Obamacare

Welcome Budget Talk

What Paul Ryan's plan gets right-and wrong

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Finally. A serious budget plan. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal has the head-in-the-sand crowd horrified . A Washington Post columnist called it "radical … irresponsible … extreme."

Ryan's plan offers some great things: less spending than President Obama wants; a path to a balanced budget; repeal of ObamaCare; an end to corporate welfare. And it would make the social safety net sustainable rather than open-ended and going broke.

It even inspired President Obama to say he'd come out with his own deficit plan, although he reportedly "will not offer details," just "goals." And of course his plan will "raise revenues." That means more taxes. Ryan's plan is better.

Scott Garrett of New Jersey, who worked on Ryan's plan, told me last week, "We want to be able to make sure that the programs that people rely on today will actually be there tomorrow."

Ryan's "roadmap to prosperity" lays out $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years—not, sadly, cuts from what government spends today, but from what President Obama wanted to spend. Spending would actually increase by about a trillion dollars over the decade.

Garrett is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which proposes more cuts than Ryan. Its plan would actually cut spending by about $300 billion and end the deficit in eight years—[AZ2]Ryan's plan wouldn't balance the budget until 2050 or 2080. I asked what the RSC cuts that Ryan doesn't.

"We take additional cuts in the entitlements."

It raises the retirement age for Social Security to 67. Good. When FDR created Social Security, most Americans didn't even make it to age 65. Today, Americans on average live 78 years. Raising the age to 67 doesn't do much. I wish they'd index the retirement benefit age to life spans.

The RSC plan would sell 5 percent of government lands. That's good, too. It would also reduce the federal workforce by 15 percent. Ryan's figure is 10 percent. That's a start. But they would do it by "attrition." That's cowardly. It's not management. They should fire the worst 10 or 15 percent. That's what private-sector managers do.

Also, neither Ryan nor the RSC really address "defense." There's nothing in either plan that asks what the military's mission should be, or even what the role of government should be. Ryan and the RSC don't kill off any departments. They just cut most things a little—assuming that almost everything government does, it should do. That's not management. When Ronald Reagan campaigned, he said he would close the Education and Energy departments. He didn't, and they've only grown. Now, when they acknowledge the budget crisis, even the Republicans don't want to close them.

Today, the federal government spends 25 percent of gross domestic product. Ryan would get it down to 20 percent. But when Bill Clinton left office, it was 18 percent.

Sen. Rand Paul has a program that would balance the budget in five years by cutting $4 trillion—or 20 percent—off the Congressional Budget Office's baseline. It's a better plan.

"The president's plan will add about $11 trillion to the debt over 10 years," Paul told me. "Congressman Ryan … is trying to do the right thing, but his plan will add $8 trillion to the debt over 10 years. We need to do something much more dramatic, or I think we're in for a world of hurt."

He'd get rid of whole departments, like Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce. He'd also reduce "defense" spending.

Paul said: "The inconvenient truth for conservatives is you cannot balance the budget if you eliminate (only) nonmilitary spending. … I do believe in a strong national defense … but it doesn't mean that all military spending is sacred or that all military spending is well-spent."

Neither Paul's plan nor the weaker RSC and Ryan plans will prevail this year. After all, Democrats control the Senate and the White House. But at least they got the conversation going. It should pay off in the future. And that's cause for some cheer.

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. Let the anti-Stossel nitwits come out of the woodwork, like so many cockroaches and other nasty, greasy things.

    1. “and other nasty, greasy things”

      Why do you hate Italians, OM?

        1. She cleans up good!

    2. You’ve posted a similar comment on the last 3 articles Stossel has written. And somehow you’ve managed to be the first poster each time. Is Geraldo-lite giving you a heads up to help his image?

      1. You didn’t know that OM was in the pay of Big Stossel?

        Uh, no homo.

      2. Re: hmm,

        You’ve posted a similar comment on the last 3 articles Stossel has written.

        I thought I did that at least 5 times.

        And somehow you’ve managed to be the first poster each time.

        Well, it’s not that hard: His essay is published one day before in Human Events, to which I have an e-mail subscription.

        Easy.

  2. There are lots of good criticisms of the Ryan plan. But I think there are three questions that matter.

    1. Is it better than doing nothing?

    2. Is it better than what the Democrats want?

    3. Is at least a credible start towards what needs to be done?

    If the answer to all three of those questions is yes, then I think you really have no choice but to support it for now. We didn’t get in this mess over night. And one plan is not going to get us out. It is going to be a long hard process.

    Yeah, if I were king I would be cutting trillions right now. But I am not king and no one is going to make me king any time soon. We have to start somewhere within the realm of the possible. And Ryan’s plan, however flawed, does seem to be that.

    1. Re: John,

      1. Is it better than doing nothing?

      Define “nothing.” To me, doing “nothing” would mean packing up to leave for home and letting Nature reclaim D.C.

      2. Is it better than what the Democrats want?

      I don’t know what the Democrats want. I suspect neither do the Democrats.

      3. Is at least a credible start towards what needs to be done?

      It’s a start, no question about it. A start to what, that’s a different question, and far scarier.

      1. Doing nothing is continueing to spend at the rate we are now. You know that. Stop being a smart ass and answer the fucking question. And it is a serious qeustion. If the Ryan plan is so small as to be meaningless, then it is not better than doing nothing and shouldn’t be supported.

        I don’t what the Democrats want either. They don’t have a plan beyond defending the status quo. So unless it does damage, it is probably better than what the Democrats want.

        “It’s a start, no question about it. A start to what, that’s a different question, and far scarier”

        that statement is such a pile of fucking stupid it really isn’t worth responding to. But since you have decided to be a flippent smart ass and not give a serious response, I will play along and give you a serious response.

        No one ever said that the Ryan plan would be the last word on this problem. And there is nothing to say you can’t go back and cut more in the future. Why not pass the Ryan plan as a start? Right now they can’t even actually cut 38 billion or whatever that they said they were going to to get the government reopened letalone what the Ryan plan calls for. I would say the Ryan plan would be a step in the right direction.

        1. Re: John,

          Doing nothing is continuing to spend at the rate we are now.

          No, that would be doing something. Spending is action.

          If what you mean is “Doing nothing but spend the same way,” then I agree with you: That’s bad.

          You know that. Stop being a smart ass and answer the fucking question.

          What, are you new around here?

          I don’t what the Democrats want either. They don’t have a plan beyond defending the status quo.

          That’s what I mean – I have no idea what the hell the Dems want, otherwise there would be some logic in their spending. It just keep spreading like The Blob, almost instinctively, no rationality, no delusions of morality: The perfect organism.

          Why not pass the Ryan plan as a start?

          Because it’s not good enough. I want Mozart, not Salieri.

          1. The Ryan plan is a pathetic first cut. When negotiating you ask for more than what you want at the beginning. If Ryan’s plan is an example of this, we’re screwed.

            1. Nothing much good will come of this. Round and round we go down the shiter…..wheeeeee!

        2. It would be far better to do nothing, and accelerate the timeline of when we get to the breaking point. The sooner the better.

          1. I hate to say it because I’ve got kids, but I agree. Team Blue is just bailing while Team Red steers straight for the falls. We won’t get a better crew til we get to the other side.

            Get rid of your greenbacks — it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

    2. I like my plan of not raising the debt ceiling and letting US Treasury Bonds turn into junk unless Obama and the democrat senate balance the budget today.

      The fun part is the House could get that done.

      1. and they should!
        joshua corning for Speaker of the House!

      2. Senator Jim DeMint is going for it.
        Sen. DeMint demands Constitution be changed to ban federal debt

        Looks like he chopped a finger off the debt ceiling and mailed it to Timmy.

    3. We have been through all this shit for decades.

  3. Today, the federal government spends 25 percent of gross domestic product. Ryan would get it down to 20 percent. But when Bill Clinton left office, it was 18 percent.

    Maybe we should get Bill Clinton on the ballot again…

    Sen. Rand Paul has a program that would balance the budget in five years by cutting $4 trillion?or 20 percent ? off the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline. It’s a better plan.

    But it would leave dying children spilled over the streets and make seniors eat Fancy Feast and drown bags filled with puppies and…

  4. [Sen. Rand] Paul said: “The inconvenient truth for conservatives is you cannot balance the budget if you eliminate (only) nonmilitary spending. … I do believe in a strong national defense … but it doesn’t mean that all military spending is sacred or that all military spending is well-spent.”

    The sacred cow for liberals is the welfare state; the sacred cow for so-called “conservatives” is the warfare state. Each side wants to sacrifice each other’s cow to the failed god of democracy – guess who loses?

    1. Yeah, the because the people who got their heads blown off this week in Afghanistan are no different than crack heads taking welfare. You are really on a roll today aren’t you?

      1. Re: John,

        Yeah, the because the people who got their heads blown off this week in Afghanistan are no different than crack heads taking welfare.

        You’re picking hairs out of the mohawk rug here. We’re talking about Da Big Budgets, and each side has its own favorite tub of lard they each protect.

      2. The crackhead welfare queens aren’t blowing people up while trying to “democratize” them.

        Just sayin’

        1. But their feral children are shooting up the town.

  5. Dumb Stossel is dumb

    1. Like I said: Like so many cockroaches and other greasy, nasty things… Out of the woodwork.

      1. I hate Stossel so much I.. must read every word just to remind myself of how not good he is! Whenever I make a mistake I must punish myself by watching Stossel.

        1. Out of the woodwork… scurrying around…

    2. I like Stossel’s beliefs. I like his ideals. I like his moustache. I don’t think he’s dumb.
      But his journalistic reporting sucks.

      This was maybe the best or second best-written article of his I’ve read since Reason started publishing him.

      What’s dumb is hating him for no reason, or automatically liking everything he does and defending him out of hand.
      (Especially when the entirety of that defense consists of, “If you don’t like Stossel, you are a nitwit and/or cockroach.”)

      1. Re: jcalton,

        (Especially when the entirety of that defense consists of, “If you don’t like Stossel, you are a nitwit and/or cockroach.”)

        Not “and/or,” jc. Only “and.”

  6. an end to corporate welfare

    Laughable. When asked about oil, defense, and ethanol subsidies Ryan quickly apologized to those industries.

    Plus, Ryan needs to apologize for his Pharma Medicare Welfare Act of 2003 vote. The guy is a full time shill for corporate welfare.

    1. “When asked about oil, defense, and ethanol subsidies Ryan quickly apologized to those industries.”

      Do you have a link for that or did you hear from one of the three or four voices in your head shrike? And of course if you would drop Obama’s dick out of your mouth for a bit, you might realize he has through continueing TARP and letting Ben and Timmy keep interest rates at near zero sent more money to Wall Street than any President in history

      1. You remind me of Ralph Reed – a little right-wing Christian punk at UGA where I went to school in the early 80’s.

        I should have kicked his ass back then at the Demosthenian debates – but I didn’t know he would grow up to be such a Christ-Fag.

        1. John, notice how shrike felt offended by your outrageous request to prove his point with some evidence, and proceeded to lash out with an Ad Hominem. It’s like watching chimps on Animal Planet on channel 184.

          1. I didn’t start the ad hominem, you dumb Paultard. There is a printed record above your quote.

            1. John, notice how shrike now lashed at me like a chimp on Animal Planet on channel 184. Chimps sure lash a lot.

            2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

              The Obamatron cocksucker is an interet tuff gai! He should have beaten someone up at UGA!

              You’re a pathetic piece of sycophantic shit, shriek. Maybe you can threaten the beat some people on this board up?

            3. I didn’t start the ad hominem

              I seem to remember this term…

              What was it…

              gosh i really can’t think of it…

              oh yeah!!

              “Christfag”

              That was the word i was looking for.

        2. I took a shit at UGA once.

          1. I vomited on North Campus once.
            or maybe twice.

          2. What did that poor dog do to deserve your aiming your bowel movement at it?

        3. Nothing wins debates faster than throwing punches.

          1. well, actually…

        4. Reed went to Georgia? Interesting.

          1. Haven’t you always thought that Ralph Reed was like Romney, too slick by half?

            1. Not if he went to Georgia. Egad.

              1. Pro-

                I didn’t know you were a Dawg! If so, good for you.

                1. Exactly wrong.

          2. shriek went to Georgia in the early 80s and he still acts like an arrogant Yankee job-transfer forced to live among the hookworm-ridden, suff-dippin’, shoeless, daughter-fucking, pickup drivin’, Jesus-prayin’ hicks of the ATL?

            Even more interesting.

            1. I was a B-52’s and REM fan. I actually loved Athens back then and visited often until 2003-04.

              Widespread Panic – pretty good but I like Drive-By Truckers much more than their more famous contemporaries.

              1. I went to Florida. Your school is icky.

                1. Go to Hell Gay-tors! Go to Hell…
                  EAT SHIT!

                  1. May Tebow forgive you.

            2. shriek’s just a redneck who wants to fit in with his TEAM BLUE buddies, so he has to hate on rednecks.

              shriek isn’t much of a free thinker. He’ll suck up to whoever he has to, and follow the party line. It’s what pathetic little partisans do.

              1. Epi, whom do you hold in lower esteem, shrike or Greg Smith? Just curious.

                1. Since GREGGOOO is a sockpuppet, it has to be shriek.

        5. Whatever, shrike–pozzes like you melt in about 15 seconds whenever shit gets real.

    2. Apologize? Certainly he should. As should all the Obamatrons (Sen. Boxer I’m looking at you) who, back in the day, were screaming – before the ink was even dry on Bush’s signature – that the GOP were pikers and the prescription bill needed to be twice as big.

      As Bill Buckley told conservatives in 1970 – and it applies today, too, to what Ryan is attempting – “it’s about …how things ought to be, and it’s about what you can wrest out of the current situation.”

      1. See joshua corning’s suggestion above. The House Republicans can extract anything they want by holding the debt ceiling hostage.

    3. Unlike John, I’ll ask politely since I really would like an answer to this.

      What evidence do you have that Ryan “quickly apologized to [the oil, defense, and ethanol] industries”? What evidence do you have that Ryan is a “full time shill for corporate welfare” as opposed to just a part-time shill like many other politicians?

  7. Last weekend on Fox News they aired the Stossel program Freeloaders, which covered everything from “homeless” beggers to farm subsidies. It was a very good program.

  8. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, who worked on Ryan’s plan, told me last week, “We want to be able to make sure that the programs that people rely on today will actually be there tomorrow.”

    Brilliant idea! An insurance market for the elderly does not exist and will never corporealize.

    Insurance for the elderly is the consumer equivalent to purchasing car coverage after the wreck

    1. Being relatively new here, I ask a question… Specifically, does this rather person have ANY idea what he/she is talking about, ever?

      1. No.

      2. Resto Druid FTW = male and unable to espy artifice

        1. Hmm yes, I put in one comment a day that requires a soup?on of contemplation, and it is most often missed

          The Immaculate Trouser was clever enough to give me hope when he picked up on one this week:

          Planned Parenthood’s support for Barack Obama has paid off
          Well, they are sentimental about Obama; after all, he’s the one who got away.

          1. Re: rather,

            Hmm yes, I put in one comment a day that requires a soup?on of contemplation, and it is most often missed

            Yes, well, you lost me at “corporealize.”

      3. Imagine someone who specs feral to heal. That guy laughs at how stupid rather is.

        1. Does anyone know how to translate autistic-spectrum disorder grammar?

          1. It is a World of Warcraft joke.

            Druids in World of Warcraft can choose talents from 3 talent trees.

            Tree(healing), Feral, and BOOOOOOMKIN!!!.

            Feral spec is a a druid that puts most talent points into the Feral talent tree. Such a spec is for melee or tanking.

            So someone who specs their Druid into feral to heal when they should spec into tree(healing) is a pretty stupid person….and that stupid person is laughing at how stupid you are.

            get it?

            haha….or whatever.

            1. I thought that relating the scope of rather’s idiocy to a milieu with which someone using the name “Resto Druid FTW” might be familiar would help him grasp the full depth of her lack of intelligence. Plus, it’s so rare to be able to use a WoW joke rather than be the joke, I couldn’t resist. So, if you don’t like it, QQ moar.

              1. I understood. Obviously, my main is main-specced resto. My off is bear tank.

        2. Wow, that is stupid.

      4. I like all the images of naked women rather puts on his/her website.

        Other then that no.

        1. I think rather is an “it”.

          1. If you mean by it someone with an evil vagina, then call me guilty

    2. http://www.medicare.gov/find-a…..eSupport=1

      Ever heard of medicare supplemental insurance? It’s expensive, but it exists. Besides, the fact that something you want is expensive is no excuse for making other people pay for it.

  9. A slight threadjack

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/sw…..child.html

    Don’t give your kids meds and the SWAT may arrive.

    1. What are the 17 allegations?

      Video footage shows individual officers staking out the house, taking cover behind trees with their weapons, as in a military operation

      Only Superman wouldn’t duct behind trees when a shot is fired.

      1. Re: rather,

        Only Superman wouldn’t duct behind trees when a shot is fired.

        Yep, he only ducks when things are thrown at him, but not bullets.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3DnAgyQoAk

        1. And why did the bad guys always throw the gun at him, when they just saw that bullets bounce off the guy?

    2. Prison Planet!!1!

    3. That is EXTREMELY fucked up. They used a god damned TANK!

    4. That is EXTREMELY fucked up. They used a god damned TANK!

    5. I’d like to buy that woman a shooting lesson or two.

  10. Arianna Huffington is a genius. She has built a cult that decrys CEOs making X times what their employer makes, but her faithful followers will defend her when she uses slave labor to earn $4 million a year.

    1. Those bloggers were forced to blog?

    2. You know who else used slave labor?

      1. yes

      2. A creepy old cracker muth-fucka?

        1. I like it when you talk dirty

          1. I knew it, I knew it ?. you’re an ASS girl.

    3. Remember the whitewash fence scene from Tom Sawyer? Arianna basically did the same thing with her website–tricked a bunch of suckers into working for free because they thought it would be a privilege to do so.

      I have to give her props–she pulled off the most brillant trolling with that site I ever saw. How many people would be smart enough to set up a whole media conglomerate, based on nothing more than appealing to left-wing SWPL fetishes over social fashion and status-chasing, and then sell the whole fucking thing out from under them for millions?

      Christ, I don’t even agree with her politics (if she even truly has any), but she’s my new hero.

  11. I have a couple of problems with Paul Ryan’s plan, besides that it doesn’t do enough. It end’s taxes on dividends and capital gains instead of the corporate tax. The economic incidence is the same. It’s reforms to medicare would be great in a free market, but not as long as we have the FDA, lawyers, medical licensing, and what not driving up costs substantially. Also, it does not peg the retirement age to life expectancy, which is far more important than raising the retirement age by a couple years. It doesn’t do enough to cut corporate welfare or even start to address the defense budget.

    1. I have a couple of problems with people who don’t know how apostrophes work.

  12. It really doesn’t matter what Ryan’s budget is, it’s not going anywhere. Obama and the Democrats are still in full denial of any spending problem, but don’t dare come right out and say they need to tax the middle class more to raise revenue (there aren’t enough “rich” people to really make more than a dent). Not that their “plan” (if it becomes an actual plan, anyway) would get through the House.

    So, we’re either headed for a shutdown via the debt ceiling in May/June or a shutdown via the 2012 budget on Oct. 1.

    1. Debt ceiling won’t necessarily cause a shutdown. If it isn’t raised they could still operate the government. They would just have to do so without borrowing any more money. That means dropping Federal spending back to ~2000 levels when it was actually covered by revenues…

  13. You people do realize that the GOP will be going into the next election forced to defend tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires + cuts to medicare. That’s a fight the forces of good can actually win.

    The problem with this whole discussion is that it is fundamentally dishonest. We don’t need to destroy popular social programs to save the country. The ideologue Republicans want to destroy these programs because they are Randian nutbags, but they know it’s not politically popular to do so, so they lie about it and pretend we have to do it or our grandchildren will all be dead. You guys should be acquainted with this rhetoric.

    1. Theocon =/= Objectivist

      Never has, never will.

      And a quick question: do you even know how a loan work? You have to pay it back. The government has taken way more loans that in can hope to pay back in a timely fashion, and is continuing to take out more. How will spending more money we don’t have help out our grandchildren?

      1. How will making more people more poor increase government revenues? If we don’t get unemployment to manageable levels and start to actually have a middle class capable of upward mobility, then we will never solve our revenue and spending problems. The GOP plan is to do everything possible to cause more recession. It’s not superior on its merits, and it’s not superior on paying down debt.

        That problem isn’t all that difficult to solve, and it certainly won’t require cutting vast portions of civilization away. It’s only difficult if you are a zealot who refuses to raise taxes ever.

        1. You had me at “recession”. We need a large, hardcore recession. A real one, not the one we just went through. Damned near everything is massively overvalued because there’s too much fucking money circulating in the system.

          We need for large banks and corporations to go bust, if they can’t survive without massive gov’t intervention. Why you’re obsessed with propping up plutocrats and entrenching the crony capitalism you profess to despise is beyond me.

          1. Zerohead!

          2. I’ve said many times if an institution is too large to fail without bringing down the economy, it either needs to be broken up or nationalized. It was the free-market ideologues who were running the store when the shit went down.

            1. Nothing is too big to fail. Companies get to big for politicians to loose their funding. There’s a difference.

              1. Ugh, I am agreeing with you that their influence is too much. Their power was so corruptly vast that their failure would seriously threaten the entire world economy. Were you asleep during the Lehman collapse? That’s a fact, and that’s the point.

                First of all finance is supposed to be about smart allocation of capital, not really-high-stakes gambling. But their power and their political influence go hand-in-hand. That’s why government needs to be the overwhelming power. That’s the argument right there.

                1. My point is that the company can go fail, without it being broken up or nationalized. If everyone is stupid enough to invest in a company that fails anyway, the essentially deserve what follows. TANSTAAFL.

                  People overestimate the stock market’s effect on the economy. Ignore the medium sized fluctuations, and there won’t be nearly as many outside effects, and probably fewer big fluctations.

                  1. I tire of your incessant moral finger-pointing. Yes, the Wall Street psychopaths deserved punishment (and haven’t received any), but every citizen of every country didn’t deserve it. We’ve made capitalism big. Economies are interconnected. If this were just a blip, then the uber-Randians themselves wouldn’t have all decided to become socialists would they.

                    1. Here’s the problem: people like you panic and immediately want gov’t intervention if the stock market tanks, because you’re incapable of differentiating the Dow from the economy (they are NOT the same thing; Dow has been rocking the last few months, economy, only tepid).

                      The correct response to the Lehman collapse was to do absolutely nothing. Once the initial shock had worn off, each successive failure would have been less of a system shock, because people would have learned that it isn’t the end of the world.

                      Instead, you gave us TARP (yes yes I know it was Bush, but you support it as policy, as you’ve stated several times).

                    2. Jim,

                      You can’t prove what you’re saying, and it runs counter to the shit explosion in the combined pants of everyone from socialists to Bushie free marketeers. What was on the horizon of reality was a massive economic collapse.

                      If I were king, TARP I would not have done. I would have nationalized the banks and cleaned up their massive fuckup and put some people in jail. It saved the economy, but unfortunately also the status quo.

                    3. Tony, “You can’t prove what you’re saying, and it runs counter to the shit explosion in the combined pants of everyone from socialists to Bushie free marketeers. What was on the horizon of reality was a massive economic collapse.”

                      Guess what? You can’t prove what you’re saying, either. You do NOT know for a fact that a “massive collapse” was going to happen. And no, everyone was NOT exploding shit in their pants, as evidenced by the fact that congress initially defeated the bailout measure. It was only dem + Bush & Cheney arm-twisting that got it passed. The stock market was wildly overvalued and needed to crash.

                      The whole economy for the last ten years, including republican and democrat rule, was sand castles. It was time for the tide to come in, but instead, we get an epic bucket-brigade to keep the sea away from our sand castle, so now we just have a shitty, partially melted sand castle. Sand castle! SAND CASTLES I TELL YOU, FUCKING SAND CASTLES BUILT BY IDIOT DOWNS CHILDREN AND INHABITED ENTIRELY BY FASCIST HERMIT CRABS!!!!! *shakes Tony by the lapels*

                    4. Sand castles… of capitalism.

            2. Re: Tony,

              I’ve said many times if an institution is too large to fail without bringing down the economy, it either needs to be broken up or nationalized.

              Who gets to deem an institution to be “too big to fail”?

              Ah, don’t tell me: The same people that also get to “break it up” or nationalize it, right?

              Very convenient. “It’s not her purse, your honor, it’s actually mine because I deemed too big to fail!” said the robber.

              Same shit.

              It was the free-market ideologues who were running the store when the shit went down.

              That would make anybody who’s not a dyed-in-the-wool Maoist a “free-market ideologue,” if one followed your standard.

              1. Well I’m sure as fuck not going to trust you to decide who gets to make the decisions, since you are a WND conspiracy theorist wacko, apparently.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  Well I’m sure as fuck not going to trust you to decide who gets to make the decisions

                  You keep missing the point, Tony: NOBODY should be making such decisions; not me, not you, and certainly not the Greatest Literary Genius Of All Time. Having some powerful overseer deciding on economic matters, you have the recipe for Fascism.

              2. Goddamnit you make a lot of sense.

              3. ^^THIS^^

                ANyone who says that what we have resembles anything even remotely close to a free market is just a sheep and accepts what the media presents to them without question, or is being willfully intellectually dishonest.

            3. I’ve said many times if an institution is too large to fail without bringing down the economy, it either needs to be broken up or nationalized.

              If it is nationalized, it is still too large to fail; you’d just replace a set of clueless or criminal manager with a set of clueless or criminal government employees. Wrong tool to address the problem.

              1. Tony, until you become intellectually mature enough to understand that you can’t engineer away economic downturns, you’ll continue to run around that mulberry bush you call a philsophy.

        2. “How will making more people more poor increase government revenues”

          Why will we have more poor people?

          “If we don’t get unemployment to manageable levels and start to actually have a middle class capable of upward mobility”

          Because the status quo is doing such a bang up job.

          1. Because people won’t be able to steal as much money from “duh ritch”, and that will make them poor.

            Duh!

        3. ah, it’s a revenue problem after all. Thanks Tony… wait… you mention spending too….. that’s a problem? I’m so confused.

        4. “If we don’t get unemployment to manageable levels and start to actually have a middle class capable of upward mobility…”

          How the hell do you define “middle class” and “upward mobility?” Have you ever taken a look at wealth distribution as a function of age? In America you pretty much just have to work hard and be responsible to have all the upward mobility you’ll ever need.

    2. “[F]orces of good?” You mean, the libertarians? I think that’s a bit optimistic, but thank you.

      1. Hopefully, within a few years we can make ourselves well-enough known that econocons and social liberals will desert the Parties for us. I’m hoping for 2016.

        1. Just had a thought…everyone started focusing on the 2012 election right after the 2008 election. Might mean they secretly weren’t satisfied with the results. We can hope.

        2. 2016

          Is that when hell is supposed to freeze over?

          1. Well…my comment presumes that we survive that long. Thanks for bringing that forward.

    3. Re: Tony,

      You people do realize that the GOP will be going into the next election forced to defend tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires + cuts to medicare.

      “What do you mean, ‘you people’?”
      “What do YOU mean, ‘what do you mean you people‘?”
      “Huh!”

      That’s a fight the forces of good can actually win.

      The spenders on the left against the spenders on the right – a fight of good versus evil spendthrifts!

      Sounds like a WWF poster.

      The problem with this whole discussion is that it is fundamentally dishonest.

      No. Shit.

      We don’t need to destroy popular social programs to save the country.

      “You don’t have to die! You can live! LIVE!”
      “There is NO sanctuary!”

    4. We also don’t need to grow government to save the country. The ideologue Democrats want to raise taxes and destroy the private sector because they are Marxist nutbags, but they know it’s not politically popular to do so, so they lie about it and pretend nothing is wrong with deficits as far as the eye can see. You, Tony, should be acquainted with this rhetoric.

      1. Yes it was such a dystopian hellhole with Clinton-era tax rates.

        This will be a fun fight. I’m ready for the plutocrats to lose once and for all.

        1. And I’m ready for the sociocommunists to lose once and for all. But as Rand pointed out, they may have to win first.

          1. They did win. Before the 20th century was halfway over. Sorry! The Randians are putting up a shockingly good fight, though.

            1. Excuse me? The Soviet Union collapsed under it’s own weight, the process only slowed by Gorbachev reforms. Their collective farming was so bad that people starved even during bumper harvests. If I recall correctly, we gave them grain.

              If the whole world was communist for a significant period of time, it would lead to a general collapse, with no one to rely on.

              1. Sorry I didn’t mean the communists won. They lost. They put up a much better fight than the Randians, though I wouldn’t count you guys out just yet. Okay so the communists didn’t lose in the most populous country on earth…

                I’m saying the socialists won. Well-managed socialist states are the best places to live on earth. Anything good about living in America is a socialist program (capitalism has tended to benefit only a few thousand people here lately).

                The Randians have destroyed several a country with the inevitable corporate predation that follows their ideology. But once the South American or former Soviet-bloc experiments inevitably failed, socialism, of course, was usually ready to take over in a big way.

                1. The internet isn’t a socialist program. Americans seem fairly satisfied with that. And those socialist countries, as anyone who remembers the past three years knows, are having to go on austerity programs because they can’t afford all their spending. Every socialist and semi-socialist country is in debt. A capitalist country wouldn’t have to be.

                  And anyway, socialism is just a slow motion version of communism, with arcane taxes and incomprehensible regulation substituted for expropriation (theft) and incarceration(if you’re lucky).

                  Which country have the Randians destroyed? No Randian would handle the stock market as badly as the US did, so what more capitalist country are you thinking of?

                  1. The internet isn’t a socialist program.

                    The Internet was invented and organized by the government.

                    Every socialist and semi-socialist country is in debt. A capitalist country wouldn’t have to be.

                    Every country is semi-something. All the countries are in debt because of a global financial crisis that caused a huge recession. That crisis was caused by uber-capitalists. The only way out of it is socialism. You lose. You just don’t know it yet.

                    socialism is just a slow motion version of communism

                    Well it’s all a continuum. If you think all taxation and therefore government is illegitimate, a) sorry, nobody wants anarchy, and b) you and what army?

                    Which country have the Randians destroyed?

                    Can we please agree that Alan Greenspan was yes a Randian? They did a number on us already.

                    Anyway, Poland, Russia, Bolivia, South Africa, the Asian Tigers, Iraq more recently. Free market experiments gone wild.

                    1. “The only way out of it is socialism. You lose. You just don’t know it yet.”

                      Sorry, is any libertarian here deluded about the position of the philosophy. We know most people disagree with us. We can be fairly certain we’re going to lose. That doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

                      “nobody wants anarchy”

                      Argumentum ad populum, would you go drown yourself?

                      “you and what army?”

                      Oh, so might DOES make right. Thanks for clearing that up.

                      “Can we please agree that Alan Greenspan was yes a Randian?”

                      We can agree he thought he was.

                      Anyway, Poland, Russia, Bolivia, South Africa, the Asian Tigers, Iraq more recently. Free market experiments gone wild.

                      Is this a joke? It looks like a joke, but I don’t get which bit is meant to be the punchline. Maybe you should have led with the ‘Free market experiments gone wild’ bit, and ended with, wham, ‘Iraq more recently.’ Everybody laughs. Good joke.

                    2. We can be fairly certain we’re going to lose.

                      No! You had a good run. Still are. What exactly is the difference between what you guys say and what the Republicans say on economics? You have taken over a freakin major party!

                      Argumentum ad populum, would you go drown yourself?

                      The populum matters if we’re talking about decision-making on a popular scale. Would you prefer the tyranny of a small band of ideologues?

                      Oh, so might DOES make right. Thanks for clearing that up.

                      Power is power. It’s necessary to do things. Our job is to make sure it does them right.

                      Look, the corporatists subsidize academics, think tanks, and government agents. They’ve had success. They have a lot of money. They are Randians. It justifies what they do. Yes, a free-market experiment was attempted on Iraq. No, it never works out. But that doesn’t matter to a cult. It’s the never-to-be-achieved utopia, apparently, that matters.

                    3. “No! You had a good run. Still are. What exactly is the difference between what you guys say and what the Republicans say on economics?”

                      “Taxes are theft” is different to “don’t touch medicare”.

                      “The populum matters if we’re talking about decision-making on a popular scale. Would you prefer the tyranny of a small band of ideologues.”

                      I’d prefer we did the right thing – that is end the tyranny of the state. I don’t really care how we do it.

                      “Power is power. It’s necessary to do things. Our job is to make sure it does them right.”

                      I agree. So you admit that saying ‘you and what army?’ isn’t an argument at all? I mean, if someone was being raped, and they said ‘stop raping me’, the rapist couldn’t justify his actions by asking ‘you and what army?’ could he?

                      And you do realise it’s intellectually dishonest in the extreme to refer to positions you disagree with as a cult, right? Of course utopia’s never going to be achieved. There are always going to be bad people. There’s always going to be murder, but murder is wrong. There’s always going to be theft, but theft is wrong. There’s always going to be rape, but rape is wrong. It’s not an argument that murder, theft or rape are morally permissible to say that they’ll never be completely prevented. That’s not an excuse for failing to condemn these things when we see them. But that’s what your argument amounts to – there’s always going to be theft, so it’s okay if the government does it.

                    4. “Taxes are theft” is different to “don’t touch medicare”.

                      True, but as this is still something of a democracy, and they’re the ones with power, they have to account for popular will. Are you hoping for the day when what people want doesn’t matter with respect to what you want to impose on them?

                      end the tyranny of the state.

                      Tyranny is bad. But do you mean end the power of the state? Because that’s what it seems like. Surely you realize that means giving power over to lynch mobs.

                      if someone was being raped, and they said ‘stop raping me’, the rapist couldn’t justify his actions by asking ‘you and what army?’ could he?

                      And the victim could say “the one that exercises force to secure the power of a state that forbids rape by law.” It might work… at least she’ll have a forum for redress. What do you propose? Rape prevention by moral finger-waving?

                    5. Are you hoping for the day when what people want doesn’t matter with respect to what you want to impose on them?

                      Nope, I’m hoping for the day when what people want will be all that matters with respect to what anyway imposes on them. But of course, by ‘people’ I mean, you know, people, and not arbitrary groups.

                      Tyranny is bad. But do you mean end the power of the state? Because that’s what it seems like. Surely you realize that means giving power over to lynch mobs.

                      Uh, no, I meant what I said. I don’t mind the state being powerful, so long as it doesn’t use that power to rob people or control their lives.

                      And the victim could say “the one that exercises force to secure the power of a state that forbids rape by law.” It might work… at least she’ll have a forum for redress. What do you propose? Rape prevention by moral finger-waving

                      You see, you keep doing this. You keep completely ignoring the point. Let’s say there is no state that forbids rape by law, or there is a state and it uses rape as a punishment. Let’s say the woman is in a situation where there is no way she’s not going to get raped, because the rapist is all powerful. Are you saying that under those circumstances rape isn’t wrong? Is that what you believe?

                    6. Re: The Ingenious Hidalgo,
                      Use html tags (no spaces, I had to add them so you can see them):

                      < blockquote > text < /blockquote >

                      That places the text in a separate block – again, no spaces between the < and the >

                      < i > text < /i >
                      Italics

                      < a href = ” link ” > < / a >
                      To create hyperlinks

                    7. Yeah, thanks. I always intend to, but I forget if it’s a ‘[‘ or a ‘

                    8. You see, what happened there is, I was stupid.

                2. Is Tony having some kind of breakdown?

                  1. He had his breakdown before he started posting here. Or are you wondering what’s taking so long for him to reply? I know I am.

                    1. There’s also the problem that it is becoming more and more difficult to see the difference between Tony and his spoofers as time goes by.

        2. And life was so fucking horrible under CLinton-era spending levels.. Tell you wwhat Tony you agree to 1.789 trillion in max outlays and I’ll agree to your tax hike. Deal?

          1. Is that inflation-adjusted? We need the economic circumstances to be adjusted for too. Then you’re on.

            1. If US spending had just been inflation adjusted over the past 10 years, we would have netted 560 billion (according to my back-of-the-Excel spreadsheet calculations), as opposed to the several trillion we added to the debt. In answer to your question, though, I think inflation adjusted would be around 2.30 to 2.35 trillion. I can’t buy in to the economic adjustments though, I have to keep some libertarian street cred*

              *Despite the tax hike deal, I’d ideally have a low rate flat tax, high personal deduction (every other deduction removed), plus a negative income tax to get rid of the bureaucratic mess and just give people direct support. Again not libertarian pure, but moving in a better direction, in my opinion.

        3. Apparently, however, you feel that government spending during Clinton era would bring about Somalia.

          Go fuck a barbed baseball bat, you dishonest fucktard.

        4. Yes it was such a dystopian hellhole with Clinton-era tax rates spending levels.

          Is that what you meant?

    5. Sadly Tony is right one recent poll shows 60% want to increase taxes on the rich.

    6. Why do millionaires have to pay for Medicare? Why do we even need Medicare? Nowadays most seniors actually make enough during their lives that, with proper planning, they could take care of their own retirement costs, including medical care. So why can’t we do away with Medicare and just put the truly needy seniors on something like Medicaid?

      Prime example: My grandfather just had a triple bypass that cost nearly $200k. He had enough savings from working his whole life to cover the costs himself, but he didn’t pay a dime. Why? Because Medicare stole 80% of what he needed from you and me and then his supplemental insurance covered the other 20%. If you want to help the needy you should focus on Medicaid. Medicare is just a wealth transfer from working young people to middle-class old people.

  14. It really doesn’t matter. None of the posturing and rhetoric of today matters a whit. The reality of the public budgets cannot be avoided.

    The middle class will not accept the tax hikes required to continue the status quo (which would fail anyway as we all know).

    Reality is a bitch. The public budgets are a fantasy. Thus… no need to address the issue now. The issue will address itself.

  15. 1. Road trip
    2. ???
    3. You fucked up, you trusted us

    1. I’d vote for Otter. Of course, he wasn’t president. He was Rush Chairman. And he was damned glad to meet you.

  16. Neither Paul’s plan nor the weaker RSC and Ryan plans will prevail this year. After all, Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

    That’s the convenient excuse and the conventional wisdom. Kind of sad (but not unexpected) to see Stossel rely on it. [But I liked the rest of the article and give rare kudos to Stossel for it.]

    The fact is, no majority of either party* is going to make the cuts necessary until at least 1-3 years after it is too late to fix things, and if there is a way for their lobbyists to make money off it.

    As has been suggested here, red won’t cut defense or spending, and blue won’t cut anything domestic or raise taxes. Can’t balance the budget (let alone pay off the debt) without all of those things happening.

    I suppose the best we could realistically hope for is for 2-4 years of dems cutting defense, then 2-4 years of pubs cutting everything else.

    The problem is, when the pendulum swings back the other way, that side will simply work to restore all the stupid shit they believe in.

    Another problem is when they get a super-majority/landslide, they all pat themselves on the back and get busy finding pork for their districts, jobs for their cronies, deals for their lobbyists, and money for themselves.

    The only time they really appear to be principled and ready to work is when it is close to 50/50 and they have to find some ideals to fight over.

    * Unless we elect a bunch of Democrat Dennis Kuciniches and Republican Ron Pauls…if we did that, it wouldn’t even matter who the majority was, they could actually do some nonpartisan hacking…and dismantle the fucking federal reserve at the same time.

  17. After having read all these post comments…

    … I think I’m going to start looking for a new country. Suggestions? Requirements: relatively easy language (most Asian derivatives no worky for this round eye), hot chicks, decent food, hopefully some access to water (I get claustrophobic in land-locked states), and a government too lazy and ineffectual to ever get around to fucking everyone in the ass…

    Good weather wouldn’t hurt, but expatriates can’t be picky. I’m thinking maybe Costa Rica? I don’t really know anything about it, but the name is promising…

    Maybe its just cause tax day is this week…Maybe it was the SWAT team confiscating the child to make sure she was immunized. I don’t know. I’m feeling pretty down on the whole American Experiment today.

    1. Costa Rica, Chile, & Belize are decent options. Thailand & The Philippines work for a lot of ex-pats, also. They’re Asian, but their languages are neither tonal, nor pictographic, which is I’m assuming what you’re issue is (really that isn’t all of Asia, it’s pretty much just China & Japan).

      1. From what I hear, Thailand is pretty messed up: military rule or something like that. The Phillipines has arcane building laws, which is part of why they’re so poor (The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Soto, 2000).

      2. Belize? I passed through Belize City last year. Not good. You could tell the bank from the two guys with shotguns standing outside. I suppose if you go into the back-country the government and the criminals will leave you alone. Until they don’t.

    2. Maybe it was the SWAT team confiscating the child to make sure she was immunized.

      SWAT took the kid because Mom wasn’t making her take Haldol (or something similar). Psych-“meds” forced at the point of a gun. This is the most disturbing thing I’ve heard of in quite a while.

    3. Despite being officially communist, Americans are well recieved in the Southern part of Vietnam, and a dollar went a long way there when the documentary I watched was filmed.

      But I’d do some independent research first.

      1. Americans are officially communist?

        Watch those participles!

        1. Actually, thanks for pointing that out.

          Despite being officially communist, southern Vietnamese a very welcoming to Americans.

          Better.

          1. You’re welcome.

    4. And another thing…for awhile a few libertarians were talking about hopefully hacking the Limon provice of Costa Rica off and creating a free (libertarian) country. It didn’t go anywhere (this was in the mid-90s if I remember properly), but it might be worth settling in Limon.

      1. Limon is the port where most of the drugs come through in Costa Rica. I prefer the Pacific Coast.

        1. I’ll admit that I haven’t done any serious research into it.

    5. New Zealand.

  18. Good, evil. Who gives a fuck. What am I as a tax payer paying to the government and for what services? That’s the fucking question that needs to be answer.

    1. Granny’s welfare check…and $$$ to big business and unnecessarily poor people.

      1. Don’t you think that the offspring of old people might have an interest in a safety net for old people?

        1. There’s nothing stopping them from paying part of their paycheck to their older relatives. By why make me pay for someone who didn’t save enough earlier in life, whom I do not know. Do you care that little about justice?

          1. For Tony, justice is the maximisation of what he calls ‘human well-being’.

            1. That sounds about accurate. No thought of whether they deserve it.

              1. No thought of whether they deserve it.

                How right you are. The moral assessments of the holier-than-thou are not useful guides for economic policy. We provide a safety net because it is economically intelligent. Some do think it’s morally necessary.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  The moral assessments of the holier-than-thou are not useful guides for economic policy.

                  Especially when policy is driven by debauchers.

                  We provide a safety net because it is economically intelligent.

                  What’s with this “we” deal, Kimosabe? “We” don’t provide anything. The so-called “safety net” is nothing more than a vote-raking bribe.

                  Some do think it’s morally necessary.

                  Some of those who think that have their morals up their ass.

          2. I think you missed my point entirely.

            There’s nothing stopping them from paying part of their paycheck to their older relatives.

            There’s nothing stopping them from democratically supporting a government that provides a safety net either. Because the cost burden of old people is something more than a few people appreciate don’t you think. Why not outsource the anxiety to government? Freedom means you are free to do that.

            1. “Freedom means you are free to do that”

              (with your own money).

              1. I thought that’s what I said.

                1. No, you advocate stealing someone else’s money. Rather than using that which you earned, versus what loot you were bestowed with.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Don’t you think that the offspring of old people might have an interest in a safety net for old people?

          Oh, you and I can be sure that the ungrateful brats would be more than interested in having someone else pay for taking care of their burdensome parents.

          1. The free market demands that not only are you a slave to your parents’ economic situation when you’re born, you’re a slave to it forever. Because we are all entrepreneurs with total freedom to succeed! Freedom!!

            1. I don’t think you know what the word ‘slave’ means. In all seriousness, yeah, some people lead sucky lives that really no one would want to live. So what?

              1. So what?

                So… the entire moral foundation for the world you want completely collapses under this reality. You want people to be “free” but you define freedom as “slavery to the genetic lottery.” I don’t see how you make a fairer world without some collective correction of the flaws of nature.

                1. You want people to be “free” but you define freedom as “slavery to the genetic lottery.

                  No, I define freedom as the right to exclusive control over the constituents of your own life – a principle which, when universalised, entails having no more control over anyone else’s life than they grant you. This may or may not mean your destiny is largely determined by genetic origin, depending on how charitable your neighbours are, and how easy it is to change your status.

                  I don’t see how you make a fairer world without some collective correction of the flaws of nature.

                  I don’t either. I trust people enough to think they’ll largely agree. But you do realise it’s a massive assumption to say that morality is about making the world what you think is fair, don’t you?

            2. Re: Tony,

              The free market demands that not only are you a slave to your parents’ economic situation when you’re born, you’re a slave to it forever.

              The free market is just the network of exchanges between free people, Tony. It demands nothing.

              1. Right–you are doing the demanding. You demand that we all be slaves to the free market.

                1. “Slaves to freedom” – I like it. So fundamentally dishonest it sounds almost convincing.

  19. Rand Paul wants simpler taxes? Or maybe he like any kind of tax her can get.

  20. Tithing get some applause.

  21. Mick Jagger has it in for Rand Paul?

  22. Reagan found time to give Richy Rich Varney a big, fat tax refund in between inventing AIDS and ignoring AIDS.

  23. Support for higher tax rates for high earners is almost class warfare?

  24. “We’re dynamic people.”

    Who, the British? New Jerseyites? Fox Business anchors?

  25. Adobe? That better not be an iPhone you’re holding there, John. Because no Flash allowed.

  26. 1957 credit crunch? It was probably AGW.

  27. Pong didn’t sell? Have you played it? It’s terrible. It’s no Grand Theft Auto.

  28. A commercial for Reason on Stossel! And they’re giving column inches to John Stossel. This seems like an unseemly tit-for-tat.

  29. Steve Jobs = hippie! No one wants to hire a hippie.

    1. Not this again…

  30. Damn, forgot about this.

  31. This upcoming election really is shaping up to be a contest between those who work for a living and the parasites who feed on them.

    It isn’t about the politicians. It isn’t about Obama.

    If you’re a parasite, you’ll vote one way. If you want your children to grow up to be parasite like you are? You know who to vote for.

    If you’re sick of people sucking the blood out of your back and out of your paycheck? You know who to vote against.

    The parasites have a champion, but it isn’t about the King of the Parasites.

    It’s about the parasites. We saw them rally in Wisconsin. We’re watching them destroy California. They want to do it to the whole nation too.

    Don’t confuse their mouthpiece for them. Obama isn’t the problem. It’s the people he’s playing to that are the problem.

    1. Ack! You’re interrupting Fists live blogging!

      1. I pretend he’s live blogging with me.

    2. Teachers and janitors are sucking the economy dry!

      Vote for the Wall Street banksters. They will save us! They saved us good in 2008!

      1. Or, you could let them all move along on their own, without state help or hindrance. That might work.

        1. They should all be getting raped in prison.

          1. Violence isn’t the answer, Tony.

            Your gay rape fantasies aren’t the answer either.

            1. And yet Doc S wonders about my use of outrageous language. Huh! He could have a Freudian field trip with Tony here…

              1. I read an article about all those Republican politicians who went to jail… they came out as prison reformers. Go figure.

      2. “They saved us good in 2008!”

        So you’re saying you were against Barack Obama parasiting our paychecks to bail out Wall Street now?

        Maybe I had you all wrong, Tony!

        1. I’m against Wall Street having the power to take over my beloved Democratic party. I’m for nationalizing their assets and imprisoning their executives.

          1. But you support a president who gave them hundreds of billions in taxpayer money?

            That doesn’t make any sense, Tony.

            The investment banks didn’t give themselves our money–Barack Obama gave it to them.

            1. I think you mean George W. Bush.

              1. No. No.

                George W. Bush did the same thing too–but that doesn’t make Barack Obama any less of a parasite on our paychecks.

                Barack Obama agreed with every aspect of TARP, and when he took office, the first thing he did was force banks to take hundreds of billions in TARP money–whether they wanted it or not.

                “TARP Vote: Obama Wins, Senate Effectively Approves $350 Billion”

                That’s the headline from the Huffington Post dated January 15, 2009.

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..58292.html

                You can lie, but it won’t change the fact that Barack Obama stole hundreds of billion of dollars out of the paychecks of working Americans and gave it to Wall Street.

                And you support him anyway?

                That’s pathetic.

              2. Tony, I defy you to name any policy of GWB that you object to, that Obama hasn’t continued and in fact made worse.

                -jcr

          2. Re: Tony,

            Teachers and janitors are sucking the economy dry!

            Only the Fed is that powerful.

      3. Re: Tony,

        Teachers and janitors are sucking the economy dry!

        Only the Fed is that powerful.

  32. Grunge cosmetics? I don’t even want to think what that means.

  33. Oh no, discussing AS, next!

  34. They made Atlas Shrugged into a movie? When did that happen?

  35. Easy Reach is giving away all their secrets in this commercial.

    1. You got the same commercial I did? Thank god for IP, otherwise, I’d copy that idea.

  36. The Bible still sells more, and no one ever thought to make a movie out of that.

  37. Really Stossel? You’re better than that, to invoke scary leftist conspiracies.

  38. Atlas Shrugged‘s movie got Tax Day pushed back to April 18 to coincide with its release? That’s power.

  39. And what kind of name is “Dagny”? I’m just not buying that as a real name.

    She should have been named “Master Shake”. Now that would be a project I could get behind.

    1. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Dagny

      Old. Means New Day. Made the top 1000 in the late 1800s.

  40. Stop dripping on the honey; Matthew already did the movie for you.

  41. He didn’t get rid of his accent that well.

  42. If Marsden is so damned conservative, where’s his tie?

  43. The “stigma” he’s talking about is because of the Jews. It’s time someone said it; we all know the score.

    1. You’re thinking of stigmata, and that was only one Jew.

  44. Straight from Conservative Marsden to Alec Baldwin.

  45. Stossel looks good for being 87 years old.

  46. Am I going to have to watch the movie at theater with that FoxBiz news crawl at the bottom of the screen?

  47. Loaded question about union actors!

    1. Seriously. And when did they start letting Asian people into Stossel’s studio?

      1. This isn’t a guy who built the railroads here, man.

  48. Ha, the specter of Obama’s truth telling gets boos from the Stosselites.

  49. THIS GIANT MARIONETTE COMMERCIAL IS FREAKING ME RIGHT THE FUCK OUT, MAN.

    1. Oh, fuck, this. That thing is creepy as hell.

      Also, both you and Jim will be brought to trial under the Alien and Sedition Acts. Just cuz…

      1. As long as there are no giant puppets there.

  50. Hahaha, there were slaves in Washington, D.C. up until AFTER the Civil War started? Suckeeeeers.

  51. Stossel’s regulations box fort makes another appearance.

    1. The password is: regulation.

      You can’t get in without the password.

      1. The budget agreement is a slap in the face to anyone who is fiscally responsible? Boehner and Reid are okay with that.

  52. Union workers are going to have to clean that up.

  53. This was my worst live blogging effort yet! Jim, your pay is being docked for the time you missed.

  54. Sorry, my wife asked me for a synopsis of AS, since I’m dragging her to it tomorrow night. It took me half an hour to get through the key points and explain why I’m not an actual objectivist.

  55. Unfortunately, there are never going to be any spending cuts.

    We’ll almost certainly have a VAT forced on us (on top of current taxes)

  56. Has anyone run the figures lately and come up with a realistic estimate of how much of the military budget actually is defense?

    Hell, I’ll even be generous to the warmongers and pretend that we still need the nukes to keep the Soviets from crawling off the ash-heap of history. What is it? 1/10th of the pentagon budget?

    -jcr

  57. Wow, sounds kinda crazy when you think about it.

    http://www.internet-privacy.pro.tc

  58. Everyone is afraid to cut the military budget but we have troops in 150 of the 192 countries around the world. That is not defending the United States, it is imposing our will on the world. There are certainly cuts to be made to the military that would not affect defense of the continental U S. Increasing the deficit as Ryan’s plan does is also not acceptable. We cannot live beyond our means, but that is precisely what the country is doing and it will become catastrophic in fewer years than our politicians are willing to acknowledge.

    1. “””We cannot live beyond our means,””

      Widespread use of credit has changed the definition of means. For many anyway. The popular belief is if you can afford the payment your’e ok.

  59. I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.

  60. ty rights, etc. seem like a more accurate measure of freedom than democracy.

  61. This plan has no merit

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