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John Boehner says there is a 50-50 chance of a debt ceiling deal. Don’t expect him to advocate cutting the budget, capping spending, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment.Boehner thinks a BBA is a “gimmick”, despite his prior support for one in the nineties.The tendency of many conservatives these days, myself included, is to dismiss out of hand whatever leadership comes up with. The tendency of others is to embrace it wholesale and thumb their noses at conservatives skeptical of the leadership’s track record.We should remember the Speaker sold us a bill of goods on the continuing resolution. Ultimately, it wound up driving up the debt, not driving it down. The $100 billion in cuts wound up being a few hundred million dollars in cuts.I’m not hopeful. The one thing I can guarantee is that any deal John Boehner cuts is going to punt the ball. The question we must answer before giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down is just how far a punt.Given Boehner’s lack of leadership in holding the line on cutting, capping, and balancing, I won’t hold my breath. But I am curious to see if it is a deal worth supporting.Personally, my hope is that it so enrages conservatives, they finally find their testicular fortitude and hold the freaking line. It’s pathetic when Olympia Snowe is to the right of themPlease click here for the rest of the post.
President Obama is intimating that the GOP’s opposition to “increasing revenue” is the sole obstacle to achieving a deficit reduction plan. We should call his bluff and put forth proposals to increase revenue. Then, there will be no excuses for opposing a Balanced Budget Amendment.Obama has complained that we are overlooking the “spending through the tax code.” He is correct. There are a lot of handouts ensconced in the tax code; it’s just a shame that he is indifferent to them. In fact, he has increased their size and scope by leaps and bounds through his stimulus bill, denying the treasury much-needed revenue.The Marxists have always had a way with words. In their dyslexic world view, they refer to tax cuts as handouts and handouts as tax cuts. Concurrently, they view tax hikes as spending cuts and spending cuts (real revenue increases) as tax hikes. As such, it is no surprise that Obama seeks to punitively eliminate universal tax deductions that are broadly available for real taxpayers, like the charitable tax deduction and the depreciation tax credit for oil companies, while blithely ignoring the selective handouts to those who don’t pay taxes, such as the (un)earned income credit, ethanol tax credit, and the green industry life support.Please click here for the rest of the post.
One of the worst trends in modern public education in the United States is using a child’s performance on a standardized test to assess whether a teacher is doing his or her job and whether a school is performing or not performing.The trend was growing before George Bush and Ted Kennedy sat down and drafted No Child Left Behind in the early part of W’s administration. But then they decided to add in financial incentives and penalties and near national standards. Conservatives who were willing to speak up at the time said it would lead to dark places. Unfortunately, too few wanted to speak up against the new “conservative” President who’d just given the “liberal lion” carte blanche to draft education legislation.As predicted by the few conservative voices in the wilderness, the chickens are coming home to roost in Atlanta, GA. A multi-year investigation into standardized test cheating in the Atlanta Public School system has found a mafia like atmosphere from the top all the way down to classroom teachers.Please click here for the rest of the post.
I can almost understand why DSCC chair Sen. Patty Murray would try to hit up the Koch Companies for ‘five figures’ (read: the maximum allowed by federal election campaign finance law). First off, Sen. Murray is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer (she’d almost have to be, given that Murray actually left a voice message as well as sent a letter*). Second, what’s the worse that the Koch Companies are going to do? Say no?Well. There’s no, and then there’s no.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Glenn Reynolds noted this apparent contradiction in what Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s position actually is with regard to having Amazon.com collect sales tax: is the Republican Governor for it, or against it? I say ‘apparent’ because there isn’t one, really; there’s just not enough context.Basically, the position that Haslam is taking is that the state of Tennessee trying to impose an Amazon tax would probably wreck ongoing negotiations between the state and Amazon.com when it comes to getting a couple more job-creating distribution centers built in-state (which it probably will)Please click here for the rest of the post.
Summertime 2011, and “investigative journalist” Lee Fang of ThinkProgress has replaced the BP Spill in my blogging life. Fang’s amateurish attempts to find scandal in oil commodities trading have become my new blog fodder.Fang puts forward the half-baked theory that the evil Koch Brothers and other traders control world oil prices via speculation. His latest piece, “JP Morgan, Koch, Other Oil Traders May Buy Discounted Strategic Petroleum Reserve Oil And Simply Store It” continues the tradition of sloppy documentation and an almost total lack of understanding of business and commodities trading.This latest offering is especially sweet, because a key source Fang cites in support of his thesis – that financial speculation drives the market price of oil much higher than it would otherwise be – in fact takes the exact opposite position.Please click here for the rest of the post.