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Flotsam and Jetsam

The A.P. lays it out: “Obama is not simply proposing a budget that assumes a jaw-dropping deficit of $1.75 trillion this year, a quadruple increase from the year before. He’s trying to redirect strong currents in American society. The wealthiest 5 percent would pay a whopping $1 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade, while most others would get tax cuts. Industries would buy and trade permits to emit heat-trapping gases. Higher-income older people would pay more for Medicare benefits. Drug companies would receive smaller profits from the government. Banks would play a much smaller role in student loans.” And that doesn’t even cover nationalized healthcare and government-run car companies.

Sen. Chuck Schumer gets points for candor when describing Kirsten Gillibrand’s new identity: “She is going to be able to evolve without being seen as a flip-flopper. . .When I was a congressman, I never voted for a farm subsidy. Now I do because I have constituents who have farms. That’s what the system is about.” And everything works out fine provided voters don’t figure out you are a flip-flopper and errand boy for special interests.

In case you had any doubt, the Obama team is going to make energy more expensive.

More columnists have sniffed out the Reinventing America approach in the Obama budget: “For sheer boldness, you gotta love those deep-breathing Beltway Democrats who suggest America ought to alter her traditional economic principles to overcome the global recession. They’re convinced capitalism is so last century. As for self-interest, free trade and dreams of individual wealth? So much misguided ‘let-them-eat-cake’ thinking. Wealth-sharing is the new ticket. It is, as Oscar winner Sean Penn might say, ‘elegant.’ And all the rage in Europe.”

I know it’s shocking, but the Obama budget savings from defense cuts are a gimmick.

Mitt Romney explains what’s wrong with the spend-and-borrow Obama economic program: “That puts very much in question whether foreign investors are going to keep on lending Americans money by buying our Treasury bills, and perhaps if they don’t do that we could see a dramatic rise in interest rates and enormous economic challenges down the road. On the other hand, he’s also found a way to raise taxes, which will slow growth. So he’s doing two things, both of which will be harmful to the economy and the well-being of job creation in the country. What he should be doing instead is what he talked about, which is going through the budget line by line and cutting out the things that are unnecessary.”

Sen. Arlen Specter is “toast“? It seems voting for the $787B pork-a-thon didn’t help his chances. A better question for Pennsylvania Republicans is whether they have a primary challenger who will stand a chance in the general election.

The Washington Post editors are hopping mad: “Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.) and other congressional Democrats should spare us their phony concern about the children participating in the District’s school voucher program. If they cared for the future of these students, they wouldn’t be so quick as to try to kill the program that affords low-income, minority children a chance at a better education.” Ouch.

Republicans are buzzing about this admission: “‘Folks are a little skittish. It’s asking a lot,’ a senior Democratic aide said. ‘This is a tax-and-spend budget the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.'”

Bill Kristol asks and answers a key question: “What does cap and trade, this massive big government regulatory scheme in Washington, have to do with getting us out of the recession? Nothing.”

What does Mara Liasson think about zapping the home mortgage and charitable deductions for upper income earners? “That is — those are two specific things where the president is going to run into a buzz saw in Congress from Democrats. Those deductions are sacred to a lot of people, and I think there’s going to be a problem.”

Even the  MSM admits Virginia Governor Tim Kaine hasn’t accomplished much. But he’s thrilled to have gottten that all-important smoking ban in place. Solving the transportation problem might have been better.

The Obama administration doesn’t believe in changing 9000 earmarks since it was “leftover” business. Apparently change isn’t about changing Congress.

Rep. Paul Ryan declares: “The budget the president released last week, however, does provide some certainty about where we are headed: higher taxes on small businesses, work and capital investment. Add to this the costly burdens of a cap-and-trade carbon emissions scheme and an effective nationalization of health care, and it is clear that the government is going to grow while the economy will shrink. In a nutshell, the president’s budget seemingly seeks to replace the American political idea of equalizing opportunity with the European notion of equalizing results.” And rather than all that he suggests reduced taxes, a toxic asset purchasing entity, and sound money. Ryan apparently did not get the “conservatives are out of ideas” memo.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times agree — bankruptcy for GM would be a good idea. Other than the UAW and the GM management, who really benefits from the nationalization option? I’m stumped as to why the two parties that contributed most to the company’s downfall get rescued from the bankruptcy court.

David Frum goes after the “myth” of  the “Goldwater triumph.” But isn’t it a myth that Goldwater’s defeat led to permanent harm to the GOP or some long-lasting catastrophe for conservatives? The Republicans won back 47 seats in 1966 and the presidency in 1968. In fact, after Lyndon Johnson it took 44 years before Americans were willing to elect another liberal (and then not even one who admitted to being one).

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