Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Beldar on the failure of the "supercommittee"
Regarding the unsurprising failure of the congressional "supercommittee," consider this:
Democrats simultaneously insist that (a) they want to raise taxes on America's rich, while (b) rejecting GOP proposals to reform and save Social Security and Medicare by making them be "means-tested." Means-testing would only affect those who are not currently on, or about to qualify for, those programs. For those later beneficiaries, however, the wealthiest subsets would receive lesser benefits than the poorest ones, with the very poorest continuing to be subsidized at current levels (adjusted over time with inflation).
The Dems insist that the federal government continue giving rich people money for their retirement and medical care, in other words, even if those people can quite comfortably afford to pay for those things themselves. But those same Dems also insist on taking a higher percentage of rich people's current income to pay for the costs of ever-expanding government programs, most notably those same entitlement programs which are already operating in the red, with alarming increases on the near horizon that are demographic and actuarial certainties.
The explanation is as old as Tammany Hall: the Democratic Party depends on handing out government largess, including outright graft, to keep its disparate power bases in line. This is why General Electric pays no federal income taxes. This is why Hollywood studios show paper losses on films that generate multi-hundreds of millions at the box office. This is why unions give hundreds of millions in political donations, but more than 85% of that always goes to Democrats. This is why the federal government hands out millions based on allegedly frustrated "intent to be a farmer," or pays tax dollars to prop up commercially nonviable car companies or solar panel manufacturers, while rejecting a badly needed pipeline construction project that would create thousands of jobs at no government expense whatsoever.
If your source of political power is based on hand-outs to favorites, preferences for government-picked "winners," and government-effectuated or government-mandated income redistribution, then you protect that power quite literally at all costs — even costs that will positively bankrupt the government in fairly short order.
If any of this surprises you, then congratulations: You're the guy at the poker table wondering which one of his fellows is "the mark."
This is what the 2012 election should be fought over.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Wishful thinking on the Left
"This is our most desperate hour. Help us, Obi-Wan Hillary! You're our only hope!"
— My paraphrase of this Clintonista op-ed in today's WSJ, which urges Obama to abandon his campaign so that the Dems can nominate his SecState as their 2012 presidential candidate "by acclamation." (So much for small-d democracy in the Democratic Party, eh?)
Actually, if they could just get Joe Biden, John Boehner, and Daniel Inouye to resign in series immediately after Obama did, then the Dems could run Hillary as the incumbent.