Economics

Serious About Limiting Government?

The GOP takes on big government, again.

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After the 1994 mid-term elections, Republicans took over the House of Representatives for the first time in four decades. In the wake of President Bill Clinton's failed attempt to overhaul the nation's health care system, they vowed to cut government down to size. 

Were they serious? That was the question Rick Henderson asked in "Sobriety Test" (January 1995). Henderson outlined five areas where Republicans could prove their commitment to smaller government: tax fairness, budget reform, entitlement reform, spending cuts, and regulatory restraint. 

A few years later, Republican members of Congress worked with Clinton to reform the welfare system. Government spending dropped as a percentage of the economy for the rest of Clinton's presidency, and annual federal deficits briefly shrank to the point of nonexistence. No tax overhaul materialized, although in 2003 Clinton's Republican successor, George W. Bush, reduced marginal income tax rates for everyone. 

But any foray into small-government seriousness was temporary at best. Under Bush, Republicans in Congress expanded Medicare, the nation's biggest entitlement program; let federal spending and deficits soar; and failed to pass Social Security reform.

These days the budget situation is messier than ever, so it's no surprise to hear Republicans once again talking about the need to cut spending and reform entitlements. Are they serious this time? 

Some signs suggest they might be. After a year of campaigning against the sequester—a set of across-the-board spending reductions included in the 2011 debt deal—most House Republicans indicated in early 2013 that they would rather let it happen. "We think these sequesters will happen," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Meet the Press in January, "because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others, and they've offered no alternatives."

Other signs suggest any commitment to spending cuts may be illusory. "I don't like the sequester," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters as he asked President Obama for ideas on how to replace it with different cuts. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) offered a replacement idea of his own: higher taxes. 

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  1. The only reason that should be in the form of a question is because you are playing Jeopardy. The Republicans play “limited govt” just like Democrats play racial politics – to keep a specific faction out of play.

    1. I’ll take “Rhetorical Questions to Which the Answer Is No” for $200, Alex.

      1. I’ll take “Swords” for $400, Alex.

        1. Dolly Parton?

          1. Famous Titles, Titles!

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  2. Nope, not Serious.

  3. Are they serious this time?

    Of course they are. How could you even ask that question?

  4. NPR does story on progressive Kansans with a case of the sads

    Kansan journalist Jason Probst says the Kansas he knows has disappeared.

    “The great state of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013 after a long and difficult battle with extremism,” he wrote in an editorial for The Hutchinson News.

    His faux obituary, lamenting Kansas’ embrace of conservatism, went viral. Tens of thousands of people read it. Many were fellow Kansans who wrote to Probst to say they, too, were disturbed by their state’s dramatic swing to the right.

    Along with much of the country, Kansas took a right turn in 2010, and now its conservative supermajority in the Legislature hopes to set an example for other red states.

    1. Awwww. Poor progressives.

      What miserable, sad, useless people.

      1. I like how the reporter claims abolitionism as “progressive”.

        1. I also question his argument that Kansas took a right turn in 2010.

          2000: Bush won Kansas with 58% of the vote.

          2004: Bush won Kansas with 62% of the vote.

          2008: McCain won Kansas with 56% of the vote

          2012: Romney won Kansas with 60% of the vote

          Where’s the right turn?

          1. At the legislature level.

            At the federal level, team red is useless aside from a few bright lights but at the state level it’s a different story whether people here want to admit it or not. The states under GOP control are seeing serious reform. They’re not full libertarian by any stretch but it’s real change.

          2. In the journalist’s mind.

            Having been a long-time resident of Kansas (since I was five) the state’s always been conservative…even the Democrats are generally of the fiscally conservative bent. The real split in the GOP there was always between the social conservatives and the Republicans who don’t want to get involved in religion and social issues.

            The current governor, Sam Brownback, is very much a social conservative and was a Bush Republican (and he’s kind of a petty, vindictive asshole to boot…actually, no “kind of” about it), so any policies he backs, even if they’re traditionally “Kansan” tend to get blasted by their association with him. Personally I don’t see him as anywhere near fiscally conservative enough because he pays lip service to cuts but does very little cutting, but he still loves to pound the podium about abortion, Jesus and all of the other things that moderates in Kansas generally don’t want their state government involved in.

            That’s where the “rightward swing” perception comes from…Brownback’s social agenda. If he’d stay out of that and focus on the economics, he’d probably win more converts…but that’s not something he’s capable of doing because he thinks the social conservatism will someday catapult him into the White House (which will never happen).

            1. This is also not a new thing, by the way. This has been going on in Kansas for the last 10-15 years, the social conservative vs. socially uninvolved schism. It got really nasty about a decade ago when the social moderates ended up getting control of the legislature from the social conservatives…and the social moderates chose to burn all of their fundraising donor lists and sabotage their own party out of spite.

              I knew a few of the social conservative crowd from when I worked some state level campaigns and to be honest most of them were only a step above trailer trash. None of them really understood or cared about budgets or fiscal issues…it was just Jesus and abortion and banning titty bars because they didn’t like the idea that people somewhere in Kansas were looking at naked women for money.

              I suppose it sounds like I’m caricaturing their position, but honestly I’m not. They honestly did not care about fiscal issues, just the social stuff.

        2. Kansas has a long progressive tradition. The earliest Kansans fought off slaveholders to make their territory a free state (it was, indeed, a bloody fight). No woman had ever been elected to public office in the U.S. before Susanna Salter became mayor of Argonia.

          Neither of these things are progressive. The first woman to get an electoral college vote was from the Libertarian party. Does that make the LP ‘progressive?’

          As for fighting off slaveholders, how would they have done that if modern progressives were trying to take their guns away? I like when progressives try to claim as part of the ‘progressive tradition’ things that modern progressives would be opposed to.

          1. Yeah, abolishing slavery was all about the left, you see, because the Republicans were leftists. Totally.

            1. Good things are leftwing, bad things are rightwing. Racism is bad, therefore it is objectively rightwing. See how that works?

              1. Good things are leftwing, bad things are rightwing. Racism is bad, therefore it is objectively rightwing. See how that works?

                Snarky, but this is truly how nearly every leftist I have ever met constructs their worldview.

                The few who don’t, are freakish, horrifying sociopaths.

          2. Quite correct. Progressivism came about as a literal reaction against the dominant liberal social and economic trends of the late nineteenth century. The very word was a self conscious effort to deny that their aggressive disdain towards liberals was reactionary, but an embrace of a science that proved the racial superiority of Northern Europeans over all others, the inferiority of women to men, and the half hazard nature of free markets could not work without the guiding hand of an elite cadre. All three elements live on in affirmative action programs, the victimology of collectivist feminism, and Keynesianism and the Fed driven banking system.

    2. Now, Brownback has the most conservative legislature in state history. With the conservatives in full control, Brownback is leading the charge, and he says he wants Kansas to be on a “glide path” to zero income tax as a prescription for economic renewal.

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

      1. NOT ZERO INCOME TAX! People will keep more of their money! THE HORROR!

        1. If people don’t pay for the privilege to work in the great state of Kansas, how will the government pay for all the things it should do because I don’t want to?

    3. “The great state of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013 after a long and difficult battle with extremism,” he wrote in an editorial for The Hutchinson News.

      Didn’t lefty concern troll Thomas Frank pretty much fellate the shit out this notion with that whiny book of his….“What the Fuck is up with Kansas”: a story of how this punchable face got me in all sorts of trouble in one of the flatter states?

    4. DeLong’s argument in that article is so stupid. How does reducing taxes decrease wages? Or conversely, how does increasing taxes raise (real) wages?

      1. How does reducing taxes decrease wages?

        Well the porcine DeLong works for the University of California system (I don’t know if his compensation is funded by endowment…perhaps something from the swine producers cooperative) and in his role as a paid shill for the expansive state and central banking an economist he can connect the dots from a tax cut eventually leading to fewer Oreos for him.

      2. You know, it probably is true.

        Reason being, the way he would like it, the state would pay 10-20% of the population it would employ obscene wages double or triple what everyone else gets, and that will raise the statistic for the average.

    5. If Republicans have gone extremist, yet continue to win seats, doesn’t that imply that the electorate has moved to the right?

      Anyway, the analysis is wrong. The country is becoming more libertarian, and has been since the late-70s and the fall of communism. Traditional conservatives have given ground on lifestyle issues, and libtards have are more fiscally conservative than ever (the gov’t budgets are only bigger because of the growth in the pre-existing entitlement programs. Discretionary spending has been falling and will continue to).

      1. I’m not at all convinced reductions in discretionary spending isn’t simply the result of entitlement growth rather than some nebulous philosophical sea-change. If we’re already bumping up against the upward bound for tax revenues, Laffer-style, isn’t the easier explanation that entitlement spending squeezes out discretionary? I’ll agree that both wings of the State give ground on certain fronts, but I wonder if anyone in the 70s would have predicted the extent to which government intrusion took shape and the granularity of its efforts.

        I’m probably overstating my meager case, but I think any gains by one party marks the swing of the pendulum away from the other party, rather than a philosophical change of heart.

      2. What difference does it make whether the source of the spending driving the unsustainable debt load is from defense, entitlements, or the government buying lots and lots of puppies, the result is the same. Actually, it’s much worse that the growth comes from entitlements because they are virtually impossible to get rid of. I’d also question whether real discretionary spending has actually shrunk, or whether it has shrunk nominally or relative to the budget, which is now double the size it was when Clinton left office, driven mostly by entitlement growth. Remember, reductions in the rate of growth of spending aren’t actually reductions.

    6. Let me guess – all the Kansan’s who commented were from Knasas City. The rest of the state having to work for a living and not able to spend time listening to NPR.

    1. Amazing. McCain actually has some comic chops! Having Spacey totally in character the whole time was great, as was the Big Gulp meme.

      “House of Cards” is a pretty cool show that can get pretty down and dirty for a TV program. The scene where Spacey goes down on the naked young reporter chick, and she climaxes as he tells her it is her father doing her, is about as racy as anything I’ve ever seen intended for wide audiences.

      1. The scene where Spacey goes down on the naked young reporter chick, and she climaxes as he tells her it is her father doing her, is about as racy as anything I’ve ever seen intended for wide audiences.

        Haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, but now that you mention incest…

      2. Well it’s from Netflix, not TV. So they have more freedom to be creative.

    2. The show may be good but that was hard to watch. Other than Spacey (whom I like) there was this river of douche-bags, all of whom should be wearing orange jump suits. Seeing McCain and Bloomberg just makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.

    3. Once I found out David Sirota of Salon bawled his little Team Blue eyes out because Francis Underwood is a *gasp* Southern Democrat, I figured I had to see it.

      It’s not a bad show. Not as good as “Yes, Minister” but it does amply portray what an incestuous cesspool of money and power D.C. is.

  5. Prairie Populism is dead?

    Bummer.

    1. In Canada Saskatchewan, our Kansas, turfed the NDP-but the party replacing it has very few policy differences.

  6. Are they serious this time?

    Short answer: No

    Long Answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    1. The GOP as a whole doesn’t support cutting the size and power of government any more than an alcoholic supports prohibition. But if you promise to buy an alcoholic a bottle, he’ll be glad to sign a petition calling for prohibition.

  7. How many readers have heard of their representatives “bringing money to our district” for some cause they think worthy? Need I ask where that money came from. “We have met the enemy and they are us”—-Pogo

  8. Illustration: A young boy was killed by an auto while crossing from the parking lot to the St Louis Zoo. Roy Blunt, our GOP Senator, got a million to build a very attractive pedestrian overpass to save future lives of our visitors. Where did that million come from? Worthy purpose, yes. Flawed solution? You decide.

    1. I took the dogs for a run the other day on forest service land. I went past a little pullout picnic area and noticed they had built a fence around a small stand of aspens in the center of the area. It was a nice, 3 high, pole fence. It got me thinking. Some asshole decided that small stand of aspens needed to be protected, (from what I’m not sure) and spent $1000+ in materials and another $1000 paying someone to build it. $2000 (I’m estimating) of my money, because someone got a wild hair up their ass over a few trees. Then you think about how often the same shit happens and you wonder why the budget is $3.5T/yr.

      THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO CUT!

      1. I am somewhat amazed you still have access to that land. Somewhere an alert has been tripped to make sure it is made inaccessible so some enviroturd can have a boner about wild land he will never ever see.

      2. It’s almost like they have no idea how to economize, and the concept of economizing has never occured to them.

      3. and spent $1000+ in materials and another $1000 paying someone to build it. $2000 (I’m estimating) of my money,

        You left out the “it’s a government project so multiply cost X 3” factor. That makes it $8,000 using the government multiplication tables.

    2. I’m sure that million dollars went to some very needy constractors.

  9. The GOP is serious about trying to increase their political power.

    If hyping limited government will help them do that, then that’s what they’ll hype. But as soon as they get there…

    Real change isn’t going to happen within the GOP until it happens in the hearts and minds of registered Republican voters. It isn’t about what the GOP does–it’s all about what our mom and dad and friends and coworkers think.

    1. I prefer to leap over the unwashed masses. I think the Ronulan infiltration does just that. The proles will fall in line.

    2. Exactly right — saying “less government” gives Republican voters a warm fuzzy, but cutting anything in particular is unacceptable to them.

      Except maybe foreign aid. But Democrats want to cut that too.

      1. Except they did Vote for the sequester and when Obama did an about face and tried to cancel it the Republican’s stuck with it.

  10. According to this article black turnout rates were at historic levels in 2012, and actually surpassed white turnout rates. Here’s the interesting part:

    Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.

    Hmmm. This makes me think that the idea that demographics inherently favor Democrats may be a bit overblown. I doubt you can expect that level of black turnout for someone not named Barack Obama, in which case the GOP as constituted is still completely viable at the presidential level.

    News of the GOPs demise may have been exaggerated.

    1. I doubt you can expect that level of black turnout for someone not named Barack Obama,

      Thus, look for Michelle in ’16!

    2. Another interesting thing I noticed when I looked at state data after the election is that, despite all the talk about how Hispanics cost the GOP the election, Obama still would have won in the electoral college even if not a single Hispanic voted (Romney would have won in the popular vote). You could throw in Asians, and it also wouldn’t change a thing. Also, Romney failed to win a couple swing states where basically all he needed to do to win was win the white vote (Iowa, New Hampshire), which he failed to do in those states.

      1. I’ve been saying this ever since the election. The election was decided by white American workers in the midwest, not by Hispanics.

        1. That doesn’t really explain it either, as even if Romney had won every Midwest state except Illinois (which he wasn’t going to win in any scenario), including states like Minnesota (which hasn’t gone GOP since 72), as well as Michigan and Wisconsin (which usually go Dem), Obama still would have won 272-266 in the EC. It was a combination of factors that led to Romney’s defeat

          1. True, though if you include Pennsylvania, whose electorate is similar to the Midwest, Romney would have won. You could also include Virginia, a state with few Hispanics, in that case Romney would have won 299-239. I think Romney could have easily won if he had tried harder to appeal to white working class voters.

            1. I don’t think it was so much that Romney failed to appeal to blue collar whites as it is that the Obama administration was very successful painting Romney as a downsizing, outsourcing, ruthless corporate raider. Which is really why, in the big picture, he lost the election.

              The socialist schools and the anti-business culture doomed Mitt Romney.

              1. “as it is that the Obama administration was very successful painting Romney as a downsizing, outsourcing, ruthless corporate raider. Which is really why, in the big picture, he lost the election.”

                I would agree with this, but add that Romney did himself no favors in trying to shed that image

                1. I would agree with this, but add that Romney did himself no favors in trying to shed that image

                  Well, why should he? Bain Capital was good company, doing good work. They created wealth. Why should he apologize for that?

                  1. I didn’t say he should apologize for that. I wasn’t even talking about Bain specifically. He just comes off as an out-of-touch rich elitist. He had a lot of gaffes, where, even if the point he was making wasn’t all that bad, he phrased it in a way that allowed the media to hammer him (“I like to fire people,” “47%,” etc.) That’s not even really debatable. That had nothing to do with why I didn’t vote for him, but I think that shouldn’t be all that controversial of a statement.

                    1. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what?These are people who pay no income tax. “

                      Sorry, that’s just the truth. It might have been the only time in my lifetime a politician not named Paul has said something both true and politically ruinous.

                    2. First off, it isn’t true. The 47% that doesn’t pay income taxes are not the exact same 47% that were voting for Obama no matter what. Many of them didn’t vote. Some voted third party (like myself). Some voted for Romney. And Romney’s full of shit to portray himself as someone who wasn’t all about free shit. Just to slightly different groups. Heck, the same could be said for the GOP in general. Social Security, Medicare, and the military are the three most expensive budget items, and all three benefit groups that primarily vote Republican.

                      In any case, that was irrelevant to my point. I explicitly said that, regardless of how true or fair they were, statements like that did not do anything to dispel the notion that Romney is/was a rich elitist who looks down on working people. Regardless of whether that statement is true or false, Romney did nothing to counter that perception, and repeatedly and needlessly gave the media ammunition to fuel that narrative.

                    3. Well swap out “president” for “the State” and it becomes a true statement.

                      Sure, it could have more nuance, but it’s fundamentally accurate. Makers versus takers. Contributors and parasites.

                    4. To be fair, an awful lot of the people taking money from the public coffers are those from Romney’s class. Who takes the lion’s share of military graft? Wealthy people who own companies that get money from the military.

                      This is also true of people who get payouts from failed green energy companies, like Al Gore and Terry McAuliffe. It’s true of bankers who were bailed out, it’s true of well off public sector union reps who make $150,000 a year, and it’s true of lobbyists, rent seekers and all the attendant parasites that flutter around Washington D.C., drinking deep from the Potomac swamp water.

                      Romney’s right that many people are just parasites that want to steal money from other people, but a good proportion of those parasites are an awful lot wealthier than the people Romney was talking about.

                    5. I would largely agree, but it’s hard to respect it coming from someone like Romney (and I’d add on that I agree with the points Irish made). And in any case, as I said, like it or not, it definitely fueled the narrative that he was an upper-class elitist who looked down on the poor and working class.

                    6. The Jesus cult is bad enough, but a Mormon? I read the first few pages of the Book of Mormon (it was all I could stand). It’s a comic book religion. I couldn’t possibly vote for someone who believes that pile of horse shit.

                  2. No they didn’t. They cashed in the political connections of their executives to get government subsidies to prolong the lives of companies that were actually destroying wealth so that they could become rich by laundering tax dollars into personal wealth.

                    Part of the reason capitalism is becoming so unpopular is because people on the right keep trying to pass off high end con-artists like Romney as legitimate businessmen.

                    1. They cashed in the political connections of their executives to get government subsidies to prolong the lives of companies that were actually destroying wealth so that they could become rich by laundering tax dollars into personal wealth.

                      Citation?

                    2. I have toured the Steel Dynamics mini mill facility at Fort Wayne (it is spectacular), and it would not have come into existence had Bain not taken the risk of capitalizing SDI initially.

            2. Of course American’s explanation of what happened involves his opinion that white working class voters harbor an inherent hatred of black people and Mexicans and that Romney should have run on the Klan vote.

              1. Based on your opinion of “inherent hatred,” I’d say the majority of white Americans are filled with hatred. They want legal immigration reduced.

                1. That high schooler is the shit. He not only destroys American’s argument, he destroys the prog and neocon protectionist argument too. Well played.

                2. That high schooler is the shit. He not only destroys American’s argument, he destroys the prog and neocon protectionist argument too. Well played.

                3. Although that video did make some good points, it still didn’t explain why white American workers should have to compete with third world workers. True, whites are better suited to occupations requiring intelligence, but that doesn’t mean all whites are. We need manufacturing jobs for the non-geniuses.

                  1. We need manufacturing jobs for the non-geniuses.

                    Or perhaps burlap sacks and deep bodies of water.

                  2. We need manufacturing jobs for the non-geniuses.

                    No we don’t. Wages are dependent upon the same two things as everything else, supply and demand. The problem with many parts of this country is that high levels of regulations have driven businesses away. When businesses are driven away, that has the impact of also decreasing the wages of the people who can get jobs because you have so many workers and so few jobs, so the employers have the upper hand.

                    There are parts of Texas where, because of the oil boom and Texas’ business friendly environment, people working in Walmart are making $15-$20 an hour. The reason for this is because there is such low unemployment that the businesses have to compete for labor. This is also happening in Texas, a state with a large Hispanic population, so don’t try to use the ‘Mexican labor will increase supply and therefore drive down wages’ argument.

                    Manufacturing is not inherently better paying than service sector jobs. If it were, then why would American service sector jobs pay better than Bangladeshi manufacturing?

                    1. There are parts of texas whereby wages at walmart are 15-20$ an hour, that is because of lack or affordable housing and other neccesities in the regions that used to be deserts, why don’t you look at the other 99% of the state.

                      “why would American service sector jobs pay better than Bangladeshi manufacturing?”

                      Because we can’t outsource the guy who pours your coffee. If we had truly open borders, all the Pakistani manufacturing workers would come to America to work in the better paying service sector, and wages would equalize.

                  3. “it still didn’t explain why white American workers should have to compete with third world workers.”

                    And of course by that you mean, white American workers should have the right to forcibly prevent business owners from hiring who they want, or prevent consumers from buying products they desire.

                    1. There are parts of texas whereby wages at walmart are 15-20$ an hour, that is because of lack or affordable housing and other neccesities in the regions that used to be deserts, why don’t you look at the other 99% of the state.

                      This is fucking ridiculously stupid. Now you’re trying to claim that housing in Texas is super expensive? Housing in Texas is cheaper than Illinois, and Illinois doesn’t have jobs that pay $17 an hour to stock shelves.

                      As a state, Texas has the fourth lowest cost of living in the country. Please, explain to me again how Texas’ high wages are the result of high cost of living when they’re so fucking cheap.

      2. What do you expect? Romney told the Blue Collar White Working Class to go fuck themselves. Their staying home is what cost Romney the election.

        1. As far as I am concerned, the GOP establishment, by actively supporting the nomination of Romney, told me to go fuck myself. Told me again, I should say, given that they told me the same thing when they supported McCain and Bush and Dole and Bush the Elder.

        2. Was white turnout unusually low (and low enough to compensate for Obama’s MOV). Also, how did Romney of all candidates do that? He took a hardline on immigration and was constantly talking about a trade war with China

          1. Yes, it was. Romney took a hard line on immigration? What lies! He attacked Obama during the debates for not fulfilling his campaign promise of a “solution” to the “immigration problem.” Talk is all he did, he never spoke out in favor of higher tariffs for their own sake.

            1. Romney took a stance against amnesty, period. About as hardline as a national candidate will get. Immigration wasn’t even a very big issue in the campaign, the burden of proof is on you to support the notion that a significant number of people stayed home because Romney was insufficiently anti-immigration (or insufficiently anti-free trade).

              Talk is all Romney did on pretty much everything, not just your issues. He was an empty suit if there ever was one.

              1. It is not as hard-line as the majority of Americans, who want legal immigration reduced. He was against amnesty before he was for it. If you look at opinion polling you will find that a large majority of the white working class is opposed to both immigration and free trade. These are people who voted for Obama or did not vote. So it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Romney could have appealed better to the white working class if he had taken pro-American positions on these issues. Supply side economics was a big issue during the campaign, but the average voter doesn’t even know what it is. White workers felt that Romney didn’t represent them, that he only represented big business.

                1. “It is not as hard-line as the majority of Americans, who want legal immigration reduced.”

                  A majority is also in favor of amnesty given certain conditions. During this campaign season, Romney was against it under any circumstances, and supported SB1070 and E-Verify.

                  “He was against amnesty before he was for it.”

                  That could be said about Romney on almost anything.

                  “If you look at opinion polling you will find that a large majority of the white working class is opposed to both immigration and free trade. These are people who voted for Obama or did not vote.”

                  White people who oppose immigration (as a group) voted for Obama? What sense does that make?

                  “White workers felt that Romney didn’t represent them, that he only represented big business.”

                  You could change “white workers” to “most people of all races.” And I think that had a lot more to do with his general image as a billionaire corporate raider who grew up in an upper-class family than his positions of immigration or free trade (or any specific issue for that matter). You can cite all the opinion polling you want, but the fact is that other issues were valued far more than those two, and Romney was far from some open-borders or free trade fanatic.

                  1. “A majority is also in favor of amnesty given certain conditions. During this campaign season, Romney was against it under any circumstances, and supported SB1070 and E-Verify.”

                    Conditions that will never be met under a democrat president, it must be noted. The majority supports SB1070, according to most polls.

                    “White people who oppose immigration (as a group) voted for Obama? What sense does that make?”

                    No, I’m saying many white working class people voted for Obama despite opposing free trade and immigration, people who might have considered Romney if he made immigration an issue.

                    I think that Romney could have countered that image by opposing immigration and free trade. Romney seemed to be running for the presidency of the business owner’s association rather than the nation. All that stuff about “we built it,” how is that supposed to appeal to white workers? The textbooks may say that supply side economics was a big issue in the election, even though the majority of American don’t know what it is. What the people vote based on, what they care about, is not the same thing the political-media complex wants to make the official issue. Romney could have made immigration and trade an issue, because the American people care about those things.

                    1. “I think that Romney could have countered that image by opposing immigration and free trade.”

                      How? You can be anti-immigrant and anti-free trade and still be an out of touch rich elitist. And the whole point of opposing free trade is to give domestic corporations an unfair advantage. It’s hardly some populist anti-corporate policy, as much as some people try to make it out to be. If you seriously think Romney could have won the election if only he was as anti-immigrant and anti-free trade as you are, you’re high off your ass. He won 59% of the white vote, better than Bush did in 04. Had the same number of white votes been cast as in 08, he would have had to win about 80% of those votes to make up the popular vote difference, even assuming nobody else changed their vote because of his pandering.

                    2. The Republicans should stop nominating people who don’t know how many houses they own or complain about not having enough Cadillacs.

                    3. Yeah, they should start nominating down home folks, like the Democrats do. The kind of guys who rise up from the poverty and pestilence of Hawaiian private academies and Ivy League universities, overcome that adversity, and get into public service out of pure, unadulterated altruism.

    3. News of the GOPs demise may have been exaggerated.

      TEAM Blue has been trying to talk TEAM Red into the grave since Clinton beat H.W. Bush.

      Wishful thinking is wishful.

      1. Long before that. It’s the American adaptation of the Marxist historical dialectic.

        1. Considering how that played out for the Marxists I am mildly optimistic.

          1. Considering how that played out for the Marxists I am mildly optimistic.

            Considering how it played out for Marxists in Europe, I’m not.

      2. Yes, but with the Democrats electing a new people they may actually accomplish this.

    4. When Clinton was forced to reform welfare as we know it and admit that the era of big government was over, didn’t that spell the end of the Democratic party?

    5. I doubt you can expect that level of black turnout for someone not named Barack Obama

      Especially once they’re through with all the VOTER SUPRESHUN!!!

      1. You know, for all that ‘voter suppression’ the GOP has been doing the last few years, black voting rates have gotten awfully high. They must have REALLY been suppressing black voters in 2004. That’s the only explanation.

  11. lol, the GOP will go along with whoever pays them the most lol.

    http://www.GotzMyAnon.tk

  12. Sequesterpocalypse

    Dozens of air shows that draw tens of thousands of people and generate millions of dollars for local economies have been cancelled this year after the military grounded its jet and demonstration teams because of automatic federal budget cuts.

    For years, the biggest draws at air shows have been the military’s two elite jet teams, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, and their intricate stunts. The armed services also have provided F-16, F-18 and F-22 fighter jets and the U.S. Army Parachute Team, known as the Golden Knights. All the teams were grounded as of April 1 to save money, and the military also dramatically curtailed its help with ground displays of various aircraft.

    ——

    Many air shows, including those in Martinsburg and Indianapolis, benefit charities. They also generate millions of dollars in tourism, benefiting hotels, rental car companies and restaurants. Economic impact studies indicate the shows are worth $1 billion to $2 billion nationwide, Cudahy said.

    We had better put Krugabe on suicide watch.

    1. Eliminating solo performances by the A-10, which provides air support for ground forces, and the F-16 and F-15E, which are capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, is expected to save the Air Force $15.5 million and allow about 970 training flights that otherwise would have been canceled. The cost savings include fuel and travel costs for the pilots and their maintenance crews, among other things. It’s unclear if the teams will perform again next year.

      http://www.airforcetimes.com/a…..show-demos

      Why does Paulie Krugnuts want to diminish the military readiness of our armed forces? Why does Paulie think that 970 training flights for our airmen should be sacrificed on the altar of public amusement? WHY DOES PAUL KRUGMAN HATE THE TROOPS?

    2. We had better put Krugabe on suicide watch.

      Is there someplace I can sign up!?

      If Paulie is going to cast off this mortal coil I want to be there when they break the champagne bottle on his casket and slide the clown prince of economics into his final resting place.

      1. Live feed please.

    3. This is parody, no? Like the Friedman column generator, right?

    4. Or don’t, because he’d be doing all of us a favor.

    5. You obviously haven’t read Krugman today. He’s in particularly Liberalnista form today:

      “Knaves, Fools, and Me (Meta)

      One criticism I face fairly often is the assertion that I must be dishonest ? I must be cherry-picking my evidence, or something ? because the way I describe it, I’m always right while the people who disagree with me are always wrong. And not just wrong, they’re often knaves or fools. How likely is that?

      But may I suggest, respectfully, that there’s another possibility? Maybe I actually am right, and maybe the other side actually does contain a remarkable number of knaves and fools.”

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c…..d-me-meta/

      Yep, that’s right. Krugman is right and anyone disagreeing with him is a knave and a fool.

      1. But may I suggest, respectfully, that there’s another possibility? Maybe I actually am right, and maybe the other side actually does contain a remarkable number of knaves and fools.

        I would like to point out THIS IS NOT THE WAY A SCIENTIST THINKS. If you wanted any more evidence that Krugman is not in the least bit an honest scientist, as his drooling, sycophantic fans try to claim, this paragraph proves the point.

        Can you imagine a legitimate scientist, faced with legitimate criticism, ignoring the criticism and simply claiming that he is always right?

        1. Can you imagine a legitimate scientist, faced with legitimate criticism, ignoring the criticism and simply claiming that he is always right?

          I dunno, a lot of “climate scientists” do just that.

        2. It’s also worth pointing out that social “science” isn’t really “science”, which might be why Kruggy isn’t much of a “scientist”.

    6. Great, let’s privatize them.
      Why the fuck is teh military in the entertainment business?
      Sell the fucking Blue Angels to whoever it is that owns Icecapades.

    7. How many people would have to be demobbed to save the amount of money being “saved” by not having air shows?

  13. Depends on which wing of the GOP. I think the GOP is as serious about it as it has been in the last 25 years. I also think the evangelical crowd favors much more limited government than it did 15 years ago, when Bush was able to make his case for compassionate conservatism.

    Ideological seriousness and political expedience are often at odds, but I think there will be some good opportunities to get Libertarian-leaning candidates elected in 2014 and 2016, and I don’t think big government Republicans are going to fare well in the coming election cycles.

    1. Based on the demographic trends and the failure of the party to appeal to white Americans, I don’t the the Republican party period is going to fare well in the coming cycles. I’ve known many people who very angry with the direction the party is going on immigration.

      1. Boo-hoo you and your friends are a tiny bitter minority with no political value. You will get used, get fucked, and die of old age very soon. BTW the GOP has single-party control in 25 states.

        1. BTW the GOP has single-party control in 25 states.

          Of the legislature. Some of those governors in those states are Democrats, which isn’t very single-party-controlled.

      2. My observation has been that, when people are angry about an existing policy, but have no solutions of their own, they don’t tend to base their vote on the policy they oppose.

        We saw this with the Iraq war. A lot of people were upset about the war, but had no clear vision of what they wanted to see instead. We saw this to a lesser degree with Obamacare, though in that case a substantial number of people were content to do nothing about health care. In both cases, the party in power remained in power.

        1. There are many solutions to the immigration question, namely, not having any immigration. Not that complicated.

          1. Okay, but that solution isn’t ideologically sound OR politically expedient. You are to the right of Tancredo on this.

            1. I’m not going to argue the “ideologically sound” part, as that means whatever the hell you want it to. It is perfectly possible.

              1. He means from our ideology, which is about freedom and treating all people as decent human beings, with the right to live and work and trade with others in a peaceful manner.

                You know, all the things you hate so much.

        2. There are many solutions to the immigration question, namely, not having any immigration. Not that complicated.

          1. You can say that twice, and yet it is still stupid.

  14. Media Matters for America, fond of criticizing Fox for being misleading, warns America about deranged conspiracy theorist Judge Andrew Napolitano.

    Because they won’t stand to have an authentic civil libertarian on Fox. Only the drone loving punditry on MSNBC can claim that mantle!

    1. I like the sinister music softly playing in the background while Napolitano talks.

      But remember kids, Media Matters is on the side of the angels and Faux News is of the devil.

    2. I’m not going to watch that. Anyone wanna give a summary of Napolitano’s ‘conspiracies’? Is Waco now a conspiracy theory?

      1. The federal government committed mass-murder that day. I’m not sure what’s at all debatable about that.

      2. It’s a series of edited clips taken out of context.

        First he’s talking to someone about gold and whether or not the US government would go after someone who has too much of it (and that’s just crazy, right?

        Then its just a random series of clips that range from why cops shouldn’t be allowed to test your blood content and some stuff about 9/11 and Benghazi.

    3. Is he actually a truther, as they claim?

      Anyway, few of the clips even have anything to do with “conspiracy”

    1. The New York Times is full of shit. Frankly, what pinkos and fascists think is not something I give a damn about.

      1. You should try reading the article.

        They actually make a good case that a really retarded change in boxing regulations forbidding non-citizens from competing for the championship forced Tamerlan to abandon his dreams and his boxing career, and sent him into a spiral of depression that led him to religious radicalism.

      1. I stopped watching when the chick starting speaking Mexican. I’m an American and I’m not going to apologize for it. I want to die in the same country that I was born in, America.

        1. You need to change your handle to “Murcan”, if you intend to be a troll parody.

          1. As I’ve said before, it’s Merkin. As per his namesake, his name is just an attempt to hide that he’s a pussy.

        2. This is America! We speak American!

        3. . I want to die

          Please die soon.

        4. I want to die in the same country that I was born in, America.

          You know, even if this country continues its decline into decrepit, horrible statism, I will rest easily knowing that American will die in a majority Hispanic neighborhood.

          ‘Where did my country go?’ the racist scum will scream into the uncaring void. ‘Messicans are everywhere, and the world has been swept of all meaning.’

          And with that, American will die, alone, unloved, racist to the end.

          1. And I’m sure in your imagination you will die in a white neighborhood, the same one you live in presently? The Mexicans statists will come for you eventually.

            1. In my imagination, I’ll leave the country if things get bad enough. I don’t particularly care whether or not I live in the same neighborhood I currently live in, and if Mexicans want to live here, that’s their prerogative.

              In fact, one of the countries I would consider moving to if things got bad enough is Chile, a very diverse place with Hispanics, whites and native people all living in the same country. I’m actually learning Spanish so that I can move there if I so choose, which kind of proves that I don’t have the bizarre hatred of other languages that you apparently harbor.

              I mean, look at Chile’s GDP growth! It’s the shit!

              1. I love how American always projects his personal preferences onto everybody else

                1. That’s how all statists act, regardless of what they want the state to do.

                  Want the state to deal with inequality? Obviously they should, since everyone wants that!

                  Want the state to stop immigrants from coming in? Obviously they should, who wouldn’t want to keep America for the Americans?

                  Want the state to invade country X? Country X is clearly evil, and all thinking people would want them invaded!

                  It’s the same shit, just transplanted onto different issues.

              2. Dammit Irish, you want to help ruin ANOTHER country the same way your people have already ruined America with your Irish political domination!

              3. What happens when Chile gets really rich and all the poor messicans go there and spread their social justice bullshit to that country? You of course ignore the fact that Chile has a third of the world’s copper.

                1. The Mexicans are just a mindless borg that follows you everywhere you go Irish. You can never escape!

                2. Well, considering that Chile already has very high immigration from neighboring countries due to their economic prosperity, I think they’ll be okay.

                  Their per capita GDP has grown just as fast from 2000-2012, despite the recession, as it did during the ’90s. It’s almost like immigration is irrelevant to the well being of the people, so long as a free market is maintained.

                  You of course ignore the fact that Chile has a third of the world’s copper.

                  Then there’s the fact that Chile’s mining only accounts for 7% of GDP, when it accounted for almost 9% of GDP as recently as 1985. Chile’s economic renaissance has had absolutely nothing to do with their mining, since the overall economy has grown at a much faster rate than copper production.

                  Don’t bring that weak shit in here.

                  1. Copper accounts for 51% of Chile’s exports

                    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..Chile.jpeg

                    1. Weird. If you take that and combine it with what Irish said, it would almost appear as if exports weren’t a huge part of Chilean GDP. But that couldn’t be! Everybody knows GDP = exports.

                    2. And? You really are a mercantalist, aren’t you? ‘The only aspects of economics that matters are the things we pull from the ground and ship to the homeland for processing!’ /American’s economically illiterate beliefs

                      Why is it of any relevance how much of Chile’s exports are related to copper? Most of Chile’s economic growth has been the result of increased demand within Chile that has resulted from free market reforms.

                      In the 1960s, copper was EIGHTY PERCENT of Chile’s exports. That means that relative to their other exports, the share copper has has dropped by 30%. The current economic boom occurred after copper’s share of Chilean exports began to drop.

                      That’s not even getting into the fact that the surrounding countries have far more natural resources than does Chile. Are you really going to try to argue that Chile’s copper is as much of a potential cash cow as Brazil’s agricultural products or Venezuela’s oil?

                      They’ve always had copper, Merkin. Why has their economy suddenly exploded when people have known there was copper there for 100 years? It isn’t because of the magical properties of copper exports.

        5. I was unaware that Filipinos spoke Mexican.

          1. I was unaware ANYONE spoke Mexican.

            1. Received Mexican Spanish is pretty different than received Spain Spanish. Mexicans completely ignore the vosotros form of conjugation, they don’t lisp their c and z sounds, and there’ve been some other consonant shifts so vaca sounds more like baca in Mexico. I don’t know if the difference is quite as pronounced as UK to US, but it’s enough that it’s worthwhile to differentiate them.

              1. There are a lot of differences between Spain Spanish and Latin American Spanish in general (and of course there are variations with Latin America). In any case, it’s stupid and ignorant to refer to the Mexican version of Spanish as “Mexican” just as its stupid to call the American variant of English “American.”

                1. And this conversation now reminds me of Clueless.

    2. there is always someone ready to blame the US, isn’t there. Hmmm; wonder why blame almost always comes from the left. The only people the left ever holds responsible for their actions are gun owners. And the occasional Texan who voted Red was impacted by the explosion there.

      1. No, no, the left holds gun owners responsible for OTHER people’s actions. An important distinction.

    3. I don’t think it’s implausible at all that having his dreams suddenly stymied by a change in the rules that vindictively excluded legal immegrants from the boxing championship might send a young man into a spiral of despair.

      But this pales in comparison to the oppression suffered by undocumented immigrants brought here as children. They can’t even legally hold a job.

      Imagine being 18, just graduated from high school, straight A student, and knowing that you’ll never be able to be anything but a menial laborer working under the table.

      Tamerlan could have worked lower rung boxing events, waited a year, applied for citizenship, and did the best he could, despite the fact that the delay might have reduced his chances of stardom. But it’s still a cruel and unfair thing to do to exclude legal residents.

      It is cruel to deny young people a chance at their dreams.

      1. Imagine being 18, just graduated from high school, straight A student, and knowing that you’ll never be able to be anything but a menial laborer working under the table.

        Aside from the “working under the table” part, that’s pretty much the case for any high school graduate, unless you happen to drop out of an Ivy League university to start a tech company, or something. Illegal immigrants have access to college, including reduced in-state tuition in many states, so there’s no reason a straight A student would necessarily need to halt his education either. Worst case scenario, prospects for an illegal immigrant with an American high school diploma and American undergrad degree, even from a state school, can’t be too bad in their home countries. It may be an untenable situation, but having your parents make a shitty decision that impacts your life, but winding up with a free high school diploma and the shot at American post-secondary school for it isn’t the kind of thing that would inspire me to blow up innocent people. Or were they innocent in your mind? Did the little Eichmann’s have it coming for oppressing the poor boy?

        1. What’s the point of getting a college education if you can’t legally hold a job?

          Do you think there are doctors and lawyers and engineers out there secretly working for cash?

          You’re talking about kids who sometimes don’t even speak the language of their “home country”. A misnomer if ever there was one. If you’ve lived in America since you were three, AMERICA is your home.

          You can’t legitimately call yourself a “libertarian” if you think that kids who have grown up in America since they were babies shouldn’t have the same rights as the other kids with the right pieces of fucking paper.

        2. “Or were they innocent in your mind? Did the little Eichmann’s have it coming for oppressing the poor boy?”

          Jesus Christ, how the hell did you get that out of HM’s post? Seriously, the implication in those lines is completely unfair and ridiculous

  15. A few GOPers want to reduce government size; some want the government to grow slower than under the Democrats; and then there’s the others.

  16. Um No? Though you wouldn’t be able to tell if you lived in a progressive bubble.

  17. American is mad because the Republican Party isn’t working hard enough to conform to the Progressive caricature of them.

    What color is your flag, Comrade?

  18. Just got back from the range. Broke in not one, not two, not three, but four first time shooters. Only had the one creepy asshole leer at them because they’re girls. That’s so fucking annoying, really pisses me off.

    Almost as much as the total lack of .22 pissed me off. So the .22 pistol stayed in the case. Then my revolver locked up because I haven’t actually cleaned it in a while. So we ended up running 200 rounds through the 9mm. So I need to give it a quick wipe and lube.

    1. So I need to give it a quick wipe and lube.

      lol

    2. Ya I’ve noticed that some ladies are hesitant at the range because they feel like they are being judged. It’s pretty much in their heads, but leering schleps don’t help.

      1. Dude, this guy literally stared at them when we were walking out, muttering “nice” to himself.

        Fucking hell dipshit, get the fuck off my side.

  19. The only difference between the two major political parties in the US is: One walks leftward, while the other runs leftward.

    When a US citizen votes, they are only voting for the speed at which things are going to go leftward.

  20. According to Yahoo:\

    High-profile lesbian athletes have come out while still playing their sports, but not a single gay male athlete in major U.S. professional sports has done the same.

    This supposedly proves that lesbians are more accepted in society than gay men. I feel as if I have lost my country.

    1. Well this will make it easier for me and Epi to get gay married along his mom, my mom and Art Modell.

    2. Well I think acceptance of lesbians more than makes up for any liberty lost in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings.

    3. Shut the fuck up, American. You lost your country the moment bestiality was outlawed and they took your sex-cow away. I know you miss Bessie, but you don’t have to come around here spewing your bigotry just because you haven’t gotten laid by your preferred farm animal lately.

      1. “Sex-cow”! Man, I needed that laugh!

          1. Way to protect everyone by SFing the link.

          2. I clicked it and it didn’t work.

            1. Well that’s easy enough to fix!

              http://www.gaybeast.com/movie/…..X2Yxsof-fx

              Enjoy!

              1. You undid my protections, may God have mercy upon your soul.

                1. Hey, I’M not watching it. That URL was enough to warn me off.

      2. Your posts are warming my heart today Irish.

      3. Hate to be a party pooper but it depends on what state he lives in

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z…..ted_States

        1. Will zoophilia laws be weighted in the next freedom index?

          1. It’s really a massive oversight that they weren’t, how could any index be meaningful AT ALL with a zoophilia category? /merkintulpamashup

            1. *without

    1. Please tell that’s a shopjob. I can feel myself dying inside.

      1. obviously, nobody can bend their elbow like that

  21. Krugman is right and anyone disagreeing with him is a knave and a fool.

    Well, duh.

  22. One thing I have learned by observing the sequestration debate for the past few months is just how vast and powerful the lobbying apparatus for more spending really is.

    Despite the fact that Americans saw their taxes go up on Jan 1, and thus had to cut back on their own budgets, and despite the fact that there really was no popular outcry against sequestration, the spin machine continues apace, completely detached from whether the public gives a shit or not. And judging by the reactions of congress and the media, they’ve bought into it. You get this bizarre impression that Congress really does feel some sort of pressure to “do something” about the sequester, even though there is no visible force doing the pressuring. There are no crowds of angry Americans protesting in the streets. Thus the only plausible source for this pressure must be K street. And K street is lobbying both directly and by manipulating the media.

    1. It’s just cronyism all the way down.

    2. This makes me glad for the internet and the Tea Party. As flawed as the TP is, at least it creates some turbulence for The Machine.

  23. There are at least 3 Republicans serious about limiting the size and scope of government. Their names are Paul, Amash, and Massie.

    Outside of that, bwwahahhaaahahhaa!

    1. I think there’s a few more, such as Cruz.

  24. “I don’t like the sequester,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

    Listen to the white brother in the government agreeing with the black brother in the government.

    We’re all brothers now. Broke, but brothers.

  25. Re: American,

    I’ve known many people who very angry with the direction the party is going on immigration.

    An who also forget their verbs, I fancy.

  26. Anyone else suspect that ‘American’ might be the reincarnation of White Indian? Can we please ban this retard?

    1. White American? Now that’s a nightmare.

      1. Don’t you see how the EVILS of the agricultural city-state have let the MEXICANS move here and degrade the environment?

        /White American

        1. I do indeed understand, if you replace “MEXICANS” with “MEN”.

    2. The possibility has come up, and while I wouldn’t be shocked, I don’t think it’s her. American comes off as someone who legitimately believes the stuff he says, and if it is Mary, then she has done an extremely good (and creepy) job of impersonating a racist, sexist, nativist white nationalist PUA

    3. Banish the heretics!

      –Radical individualist

      1. You realize you’re supporting the racist troll now, correct Tony? You sure you want to die on this hill?

        1. You sure you want to die on this hill?

          Man, how many lives does Tony have? Because he’s certainly died on many, MANY hills already. I would find it hilarious if he added “defending white supremacist” to that list though.

        2. Freedom isn’t pretty.

          Why do you guys always think your radical individualist utopia will be particularly pleasant for you?

          1. You’re the biggest idiot in the universe. This is a private website. If someone comes in spewing racist nonsense, obviously Reason has the right to remove him, just as you have the right to remove someone from your property.

            You are the dumbest person to ever exist in the history of mankind. If someone drilled a hole in my skull and poured acid into my brain, I would still be smarter than you, you smarmy dipshit.

      2. If libertarians aren’t willing to let the Klan burn crosses on their private property than clearly they are hypocrites!

        1. This is your property?

  27. Yeah, right. It’s over Johnny. It’s too far gone to ever change.

  28. I agree along with you. This post is actually inspiring. Nice post and many types of a person tell you is up to mynet date as well as really enlightening, i mynet sohbet must book mark the actual web page in order to can come right here just as before to study anyone, as you’ve performed a great employment

  29. Thank you very much
    .

  30. ays the budget situation is messier than ever, so it’s no ? surprise

  31. presidency, and annual federal deficits briefly shrank to the point

  32. Republican members of Congress worked with Clinton to reform the

  33. of Congress worked with Clinton to reform the welfare system

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