Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Good Conservative/Bad Conservative, Cont'd

Let's try to depict this graphically.



Budget

This morning I tried to distinguish between serious conservatives and non-serious conservatives. Maybe this graph will help. Non-serious conservatives, like the ones who want to shut down the government, are currently arguing with the Obama administration about making marginal cuts to that section that says domestic discretionary. In contrast, serious conservatives, like Paul Ryan, are trying to have a discussion about the other 87.7% of the government. Ryan wants to tackle Medicare and Medicaid, which both fall in that yellow section.

Let me be clear. We do not have a spending problem in our domestic discretionary budget. No, the problem is not foreign aid. No, the problem is not TARP. No, the problem is not the debt ceiling. The real problem is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But people who voted in the non-serious conservatives don't want cuts in those items, even though they want to cut government spending. So what the non-serious candidates do instead is grandstand. They make a big show about how they are willing to shut down the government over their little, tiny cuts that they want in that tiny blue sliver of the pie. And then after they shut down the government, they can go back to their constituents and talk about how they stuck it to Washington. Meanwhile, moderates flee the Democrat Party and the deficit remains the same.

I am tired of the games. And apparently so is Paul Ryan. The government is not the problem. The problem is the social welfare state, built upon the faith that the population will never age. It has aged and so now we have a huge entitlement crisis. That yellow section is only going to get bigger in the next thirty years, until it completely consumes all federal revenue.

So some of you who said that I was just adopting "liberal talking points" need to take a cold, hard look at this graph.

33 comments:

Ellie said...

Pablo, many of us that are in the 45-55 age range have already made plans to work to our 70's. Were living longer, and if we take care of ourselves, we might even live longer. We also know we cannot rely on SSI as our parents might have done. Ryan is right that we need to do something about this. Shutting down the gov't to apease the far right nutters is not the answer. Getting the problem under control, is.
The graph should help, but don't count on it.
Ellie.

Right Wingnut said...

All of it needs to be cut, Pablo. All of it.

If they let the Dems roll over them now, good luck making any progress on Ryan's plan. This is not 1995. We weren't $14 Trillion in debt back then. The American people want action. The voters didn't send Republicans to congress in November to make nice with the Democrats. Shut it down.

John said...

Right Wingnut, I'm afraid this is 1995, listening to you. You are overinterpreting the Republican mandate. I think voters most of all are tired of idealists like Obama who got nothing to offer but pretty words. The solution is not to be just as idealistic as Obama. The Republicans in 1995 thought that the public would like the government to be shut down - they didn't! Not because they didn't want fiscal discipline, but because they don't appreciate gimmicks (which I know your prefered candidate Sarah Palin happens to love).

Right Wingnut said...

John, sorry, but I can't pay attention to your commentary anymore. You can't seem to make a point without injecting pettiness.

OhioJOE said...

John, you have jumped the sharks if you think this is all a cute gimmick. The American people want action. They are not interested in your guy making nice with Mrs. Obama and telling us what to eat.

OhioJOE said...

"But people who voted in the non-serious conservatives don't want cuts in those items" Oh, so you can read our minds now? This gets richer every day.

Pablo said...

"Oh, so you can read our minds now? This gets richer every day."

No, I can't OJ. But what I can do is read polls and they all look like this one.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145790/Americans-Oppose-Cuts-Education-Social-Security-Defense.aspx

Most Americans are against getting specific about reducing the deficit, despite the fact that they want to reduce the deficit. Paul Ryan has decided that he is going to take this issue on regardless. Courage.

Pablo said...

"The American people want action. They are not interested in your guy making nice with Mrs. Obama and telling us what to eat."

Yes, they want action. Unfortunately they don't know what they are talking about. Look at any poll that has come out in the past year. They all show the same thing: Americans want gimmicks to reduce the deficit. They want a lot of anger and hooplah, but when asked specifically which device they would like to use to reduce the deficit, they change their minds.

Pablo said...

By the way, I knew that nobody would actually respond to the facts of this post. Some of you are just emotionally attached to the idea that we need to "fight" because we are good conservatives. You like the combativeness of your team. So you can't bring yourself to admit that shutting down the government is stupid and a distraction from dealing with real problems.

It boils down to whether you want to tackle the real drivers of our nation's debt or you want to feel good about yourselves for "fighting."

By the way, we have a real fight ahead of us trying to get most of Ryan's plan enacted.

Pablo said...

Good for you Ellie. Real conservatives understand that we all must make sacrifices to get our debt under control. If I may use an example -- cutting the domestic discretionary spending is like trying to lose weight by only taking a couple of diet pills. It is a substitute, so to speak, for exercising and eating healthy. If we are going to work on our debt problem, it is going to take a sacrifice from all Americans. There are no gimmicks.

Right Wingnut said...

Pablo, The two are connected. How can they credibly fight for Ryan's proposed budget, if they don't take a stand now. That's what they were sent to congress to do.

Right Wingnut said...

"Real conservatives understand that we all must make sacrifices to get our debt under control. If I may use an example -- cutting the domestic discretionary spending is like trying to lose weight by only taking a couple of diet pills. It is a substitute, so to speak, for exercising and eating healthy. If we are going to work on our debt problem, it is going to take a sacrifice from all Americans. "

Pablo,

Nobody here is arguing against Ryan's plan.

Pablo said...

No, but you are you arguing in favor of the "diet pills." It is counterproductive and harmful to a lot of government operations to shut down the government. We don't need humongous cuts to that part of the budget. We need to focus our energy on what actually is a problem -- mandatory spending.

Right Wingnut said...

No, but you are you arguing in favor of the "diet pills." - Pablo

No, there comes a time when you have to stop eating junk food. That time is now. (Huckabee, are you listening?)

Anonymous said...

Pablo said...

"Good for you Ellie. Real conservatives understand that we all must make sacrifices to get our debt under control"

Calling Sparky...er I mean Ellie a Real Conservative is rich. I know that "Real Conservatives" always vote for Obama and Democrats. It is because of "Real Conservatives" like Sparky that we are in this mess.

A.J.R.

OhioJOE said...

"You like the combativeness of your team. So you can't bring yourself to admit that shutting down the government is stupid and a distraction from dealing with real problems."
We tried your way of playing nice in 2006 and 2008. Guess what happened? We lost! Nobody on our side is shutting down the government just for fun. If you do not want the government to shut down, just ask the Democrats to make the cuts. I am not the one with a problem when it come to cutting. But, you fail to do so yet again. Why? Because you are busier attacking Conservatives.

Pablo said...

AJR,

I don't care what you think of me or Ellie. What about the actual post that I wrote. Do you have a comment about that?

Pablo said...

OJ,

The $60 billion cuts to the small discretionary budget are (a) too great. Such cuts could be spread out better over the other, larger sections. (B) These cuts do not deal with the real drivers of the debt like Medicare and Medicaid. (C) Not only are your favored cuts counterproductive and unrelated to the deficit, they also present a waste of political capital and energy that could be spent on actually adressing the deficit like Paul Ryan is. Ryan's budget is going to be a real fight. (D). Not only are they a distraction, they present a possible political pitfall. I know that you like to sight your polls from Rasmussen, but Boehner even admitted today that the President will win in a shutdown. That is what happened in 1995 and that is what will likely happen today.

Now can you respond to those points please?

OhioJOE said...

"I don't care what you think of me or Ellie." Haha, and we don't care what you and Ellie think about Conservatives.

Right Wingnut said...

The $60 billion cuts to the small discretionary budget are (a) too great - Pablo

Now my head hurts. You're worried about some non-essential social programs getting a haircut, yet you're OK with $6 Trillion?

OhioJOE said...

"(C) Not only are your favored cuts counterproductive and unrelated to the deficit, they also present a waste of political capital and energy that could be spent on actually adressing the deficit like Paul Ryan is. Ryan's budget is going to be a real fight." First of all, I do not hve favored cuts per se; I favor cuts in many place. For the record, I have no problem cutting SSI, I supported Mr. Bush when he tried. Furthermore, I kindly remind you that I was among those who supported Mr. Ryan's plan in the first place. Frankly, if we cannot count on you to join us in small budget fights, how do you expect us to believe you that you will actually support Mr. Ryan when the rubber actually meats the road.

"I know that you like to sight your polls from Rasmussen," With comments like that you really remind us of Pollman.

Anonymous said...

Pablo,

I wasn't referring to you, just Ellie...unless you voted for Obama too. :) As for your post, I agree with Ryan's plan and I also agree that the bigger battle is for the passage of that plan. I do worry if it is perceived that the Republicans in Congress roll over like they usually do, it will embolden Democrats and deflate Conservatives.

I am also not entirely convinced that Republicans will get all the blame if there is a Government Shutdown. Things are different now than 1995. The debt was much smaller in 1995. Republicans only control 1/2 of 1/3 of the Federal Government now unlike all of Congress in 1995 plus Obama and the Senate Democrats have done nothing but hope and pray for a shutdown. Also, Republicans will be able to get their message out better than they did in 1995. They have Talk Radio, Fox News and the Internet. I know you don't like Talk Radio and Fox News but they will present the Republican point of view.

I do hope this will be settled soon because the real battle will be for Ryan's plan and the chances of that being enacted will depend on the 2012 elections.

A.J.R.

Right Wingnut said...

Allen West saves taxpayers $35 million...."good conservative" or "bad conservative?"

Allen West has certainly impressed Greta by getting a bill passed unanimously that cut 35 million from the Defense Department printing and reproduction. Allen West wonders how much that would amount to if all 435 Congressman proposed similar cuts from programs that they come in contact with on a regular basis

(...)
Video at link

http://www.therightscoop.com/allen-west-we-are-staring-down-the-barrel-at-a-greek-tragedy/

OhioJOE said...

"You're worried about some non-essential social programs getting a haircut" Haha, pretty soon the average American won't be able to afford a simple Hair Cut because the will have to pay such high taxes for all this liberal spending.

OhioJOE said...

"Allen West ......." Shhhhh, RW, don't tell them that some Republicans are African Americans. You will spoil their talking points that we are all a bunch of Racists.

Matt "MWS" said...

Pablo,

I agree with the substance of the problem- no conservative unwilling to go after entitlements is serious- but I also agree that this current showdown over discretionary spending (which is ALSO) out of control, will help set the stage for the epic battle to come.

If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, or at least saw they movie, consider the current fracas like the Battle of Isengard. Going to the gates of Mordor is yet to come...

Ellie said...

AJR, who's sparky? I'm not getting what your going to. But true conservatives, such as myself, understand that the potential shut down will hurt many people. I've an elderly mother who depends on dad's SSI, along with a very small pension. She can't get by without both. But you think it's conservative to cut her off, just so you can get your jollies with a rah rah session in a shut down. What about the military? They are still bound by oath and contracts that they will be there, even if they don't get a paycheck cut. What about the IRS? The millions waiting for that pittance they'll get back from them. This will, and has started to, backfire. It backfired when Gingrich did it, and it will backfire when the this congress does it. Using our heads is something the GOP has lost the ability to do. So don't a call me out, when I at least can think for myself without listening to Rush and Hanity or Beck for what I need to think on politics.

Anonymous said...

Ellie,

I call you out because it annoys you and I find that funny. So run along to your loony truther sites and spew some more insane drivel or go to Obama reelection site and contribute. EXTRA EXTRA!!!

A.J.R.

BOSMAN said...

Hi Pablo,

I honestly don't know where I stand on this. With the 2012 elections approaching, I'm not sure I'm in favor of Ryan's proposal AT THIS TIME>

I have written sort of where I stand in a new post.

OhioJOE said...

"So don't a call me out, when I at least can think for myself without listening to Rush and Hanity or Beck for what I need to think on politics." No, instead, you follow, CBS, CNN and Pollman.

Look, if you are truly concerned about the elderly, tell your friend from Nevada to pass a budget. Elections have consequences.

DanL said...

Another great blog Pablo. I have been hearing and reading these same ideas all over the place lately, just not from the far right. But I have been hearing thoughtful republicans express these ideas, and shockingly, I even heard Senator Conrad (ND) on NPR this morning admitting that we need to reform entitlement spending.

Anonymous said...

I hope that most Americans realize that part of this gov't shutdown thing is due to last year's congress (which was controlled entirely by Democrats) not passing a budget at all. I believe that this is the first congress ever not to have passed a budget. Cowards! We should be sure to point this out to all of our friends and relatives. Send it to people on your e-mail list! I also have not heard of any of the D's presenting a budget, besides the original proposals from the President, which didn't really cut into the deficit at all.

Apparently, Ellie, many of the services you mentioned aren't really part of the gov't shut down. Maybe the government should be more afraid that it will shut down, and no one will notice! LOL!!

I have heard the proposal that if we won't cut SSI or do anything about it, we should require all families to have at least 4 children. Imagine that! We could be like China in controlling children per household, but just do it in reverse! Ha, ha, ha!

I know this stuff is serious and important, but too many people refuse to listen to what is actually happening. We also have too many people in our society who think they deserve a place to live and food to eat, and sometimes, even a paycheck, without really working hard or exerting themselves to be productive. I am trying to teach my children to be responsible and appreciate the value of having room and board. None of this stuff comes free. As I learned in my first economics class, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

AZ

Anonymous said...

Is a good Conservative necessarily a smart conservative?

zeke