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The shut down was never to happen did not … again

Some movies have surprise endings.  But if you are surprised every time you see the movie, you are the dummy in the room.  Did anyone really believe that the government was going to shut down?  The only question was what would be the terms that would avoid the shutdown at the last moment.

So, what did we get?

Basically, we got what is called a Continuing Resolution that was described as a “clean bill.”  That means there was nothing but the basics – nothing controversial. It simply means that the government will carry forward without resolving major issues or doing anything to address the spending … borrowing … deficit … National Debt … problem.  The Congress and the White House have simply agreed to continue the reckless and irresponsible spending for another 45 days – when we will face a so-called crisis again. 

What is just as notable is what we did not get.

There is no funding in this measure for the defense of Ukraine and for securing the Am-Mex border.  Ponder that for a moment.  Two of the most existential crises impacting on the United States are Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the record number of folks crossing our southern border illegally.  And what we get is a bipartisan deal to … ignore them.

The fact that Republicans and Democrats in Washington did not address these issues is evidence of dysfunction – putting insider political posturing ahead of the real issues.  Keep in mind that these folks in Washington are the progeny of past legislators who abandoned the traditional and rational budgeting process more than 25 years ago.  Rather than debate a real budget, our leaders have maintained the procedure to avoid debating a budget.  It has been nothing but Continuing Resolutions and Omnibus Bills.

There will be funding for Ukraine in future legislations.  Less certain is funding for border security.  That is because supporting Ukraine has broad bipartisan support in Congress – despite a few loud voices on the left and louder voices on the right.  But so far, Democrats have been united in their disinterest in dealing with the throngs crossing the border every day.

This 45-day extension is a loss for fiscal responsibility because it does not address the cancer of out-of-control spending.  Spending is the political opiate of the ruling establishment in Washington.  And like all addictions, there will be no happy ending unless they can shake the habit.

More specifically …  let us look at the key players and their respective roles.  Who were the responsible folks and who were the business-as-usual characters. 

Among those who failed to bring about sane and responsible action is, of course, Speaker McCarthy.  I have previously written my opinion that he is ineffective at best – and a disaster at worst.  He is neither a good strategist nor a good salesman.  His main weakness is flipping and flopping like a flounder on the deck.  He seems to be a guy who agrees with the last person he talked to – or is it that he just tells everyone what he thinks they want to hear?  In either case, it is a weakness of leadership in a place and situation where leadership is a Number One required skill.

But do not focus only on McCarthy.  Failure of responsible leadership is endemic in Washington. 

Democrats get their share of the blame.  We would not be facing these sorts of crises if they were not the party of tax-and-spend.  They have been the architects of big … no, huge… government spending since the days of Franklin Roosevelt.  They have never seen a cutback that they liked.  President Biden is the reincarnation of the Roosevelt government expansion philosophy – philosophy that has been politically beneficial for Democrats, but not for the taxpayers or the American people.

Republican establishmentarians have done their part of kicking the budgeting can down the road – and succumbed to the charms of excessive spending.  The Trump years added $7 trillion to the National Debt with the enthusiastic support of Democrats. That has to be viewed in terms of the impact of the Covid Pandemic on federal income and perceived spending needs.  Regardless, it was an orgy of spending that went beyond real needs.

So rather than participate in the legislative process, Democrats literally stayed on the sidelines as spectators as Republicans grappled with the issue of funding week after week.  They finally joined in the last-minute CR bill that prevented a government shutdown – but only so long as it maintained the excessive spending levels.

Then there was the contingent of naysayers led by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.  He became the face of the disrupters – and gained more derision than praise from all sides.  The group that opposed the CR process and much of the budget, itself, was subjected to weeks of winnowing criticism from Democrats, fellow Republicans and the leftwing media.

Lost in the torrent of criticism was the reason for their obstinance.  Their goals were twofold.  They wanted a restoration of the traditional budgeting process – one in which we the people can follow our elected representatives debating line-item issues.  Creating a real budget prior to the end of the fiscal year avoiding the threat of shutdowns – as Congress is supposed to do – has not happened since 1996.

The problem with the stopgap CRs and Omnibus bills is that they abandon any proposals to cut federal spending with a promise to deal with that after they resolve the immediate crisis.  Of course, once the threat of a shutdown is ended, they never follow-up with legislation to address the deficit spending … the borrowing … and the burgeoning National Debt.  The Gaetz crew were saying “enough is enough.”

The second purpose behind Gaetz & Company was to really really cut spending – to address the problem for real.  That is about as popular in Washington these days as is the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

I would be remiss if I did not include the corruptive role of the news media.  They politicized the lead-up to the shutdown resolution with their usual leftwing bias – and at the same time used sensationalized fearmonger to promote public anxiety.  Surely, they knew that an actual shutdown was unlikely – and even if there was a short one, very little of the predicted Draconian outcomes would have transpired.  It was just another example of Democrat strategist Rahm Emmanuel’s infamous admonition to “never let a crisis go to waste” when it can be spun to political advantage.  We saw the same concocted cliffhanger with the federal bill payment controversy just a few months ago.

The media was quick and eager to hype and spin the situation and blame one political party for a dysfunction in Washington that has been a bipartisan failure for decades. 

The entire situation reminds me of the annual “Peanuts” cartoon in which Lucy promises to let Charlie Brown kick the football only to snatch it away at the last moment – and poor Charlie lands on his butt every time.  In that analogy Lucy’s endless promises represent the Washington bi partisan establishment and Charlie is we the people.  We just landed on our butts again.  Will it ever end?

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.

20 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    Horist spews the company line once again: “Democrats get their share of the blame. We would not be facing these sorts of crises if they were not the party of tax-and-spend.” BUSTED

    IF the Democrats are “tax and spend,” the Republicans are the “tax less but spend more” party. And Horist misses this fact amongst others pinpointing his party-line lie.

    “In nominal dollars, since World War II, just over 60% of the growth in the debt took place under Republican presidents, and about 40% under Democratic presidents.”
    *https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/2021/09/28/fact-check-democrats-blame-expanding-national-debt/5891161001/*
    There are dozens of citations to this.

    Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush own the largest deficits in US history. The thing is, Trump did it in four years…. Investopedia lists them all.

    But if we measure based on what they did compared to the last guy while they were there: FDR and Wilson increased the debt by close to 800% each. Then Reagan at 160%, GWBush at 73%, Obama at 64% , GHWBush at 42%, Nixon at 34% and then Trump at 33%. Remember, the later in time the President, the larger the debt denominator. And Trump did his in 4 years. Notably, the Republicans lead the debt award list from almost every statistical vantage point. Horist worked for two of them, even pitching Reagan’s massive tax cut and ten spend even more fiasco economy that doomed GHW Bush’s reign letting Clinton come to power to clean up the Republican mess.

    This is not to say that Democrats are without fault on spending and debt. We may have added less, but we added too much. But Democrats are not the major part; Republicans are. This is not to say Republican goals to cut costs are not laudatory, IMO. But to hide the truth about budgeting, spending, deficits, and debt is not the way to fix it. We are in this together, we do not win by blaming each other.

    This budget crisis was manufactured by Republicans for nothing but press, and I disagree as to the Horist-named culprits adding in that it was the Democrats that got the bill through to save McCarthy’s ass AFTER team McCarthy compromised on a number of issues, as did the Democrats. Can you say Ukraine? Many Republicans are tired of funding Ukraine. Law and order, America first, does not apply to Putin anymore.

    Frankly, and only I can be Frank here, McCarthy should round up a half dozen or more Republican like-minded buddies, then talk to Jeffries (who can control his House) about coming on board, and then put one or more of these obstructing-fox-seeking-dumbshit-wannabee-legislators-soontobe fox commentator Representatives in either the penalty box or out on the street at the next opportunity they open their souths and give a legitimate opportunity. Actions have consequences, these schmucks should face a career limiting move for these assaults on the House Speaker.

    • Tom

      Frank, I agree with you. Larry seems to be living a little in the past, at least one foot in it like Biden. That tax and spend slogan became popular under Reagan. But my investigation seems to show the same thing, that GOP has contributed more to national debt. In one post I also posted similar stats directly from the website. As a matter of fact, Larry’s gal Nikki stated in one of the debates that Dems had about 2 billion of pork in the budget while GOP had around 6 billion of pork funding in the budget.

      I agree, lets not hide it lets work together. Dems and GOP both own it, and we all benefited from it somehow, even you and me. Lets let Independents lead the way in cleaning it up! Most of us are moderates and a good bridge to success in this area.

      Yes I think abortion and Ukraine are going to be two stumbling blocks for the GOP. For Dems it will be the border and inflation and Reagan’s famous question, “Are you better off now than four years ago?”. At the polls these could all end up being cancelling penalties and Independents will once again be faced with a dilemma with who to vote for. This is why we pray for a third solution, some moderate who can get both sides to talk.

      Your closing paragraph is great. I know you can only be Frank because you are Frank. You are a Stetson among a pool of ball caps! I agree, attacks on a speaker should come with consequences no different than if a manager attacks his CEO in industry. Larry needs to stop trying to make this potential sex offender Gaetz into some sort of patriotic hero. I did not understand your comment when you said, “…out on the street at the next opportunity they open their souths …”. Is this a typo? Or are you saying that there is a similarity between Gaetz’es mouth and the South that I live in? 🙂

      If you are a NYG fan, sorry to have seen their thrashing on national tv last night. I think they are better than they showed and their defense was good to hold the Seahawks. NYG needed their offensive line to show up.

      • frank stetson

        mouths, not south….. You can be pretty sure that on AOC’s first day, Pelosi stopped by and said “if you continue, there will be pain” and if that was not enough she detailed the pain. They knew Pelosi and they muzzled themselves, mostly. That’s what McCarthy needs —- but in public —- a message, an example. Or he can continue to get kicked around begging for Democrats help.

        Nope, time growing up in DC — HS, undergrad, and first job(s) years, Commanders are my team even if I will probably only see one game live, preseason, and up here. Giants would be second choice, Commanders wannnabees, although probably Philli in honor of my family’s heritage there. Therefore, I have my own cross to bear, for decades now. Our mantra in the good years is: how will they screw it up.

        Fact is until the “Horists” of the world move on, we will forever just be politicking over the same bad facts but great tag lines.

        And yes, the “are you better off” question will be a killer. The problem with foundational investments is it takes awhile to see the building. And, I know, I know, it’s the simple way out, but team Biden’s messaging sucks. Always has.

        I mean he’s got the jobs — spit the freaking numbers out.

        he’s brought factories and high tech back —– hey, tell us about the close to 300b in chip plant with one in 23 and a bunch in 24. hey, tell us about the battery plants, over 100b so far, unfortunately only one maybe online, and only a few in 24 — they must take awhile. But this is good shit that people may not be seeing in their pockets right yet.

        he freakin harps on infrastructure more than telling beau stories, how about how many miles of roads, how many bridges, how many folks hired? Over 32,000 projects across 4,500 communities across the country with over 220b. we hired 5.000 federal guys just to manage this shit.

        to me, rebuilding america is a much bigger, better, deal, than a few tax cut bucks in my back pocket. but you can see where, unless you are working in one of those places, you may not see the benefits yet.

        when the crime bill of 94 passed, everyone said, hope it works, the cities suck. it put 100,000 cops on the street. in 1990, there were over 2,100 murders in nyc. a lot of people, not me, stopped going. the walk from port authority to times square was a slalom course between needles, bottles, druggies, and drunks with the scent of urine in the air. by 2000, around 670. people returned the the city, businesses invested, and a fine time was had by all. infrastructure investment works but it takes time.

        biden knows this and should be telling people with facts, not just flowery visionary statements. that’s the other team’s strength.

  2. Tom

    Larry the cartoon was great, I really liked it. It displays why I am not a member of either party.

    Now that comment that Dems are the party of tax and spend? That seems to be a Reagan saying that is no longer true. Trump and his GOP administration owns 25% of the national debt, and they accomplished this in four years! And instead of being balanced which “tax and spend” purports, what Trump did was cut taxes, give to corporations and rich, and pass the bill to national debt for our children to pay. And here I thought GOP and GOP leaning people were for the children, and wanted to save as many of them as possible which I think is noble. But then they want to save them for what? To shackle them with debt before they are potty trained? Oh and by the way, that lady candidate you so admire, Nikki Haley, does not agree with you based on her answer in the first debate where she said that the GOP now owns the reckless spender mantra. It seems to me that if you are on the wrong side on Nikki and me, (and Frank) you are simply on the wrong side of the issue. Period. But I do agree that both parties own the blame.

    Why shouldn’t Dems stay on the sidelines? Its GOP leadership that is supposed to lead and solve the problem. Dems staying on the sidelines appear to this Independent/unaffiliated voter as a failure of GOP leadership. So lets be fair and not blame Dems for a GOP breakdown in leadership and lack of incentives that get Dems to the negotiating table. They have constituents to answer to as well. I always see things as the party that holds the gavel owns the problems and outcomes – and I am not being anecdotal.

    I do not think Speaker McCarthy lost the two reasons for the obstinance. I think he weighed it carefully with the goal of keeping the government functioning. He has over 95% of his conference, and they did not want the government to shut down. So lets stop trying to make Gaetz, who is being investigated and is viewed by his GOP colleagues as an intellectual unprincipled asshole, to be some kind of hero. Gaetz wants interviews just like McCarthy said, and, he wants to overshadow the investigations ongoing in his sex abuse and other crimes case currently being investigated by the House. And this is not anecdotal, this is real Independent opinion. We do not like him either!

    As far as the media, you may have a point. But I did watch CBS Face the Nation and FOX News Sunday both this past weekend. They appeared to be about the same. And they both interviewed McCarthy in the past few Sundays, and they interviewed various Dems as well. For some reason, neither side interviewed Gaetz that I can recall. Maybe they do not view him as a hero either. Or maybe they just do not like interviewing intellectual assholes.

    You ask an excellent question, “Will it ever end?” My answer is yes, when more people become Independents and unaffiliated with the party and begin to affiliate with fiscal sanity and truth in government. We the people can solve this problem at the voting booth. But we need media, including you Larry, to be more balanced in their commentaries., and less allegiance to party. 🙂

    • larry Horist

      Tom … Since you and Frank have never had to deal directly with federal spending as I have — even testifying before Congress — I will overlook your misunderstanding. The Democrats are the big tax AND spend party. You have to take the two together. Republicans run bigger deficits because the Republicans tend not to tax as much — which is a problem in and of itself. But in terms of overall budgets, the Dems are the big spenders by far. We would not have the monster federal budget we have were it not for Dem “programs” that required massive spending AND taxing. And even they they outspend the revenues.

      I do not see Gaetz as a hero. Not sure why you would say that. I do not like the guy. But he is correct about the failure of Congress to properly budget and restrain spending. You think he is wrong on that issue? I think you are letting your personal animus cloud your thinking on the issue. And you know, I have never been a fan of McCarthy from day one.

      • frank stetson

        You have got to be kidding. Yeah, this one shows your talent for being a mouthpiece for Reganomics. What’s next you decreased the spending increase? Always loved that little gem from the Reagan/Bush era. Horist is not the only one accustomed to working with Federal numbers. Nor testifying. I also can claim the same for Wall Street and Main Street. But I won’t bore you with those details. When Horist and I did it, they were using an abacus for the accounting :>)

        The numbers are the numbers and Horist is just plain wrong on the numbers. Just saying it’s so because we took a tax cut does not change the numbers or the facts that Republicans spend more. It just says you were even more stupid to take such a large tax cut.

        “But in terms of overall budgets, the Dems are the big spenders by far.” BUSTED

        did you really think if the Republican deficits were larger, Republican debts are higher, that somehow Republican spending would be less? Just because you spew it. No links. No sources. Just the bullshit that you are more experienced so we better believe it.

        Well folks, here are the actual numbers showing Mr. Horist’s mistake as published by WIKI. Basically, budgets and spending just get larger. Only a few, yes Trump, Obama, and Biden, slight sliver of reduction years, like one per term. Note that 2022 under Biden is also rare decrease after the Trump record breaker 2021.

        2022 United States federal budget – $6.3 trillion (submitted 2021 by President Biden)
        2021 United States federal budget – $6.8 trillion (submitted 2020 by President Trump)
        2020 United States federal budget – $6.5 trillion (submitted 2019 by President Trump)
        2019 United States federal budget – $4.4 trillion (submitted 2018 by President Trump)
        2018 United States federal budget – $4.1 trillion (submitted 2017 by President Trump)
        2017 United States federal budget – $4.2 trillion (submitted 2016 by President Obama)
        2016 United States federal budget – $4.0 trillion (submitted 2015 by President Obama)
        2015 United States federal budget – $3.9 trillion (submitted 2014 by President Obama)
        2014 United States federal budget – $3.5 trillion (submitted 2013 by President Obama)
        2013 United States federal budget – $3.8 trillion (submitted 2012 by President Obama)
        2012 United States federal budget – $3.7 trillion (submitted 2011 by President Obama)
        2011 United States federal budget – $3.8 trillion (submitted 2010 by President Obama)
        2010 United States federal budget – $3.6 trillion (submitted 2009 by President Obama)
        2009 United States federal budget – $3.5 trillion (submitted 2008 by President Bush)
        2008 United States federal budget – $2.9 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)
        2007 United States federal budget – $2.8 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)
        2006 United States federal budget – $2.7 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)
        2005 United States federal budget – $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
        2004 United States federal budget – $2.3 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
        2003 United States federal budget – $2.2 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
        2002 United States federal budget – $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)
        2001 United States federal budget – $1.9 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)
        2000 United States federal budget – $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)
        1999 United States federal budget – $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)
        1998 United States federal budget – $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)
        1997 United States federal budget – $1.6 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)
        1996 United States federal budget – $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

        The budget year runs from October 1 to September 30 the following year and is submitted by the President to Congress prior to October for the following year. In this way the budget of 2013 is submitted before the end of September 2012. This means that the budget of 2001 was submitted by Bill Clinton and was in force during most of George W. Bush’s first year in office. The budget submitted by George W. Bush in his last year in office was the budget of 2009, which was in force through most of Barack Obama’s first year in office.

        The President’s budget also contains revenue and spending projections for the current fiscal year, the coming fiscal years, as well as several future fiscal years. In recent years, the President’s budget contained projections five years into the future. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issues a “Budget and Economic Outlook” each January and an analysis of the President’s budget each March. CBO also issues an updated budget and economic outlook in August.

        Actual budget data for prior years is available from the Congressional Budget Office.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … You sure know how to cherry pick information to misrepresent the overall picture. You need to look at SPENDING, not the President’s budget request. Except for the $6 trillion dollars spending in 2020 because of Covid, federal spending was running at around $4 trillion dollars. Under Biden/congressional Democrats, government spending soared to $5.4 trillion in 2021 -without a significant Covid cost — and a whopping $6.3 trillion in 2022. What they did in 2022 was totally irresponsible and it was a significant factor in the inflation Biden said would never happen. I have been a critic of Republican spending, but the Democrats still hold the title as the Tax and Spend party.

          Just because you and Mike f may be creatures of the past, you should not assume that I am not actively involved in matters of public policy to this day. Oh … wait! Now I get it. Duh! You guys are referring to your imaginary straw man Larry Horist playmate. Carry on. LOL

  3. Darren

    Wow, that is a lot said as the Biden Policies continue to destroy the Country!

    • Tom

      I agree that some of Biden’s policies seem to be detrimental to the country as a whole, and I would like to see them changed, especially border policy and policies contributing to inflation. Can you agree that Trump policies destroyed NATO unity, attacked United Nations, gave Putin and China encouragement, and lowered the opinion of the USA in the minds of many countries (according to PEW Research polls)?

      Its a matter of “pick your poison” which is pathetic for the greatest country that has ever existed on the Earth. Countries are easier to fix than the world. I hope you will join me in being an Independent and placing your allegiance in Truth and sound fiscal and social policy that gets people back to work and protects our most vulnerable segments of population.

      By the way, if you are planning on visiting the 2024 Olympics in Paris, be careful. Paris has a bed bug epidemic going on right now!

      • frank stetson

        Tom, not to worry; theirs’ speak French so seems elegant.

      • larry Horist

        Tom … What did Trump do to destroy NATO unity. He did not cut contributions … he supported the addition of another nation (and pissed off Putin) …. and got them to meet their financial obligations — which strengthened NATO. I know the leaders groused a lot about having to cough up more money, but I do not see there he did any real damage to the Alliance. The guy who best unified and promoted NATO was Putin. He even recruited Norway and Sweden. And unless Biden and NATO lose the war, Ukraine will enter NATO.
        I do feel some concern regarding what Trump would do re the war in Ukraine. Both Biden and Trump are too deferential to Putin. It was a natural reaction to his invasion.

        Trump had tougher polices on both China and Russia than Biden has had — although Trump’s cavalier language about them … and North Korea … was not helpful.

  4. mike f

    Larry, So smug to say that you knew the shutdown was not going to happen? So you knew that the Democrats would ride in and save the day by voting to support country over politics? Somehow I missed those words in the trash you wrote above. A deal was made in the spring that should have prevented this debacle-however Republicans decided that they did not need to adhere to that deal and could just do what they pleased. So, finally after much nail biting, McCarthy did the right thing and brought forward a CR that he thought Dems would approve. While the Dems were not totally satisfied with the CR (no funding for Ukraine), they were the adults in the room and decided it was best for the country not to shut down. In the BS you wrote, you attempt to blame Dems for this process going haywire, because they refuse to cut expenditures, and also refuse to do anything about the border. However, the border issue is not something that Dems can work with by themselves. There are laws that control access at the border (some of which Trump ignored), so in order to do something about the border, those laws need to change. Not in Biden’s control, not totally in the Democrats control. As for expenditures, I will go on record that at this point in time, there are few programs that have any fat in them. There have been serious cutbacks for the past 20 years due to the reduced taxes that have been collected and it is time for Republicans to wake up and realize that that all these tax cuts have done nothing for the economy, nor for the working man, and have increased the deficit. However, given the intellect of the average Republican, I doubt that is anything they will be able to comprehend. And now we go to the next 45 days, and try to figure out who will replace Kevin and get an actual budget passed? He was far from the sharpest tool in the shed (anyone who might be considered “sharp” would run from the job of Republican speaker), so we’ll just have to wait and see if Larry is so smug in mid-November….

    • larry Horist

      Mike f … I often say that no one worthless because they can always served as a bad example. You are the personification of my adage. You are childishly nasty in style and ignorant in substance. It is not arrogance to have a belief based on history and experience. Your one statement that there are “few programs that have any fat in them” clearly show that you are hopelessly ignorant. I cannot believe that even you would show such abominable ignorance by making such a statement. On the other hand, you do a service by putting your ignorance on full display so that people will not mistakenly take you serious.

      • Mike f

        Larry, As per usual, your ignorance is showing. You brag about “knowing” that the democrats are the tax and spend party-based on testifying to congress. Exactly when was that? I would be willing to bet that it was not this millennium. You base your thinking entirely on what you observed while working in the Nixon WH-times have changed since then-dramatically. The Republican Party is now supported by the dumbest people in the US, and their elected officials are proof of that. They do not work for the common good-but rather their “ideology” which is not supported by the silent majority. I stick by my statement that there is not a significant amount of fat in the budget-a small amount is required to pass any bill. However, the big problem that the US faces (and you are either too stupid or too stubborn to admit) is that taxes on the wealthy are too low. So there tis…

        • larry Horist

          Mike f …. the federal budget is filled with fat … waste … and unnecessary expenditures. I cannot believe you would double down on such stupidity. But it is only your manifest ignorance on the entire federal budget issues. You are a talking point in search of validity — with a propensity for childish insults. LOL

          • Mike f

            Larry, Coming from someone who throws slurs and insults like you do, your “take down” of me is laughable-sounds as ignorant as when you tried to paint me as anti-Semitic. Yes, there are lots of small things that Congress has put in bills, pork it would be called. However the significant part of the budget that runs up the bills is justified, and the reason we have problems with the debt is not because of these smaller budgetary expenditures-it is because Republicans have cut the taxes too much. I realize you you are too narrow minded to ever say this, or say that the democrats bailed out the country to prevent a shutdown-but that’s the difference between people like myself who view things objectively and partisan trolls like you..

          • frank stetson

            While I agree MF that the tax cuts, especially targeted as they were, raised our deficits and debt.

            But you know the problem is also beyond that. Yes, pork, earmarks, and bad bill are some.

            Yet the root cause is we don’t meet commitments, we don’t estimate conservatively, and we spend too much. So, we hack our way to a budget with CRs and omnibus where no one reads the bill, even in this august Republican House that promised a reading period and failed immediately. Then we say, oh no, we didn’t hit revenues and there was a hurricane, so we print so more money and go over the budget again.

            Meanwhile, while we have already mortgaged our future in investing in this, the whole thing hangs on whether other countries will invest in us. And it’s a huge iou we are asking them to buy some of expecting small, steady returns. They are small so if steady goes away, we will be in hard times.

            Things suggesting investments should go elsewhere might be the debt/gdp level which is 123% after Trump took it to close to 130%; the tipping point used to be considered 100%. Another is potential shutdowns — these tend to make investors nervous about the “steady.” US economy, strength of the dollar — all seen as good right now, or at least better than other places.

            We have been lucky so far, too lucky IMO, but it’s pretty obvious that a US recession could tip the scale unless the world is suffering the same fate.

            To bolster investment in the US, we need to lower debt, deficit, and spending while increasing tax revenues targeting the rich and business who have been getting a deal for years under Republican rule. Not to bad under Democratic rule either.

            If I were king, I would shut it down over not getting a budget completed and stop paying Congress,.
            Then, raising taxes in a targeted fashion, trimming fat, targeting tax cheats, and perhaps some draconian measures like balanced budget for x years or until debt/gdp reaches x, which ever comes first. A flat cut to all departments. Extra cuts for the BIG budget items: defense and education. Generally I hate flat cuts and believe we should use a financial scalpel for fiscal surgical cuts. But we are way beyond that. So, across the board cuts, balanced budget for x number of years, some pretty tough stuff.

            It took 35 years after WWII to bring us from over 100% debt/gdp to a reasonable place where Reagan began the process of increasing debt again. Even if we worked really hard at this, we are decades away from reaching that goal. I think we can be 35 years, but….. right now….. the whole enchilada hangs on whether foreigners are willing to invest in the US —– that’s a suck position to be in. And these fuckers in the House and Senate, either party, don’t seem to have a clue.

          • larry Horist

            Mike f ….. OMG You have my LMAO. You really do have a sense of humor. “people like myself who view things objectively” That has been your best laugh line ever. You have made my day.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson … We seem to have found an area of agreement. You raise a good point. I was remiss in not noting the habit of overestimating revenues and underestimating expenditures in budget projections. That is why actual spending is more important than budgeting. I tend to support most of those things you would do as king. I just think that spending is predominately a Democrat problem — but not without some complicity by Republicans. But I think the current GOP crowd is taking a harder line on spending while Biden is arguably the biggest spending President in American history.

  5. frank stetson

    Many years ago, about 2017, I tossed out of my lexicon the saying: “it could be worse.” Democrats should have heeded that.

    Now they took Pelosi’s and Hoyer’s offices in retribution over the votes. The path to partisan vendetta pettiness is paved only with bad intentions for the future.

    As terrible and weak as McCarthy was, the list of replacements looks worse.

    The House has always been more raucous but we are crossing many lines at a good clip.

    Expect the Republican revenge tour against the Democrat vote on McCarthy to continue.

    We have left the standard of waging the good fight replacing it with the standard of we’re going to get you back.

    Dems may have hated McCarthy, may enjoy the current chaos that is the Republican House, but they should have been careful with what they asked for.

    Enjoy the future.