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No government shutdown.  Duh!

No government shutdown.  Duh!

America has yet survived another potential government shutdown.  But did anyone really believe it was going to happen?  And even when shutdowns happen, they are never as draconian as Democrats and the left-leaning media portray them in hyperbolic sensationalized rhetoric. 

(Have you noticed that Democrats and others on the left seem to see EVERY issue as existential.   If they do not get their way – if their candidates for dog catcher are not elected — the American Republic is kaput.  More than 270 years of democracy ends. Doesn’t that seem a tad hyperbolic?  But I digress.)

Under the leadership of the new Speaker Mike Johnson, the House drafted and passed a bipartisan stopgap measure – a Continuing Resolution – that kicks the can down the road.  It basically continues the current spending level until after the holidays.  No new spending.  That means issues like Ukraine, Israel and border security will be dealt with separately later … hopefully.

We were also spared the Kabuki Theater version of news in which networks and print journalists engage in sensationalized last-minute reporting on the hypothetical pending disaster – a disaster that never comes.  Johnson managed to have this short-term deal announced, processed and approved ahead of the 11th hour.  That must have been a huge disappointment to much of the Fourth Estate.

The House Bill was passed by the Senate in bipartisan vote and sent on to President Biden, who signed the Bill into law. Voila!  No shutdown.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that the stopgap at least appears to weaken American commitment to Ukraine and Israel.  That is a modest public relations victory for the Madman of Moscow and Hamas.

Even more concerting is the fact that the CR does not address the trajectory of excessive federal spending (ergo taxing and borrowing) which IS an existential threat to the Republic.  But that monumental financial crisis is off in the distant future, so it does not matter to the big spending power grabbers in Washington.  The tax (borrow)-and-spend crowd are taking full political advantage of their spending knowing they will not be around when it all comes crashing down.

For all the criticism heaped on that recalcitrant faction in the House, they are right.  Democrats and establishmentarian Republicans are spending the United States off the economic cliff.  They are outspending the nation’s ability to pay with taxes, so we borrow. 

Now we are exceeding our ability to borrow.  That is why two rating agencies drop America’s credit rating from triple-A to double-A+.  That may not seem like a big deal in terms of an academic grade, but it means that America will have to cough up billions more dollars each year to “service the debt.”  And how do we get the money to pay the interest on the debt?  We borrow MORE money.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Under that theory, our elected representatives are a generation of mad hatters.

Rather than attack and demean the motives of the House Freedom Republican Caucus, we should ask why the majority of the members of Congress seem to have no interest in curbing run-away spending.  We need more politicians in Washington to get serious about CUTTING spending – not just quibbling over the amount of the increases. 

We also need Congress to go back to their constitutional obligation to produce a budget – which it has not done since 2004 — and end this crazy system of financing the federal government with Continuing Resolutions and Omnibus Bills that are so huge that no one person in Washington can even read them.  We need to stop the practice of earmarks.  In other words, we need to have Congress do its job properly and responsibly.  Something that has not happened in more than a generation.

Instead of demonizing those few legislators who are bravely trying to restore fiscal responsibility and normal order to the Congress, we need to elect more like them.

Kudos for Speaker Johnson for at least getting a bipartisan bill through Congress to stave off the immediate potential shutdown.  It was a good move in view of his newness in the post of Speaker.  However, there will be a more intense showdowns in the future if there is any chance of getting back to normal order, reduced spending and cuts in the budget.  The avoidance of this shutdown was not a victory but another example of congressional irresponsibility and disfunction. 

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

37 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    Is PBP censoring some post? On Dempsey I can’t post any length. On Horist wedgie post, it does not accept anything.

    If this one makes it, it’s one out of three…..

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … Although I do not moderate the posts, I do see those that are submitted for my commentaries in my email … and I get a second email when they are uploaded. I have not seen any of yours that has not been published. Not sure why you think you are being censored. Perhaps you are confused. Maybe you forgot to click on “post comment” ?????

      • Tom

        Actually Larry, what Frank is describing I have also experienced. It may be some sort of glitch in the PBP software. There have been posts that I re-inserted into the comment block a few times, and made double sure to click on “post comment”, but the comment did not post. I just never mentioned anything. Sometimes, when I go out of the article and then go back in, then I see the post. This is why I occasionally have submitted two exactly the same posts, one following immediately after the other. I think sometimes there is a delay in the time we “post comment” to the time the comment is actually posted. It initially seemed a bit like censorship to me until I realized the time lag. Seems more like a cumbersome process that might also have a glitch in it. And then there were a few times, like maybe three or four times when I never saw the comment. So I assumed the comment period had been closed but that may be an erroneous assumption on my part. And then there were two times that I posted under a second email and it went through. Just FYI…. not complaining.

    • larry Horist

      franks Stetson .. On what you call my “wedgie” post (actually stelter), you say it will not accept anything. I just checked, you have five posts on that commentary. Five!!! That is pretty good for not being able to post anything. You seem to have already said all there is to say on that one more than once — but you are a habitual repeater. You are starting to sound a bit paranoid.

      • Tom

        Having experienced this problem, I can honestly say it is more “aggravation” than paranoia. That is why these days I do a copy of the comment block before I submit a comment. That way if I do not see it post I do a paste into a word document and post a little later. This seems to work for me and keep me in a steady mood.

    • frank stetson

      Sorry to tangent Mr. Horist. Here’s my article response.

      Why does it matter? IMO, one of the greatest accomplishments of a strong economy is stability and consistency. Whether growing or shrinking, variability is king for investment.

      Republicans are proud to play economic chicken feeling like Horist that it don’t really matter, we always solve it. Does Horist remember The Great Recession, Carter’s inflation, OR the covid meltdown? It happens fast, it other comes from seemingly nowhere. Black Friday is a day that changed everything. It was OK on Thursday and then many died as we attempted a decade of recovery.

      It’s fiat money, its “in God we trust,” and the rest has always been a house of cards. If the right one is pulled, it all comes down. That’s why professionals don’t fuck with finance. Unprofessionals like the current House Republicans play financial cards like it’s a game.

      The thought that No Government Shutdown – Duh minimizes it is wrong IMO because we highlight our instability and craziness which, as an investor, I avoid if possible. And while we are the best game in town, the Chinese and others are knocking at our safety net door. This shit matters.

      As Horist notes, this time it hit our credit rating. On 8/1/2023, Fitch Ratings, one of the country’s three major credit rating agencies, announced that it had downgraded the US credit rating from AAA to AA+. Fitch had been reassessing the nation’s creditworthiness over the last two months, putting the US on negative watch in May 2023. It was a surprise shot across the bow when Fitch explained: “reflects the expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general government debt burden, and the erosion of governance relative to AA and AAA rated peers over the last two decades that has manifested in repeated debt-limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.” This shit matters.

      So, what did Republicans do? Double down and did it again…..

      This time Moody’s lowered the United States government’s credit ratings outlook from “stable” to “negative,” citing political polarization in Congress.

      I agree with Horist’s conclusion re: seriousness, cutting costs, doing actual government budgeting, and the rest. I would also focus on the GDP/debt ratio as a key metric of how much can you afford to borrow beginning with 100% at a target. Matter of fact, even though I don’t believe in a balanced budget constitutional amendment (I believe you can run a debt when appropriate, and these fucks are responsible for the budget — that’s why they are there), I would support a balance budget for X years with early escape clauses for meeting GDP/debt ratio targets. Simple. Also, set metrics on every department to PROVE they are meeting metrics and delivering profits on our investments. Like the Pentagon should PROVE they are spending wisely and we are getting a great return —- by the numbers or be fired. Just like a real-world job in a capitalistic society. Not simple, but doable.

      So, while I don’t agree on how Horist got here, I basically agree with his conclusions.

  2. frank stetson

    Mr. Horist, you say “LMAO.” This must take you forever to laugh that fat ass off….. Yes, I was wounded, but your compassion or lack thereof, proves my point. Don’t believe you can bully me. That’s just a dick thing to do.
    It ain’t just me. As you seem so proud of being slammed, I roll out the Chicago Reader quote one more time “He’s like the kid on your block who was always getting into fights but always swore he never threw the first punch.” Yeah, bully then, bully now.
    But beyond your normal bullshit responses, on the merits, you asked a question: “I would challenge your claim the Reagan economics program was a failure.” You are right, failure is a very strong word. Let’s go with second rate, sub par, or if you like: totally adequate.
    Yes, “He inherited the worst inflation in decades” but no, he did not leave “with the strongest economy since the 1950s,” he left Bush holding the bag and his record is second rate when compared to the future Bill Clinton, whose politics I attempt to model, including listening to my conservative friends before they went all Trumplicant like you and got lost in their lust for power.
    You say: “I excuse your mischaracterizations because you are not the most knowledgeable person in these (sic) matter.” I say fuck you and your condescending attitude. I will out class you in economics and finance six days a week, twice on Sunday. And, unlike you who brought zero facts to this tirade, I list facts and sources.
    You say: “I have not called for physical abuse on anyone … period” after you said: “he got a lot of “wedgies” in his youthful days – and deserved them.” He deserved them you say. That’s not a rhetoric allusion. You said he deserved them meaning you condone them, you think they are appropriate for him. Your words, not mine. Your thoughts, not my imaging what you wrote. Just like Trump, you promote and therefore incent a certain behavior and then try to hide behind your weasel words while playing the victim. Like Trump. I know this game and your first rule is to never apologize for being an asshole, a bully, and the like and instead blame the other guy for striking first —— just like the Chicago Reader said 27 years ago.

    • Tom

      Frank, can you briefly explain what the “Chicago Reader” said 27 years ago? Was it about Larry or just general GOP oriented comments? Sounds interesting!

      • frank stetson

        I posted the quote I find pretty funny since it seems spot on vis-a-vis his pugnacious style shown here.

        just search on “chicago reader larry horist” and it will appear :>)

        Horist at least, love it or leave it, has a resume.

        Gilbertson, Dempsey, and most the rest don’t and don’t have any accolades either. They operate, as perhaps they should, in the shaddows. Jacob Machine does, but I think he’s like 2 months over 21 having written many books, some movies, a few music things, all in the last 2 months (just kidding). But at least the Machine has a record……

        • Tom

          Interesting article. I was right on a few things. 1) Catholicism has influence him greatly. I know a little about that influence as I was also raised Roman Catholic. He is probably familiar with a site called “Catholic Vote” which is a big pro-life group with extreme views on abortion and homosexuality. 2) He is pre-boomer around 80 years old. In Gerontology, we call this the “Golden Generation” because they were too young to fight in WWII and Korea, and by the time Vietnam got big they were older with families and were not called up. They also had the best economic times of this country to build wealth and thrive which often gives them an insensitivity to the problems of others born later from 1955 onward, the view “I did it so what’s wrong with you that you cannot do what I did”, and they were virtually immune to any sort of layoffs. Many of them took golden parachutes to leave companies before the parachutes disappeared in 1990’s. 3) “loose cannon” with questionable ethics and a “grand sense of…self-importance.” seems to suggest a little bit of a thread of narcissism running through his life. Narcissists have a grandiose view of themselves. 4) He is much better at remaking his image and garnering business than he is at keeping love relationships going where he actually may have to apologize and repent – something he find difficult, again, narcissists never apologize because they never think they are wrong. 5) He says Dems control Chicago because of crookedness and questionable ethics when dealing with minorities but it seems that the real reason is as I said, the GOP is their own worst enemy and this article confirms this when it says there is a huge split in the Chicago GOP. As Jesus said of human beings dealing with authority splits, “No man can serve two masters, he will hate one and love the other.” 6) His heart does have compassion but it seems to be limited to children needing to be saved which feeds his already larger than life opinion of self. I do like that he provided homes for those kids. He probably is correct that he is better at being a dad than at consulting. 7) His attitude of dividing people into crustaceans and vertebrates is revealing. Interesting in that he views people as mostly at one end of the spectrum or the other with no in-between mentioned by him. This can be translated into “crustaceans are people that are always on the wrong side” and vertebrates are people who are always on the correct side – a bit of a narcissistic view which allows him to treat people with differing opinions as being wrong and not worthy of consideration, and, those that agree with him therefore they must be correct, and because of this, he is correct as well. He will praise vertebrates and hurl insults at crustaceans.

          Larry seems to always be trying to “figure people out” so that he can bucket them as crustaceans or vertebrates. And once he buckets, you are most likely there for good. Figuring people out is in his DNA from childhood to now. Most of his life has been spent trying to figure people out. But he is trying to figure people out using a set of rules from 1940-1960. Back then there was not the diversity that we have today in the population.

          I thought the comment about Larry fleeing was interesting because that is exactly what he has done with my two questions dealing with 1) Tax increases to provide support and system reformation to achieve positive outcomes for all pregnant women; 2) Supporting the most liberal abortion state of all, Israel and how does that measure up to his values and ardent anti-abortion/pro-life stand. He has to this writing not answered either question, and the tax question is getting moldy, as I have asked it numerous times. This again plays against his narcissism because if he sticks to his positions, then he can be labeled a hypocrit, and any modification of his position will also label him a hypocrit – so he just does not answer. I call this check and check mate!

          • Frank stetson

            Wow, deep. Insightful. And I just grabbed a quote or too. May read again. Did seem like the guy really knew and studied him.

            Boy, he’s either gonna ignore your post or nail you good while giving me the glancing bromancing bs he thinks is cute.

            Seems incapable of owning up to wedgie be bad though.

          • larry Horist

            Tom … Actually, you were wrong on almost everything, Thank God, you are not a psychiatrist. And as a person who claims a reasonable level of intellect, you must know that you have gone way beyond your ability to know me much less to psychoanalyze from a distanced. If you were a trained psychoanalyst, it would be considered unethical to do so.

            You say I am greatly influenced by my Catholic upbringing, Not so. My Catholic education ended in 8th grade and I was more rebellious than devout. I left the Church more than 50 years ago. And I have never even heard of “Catholic Vote.” I also have been a longtime supporter of gay rights. Contrary to your suggestion … I have never been the financial success that you and Frank seem to be. I spent a fair share of time being unemployed in my early days. I know the feeling. My compassion extends well beyond taking in kids. But you again say something you have no knowledge of. (I wonder where you and Frank stand on the compassion scale. Hmmm?) The crustaceans/vertebrates is a reference I picked in psychology class in college. It goes along with a lot of other professional classifications. Your assumption that it implies right and wrong is not the basis of professional classification — merely a notable distinction in personality types. You have given it those values out of ignorance.
            And if you would read carefully, I did answer your question — possibly twice.

            On psychoanalysis, you get an F-minus. Although I know that you will cling to your ignorance-based go at it — and Frank will be you fawning sidekick — Sancho Panza to your delusionary Don Quixote . Like Frank, you are not describing a real Larry Horist — so it does not have any meaning to me. The way you and Frank love to do the analysis thing in your own heads, I worry that you guy might think the game of “Clue” is a real murder mystery.

          • larry Horist

            No surprise here … Sancho Panza.

      • larry Horist

        Tom … You can read the article for yourself. https://chicagoreader.com/news-politics/does-larry-horist-matter/.

        Frank uses a couple of statements out of a loooong frontpage article that I quite flattering, IMO. Frank and the author were correct, I can be argumentative at times — not sure I am pugnacious, however. And I did get beat by Spanky the Clown — but there is a subtext to that story. Where frank goes wrong is to assume that it demeans or embarrasses me — or has any meaning to the world-at-large. I often mention it is speeched saying that when I say my opponent was a clown, I mean it literally. LOL

        It is part of Frank’s obsession to tear me down for my opinions and for merely being me. Since he knows nothing about me, he creates that imaginary playmate of me. He assumes that insults have any impact on me or other readers. Frank is just a nasty ankle-biter who cannot give up his obsession to attack — mostly me, but others, too. And he has a hypocrite when he keeps saying he dos not like nasty insults. He uses a series of nasty insults in virtually every posting. He is hopelessly delusionary when it comes to his self view. His long screeds have no impact on much of anything — and mostly go unread. In fact, you may be his only reader — and not sure even you read every word and every tedious and repetitious posting.

        I have been in this business for many years — and have had my share or fans AND detractors (mostly fans). Frank is not unique — just pathetic. Mike f is a bit of the same type, but mercifully, he engages in bevity. LOL They should take lessons from you. You are not a constant critic and when you do criticize it is rarely personal. I prefer to engage with you because I know you are basing what you say on what you believed. You are credible. Frank and Mike f are driven first by attacking me — and others. That makes any intellectual engagement impossible. But enough about Frank. It gives him a false sense of importance.

        So … check out the article an you will know more about me than you need to know…lol I look forward to your reaction, if you care to offer one.

        • Tom

          Actually Larry, that was the article I found and read. I found it by subject matter and date based on Frank’s given information. Thank you for including the link!

          I do not know much about Chicago politics so the Spanky the Clown references meant little to me. I just translated them to “irrational opponent” and moved on. Thank you for the background on this. I thought the article painted you in a fairly good light and was often complimentary – but the article appears to show you were a participant (willing or unwilling is your call) in the existing GOP divide which I believe is the root cause of why Chicago is so Dem. I enjoyed reading about your desire to help others like in opening your home to youths that seem to have tragic backgrounds. The article paints you as a disciplined person who gets the job done, and sometimes a hard charger but also shows that you do not always choose your battles wisely and may not always consider economic outcomes of the battle before engaging, passion over reasoning/logic. This also seems to be the case with your stance on abortion as I do not see you as fully considering the economic impacts to women who need abortions for whatever reason, often due to economics of raising a child to maturity while being abandoned by the father. The article seems to paint you as job hopping a bit but I considered that to be the nature of the beast in political consulting. The article seems to portray you as a moral person that is financially responsible but with one or more incidents where you may have used unwise and possibly unethical methods (again, your call) to herd the financial offenders into conformance, again, without properly weighing the outcomes before engaging in the battle. In the USN, sinking a ship is never an option to opposing a rogue captain, and we don’t write letters to the Captain’s admiral without expecting significant consequences. LOL . Shipwrecks make for a very bad day. Same is true in online discussion relationships on PBP. PBP is a blog where free expression and discussion should be invited without hurling insult or any coercive herding into conformance to one persons ideology or point of view – but maybe I have the wrong view of PBP. In this regard of free discussion, and as shown in the article, it appears that the proper etiquette and maybe a better term, statesmanship, struggles to take center stage in your manner of discussion which can be a sign of rigid thinking. Between the article and PBP there seems to be a thread of low regard for statemanship with those that do not agree with your point of view. By the same token, there was a very obvious thread of financial responsibility and adherence to rules throughout. The article clearly showed that you have above average skills to strategize such as when you got three important but diverse people to all be on the same team and you described your day as being good because “you got all three”. This same skill is very transferable to the abortion discussion and my thought of changing the discussion from pro-life vs. pro-choice to successful pregnancy outcomes for all pregnant women. You obviously enlarged the discussions and found common ground plus incentives to get all three diverse men on the same tree. Same can be true of the abortion issue. I liked the mention of moving to Michigan and the big house with lots of rooms that you shared with others less fortunate. I found the poop bag story to be entertaining and found it great that while the business effort may have failed, the relationship seemed to stay intact. Now every time I walk in the park and pass one of those bag stations I will think of you. All in all, I thought it was a great article and a pleasure getting to know your background better.

          You and I have much in common Larry, even though we are in different generations with different lenses. We both have middle class backgrounds. We were both raised Roman Catholic, went to Catholic school, and we both questioned it quite a bit. And I do know quite a bit how that RC influence lingers and affects our lenses as we go through life. We both transferred out of Catholic school in 8th grade. By the way, did I tell you I was an alter boy and knew the whole sacred mass in Latin? We both appear to have had similar parenting with your parents and mine being close generational y speaking. We both are college educated. We both worked in the AT&T Bell System with you on the service provider RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Companies) side and me in Western Electric on the manufacturing side of your equipment. My father also worked for WE. We both are familiar with the IBM mentality and dress code that the article mentioned was expected of us. We were both management. We both married and raised children that we did not sire. We both would like to make abortions a thing of the past as much as we can, its just that you wish to do it more legally while I am more of a middle grounder wanting legal limits with social program reform for a range of successful solutions for all women. And I am willing to raise taxes and agree to sensible limits to get there. We both have more than one marriage. And while I was in the military, you also served our government by running for government which in my view is always a worthy endeavor. We both aspire to keep relevant and engaged. And having raised our families we both are now Medicare and Social Security recipients.

          What you are seeing with Frank and I is merely free discussion, not a partnership of any sort to analyze you or oppose you. We may be right, we may be wrong, we may agree or disagree, but we do not insult each other. Its simply healthy discussion about understanding you. I do read both your posts and Franks. I have witness the voracity of insults flying both ways. You both have much different lenses with which you view the world, and are strong in your opinions and wishing to convert the other. I do not think any one lens is better than the other, all are valid even if not equal in content or context. I think we all have added value to each other’s thoughts on occasion. Both of you are most powerful when you discuss facts and views without emotion or names – the old “Dragnet” approach. I think it is a shame if people do not read both of your blogs and responses. As for me, I have found great value in seeing both sides of the same topic. We may not always agree but I am deeply committed to understanding yours and Frank’s views in a sincere and statesmanlike fashion free of insults, full of questions and suggestion.

          I have been unable to find your two responses to my question. I would greatly appreciate it if you would be so kind as to post them as a response here.

          I hope you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Larry!

          • frank stetson

            OH GOD —- ok, tom, now you fessed up….. I was not going to but ….. AT&T, Lucent, Avaya, after a decades consulting career with basically everyone. That’s how I got to Japan. I became a walking encyclopedia of phones getting picked up by AT&T as the “last man in” post deregulation as a competitive specialist charged with pricing the entire business line, competitively, and then a short stint with the lawyers on an international dumping case, and then trading up to product management where I managed mostly new product creation, development, and introduction. A little lifecycle and even EOL management but mostly new. I am pretty sure I have introduced more products than anyone there, but small business is like that. Basically, my forte was to take the hill no one could or wanted to take so they called on me. That’s why so many products, mostly new introductions.

            My goal was to manage P&L so I could be responsible for my own success or demise. It was like being a big business inside of a bigger business and every two years I got a new job. Priceless to me. I owned the Bell Labs budget which is like holding a tiger by the tail which is why I am pretty precise, sourced, and supported in most of what I type. Everyone else, like you factory guys, I had to “convince.” Thus, I have been trained to get under your skin if conflict in the debate. And while I usually play fair, I am a tough player. And a survivor for almost three decades until that darned VP took three years to finish me off. Such is life. Twas my fault, I got tired of “training” these whipper snappers. MY bad.

            We may have met although the Ill. plant closed before I could get there. Spent much time in Chicago, even brought my teams to the airport for meetings because location, location…..

            First day I almost corrected Alec Finer, father of Dimension, on ROLM, but wisely (more like chickenshittly) held my tongue Zydney, father of Merlin, was a close business friend.

            Scary huh, but now you know what brought me back to NJ.

            So Tom, in the spirt of the corporation: “I’m Frank from headquarters, product mangler to the stars and I’m here to help, whatttttya need, I feel your pain, let me get back to you on that.” :>)

            And Horist generalizes too much while specifying little.

  3. frank stetson

    I most certainly posted it correctly. Just did it again, and it would not take.

    This thread wouldn’t take it either, but when I posted the first half —– well, there it is.

    I can’t speak to what you are seeing, but I am accurate as to what I see, and saw, it seems

    let me check the second half, it had links….. maybe I forgot the ***

  4. frank stetson

    I come here to talk issues, knowing full well there will be conflict. I would rather avoid the name calling and all the other stupid stuff folks do here and focus on issues and the facts behind them. I only ask that as the best writer here, you do the same. Let’s grow. Grow up. In this case, you did it. I did not misinterpret it, and Tom did not either. Admit it. Apologize and we can move on.
    Meanwhile my facts in answer to your question:
    Reagan — second class job because, because, because of the wonderful things he does, such as (like that WoO plug?):
    Jobs — second rate to Clinton
    GDP growth — second rate to Clinton
    Annualized GDP rate: about the same as Carter’s
    Annualized Job Growth rate: about the same as Carter’s
    Poverty Rate: about the same as Carter’s
    Inflation — dropped and then increased for final three-year hand-off to Bush along with huge debt factor, and rising.

    • Tom

      Yes you are correct Frank. I am pretty good on computers and kept track of my steps in the posts that did not appear. You should not have been called paranoid. I understand your agitation having been there as well. Frustrated or agitated might be more like what I felt. Paranoid would seem to suggest mental problems – and we already know that if you do not agree with the insults being hurled at you, according to previous posts, the thrower is not the problem, it is the person being thrown at that has a mental issue! Ans so the thrower is never the problem, which to me seems a bit like meeting the very definition of narcissism. We all make mistakes and occasionally jump to erroneous conclusions. Only someone with a touch of narcissism never admits to error and doubles down when told they made an error. Narcissists never appologize because it would be admitting they were wrong – and a narcissists always view themselves as correct.

      By the way Frank, I also noticed if I do not complete the blocks below the comment or complete them wrongly, this will yield a message that directs you to go back to the post to complete the blocks. If you hit your back button you will lose the post which is why I always copy the post before submitting the comments. You must use the back button on PBP screen which is a little link, hard to see but it is there at the lower left of the message.

      Reagan did an interesting thing: There were two interesting measures used back then, one was the CPI and the other was something called the Misery Index. What Reagan did to make himself look good was that he took a couple key determinants out of the indexes, specifically, 1) cost of housing, 2) cost of energy. This lowered the indexes and made him look good but did not do anything to solve the problem – which is why Bush inherited the mess.

      • frank stetson

        With the folks I worked with, and what I did, I got to be pretty good at the beta test, and the audit trail. I admit, I am relaxed here, as is my spelling and grammar, especially when thumbing it is awful. Lucky, at my age, my eyesight protects me :>) from noticing all.

        It’s pretty funny that my BS is in Journalism. However, I bagged the hard news and focused on PR writing which, in terms of my first white collar job post construction, was more like PR journalism or evaluating manufacturer product announcement for competitive strategies. Life is a funny duck.

        BUT — if I was writing this stuff, as in work, I would be 100% spot on: facts, figures, spelling and grammar. But let’s face it, free speech only goes so far :>) Even for extremists. I mean they call it PBP, I’m the biggest bag to be punched around here (keep trying Mike), but can I author —-NOOOOOOOO. That would be a free speech bridge that’s too far.

        I am thankful for that, although did not included it in the xgiving dinner speeches, and enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere of the poster troll.

        • Tom

          Yes you have become a bit of a punching bag for hard right thinkers. Part of it may be due to your style in that ocassionally you do hurl a few personally oriented zingers. The other part may be simply your truth does not sit well with them and causes them to expand their view which is inherently myopic and only encompasses their truth, and not the damage their truth does to people. So it would appear that you have been bucketed as a crustacean. However, if a nuke were to be dropped on us today, it is the crustaceans that would survive. Most vertebrates cannot withstand the blasts!

          I would humbly suggest two changes for consideration: 1) Rename PBP to CAV for Crustaceans and Vertibrates. 2) How does Lobster Frank sound? :>) Or maybe shorted it to The Claw. Or maybe just Crusty Frank. Not trying to be offensive, I am merely suggesting you enjoy the bucket he has put you into and will never get out of. Nobody that I read on PBP has gotten into his head more than you. He may even have a Frank Stetson voodoo doll. :>)

          Bottom line is that I think Larry has difficulty figuring out and handling anyone that does not fit into his 1940’s to 1960 criteria. He struggles to stay in this world and stay relevant because so many things have changed since those eras when he was renowned. This is why he wrote the article “Tough to be a Pro-lifer”. He really should have written the article as self reflective and labeled it, “Tough to be Larry Horist”, which most likely would have been more accurate. Nevertheless, I do enjoy his posts and your responses in that they do cause me to reflect on my views and create a view more balanced and compassionate.

          • frank stetson

            Tom, insightful again from our resident engineering psychiatrist :>) Most often, my name calling is in response when I slip a gear and fire away. When in Rome et al. But yes, I have this way about me, my father was better, to be able to have folks get really upset. He never swore or name called ever but could twist you in knots — all above board and legal debate tactics.

            I only do it when the other side, and not just politics, does not play by the rules. While not an engineer, I come from an engineering world working with the worlds’ best. I pretty much know it’s factual before I say it. Folks here, not so much. Horist is better, but certainly just wings it a lot. And he hates being tagged. You do play by the rules and I doubt you have often felt that pain under your skin that he has. Even though we have gone at it over abortion and non-hetero issues. The difference is I see change in both of us from the discussions and feel very little pain under my skin in dealing with you.

            I hope for growth but I doubt that he will admit his wedgie mistake. Wonder how he feels about purple nurples?

          • Tom

            Most likely he will not respond to either wedgie or purple nurple discussions. He is a political animal and will not respond to anything that might bring out hypocrisy in his thought patterns or “make him not look good”. Have you ever noticed (recent GOP debates) that when a politician does not have a good answer, they deflect and give an answer that is totally meaningless to the question. He tried this with me when on the abortion issue when I asked him a question he said, “I would rather ask you a question.”. He also knows a little secret of communication where it has often been said that “Whomever is asking the questions is the one controlling the conversation.” That is why I responded back that I would happily answer his question after he answers my question, and then I restated my question. I was seizing back the control. He never answered my question – flight instead of answering. In the article you can see several times where he chose flight.

            The fundamental difference between Larry and you/me is that Larry is from a generation before our generation. They listened to their parents, did what they were told without question, life had a more ridged order, sharper sense of right and wrong (justice over mercy) with few exceptions and very little root cause analysis, punishment over rehabilitation, sayings like “boys don’t cry” and “children are to be seen, not heard”, strict conformance to the law and societal norms and morality, very low unemployment, power politics was king, well defined gender roles, and they moved through the systems and institutions with ease in a very black and white/ right and wrong world full of scripted responses and very few shades of grey. Their parents were known as “the silent generation” because they never opposed authority nor displayed thinking out of the box. Their parents won WWII and learned the art of power projection. Their parents initially were very in favor of sending our generation to Vietnam.

            By contrast, you and I were born in the middle third of the 18 years (1946 – 1964) known as the baby boom. Those in the older third are much like Larry and did well. Those of us in the middle third experienced a world with much change and tearing down of societal norms. We learned to question institutions and their ingrained thought patterns. We did not listen to our parents as much and did question them and everything. We were more confrontational. Mercy and rehabilitation began to creep into our thoughts as we asked “why” and saw our institutions and leaders as part of the problem. Our sense of right and wrong was tempered with shades of grey in-between. Our lives did not have quite as much ridged order. Gender roles became more murky as more women entered the workforce and demanded access to traditionally male jobs. Sexual revolution, new rock music, raised divorce rates, bra-less, experimentalism, existentialism, expressionism, transcendentalism, drugs, spirituality, breaking social barriers, case law over absolute law, psychotherapy become popularized, liberalism, independent thinking off-script, all became part of our total psyche. We ended Vietnam by protests, and focused more on quality of life and explored the shades of grey.

            So what we see here is the truth that every generations strives to be different from the previous generation. In so doing, we create a different set of lenses with which to view the world, geopolitics, government, society, and each other. And its the different lenses that give rise to the insult hurling and zingers. You feel less under the skin pain with me and we generally get along fine because our lenses are not really that much different, and our filters are truth and discussion. You and Larry will feel more pain with each other because your lens prescription is hyperopia (far sighted) while Larry’s prescription is myopia (near sighted) on many issues. Your filters are truth and discussion while Larry’s filters are conformity and conversion. But I see two good people that I learn much from. In the case of Larry, there are not many left from his generation. And those that are left, there are very few willing to put their thinking on display such as Larry does albeit sometimes awkwardly. When Larry insults you, it is his awkwardly confrontational way of disagreeing with you because he did not learn the tools that you and I learned.

            I hope you and Larry are having a great Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for both of you! :>)

          • larry Horist

            Tom … Wow! yet a nother long pseudo psychoanalysis of moi. I though this commentary was about the shutdown. So much for your and Frank’s claim to deal in the issues. BUT … as long as you guys prefer the personal analysis game, I see a couple of weak minded individuals who cling to each other for comfort and reinforcement — the bromance thing, Once again you are grossly wrong in your analysis of me … but then you guys have no interest facts and truth. You just make up crap about me as you go along. Between you obsessive interest in attacking me and all those you deem to be inferior, you guys serve as techie consults on running an online operation — another subject you express options based on ignorance. And you find this space useful to exchange long autobiographical exchanges. For you, this space is a kind of pen pal relationship. Maybe it is time to exchange phone numbers.

            From your writings, I have always considered you to be reasonably intelligent but overwhelmingly arrogant with a manifest sense of superiority. It comes out when you constantly refer to “we independents” as if it is a monolithic class and you are the personification. If polls are to be believed you do not even represent the majority of independent thinking.

            Another example of your arrogance and sense of superiority is your propensity to stereotype — the foundation of prejudice and intolerance. You do not describe me from knowledge of me, but from your belief that all people my age have common traits and opinions. That is arrogance trumping critical thinking. Your admiration for Frank’s childish insults … self-praised sarcasm … and the stupid comments he calls “jokes” … just proves that even fools have an audience. I see you both joined at the hip by a pathetic need for outside reinforcement to hold up fragile egos that thrive on external confirmation. Yes … crustaceans, if you will.

            You guys seem more interested in feeding each others needs than to participate in civil adult dialogue. Frank is a great case study for projection — attributing his own negatives attributes on others.

            I should note that you often refer to some “pain” that motivates me — or that you guys inflict on me. You really do not understand — and your diagnosis is again based on arrogance. Neither you nor Frank pain me in the least because I have no emotional investment in these exchanges. You guys are just not that important to me — something you cannot seem to grasp. I am not the victim of obsession. But I am fascinated — and flattered — how important I am to you and Frank on a daily. And honestly impress with the amount of time and words you — and even more so, frank — spend on PBP. It is so consuming that I cannot help but wonder how empty your lives might be without PBP to give you guys a sense of relevancy — overestimated as it may be.

            So, there ’tis. My response to all the psycho crap you are spewing. And, my honest opinion of you guys with a bit of admittedly pseudo psychoanalysis of my own — for which there will be no bill.

            P.S. Tom …I answered your question to more than one previous post. Check them out so you can then stop the bs.

  5. frank stetson

    The big one IMO that matters most is after 35 years post the WWII debt creation, the US had steadily dropped our GDP/debt ratio almost every year. Reagan solidly reversed that trend, began printing money again, and making it seem OK at the same time. That’s an economic sin in my book. It caused Bush to be alarmed and take action in his career-ending move that ushered in Clinton and a bigger, better, economy. Wish we had that level of patriotism today instead of the rush to retain the throne. And while Biden is pushing towards the right direct, he is falling way short of the mark on this too. Bush did the right thing, IMO, for the nation and the Republicans burned him at the stake for it, cemented the concept that rising debt, like Reagan, was OK. He did it because of stupid supply-side Reaganomics.
    Also, much of Reagan’s success was due to Volker’s success, a Carter pick, who tightened, the money supply that Reagan was abusing. It helped continue the trend Carter started, but never was credited for. Good for both.

    • Tom

      Some very good points you have there. I assume by Bush, you mean the “Read my lips, no new taxes.” GHWB, right?

  6. frank stetson

    But IMO, supply-side, massive tax cuts, stimulus, —- all similar that, like Heroin, they make you feel real good, real fast, and later you crash hard. Like Heroin, they have their place, but should seldom used, just for acute pain, a quick dose, and don’t get hooked. We seemed hooked today. Bidenomics and Clintonomics before this, IMO, a much better long-term investment strategy where paybacks for Federal investments in infrastructure, alternative energy, and even college loan repayments —- can pay off bigtime with real GDP growth someday in the future. The problem with this can be: if we survive that long and did we pick winners, will they pay off? Both policies have a place — yours — once in a blue moon. Mine — all long as you can afford it given you measure to try to make the best picks on what to invest in and either don’t miss or correct quickly. And therein lies the rub.
    Hope that helps. Would like to discuss more, name call less, balls in your court if you still have any.

  7. frank stetson

    Two sources: one a Carter comparison. Pbp wont accept the links
    And the second is just wiki, feel free to read the whole thing, but I focused on the analysis which allows all sides to be heard. Obviously, I picked more from my side because I don’t believe the other side, based on the results.
    Ditto on pbp link acceptance, even with ***
    What you got to refute on this, supported by facts and sources, besides name calling, wedgies, and hot air?

  8. frank stetson

    Mr. Horist — it seems to be the links, even when preceded, ending with * or other rubbish.

    so free speech extremism seems to end at the source now..l..

    • Tom

      Yes Frank, I have had on a few occasions to remove links in order to get the post. In my simple world I merely assumed that it would not accept links due to the site’s cyber security certificate being expired. But censorship would be another possibility. I liken to Spock on these issues and prefer to look at all of the possibilities. Sometimes when I removed the http: and www. nomenclature, it posted. Sometimes when a link would not post I simply told the reader what to google that worked for me. All in all, I think PBP could use some IT time and updates.

  9. frank stetson

    fyi: I just cut it up to find the problem and on this one it was the links. even when hidden by the * which used to work.

    other times on the Dempsey posts, it seems to be length. you know, size matters >)

  10. Tom

    Larry, your article says, “They are outspending the nation’s ability to pay with taxes, so we borrow. “. I agree with the truth of the statement. However, the only reason the nation does not currently have the ability to pay with taxes is because the GOP cut taxes too much. Trump’s tax cut cost your grandchild and my two grandchildren somewhere around $857B to national debt. Had we not had that tax cut the picture would not be quite as bad. You see Larry, there is a game being played inside the game. The GOP runs on lower taxes and then they do not worry about it, they just chalk it up to the national debt. And then blame the Dems for the spending.

    Best way to get out of this conundrum is to raise taxes a little, tax stock purchases and other market equity purchases just like we tax a product being sold at the local store, create a national “national debt lottery” where a portion of the proceeds goes directly to reduce debt, reduce the defense budget a little, raise the SSA tax about one percent, raise the medicare tax about one percent, and no new spending without old spending cuts and an impacts analysis focused on determining if new spending needs will add to debt or be covered by taxes.

    I am concerned, as Joe Manchin voiced some time ago, that our spending is such that we no longer can meet our commitments to our allies. We do need to get spending under control, and there are sensible ways to do this.

    So tell me Larry, after you rid the country of abortion, rid it of day after pill, rid it of abortion pill, rid us of free contraception, what is your plan for how we are going to fund all of those unwanted babies? IF you don’t raise taxes and restructure some of the social programs to focus more on the full range of what I call “successful pregnancy outcomes”, how do you plan to afford it all?

    And by the way again, you have not answered my questions on funding to support successful pregnancy outcomes, nor have you answered my post on why if you are so anti-abortion/ pro-life, you support the most liberal abortion state in the world that gives free abortions paid for by government for just about any reason under the sun, that would be the state of Israel. It would seem that you must actually be pro-choice if you support Israel just like you accused me of being in favor of Hitler’s genocide because I support abortion up to somewhere between 16-20 weeks. In my own personal life I would never want a pregnancy I am involved in to be aborted but when voting I sometimes lay aside my personal convictions and see what would do the country, and women the most good for their lives. I am in favor of a tax hike and system reformation so that within ten years, abortions can become a thing of the past except in extreme circumstances. What say you Larry????

    • larry Horist

      Tom ….. Since you could not find my previous answers. I do support both private sector and government programs to address both the maternity and the babies that result from banning abortion-on-demand. Jerry Falwell often said that it is irresponsible to oppose abortion with out addressing the needs of the mothers and the new borns. That is why he set up a large adoption program as part of his ministry. My plan would also reform the current adoption/foster systems.

      • Tom

        Thank you for your answer Larry. I agree with the late Mr. Falwell. He was a pretty good egg as I recall. And I do agree that the current adoption program is in serious need for reform. I also think child support should start at conception if the male participant in the conception does not wish to support the baby mother voluntarily. I am also for a simple process that requires DNA testing in cases where the father does not agree, i.e. Hunter Biden is the star case but far from the only case. I am also in favor of making provisions in the tax code for a double federal and state tax credit for money sent to a state child support institute or a orphanage home to help the mothers in need and children without parents. I think we can provide incentives that will make it attractive to contribute to legitimate agencies with up to snuff book keeping. I also am in favor of rolling back the Trump tax cuts. I am also in favor of taxing stock EFT purchases one dollar per purchase. There is much work we can do as a society to help mothers have a successful pregnancy outcome. I bet you and I could co-author a great article on this!

        By the way, my father was raised in an orphanage called Ambler Home for Children in PA. Back in the early 1900’s abortion among Catholics was rare. His mother had eight children that lived and four that died. They lost the farm during the Great Depression. They were broke from it. Dad wound up in the orphanage, a ward of the Catholic Church. The nuns were great. He did great. He credits his big opportunity as being WWII.

        I am curious, were you aware that Israel was one of the most liberal abortion states in the world? I wasn’t until I read the Israeli government website a few years ago. I was under the impression that “God’s people” would be against divorce. I was wrong.

        • Tom

          Larry, in case you are curious about abortion in Israel, see their government website at *https://www.gov.il/en/service/pregnancy-termination-permission* Almost anyone can qualify for an abortion there. It honestly shocked me.

  11. Robin W Boyd

    The only reason government should ever have to shut down is because those in government have mis-spent and/or mishandled our tax dollars. If a government shut down is even thought of, it means we need to reduce government spending and get rid of government workers who have caused the problems.

    • Tom

      I agree Robin. The thought of a shutdown or an actual shutdown is a sign of a deeper problem that we must correct. What shocks me is that 1) this threat of shutdown has happened many times over many years, 2) that both parties are willing to overspend (tax cuts to me are a means to overspending as Larry points out that our tax revenues are not enough to pay the bill without borrowing) as a means of garnering votes. Term limits combined with balanced budget is one solution. Either we reduce spending or we increase revenues, both will work. I can’t lay this on just government workers because 1) I know many good government workers who are very fiscally responsible in their jobs; 2) We voted for the folks who do the overspending and over-tax-cutting.