Monday, February 14, 2011

Calling Mitch Daniels

There has been some excellent commentary today regarding the new budget proposals.


Andrew Sullivan:
But the core challenge of this time is not the cost of discretionary spending. Obama knows this; everyone knows this. The crisis is the cost of future entitlements and defense, about which Obama proposes nothing. Yes, there's some blather. But Obama will not risk in any way any vulnerability on taxes to his right or entitlement spending to his left. He convened a deficit commission in order to throw it in the trash. If I were Alan Simpson or Erskine Bowles, I'd feel duped. And they were duped. All of us who took Obama's pitch as fiscally responsible were duped.


To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you're fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama's cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America's fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.
Bruce Bartlett:
The point is not that there are no government programs worthy of cutting, but rather that this is a really stupid way to do it. The vast bulk of government spending, which goes to mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare, is completely exempted. And Republicans have effectively exempted the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs from cuts. This leaves only 16 percent of the budget from which they will extract their pound of flesh to satisfy voters who demand huge budget cuts but also oppose cutting just about any program except foreign aid.
Ezra Klein:
Well, the business of the American government is insurance. Literally. If you look at how the federal government spends our money, it’s an insurance conglomerate protected by a large, standing army.

But you wouldn’t know it to listen to the debate over the budget. When House Republicans talk about cutting spending and the Obama administration talks about freezing spending, neither group is talking about the vast expanse of the government’s commitments. They’re looking at a small corner of the budget, the 12.3 percent known as non-defense discretionary spending. The stuff that’s not Medicare, not Medicaid, not Social Security or the military. It’s the odds-and-ends, so to speak. 


Cutting government spending is a grim and unpopular business, at least when you get specific about it. A Pew poll released last week asked Americans whether they’d like to increase or decrease spending in 13 areas. In all but two, Americans wanted to see spending go up, not down. And those two -- unemployment insurance and foreign aid -- are mere rounding errors in the budget. It’s like dieting by swearing off canapes: It’s something, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy smaller pants.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans, Democrats, and the Tea Party have very little desire to cut government spending. The areas that they want to cut are insignificant and such cuts would be harmful to the productivity of the government. The areas they don't want to cut are significant and growing.

I am beginning to think perhaps the Republican Party should take a look at Mitch Daniels.

Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist.


Right Wingnut said...

Bring on Daniels! The more the merrier....

Right Wingnut said...

Just as I suspected when I read your post. Frum is now pushing Daniels.

Mark Levin: I can't vote for Mitch Daniels.

Dave said...

Daniels would make a good president, but he wouldn't cut the budget or taxes nearly as much as Romney would. His record on tax and budget cuts also isn't as strong as Pawlenty's or Huntsman's is.

So, by all means, look at Daniels.....but do so by comparing his record with the other candidates. He only looks REALLY good when you compare it with that of Palin, Huckabee, and Barbour.

Pablo said...

"Just as I suspected when I read your post. Frum is now pushing Daniels."

While I read the Frum Forum on a daily basis a long with a number of other sites, I have not seen this one. He must have posted this last night.

Pablo said...

So Levin doesn't like Daniels. That is all the more reason why I am beginning to like him. Thanks for the link RW.

"but he wouldn't cut the budget or taxes nearly as much as Romney would"

Taxes maybe not. Budget yes. That was the point of this post. Has Romney passionately argued that we need to cut that huge orange section above in the federal budget? Not really. Daniels did it at CPAC.

Cutting non-defense discretionary funding is NOT CUTTING THE DEFICIT!

Anonymous said...

Pablo, will you be one more Romney ex-patriot who believes that Daniels is the real deal?

There seem to be more and more of us. I know that there are a couple of second page commenters at Race who were once strong Romney guys who now prefer Daniels.


Anonymous said...

Pablo, another area in which Romney has really turned me off is his unwillingness to reduce defense spending by any significant amount. I really, honestly, do not believe that Romney has the guts to enact any serious spending cuts in any areas. Romney would only be better than Obama in that he wouldn't grow the debt as fast as Obama has.


Anonymous said...

By the way, that pie chart says it all.


hamaca said...

I like Daniels, too. But, pardon the analogy, he's like a new girlfriend--can't do anything wrong at first, have only seen her good side, infatuation.

After time, little things start to creep out that you didn't know before. At first, you ignore it--must just be a one time thing, no big deal.

But then, certain things become irritating--Clingy? Bossy? Belches too much? Whines? After a while, you wonder what you saw in her in the first place, now that you know her better.

(Disclaimer: of course, the same analogy can be made regarding new boyfriends)

I'm convinced that once we get to know the second tier candidates better, those who can make the jump to the first tier, they won't be all that.

Happy to be proven wrong, though.

hamaca said...

I'd like to see similar pie charts for other countries, especially Germany, U.K., China, Russia, France.

And then there are countries that might need a "bribes" category.

Anonymous said...


Huntsman's only complaint about Obama's $787 billion stimulus package was that it wasn't big enough. And you think he will cut the Federal budget? Not a chance.

He also grew the Utah budget by record percentages while governor of Utah.


Anonymous said...


Daniels was Bush's OMB director, and I have already seen people on the internet criticizing him for that. He supports ethanol subsidies. He got his tole roads deal in IN which is apparently working for revenue, but I really hate tole roads and am loathe to see them anywhere. Daniels recently advocated a VAT and higher tariffs on foreign oil. I think that both of those are terrible ideas. He had tiff with the socons not too long ago when he called for that truce.

I still think that he is highly preferable to the big three.

I am less excited about Pawlenty, but also prefer him to the big three. I could list things wrong with him, but he's not my number one, so I don't want to spend the energy on it.