Government Spending

Is The Tea Party Done? And Are Our Gooses Cooked?

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Via Instapundit comes Rasmussen Reports' year-end thoughts on the impact and future of the Tea Party movement:

The Tea Party movement was one of the biggest political stories during the 2010 election season. From an electoral standpoint, the grassroots movement had it first impact by forcing long-time Senator Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party (and eventually out of the U.S. Senate). By the end of the season, several Tea Party candidates such as Florida's Marco Rubio and Kentucky's Rand Paul were elected to the U.S. Senate.

A plurality of voters nationwide expect these Tea Party candidates to sell out and become just like other politicians. However, Tea Party activists are much more confident that these candidates will remain true to their beliefs. Pressure from the Tea Party clearly played a role in the lame duck session of Congress and may be largely responsible for the tax cut deal that was signed by President Obama.

Rasmussen polls find that 41 percent of folks expect the Tea Party to be stronger in the coming year. More here

Well, maybe. And as long as the message is a simple "stop spending," it's all to the good.

But let's come back to that super-sweetened "tax cut deal" that just got cut like a Stuckey's pecan log roll on Christmas morning. This thing ain't gonna taste any better in a couple of weeks or months (the typical time it takes to get rid of a Stuckey's product) or next year.

The major provisions extend most of Bush tax rates for two years, cut 2 percentage points off the employee portion of Social Security taxes for a year, speed up business equipment depreciation schedules, extend unemployment benefits for long-time jobseekers, and then throw a ton of money at more targeted special interests such as ethanol junkies, tech companies, rum makers, and the like.

The net result? Charles Krauthammer's tally goes like this:

Despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years—$630 billion of it above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts.

I rarely agree with Krauthammer on even the time of day, but he's got a point here. Morning Joe host and former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough agrees that "GOP budget hawks chicken[ed] out early." Writing in Politico, Scarborough says

All the president had to do to gain their support was wave tax cuts in front of Republican leaders and, like Pavlov's dogs, they began to drool. Once the salivating stops, America will be $1 trillion deeper in debt….

By now no one should be surprised by the Republican Party's dementia when dealing with the debt. After all, this is the same party who campaigned forever on fiscal restraint before turning a a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a $1 trillion dollar deficit….

In a town where remembering anything that happened before the last election cycle makes you into a veritable Tiresias, Scarborough reminds us of promises past:

"Democrats are talking about no deficits — we're talking about fiscal responsibility," Pelosi said on the campaign trail in 2006. She bluntly declared that Democrats would "put an end to deficit spending." 

Of course we know how that story ended. For four years, Nancy Pelosi presided over the most fiscally reckless Congress in U.S. history. 

Like Republicans, Pelosi's Democrats also refused to heed warnings from the few remaining fiscal conservatives in Washington. 

So that's the backdrop for Rasmussen's oddly upbeat assessment of the Tea Party's influence in 2010. It's true that the big-ticket Tea Party candidates—the Marco Rubios, Rand Pauls, and Mike Lees—aren't in office yet, but it's hard to argue that the Tea Party helped force a tough deal on recalcitrant DC lawmakers. Sen. Tom Coburn, like Jim Bunning before him, couldn't scrounge up any meaningful support to find cuts elsewhere in a massive budget to fund extending unemployment benefits. That ain't good.

Neither is the fact that the government has been operating on continuing resolutions since fiscal year 2011 kicked in October 1; the latest deal maintains the status quo until March 4 of next year. Which, incidentally, is around the time the goverment should be in the thick of wrapping up work on the budget for fiscal year 2012. This lack of action is not all bad—it precludes major upticks in spending—but it is clearly a sign of a defective process and, more important, defective players in that process. There is simply no excuse for the government not getting its shit together to pass a budget for the year it's in. Especially when a single party controlled Congress and the White House.

But it's all gonna be alright, kids, because the president, gazing into calendar year 2011, has promised a "robust debate" about the federal budget (which year's we're not so sure). Which, as USA Today tells us, means that 

Obama mentioned the need to address government spending as he looked ahead to 2011. But he did not say cutting spending will be his sole mantra.

Instead, the president cited education, innovation and research and development as areas requiring additional investment. The continuing goal, he said, is to juice the economy and create jobs.

The big difference next year? He'll be dealing with a resurgent Republican Party, which really spells trouble for those of us who believe in thrifty government. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner's tears have stained such massive aggrandizements of federal power as No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, wars wherever you want 'em, and TARP. The GOP turned the lame-duck session into an exercise in self-deboning. Which (please pardon the pun) suggests that, Tea Party or not, our goose may be cooked.

Take it away, Julia and Jacques:

Watch the full episode. See more Julia Child.

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  1. The Tea Party’s biggest accomplishment was to expose the Left’s hatred of any activist movement that isn’t made mostly of blacks, hispanics, gays and 20 year old college students. The fact that it was mostly made up of white, heterosexual, middle aged men and women made them defacto racists.

    1. The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean Algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, and Ballanchine ballets don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.

      1. Feel free to personally administer some chemo to that ofay brood of yours, Susie.

      2. Holy shit is this bitch for serial?

        1. I don’t see where she’s wrong…

          1. Susan is absolutely correct.

            1. I’d fuck her.

              1. I wouldn’t fuck her. But she IS right.

                1. She left out global climate change. C+ is the best grade I can give her.

                  1. ARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This thing ain’t gonna taste any better in a couple of weeks or months (the typical time it takes to get rid of a Stuckey’s product)

    LOLZ

    1. Is that how long it takes to get rid of it before or after ingestion?

  3. No calls for Genocide today from Mr. Reynolds? Remember, just recently he called for nuking innocent North Korean civilians, yet Nick’s man-crush on the genocidal neo-con professor means that we *constantly* have to see Instapundit mentioned on an otherwise fairly libertarian blog.

    /Jay

    1. Jay, dear? It’s time for your medication again.

      1. Just because I don’t suck Glenn Reynolds’ cock like you do (and Nick wants to)?
        fuck.you.

        /Jay

        1. Lah-dee-dah-deedah-deedah-deedah

          /Jay

          1. So, Jay, are you accusing your momma of sucking Glenn Reynolds’ cock? ‘Cause that’s what it sounds like here.

            Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

            1. Helen might not like that very much.

    2. Only when they say libertarianish things.

    3. You overstate the reality, Jay.

  4. May I ask why there is a picture of Huckabee in a story about the TEA Party? Huckabee has a much different constituency, There may be some overlap, just as there may be some overlap between fans of the Harry Potter series and fans of the Twilight series but they are two very distinct constituencies.

    1. “Huckabee has a much different constituency”

      Citation needed.

      1. Fer cryin out loud, MNG, is your handle an acronym for “Me No Google”? When you start paying me the big bucks, then I might consider being your research bitch. Till then, sod off.

  5. Nick,

    You need to upgrade to a hazelnut and chocolate Buche de Noel — as lovingly crafted by my wife each year. I can tell you one thing, it doesn’t last long. (The pizzelle aren’t bad either!)

    If you are in the Philadelphia area this season, please stop over and try some.

    Thanks for all of the fantastic work you do, all year long. You are the best.

    1. Whereabouts the Philly area? Main Line?

  6. Republicans better not raise the debt ceiling.

  7. Your Krauthammer link is borken.

    it’s hard to argue that the Tea Party helped force a tough deal on recalcitrant DC lawmakers

    It’s plausible that teacracka rage may have led to the abandonment of the spendapocalyptic budget the Ds were trying to shove through, and the RINOs were salivating to vote for, too, before Paul & Co. got into town and maybe fucked up their gigs a little.

    But the ratbaggers opposed the tax “cut” deal for the same reasons you say it sucked, and it passed. Crediting or blaming them for it is just weird.

  8. This lack of action is not all bad – it precludes major upticks in spending

    Unless you consider keeping your foot all the way on the gas instead of letting off a good thing just because the engine hasn’t thrown a rod straight through the hood just yet.

    And what is the fucking problem with the Pecan Log, dude? Those were a staple of my childhood multi-state road trips, imprisoned in the back of the family station wagon. My fondest memory of those days was munching on some for the sugar high while watching my Dad try and put more freon into the car’s A/C and failing miserably, with the attendant huge white cloud spewing out all over the place. The only thing that would have made it better would have been being aware of the concept that the thought of free released freon would cause someone with an over active imagination to fret endlessly that my dad was causing the extinction of New Zealanders from skin cancer or some shit.

  9. “The big difference next year? He’ll be dealing with a resurgent Republican Party, which really spells trouble for those of us who believe in thrifty government.”

    Yeah, those of us who believe in thrifty government have been so much better served by the Democrats, who gained majority control of both houses with the support of many “libertarians” who claimed – fraudulently as it turns out – that the Democrats would better protect our civil rights. Remind me again, what was the federal deficit in January 2007 when the Democrats took control of the House?

    1. Perhaps you can remind us what the deficit was before the republicans took 2/3s of government in 2000.

      “””libertarians” who claimed – fraudulently as it turns out – that the Democrats would better protect our civil rights””

      Who would that be? They must be LINOs. True libertarians know neither party will serve them best.

  10. The Tea Party was a great thing when it first started out because it was originally made up of diverse voices united in their concern about this bloated monster of a federal government we have in Washington. There may still be Tea Party groups like that in other parts of the country but in my neighborhood it seems to have mutated into another mouthpiece for te Radical Right that seems more interested in bashing gays, Muslims and Mexicans instead of discussing real issues that affect ordinary people’s lives.

    1. How many in the Tea Party had already tasted the blood of the citizenry? Will they be satisfied when they approve spending that helps their constituency? As they feel more powerful when they help their people, will they want to spend more to help more?

      It will be interesting to see.

      1. Who will step in and assume the mantle of leader of the Tea Party?

        There’s a lot of power out there up for grabs.

        1. We already see indications that whoever has the stones (or the crazy) to step up and claim to be the ‘leader’ of the Tea Party will get the same treatment as anyone who stands up and self proclaims themselves the ‘leader’ of the small ‘l’ libertarians. YMMV

          1. A clever politician would not claim to be their leader, but would create the suggestion in the minds of the activists by representing their ideals and inspiring them to press forward. He must understand the nature of their discontent, their dreams for the future.

            1. It would be best if were an amateur, not a professional politician.

        2. Even though folks attended “Tea Parties”, there really isn’t a cohesive “Tea Party”. It’s been more of a Tea Movement (which does help after a Pecan Log).

          The Tea Movement mostly represents a “spend less, intrude less” grassroots constituency. Any “party leader” claiming to represent such a slender intersection would quickly step outside the lines and lose support.

          Unless of course, she was boinkable, or he rallied pious quidnuncs (which also go well with Pecan Logs).

        3. Not having a leader is perhaps the best thing the Tea Party has going for it. The Beltway is so geared towards personal destruction rather than debating actual policy that no matter who they try to hit, there will always be others to take their place.

    2. The thing that will keep it alive is for Obama to win in 2012.

      If the Democrats want to stop the Tea Party they will have to sacrifice Obama to the cause.

    3. The thing that will keep it alive is for Obama to win in 2012.

      If the Democrats want to stop the Tea Party they will have to sacrifice Obama to the cause.

      1. That wasn’t my fault. The preview doesn’t work on this stinkin’ website anymore.

      2. They’ve always got Lyndon LaRouche……NOT!

    4. The Tea Party…was originally made up of diverse voices united in their concern about this bloated monster of a federal government…but in my neighborhood it seems to have mutated into another mouthpiece for the Radical Right that seems more interested in bashing gays, Muslims and Mexicans instead of discussing real issues that affect ordinary people’s lives.

      That’s either true or not. If it’s not, I suspect your impression comes out that way because when you stand to one side, everyone else looks like they’ve gone to the other.

      If it is true, why do you suppose that is? Is there something about verbally “bashing” gays, Muslims, and Mexicans that makes it easier for the bashers to organize and stay organized than it is for people who want to discuss issues affecting ordinary persons?

      1. If it is true, why do you suppose that is?

        I think it’s true, and it’s true because the Tea Party started out as being an anti-tax and anti-spending group, but it rapidly became just a place for people who are “very conservative” to hang out.

        And unfortunately when you get a bunch of “very conservative” Americans in a room, sooner or later someone’s going to say “I fucking hate wetbacks and we should shoot them all” and then someone else will say “Only after we kill the faggots and the towelheads!”

        1. Oh for fuck’s sake Eric Fucking Hoffer!

        2. Actually, IIRC, the whole point of the initial ‘Tea Party’ was that politicians were ignoring their constituencies. There were many people at the rallies wanting a single-payer system in healthcare being interviewed on MSNBC, CNBC, AND FNC, from what I remember watching. The racism you’re describing… I’ve never seen it. Perhaps you’re being a bit hyperbolic..

        3. I think it’s true, and it’s true because the Tea Party started out as being an anti-tax and anti-spending group, but it rapidly became just a place for people who are “very conservative” to hang out.

          OK, but why was that?

          And unfortunately when you get a bunch of “very conservative” Americans in a room, sooner or later someone’s going to say “I fucking hate wetbacks and we should shoot them all” and then someone else will say “Only after we kill the faggots and the towelheads!”

          And why is that?

          I guess what I’m really asking is why the latter beliefs are particularly attractive to those with the former beliefs.

      2. I see the Tea Party as having filled up with traditional followers of TEAM RED who realized they weren’t getting any decent ‘smaller government’/fiscal restraint action out of TEAM RED leadership. Unfortunately, quite a few of them didn’t check their SoCon baggage ate the freakin door. The result has been the same as what we see with California and the surrounding states. People getting disgusted with the level of bullshit and moving elsewhere, such as Colorado, but then turning right around and demanding a lot of the same crap that turned Cali into bizarro land in the first place and made them bail. Sad and fucked up, yep, sad, and fucked up. It’s already visibly starting to happen with the TP. See DeMint, Jim, and stupid statements conflating fiscal conservatism with SoConism. Utter fail.

        1. “…but then turning right around and demanding a lot of the same crap that turned Cali into bizarro land in the first place and made them bail…”

          I would like to know how many of such people were “transplanted” into California (not “Cali”) to begin with. As a native Californian, I note that the political will of the State when I was growing up seemed a lot saner, and even more conservative, than it was beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s — which corresponded to an immigration-fueled population boom. I don’t mean just immigrants from south of the border, either, but even larger crowds from North and East. The recasting of red-state California into blue-state “Cali” seems to have happened in the past 40-50 years.

          The transplanted people who swarm over the State, remake it in a crazy image, and then move on when their efforts inevitable produce collapse, are “locusts” to me. Will the infestation simply spread from State to State until there is no refuge left for people who are not caught up in their hive-mind mentality?

          1. Yes, they will. I was just discussing this with a colleague today. If the benefits of small government and economic freedom produce opportunity and wealth (say, right now in Texas), that opportunity will attract many people who don’t agree with the policies which led to the opportunities but who will nevertheless want to exploit them. They’ll then proceed to foul their new nest by voting in the same progressive insanity they fled in the first place. I think you are spot on James.

          2. Spot on.

            Most of the Californians that I’ve known my entire life do not subscribe to the supposed “fruits and nuts” viewpoints.

            IMO, CA has an image, realistic or not, that attracts people from other parts of the planet who:

            1) are not successful at their place of origin, and

            2) are not looking to remain in CA after they’ve “made it”.

            It’s always about the grass on the other side of the fence.

        2. conflating fiscal conservatism with SoConism

          It’s an odd sort of “conflation” that “mixes up” two facets of conservatism. Why is it that people here can so apparently neglect that “SoConism” is short for social conservatism? Why is it that there exists an -ism whose facets are so disparate that someone here finds it perfectly normal to disassemble them? Actually not just one -ism but its mirror opposite as well.

          This is the question I keep returning to even after I come up with partial or possible answers — because they never really satisfy. How could there be such large numbers of people with such a combination of ideas, the combination of which seems so perfectly normal to them that they don’t even think of it as a combination but a seamless whole, while to outside observers (who seem to be a minority) this seems to be a great dissonance?

    5. LOL muslims. Your precious Koran is nothing but a fairy tale, you delusional camel-fucking inbred.

  11. Your gooses are cooked all right because you stupid libertards constantly put your hopes in moronic right wingers who couldn’t count their toes without a calculator. In the end, really dumb fucks are always losers. How is it that yoy don’t understand this…oh.

    1. Max, you are not sounding elitist and bitter enough. Could you turn it up a notch?

      1. Can you find anybody on the center left as stupid and uninformed as Sarah Palin? Michelle Bachmann? I feel very superior.

        1. Calling Stuart Smalley. Stuart Smalley to the white courtesy phone.

        2. Let’s see – there’s Pelosi, Reid, Olberman, Maddow, Harrop, Krugman, the list goes on…

          1. Krugman? Your head is so far up your ass that you must shit saliva.

            1. C’mon, Max! You’re gonna diss Paulie? It’s the freakin Holidays for cryin out loud. You cad!

        3. Fucking Venus on a half shell, you lotus munching hippie ass to mouth breathers, if you are not one day forming a Cult of Personality over an empty suit like Obama, you are foaming at the mouth in a frenzied fifteen minute hate over Palin. If she is president 2013, it will be the left to blame because you fuckheads kept her in the headlines.

          Oprah Attacks: President Palin ‘does not scare me because I believe in intelligence of American public’…

          http://www.parade.com/celebrit…..xtras.html

          If you corn row wearing honkey dipshits just ignored her over the last two years, she would have went away. I would say STFU already, but because of you it is likely too late.

          1. I believe in intelligence of American public’…

            I bet you believe in the fucking tooth fairy too.

            1. You got a little bile on the corners of your mouth, unintelligent American person.

            2. I believe in intelligence of American public’…

              I bet you believe in the fucking tooth fairy too.

              Only the right people should have liberty.The rest of the peasants don’t know what to do with it.

          2. I remember about 30 years ago Harry Truman’s image was being rehabilitated too, like he was the hot shit of the recent past. If that guy could become president, anyone could. And he was a crappy one too.

        4. Can you find anybody on the center left as stupid and uninformed as Sarah Palin? Michelle Bachmann? I feel very superior.

          JOE FUCKING BIDEN..

          1. Biden doesn’t count. He’s only the least bit relevant because Skippy needed hi – he’s the best fucking piece of political insurance against impeachment, assassination, etc, EVER.

            1. That’s true. I hope to see more comic relief sidekicks in future elections.

    2. Shut your fuckhole, Max. You add NOTHING to the debate.

      1. Wait, I was wrong… you at least add entertainment value, by way of showing the world the folly of your belief system.

        So… keep yapping.

  12. infowars normally gets on my nerves. But this popped up on Fark and is fucking hilarious.

    http://www.infowars.com/homela…..ing-we-won‘t-fly-blog/

    1. That’s pretty funny.

    2. I wonder how many of those outed will claim privacy violations.

  13. Why can’t libertarians start a mass movement? Don’t you guys believe in the future?

    1. Well, I like to believe in the future about 150-200 years from now, that it might actually be possible to take a lunar vacation, or go Saturnian sightseeing. The next 20-30 years? Nah, too many stupid fuckers gummin up the mix for anything really exciting to seem possible.

      1. I don’t believe in the future either. I’m past mid life now and the only thing that holds me together is duct tape. I’ve got diabetes, hypertension, a sleep apnea, and a small kidney stone. But I can’t complain.

        I tried the mass movement thing back in ’94 when I joined the Shut In Malcontents. The republican party I helped elect to Congress pissed down my back during the Bush administration.

        1. Libertarians don’t actually do anything.

          1. That’s a feature, not a bug.

    2. They do. Then spend the entire movement arguing over minutia and get jack shit done…

    3. Because no one has ever been elected on a platform of “I’m going to take away your subsidies, programs, grants because they were acquired to coercion. There will not, in fact, be a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot unless you actually work to get them. And by the way, all of those regulations you think are for your protection but are really just barriers to entry and protectionist measures, we’ll be getting rid of those too.”

  14. Fuck the Tea Party with a sharpened pine cone dipped in the blood of an AIDS victim. The Tea Party is — not the worst example, but the most visible example, of what’s wrong with America these past few years: mindless partisan/party loyalty has replaced honest patriotism, and left- and right-wingers both care more about scoring points for their “team” then actually fixing what ails America.

    The Tea Party claims that government is too powerful, too expensive, too out-of-control … I agree with every bit of that. But where the hell were these Tea Party assholes when Bush/Cheney were shitting on the constitution and running the deficit into the stratosphere? Waving the goddamned flag and singing Lee Greenwood karaoke, that’s where. The Tea Party has no problem with unconstitutional, out-of-control government; they just don’t want a non-Republican in charge of it.

    1. “But where the hell were these Tea Party assholes when Bush/Cheney were shitting on the constitution and running the deficit into the stratosphere?”

      http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

    2. The Tea Party is — not the worst example, but the most visible example, of what’s wrong with America these past few years: mindless partisan/party loyalty has replaced honest patriotism, and left- and right-wingers both care more about scoring points for their “team” then actually fixing what ails America.

      If that’s true, do you really think it peculiar to America in recent years? Or does it just seem that way because you’re here now? Could it be that it’s been equally true everywhere in the world throughout human existence?

    3. The Tea Party’s major fights have almost all been within the Republican Party, Jennifer. They most certainly are not just happy with business as usual so long as a RINO is running it.

    4. Liberal concern troll is concerned.

      1. Jennifer posts here once a month, and it’s always when she’s on the rag. Or maybe it just seems that way.

    5. This from a shrieking, hysterical “We have to vote for Obama!” voter from 2008 Check the fucking archives here.

    6. Where was MoveOn.org before it existed?

      Look,Jen, you’re right: Bush and Cheney were fucking horrible. But 50% of what’s wrong is squarely on the shoulders of Team Blue.

  15. The problem the Tea Party is going to have is that a large number of people who ostensibly believe in spending cuts and balanced budgets throw that out the window if anyone whispers the word “recession”.

    “Our economy is too fragile right now,” they say. “We have to make the social security situation worse, and we have to extend UI benefits again, or the economy might suffer.”

    The bottom line is that if you make any spending decision or deficit decision based on the macro economic situation, you’re a Keynesian plain and simple. And all Keynesians are big government advocates in the end.

    1. Sorry Fluffy, I’m here to provide the exception to the rule. I have a neo-Keynesian appreciation for the relationship of the national debt to the money supply, and of the fact that there are tools available to governments which use fiat currencies to prevent collapse of economic activity and a deflationary depression – in essence to avoid unnecessary misery (i.e. austerity).

      And yet I am not a big government advocate – note that in the past I’ve proposed to achieve my recommended deficits via tax cuts rather than the funding of new government monstrosities.

      I’ll grant you that most Keynesians, by far, are statists. But that is starting to change. In fact, if libertarians aren’t to be forever dismissed as flat-earthers when it comes to economics, they’re going to need to learn to come to terms with the useful part of the Keynesian perspective. There is an important way in which Dick Cheney was right when he famously declared “deficits don’t matter.” When unemployment is at 10% and there is excess capacity to produce value (do you have all the stuff you desire right now?), austerity is worse than crazy. It’s downright criminal. People don’t have to be unemployed. They don’t have to be miserable. There’s tons of work to do. I just want them to do that work in the private sector – with tax cuts performing the essential task of transferring net financial assets into private hands. (Every extra dollar of deficit is one more dollar in private hands.)

      I’ll grant you this: if to advocate for a fiat currency makes you a “big government” advocate in your view, you’ll always consider me a big government advocate (because fiat currencies have major advantages over hard currencies which I recognize). But I am a minarchist. I just think maintenance of a fiat money system is part of the minimal state.

      1. “Every extra dollar of deficit is one more dollar in private hands”

        But isn’t it a problem that for every dollar of deficet the taxpayers are on the hook for that dollar and interest?

        1. Not necessarily. Check my blog and the links to other resources there. Too much to rehash here. The only danger is hyperinflation – and it’s a real one.

        2. But isn’t it a problem that for every dollar of deficet the taxpayers are on the hook for that dollar and interest?

          Not as long as there are people willing to lend more.

          Isn’t it better to have people willingly lending gov’t money than to have it taken forcibly from people by taxation?

          And as long as gov’t has that kind of borrowing power, wouldn’t it be a shame for them to keep it to themselves? That kind of credit represents real wealth, if revealed preference reveals anything. There is only one way for them to spread that wealth around; they can’t make all of us more worthy creditors, but they can borrow money for us and spend it on us or give it to us.

          1. Suppose someone comes to town who, for whatever reason, is seen as a really great potential customer — but nobody knows for what business. All the potential capitalists in town avoid investing in any capital, keeping productive assets idle because they expect that at any time this guy will be in the market for something, really big, as long as he can borrow the money for it. As long as he doesn’t borrow, the economy is depressed because capital is kept idle in anticipation. So wouldn’t it be best for everybody’s sake if he’d borrow already and start spending on specific goods?

            What this basically says is that once you’ve got a big gov’t with a good credit rating, it should borrow and spend up to its credit limit, i.e. right until it can borrow no more money regardless of the interest rate offered. Of course we wouldn’t be in that situation had gov’t not established that principle to begin with, but here we are.

      2. How do you sort out the job of tending to the currency when giving that sort of power to a body to act on creates liabilities where their decision making is ripe for error and influenced by considerable bias?

        To note our current malaise wasn’t entirely without predictors that the Managerial Elite were too blinded by their own assumptions to see (note the date, 2004):

        http://web.archive.org/web/200…..ubble.html

        …the record climb in housing prices is, indeed, a bubble… the Federal Reserve study fails to consider past declining interest rates as a cause of the bubble. The faulty conclusions reached by Federal Reserve economists Jonathan McCarthy and Richard W. Peach may make many potential new home buyers comfortable about a purchase, when, in fact, we are very near the top of a housing market that will experience substantial declines in prices…

        They reach the conclusion that because of ….[the] “fundamental factor” of low nominal interest rates, higher housing prices are justified.

        But does this mean real estate prices will not drop? Our answer is decidedly no. Indeed, McCarthy-Peach report that “since 1995, real home prices have increased about 36 percent, roughly double the increase of previous home price booms in the late 1970’s and late 1980”s.” We view this increase as largely the result of the Federal Reserve’s lowering of interest rates and the pumping of liquidity into the banking system, thus producing the byproduct of higher housing prices. But by incorporating falling nominal interest rates as a “fundamental factor” that can not be a cause of a bubble, McCarthy-Peach have literally defined the cause of the current bubble from being taken into consideration….

        So … why are libertarians in the wilderness, but those guys still have their hands on the reigns? So long as power trumps logic libertarians will be in that wilderness you mentioned to the extent they refuse to bend to power.

        1. Great question. I didn’t say it was easy. I am one who believes that it’s in general a good thing that the Federal Reserve is a separate entity – if you put that institution in the hands of the US Congress, it’s game over. Are the technocrats they employ perfect? No. Are you and I? No. It’s an imperfect world. But by and large the system has served Americans quite well. Putting the power to create money directly in the hands of the people would likely result in catastrophe (as would placing foreign policy in their hands – as the Founders realized, instead placing it in the hands of the Executive).

          1. In my idealized Minarchist world, the Fed’s role would be to prevent monetary deflation. Keeping an eye on population growth, replace actual bills out of circulation due to wear and tear, correct for account value fluctuations that also put money out of circulation, that sort of thing, assuming there exists a means to prevent it from being a market actor instead of a neutral referee, ideally like a typical game of the NFL when the Colts aren’t playing. Those distinctions, even in the maxarchist world we live in are imperative.

            People would be allowed to store value in gold, silver, nickel, copper, tin if they wish in the exact same manner they are now, but the tax rates would be so naturally low due to minarchist budget and taxation policy that the difference between the tax on a commodity and notes written against them versus the non taxed money in circulation would be negligible to those making those choices.

            1. replace actual bills out of circulation due to wear and tear

              I know, I know, feds issue the money, Treasury physically prints it. I have a close friend in the T Dept. who would give me her two cents if she saw what I wrote above. Issue for monies out of circulation then!

  16. Forget all this. If you’re in London next month get to the ICA for a screening of the new blu-ray release of Profondo Rosso.

    http://www.ica.org.uk/27264/Fi…..Rosso.html

  17. The tax cut deal was made by the lame ducks. There’s nothing the tea party or their incoming GOP wave could do about it.

    Left by himself, Obama would have probably raised taxes on the “rich” as well as waste money on ethanol and such. He was probably itching all over to pass another stimulus in the new year. Take the small victory for what it is – class warfre suffered a minor setback.

    1. The compromise tax deal wasn’t the TEA Party’s big victory; the killing of the horrendous pork-stuffed omnibus spending bill was.

      Some politicians sympathetic to the TEA Party like Michelle Bachmann were actually opposed to the compromise tax bill, because it’s going to increase the deficit and the national debt even more than a straight unmodified continuation of the existing law would have.

      1. I was hoping someone would finally mention the Omnibus spending bill.

        1. Oh, Nick mentioned it–he just seemed to think that it was terrible that the all-Dem majority couldn’t seem to pass it when they had the chance…

          Neither is the fact that the government has been operating on continuing resolutions since fiscal year 2011 kicked in October 1; the latest deal maintains the status quo until March 4 of next year. Which, incidentally, is around the time the goverment should be in the thick of wrapping up work on the budget for fiscal year 2012. This lack of action is not all bad – it precludes major upticks in spending – but it is clearly a sign of a defective process and, more important, defective players in that process. There is simply no excuse for the government not getting its shit together to pass a budget for the year it’s in. Especially when a single party controlled Congress and the White House.

          or perhaps I’m just reading that too cynically

          1. WHY WON’T THE LEFT LOVE US11!!

            1. ….because online libertarians perpetuate some of this worst stereotypes and misconceptions about libertarians. Some of y’all actually believe your right to a bank account can exist independently of some other person’s right to live as they choose. Others seem to hate the poor, or anyone outside of the medium-small business owning class (trying to stay away from vulgar Marxist terminology). With the exception of Ron Paul (maybe) every elected official in DC is ready to kill, lock people up for stuff that’s nobody’s business, and loot the national treasury for and with your tax dollars. Yet you still keep talking about this republican/democrat crap is if it makes any difference.

    2. Exactly, it’s nice to see someone finally recognize that the new 63 repubs in the house and the new 4 or 5 repubs in the senate HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN FUCKING SWORN IN YET. These knobs on the talking head shows are asking if oblama got one over on the tea party. yea right assholes. i’ll wait and see what the new members do on the debt ceiling and the budget before i give up on the tea party.

      1. Reactionary populists manipulated by people who view them with contempt even as they use them. The justifiable outrage of some decent folks mixed with social and religious conservatism (an ideology declared dead by Ayn Rand nearly 50 years ago) in ideological fog, in which they lose their way. No one wants a job in federal government so that they can have less money and power. No government can survive without perpetuation and expansion as its first priority and only real concern.

  18. Mr. Gillespie,

    If you have not already done so, I implore you to read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer.

    It is imperative that anyone who wants to understand our current situation vis a vis the Tea Party do so immediately.

    The Future of America is at stake!

    1. Van
      I was wondering, do you think I would gain any insights by reading The True Believer by Eric Hoffer?

      1. Eric Fucking Hoffer!

      2. MNG: Mike somethiNg Gillespie?

        I will slink away in embarassment now and finish reading The True Believer.

        I don’t want to miss Stossel tonight either. He may bitch slap Ann Coulter.

  19. Is roulade French for Rolaid?

    1. BEEF ROULADES DUTCH COUNTRY STYLE

      Read more about it at http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1718,…..04,00.html
      Content Copyright ? 2010 Cooks.com – All rights reserved.

      4 (8 oz.) N.Y. strip steaks
      8 carrot sticks, 1/4 inch thick
      8 dill pickle spears
      1 lg. onion, chopped
      8 slices bacon, cooked
      3 tsp. salad mustard
      1 tsp. parsley, chopped
      8 oz. flour
      2 oz. butter
      2 oz. olive oil
      3 beef bouillon cubes
      Salt and pepper as needed
      Thyme as needed
      Worcestershire sauce as needed

      Flatten the strip steaks with a meat mallet or cleaver until they are twice the size, while keeping a rectangular shape, and put aside. Heat a saute pan and add 2 ounces of butter and saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and add the onion to the same pan and cook onions until they are glossy. Add parsley, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and stir until well blended. Let cool.
      When onion mixture has cooled, spread each steak with equal amounts in the center of each steak. Next, place equal amounts of the bacon on each steak and place 2 carrot sticks and 2 pickles spears on each steak in the center. Fold each end of the steaks in and roll them and hold them together with toothpicks. Season rolls with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

      Heat a roasting pan with olive oil and brown the roulades on all sides. Set aside. Add 2 cups of water and the bouillon cubes to the roasting pan and place the roulades in as well. Cover with foil and place in an oven at 375 degrees for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

      Remove beef from pan. Combine the remaining flour with 1 cup of water until a thick, smooth paste forms. Whisk paste into broth in roasting pan to thicken into a sauce. Boil sauce for about 5 minutes, but do not scorch, and strain sauce through a sieve.

      Add roulades to sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve. Serves: 4. (Prep and Cooking Time: 2 hours)

  20. For those who say the Tea Party is just a pack of partisan Republicans, need I remind you that the Tea Party’s most acrimonious and hard-fought battles this past election cycle were with that same Republican Party?

    That’s the best thing about the TP: They can credibly primary almost any Republican out there. Their candidates might not win, but the RINOs know they aren’t going to, either.

    1. Jeffersonian, I can personally testify to the extra holiday cheer I’ll enjoy this season knowing that Arlen Specter is finally gone from the scene – in fact thanks for reminding me. (He was an asshat overall, and a pompous one at that, but to give him his due he was okay on some civil liberties issues.) But man was that a close call (the phrase “Senator Sestak” produces the same feelings in me as “President Nancy Pelosi”).

      OTOH, the Tea Party also brought us Senator Coons in Delaware. We could do without Christine O’Donnell fiascos in the future.

      1. You also have Senator Rubio in Florida because of the Tea Party, driving the egregious Charlie Crist from public life.

        I’d much rather have Coons in the Senate than Castle, personally, so the Republicans don’t spend the next six years watering down fiscally responsible legislation to get his support. When idiotic, fiscally spendthrift legislation gets passed, I want Democratic fingerprints all over it.

  21. A single (quick, just as a telefortunetvshow: drumms… and now….) opinion from an propaganda strategist for Panama Civilcrussade (actual MODERN AND 1ST WORLDWIDE TEAPARTY pioneer, 2004, SoFla, “BEFORE AMERICAN PATRIOTS NORMANBRAMAN, MIAMIVOICE…”, adhonorem, by the way….) IDEAL: ANTI-TERROR FIGHTBACK, INTELLIGENT, 1STWORLD… “blabla?”):
    OK, there you go: tedpalapatinekennedy-castrogovagentnets (anamontes “legal” view of the enemy still on some rinoliphants&more; then just orc$, oops, org$ like acorn&newfronts;, coyoteinvasion authority, no God at schools comes from bho+EYERS of $augov… russian&hersons; ayatoland,hamas,etc…nuke START (psst Europe, you’re on the list, as norcorea’s… carter…) ok, on bho: eyers,newblackpanters,acorn MEGAFEDERALCRIMES AGAINST AMERICA,aclu,drivebymedia, “teabaggers”…
    ah!, today, apart police gay linching tryings under carlosrichards “rights” over “me”, Mr “familytamayo” just tryed the old boss normal terror logistic “orders” to try to “fight me over I’m injuried, police brieffs”…
    “paranoia”? NA NA NA, MMM MMM MMM!

    1. I can’t believe someone took the time to type that shit.

      1. Time to type easy unfamous neolibtic congre$$ickpark (waiting for the astro-dinoasteroid, big imbeciles, big, collosal endings, “natural evolving, recycle, imbecilities? “more than orcs, oops org$ like acorn, aclu…drivebymedia…rinoliphants…)?:5 minutes usualy…, I read since 3y/o…) from the enemy thru their friendly”enemies” made in alinski programmings, based on eyer$of $augov, dorne,fahracan,rezco,maddof…
        tedpalpatinekennedycastrogovagentnet desk$, “asymetrical social weaponry?: neolibcontroled finantialbubble bombings, globaly followed… (bho started by the way, as an acorn laweyers, on… “insurance industry… the 1st bubble, before castrocoyoteauthority on sofla’s mortgagebubble bombings…, gov resources, gov money, govre$urrection$hip$ (expl: “dream” (enemy’s) act, obamacare, you can make’em visible at Iraqwar
        II “opposition”, “blame Bush” instead of acorn, UN$addam, ma noriega, castrogov, neolibtics preffered by the enemy, publicly!!…
        no jeffers(beep)t, you are at the wrong blog, you mean the intranet castrogov granmatoiletpaper, go, they love to meet gringos…

  22. Ah, I told the total “matasiete” “esbirro” with a ear’cam phone oh (surely to the mayor or gralatnny, or the judge who “commands”…
    but, Marry Christmas, “see you”…
    stay tunned…

  23. Tiresias was a prophet known for his clairvoyance (and for gender-bending), not a historian or otherwise known for his knowledge of past events. I’m just sayin’.

    1. Nick G has his advanced degrees in Lit, my best guess is he has been dipping into Ezra Pound’s Cantos this Christmas.

      1. I think you mean Eliot’s The Waste Land, and I’m humiliated to know that. My one and only degree is in Classics, though.

        1. Nope. Meant exactly what I said. What kind of post grad lit major do you take Nick G. for? To allude to a poem like The Waste Land common to undrergrad and high school analysis like a common mensh who might land an editing gig at the New Republic? Nevah!

          Here from the first canto.

          http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/ezrapound/12625

          And Anticlea came, whom I beat off, and then Tiresias Theban,
          Holding his golden wand, knew me, and spoke first:
          “A second time? why? man of ill star,
          “Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?
          “Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever
          “For soothsay.”
          And I stepped back,
          And he strong with the blood, said then: “Odysseus
          “Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas,
          “Lose all companions.” Then Anticlea came.
          Lie quiet Divus. I mean, that is Andreas Divus,
          In officina Wecheli, 1538, out of Homer.
          And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outwards and away
          And unto Crice.
          Venerandam, blah, blah, blah

          1. Well, you win. My detailed knowledge of lit ends with literature produced after around 500 AD.

  24. Or, maybe Tiresias is a sly reference to J. Chait, and Nick is sarcastically calling him a prophet.

  25. Thank you giving this information. Best of luck for the future.

  26. (spaceradionoises…): …to Groundcontrol… (failing…)… Groundcon… (luckyly, as only can bring you, FreedoMedia fleet monitoring captures the message…)
    (powered by Teaparty,Mastered by Townhall.com,Based on Reaganlibrary, coveringfire by the most famous abstract weaponry: Americansforprosperity,even The Right Libs, like princessJoyceCalflan, Dennismiller, Mr. IndependentLouDobbs, Ferguson, MyFloridabar… ah!: Republican Battlestars too,
    mostly Foxnews&other; “few” (proud) Journalists, many I’m afraid can’t mentione, sorry, I’m ALSO A KIND OF ANONIMUS MOSTLY ANTI-GOV ZORRO, a BSG “STEALTH”, as Christ said: “WE’RE COMMING FOR YOU, ENEMY, AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT…” (BoooHooooO)…
    (interrupting)…: attention!, DETECTED A LARGE CELESTIALBODY (JANUARY 5TH E.A.T), SOUNDS AS THE TEAPARTYROHIRIM RIDING TEXTS OF LIGHTSWORD OVER THE SOIL AS TEALEAVES TO BATTLE… a “collosal” astrotorch, astrovisitor, astroperegrim, whatever dinoasteroid INCOMMING, a “global(terrorneolibticsystem) killer”…
    IT’S LIKE NOV2010 DEEPIMPACT ARMAGEDON, THE D DAY…
    (radionoises appear), groundcontrol, mayorTom… battlestars hail-fireing orbiting enemy bases nearby, retransmit this message… you’re celebrating an astro body megaimpact over neolibland soon!!, thanks God!!
    Keep on, battle back!!, We are under God…

  27. (spaceradionoises…): …to Groundcontrol… (failing…)… Groundcon… (luckyly, as only can bring you, FreedoMedia fleet monitoring captures the message…)
    (powered by Teaparty,Mastered by Townhall.com,Based on Reaganlibrary, coveringfire by the most famous abstract weaponry: Americansforprosperity,even The Right Libs, like princessJoyceCalflan, Dennismiller, Mr. IndependentLouDobbs, Ferguson, MyFloridabar… ah!: Republican Battlestars too,
    mostly Foxnews&other; “few” (proud) Journalists, many I’m afraid can’t mentione, sorry, I’m ALSO A KIND OF ANONIMUS MOSTLY ANTI-GOV ZORRO, a BSG “STEALTH”, as Christ said: “WE’RE COMMING FOR YOU, ENEMY, AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT…” (BoooHooooO)…
    (interrupting)…: attention!, DETECTED A LARGE CELESTIALBODY (JANUARY 5TH E.A.T), SOUNDS AS THE TEAPARTYROHIRIM RIDING TEXTS OF LIGHTSWORD OVER THE SOIL AS TEALEAVES TO BATTLE… a “collosal” astrotorch, astrovisitor, astroperegrim, whatever dinoasteroid INCOMMING, a “global(terrorneolibticsystem) killer”…
    IT’S LIKE NOV2010 DEEPIMPACT ARMAGEDON, THE D DAY…
    (radionoises appear), groundcontrol, mayorTom… battlestars hail-fireing orbiting enemy bases nearby, retransmit this message… you’re celebrating an astro body megaimpact over neolibland soon!!, thanks God!!
    Keep on, battle back!!, We are under God…

  28. (suggested tvmeal: spagetti, western)
    CLING, CLING, CLING, CLING, CLING CLING, CLING… (a few $ more finalduel music… under a bsg skies, over a “ridding Tealeaves wipping orc$ out, all of’em” covered by “the lightedsabers”… angelical choruses… almost audible…
    Again, if you’re not a Conservative, you won’t understand the celestial treasure and… weaponry…
    by the way, it takes “time” to do…
    but if you have that “little fairy lit in your heart”… there is no shadow, no… terror, no comunism, no neolibticals, no… imbecilities using govmoney&positions; to battle America, and HER ALLIES!!!, “beyond this side of the Milkyway at list”…

  29. Ok, battlestar Wormwood has neolibtic Magovre$urrection$hip$ po$$ition$ insight…
    fire at will genttlemen, oops, ladies and…

  30. by the way, armageddon’s evil Magob is facing celestial Wormwood punishmentS, another frakin same thing but celestial, We did last week!!

  31. Sorry, I’m not even sure the correct name of the beast Magob, I think is in Spanish, yea, maybe, and on English is Magog, and on neolibland Magov, also in “other time of time” called Mordor, in neolibtican Morgov, whatever, they just had “the 1st deepimpact armageddon on November, the year of The Lord our God of 2010…
    Whatever, my humbble story tells (after a LOT of monitoring) and just 40+ years old, a HETHERosexual male lonely wizard “under the moon thing idea”… blabla… :
    The apocaliptic neolibtic Magog(v)as the whole global $ect elite$ making money out of America’s anti-terror security by the actual congre$$ick park&similars; will dare to challenge the “astrodino asteroid”, as neolibtics still encouraging God…

    1. 7’s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office

  32. 7?, or… 10.. (9-10th?) so, you orcs, oops, govorg$&anamontesses; acorn minded, or from eyers, alinski, hamas, blackpanters, czar$&team;$, castrogov agents, rinoliphants, neolibs, wao, you have even trillions of dollars more…, and of course (WE TO COUNT ON THAT TOO…) keep encouraging God’s celestial astro body dinoasteroids year of the Lord of 2010 (thank the God) incomming over neolibland, the enemy preffered instead of Bush…

    Enjoy your congre$$ickpark death$tar II orbiting the moon of ENDoor, you hitchhiper…
    and please, don’t debate here, this site is for conservative ideal expressions, not a bailout easy money… or, just for… “hate”… go blog on castrogov toiletpaer granma or on hamas, or some other anti-Bush, newblackpanter, alinski, dorne, eyers, dorne, rezco, anamontes…

  33. just 1 blogger “distracting by going after the messenger… the pilgrim…”?
    ah!, of course sofla santuary, and Panama castro accepted president instead of the party (group, they took the whole party) I worked for on Media, why the enemy prefferes bho instead of Bush?, it’s global, this crappy, creepy, spooky “social” thing… and they, have a plan, it’s old as the ussr’us neolibland…
    and their agents are despereted for “prosperity and impunity”… as We have just “the force” and the machine… We are the key,
    we are (wo)man, moment, machine…
    we destroy apocaliptical dictatorships& other neolibtic accepted govs (carter’s, bho’s, anamontes…)
    Talkradio Ingabargs, God blesses your husband already, he has an angel, like you!!! God bless your country, and her allies
    pd honey princess Joycecalflan, I’m not a saint, but even after 30y/o castrogov expert paralegals inducing me for 20y+… have no rape,kill,robbed,trafficking, not even beat, not even money, police followings-info, just proffesionalism and experience on my duties, have passed spooky prepared situations, by experts … wao!! and those imbeciles can’t understand that they just “grew an astro sensor” in my nerves, I TEACH NOW OTHERS TO NOT TO FALL IN this terror logistics, and to battle back…
    I think then a “physsical” agent thing is comming, happens every deepimpact on neolibland or over the rest of the enemy, abstract or tomahawk, on the war on terror…

  34. Psst: exposed, as only a Talkradioed individual
    can bring, another one more who won’t change some things, specially on Constitution as an “old traditional god, not gov concept”, that’s discriminating basics on religion, then add the gay sodomic scouts (by just enjoy the male view, believe me, I still suffer gay police paralegals and laborly from carlosrichards, 1 year enjoying punishing me, an injuried spinalcord level along sub-labor treatment, from miamidade-prdcd Panamanian ma noriega’s people still on gov paralely with the boot over “my” anti-castro “traditional arnulfist Mireyamoscoso party I was a humbble media specialist, pursued then and on the USA soil by terror logistics, suffering, the real thing while it exists, like the “great ussr I, UN$addam…, ground0mosqe,acorn,aclu,noGodatschools,labor, border,educ,nukenemies,selfdeclared,pluss the traditional enemies traitors always votting against the USA, Israel…
    Bieng paralegaly and legaly pursued by terror logistics, on American soil, durring “the preffered politicians instead of Bush by the war on terror times”, as another “social nightmare prototype thing experiment of’em spooky crappy creepy socialists from alinski, eyers,etc…
    It’s an honor, a deep… psycofeeling no neolibtical or the other orcs, oops, org$ won’t experiment…
    as Merlin’s Mab says…
    never…
    not… ever…

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