Democratic Convention 2016

Republicans Have Become the Party of No Ideas—and Democrats Have Become the Party of Bad Ideas

Elizabeth Warren's DNC speech was a vision of government unbounded by cost or consequences.

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CreditLi MuziLi Muzi/XINHUA/SIPA/Newscom

In a speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, Sen. Elizabeth Warren offered a contrast between her party and Republican presidential nominee. "Last week Donald Trump spoke for more than an hour on the biggest stage he's ever had," she said. "But other than talking about building a stupid wall, which will never get built, really, did you hear any actual ideas?"

It's hard to disagree with the idea that both Trump and the Republicans he represents have effectively abandoned governance. Last week's GOP convention was a nearly policy free zone in which Republicans all but bragged about becoming the party of no ideas.

Warren's speech, on the other hand, showed that Democrats have become the party of really bad economic policy ideas. The party has essentially committed to almost totally ignoring federal debt in favor of promoting an ever-expanding laundry list of benefits, programs, and subsidies, consequences be damned.

Warren didn't mention national debt or deficits at all in her speech last night. That seems frustratingly normal now, because over the past few years, Democrats have heavily downplayed the issue.

This wasn't always the case. Just a few years ago, the budgetary burden of high debt and deficits was a regular Democratic talking point. President Obama's 2008 speech accepting the party's nomination for president, for example, attacked rival John McCain for refusing to back down from Iraq while America is "wallowing in deficits."

The common response from the left these days is that they worry less about the budget because the deficit is down. It's true that annual deficits have fallen from their $1 trillion-plus peaks during Obama's first term. But the deficit—the nation's annual gap between spending and tax revenue—is on the rise again, heading towards about $600 billion this year after a couple years below $500-billion.

That's not a one-time glitch, either: As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has been warning for a while, deficits are likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

And that brings us to the real problem: the ever-growing federal debt. Interest payments on federal debt are on track to become the nation's third largest spending category. The CBO has warned repeatedly that this level of debt constrains our policy options in both the short and the long term. And while interest rates may be conveniently low for the moment, making debt service relatively pain free, the nation's current budgetary trajectory is ultimately unsustainable. Something will have to give.

This is not an imaginary problem made-up by one side of the political aisle. Indeed, it's a problem that was described at length just four years ago in a primetime speech by a former president at none other than the Democratic National Convention.

Bill Clinton's 2012 DNC remarks included a multi-paragraph passage singling out the long-term debt burden as a problem, and warning that although interest rates are unusually low now, making debt-service relatively easy, the debt will become a significant problem when interest rates inevitably rise. "We've got to deal with this big long- term debt problem or it will deal with us," he said.

The constraints imposed by government debt (and debt service) are the context in which essentially all other economic policy debates should be grounded. As Bill Clinton said in 2012, the alternative to dealing with the debt is that it will "gobble up a bigger and bigger percentage of the federal budget," and in the process will make it impossible to spend on other things—or, for those who might be so inclined, to not spend it at all.

But Warren, like so much of the Democratic party, has essentially erased meaningful worries about the debt and the limitations it might impose from her policy vocabulary. The closest she came to mentioning it last night was when she declared that "America isn't going broke," because stocks, corporate profits, and CEOs are all doing well. She didn't mention the federal budget at all.

For Warren, the fiscal outlook for the United States government is irrelevant. It's just doesn't factor in to her calls for costly new benefits, like Hillary Clinton's proposal to eliminate tuition at state colleges, and expansions of the entitlements we already have, like Medicare and Social Security, which are themselves set for serious fiscal trouble over the coming decades. Warren's vision of government is one in which its fiscal constraints don't matter or don't exist.

Beyond the fiscal constraints, Warren's policy preferences tend to work from an idea of government power and capability that is essentially unbounded by unintended outcomes.

She supports mandatory paid family leave, for example, which would likely impose a variety of new taxes on employers and individuals, and would cost hundreds of billions—and possibly well over $1 trillion—each year to facilitate. Even if you ignore the cost of the program, there are still other unintended consequences. Research consistently finds that family leave policies tend to sideline women in the workforce, trapping them in lower-paying jobs at lower rungs on the career ladder.

The nationwide $15 minimum wage that she backs goes well beyond what the economic evidence supports, and even left-leaning economists who support a significant bump in the federal wage floor have warned that it could result in substantial job losses.

Warren essentially ignores all of this. Her policy worldview does not recognize costs or consequences.

The contrast between Warren and Trump, and the parties they represent, couldn't be more clear or more frustrating for those who favor limited government. Trump's only real policy response to any perceived problem is unbounded arrogance in himself: I alone can solve it. Warren has a similar view—except for government.

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  1. Warren didn’t mention national debt or deficits at all in her speech last night. That seems frustratingly normal now, because over the past few years, Democrats have heavily downplayed the issue.

    WDATPDIM?

    1. It will resolve itself eventually.

      1. “Not on MY watch!”

    2. Become?

      They all have always been so.
      Dems = climate change, anti-business, free crap, gun control, class warfare

      Repubs = evangelical pandering, war mongering more than dems, war on drugs.

      They all equal military industrial complex, deficit spending, giving the FED a pass, cronyism, don’t touch entitlements, use scare tactics to distract from their graft and cronyism. Cronysim includes colluding with the FED.
      There is no legitimacy among any of them. Why report on the DNC at all?

      1. I don’t know about the war mongering more than dems. Obama’s done his share. So did Wilson, Kennedy, Johnson, etc. I’d say they’re both pretty awful on that subject.

        1. Good call. I guess I am just used to the neocons being the scariest group of zealots on the planet. To be shortly surpassed by the muslim zealots.

          Although all leftists are starting to sound like neocons in defense of the disgusting hag c*nt.

          1. The “original” “neo-cons” were Democrats- Jewish liberals that felt the Dems didn’t have a big enough warboner…

        2. They’ve been pretty gung ho in the war on drugs, too.

        3. Yeah, the thing is Republicans are more open with their wars generally speaking. Democrats like to go to war without any declarations or fanfare. Remember Bosnia? No? It’s ok, no one does. Bill Clinton never sent troops anywhere!

  2. Warren didn’t mention national debt or deficits at all in her speech last night.

    Cherokee Nation is famous for Sequoia and his letters; now comes Squaw Lizzie and her ‘numbers.’

    1. Amy: Congressman Furlong, to what do we owe this pleasure slash skin-crawling sensation?
      Furlong: Well, I just came out West to play a little Cowboys and Injuns with Big Chief Suckum Choad here. Say it.
      Will: (CLEARS THROAT) How. Me suck pee pee in teepee.
      Furlong: (LAUGHS) Atta girl.

  3. Yeah, they “have become” that?since about 75-100 yrs. ago. None of this is news, & it seems nearly inevitable considering world trends. The Dems have been about bad ideas, the GOP about conceding ground as slowly as they can. They’re probably both right. It’s not as if it starts w the major political parties, they’re just channeling the will of the people, & there’s no stable solution that avoids that process.

    1. they’re just channeling the will of the people

      Would you kindly elaborate on this?

      1. The people have spoken, and they want to funnel cash to wall street!

      2. Ppl want free shit. They can’t understand their own finances so why do you think they will understand the government’s?

        1. ^This

          People either think that gov’ spending is ‘free’ and has no opportunity cost,

          or

          they think ‘someone else’ will pay for it, and everyone gets more than they put in.

          The treasury is the tragedy of the commons.

      3. People vote for them.

    2. Ultimately, it’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about the voters and how little they seem to care about the long term, though many people just seem incapable of even considering the possible that a “long term” exists.

  4. It’s not fair that I have to work a shit job to pay off my college loans and debt while Elizabeth Warren gets to jet around the country spending her millions.

    1. One Bernie Bro was bent out of shape over H wearing jackets that cost more than he makes in a year.

      1. Are we okay with Hillary’s graft and personal enrichment at American’s expense now? I’ve been busy, I might have missed where we were okay with that now.

        No problemo, I’m just a bit perplexed.

        1. Yes, we’re OK with that.

          Don’t you know *she’s been fighting her entire life for you*?

          1. I think you’re being sarcastic, but there are people who really think this. I remember reading a comment in an article about the money she made giving speeches to Wall Street banks to the effect of ‘She’s making capitalism work for her, why shouldn’t she demand to be paid what she is worth?’

        2. It’s the new normal. Just accept it.

        3. Hillary Clinton = Asma al-Assad = Emine Erdogan = Imelda Marcos

        4. Give her a break, you know she was broke when Billy and her left the White House. They couldn’t even pay the mortgages on their 3 mansions!

      2. But think of the jobs created by the purchase of that jacket.

  5. It’s hard to disagree with the idea that both Trump and the Republicans he represents have effectively abandoned governance. Last week’s GOP convention was a nearly policy free zone in which Republicans all but bragged about becoming the party of no ideas.

    Warren’s speech, on the other hand, showed that Democrats have become the party of really bad economic policy ideas. The party has essentially committed to almost totally ignoring federal debt in favor of promoting an ever-expanding laundry list of benefits, programs, and subsidies, consequences be damned.

    While I’d rather slice off my own dick with a rusty butter knife than vote for Trump, I think this illustrates a key difference.

    Trump could be really, really, really bad. He could destroy this country and everything it’s ever stood for. Then again, it’s more likely that he’s a “meh” President. But we *know* Hillary will be terrible. If you threatened to send me to Room 101 unless I professed a preference between the two, it would probably be Trump, as disgusting as that makes me feel.

    1. My feelings exactly. Voting Trump is like rolling the dice, even if you think there is a decent chance it doesn’t come out in your favor. Voting Hillary is like stabbing yourself in the face and being fully aware of what you are doing and how it will turn out.

      Luckily I live in a red state that will go Trump. I can have the pride of living in a place that didn’t vote for Hillary while being able to comfortably vote Johnson and get to say that I didn’t vote Trump.

      If I lived in a purple state I’d hold my breath till I died trying to vote for Trump.

      1. It’s kind of nice living in a non-swing state. You know your vote doesn’t matter, so just send it to the Johnson.

      2. “Voting Trump is like rolling the dice”

        I wish we could knock it off with the whole “Trump is a big question mark” narrative. It is just not true, for the same reason Hillary isn’t a big question mark either. We look at Hillary’s past of graft and corruption, and we make a reasonable prediction of how she would govern in the future. Why can’t we perform the exact same analysis on Trump?

        Trump is a guy who talks big about stopping illegals and closing the border, yet he hired illegal Polish labor (and treated them like crap) to build Trump Tower, and he hired foreign workers on guest visas to work at his Florida resort even though there were Americans lined up around the door vying for those jobs.

        Trump is a guy who bullies those standing in his way, even those who have very little power to fight back. Ask the contractors he cheated out of money, ask Vera Coking, ask the reporters he sues for libel for posting truthful statements that just happen to be unflattering to Trump, ask his employees who are forced to sign strict NDA’s if they work for him.

        Trump makes it clear that it’s all about him. He must be the center of attention. That is why he didn’t pick Newt or Christie to be VP, because Newt or Christie, with their bluster and outrageous comments, would steal the spotlight away from Trump’s bluster and outrageous comments.

        I think Hillary would use the presidency to enrich herself. I think Trump would use the presidency to aggrandize himself.

        1. I really have no interest in defending Trump, but FFS, your parroting of Dem talking points makes you look like a paid tool.

          The polish worker thing….35 years ago and dug up by Rubio and liberal media.
          The foreign worker thing….workers on Federal work visas, and the resort followed the law. not illegals in any way
          Vera coking….yeh. that story makes both sides look like a-holes.

          All of this is in direct contradiction with what Trump’s closest associates and colleagues have repeatedly said about him.
          He is a blustery self-aggrandizing salesperson in public, but a quiet, generous person in private.

          1. Honestly, I think Trump will get bored and only be the face person for President. He will actually have others running the government…for better or worse. I’ve been impressed with Ivanka Trump. He actually listens to her.

    2. You’d think “abandoning governance” would be a plus to libertarians. Isn’t that kind of our whole point?

      1. Problem is that abandoning governance to the GOP usually means letting the bureaucratic apparatus have their way while you twiddle your thumbs.

      2. +10. “no ideas” is a helluva lot better than any ideas whatsoever coming out of either of these parties. Do they ever have “ideas” that don’t result in government expansion?

      3. I thought this myself Dean. Sadly ‘doing nothing’ in this instance just means letting the Democrats get away with basically anything they want while ‘doing nothing’ to roll any of their vast power grabs back. I know that apparently most people have issues with getting rid of the ACA without replacing it, but screw those people. Replace it with the free market and you would instantly have a better system than literally anything the Government could come up with.

        I guess I’m an extremist or something now just for thinking that the government has no business in dictating that individuals purchase products against their will.

    3. “He could destroy this country and everything it’s ever stood for. ”

      Obama has been hammering away for 8 years, and yes he has done a lot of horrible shit, but he hasn’t really been able to bring about the fundamental transformation he wants. America is still largely the country it was before that skidmark came on the scene. Additionally progs keep telling me ‘ He’s just one man! He cant do all that much damage’ when I complain about the awful shit Obumbles does.

      Trump cant destroy the country either, and he cant be any worse than Obumbles. Hillary is the only person who stands a chance of being worse than Obumbles. I don’t see Trump prosecuting climate deniers. Using the DOJ to prosecute dissent and wrongthink is about the worst thing any president could do short of prosecuting a shooting war on Amerian citizens.

    4. I expect Trump to be a “meh” President. Much smoke, but little fire.

  6. Has anyone noticed that the emblem on the Democrats’ podium looks like a bunch of penises sticking upward?

    1. “Fuck Liberty!”

    2. Well… it is the Philly skyline. Just sayin…

    3. Unpossible. We all know that Hillary hasn’t been near a penis in decades

  7. If Top Men don’t get down to top menning, then what’s the use of even having Top Men?

    1. Top menning or top womenning?

        1. Are you saying Warren uses a strap-on dildo to bang her husband???

          1. She calls it “smoking big peace pipe”.

            1. Major Bradley: But you made that treaty in good faith. I was even told you smoked a peace pipe.
              Chief Wild Eagle: I didn’t inhale.

          2. “Are you saying Warren uses a strap-on dildo to bang her husband???”

            Maybe she figures that she has to do all the work because he has a Wounded Knee.

      1. Psshhh. As if there are only two choices.

        Top Attack Helicoptering

        Is this a description of elitism without triggering gender identification issues, or Hillary’s foreign policy proposal? You decide.

  8. I’ll take no ideas over bad ideas if it means a lack of things for the feds to do. Keep them un-busy as much as possible. It’s always best for the state to do nothing versus doing the inevitable “something.”

    1. At least Trump said reduce the corporate tax rate which is among the highest in the world.

      1. “At least Trump said reduce the corporate tax rate which is among the highest in the world.”

        Suderman has a bad case of Trump derangement syndrome. He hasn’t published a single honest article since Trump had the nomination in the bag. ‘No ideas’ means ‘No ideas I like’.

        1. And as predicted, Suderman can’t even write an article addressing the DNC Convention without getting in some Trump bashing. It’s truly bizarre.

        2. Yeah, I’m left wondering if we both saw the same speech. Trump certainly had ideas and makes policy proposals all the time. They even make an internal sense when you accept he actually means what he says he means.

          when he says “Put America First”, he means it.

          NATO: if it doesn’t benefit the US, get rid of it. If it does, keep it. This is what people seem to call flip-flopping when they discuss Trump.

          Trade Treaties: have more small trade treaties with individual nations making sure each individual one is to our benefit. If the deal turns out to be bad, make a new deal. If the other guy isn’t being faithful to the deal, punish them for it.

          He was certainly for having a trade treaty with England when it looks like he can make one with just England without all the strings of the rest of Europe. This is apparently a non-policy.

          War: destroy people who threaten us, ignore people who don’t. This is apparently “non-interventionalism”.

          You can certainly disagree with Trump’s policy, with his ideas, but I don’t think you can honestly claim he doesn’t have them.

          Trump actually does have a guiding political philosophy which guides what he wants to do and what politcies he wants to implement. He’s incredibly open and consistent about what that philosophy is.

          I can’t believe other people really can’t see that.

          1. And this is the problem with Trump. Some of what he talks about (that no one else will talk about) is worth talking about. Our position as the only real military power in NATO is not a good one, IMHO. It’s not just that it’s expensive, it puts us in a really uncomfortable position, where we’re responsible for the West’s security, but culpable for.all the wrongs we do when we screw that up, which we inevitably do.

            Trump’s answer seems to be to make our military a mercenary force. I don’t think that’s going to improve the situation. And he’s like that across the board. He talks about real issues that are taboo for respectable politicians. But the conclusions he draws about them are ridiculous. It explains his success- people find it refreshing that he brings these things up at all. And maybe they don’t think through what he actually has to say about them very thoroughly.

            1. Certainly, there are things to take issue with his policy and ideas. I’ve read part of his 2000 book “The America We deserve” where he floats the idea of paying off the then “absurd” national debt of $6 trillion dollars by implementing a 1 time 15% Wealth tax on the top 1% or something to get the whole thing paid off in one go, so that the government could then use its new surplus from not paying interest to cut taxes and fix future funding issues with social security and Medicare.

              He also figured it would result in a massive economic boom as the US government would no longer be tied up huge amounts of capital, letting it go to actually productive private enterprise, increase people’s hope in the future since they would no longer have to fear the problem of a large debt, and attract more business from overseas thanks to the lower taxes and greater availability of credit.

              There are definitely, issues with a plan like that. Very legitimate, terrible issues. Its likely a quite bad plan in actually.

              But you can’t reasonably claim it’s not a plan, which seems to be what’s going on here, which is a bit concerning to me. People are taking pretty clear plans and philosophies (which govern presidential level stuff anyways) and claiming they are not so.

              1. It seems a lot of anti-trump people are reducing their arguments to something like straw man attacks, attacking Trump’s imagined “nonpolicy” rather than dealing with his actual, explicitly laid out policy that I’d think anyone could reasonably see.

                I think Suthenboy hit the nail on the head:

                ” ‘No ideas’ means ‘No ideas I like’. ”

                It’s like they’re afraid to actually tackle Trump’s actual ideas. Like their afraid they can’t actually win against what Trump is actually selling.

      2. I’ll give him that.

    2. My thoughts exactly. This attitude reminds me of the thinking that “there ought to be a law”

      I’d be thankful for a competently run federal government – with fewer “new ideas” or “new laws”

      1. It should go beyond fewer new laws or ideas. We need a government that is willing to reduce the current staggering number of bullshit laws and regulations.

        1. And I’d also like a pony. kthxbai

          1. I know. I know. Silly me.

        2. One of Trump’s ‘no ideas’ is to do exactly that.

    3. Yep, once Team Red gains power they’ll just shut down the government because they can’t think of anything to do with it.

      1. Clearly, Trump’s whole interest in running is to get into office and then lounge on the couch. He’s already got his names on a bunch of hotels; what more could he want, and why would he view the presidency as a way to get it?

        1. huh…maybe he loves his country?

          What a novel fuckin concept.

    4. Came to say this.

  9. Ms Warren is a political clown who will change her stance on a moments notice. She is the Chris Christie of the Democratic party. Just another loudmouth buffoon.

  10. I’m sure Warren is gunning for a cabinet level position in the Hillary White House.

    She probably wants to be Secretary of the Interior so she can run the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It would give her the opportunity she’s always wanted to meet other Native Americans like herself.

    Either that or maybe the Department of Education or the Department of Labor. That way she can help make sure Native Americans like herself are promoted to important positions.

    I was honestly disappointed that Bernie Sanders supporters booed her at the podium yesterday. The only appropriate response from a large crowd to Liz “Dances with Lies” Warren being introduced at the podium is the tomahawk chop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGuChxSvuh8

    1. She probably wants to be Secretary of the Interior so she can run the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

      HAHAHA, um, I mean WAWAWAWA!!

  11. #MakeAmericaMoreLikeVenezuela

  12. And while interest rates may be conveniently low for the moment, making debt service relatively pain free, the nation’s current budgetary trajectory is ultimately unsustainable. Something will have to give.

    Will something have to give? Or can we just print fake money forever to pay for it all, and everyone else has to buy it, because pretending to believe the lie is the only thing keeping the whole system afloat? We may be playing musical chairs, but the entire world is invested in keeping the music going forever.

    We aren’t Greece, or Spain, or Venezuela. The public will have to see a nation like Britain or Germany go belly up before they’ll believe that it can happen to us. It’s going to be a very long, interesting ride.

    1. The major currencies are in a race to see who can fuck it up worse. The good news is that the US dollar is in a good position relative to the other currencies, the bad news is that provides the US with no incentive to fix the problems.

    2. “We aren’t Greece, or Spain, or Venezuela”

      Math works the same way here as it does in those places. Arithmetic is just as valid for big numbers as it is for smaller ones.

    3. That’s their plan, Gojira.

      Unfortunately, math always wins. And when the math of monetizing debt starts to be felt, its catastrophic inflation and social collapse.

      This is known. From, you know, history.

      1. Right. But in response to you and Homple, what kind of timescale are we talking here?

        If you want to terrify people with what may happen in 100 years (every other major industrialized nation will go tits up before we do; we can draw this out for a very long time), then most of them simply won’t care. And not because they’re stupid, but because human nature makes it difficult to defer gratification for even a few years, let along generations.

        1. *let alone

        2. But in response to you and Homple, what kind of timescale are we talking here?

          That’s the mystery. I think we came close to a monetary collapse in ’09. I think we used up our reserves in staving it off. The next major fiscal crisis could set off monetization that can’t be hidden, which would put us on track for hyperinflation etc. within, oh, several years at the outside.

          So, it could be less than 10 years. Or, we could dodge the bullet again, and push back the inevitable (because its inevitable now in a way it wasn’t several years ago) for another round.

        3. If you want to terrify people with what may happen in 100 years [snip] then most of them simply won’t care.

          Unless, of course, we’re talking about “catastrophic climate change,” in which case we’re supposed to really, really care, even though none of us will live long enough to see it…

    4. This is the issue I really want to see addressed, and that no candidate is addressing. It’s not just a matter of the federal debt (and it would be easier to deal with if it were.) When you start looking at the level of debt and future obligation at all levels of government it’s a very grim picture. Now, you could argue that this just means a lot of municipalities will go bankrupt, and some states will repudiate their debt… that’s going to entail a lot of trouble. I won’t claim to be able to predict what that will mean, but it’s hard for me to see good outcomes there.

      As for the federal debt, sure, “we” control the world’s reserve currency and the presses used to print it, and that gives us some wiggle room. The problem is that every way we can wiggle is distortionary, and does harm somewhere. Interest rates have to stay very low for us to service the debt, and that really hurts people who saved all their lives figuring they could count on a certain safe return on their savings. It also discourages saving (which we deal with through, among other things, our trade deficit, but China won’t be what it is now forever. The irony here is that the anti-trade people are often the same people who want more government spending.)

      Print more money? We can do that, and if we only do so much of it the results won’t be cataclysmic. But if we keep running the debt up, eventually we’re going to have to print a lot of money.

      1. I used to consider goldbugs a little nutty. The gold standard has some clear drawbacks as a foundation for money. And while I’m not a full-blown monetarist, there is some power to their argument. A responsibly managed supply of money seems like a much better idea than basing currency on precious metals. But that “responsibly-managed” bit is key.

  13. It’s hard to disagree with the idea that both Trump and the Republicans he represents have effectively abandoned governance. Last week’s GOP convention was a nearly policy free zone in which Republicans all but bragged about becoming the party of no ideas

    NIHILISTS!

    [insert John Goodman quote]

    Seriously, Peter, you should get a gig on Morning Joke.

    1. Last week’s GOP convention was a nearly policy free zone in which Republicans all but bragged about becoming the party of no ideas

      I swear I thought I read a bunch of posts last week about how the Republican platform was full of bad ideas.

      1. Turn in your outdated copies of the Soviet Encyclopedia, citizen!

    2. H.L. Mencken ended his praise-by-faint-damnation obituary of Calvin Coolidge thus: “He had no ideas and he wasn’t a nuisance”. The Republicans are halfway there, anyway.

      1. “Yeah, I got a solution, you’re a dick! South Carolina, what’s up!”

        To quote another great.

  14. Policies are what those cuckservatives at the Heritage Foundation come up with.

  15. interest rates may be conveniently low for the moment, making debt service relatively pain free, the nation’s current budgetary trajectory is ultimately unsustainable.

    We’re investing that free money in America’s future!

    Let us look joyfully toward a glorious American future in which every crossing guard and Walmart shopping cart wrangler has a master’s degree in sociology, paid for by the United States Treasury.

  16. policy is what a bureaucrat or demagogue calls tactics.

    Everything the animals come up with is a tactic to distract from economic issues. That is all that matters in the world.

    They know this and thus never discuss the real issues:
    Bankruptcy/debt spending
    military spending and cronyism
    entitlements
    FED largesse and failed antics

    All 4 are off limits.

  17. re: debt
    .
    All you have to do is read sadbeard Matthew Yglesias to figure out what happened: the rank-and-file proglodytes have gone from believing that a higher debt was just the price to pay for their policies to now believing that the debt isn’t even a problem, and may in fact be a good thing. Meanwhile Trumpism just handwaves the debt away with “winning”.
    .
    Doesn’t look like it’s gonna be an issue for either party in the immediate future

    1. You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.

  18. If you think we have a debt problem now, just wait ’til Hillary appoints Krugabe as Treasury Secretary.

    “Keep shovelling that money into the boiler, boys! Faster! Faster! Full steam ahead!”

    1. The Trillion dollar platinum coin will save us.

      1. Since we mine about $6.5 billion worth of platinum a year, we can mint that coin in, carry the one, in 2170 or thereabouts.

        1. Power of the mint.

          http://www.pragcap.com/lets-en…..z-1t-coin/

        2. No, no, we’ll just buy it on the platinum market…

  19. Didn’t Trump himself have fairly elaborate ideas about VA reform, just for example? They’re probably terrible but it seems like the GOP ideas are just being overshadowed by the wall.

  20. Warren is absolutely crazy. She is a demagogue and a control freak.

    1. She wasn’t this unhinged before, but Trump’s triggered the wampum right out of her. Every other week she has a Twitter stroke about the guy.

    2. yes…yes she is.

  21. OT The final episode of Hell on Wheels is epic.

    That is all.

    1. Chief O’Brien is in that!

  22. she declared that “America isn’t going broke,” because stocks, corporate profits, and CEOs are all doing well.

    That money belongs to the government, you know. Not paying it all back in taxes is just like stealing.

  23. Republicans Have Become the Party of No Ideas?and Democrats Have Become the Party of Bad Ideas

    Are you trying to tell me Republicans have in fact become more libertarian?

  24. “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob.” — G. K. Chesterton

    1. The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

      Plus 1 Mend It Don’t End it.

    2. Ding ding ding, nailed it

    3. That is awesome

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  33. I think we came close to a monetary collapse in ’09.

    Without the Fed propping up the bond market, things would look a lot different, right now.

    *quite possibly better, in the absence of the egregious mispricing of financial risk (and assets) we currently have

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  35. The funny thing about Trump is that as much as reason hates him, if he wins it will be because he is a Republican who finally took reason’s advice and walked away from the culture war.

    You listen to Trump last week and you might not have liked what he had to say but there is no denying that he spent all his time talking about the problems that actually matter, like the economy, wars, terrorism, the fact that we are going broke, the cronyism and so forth. You listen to the Democrats last night and it is mostly the same old culture war bullshit everyone is tired of. Instead of talking about the economy, the budget, terrorism, overseas wars and such, it was the same old social justice culture war. The stuff that reason constantly claims not to care about yet never seems to mind when the Democrats bring it up.

    ENB is right. The Democrats have no answer. All they have is more of the culture war and the opportunity for their supporters to signal their brand in those wars by voting for Hillary. That is it.

    1. Trump has views on immigration – immigration is a culture-war issue.

      As for the other issues –

      What about guns? Classic culture-war issue. If he doesn’t want to “waste time” talking about guns, he’ll have to back the Democratic agenda – remember that anything short of capitulating to progressive “culture war” demands is the same as “obsessing over the culture war.”

      1. Generally, a Republican who is a squish on “cultural” issues is going to be a squish on “economic” issues as well.

        “I will defend small businesses against arbitrary regulations – except that I will force them to make gay cakes or else go bankrupt from the fines!”

      2. Immigration is not a culture war issue. It is a real policy issue that effects all kinds of things in the country. It has culture war implications I suppose and it is sometimes used as a proxy for the two sides of the culture war to fight it out, but it is not a culture war issue. And whatever your opinion of it, it is an issue that matters to people and directly effects their lives.

        And guns are a civil rights issue that Democrats want to make into a culture war issue. Beyond that, even if it were a culture war issue, that doesn’t change the fact that the Republicans are talking about the non culture war issues and the Democrats seem to have little but those issues.

        1. As I pointed out the other day on a culinary blog, tomatoes are a fruit _and_ vegetable. To be fair you do nod toward that. That said, it is likely true that for every culture war issue there are at least some people who think the issue of actual consequence. That doesn’t mean that all such claims should be taken equally seriously, of course.

    2. Yes, and you’ve been pointing that out here for a while. But what you’ve also pointed out is that there’s never any victory in the culture war; it’s always advancing but never arriving at any destination, the destinations keep changing. In the process it always imputes enemies, even if they’re not playing the game.

      Trump exhibited his who-cares attitude mos. ago when asked about the toilet issue. He didn’t even understand it at 1st, which is fine, because why should he have been paying enough att’n to have been able to understand it?

      1. At the Presidential level, that is the best answer. Most of these issues are fought at the state level. To the extent they are not, they are fought outside the national spotlight by the federal bureaucracy. All a Republican candidate getting in the middle of an issue like tranny bathroom is allow the Democrats to change the subject from areas they have no answers to the public concern and move to fight in an area where their control of the media and culture allows them to frame the issue as the tolerant versus the bigots. Trump gave the right answer.

        1. From what I gathered, it was the Charlotte, NC city council who created the bathroom battle when they passed an ordinance that said anyone could use whatever bathroom was consistent with their gender identity. This would have been a non-issue, but they did this probably at the instigation of some well-funded instigators linked to Team Blue, knowing that it would piss off the conservatives in the NC state government and turned it into a shitshow that would energize their base. This was an engineered crisis strategically timed for an election year.

    3. The DNC is an endless parade of queers, blacks, victims and airheads.

  36. I have given up trying to reason (pun intended) with proggies. I say let them have all the job-killing regulations and free crap and let them live a zero-carbon life, you know naked, in mud huts, and foraging for food.

  37. Team Blue is now officially the party of bread and circuses.

    ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!

  38. The Democrats have been the party of these same bad ideas since at least 1972. They ahem consistently pushed benefits, expanded regulation, and harassed the productive. And then they have the unmitigated gall to be surprised when the economy tanks.

    I know multiple Liberal /Progressives who have enquired plaintively in my hearing why Congress hasn’t held hearings to fix the blame of the real-estate crash.

    Simple; there afraid that if they ask the question, somebody is likely to answer. And the answer is that Congress (mostly the Democrats, but enough Republicans helped) set us circumstances in which a real-estate crash was inevitable.

    1. Don’t you mean 1932?

      1. Not without a break. Truman had some good ideas, and crammed them into the party. Kennedy, much though I dissent from the Cult of St. Kennedy, had a thought or two. The real breaking point came with the change in the convention rules that allowed the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives take full control of the Party in 1972 and nominate McGovern.

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  40. “She supports mandatory paid family leave, for example, which would likely impose a variety of new taxes on employers and individuals, and would cost hundreds of billions?and possibly well over $1 trillion?each year to facilitate. Even if you ignore the cost of the program, there are still other unintended consequences. Research consistently finds that family leave policies tend to sideline women in the workforce, trapping them in lower-paying jobs at lower rungs on the career ladder.”

    Sounds like a problem for government to solve by mandating that employers absolutely must pay women the same amount they would have made if they had not taken time off. Which of course will cause employers to hire fewer women since men can be expected to stay on the job. Which creates a problem for government to solve by mandating that employers MUST hire equal numbers of men and women. Which of course will lead to labor shortages in some industries where women just don’t want to work. Which creates a problem for government to solve by…

    1. ….paying everyone to stay home eventually.

      In fact, that will be the ultimate outcome when entrepreneurs by-pass all of the useless zombies and invest in robots.

      There will be a short period of unrest when all of the useless people are fired because they have no useful skills.

      The hope then rests on the production value of the robots and hopefully enough economic activity and prosperity for society to be able to afford to feed half of the useless population and keep them high enough that they will not revolt anymore.

      1. Crapload of sci-fi books cover this exact premise. Entire civilizations exist by paying the serfs a stipend and using wars to trim the populace to manageable levels on a routine basis. heck, we’re 47% of the way there.

  41. I much prefer a government run by people with no ideas beyond the 1 idea to repeal as much of government as possible vs. being run by people with lots and lots of ideas, all bad.

    Therefore, it makes no sense for me to ever vote Dem…

  42. Some moons ago woman named Warren came to our tribe.
    Said she was looking for her ‘roots’ and a brave warrior to mate.

    Our medicine man – Running Wolf – said to Warren – come here.
    She did as told and Running Wolf smelled her hair.

    Hmm – you do not smell like Cherokee but I do smell white liberal guilt!
    Begone – you are not Cherokee but I shall call you Fakahontus!

    We all laughed at Running Wolf’s joke.
    Woman named Warren turned red but not Indian red and so she fled with her white liberal guilt.

  43. So where is the libertarian alternative?

    Why are Johnson/Weld not systematically countering the conventions, with tweets, op-eds, online spots/videos, events, press releases, etc.

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  45. To understand the reasons Clinton will likely win, see:

    “Why Barack Obama Won Twice” http://relevantmatters.wordpre…..won-twice/

  46. To understand the reasons Clinton will likely win, see:

    “Why Barack Obama Won Twice” http://relevantmatters.wordpre…..won-twice/

  47. No ideas vs. bad ideas? Would that they both had no ideas!

  48. Republicans are running on obstructing Democrat expansions of government while doing nothing effective to curtail those expansion because, secretly, they want that power themselves but don’t want to take the credit for all the inevitable economic damage that occurs. They’re all getting massively rich on regulating industries while investing in those same industries, none of them really care about the long term consequences. Hooray for the STOCK Act that was instantly gutted. It’s probably not coincidence we don’t hear a lot about that anymore.

  49. Can we at least agree on ONE idea — to not spend more than we take in?

  50. “Elizabeth Warren is stupid, but first let me clarify how much I hate Trump.”

    Gag. The status signalling is strong with this one.

  51. I was only half listening to Fauxchohontas, but it sounded like she is saying we have a lot of problems after 7.5 years of Obama as President. It kinda made Obama sound bad, didn’t it? Like he hasn’t accomplished much. Did anybody report this point anywhere? I doubt it but just wondered.

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  53. The party has essentially committed to almost totally ignoring federal debt in favor of promoting an ever-expanding laundry list of benefits, programs, and subsidies, consequences be damned.

    Much like Detroit, the looters don’t slow down once insolvency is inevitable, they go berserk, trying to squeeze whatever they can out of the dying carcass while there is anything left to squeeze.

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  55. So does this mean Libertarian Economic Ideas are bad? I mean this is the one place where the Libertarians and Republicans mesh… No of social issue but on economics and the power of the State in our lives.

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