EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for October 27, 2011
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One of the failings of our public school systems is the lack of basic economic literacy of so many of our students. I am afraid this has infected our political discourse and policy making to a degree that is frightening and deeply disheartening. One prime example of this, are attempts to ignore basic things like supply and demand when making public policy. In my humble opinion, Democrats are guilty of this more than Republicans but a depressing amount of Republicans follow this path as well.
A good example is a hot topic these days: student debt. This is a subject I have some inside knowledge about having acquired far too much student debt in order to achieve an advanced degree from a fancy Ivy League school (fine, a MA from a MAC school, but that is beside the point).
This is also a classic example of politicians blindly declaring something a universal good and then making policy that not only ignores economic reality but undermines the economy and harms people (see, housing policy). We blithely declare that everyone should go to college and set up a system that allows anyone breathing to borrow large sums of money with no consequences or connection to reality and wonder why the system doesn’t function. Soon we have millions of people with massive debt and very little to show for it.
The sad thing is that these people are now protesting in the streets and asking for what? More hair of the dog that bit them – more government intrusion and less economic reality. And it appears President Obama is happy to oblige them.
Senate Democrats (and all other Democrats, for that matter) have not passed a budget for over 900 days, yet they are planning to come late to the game and commandeer the appropriations process. After delaying the process for over two years, Harry Reid, with the help of some Senate Republicans, is planning to expedite appropriations bills in a way that disavows standard procedures of transparency. House Republicans must rebuff this insidious plan.
When Republicans assumed control of the House earlier this year, they completed the job that Democrats refused to do regarding the FY 2011 budget. Additionally, they passed a concurrent budget resolution for FY 2012, and proceeded to complete half of the 12 annual appropriations bills. When it became clear that Senate Democrats were dithering with roll call votes and speeches, and had no intention of even passing a budget resolution, Republicans held back the remaining approps bills, in an effort to wait for the Senate to get its act together.
Now, instead of coming to the table and passing the 12 individual appropriations bills along with a budget resolution, Harry Reid is seeking to circumvent the process by using “Minibus” bills. He rightfully perceives that a 12-bill omnibus package would be politically unpopular, so he is planning to bundle the 12 appropriations bill into four minibus bills, containing three spending bills apiece.
Why does Reid want to use this awkward and obscure process for appropriations bills?
With less than two weeks before the November 8th elections and with the polls leaning toward repealing SB5, it appears that Ohioans are ready to vote to increase their taxes and unemployment. Ultimately, that is a choice Ohio taxpayers will be making and fiscal self-immolation is certainly within their rights and, frankly, there are states who would be all-too happy to see Ohio’s unions put the nail in the coffin there.
Curiously, though, after months of being pounded by a multi-million dollar union campaign of fear-mongering and deceptive propaganda, there seems to be very few Ohioans who know the true economic consequences of what happens when they repeal SB 5—and the unions, in their attack ads, certainly aren’t telling them either.
Al Jazeera, arguably the most terrorist-friendly news station after MSNBC, has offered some thoughts on the proposed Keystone Pipeline which will bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the United States.
Calling it a “pipeline of poison,” writer Dahr Jamail makes the case that the project will be an environmental catastrophe. Quite a shocker that the media outlet of choice in the middle east would be against something that might make us more energy independent.
The Consumer Reports Company just rated the reliability of 28 makes of automobile from around the world. No American car manufacturer scored better than 13th in ordinal ranking. Ranked on a Lickert Scale from 1 to 5, Jeep, the best American competitor, scores approximately 3.0. No American car does better than average at staying in one piece. This raises a fair question: did we really save GM and Chrysler or did we just screw the bondholders to put off the inevitable?
Much-hyped and manfully-bailed General Motors finished 22nd out of 28 world manufacturers. Their subjects over at Chevrolet performed modestly better (17th out of 28) and are currently the standard-bearers and great hope for bailout motors. Their marquis offering, The Chevrolet Cruze, has received positive reviews and is temporarily well-positioned to sell well against other small cars.
I understand where John Tillman is coming from. The CEO of the illinois Policy Institute has encountered a few of the occupiers and shares some concerns with them.
I’ve written about the common ground conservatives might find with some of the folk who’ve joined in the occupation cause. The Sam Adams Alliance and other groups have found that there are some in the crowd who really are just angry about feeling like the deck is stacked against them. They aren’t there for punishment. They are there because they want to be able to compete.
But as I noted at the time, “Most of the common ground with most of these damn dirty communists is superficial.” The more we learn about the crowds, the more I am set in that opinion.
Playing with fire is going to get Tillman and likeminded souls burned. The better approach would be to push forward the legislative proposal Tillman thinks we find common ground on. Make sure the Occupy crowd knows about and let those who share our values come out of the crowd. If we push sound policy, they’ll come if they really are there.
I’m so used to being called a Zionist, among other things, I am actually shocked tonight to learn Jenn Rubin thinks this statement makes me anti-Semitic:
“A conservative friend says she’s best understood as ‘Likud’ rather than Republican or conservative. There’s nothing wrong with being Likud, but one ought to be honest about it.”
I nor the friend of mine who offered that up are anti-Semitic, but it has apparently hit a nerve that I did not intend to hit and I feel I do need to apologize for that. A friend of mine explains to me that a Jewish-American might find it insulting because it suggests they put Israel ahead of the United States.
I had not thought of that when writing it and was not my intention. Where I finally had enough of Jenn Rubin was her position on Jonathan Pollard that I cannot in any way, shape, or form comprehend as being the right position. It was that position of hers and her positions on national security, terrorism, and Israel (all three of which she and I see eye to eye on) that didn’t make me think twice about using the Likud comparison. Apparently I should have. Likud as a party is tough as nails on terrorism and security issues, but is liberal to left (by American standards) on fiscal and social policy, and that’s what I intended by the comparison, not a suggestion of misplaced loyalty. And certainly not anti-semitism.