Economics

Will the Republicans Cut Government This Time?

It's time for the GOP to walk the walk.

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The Republicans promise less intrusive, less expensive government. But will they deliver? In the past, they have said they would shrink the state, but then they came into power and spent more. Consider George W. Bush's eight horrendous years: The budget grew 89 percent—from $1.86 trillion to $3.52 trillion.

Two Republican House members, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, No. 2 on the budget committee, and Bill Huizenga, a freshman from Michigan, say that they really mean to cut.

"I sure plan to," Garrett said.

I asked him to name three things he'd cut.

He paused for a beat, then said, "We spend about a million dollars for mohair subsidies. We need to eliminate that." We sure do. The subsidies were created to make sure America had enough mohair for soldiers' uniforms during World War I. Yet even though uniforms are no longer made of mohair, my former colleague Sam Donaldson collected subsidies because he once raised sheep and goats on his New Mexico ranch. All farm subsidies are a disgusting scam. Get rid of them.

But the mohair scam is a million bucks. It's nothing.

"So let's go up larger then," said Garrett. "How about foreign aid? (C)ut that out, and you would save around $1.3 billion. Right now, we basically pay federal employees … who are parts of a union to engage in union activity. How about eliminating those dollars? … (S)ave about $1.2 billion.

"We have come up with a list of over some $2 trillion."

The ones Garrett named, however, are less than 1 percent of $2 trillion. I understand their reluctance to mention the big stuff, given the political opposition, but when will politicians bite that bullet? They need to!

I'm glad the House leadership has talked about cutting spending back to 2008 budget levels. Garrett said: "Some of us would say let's roll it back even further—to '07 or '06 levels."

Why not? Why not cut back to the first Bush budget, in 2002, before his spending orgy? I never got a clear answer to that. "Let's figure out what constitutionally we must be doing and where we have started coloring way outside the lines," Huizenga suggested. "Two, are (programs) being effective? … If they are, fund them. If they're not, let's de-fund them."

The Republicans' promised spending cuts are directed at "nondefense discretionary" spending. Fine. Cut that. But "nondefense discretionary" spending is just 15 percent of the budget. The Republicans' pledge leaves out the big stuff: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what the government calls defense. That's where the big money is.

"Exactly," Garrett said. You could eliminate all nondefense discretionary spending, and you wouldn't solve the problem. You have to go a lot further than that, and that's why we have to touch those other areas."

I pointed out that I don't hear much talk about that.

"Some of us talk about it. You have to touch on each one of these areas and until the American public is cognizant … that we have to have shared sacrifice."

As a way to get the public involved, Majority Leader Eric Cantor set up "YouCut" back in May—"a first-of-its-kind project … designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Each week, we will take the winning item and offer it to the full House for an up-or-down vote."

People voted to eliminate things like federal pay raises and subsidies for Amtrak sleeper cars. But with the House under Democratic control, none of those programs was cut. We'll see if things are different now.

"We'll be able to make those cuts," Garrett said.

I hope so. I wish they'd pass what I call the Stossel Rule: For every new law, Congress has to repeal two old ones.

America is on a path to bankruptcy. It's easy to get bogged down arguing about lots of small cuts, but we'll only make progress by abolishing whole departments and entire missions. I hope the public understands it has to be done.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

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  1. Good morning John Stossel!

    In the past, they have said they would shrink the state, but then they came into power and spent more.

    That is, spent more than they said they would. The Dems are the top over-spenders for all of history.

    1. really? then whadda call charging 2 wars on the chinese credit card then driving the financial bus off-the-cliff forcing a public money bailout? oh wait i know – not over-spending.

      1. Boehner sheds more tears than spending.

      2. I think we can all agree that they both over-spend. At least I hope so.

        But the difference is that the GOP pretends to feel bad about over-spending, while the democrats feel like it’s their obligation.

        When Bush finally left office, the democrats were like, “wow, we never thought you’d get away with that much spending… wait’ll you see what WE can do! Yes we can!!!

      3. Re: OhioOrrin,

        really? then whadda call charging 2 wars on the chinese credit card then driving the financial bus off-the-cliff forcing a public money bailout? oh wait i know – not over-spending.

        Translation: “It ain’t ‘overspending’ when done by my guys!”

        Lefty-Economic concepts 101. Seats available, get in line.

        1. Consider George W. Bush’s eight horrendous years: The budget grew 89 percent?from $1.86 trillion to $3.52 trillion.

          Let this Righty-Economic concept sink in – no one else has a record even close to this bad – but it took a new entitlement program and a pack of lies about Iraq to go full Righty.

          1. Righty on!

          2. Uh, yeah, the last 2 years must not have happened then.

            1. Well, how much higher is spending, asshole?

              $3.52 trillion is close.

              1. Nice tapdancing, shrike. You excuse Obama getting us dug deeper in debt, as usual.

                Fuck him AND Bush.

          3. Cause the Dem controlled congress the last two years HAD to approve his budgets?

            1. No – the Bush Depression pulled down Federal receipts that much.

    2. He did it first…..he did it more!!!

  2. Stossel you media whore! (shakes fist).

    1. http://www.americanprogress.or…..y2010.html

      See articles in Right Side Bar for more.

      http://www.americanprogress.or…..ctive.html

  3. The temptations of power are great enough that I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m not expecting much. In the end I believe it will be the bond market that forces discipline on the Ruling Class.

  4. Will this time be any different?

    No.

    But the Dems will say they cut things.

    And blame libertarians for it.

    1. Our resident progressives back during the all-GOP era just went on and on and on about their party’s fiscal responsibility and absolute dedication to deficit reduction. Told them they were full of shit then, remind them that they’re full of shit now.

      No limits on government; no credit limits.

      1. They were full of shit then and now, and the GOP backers that are saying the same shit now are full of shit now too.

        There’s a lot of shit out there.

        1. It’s shit all the way down.

          1. “Randy just doesn’t understand. I mean I love him dearly but I hate Ricky more. I just don’t wanna put up with that prick for the rest of my life. You know he grew up as a little shitspark from the old shitflint and then he turned into a shitbonfire and driven by the winds of his monumental ignorance he turned into a raging shitfirestorm. If I get to be married to Barb I’ll have total control of Sunnyvale and then I can unleash the shitnami tidal wave that will engulf Ricky and extinguish his shitflames forever. And with any luck he’ll drown in the undershit of that wave. Shitwaves.”

            1. A shit-leopard can’t change it’s spots.

              1. You smell that? There’s a shitstorm coming!

                1. Fuck off Leahy!

        2. I guess it would be good to invest in companies that make toilets and toiletpaper, right?

  5. The Republicans’ promised spending cuts are directed at “nondefense discretionary” spending. Fine. Cut that. But “nondefense discretionary” spending is just 15 percent of the budget. The Republicans’ pledge leaves out the big stuff: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what the government calls defense. That’s where the big money is.

    But… How could you want to cut defense? How can the US go out and kill Ayr-abs if she has no defense?

    1. I bet we could cut a lot of defense spending and still go kill Ayr-abs if we shut down our bases in, say, Germany for example. Of course, then the Germans might get invaded by the Mongols, or something.

      1. Or Roman Legions.

      2. Or the Russkies! Don’t forget the Russkies!

        1. Because if we make the Germans defend themselves from the Russkies, they won’t be able to afford all of their social welfare schemes. And that wouldn’t be fair.

          1. And the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians would start getting nervous…

            The Finns, well, the Russians learned not to fuck with them.

      3. I thought we were there because it was cheaper to keep them in Germany than drive them out of France.

        1. The original purpose of NATO was to “keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down.” I fail to see why any of that is still even remotely necessary.

    2. Easy, get Israel to do it

  6. He [Garrett] paused for a beat, then said, “We spend about a million dollars for mohair subsidies. We need to eliminate that.” We sure do. The subsidies were created to make sure America had enough mohair for soldiers’ uniforms during World War I. Yet even though uniforms are no longer made of mohair, my former colleague Sam Donaldson collected subsidies because he once raised sheep and goats on his New Mexico ranch. All farm subsidies are a disgusting scam. Get rid of them.

    But mohair is a green fiber and ‘we’ need more green jobs… Don’t we?

    Now I know why Sam Donaldson loves the state so much – it makes him a very happy man!

  7. Defense spending should be relatively easy to cut:

    (1) Close most overseas bases and deployments. During the NFL games last weekend, they ran a graphic that said the games were being watched on the armed services network in 175 countries. WTF? We have troops in 175 countries? That’s probably 170-odd too many.

    1. Yes, it’s exactly 174 too many.

    2. WTF? We have troops in 175 countries…

      Holy fucking shit – that is unbelievable if true. There are only 195 countries, at most, in the world today.

      1. That includes Marine guards at embassies.

        1. The guards at the embassies sit around and watch football? I’m beginning to see what went wrong in 1979.

    3. Um, ever heard of an embassy? We have US government employees in almost every country, and also small numbers of military personnel in many of them, who are attached to the embassy. It’s really not a big deal.

      1. True, embassy guards are not a big deal. I just didn’t realize we needed to pipe in the AFN for them to see the Superbowl. I’m more concerned with these deployments:

        * Germany ? 57,080[2]
        * Japan ? 32,803[2]
        * South Korea ? 28,500[2]
        * Kuwait – 20,548
        * Italy ? 9,855[2]
        * United Kingdom ? 9,825[2]
        * Qatar ? 8,029[5]
        * Djibouti, Africa ? 3,500
        * Turkey ? 1,594[2]
        * Bahrain ? 1,495[2]
        * Belgium ? 1,328[2]
        * Spain ? 1,286[2]
        * Portugal ? 826[2]
        * Netherlands ? 579[2]

        (Yes, the numbers are from Wikipedia, but they match up with this CNN report.

    4. I saw that and thought the same thing. We have more than one base in some countries, but still WTF!

  8. Oops. Clicked too soon.

    (2) Seriously downsize the Army, which is currently sized to fight massive land wars and occupy countries. We aren’t going to fight any of the former, and I don’t see why we need to have a standing force to do the latter.

    To guard against a big land war, I vote we invest in battlefield nukes. The new doctrine would be “In the unlikely event we are fighting army corp size engagements, we will seek to destroy the opposing force in place with a barrage of sub-megaton munitions.” I think that should do the job, on both a deterrent and engagement level.

    (3) The Marines, I like. They’re small and its always handy to have a rapid deployment force.

    (4) I couldn’t say what direction I’d like to go on the Navy and Air Force, at this point.

    1. If our strategic goal was “defend the US from invasion by a foreign army” you’d be right on. Of course there’s a whole list of fooking countries we have signed on to defend, as well as trade routes, airspace and probably orbital paths for all I know. Sheeesh.

    2. We’re going to need that Army to invade Canada and take their shale oil.

      1. Can’t we just do what we do best and BUY it?

        1. Or maybe wise up and develop our own oil reserves?

          1. Fusion.

            1. Fusion would be great. Except that the DOE’s fusion programs have been a colossal waste of money, costing billions of dollars and netting nothing.

              Magnetic confinement fusion might break even soon, but the facility used to do so will cost a few billion dollars and be ridiculously complex to operate. No commercial power generation will ever come out of such a design. Laser nertial confinement fusion could do it, but has a fatal flaw in that, to provide continuous power generation, you would need to feed it fuel pellets every second or so. Currently, those pellets take weeks of specialized manufacture to produce. It will never happen.

              The only design I see having a chance of being useful in power generation is so-called magnetic electrostatic inertial confinement fusion, which uses magnetic fields to confine gas molecules accelerated into other gas molecules using massive electric fields. Only problem is that the Navy defunded such a project due to bitching from DOE. DOE refuses to pick up the project due to the fact that it has billions of dollars and thousands of personnel involved in the other fusion technologies (which will never produce energy on a large scale). There was some interest from private organizations and rumors of funding by the Chinese government, but that all ended when the technology’s lead developer died a couple years ago. I wouldn’t hold out for fusion.

              1. The Navy is currently funding THIS form of fusion, for a pittance. So far, all the research has seemed to pan out, but they’re still a few of years away from credible confirmation of the practicality of the approach, as well as a utility-scale demonstration. Freshmen in high school today might see news of such a demo by the time they enter college, however.

                http://www.emc2fusion.org/

        2. We already own Canada. At this point were just waiting for them to realize it.

          1. They realize it. They just won’t admit it.

            1. Point taken.

          2. In the Quadrilateral (the Canadian equivalent of the Pentagon), Canadian military planners regularly deal with how to welcome invaders from the U.S.

            1. The military action for Canada in the next few decades is based upon the assumption that GLOBAL WARMING will permanently open the Northwest Passage and if that happens, Somali pirates will move in and hose them the very next day.

            2. “Welcome” with missle-armed polar bears or “welcome” with “free” “healthcare”? This is important.

              1. More the latter. With poutine, snowcones, and a nice floral arrangement. Nothing too ostentatious.

                1. Don’t forget the pot brownies and drum circles.

                2. Too bad. A world with missle-armed polar bears would kick a lot more ass than this lame-o normie-verse we are stuck with. Plus, I think the bears would save more lives all-around than whatever healthcare scheme gets offered en masse to foreigners for free.

                  1. Wait until the United States has direct and full control of the polar bear.

                3. Its the French influence.

            3. Am I the only one more intrigued by the idea of polar bear-armed missles? That is, missles that would drop polar bears on the enemy forces.

      2. We could invade Canada with the contingent of the Montana State Guard that shows up on any particular weekend. (Of course, that’s assuming that we won’t have to fight Wolverine.)

        1. WOLLLLLLLLLLLVERIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNES!

          1. Would you push Daryl in front of a trolley to save Lea Thompson?

            1. I’d push Daryl in front of a trolley just for kicks.

            2. Well DUH!

        2. Wolverine is sort of the Dr. Manhattan of Canada.

    3. “To guard against a big land war, I vote we invest in battlefield nukes.”

      I think the current inventory of TLAM-M’s and B61’s is sufficient to get the job done.

  9. I’d feel a lot better about the chance of Republicans in the House cutting spending significantly if they hadn’t voted the architect of a lot of that spending as their Speaker.

    Why believe anything they say after that? …because the Democrats would be worse?! I’ve seen this show in reruns so many times, I know all the dialogue by heart.

    1. Because our crooks are better than their crooks.

  10. well it looks like the GOP made a list of their cuts of 2.5 trillion over 10 years:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/was…..nding-cuts

    1. Not enough.
      This year’s deficit is estimated at $1.4 trillion. Think of it as two Pentagons.

      1. a good start though…and far more then Reason or Strossel ever gave the republicans credit for going after.

        Plus 2010 having 9.5+ unemployment did not exactly help revenues….which has more to do with last year’s low tax revenues and corresponding deficit then anything else.

        1. Yeah, but making a list is easy. Backing it up is something else entirely.

    2. Wow, they’re going to cut a whole, what, 8% of the budget of this year every year for 10 years? Wow, way to get bold there, guys.

      1. The sad thing is it really does not take much cutting to get a balanced budget. hell even if you freeze spending to 2010 levels you will get a balanced budget in little over a decade.

        Libertarians get a lot of flack for our anti-government thing….but it is always fun to know that it is Dems and republicans bitching to us and they can’t even balance the budget of their huge government…and it isn’t even that hard to do it.

        “We can only spend 18% of the largest economy in the world on our bullshit?!?! That is unpossible!!! WE NEED MORE!!!”

      2. Nevertheless, a cut is a cut and I’ll take it if they’re really serious. Of course it’s all going to get filibustered or vetoed.

        1. Of course it’s all going to get filibustered or vetoed.

          If they put in the budget and it gets Filibustered and Vetoed then there is no budget…and 100% of all government programs are cut.

            1. Ooohhhh NO! What will we do???

      3. Still, except for the sell-off of excess properties, the savings are cumulative. Assuming they continue those cuts and do similarly in terms of finding more for the following 10 years, that’ll be $5 trillion over those 10 yrs. ($15 cumulative over 20), and so on. Eventually that trend would wipe out the deficit and go into surplus.

    3. Damn, it should be $2.5T this year alone.

  11. If we all would agree to kick in just a little huge bit more, Congress wouldn’t have to make these awkward decisions. Or maybe a bake sale.

    1. Bake sales are bad for kids …because parents are stupid. So…you have to go get raped in prison now. Welcome to the United States.

      1. I refuse to be a victim. I’ll do the prison raping, thank you.

  12. It’s easy to get bogged down arguing about lots of small cuts, but we’ll only make progress by abolishing whole departments and entire missions.

    We’d get even further bogged down by this approach. I think that across the board freezes, followed by small but escalating cuts would be the only practical way to shrink government.

    An easy start would be to simply not replace retirees, say for every ten retirees a department/agency could only hire nine replacements; and not create any new positions.

    It would also appear to be “fair” since everyone suffers equally. Our progressive trolls here hate that approach, which tells me it would do well with a majority of the American people.

    1. I thought the suggestion made last fall on Reason here was pretty good. Every part of the budget gets cut by 25%. Everything, no exceptions.

      1. yep across the board whatever the %

    2. There are about 150,000 people working at the Department of Commerce.

      There are about 150,000 people working at Starbucks.

      Why does it take the Department of Commerce the same number of people to do whatever it is they do as it takes to Starbucks to serve 4 million cups of coffee every day on every third street corner in urban America?

      Something tells me we can lay off 75,000 government employees at the Department of Commerce? And the taxpayers won’t lose out on any government services–at all!

      1. Oh, we could get rid of more of Commerce than that. There are, I believe, a couple of somewhat legitimate agencies housed there, but the rest could go without the slightest affect on our, well, commerce.

        1. But laying off those people would impact interstate commerce.

          1. Now that’s the idea.

      2. Oh, and you think the Republic can survive without the Minority Business Development Agency?

        It’s a known fact that brown people are genetically deficient in entrepreneurial skills. These skill can only be learned from government bureaucrats.

        Also there are two guys in NIST still working on getting America to convert to metric.

      3. 50,000 employees bean count what 50,000 other employees do. The remaining 50,000 bean count how the second 50,000 count beans.

      4. @Ken: I’m as much for eliminating whole departments of the federal government, ie Education, as much as the next libertarian. However, I don’t think that’s achievable in the current political climate.

        One practical example is if you want to eliminate ANY single department/program, then ALL govt employees will fight you to the death because they realize they’ll be next. Plus the public doesn’t have the stomach for tossing all those employees out on the street (and possibly destabilizing any local economies that depend on those govt employees).

        Freezes, cuts and attrition are acheivable, but will take longer than we’d wish.

        @Epi: I meant to freeze all budgets (first year, followed by escalating cuts). Sure there would be devils in the details, but if they constantly have to make do with less, we all win.

        1. Who gives a shit what the public has the stomach for? The simple fact of the matter is that massive cuts need to be made now or they’ll be forced later. Small cuts may lengthen the amount of time it takes to reach fiscal apocalypse, but it will still happen. On such day, it won’t matter that the public or government employees bitch that things aren’t fair. Our hand will be forced and cuts will be the only possible option.

          1. But the “fiscal apocalypse” is a good thing. The sooner we get to where gov’t is borrowing all that people are willing to lend it, the better. That’s because as long as gov’t has borrowing power it’s not using, it distorts the marketplace because people with capital will speculate on what gov’t might borrow in addition, rather than those people investing to serve current and anticipated non-gov’t needs.

    3. The problem is that they always find a way around things like freezes through some technical bureaucratic means, by giving more overtime or hiring “consultants” or whatever.

      The real problem is that any attempts to cut are met with the furious resistance of nearly every government employee, as it’s their gravy train you’re cutting. Once the government gets to a certain size, that resistance is great enough to basically stymie any attempts to cut anything more than symbolically, as the number of people who want the largess to continue have enough influence to keep it that way.

      1. If we haven’t learned anything else from the experiences of Greece, California and, indeed, Detroit?

        We should have learned that entrenched union employees won’t capitulate until sometime after they’ve reduced everything to rubble.

        It wasn’t until after the INS granted the 9/11 hijackers their visa extensions–months after 9/11–that the interests that be finally conceded to merging Customs, the INS, etc. into one department. …they’d been trying to merge those departments since at least the Nixon Administration.

        If we’re even going to see somebody take a stab at ridiculous and obvious waste like we see at the Commerce Department, it’s gonna take somebody who runs on the issue. If we don’t see government employees rioting in the streets? Then the issue isn’t being properly addressed.

        P.S. Why is the Secret Service in charge of combating counterfeiting? Why isn’t that the FBI?

        1. It just makes me nuts that these Congressional people pretend they’re blind and can’t see all of that low hanging fruit.

          They’re all a bunch of crooks.

        2. Cause the Secret Service is part of the treasury department. Not sure how they got thrown into the protection racket. Unless Treasury takes an insurance policy out on the Pres and the SS is there to safeguard the investment.

      2. “Once the government gets to a certain size, that resistance is great enough to basically stymie any attempts to cut anything more than symbolically, as the number of people who want the largess to continue have enough influence to keep it that way”

        Hence the need for a 30-round clip.

      3. Ken, Epi: Oops, posted my reply to you both upthread.

        Epi: No, the freezes would be absolute, followed by absolute cuts. Sure, they could still do mischief, but they’d still have less money.

    4. “We’d get even further bogged down by this approach. I think that across the board freezes, followed by small but escalating cuts would be the only practical way to shrink government.”

      No we wouldn’t. The biggest hindrance to real progress is that its stuck in people’s minds that it can’t be done. If they made real moves to make drastic cuts it would change the whole playing field. It would energize real conservatives who feel like they’re beaten before we even try. Even if you don’t get it through this time, next time you might because people will believe it’s possible.

    5. We’d get even further bogged down by this approach. I think that across the board freezes, followed by small but escalating cuts would be the only practical way to shrink government.” You are kidding….right? It’s Thursday, BIG significant budget cuts should be complete by 5:00pm tomorrow. We should start and complete a total elimination of most agencies and departments by the end of next week. This is plenty of time…it’s not like it will be hard to find worthlessness in government!

    6. You got us all wrong pal. We love making everyone suffer. We just call it nicer things like the “Greater Good”. That way we can shame dissenters or blame them when things get worse.

    1. Don’t you dare try to steal my thunder!!!

      but yeah it is a start.

    2. Infuriating to read. None of that shit should have been funded to begin with.

  13. The wars are cheap compared to all the other spending. Besides, what’s the point of having a military if we don’t invade someone every once in a while? Call me crazy, but I’m not paying taxes just so G.I. Joe can get a free college education and a pension after retirement. And no, I don’t hate our military, I love them. But being a soldier it’s like being a cop or a fireman, eventually you are gonna have to go out and risk your life, otherwise what’s the point of paying your salary? God help us if we end up like Costa Rica, that pathetic country has no military because they have agreed to let America defend them. I say America tears up that agreement and let the Costa Ricans develop their own armed forces.

    1. the first mission of the military is deterrence. the greatest vistories are winning w/o fighting.

    2. Call me crazy, but I’m not paying taxes just so G.I. Joe can get a free college education and a pension after retirement. And no, I don’t hate our military, I love them

      No, I call you an idiot. What a fucking pussy armchair warrior statement. The libertarian (which you are clearly not) solution is to massively reduce the size of the military.

  14. Of course there’s a whole list of fooking countries we have signed on to defend,

    Right. We’ll give them our solemn assurance that if they are invaded, we will provie all the support we can.

    as well as trade routes, airspace and probably orbital paths for all I know.

    Yeah, I know. That’s why cutting the Navy and Air Force aren’t as easy.

    1. And bill them afterwards.

  15. What’s really scary is, we don’t just need to have a balanced budget.

    We need to run pretty good surpluses, say 3% at a minimum, for years on end, to pay off the debt. Because paying off most of the debt should be our real goal.

    You should never carry debt that wasn’t incurred to purchase capital assets. I have no idea what portion of our national debt that is, but I’d be surprised if it was a very big percentage. The rest needs to be gone.

    1. Seriously. Debt incurred to invest in assets is at least providing you something with net worth (hopefully). Debt used to pay for shit credit card style just makes that shit more expensive.

    2. Eh. If we would just Dave Ramsey the debt service money and split any increase in future revenues between debt retirement, non-discretionary obligations, and discretionary spending, we could grow our way out of debt.

    3. We need to run pretty good surpluses, say 3% at a minimum, for years on end, to pay off the debt. Because paying off most of the debt should be our real goal.

      One major problem is the media networks and how they influence public opinion.

      As Tulpa pointed out in another post, we have a media hostile to government cuts.

      1. As Tulpa pointed out in another post, we have a media hostile to government cuts.

        Jesus that was 4 months ago..

        I think he was referring to election-fever-media. The media probably still will be anti-cuts…but their ability to actually effect anything by it this early before Nov 2012 is negligible.

        If the GOP cut spending on Big Bird today no one would care a year and a half from now.

        Plus Tulpa is sort of an ignorant spiteful asshole.

        1. Look how the media, very influentially and between elections, pinned the blame on the Republicans both when they were in the White House (Reagan) and Congress (1990s) for gov’t shutdowns.

  16. To paraphrase the movie Patton (me, to the Repubs in Congress):

    You got two years to slash spending. If you don’t do it, I’ll fire your ass as well (just like the Dems were fired at the ballot box in ’10).

  17. “You have to touch on each one of these areas and until the American public is cognizant … that we have to have shared sacrifice.”

    I disagree. The American public needs to realize they are getting royally reamed by insiders and unions. I’ve tried to live within my means, so I’m not in much of a mood for shared sacrifice. Not as long as union government employees’ are getting gold plated pensions, health care and guaranteed early retirement. When they are on the same playing field as the productive sector, THEN, we can start sharing the sacrifice.

    1. I’m of this mind, considering that most of the American public pays no taxes, I don’t really see a shared sacrifice here.

  18. We really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really mean it this time!

  19. The only way Republicans will cut entitlements is if they can figure out how to do so for minorities but not white people.

    1. Fuck you Tony.

      1. Interesting, Tony. Go read some history. Your little hero FDR extended the first major entitlement program in the country (Social Security) only to white people.

        1. And Democrats would love to find a way to raise taxes only on non-Democrats, Tony.

          Go on, admit it… you’ll feel better.

  20. The Republicans don’t have the balls to follow through on what spews from their blow holes. To seriously cut government spending would obviously mean serious cuts to “what the government calls defense,” and Republicans can never touch that because 1) that would open them up to legitimate charges of hypocracy and treason, given that they’ve made the untouchability of anything defense-related a cornerstone of their so-called ideology, and 2) “what the government calls defense” includes a vast array of corporations (such as Halliburton and Xe Services) that influential Republicans (such as Dick Cheney) use to fleece the US Treasury. There’s much too much money to be harvested for any serious budget cutting to take place.

  21. “That which cannot continue WILL not” In the end the spending WILL stop either due to political pressure or total economic collapse via currency collapse. Choose 1.

    1. I have no doubt that it will be the latter.

  22. This episode is going to be Stossel emptying his Big Bag of Hate Mail?

  23. I hope ObamaCare covers the effects of the germs Nancy just blew all over her cake.

  24. Drive by stimulations create mortuary jobs

  25. Ha, Pollack dodges the unintended consequences question like a pro. A pro on Nyquil.

  26. Stossel will put me on TV if I call him a bigot? BIGOT!

  27. “Road to hell”??? Don’t force your religion on me, cue ball.

  28. Yeah, real tea partiers often insist on calling themselves teabaggers.

  29. I’m astonished that you agree with yourself

  30. Micheal just shot Stossel a “don’t help” look.

  31. Stossel’s lookin to secure his place as “pinhead of the year”

  32. Stossel, you freeloading dick.

  33. Now is a good time to revisit that “unintended consequences” question for Ron.

  34. “People are going to have to exercise responsibility…”

    Sure, why not.

    1. What about the conditions that pre-existed their exercizing of responsibility?

      1. Actually, I think he meant ObamaCare exorcises responsibility.

        1. YOUR MOTHER SEWS SOCKS THAT SMELL

          -From The Exorcist (TV edit)

  35. I think you like to kill black people John! Put me on TV!!

  36. If I knew Stoss was going to quote some of his detractors, I wouldn’t have peppered my angry emails with so many f-bombs.

  37. Good! Fewer entry level jobs means fewer slaves right?

  38. My business model needs to be examined by whom? Anyone who doesn’t like my wages?

  39. Real businessman? Where’s the tie, then?

  40. They’ve earned the right to the terms of their employment contract and that’s all.

  41. Slave machines

  42. Geez, in the olden days, Stossel used to do on location shoots. FoxBiz must be cheap bastards.

  43. Ha, he had to find a solution around what the government’s meddling.

  44. I’ve never heard a progressive argue for replacing jobs with machines before.

  45. Ha, we’re talking about adults, whom the government is going to protect with minumum wage laws.

    1. Of course she does. Pelosi believes unemployment creates jobs.

  46. Nancy Pelosi believes unemployment creates jobs.

  47. Did this commercial just suggest these old geezers are driving their scooters from Ellis Island to the Grand Canyon?

    1. Looks like someone still hasn’t seen the Bucket List

  48. Obama talking about his big, jolting package. Can’t get enough of that.

  49. Stoss is bringing on progressive academics to argue with businessmen. I smell a rat.

  50. Get older models off the roads? is she talking about clunkers or death panels?

  51. Tamara honestly doesn’t know why we’re not doing stimulus programs all the time.

  52. Saying “actually” doesn’t make it true

    1. That’s a shot at me, isn’t it?

      1. Actually, no

  53. Tamara doesn’t believe in world economy. AMERICA FIRST!

    1. Who will protect the protectionists?

  54. If the camera was made in america, smashing it would be helpful economic activity obviously

  55. THE ENVIRONMENT! Nothing helps the environment more than a landfill teeming with crushed automobiles.

    1. By their logic, doesn’t pollution create green jobs?

  56. But if things improve on their own, how do we know who to elect?

    1. The one who didn’t hinder the recovery. So far, still looking for that.

      1. I’m pretty sure you’re looking for…well…me.

  57. Is Stossel threatening to pop that alpaca?

  58. Stossel’s gonna start breeding alpacas with gocarts.

    1. GOLF CART! There’s a difference.

      1. Sorry

        1. Gocarts are for fun, golf carts are for status. Don’t ruin my favorite liveblog meme.

  59. HFS, talk about people starting to look like their pet.

    1. No shit. She’s actually wearing her pet.

  60. She’s too reasonable. The Alpaca Association is going to have a talk with her.

    1. She’ll find a severed alpaca head in her bed.

  61. Stossel is not only racist against alpacas, he’s also sexist against lawn furniture!

  62. EZ Feet was edited from the script of Idiocracy.

  63. They’re going to tag team Stoss’s facebook page.

  64. Disprove her assertion that the government made the aerospace industry. Go!

  65. Free trade? Please, fair trade sounds just as pleasant to the ear.

  66. Free trade destroys regulatory jobs.

    1. Since unemployment checks stimulate the economy, imagine if everyone was unemployed. Our economy would thrive…THRIVE I TELL YOU

  67. Oh, the sweater guy is demonizing debt.

  68. As long as it’s ‘Mericans making all those boxes of paper I don’t mind

  69. You know what creates agricultural jobs? FOOD FIGHT!!!

    1. That’s going in the liveblog hall of fame.

  70. Ricky Gervais works for Cato?

  71. That hour just flew by. I didn’t think Steven Tyler or J-Lo detracted from the judging at all.

    1. No Fist! Biggest Loser! We were supposed to be liveblogging Biggest Loser!

  72. Going to be very interesting to see whom the GOP selects to run in 2012.

  73. “The only way Republicans will cut entitlements is if they can figure out how to do so for minorities but not white people.”

    YESSSS, Tony! Feed my ego! Perpetuate The Holy Stereotype! This PLEASES Potok!!!

  74. How about we cut the Defense Department which was over 20% of total Government spending in 2010. I think a few small cuts across the board could come close to $2T, and then we could get back to mohair to fill in the small gap remaining.

    http://www.americanprogress.or…..y2010.html

    See articles in Right Side Bar for more.

    http://www.americanprogress.or…..ctive.html

  75. Amen.

    One thing that really got me was: “Some of us talk about it. You have to touch on each one of these areas and until the American public is cognizant … that we have to have shared sacrifice.”

    What’s with “we” and “shared sacrifice”?

    We is too many people. I earned what I have. I pay my bills on time. My income comes from a private sector paycheck. I did not create this mess. I am tired of sacrificing my earnings to support others. I don’t mind paying taxes for national defense and other constitutionally-authorized public goods, but I’m sick and tired of bailing out failed businesses and paying welfare mothers to have children. I am disgusted with it. I am disgusted not only with the politicians that perpetuate this practice of waste, but also with those who receive its benefits and who vote for their continuance. We become Greece.

  76. Garrett said, “…we have to have shared sacrifice.” We do?? How about the sacrificing I and my parents and grandparents have been doing to pay for this enormous government all these years?
    I don’t like being ruled in this fashion.
    Make cuts NOW servants!
    Pick a few hundred of these:

    Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
    Administration for Native Americans
    Administration on Aging (AoA)
    Administration on Developmental Disabilities
    Administrative Committee of the Federal Register
    Administrative Conference of the United States
    Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
    Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
    African Development Foundation
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    Agency for International Development
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    Agricultural Marketing Service
    Agricultural Research Service
    Agriculture Department (USDA)
    Air Force
    Alabama Home Page
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    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (Justice)
    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (Treasury)
    American Battle Monuments Commission
    American Samoa Home Page
    AMTRAK (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    Appalachian Regional Commission
    Architect of the Capitol
    Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board)
    Archives (National Archives and Records Administration)
    Arctic Research Commission
    Arizona Home Page
    Arizona State, County, and City Websites
    Arkansas Home Page
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    Armed Forces Retirement Home
    Arms Control and International Security
    Army
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    Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee
    Atlantic Fleet Forces Command
    Bankruptcy Courts
    Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
    Bonneville Power Administration
    Botanic Garden
    Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America, Radio|TV Marti and more)
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (Justice)
    Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (Treasury)
    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS)
    Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
    Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
    Bureau of Industry and Security (formerly the Bureau of Export Administration)
    Bureau of International Labor Affairs
    Bureau of Justice Statistics
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    Bureau of Public Debt
    Bureau of Reclamation
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    California Home Page
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    Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
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    Defense Acquisition University
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    Delaware Home Page
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    Federated States of Micronesia Home Page
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    Innovation and Improvement Office
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    Institute of Museum and Library Services
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    International Trade Commission
    Iowa Home Page
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    Justice Statistics, Bureau of
    Kansas Home Page
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    Labor Department (DOL)
    Labor Statistics, Bureau of
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    Lead Hazard Control (Housing and Urban Development Department)
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    Local Governments
    Louisiana Home Page
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    National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare
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    National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
    National Constitution Center
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    National Counterintelligence Executive, Office of
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    National Defense University
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    National Economic Council
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    National Gallery of Art
    National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    National Guard
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    National Indian Gaming Commission
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    National Laboratories (Energy Department)
    National Labor Relations Board
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    National Mediation Board
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    National Ocean Service
    National Park Foundation
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    National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
    National Reconnaissance Office
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    National Security Agency (NSA)
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    Navy
    Nebraska Home Page
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    Office of Compliance
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    Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
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  77. good post.
    A good view.

  78. This plan has no merit

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