Promoted from the comments in DJ’s piece on knowing your audience. JWH offered up the title line in reference to ideological purity and the debt ceiling. Now I’m the first to say blow the whole thing up now before it gets any worse. Lance the boil and let the healing begin.
Something I’ve learned in life you’ve got to pick your battles. Unfortunately we’ve reached a point where the situation is so dire we really need to do something drastic to avert what is an otherwise inevitable economic collapse. So when Republicans are negotiating maybe $1 billion, maybe $20 billion, whatever in cuts to $3.8 trillion in annual spending it’s just a joke.
But if you go to voters and say your choices are vote for me and we’re going to make major, painful but necessary changes to SS/Medicare or vote for the Democrat who’ll give you more I guaran-goddamn-tee you the beast will be fed.
Democrats are invoking the Holocaust over a 0.5% cut next year. You watch, when the Medicare doctor’s reimbursement cuts in the Obamacare bill they crammed down our throats come due they’ll scream bloody murder if Republicans make any effort to let the cuts come into effect. Republicans want seniors to get less Medical care! They want Grandma going to Dr. Nick!
Then again, I’m still holding out hope I’ll be considered rich some day. Again, there are a hell of a lot of people who don’t and are happy to live off handouts.
All we can hope for is the best we can get. Mike Castle instead of Chris Coon. Sue Lowden instead of Harry Reid. Then again, having Harry Reid as Majority Leader is a better long-term strategy than being one seat closer to a Republican majority. If the Republicans leadership had any kind of sales and negotiating skill we could probably get an easy 2% cut now and another cut in 8-9 months when we debate the next ceiling increase. Reid and Obama are freaking amateurs and Boehner has kept them in the game.
I totally understand the frustration but political reality dictates Republicans will never – even if they hold majorities like the Dems did in 2009-2010 – be able to make drastic cuts to entitlements or discretionary spending. Too many Americans are on the sugar tit for it to happen. Sadly, 2% is the most we can ever expect to shrink the government in a year.
Of course that 2% will have to be based on what we were planning on spending next year, not what we spent this year. We’ll spend more, just not quite as much more as we could have. There will never be enough ideologically pure conservatives in power to government back to the size it was even two years prior. Argue all you want, it just can’t happen. You’ll never see 60+ conservatives in the Senate. Game over, man.
This is where Sam gives his soliloquy about the great stories where they had plenty of chance to turn back but kept going because there’s still something out there worth fighting for. Then we skip to the end where Frodo sits up, looks and Gandalf and says, “Eagles?!? We had f@&$ing eagles the whole time? We had the means to fly that f@&$ing ring to Mount Doom on a moonless night, chuck it in the lava, and be back in time to eat second breakfast with all ten of my f@&$ing fingers? No big deal, it’s not like we just saw 2/3 of the male population of Middle Earth killed or anything. Gimli! Did you know we had eagles the whole f@&$ing time?”
And the old man just sits there laughing and thinking to himself, “Eagles. Wait until you find out about the $100 trillion unfunded Social Security and Medicare liability I’ve insisted upon you inheriting.”
Since I’ve progressed passed pessimism to acceptance of our impending economic supernova ideological purity is a sucker’s gambit for me. I’m a Libertarian anyway, so most Republicans who pass purity tests turn me off on social issues. Limited government is long dead and its grave well peed upon. By Republicans and Democrats alike. Dems want my money, Repubs worry themselves over how adults live their lives. I will never be entirely, or even remotely, happy with our two party government.
I have to accept compromise. It sucks knowing Americans happily enable Washington to seize greater power over them. But in America we get the government you deserve. We deserve to have our economy collapse. And so we will. Then the ugliness will begin. I just hope I’m young and well armed enough.
One half of one percent is the best we’re going to get. Think about that and feel the bonedness surround your body.