tony, President Obama signed the sequester into law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.....on_in_2013

    It's fairly legislated and a done deal. To object to it after it's become law are the actions of a terrorist attempting pure anarchy. Don't be a terrorist Mr. President.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If he didn't want the sequester, why did he sign the law?

    Anyhow, the house has been incredibly irresponsible by passing a CR that funds the government at such insanely high levels. If they were serious about doing their jobs, it would be at least a 47% year-over-year cut from last year (that is, equal to current revenues.)

    -jcr

  • SusanM||

    OT: Next time someone whines "Godwin" at a Nazi/Obama remark, slip them this gem (sideways, preferably):

    "We are socialists because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces. We have no intention of begging for that right. Incorporating him in the state organism is not only a critical matter for him, but for the whole nation. The question is larger than the eight-hour day. It is a matter of forming a new state consciousness that includes every productive citizen. Since the political powers of the day are neither willing nor able to create such a situation, socialism must be fought for."

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/haken32.htm

  • IamNotEvil||

    I think it would be better to fund it completely, but only if the entire law goes into effect immediately. No mandate delays for anybody. Would be fun to watch the Dems try to wiggle out of that one.

  • Square||

    I agree - all the Repubs are achieving is giving the Dems someone to blame when Obamacare fails. They should just stand back and watch it fail.

  • Carolynp||

    If they did that, then during the next election, many libertarians would say "Hey, they're essentially no different from Democrats. They didn't even bother to try and stop Obamacare." They did a good thing here. They are standing on principle. You'd think libertarians could spare them a thumbs up.

  • DarrenM||

    Maybe the House should fund ObamaCare, but give it a budget of, say, $20.

    That sounds like a reasonable compromise.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Only a racist blames the black man for the country's problems.

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    And only brain dead Blowbama d*ck sucking doucheb*gs like you will always ride the 'short bus'...A$$tard.

  • SusanM||

    Only someone who is new to Reason.com would miss sarcasm so badly.

  • Mr Drew||

    Q: Why does the shutdown allow the President to close National Parks and Monuments that are theoretically the property of the American people, not the Federal Government?

    A: Because otherwise no one would notice or care.

    Welcome to Sequesterpocalypse 2.0-The Day a Nation Yawned

  • space junk||

    I would be curious to know how much it costs to run a park like Yellowstone on a daily basis. Including rangers, game wardens, fire fighters, admin staff and so on. I am sure it isnt cheap. But I wonder if there would be a better way to pay for it without being tied to a federal budget.

  • ||

    My understaning is that the national parks are almost self-financing because of the fees they collect. Yellowstone probably runs at a profit.

  • space junk||

    I would not be surprised if that is the case. I have paid many fees for camping and such. That money had to go somewhere.

  • Carolynp||

    I know Yosemite is self funding.

  • ||

    The idea is to shut down all the stuff that is high public visibility, in order to pressure taxpayers into supporting more funding.

    Even though national parks and web servers are like the tiniest fraction of the budget.

  • Square||

    Exactly - couldn't help but notice the lead story from AP's photo was of security guards turning people away from the MLK memorial because, you know, it costs money for that thing to sit there.

  • Deep Lurker||

    It's an old idea too: The term "Washington Monument Syndrome" to describe this apparently dates back to the 1960s.

  • kingnp2n||

    "Welcome to Sequesterpocalypse 2.0-The Day a Nation Yawned"

    I thought it was SEQUESTERNADO!

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    Maybe Sequesterricane? Either way, America is still laughing at the incompetent doucheb*g PresiDEBT Blowbama the INEPT wonder turd...

  • ||

    In shutdown stupidity news, it seems that nasa.gov has gone offline, purportedly because of the shutdown.

    Because, obviously it costs that much money to keep the web server running! I'm assuming they also shut off the heating, A/C, eletricity and water in all government buildings as well, right?

    Or is this just a political move that's meant to have the most public visibility?

  • space junk||

    Yeah that is pretty bad.

    I wonder if they cut communications to the ISS also...

  • UnCivilServant||

    "Huston, we have a problem. Huston? Is anyone there?"

  • kingnp2n||

    Really? It's spelled H-o-u-s-t-o-n

  • JWatts||

    Sorry, we had to cut an "O" do to the governmental shutdown.

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    LOLOL

  • Carolynp||

    My husband noted that many of the federal agencies left most of their websites up, because, why not? It costs them nothing. Some of the agencies took everything down. Just a picture of how some agencies are serious about their mission and some are all about the camera.

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you mean this is Obama's fault? By refusing to negotiate he's offering a compromise! It's those obstructionist Republicans who are at fault for trying to negotiate a deal!

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    Hahahahaha...SARCASM at its finest. Douche.

  • Tony||

    Almost two decades later and people still blame the Republican Congress and not Bill Clinton on the last shutdown.

    This is pretty simple. Republicans are making random policy demands before they are willing to pass a budget funding the government--AT SEQUESTRATION LEVELS. The clean budget Democrats want is already a concession to them.

    Would it be legitimate for President Obama to refuse to sign any budget that doesn't include gun control legislation? An expansion of Obamacare perhaps? That's the exact equivalent of what Republicans are doing. Obama not "steering the ship" or whatever vague nonsense you're using to blame him ignores the easily understood fact that the president doesn't have the power to fund anything.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's the exact equivalent of what Republicans are doing.

    No, dipshit. It is not. An equivalent would be defunding or refusing to enforce something. You see, delaying a law and creating a new law are not equivalent. They are pretty much the opposite. Opposite is not equivalent. It's, well, opposite.

    Then again, since you think not giving is taking and not taking is giving, it's no surprise that your feeble intellect cannot comprehend the difference between delaying legislation and enacting new legislation.

  • Tony||

    Either way results in a policy outcome. If you want to repeal the ACA and have no plans to replace it with anything, you are endorsing the status quo prior to the ACA. Period. No gold star for not having ideas.

    But since you are evidently and bizarrely incapable of understanding this concept, I'll give an example that does fit the inane rhetorical requirements you place on thoughts so that your head doesn't hurt so much. Would it be OK if Obama refused to sign a budget unless it included a repeal of Medicare Part D?

  • John||

    The House has every right to kill funding to a government program. It does it all of the time. If you want your program funded, you better control the House. If the Democrats hadn't put this off for four years, they could have funded it in 2010 when they controlled the House. They only didn't do that because they knew it would hurt Obama's chances of getting re-elected. By putting it off they took the chance that they might lose control of the House and it would wind up not being funded. Sometimes gambles pay off sometimes they don't.

  • Tony||

    And this one is not going to pay off for Republicans. Sure the House can do whatever it wants, but as even most Republicans acknowledge, it's never going to convince Obama to repeal his own healthcare law no matter how much they try to extort him into doing so.

    You want it both ways (of course you do!): the House is entitled to do whatever it wants in the budget process, but it's all Obama's fault.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hey Tony, it's called Checks and Balances. You must have been sleeping in civics. Or you're stupid. I'm going with the latter.

  • AlexInCT||

    Why not both? I vote for both.

  • John||

    Maybe it won't. And if it doesn't then the Dems will retake the House and fund Obamacare. And I won't like it, but I will never say they don't have a right to do that.

    Yes, this is Obama's fault. Part of the job of being President is working with your opposition and figuring out what is possible and not possible when they control one or both houses of Congress. Obama has failed miserably in that capacity and we are now having a shut down.

    Beyond that, they will work it out eventually. Each side will have to give up and give the other side something. This is just the political process working as it should. Only people like you who don't think the other side should have any voice in that process are mad about it.

  • Tony||

    A clean CR would be the Republican-favored spending levels we got under sequestration. That is already a huge concession to them. All they're doing is trying to maximize their leverage by behaving like a hostage-taker who may or may not be completely insane. They are already getting what they want in a clean CR. They just aren't getting everything they want under the sun--as you should damn well acknowledge, they can wait until they control more than just the House for that.

  • Brian||

    And now that the deadline has come and gone, it's time to kill the hostages.

    I'm ready to don my leather pants and fight on the roadz for precious tanks of juice.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Seems to me that Obama and the Senate are holding the government hostage just for one law. I mean, the comparison to the Democratic games on tax rates is exact. Everyone agrees on funding everything but Obamacare and we can talk about that issue separately. Isn't that what Obama always offers?

  • pelephant||

    so is bitching and shutting down the government part of the whole checks and balances bit i learned about in civics class?

  • Carolynp||

    The polls disagree with you. Obama's popularity is at all time low levels and Democrats are taking huge hits, also. This tenant of faith that the Republicans will take all the blame for this is idiotic and isn't being received by the public.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.1.13 @ 10:27AM|#
    "No gold star for not having ideas."

    I have an idea: Let's not fuck up the entire medical business with some jackwagon scheme that no one wants@

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Butttt......it's de law!

  • AlexInCT||

    And we passed it so we could find out what was in it... Why are people pissed now that they find out there will be ass rape without even the benefit of a reach around from this?

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    What, you don't LOVE being a$$ raped by the Gub'ment at every turn? You, sir are UN American (SARCASM)

  • sarcasmic||

    Almost, but not quite. They're not trying to repeal. They're trying to delay and defund. Though since your feeble intellect doesn't do distinctions well and prefers to just blur things together, it's no surprise that you can't comprehend the difference.

  • Tony||

    You're a mendacious little shit is what you are.

    You know perfectly well what I'm asking. But because you're being a butt boy for the Republicans at the moment you are throwing up rhetorical distractions instead of answering it.

  • sarcasmic||

    You should know by now that if it ends with "Act" or starts with "Department," there's about a 95% chance that I'd support getting rid of it.

  • Tony||

    You don't need to further convince me that you're a simple-minded ideologue.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't need to further convince me that you're a simple-minded ideologue.

    Whatever, Tony. As I've explained before, government is force. That's all it is. Let me quote Washington for you. In case you don't know who he was, he was the first president of this country.

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

    You see, he understood that government is not a tool to solve everything under the sun. It's force. Like fire it is useful for some things, but not all things.

    So if I'm a simple-minded ideologue, so were the people who founded this country.

    If anyone here is a simple-minded ideologue, it is you for believing that government force is the solution to everything under the sun.

  • Tony||

    The founders were not libertarians. The single most important purpose of the US Constitution was to create a big federal government to replace the failed loose confederation that came before. You don't get to whore out the founders for your own narrow political interests.

    You're an ideologue because you're saying we can only use fire to light arrows to shoot at invaders. We can't use it to heat our homes or cook our food. Even though fire is useful in many ways, we're only allowed to use it for a couple of them.

    Institutions are what make the difference between living like savages and living like civilized people, and government is the biggest and most important institution. What you're offering not only has no connection with reality, you aren't even explaining it. It's just government bad! Yet you can't remotely describe how society would work once you remove most of its powers, except to promise unicorns and rainbows for all.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're an ideologue because you're saying we can only use fire to light arrows to shoot at invaders.

    Nice straw man. No, I'm saying you shouldn't use fire to clean your house or wash your windows.

    Yet you can't remotely describe how society would work once you remove most of its powers

    Of course not! That's the point!

    Free markets mean that everyone gets a shot with their ideas, instead of the ideas of a few politicians being imposed with force. Do I know which ideas are the best? Nope. I sure don't. And I never will, because the ideas of a few politicians have been imposed by force, so the ideas of the many will never be heard.

  • Tony||

    But we're never allowed to implement any ideas on a collective scale.

  • sarcasmic||

    But we're never allowed to implement any ideas on a collective scale.

    What are you talking about? Individualists don't oppose collective action! We oppose coerced collective action!

    People implement ideas collectively all the time! Mutual aid societies, charities, churches, schools, hospitals, corporations, businesses... all examples of voluntary collective action! See? Ideas can be implemented on a collective scale without force! It's amazing!

  • Tony||

    Except, and this is the deeply ironic thing about your idiotic beliefs, the things you DO think we should do collectively with the help of government, like making murder and theft illegal, necessarily require the most direct forms of coercion. You're not against coercion. Not in the slightest. You're just against welfare and you're using coercion as a rhetorical distraction.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    You're not against coercion. Not in the slightest. You're just against welfare and you're using coercion as a rhetorical distraction.

    We're against the initiation of coercion. It just gets shorted to "coercion" in casual conversation. Defending yourself from murder != throwing people in jail for smoking pot. If you can't see the difference, or understand the difference when people are talking about it, then it's your problem, not everyone else's.

    You make great rebuttals to arguments that are never being made. Try to read for more comprehension before debunking.

  • Tony||

    So you're saying that taxation is not an initiation of coercion? Because obviously you have to collect the taxes before you can pay for police power and a courts system.

    And if that's the case, then I don't see how a healthcare program is distinguished on grounds of coercion.

  • Brian||

    So you're saying that taxation is not an initiation of coercion? Because obviously you have to collect the taxes before you can pay for police power and a courts system.

    But I don't need police and a court system. All my dispute resolution has been through Visa, Amex, and Mastercard. It's worked out extremely well, in my favor, and I've never had to hire an attorney or go to court. I've never needed the police to stand over my dead body and fill out a report.

    I know it would be a great simplification for your argument for not only government to be essential, but taxation to be essential, and then, anything anyone wants to do with government becomes legitimate and awesome (unless, of course, they want to shut it down, in which case, the political action becomes wicked and horrible).

    And if that's the case, then I don't see how a healthcare program is distinguished on grounds of coercion.
    Your lack of understanding has no impact on reality. Health care != self defense from murder.

  • Tony||

    Good for you. I suppose your experiences with your Visa can be extrapolated to "there are never any disputes that need legal resolution." Just so convincing.

    I knew libertarians were myopic and self-obsessed but this is ridiculous.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    "there are never any disputes that need legal resolution." Just so convincing.

    Yeah, and needing legal resolution to legal disputes, set up and established by law, is a truism.

    Ad hominems are the second lowest form of argument, only in front of name calling. It says much more about you than it does about anyone else. Do you worry that these tacts might conflict with your stated goal of being a beacon of light in this dark, dreary, libertarian world, as part of your strategy for societal well-being maximization?

  • sarcasmic||

    like making murder and theft illegal

    You mean using collective force to react to the initiation force? Yes. That's a legitimate use of force.

    You're just against welfare and you're using coercion as a rhetorical distraction.

    If by "rhetorical distraction" you mean "claiming there's a difference between initiation force, and reacting to the initiation of force," then yes. But that's only a distraction to someone who is severely Distinction-Challenged.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    But we're never allowed to implement any ideas on a collective scale.

    Oh, you are. You just have to organize voluntarily. Not pointing guns at people and controlling them != no collective action.

  • Tony||

    Except when it comes to protecting your property. Then guns, coercion, and communalism are all OK.

    You guys are not against coercion. You understand that it's necessary in order to maintain law and order. You are just pretending to be against coercion when we're talking about programs you don't like.

    Stop being duplicitous assholes.

  • Brian||

    Tony, see post above. We're not against coercion, we're against the initiation of coercion. It gets shortened to coercion in conversation, because talking about the initiation of coercion gets too long winded. When not talking to quibbling nitpickers, its usually a sufficient way to describe the idea and have a meaningful conversation.

    Tony: Stop being duplicitous assholes.

    Name calling is widely considered the lowest form of argument. As the local representative of everything democrat here, if you want to keep making the argumentative equivalent of a monkey throwing poop at people, be my guest.

  • Tony||

    This is not the rhetorical escape hatch you think it is. You don't necessarily need to coerce anyone to commit theft or fraud. You know perfectly well that criminal justice often requires government being the first to use coercion. Do you suppose I'm unaware of this libertarian sleight-of-hand that amounts to a little bit of drivel exempting all the government programs you like from your first principles? That the government programs you like are all the ones that actually involve shooting or imprisoning people makes your insistence that you're motivated against force all the more laughable.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    That the government programs you like are all the ones that actually involve shooting or imprisoning people makes your insistence that you're motivated against force all the more laughable.

    Right. Because being in favor of police protection against murder, yet against invading Syria, is the height of hypocrisy, because they're both involve violence. So they are equivalent. And thinking anything else is laughable.

    I guess, if you have a strange sense of humor, and the inability to differentiate anything. I thought you always complain about libertarian over-simplifications. All violence is equivalent seems pretty simple minded to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    You know perfectly well that criminal justice often requires government being the first to use coercion.

    Ideally, the criminal justice system (collective force) is reacting to the criminal's initiation of force and/or fraud against a fellow citizen.

    See? The criminal initiates force and/or fraud, and the government reacts with collective force.

    As opposed to you being hungry or needing medical care (so far no initiation of force), and the government initiates force to coerce someone into paying your bills.

    See the difference, Mister Distinction-Challenged?

  • sarcasmic||

    Like has nothing to do with it. It's a matter of what is an acceptable use of force.

    Because all government is is force. That's it. Look at that above quote by that obscure George Washington guy. He got it.

    Stealing property is force. Using force to protect property is a legitimate use of force, because it is in response to force.

    Foreign invasion is force. Using force to repel an invasion is a legitimate use of force, because it is in response to force.

    Getting sick is not force. Using force to coerce someone to pay your hospital bill is not a legitimate use of force, because it is an initiation of force.

    Being hungry is not force. Using force to coerce someone to pay your restaurant bill is not a legitimate use of force, because it is an initiation of force.

    When government initiates force, then it is doing what it is supposed to prevent. It goes from reacting to injustice to creating injustice.

    You do understand the distinction between response and initiation, between injustice and justice, don't you?

    Probably not. After all, you are depressingly Distinction-Challenged.

  • Tony||

    You don't get to lecture me on redefining the meaning of force when your entire argument depends on doing just that.

    Either force and coercion are what the dictionary says they are or you're just making them mean whatever you need them to mean. Stealing doesn't necessarily involve force. Government punishing you for stealing does. So government can be the initiator of force, and you'd be OK with that.

    This is pablum. Just google it and see how debunked it is. Come up with something better or stop trying to tell me I have to choke down your draconian system and I have to like it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Stealing doesn't necessarily involve force.

    Force doesn't necessarily involve violence. You're just running with the goalposts now. Running fast and hard.

    There's nothing draconian about limiting government to reacting to force. A government that initiates force against one party for the pleasure of another, the government you worship, is the draconian one.

  • Tony||

    You are necessarily defining taxation as illegitimate force. That is the only thing government is doing to enact a healthcare program. If taxation is illegitimate force, then it can't be OK for police and courts.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just google it and see how debunked it is.

    Debunked only by fallacies.

  • pelephant||

    The force FLOWS through your logically-simplistic conceptualisation of limited government. It is in the K-street oil lobby. In the denial of food stamps to the families of Veterans. In the now shutdown CDC. in the OVERPRIVELAGED WHITE PEOPLE LIVING OFF THE SUFFERING OF PEOPLE WORKING SHIT JOBS

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    Yet you can't remotely describe how society would work.

    Fortunately, reality is not limited by your ability to understand it, after having it explained 1000 times.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think Tony understands the difference between voluntary and coerced. I really don't.

    It wouldn't surprise me considering that Tony things not taking is giving, that not giving is taking, that money equals wealth, that inaction is action, defunding is repeal, and so on and so forth.

    I've got a nice hyphenated term for Tony... Distinction-Challenged!

  • Rob||

    [Government] is the biggest and most important institution.

    Tony, even if government were to be scaled back to only 10% of its current size, it would still be the single largest and most prominent institution.

    Serious questions, is there a limit to what should be handled by government? Is there anything, in your opinion, which should not be handled by government?

  • Tony||

    Define handled. I don't want full socialism. But I don't think that all good things are the result of the market mechanism either. Some good things are completely outside of for-profit interests. Can you grasp that? I would include those the basic functions of government, and in the modern era that includes healthcare. And that's not just a claim, it's a reality--it's the case in every civilized country on earth.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some good things are completely outside of for-profit interests. Can you grasp that?

    Profits and competition create an incentive to lower costs. Government has no such incentive, and the result is costly waste. Can you grasp that?

  • Tony||

    That is objectively not true, certainly not as a universal reality. Government reduces costs in healthcare relative to private markets. That's just a fact.

    The whole point of government is to exploit economies of scale. Competition in the market can lower costs, but only if government is around to prevent collusion. Who's initiating force in that arrangement, btw?

  • sarcasmic||

    Government reduces costs in healthcare relative to private markets. That's just a fact.

    Uh, no. No it's not a fact. It's a lame assertion with nothing to back it up.

    There's lots of proof that competition makes things better, and that profit creates incentives to lower cost.

    only if government is around to prevent collusion.

    A solution seeking a problem.

    Who's initiating force in that arrangement, btw?

    The government that uses force to prevent competition and enable collusion. In a free market collusion is quite difficult.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    Competition in the market can lower costs, but only if government is around to prevent collusion.

    I assume then, that government should prevent unionization?

  • pelephant||

    Insurance companies make money denying healthcare. Can you grasp that?

  • ||

    I really really don't understand why it's so hard for you to grasp that you don't have a right to someone else's time, talent, or body.

  • sarcasmic||

    I really really don't understand why it's so hard for you to grasp that you don't have a right to someone else's time, talent, or body.

    If he was honest he would say that because government is force, and because government can't be stopped because it is force, then why not use that force for free stuff? Might makes right, and government is might, so let it make right. Who cares about silly things like right and wrong. We're talking about free shit!

    But alas he is not honest.

  • Tony||

    I really don't understand why you don't read another fucking book.

  • sarcasmic||

    I really don't understand why you don't read another fucking book.

    What would you suggest?

    Mein Kampf? The Communist Manifesto? Because that is the logical conclusion of everything you represent.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic you're stupid and you're not doing libertarianism any favors by speaking.

  • sarcasmic||

    First off, I'm typing, not speaking, Mister Distinction-Challenged Tony. Secondly, unlike you, I can actually learn things. That doesn't make me the stupid one.

  • pelephant||

    goes for most libertarians

  • ||

    For the umpteenth time: Saying you have a right to medical care (healthcare is what YOU do) is an explicit demand that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals treat you. That is straight up slavery.

    My views on this aren't based off of Rand's shitty little (well not so little) book. Newsflash Tony: Not all of us are Ayn Rand fanboys.

    But then, you're a brain dead progressive who can't fathom another human beings position if it doesn't completely line up with yours so I guess it shouldn't surprise me.

  • Tony||

    So all police, juries, court-appointed attorneys, and judges are slaves?

    Stop spouting Randian bullshit if you don't want me to mistake you for a Randian. Things do not necessarily become more true the simpler they are. Yes, you have a right to self-ownership and self-determination. Among the ways you enjoy that right are by participating in your society and cooperating with your fellow human beings to accomplish common goals, and you do that most effectively through democratic governance.

  • sarcasmic||

    Society is not government and government is not society, Mister Distinction-Challenged Tony. Democratic governance as you call it is not "participating in your society and cooperating with your fellow human beings to accomplish common goals" as you put it. It is force and coercion, Mister Distinction-Challenged Tony.

  • RickC||

    So you see no space for people to operate in this world other than through for-profit interests or within and through government? No voluntarily organizations, no charities no societies for the advancement of (insert cause)?

    It seems to me you just don't see what Washington, as pointed above, and many others were talking about. Government should be the last go-to institution for any problem that civil society needs solved. It should be the last because government has only one tool - force.

    Since everyone hates, rightly so, being forced to do something against their will, especially when that something goes against every ethical precept they hold dear, you end up setting group against group because everyone realizes that, unlike voluntarily entered into arrangements like charities or even markets, what they've been forced into is a zero-sum game. And even if the losers in that game gain some benefit from the new arrangment the fact that they were forced into it rankles and divides. It does not unite.

  • pelephant||

    i know my library and fire department would get nowhere if it weren't for their profit motives

  • Rob||

    I thought my questions were fairly direct, let me try again. Is there any activity which should not come under the direct purview of government? More specifically, where is the line between government regulation and government control. As an example I think government requiring specific services be covered by insurance to be a step too far. Doing this removes the ability for people to purchase insurance which covers their specific needs, and ultimately leads to higher costs for everyone as people no longer can choose not to carry certain services.

    As someone who tried to engage you more civilly than others in these comments I find your condescension rude and unwarranted. "Can you grasp that?" Was that really necessary? I sometimes feel bad for you since you are often on the receiving end of some nasty personal attacks. Unfortunately, the more I try to engage you in an honest discussion the more I realize you aren't interested in honest dialog and deserve much of the scorn sent your way.

  • Tony||

    Whether you can grasp that there are some good and necessary things in this world that aren't the product of a for-profit enterprise is central to whether you can understand any point I could make in response. Sorry to come off as rude. It is not my default tone, but libertarians do kinda tend to be asshole adolescents about everything.

    I think law should permeate all--there is no space so private that you should be allowed to commit murder in it. I don't think government should run every enterprise, but I do think we should think of capitalism as a means to an end and not the end itself. If capitalism isn't producing good outcomes (say, if it's concentrating all of the wealth at the top), then it can and should be fixed.

    The things government should be involved in in one way or another are universal basic needs. In the past we recognized that among these were national defense, education, clean water, etc., and in the past century civilization has added to this list healthcare, which is absolutely no different, in principle, from education except perhaps that it's even more vital. I don't think we should have private health insurance at all. We've tried it that way, and we've tried it the single-payer way (Medicare), and other countries have tried various schemes, and despite their differences it's perfectly clear that the only thing that works efficiently and humanely is universality (which can only be achieved by government subsidy).

  • Rob||

    Tony: Whether you can grasp that there are some good and necessary things in this world that aren't the product of a for-profit enterprise is central to whether you can understand any point I could make in response.

    It is pretentious to assume someone cannot grasp your logic if they disagree on whether some necessary and good things should be kept out of the hands of for-profit enterprises. I can assure you I understand your point of view just fine. I may reject it as fact, but I do acknowledge it as being core to you personal philosophy.

    I'm not interested in the areas where you believe government should be involved. Excuse the curtness but I am going ask this one final time because it appears you are either incapable or unwilling to answer: What limit do you feel is appropriate to place government control, name just one thing which you do not believe the government should hold sway over? I don't want justifications for state power, I want to know where believe state power should end. If you don't believe there should be limits on state power, fine, I don't have an issue with you holding that view. But I do want to know if that is the case or if you believe there are real limitations to government authority.

    By the way law is not the same thing as government. Property rights, self ownership, and individualism also permeate every aspect of life, but you don't seem to hold those concepts in the same regard as government. I'm not criticizing just noting it.

  • Tony||

    There is certainly a number of things I don't think government should be doing. It shouldn't be forcing women to give birth against their will. It shouldn't be arresting people for smoking weed. It shouldn't be giving subsidies to oil companies. I could go on for a long time, actually.

    But what I absolutely do not believe is that it should be inherently prevented by some kind of authoritarian principle that democratically free people have no choice but to abide by. Government should do whatever the people want it to do. They are not free otherwise.

  • Rob||

    Tony: [Government] shouldn't be arresting people for smoking weed [and it] shouldn't be giving subsidies to oil companies.

    It's good to know you hold some common ground with libertarians.

    Unfortunately you also had to include this comment, "[Government] shouldn't be forcing women to give birth against their will." Unless you also believe women are being forced into pregnancy by government that statement is absurd. I'm not a life begins at conception kind of guy, but I'm pretty sure most people know where babies come from and know what they can do to prevent having any of their own. Short of rape or immaculate conception I don't know how women are being systematically forced into pregnancy let alone being forced to give birth. Really if someone does not want children they probably should not engage in activities which can lead to pregnancy, or at take precautions to prevent aforementioned pregnancy.

    I'm not going to get into a discussion about providing access to birth control or abortions tonight. Needless to say we are probably too far apart to have a meaningful discussion on either of those topics.

  • Tony||

    I said specifically that government should force women to give birth. I didn't say government was forcing them to get pregnant.

    People who want to ban abortion want government to force some women to give birth against their will. Why is that not true?

    You didn't even address the point, so let me rephrase as a question: should people be ruled by an inviolable set of principles or should they be able to get the policies they freely choose?

  • Rob||

    Tony, you missed my point. No one is systematically forcing women to become pregnant. For most women it's a choice. Most unplanned pregnancies are the result of choosing to not use some form of birth control.

    I believe in allowing people to be free to choose their own way in life. It's something that is central to how I navigate in my own life. However, with free choice comes responsibility. I find it repugnant that many people will not use birth control, and then choose to abort a pregnancy. There are so many ways to prevent pregnancy (pill, ring, diaphragm, IUD, condoms, patch, implant, emergency contraceptives) that women should not become pregnant if it isn't what they truly wanted.

    I've said it before, and I'll repeat it here, I don't believe that abortion should be illegal. I still find the practice objectionable. I think at some point during a pregnancy (which could have been avoided...) we need to consider the rights of the fetus. Despite what we may think about contraceptives and abortion, that fetus will become a future person with all the same rights we enjoy. If someone is going to have sex, especially without using contraceptives, it was a decision they made. There were so many ways to avoid getting to that point. It disheartens me that so many unwanted or unplanned pregnancies end in abortion when it could be avoided altogether.

  • Rob||

    I will be the first to admit I don't know where the crossing line is to say abortion is okay, versus not okay. If I were to say abortion is acceptable at 20 weeks, I need to explain why it isn't acceptable at 19 weeks. The bottom line is I can't, and that's why I believe it should be an option. However, I can't help but feel some empathy for a life that is snuffed out before it was even given a chance to begin.

    I don't look down on people who have had abortions, and I have known a few people who made that choice. I just wish people would act responsibly and avoid the situation completely.

  • pelephant||

    and by people we mean rich white people. or poor white people to stupid to vote in their own interest. if only there were a way to reshape our districts to represent the votes of REAL WHITE AMERICANS. then we could have representatives that could foreword an ideology that doesn't give a care about everyone else.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    I think law should permeate all--there is no space so private that you should be allowed to commit murder in it.

    I think you're confusing law with either justice or self-defense. In many historical cases, the law not only allows for, but requires, what we would consider murder. Avoiding/disallowing murder and having the law permeate all are not synonymous (unless you define murder as illegal killing, in which case, your statement reduces to the truism/question begging: "I think law should be everywhere: illegal killing shouldn't be allowed."

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    Institutions are what make the difference between living like savages and living like civilized people, and government religion is the biggest and most important institution. What you're offering not only has no connection with reality, you aren't even explaining it. It's just government religionbad!

    Same damn argument: it's an institution, it exists, so it must be awesome.

  • Tony||

    Religion is a more primitive institution but has been a civilizing force to a degree. It's nowhere near as good as secular government.

  • sarcasmic||

    Statism, the worshiping of government as a god, is indeed a religion.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    It's nowhere near as good as secular government.

    Sounds like it just government good. Never mind the body count, I guess.

  • Tony||

    You were doing so middlingly, then you had to pull the body count crap and go full retard.

    Compare the real-world body count to what the body count would be if the whole planet looked like Somalia the whole time. You have to weigh the deaths government has prevented if you're being honest.

  • sarcasmic||

    if the whole planet looked like Somalia

    Reductio ad Somaliaism!

    Limited government means no government at all!

    Bring out the straw men! Burn them! Burn them to the ground!

  • Tony||

    Limited government means you support coercion and state violence--usually especially those things. So stop morally indicting me for wanting universal healthcare. That actually involves improving the lives of people rather than just shooting them for setting foot on your lawn (i.e., the "proper role of government").

  • sarcasmic||

    Limited government means limiting the use of force to the reaction to force.

    Universal health care means initiating force to coerce everyone into paying for everyone else's medical bills. It's like standing in a bucket and using the handle to pick yourself up.

    Not that I would expect someone who is Distinction-Challenged to understand.

  • DarrenM||

    I would like to point out that there is a difference between the federal government and the state governments. Wanting a smaller federal government focused on the essentials still leaves state governments free to enact policies which may or may not enlarge those entities. The main thing it allows is for ideas to be tested and to succeed or fail before they are imposed in other states. However, I understand it's much more satisfying to force ones views on an entire nation instead of doing the work state by state.

  • Brian||

    Really? Somalia?

    Claiming that Somalia is a libertarian paradise is like saying that Detroit is a libertarian paradise, since it's drastically scaling back services. Sorry, democrats created Detroit; not libertarians.

    Somalia is a failed state. It's not a libertarian paradise. When you burn down a church, the people fleeing and screaming aren't atheists, and what they do next isn't an example of what happens with an atheist society.

    What happens after a failed state is set up by the state that failed. Blaming freedom is nonsensical.

  • sarcasmic||

    When you burn down a church, the people fleeing and screaming aren't atheists, and what they do next isn't an example of what happens with an atheist society.

    I like that. Well done. Seriously.

  • Boisfeuras||

    Claiming that Somalia is a libertarian paradise is like saying that Detroit is a libertarian paradise, since it's drastically scaling back services. Sorry, democrats created Detroit; not libertarians.

    The irony is that socialism, quite literal and overt socialism under Barre, also caused Somalia to become a failed state.

  • Tony||

    The level of the elimination of government you are endorsing on this page is tantamount to having a failed state. You don't get to hand-wave away all the problems that would come with your conception of a limited government (actually you've argued basically for anarchy). There will be factions asserting power over people in the absence of government. It will just be a lot more bloody and chaotic and unfree.

  • sarcasmic||

    Mister Distinction-Challenged Tony doesn't understand the distinction between limited government and no government. No surprise though. After all, he is Distinction-Challenged. Poor fella.

  • Brian||

    This is just argument by assertion. Libertarian society looks like Somalia because you say it does, based on human nature arguments, which are incredibly weak. Basically, any preconceived idea you think about social organization is true because... human nature. That's not an argument. That's just question begging.

  • Tony||

    That there are exactly zero successful countries with a government as limited as you want it to be is not my problem.

  • Brian||

    Oh, there are successful countries.

    The US at its founding and during the 1800's was probably the closest thing to a libertarian paradise that the world has ever seen. There was explosive growth in GDP and personal income and (OMG), deflation. Of course, that was before the fed.This was before income tax.

    Basically, all the wonderful stuff you statists love to do is only possible because of the economic foundation that the relatively free 1800's gave you. When the government wants 25% of your annual income, you need to make enough to live on 75%. That's not possible when you're living hand to mouth. Free market capitalism is what makes that possible. Not medicare. Not social security.

    The fact that government tends to grow and grow, and never stays small, says more about democracy and rulers than it does about the viability of libertarianism. If libertarianism leads to Somalia, then this country shouldn't exist.

  • Tony||

    The US at its founding and during the 1800's was probably the closest thing to a libertarian paradise that the world has ever seen.

    Jesus fucking Christ. Yeah, if you weren't female, black, poor, old, or if you like modern technology.

    It is an uncontroversial statement of fact that if you remove the aspects of government you don't like, such as the social safety net, life will be much riskier for many people, and more people will die sooner than they would otherwise. This all hinges on your ridiculously narrow definition of freedom. An old person with a SS and Medicare safety net is actually more free than an old person starving to death, despite the latter getting to live under "smaller government."

  • Brian||

    Jesus fucking Christ. Yeah, if you weren't female, black, poor, old, or if you like modern technology.

    So, you blame the 1800's for not having modern technology because they had markets that were too free? They were too capitalist? If only they were more like socialist democrats, or perhaps communist, they would have had more technology? Is that really reasonable? Is there some socialist planet somewhere you're comparing it to? And, if that's not your point, why are you trashing on the 1800's for not having modern enough technology?

    Sorry, but socialism didn't end slavery and give rights to women. Socialism is an economic system. Libertarian ideas of personal ownership gave rights to women and slaves. And the state was completely in bed with the slave holders and the patriarchy.

    Either way, your point was that libertarianism produces Somalia. Sorry that the 1800's didn't espouse libertarian ideals hard enough for you, but it certainly wasn't Somalia.

  • DarrenM||

    How long was the United States a 'failed state'?

  • Boisfeuras||

    The founders were not libertarians. The single most important purpose of the US Constitution was to create a big federal government to replace the failed loose confederation that came before. You don't get to whore out the founders for your own narrow political interests.

    How has no one called him out on these lies? The early republic was founded on principles of classical liberalism, which is the predecessor of modern libertarianism.

    Even the Federalists were terrified of the prospect of a government considered "big" by their own standards (still miniscule by total-state Tony standards). Federalists like Madison didn't even want a standing army. Jefferson said—in 1824, "I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."

    Congress sold off the Continental Navy to pay down the debt from the Revolution. When the to protect American trade arose, there was a huge controversy over building a small, six-ship navy because it would grow the government.

    The early republic had virtually no civilian federal employees. From 1800 to 1850, the federal government spent $3 per person. The U.S. had four executive departments for its first 70 years, and only six for the first 120 years, and virtually no regulatory bodies.

  • Tony||

    There is no predecessor to modern libertarianism except original libertarianism, which at least saw room for social safety nets.

    What worked for people in an 18th-century agrarian society is somewhat different from what works for people in a 21st century technological society. The comparisons we should be making are not to past societies (through rose-colored glasses, of course) but to contemporary ones. Which work the best and why? "Bigness" of government is the provincial obsession of an anomalous strain in American politics, one that has become so insulated from external realities as to become cult-like.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're using society and government interchangeably. They're not the same thing, Mister Distinction-Challenged Tony.

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    Speaking of promising free unicorns and trips to the moon, jackoff...that was Blowbama's election campaign promise for all the brain dead low-information "voters" (sometimes 8 or 9 times each...) Now go back to your one-handed "alone time" with your Jokebama poster and PI$$ OFF.

  • Carolynp||

    I think the person saying government will save them gets the award for unicorns and rainbows. How's that working out in Detroit, btw?

  • ||

    Haha, a "gay" sockpuppet used a gay slur on you sarc. That's pretty damn funny right there.

  • sarcasmic||

    Goalposts have been moved. Straw men have been burned.

    Tony has successfully Tulpafied the thread.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    If you want to repeal the ACA and have no plans to replace it with anything, you are endorsing the status quo prior to the ACA. Period. No gold star for not having ideas.

    I love it how previous state intervention that totally fucks up a system, then becomes an excuse for endorsing all future state intervention, because, since any legislation != doing nothing, so opposing any legislation == doing nothing.

    I assume, then, that Democrats would endorse a modified Obamacare plan that throws people in jail for not paying for their own healthcare, since that would be doing something, and opposing it would be endorsing the status quo.

    Not having any ideas endorsed by socialist democrats != not having any ideas.

  • Tony||

    All I'm saying is that you can't stop at repealing the ACA and then claim you've accomplished something positive, unless you are claiming that the prior status quo is an improvement on the ACA. Then you're just an incrementalist whose preferred policy is the prior status quo.

    I've gotten you guys to admit that you think access to healthcare should be wealth-dependent (because it's the logical conclusion of your beliefs), so I wish you'd stop being Republican bootlickers and start espousing some libertarian ideas for a change (like the wonderful idea that healthcare should be totally market-based and thus wealth-dependent.) But you don't want to do that do you? You'd prefer to keep things vague so you don't have to own up to the fact that your system is simply morally inferior to the "socialist" alternatives.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    like the wonderful idea that healthcare should be totally market-based and thus wealth-dependent.

    I'd go for that.

    I mean, at first thought, I'd hate it if health care went market based and wealth dependent, like TVs and computers, constantly getting better and better and cheaper and cheaper, where practically everyone has them, even poor people, without subsidies and what not.

    Then, I think about it, and it sounds awesome.

    And ACA just seems like the prior status quo: lets have the government make some big promises, tweak some knobs, and fail to deliver. How is that not the status quo?

  • Tony||

    Healthcare doesn't work like TVs and computers. It doesn't respond to the same market incentives. People want to buy TVs and computers, and so competition will drive costs down. People have to get healthcare, and will pay whatever price is asked of them since the alternative is being dead. This is why healthcare, like other universal needs, is handled by an insurance scheme in one form or another (private or social).

    I'm certain you'll wave this fact away with some bullshit about how since we weren't in Libertopia it doesn't count, but we've had the most market-based healthcare system in the civilized world, and not only does it cost individuals twice what it costs people in other countries, but government spending per capita on healthcare is higher too, despite not having universality. Healthcare, all empirical evidence suggests, is cheapest and most efficient when everyone is in one giant risk pool. It's why Medicare is cheaper than the private insurance system.

    You guys have simply been proved wrong on this issue. Be a man and own up to it.

  • Brian||

    People have to get healthcare, and will pay whatever price is asked of them since the alternative is being dead. This is why healthcare, like other universal needs, is handled by an insurance scheme in one form or another (private or social).

    People have to get food, too. The alternative is starvation. It isn't handled by insurance schemes. Prices don't keep climbing arbitrarily higher and higher.

    This whole idea is that people have no choices in healthcare, and will pay whatever is demanded, is just incorrect. I've had too many family members go through too many necessary surgeries to avoid death, and watched them make all sorts of decisions. Which doctor? Which procedure? Which surgical technique? Somehow, they can all make rational decisions between multiple options (including no treatment: maybe you don't want chemo when you're 100. Maybe you don't want to circumcise your son if you have haven't already prepaid for it, or have it subsidized by taxpayers), yet healthcare has no options, no choices: you just do what doctors tell you and pay what they say, or you die.

    It would be great for your argument if all the complexity was gone, and reality was that simple, but it's not.

  • Tony||

    Food is heavily subsidized in this country from production to consumption. It's also a more predictable cost than healthcare. I don't know why you guys keep trotting this out as if it's an argument against government intervention for basic needs. Ever heard of food stamps?

    It's not so much about making choices (more choices is good), but about spreading risk. Just take the insurance model and make it universal and take the profit out of it. It's simple, it works, and it's humane.

  • Brian||

    Food is heavily subsidized in this country from production to consumption.

    Yeah, and those take the form of corporate welfare to agribusiness. They establish price floors (not price ceilings), and help keep domestic farmers competitive with imports, i.e., it keeps food prices artificially high, and adds hidden costs.

    Ever heard of food stamps?

    Do you think that food stamps are the only thing keeping people from paying whatever price is asked of them for food (that was your original argument)? Food stamps allow poor people to buy more food. If anything, that increases demand and, thus, in the presence of limited supply, increases food prices.

    To argue that agricultural subsidies and food stamps keep food prices low, despite the universal need for food, is to not understand either agricultural subsidies or the law of supply and demand.

    Just take the insurance model and make it universal and take the profit out of it. It's simple, it works, and it's humane.

    Yeah, let's take the profit motive out of health care. Let's pull out all the incentives behind medical advancement other than charity, and pull out all price signals as well. That always works.

    I thought you guys blamed libertarians for imagining that everyone's an angel. Now, people are supposed to engage in medical research just because it's the humane thing to do. Go figure.

  • Tony||

    How on earth does profit motive contribute more to scientific advancement in medicine than, say, government-funded research? Profit motive is what gets everyone buying pills they don't need and getting treatments they don't need. It is entirely plausible in healthcare and many other industries that it is more profitable not to innovate. The line from profit motive to scientific advancement is not as straight as you think it is.

  • Brian||

    How on earth does profit motive contribute more to scientific advancement in medicine than, say, government-funded research?

    Because private industry funds more research than the government. You can look it up. I've posted links to it multiple times. If you won't deal with facts, that's not my problem.

  • Brian||

  • Brian||

  • Brian||

    It is entirely plausible in healthcare and many other industries that it is more profitable not to innovate.

    Yeah, I've heard those arguments, and they're kinda silly. Apparently, since no one would want to make their own products obsolete, then no one else, ever, will make any product obsolete. It falls flat on its face on inspection. Companies constantly make each other's products obsolete all the time, and it's not due to government intervention.

    And what, prey-tell, is the government's incentive to innovate? Is the claim now that technological progress drives elections, such that politicians are motivated to push technological development towards efficient resource allocation, representing the will of the people? No, they pursue everything towards political efficiency, nothing less, nothing more.

  • Brian||

  • Brian||

    I'm certain you'll wave this fact away with some bullshit about how since we weren't in Libertopia it doesn't count, but we've had the most market-based healthcare system in the civilized world

    No, that would be Switzerland or Singapore.

    Healthcare, all empirical evidence suggests, is cheapest and most efficient when everyone is in one giant risk pool.

    No, it's most efficient when people make choices about where there money goes, instead of having third party plans determine everything.

    You cherry pick examples and make erroneous conclusions. Sorry: that's not our problem.

  • Tony||

    Switzerland has universal healthcare based on compulsory coverage--insurance providers must provide basic coverage to all and are not allowed to make a profit on it. IT'S FUCKING OBAMACARE ONLY MORE SO.

    Singapore also has a universal system that is completely government-regulated. You're cherry picking things that don't even support your argument.

  • Brian||

    Switzerland has universal healthcare based on compulsory coverage--insurance providers must provide basic coverage to all and are not allowed to make a profit on it. IT'S FUCKING OBAMACARE ONLY MORE SO.

    Sorry, but your assertion was that:
    we've had the most market-based healthcare system in the civilized world

    So, tell me what Medicare in Switzerland is like. What's Medicaid like? Oh, that's right: they don't have them. Do they loose their civility rating? If that's like Obamacare only more so, then I assume you buys will all be for abolishing medicare now that we have mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions. Being old is a preexisting condition, so there's no reason why old people need medicare anymore, right? That would be more free market than what we're doing now, and just like Switzerland, so, no, we don't have the most free market system.

    Singapore basically has coverage for the lower 10% income (something like medicaid), catastrophic insurance, and mandatory health savings account. No medicaid, no damn insurance companies. Spending money in an HSA is much more market based than third party payer systems, so, no, we don't have the most free market healthcare in the world.

    You guys act like the whole civilized world is on some single payer system, and anything less than that is a compromise, "free market" solution. Sorry, it's not.

  • Brian||

    Switzerland has universal healthcare based on compulsory coverage--insurance providers must provide basic coverage to all and are not allowed to make a profit on it. IT'S FUCKING OBAMACARE ONLY MORE SO.

    Plus, in Switzerland, there aren't tax subsidies for employer provided health care. In the US, practically everyone gets either federal insurance or insurance based on employer. They practically never shop for insurance. The only people who are going to be shopping for insurance under Obamacare are people who don't get employee plans. That's not really a big market in action there, compared to Switzerland. Sorry, but the claim that the US has the most free market healthcare in the world is simply false.

  • Rob||

    Tony: [We've] had the most market-based healthcare system in the civilized world...

    No system which requires a service provider to produce a Certificate of Need can be described as market-based.

  • Square||

    My understanding is that in India the healthcare system is essentially unregulated, and if you only have fifty cents, you can get fifty cents worth of healthcare.

    You can't get fifty cents worth of healthcare in the US. There is a mentality in the US that people shouldn't be allowed to have cheap things. When this results in poor people not having things, then there's a mentality that the government needs to fund nice things for everyone.

    When there aren't enough nice things to go around, government mandates that everone should get equally shitty things at nice thing prices, and then pats itself on the back for providing a universal service.

    If instead I had the option of letting any quack I choose treat me in any way I see fit and can pay for, we may find the initial problem to be less severe than we thought at first.

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha/

    Fuck you're stupid.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    We have the most market-based system in the world? Really? So Medicare is free market? Residency slots in this country are free market? The inability to sell insurance across state lines is free market? You don't have a fucking clue about how health care works in this country.

    Medicare is cheaper than the private system because the private system subsidizes it.

    Oh, and if you believe that the other systems in the world (not all of which are the socialist, single payer paradise you seem to believe they are) are so wonderful, then could you care to explain why the US has the highest 5 year survival rate for major cancers? The British NHS is positively awful in that regard. Can you explain why a higher percentage of US patients receive new drugs appropriate to their conditions such as statins? Can you explain why a higher percentage of Americans receive preventive screening than Europeans? Can you explain why even in the supposed single payer NHS people elect to buy private insurance? Or the same for Canada? Can you explain why Medicaid in this country has outcomes that are no better than not having insurance?

    Stop just regurgitating the shit you read in Mother Jones and learn something for a change.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    We have the most market-based system in the world? Really? So Medicare is free market? Residency slots in this country are free market? The inability to sell insurance across state lines is free market? You don't have a fucking clue about how health care works in this country.

    Medicare is cheaper than the private system because the private system subsidizes it.

    Oh, and if you believe that the other systems in the world (not all of which are the socialist, single payer paradise you seem to believe they are) are so wonderful, then could you care to explain why the US has the highest 5 year survival rate for major cancers? The British NHS is positively awful in that regard. Can you explain why a higher percentage of US patients receive new drugs appropriate to their conditions such as statins? Can you explain why a higher percentage of Americans receive preventive screening than Europeans? Can you explain why even in the supposed single payer NHS people elect to buy private insurance? Or the same for Canada? Can you explain why Medicaid in this country has outcomes that are no better than not having insurance?

    Stop just regurgitating the shit you read in Mother Jones and learn something for a change.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    "Healthcare doesn't work like TVs and computers. It doesn't respond to the same market incentives. People want to buy TVs and computers, and so competition will drive costs down. People have to get healthcare, and will pay whatever price is asked of them since the alternative is being dead."

    Really? I'll die unless I get my physical TOMORROW?!! OMG!! One of the supposed methods of bending the cost curve in Obamacare is that now everyone will have access to preventive care so they won't have emergent conditions that have to be FIXED RIGHT NOW! Are you saying they don't have the time to shop around for a primary in a free market? People won't shop around for a flu shot?

    Yeah, thought so.

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    Then why did the incompetent doucheb*g PresiDEBT mandate that anyone who didn't sign up for his BULLSH*T "TAX" called Blowbamacare (Read: The UNaffordable Wealth Scare SCAM)has to pay a penalty (Read: Unconstitutional TAX). NOW who is taking who hostage, you sanctimonious SOB...

  • Rob||

    What did I just read? The spam bots make more sense.

  • Carolynp||

    All I'm saying is that you can't stop at repealing the ACA and then claim you've accomplished something positive...
    Yeah, actually, we can. And, as it turns out, most US citizens agree with that.

  • Tony||

    So going back to the higher costs and lower healthcare availability of the pre-ACA era is a positive accomplishment?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    What higher costs? You realize that costs have already gone up as a result of Barrycare, don't you? Did you think that covering dependents to age 26 was free? Did you think that guaranteed issue was free?

    Oh, and did you happen to notice that the rate (rate not absolute value) of health care inflation was falling before Barrycare was passed? Oddly enough it coincides with an economic downturn and with the rise of HDHP with HSA's. Imagine that. Making consumers responsible for the costs of their healthcare actually induces them to be more careful shoppers. Huh, whodathunk?

  • Mike M.||

    Almost two decades later and people still blame the Republican Congress and not Bill Clinton on the last shutdown.

    No normal person in America still gives a fuck about the 1995 shutdown; only a few psychopaths like you do.

  • John||

    How did blaming the Congress work out for the Dems Tony? They gained almost nothing in the House and lost 2 seats in the Senate in 1996. The people blamed the Republicans so much they decided to give Bill Clinton another term and keep the Republicans in as adult supervision.

    Unless you think controlling Congress doesn't matter, that "blame" didn't work out so well for the Democrats.

  • Square||

    Don't forget that in 1996 Clinton was running against a man most people thought was dead already.

  • JWatts||

    It cost Newt Gingrich's speakership, but it got President Clinton to come to the table, sign off on Welfare Reform and the first (close to) balanced budget in decades.

    Sure, I'll sign up for a repeat of that. Here, I'll ante up with Boehner.

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    Would it be legitimate for President Obama to refuse to sign any budget that doesn't include gun control legislation? An expansion of Obamacare perhaps?

    He should refuse to sign the budget unless he gets congressional authorization to invade Syria. Then, he could claim that invading Syria is authorized, so raising the debt ceiling to afford it is just taking responsibility and paying for the wonderful services we've chosen. What's the alternative at that point? Not invading Syria? That would be crazy and irresponsible!

  • JWatts||

    AT SEQUESTRATION LEVELS. The clean budget Democrats want is already a concession to them.

    Hey Tony, did you miss the part where the majority of Democratic Congressmen voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011? And then Obama signed off on it?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Almost two decades later and people still blame the Republican Congress and not Bill Clinton on the last shutdown.

    Nonsense. I credit the Republican congress for that shutdown, but I fault them for caving in and letting the government reopen so quickly.

    -jcr

  • OneOut||

    "funding the government--AT SEQUESTRATION LEVELS. "

    At sequestration levels ? Oh no ? Not sequestration levels!

    The Horror...The Horror !

    Why should you be worried about sequestration levels Tony ?

    The Prez still golfs and the First Lady is still livin' large.

    Where da problem at ?

  • John||

    The people who think this is not obama and Harry Reid's responsible are partisan idiots and or people who don't understand basic civics and how the government works.

    The only reason we have a shutdown is because Harry Reid refuses to let the Senate pass a budget. The way the system should work is that Congress passes a series of appropriation and authorization bills funding each department for the next year. If that had occurred, all of the other bills, about which there isn't a lot of disagreement, would have already been passed and this would at most involve funding HHS. The only reason that didn't occur is because doing that would given the Dems very little leverage and Obamacare would have probably been defunded. So, the Dems created this crisis because they wanted leverage by forcing the Republicans to shut down the government to stop Obamacare. This crisis such as it is is entirely the creation of the Democrats.

  • John||

    The reason why they created it is that they refuse to accept that any election they don't win has consequences. One of the big low information, low IQ voter talking points is this idea that House must fund Obamacare because it is "the law of the land". Ah, no, that is not how government works. I can tell you from experience my clients are authorized by the law of the land to do lots of things they don't do do because a later Congress decided to not appropriate the money. If the House or the Senate doesn't like your pet program, it may get defunded and become a dead letter in the law. It happens all of the time. To say you must fund Obamacare is like saying the Congress in 1979 had to fund the B1 Bomber because a previous Congress had passed a law creating the program. No, they don't. That is not how it works.

    The answer here is that Obamacare doesn't get funded and we have an election in 2014. If the Dems retake the House, then too bad for the Republicans Obamacare gets funded to the Dems heart's content. It is the Dems refusal to accept that reality that has caused this entire thing.

  • Tony||

    John you've been on an extended stay in crazy town for weeks now. It's getting a little old.

    I've said before: the only thing you apparently care about is political perception. Well, Republicans are losing that fight if you look at the polls. They will not get what they want. They will own the shutdown until they cave and pass a clean budget, and that's all there is to it.

    They should take solace in the fact that a clean budget is nothing like what Democrats want and maintains cuts more draconian than even Republicans claimed they wanted. So a clean budget is a concession to Republican hard-liners without the ACA entering the picture at all.

    They are acting like hysterical children and most Americans aren't as blindly partisan as you are and are able to see that.

  • John||

    Where I did I say a single word about political perception? I am talking about how the government and appropriations and fiscal law actually work. That is the reality. The only reason funding for DOD or DHS or any other agency is being help up because of the fight over Obamacare is because the Demcorats linked Obamacare to funding the entire government in order to get political leverage. That is it. It is the Democrats who took the government hostage. Had they followed the lawful processes (oh yes the law says you need to pass a budget every year), this never would have happened.

    The truth is what it is. You only scream crazy because you don't like it and you have no idea how the is supposed to function and wouldn't care even if you did because all you care about is your side getting its way by any means necessary.

    You can thank me later for the civics and fiscal law lesson.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can thank me later for the civics and fiscal law lesson.

    Lessons only have value to people who can learn. Lessons have no value to Tony.

  • John||

    I know. I can always dream that something might get through his thick skull. But it is very unlikely.

  • Tony||

    You're saying it's Democrats' fault because they won't go along with the simple, reasonable proposition that their most important policy achievement in decades be dismantled in order to keep government open. Yes John, you are crazy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not dismantled. Delayed. Try being honest for once.

  • John||

    No. I am complaining about the Democrats because they won't pass a budget and fund all of the parts of the government that everyone agrees on funding because they want to hold the government hostage to get Obamacare funded. It is the Dems who took the government hostage not the Republicans.

    I am not even really complaining about that. The Dems, budget law aside, have the power to do that. It is unlawful and frankly unethical. But they can do that. Just like the Republicans in the House can refuse to go along. This is called politics.

  • Tony||

    So basically exactly what I said.

  • AlexInCT||

    No, I don't think you have been anything but wrong on this subject Tony, but then again, wrong is what gets progressives gravitas if we go by decades of observation.

  • Carolynp||

    As it turns out, most people think this is exactly what they should do. Hate to remind you, but most US citizens patently hate Obamacare.

  • Tony||

    But they're pretty much OK with the Affordable Care Act.

  • OneOut||

    Tony most American's are ignorant of the fact that the Democrat Senate has refused to pass a budget since Obama has been in office. They are unaware that passing a budget is the Senate's number one reason for existing.

    Why hasn't the Democrat controlled Senate ever passed a budget since Obama took office Tony, even though it is against the law for them not to do so ?

    should the Senate leaders go to jail Tony ?

  • sarcasmic||

    The people who think this is not obama and Harry Reid's responsible are partisan idiots and or people who don't understand basic civics and how the government works.

    It's pretty simple, John. You should know this.

    Heads the Democrats win, tails the Republicans lose.

    So if the situation was exactly reversed, and the Rs had the Senate and White House, it would be their fault for refusing to negotiate with the Ds in the House.

    As it is, the Ds have the Senate and White House, so it is the Rs fault for refusing to give the Ds everything that they want.

    Head the Democrats win, tails the Republicans lose.

  • John||

    And if the situation were reversed, it would be the Republican's fault. This is one case where it is objectively one side's fault. The only reason that funding for the entire government is dependent on funding for Obamacare is that Harry Reid and the Democrats made it so, so they could use the threat of a shut down to extort the House. I really don't see how you blame this shut down on anyone but them.

  • Tony||

    Because they insist on making funding the government contingent on the unrelated matter of defunding a law they don't like and that is the president's signature domestic accomplishment?

  • John||

    No. They don't. The House passed a budget. Every single part of the government, sans HHS could have been funded well before today had the Senate passed the bills. It is the Senate that refuses the fund the government by any means other than a CR. And they are doing that because they want to hold funding the entire government hostage to get Obamacare funded.

    That is reality Tony. There is no denying it. It is the Senate that insists on a CR, not the House.

  • Tony||

    My God you actually believe Republican spin as holy writ don't you?

    At the very least this cuts both ways: the House refuses to pass the clean CR the Senate passed. Right? What am I missing? The budget doesn't have to be about Obamacare at all. The only reason it is is because Republicans promised their lunatic base that it's the devil. They're ignoring the fact that there is still a president called Obama in the White House who is never ever going to sign anything damaging or repealing Obamacare. You do get that right? You do get that this is politics and not policy?

  • John||

    At the very least this cuts both ways: the House refuses to pass the clean CR the Senate passed

    You are missing the fact that a CR is only necessary because the Democrats refuse to pass a budget. Had the Democrats passed a budget, like they are required to by law, the rest of the government would already be funded. The democrats didn't do that because they wanted to make the Republicans shut down the entire government, instead of just HHS, if they wanted to defund Obamacare.

    We only have the need for a CR and the resulting shutdown, rather than a small fight over HHS, because the Democrats wanted to use the threat of a shutdown as leverage to get the House to pass Obamacare. That makes it their fault, not the Republicans. It wasn't the Republicans who insisted on throwing everything into one bill.

    That logic is simple enough even you can understand it. And I suspect you do and that is why you are so angry.

  • Tony||

    You have to know that I'm not going to be convinced by the dumb lying Republican talking point about Democrats not passing a budget, right? I read their bullshit on a daily basis. You're changing the subject by invoking stale partisan lies. Stop it. It's 3 years into Republicans controlling the House, John. Come on with this crap.

    Republicans have refused to conference on a budget despite constant Democratic demands to do so. They don't want a budget. They have never wanted one. Instead they want to force policy changes via threats to the economy since they are incapable of governing the way they are supposed to and because their moron base thinks compromise with Democrats is treason.

    And God only knows what you're talking about with respect to Obamacare. It wasn't passed under these circumstances. It was tough-won, but it was passed like any other legislation. That was regular order. This is not.

  • John||

    Tony, the Senate has never passed a budget. So there is nothing to conference on. You are just making shit up now.

  • Tony||

    The Senate doesn't have to pass a budget. A budget is not an appropriations bill. It has no force of law. Appropriations go on without budgets. Republicans want Democrats to draw up a budget for the sole purpose of beating them over the heads with it come election time.

    Get your party to act like adults before you start throwing stones.

  • sarcasmic||

    Adults write budgets.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.1.13 @ 11:09AM|#
    "The Senate doesn't have to pass a budget. A budget is not an appropriations bill. It has no force of law. Appropriations go on without budgets."

    Excuse followed by excuse.
    'It broke'! Is that so, little boy?

  • Tony||

    So the claim is Democrats didn't pass a budget because... why? They couldn't figure out how to hold the pen?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Actually, you mendacious little prick, you just identified the reason above - "Republicans want Democrats to draw up a budget for the sole purpose of beating them over the heads with it come election time."

    In other words, the Democrats don't have the integrity to put their tax and spending positions down on paper to be examined and scrutinized.

  • John||

    The Senate hasn't passed any of the appropriations bills either. If they had, they would have already been signed. Again, there is nothing to conference on unless both sides have passed a bill.

  • KDN||

    Newly elected Republicans pass a budget totally outside the bounds of what Democrats find acceptable.

    Democrats block normal budget process for 3 years.

    Republicans discover that forcing Democrats to negotiate under duress is the only way to achieve any policy concessions.

    Democrats finally pass a budget outside the bounds of what Republicans find acceptable.

    Republicans block normal budget process for 6 months.

    Republicans fully and completely at fault for entire situation, just like always.

  • ||

    Haha, Tony is so stupid he thinks the budget originates in the Senate.

  • OneOut||

    well, as long as it's this Presidents signature "domestic accomplishment" we should just all bow down even though the American people overwhelmingly don't want it?

    So you admit that the Prez is putting politics and his ego above country ?

    Tony what would you say are the Prez's signature foreign "accomplishments" ?

    1. Syria ? nah that's Putin's
    2. Benghazi ? nope that one belongs to the Syrian's who didn't want us arming the Al Queada rebels
    3. Libya ? no again that one's for the anarchist Islamists running the show there
    4. Afghanistan ? nope.. the Taliban knows when we are leaving and are just biding their time until we do
    5. Closing Gitmo ? Nah.. his own Democrat Congress shut him down on that
    6. Egypt ? wrong again....that one belongs to the Egyptian Army who don't want the Muslim Brotherhood turning Egypt into another Iran

    Tony the only thing I can think of as an "foreign accomplishment" for this Prez is Iraq where he moved Bush's timetable for exiting up by about 5 or 6 months. He failed to leave a security force behind to protect our investment though so Iraq is still a maybe for him. He did shorten our active commitment by about 5 months though and that is his greatest achievement in foreign policy.

    You should be so proud.

  • sarcasmic||

    And if the situation were reversed, it would be the Republican's fault.

    It's always the Republicans' fault. What part of 'heads the Democrats win tails the Republicans lose' do you not understand?

  • Tony||

    Just a bunch of nonpartisan independent-thinking libertarians here!

  • John||

    Just one person at least who understands how the government actually works and thus can see what lies the various talking points you are putting out are.

  • Tony||

    Apparently government works thusly: the House should get its way all the time, and everything it does is Obama's fault.

  • John||

    The House owns the power of the purse. So, yes if you don't control the House, it can be hard to get your shit funded. That is why which party controls the House is a big deal.

    If you don't like that, take it up with the Founders. But that is how the system works. Again, if you want your shit funded, you can also take it up with the voters in 2014 and see if you can retake the House. What you are complain about Tony is the reality of a bicameral legislature and a Democratic Republic.

  • Tony||

    I'm complaining that Republicans have boxed themselves in to maximum Obamacare hate and so they can't see straight enough to pass a simple budget at numbers they wanted in the first place and that Democrats universally oppose.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're so stupid it's just painful to watch.

  • AlexInCT||

    As I have been saying for over 2 decades: to Team Blue compromise and bipartisanship mean they get their way.

  • RightNut||

    Don't blame Obama, He only learned of this government shutdown thing this morning when he read the newspaper!

  • OneOut||

    good one.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Nick, you just got your ass kicked by Jonathan Chait.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....ngman.html

    Yes, Nick, Jonathan Chait kicked your ass, because this post is that lame.

  • John||

    You are the biggest dumb ass who posts on here Venneman. Bigger than Tony or shreek or are just sock puppets. They don't even know what they think. They just cut and paste talking points. You really this stupid.

  • Tony||

    Stunning rebuttal. Read the Chait piece. Do it or shut up. It's short. Your ignorant partisan drivel is polluting the air.

  • John||

    I don't need to read Chait. I have you to give me the Dem talking points for the day.

  • Tony||

    The piece didn't contain a single talking point, it merely explains what ridiculous nonsense Nick's piece is.

  • DH||

    I wouldn't read it my friend. This is Chait's number two point.

    -Second, blaming the president for failing to “kick the asses” of leaders of the opposing party is a really dumb way to think about government, and especially so for a libertarian. Your analysis is that the president needs to compel the opposing party to accept policies it doesn’t like? That’s a libertarian analysis?-
    Apparently he must have missed where Gillespie also mentioned kicking Reid's ass to get into gear. But I forgot, the Left makes policy and we're all supposed to agree with it. And if we don't we're racist, homophobe, gun toting, child killers who want glorious America to burn.

  • Jordan||

    Your analysis is that the president needs to compel the opposing party to accept policies it doesn’t like?

    This just in: Derpgressives still don't understand the difference between cooperation and coercion. Chait and Anal Vanneman fail as usual. News at 11.

  • John||

    Gillespie doesn't want a strong man. He wants a competent President. Using your leverage as President to get both your own side and the opposition to move together towards some kind of compromise is one of the more important parts of being President. If Obama just wanted to be a grand standing jackass instead of someone who actually works towards compromise, he should have stayed in the Senate and not ran for President. Being President requires a bit more maturity and political flexibility than being in the Senate. Obama doesn't seem to get that.

  • Tony||

    I think the point is that it's dumb to claim that the president "kicking ass" in order to get something done is something that is real.

  • RightNut||

    The multiple compromises/bribes Obama used to get Obamacare passed seem to disagree with you.

  • DH||

    What you're crazy, I didn't mean to come off that way. I support everything our glorious leader proposes. I am merely a peon, only to obey and uh uh, Hail Scrooge, I mean Obama.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13FcmlAZEAc

  • DH||

    Forgot to put down "Tony says"

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.1.13 @ 11:20AM|#
    "I think the point is that it's dumb to claim that the president "kicking ass" in order to get something done is something that is real."

    Yes, Tony, you see, adults would read that as a bit of hyperbole, but we understand you either cannot or will not act like one.

  • Paulpemb||

    Tony says: "I think the point is that it's dumb to claim that the president 'kicking ass' in order to get something done is something that is real'

    Yeah, only a real moron would say something like that:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITI.....index.html

  • RightNut||

    It's short. Your ignorant partisan drivel is polluting the air.

    Ya, John, go read that bit of ignorant partisan drivel from that totally non-partisan guy Chait.

    You know what really stifled human innovation? The Black Death. You know what would have prevented the Black Death? Big government building a sanitation infrastructure or funding research and education about sanitation.

    Tony

    Think I'd forget?

  • John||

    Wow. Yeah, the only reason the government didn't stop the black death was because they were apparently evil libertarians. The fact that they had no understanding of germs or what actually caused the black death and thus the value of sanitation had nothing to do with it.

    Chait is appallingly stupid. He makes Sad Beard seem a little less special

  • sarcasmic||

    But John, did you know that Louis Pasteur was working under a grant from DHHS? He must have! Because we all know that there has been no discovery or invention that cannot be credited to government!

  • OneOut||

    How rude. The guy just took up for you by saying you are only the second most ignorant poster here and that's how you thank him ?

  • Sevo||

    Alan Vanneman|10.1.13 @ 10:39AM|#
    "Nick, you just got your ass kicked by Jonathan Chait."

    Alan,
    I wasn't sure you were idiotic enough to follow that bit of cherry picking; I was wrong.
    Try reading it before you site it, dimwit. Count the 'selected' quotes.

  • waffles||

    Thanks Obama!

  • Tony||

    Now that we're shut down, how about Democrats refuse to pass a "clean" CR that doesn't abolish the debt ceiling? Using Nick logic, that would be, let me think, Mitt Romney's fault? I think that's right. It's kind of hard to follow.

  • Sevo||

    STRAWMAN WARNING!

    Tony|10.1.13 @ 11:27AM|#
    ..."Using Nick logic, that would be, let me think, Mitt Romney's fault?"

  • space junk||

    I think the biggest problem is that we have a country being run by ego rather than math. It is a giant game of chess that these politicians play. And we are the pawns. But they love to fight with each other. One decade the Democrats win, the next goes to the Republicans.

    Then when it comes to how it is all presented in the media, they insult us by showing us a cheap shell game. And in fact, we dont even get the respect of 3 shells. They just give us 2. Fuckers!

  • DH||

    Dude, I feel like they only give us half a shell. And I'm tired of being treated like a turtle in a half shell, constantly having to pull my head back in to survive.

    Turtle Power!!

  • Square||

    But for some reason so many persist in believing that there are real ideas here worth pursuing - that there's some real ideological struggle behind Team Red and Team Blue - when any even cursory study of history shows that each will adopt whatever view is expedient in the moment without regard to consistency, coherence, or correspondence with reality, as long as it means sticking it to the other team.

  • Classicist||

    "But you do have to offer something now because you didn't make sure to get a spending plan in place when there was more time to screw around."

    The entire premise of this article is ludicrous. You're blaming the hostage negotiator for the hostage takers' actions. If the GOP has a mandate to overturn the ACA, as you suggest, then they ought to do so legislatively, the way countless laws and constitutional amendments have been dealt with in the past.

  • John||

    Bullshit. See my post above. Programs have their funding killed all of the time. Both Houses of Congress have to agree to fund something. The House is totally within its power to refuse to fund Obamacare. If Obama and the Dems don't like it, they need to either offer the Republicans in the House something in return for funding Obamacare or live with it not being funded and use the issue to try and take back the House in 2014.

    No one is taking anything or anyone hostage. Life is really hard if you don't have a majority in the House. It makes it very hard to get what you want. This whole thing is about the Dems refusal to admit that reality.

  • Tony||

    Or they can let the government shut down instead of bowing to Republicans' ridiculous demands, and people will blame Republicans for it, and eventually Republicans will cave and pass a clean CR (which, again, is at Republican-favored spending levels). That's the most likely scenario. A hell of a lot more likely than Obama and Senate Democrats agreeing to defund the ACA. This whole thing is clearly about Republicans refusing to admit reality (on multiple levels), but even under your own logic this is at least a two-way street. The perplexing thing is why Republicans don't just take yes for an answer (on their own budget levels) and instead further risk their majority by shutting the government down. John most Republicans acknowledge this reality. You are on the side of the loonies.

  • John||

    Sure they can. And lets see who can't stand that anymore first. And if that is what they want to do, fine. But stop lying and claiming that it is not the Dems who shut the government down. It was the Democrats who did this. They would rather shut the government down than negotiate or give Republicans any say in how the government operates. That is reality.

  • Tony||

    John you've been ignoring one important fact. Boehner could put the Senate CR to a vote immediately, and it would pass. That would represent the actual will of Congress. He refuses because he doesn't want a revolt from the hardliners.

    Your spin on this is pathetic and nobody buys it. Not even the talking heads you're aping. They spin because they have to. What's your excuse?

  • Classicist||

    The risk the GOP runs now, though, is that Democrats won't agree to any CR that doesn't also increase the debt ceiling. Why would they?

  • Tony||

    Because it could be the case that Republicans are crazy like a fox. They've gotten pretty far by demanding things they have no right to demand, only to end up with what a slightly less extreme Republican party would have wanted all along--like a clean CR.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.1.13 @ 12:14PM|#
    "Or they can let the government shut down instead of bowing to Republicans' ridiculous demands,"

    Yep, demands to negotiate! Why, the horror!

  • OneOut||

    "Or they can let the government shut down instead of bowing to Republicans' ridiculous demands, and people will blame Republicans for it,"

    Tony listen to this if you listen to nothing else all day.

    No one who is going to BLAME the Republicans for this is ever going to vote for a Republican anyway. If a Republican refuses to back this move they are pandering to someone who is never going to vote for them anyway.

    The Republicans have nothing to lose, except their supporters, if they cave into letting the ACA be crammed down America's throat against the majority's wishes..

  • Tony||

    It's already law. The cramming has commenced.

    The biggest thing you and Republicans fear is the inevitable reality that Obamacare won't be the apocalypse you're claiming it will be. I've heard lots of Republicans say it: people will start to like it and then it will be all the more difficult to repeal. Democracy!

    Yes the Republicans only have to worry about the voters in their highly gerrymandered districts. But they're never going to win the presidency again, and the Senate is probably off the table too. How many more election cycles of Democrats winning the popular vote in the House but Republicans keeping the majority (as was the case the last time) do you think we'll have to go through before a movement begins to wrest democracy from the hands of these lunatics?

  • wadair||

    "...Democrats winning the popular vote in the House but Republicans keeping the majority (as was the case the last time)..."

    Please explain how this is possible, Tony.

    You do know that representatives are elected by the popular vote, therefore it is impossible for any of them to get elected without winning the popular vote in their district. If you are adding up the the total votes for all districts and comparing the percentage of the aggregate that went to Dems verses Repubs, then you are merely comparing the total turnout, not the "popular vote." Methinks you are confused.

  • Tony||

    Democrats won more than a million more votes than Republicans when totaled for House races. Yes I think this is an abomination, because the House makes policy for the entire country.

    The House is meant to be the most democratic of all of the branches of government. Since the Senate is already farcically unrepresentative, when it starts going the same way, something is wrong. We don't have any body representing the majority will of the people (except the presidency).

  • Classicist||

    It's disingenuous to say that programs have their funding "killed" all the time, as if this whole ordeal were a regular-way episode of government negotiation. The GOP has exhausted every other avenue through which to overturn or delay the implementation of the ACA, including a Republican-supported defeat of Ted Cruz's grandstanding, so they turn to this last resort and effectively tell the world that if they can't have it their way, they will close down the government.

    Now, the GOP has that right, of course, the way a younger brother has the right to wave his arms around his sister's face and say "You can't get mad, I'm not touching you," but it's an incredibly immature way of going about things.

  • ||

    That's funny, you may want to talk to the guys who were working on the F-22 and the F-35 before those two programs were defunded by a Democratic congress.

    And it's pretty damn rich for anyone to bitch about the GOP delaying implementation of Obamacare when he handed the employer delay out like a Snickers bar on Halloween.

  • Classicist||

    I wasn't doubting that programs are frequently denied funding, just objecting to treating this ACA-related posturing as a typical witholding of funds.

  • Square||

    It seems essentially the same as Obama on Syria - some congresspeople drew a line in the sand and said that they would try everything to stop the ACA and go down fighting if they had to.

    The chance of success here is roughly 0, but it helps a few politicians demonstrate their commitment to the cause.

  • OneOut||

    Let's skip over the part where the Democrats used every underhanded and unethical maneuver and bribe to pass this in the first place. The most obvious where they "deemed" the bill to be passed in order to avoid Scott Brown's vote. Clearly in defiance of the people's wishes. That's the Scott Brown who was elected on the campaign promise to be the final down vote on Obama care.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    using the power of the purse, granted to exclusively to the legislative branch, is doing it legislatively.

  • OneOut||

    Uh..passing another, in a long line of, CRs is legislating.

    If the underhanded Democrats had bothered to pass a budget, as they are required to by law, since Obama has been in office this all could have been avoided.

  • Sevo||

    Amazing!
    The Chron is NOT blaming the GOP for the shutdown:
    "Congress plunges U.S. into shutdown"
    http://www.sfgate.com/

  • Spokanite||

    This profoundly silly column illustrates once again that the Libertarian-Republican alliance consists mostly of Libertarians mouthing the sort of Republican talking points that they would have chocked on a few years back.

    Jon Chait demolishes this column over at NY Magazine:

    "It’s continually amazing to me that this publication publishes commentary on public policy by a writer who lacks even a rudimentary understanding of the policy process."

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....ngman.html

  • John||

    Anyone who thinks that the House can't and doesn't defund various programs enacted by previous Congress's is an idiot who knows nothing about how government works. Someone is silly here, but it isn't Nick.

    If you want to be smug, try to at least kind of know what you are talking about.

  • Leo||

    Nice try, but you're late to the party, that article was rebutted earlier.

    Though if you're citing Jonathan Fucking Chait seriously then there's not much hope for you anyway.

  • pelephant||

    Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day To learning that the rich white idiots in your gerrymandered district have nothing to do with everyone else in the country. then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go

  • Sevo||

    Spokanite|10.1.13 @ 1:21PM|#
    "This profoundly silly column illustrates once again that the Libertarian-Republican alliance consists mostly of Libertarians mouthing the sort of Republican talking points that they would have chocked on a few years back."
    Yes, hoping to reduce the government is really silly, isn't it.
    Idjit.

    "Jon Chait demolishes this column over at NY Magazine:"
    We saw the article; he'd do better if he weren't so prone to picking quotes out of context.
    Go away.

  • ||

    You are a fucking retard, not unlike Anal Vanneman and Chony.

  • Eric||

    Agreed. Libertarians have legitimate greviances agains the ACA, but that doesn't mean that they need to scorch the earth and play politics like little Team Red waterboys. The shutdown is completely the fault of the GOP, and no one else. Own it for christsake.

  • Eric||

    ^^^This was an agreement with Spokanite, not DesigNate.

  • kathykattenburg||

    "But you do have to offer something now because you didn't make sure to get a spending plan in place when there was more time to screw around."

    That's crap, Nick. House Republicans refused to conference the House and Senate versions of the budget FOR SIX MONTHS. That was not Harry Reid's fault, and it wasn't Pres. Obama's fault. Obama cannot force John Boehner to force a Republican caucus HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN CHARGE OF to go to conference if they refuse to do so. Being President does not confer supernatural powers on everyone around him. He cannot suddenly make anyone do anything if they refuse to.

  • ||

    You know the Senate isn't supposed to come up with their own budget right?

  • OneOut||

    The he shouldn't be allowed to suddenly make us buy insurance through Obamacare.

  • hollanderpetr||

    my co-worker's step-mother makes $63 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her pay check was $13317 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit

    http://www.Works23.com

  • OldmanRick||

    One must remember the narcissistic, divisive, disingenuous, spiteful, girly emperor wannabe's only claim to fame is his days as a Chicago small community rabble rouser. That's all he knows, so that is what he uses. Study the tactics of rabble rousers and one understands the brat and his lapdogs.

  • Volren||

    Thanks Obama!

    I actually mean this in a non-ironic way. Gov't shutdowns for everyone.

  • JeremyR||

    That's why Obama supporters have pushed that meme for years, because when sometime really is his fault, it's a joke to blame him for it.

  • pelephant||

    I just want to add my story Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go

  • OneOut||

    After reading all these pro and con posts on Obamacare I have seen the truth. I can no longer stand by and watch a group of heartless Republican's and Libertarian's continue to deny those less fortunate than them access to healthcare. Even though health insurance stocks went up 20% to 30% after it was passed it's about time the government reigned in those evil, for profit, insurance companies. After all, it's for the children.

    I feel that is is what is best for the country and it makes me feel good to know that I support Obamacare. I feel better now that we have a bill that saves children's lives. I was getting tired of seeing all those dead children in the streets. Anyone who is against Obamacare is cruel and heartless.

    NOW can I have a waiver ?

  • Owebama Is A Douchebag||

    Sarcasm at its FINEST.

  • space junk||

    In other news... my wife says her drive into Arlington, VA has been 'lovely' for the past 2 days!

  • ||

    Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go

    ------
    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • jolieena||

    my classmate's step-sister makes $84/h hourly on the internet. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $20791 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site.. Bay89.com

  • jolieena||

    my classmate's step-sister makes $84/h hourly on the internet. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $20791 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site.. Bay89.com

  • SIV||

    Good column, Nick. Keep up the good work.

  • Ronald Reagan||

    No one is buying this argument outside of the right wing echo chamber. You are fooling yourselves, just as you did with your "unskewed polls" before the election. Even Republicans in the house are starting to blame each other for this mess.

    Keep waiting for that landslide victory.

  • loellaviles||

    my friend's sister makes =$­8­0= an hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was =$­1­2­7­4­1= just working on the laptop for a few hours. here are the findings...

    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • Jesse Fell||

    The government is shut down because the Republicans are refusing to fund the government unless Obama agrees to abandon the Affordable Care Act and some other legislative items that the Republicans dislike.

    The name for this political action is extortion.

    President Obama is right to resist extortion, not only for what's at stake in the present case, but to prevent a dangerous political precedent from being established. The precedent would be that a determined Congressional faction can get its way -- after failing to do so through ordinary legitimate means -- by threatening mayhem.

    The legitimate way to prevail is to get enough like minded people elected to make the changes that you want. The Republicans will have a chance to do that next year. But they can't wait; they are afraid that the Affordable Care Act will be successful enough to debunk what they have been saying about it. They don't want it to have a chance to prove itself.

    President Obama is to be congratulated on his firm stance against political extortion. This one is worth a fight.

  • pelephant||

    I AM RICH AND WHITE AND I DO NOT NEED OBAMACARE. AMERICA IS FOR RICH WITE PEOPLE!!!!!
    we need to take back the goverment that all these brown people stole from us!!!!

  • wooffjordy||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to Economy tab for more detail ...

    =============== http://WWW.MAX34.COM

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