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Thomas Sowell on Boehner Bill

Thomas Sowell on Boehner Bill

Making points similar to what I have made, this is not the last round.  The Boehner bill for all its flaws puts the runners on base with another batter up in a few months.

The Boehner bill, assuming it passes the House today, likely will be rejected by the Senate.  That’s a scenario I like a lot more than never having passed the bill at all.  And if lightning struck and it was passed, or something very similar to it passed, then we have advanced the runners and we still are at bat.

Via Real Clear Politics:

Now that the Republicans seem to have gotten the Democrats off their higher taxes kick, the question is whether a minority of the House Republicans will refuse to pass the Boehner legislation that could lead to a deal that will spare the country a major economic disruption and spare the Republicans from losing the 2012 elections by being blamed – rightly or wrongly – for the disruptions.

Is the Boehner legislation the best legislation possible? Of course not! You don’t get your heart’s desire when you control only one house of Congress and face a presidential veto.

The most basic fact of life is that we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available. It is not idealism to ignore the limits of one’s power. Nor is it selling out one’s principles to recognize those limits at a given time and place, and get the best deal possible under those conditions.

That still leaves the option of working toward getting a better deal later, when the odds are more in your favor.


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Great baseball analogy. Some of our more passionate folks on the Right need to pause for a couple of deep breaths and reevaluate reality. Boehner has limited power and is not the enemy. Meaningful change won’t come until we have enough like minded representation in the House, Senate and White House. Steering Boehner is necessary, but bludgeoning him with unrealistic expectations is counterproductive to the cause. Eye on the prize, people!

    khan in reply to Merlin. | July 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Recognizing we have a spending problem, I don’t think it is unrealistic expectation of the Speaker – or any member – to introduce a bill that actually reduces spending, regardless of whether it will pass the other chamber or not, and regardless of whether the president will sign it or not.

      JayDick in reply to khan. | July 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      That has been done already. First, there was the budget resolution (Ryan’s plan). Then there was cut, cap, and, balance.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Merlin. | July 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    At this point, reviewing the last two plans offered by Boehner to “cut spending,” it is impossible to conclude that John Boehner has the SLIGHTEST INTEREST in actually reducing the level of spending at the federal level.

    The first bill from several months back managed to cut a few hundred million in spending. This plan actually manages to cut somewhere between 1 and 22 billion.

    If that is the best Boehner can do, it must be painfully clear that he isn’t interested in actually cutting spending.

    What will it take for reasonable people to acknowledge that John Boehner is in fact one of them who insist on ever increasing federal spending?

Well put! And note that it would be very good political advice for the Democrats as well, but they are obviously too blinded by the ideological fervor of the moment to get it.

The Senate did not even debate or vote on the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill.

They simply tabled it, and with a bare majority at that — only 51 votes. While that gave each of them the political luxury of avoiding a direct vote against balancing the budget, it was a craven choice because they didn’t even attempt to amend the bill and send it back, or otherwise deal with it a normal legislative manner. In other words, they could have theoretically put it back in the lap of the House, but instead they opted for pure politics as their solution. They buried the bill.

Meanwhile, the President himself has refused to even propose a plan, one that can be scored by the CBO.

So this new Boehner bill will be the second solution to the debt problem sitting in the laps of the Democrats, while the Senate Dems have passed absolutely nothing to resolve the debt crisis.

The Democrats are falling right into the trap of 100% owning any financial crisis that occurs as a result of their petulance.

I really cannot believe they are this politically stupid.

If they actually vote this Boehner bill down, as they are threatening to do, and allow the deadline to pass, thereby negatively affecting the nation’s fiscal


If they actually vote this Boehner bill down, as they are threatening to do, and allow the deadline to pass, thereby negatively affecting the nation’s fiscal health, the problem is theirs for keeps.

The longer I see this scenario run, the more it looks like one of these:

1) Reid is smart enough to know the Republicans will cave if he takes the country to the brink of disaster, and the MSM will be more than glad to back him up on it.
2) Reid is desperate enough to keep even a tiny fragment of his base voting Democrat this next year, that he absolutely *has* to make sure a tax increase gets into the bill.
3) Reid and the Democrats have finally gone around the bend, one card short of a full deck, etc… and they are more than willing to see the whole country burn in the cleansing fire of bankruptcy in order to enact their agenda.

I normally would believe 2) first, but I’m afraid it really is 1). But every once in a while a tiny little voice tells me 3) is not totally out of the question.

“Making points similar to what I have made, this is not the last round. The Boehner bill for all its flaws puts the runners on base with another batter up in a few months.”

That is ALWAYS the GOP game plan. That is how we got from the “grand 2011 budget disaster” to today. And baseball is the wrong metaphor. Think of it as football.

There are always good Republicans who put together a good game plan and move the ball up the field until they get to the goal line. If the game is on the line, the “Gangs of McCain” come on the field and hand the ball off to the other team (like the McConnell Plan, yesterdays McCain tirade against the Tea Party, Cantor’s and Boenher’s attack on House conservatives and so on.) while blocking to ensure the other team gets the winning touchdown.

It’s all kabuki. With the GOP, it’s NEVER time to do the right thing. If they didn’t have the spine to address the issues MINUTES after an election last November and couldn’t pull it together in a non-election year in 2011, please explain to me why they will do the right thing NEXT year, an ELECTION year? Or 2013 after Obama is re-elected?

This is a bipartisan catastrophe. We may have blown our last chance to not be Greece.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Agreed. The “Boehner Plan” is a disaster. If he had just cut spending by $1 trillion and increased the debt limit by the same, it would have been at least a marginally acceptable short-term plan.

    But they always add a back door in to make sure no meaningful cuts will ever be made.

    His $1 trillion in cuts is really only 22 billion in cuts and I suspect once that is actually scored after the fact it will be far, far less real cuts.

    His plan for the “super-committee” composed of 6 Senators and 6 House members is the back door to make sure that no real cuts will be made. We already know that NO Democrats are going to support any cuts, now or ever. And we can bet the 6 Republicans will be statist, big-government RINOs that will likewise never propose any meaningful cuts in any given fiscal year. And since the cuts decided on by this “super-committee” are not subject to change by the chambers, the TEA Party folks will have been rendered powerless to implement real cuts.

    It is a farce. Kabuki Theater of the first order. Boehner is one of them! He doesn’t want to cut spending.

>.> I dun think 0bama is going to be re-elected…. come 2012.

1) All the GOP needs to do is press the cut cap and balance bill… into the senate. That’s the sole bill they should focus on…. send it to the Senate. and the Senate Democrats will either
A) kill it
B) pass it onto 0bama… and he’ll veto it, right?
Well then…. that fixes it so… he or the democrats take the blame and the downfall for the country defaulting and the economy likely suffering a huge downturn.

plus, raising taxes at the time of a default or huge downturn will harm the economy and job creation more
voters will be rather vindictive to the democrats in 2012

0bama will literally cause his own downfall if he veto’s it. the economy will be the biggest thing in 2012. it will be nearly impossible to blame republicans who tried to pass a debt bill. that either he or the senate killed.

    DougV in reply to YourMaster. | July 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    The GOP did push the cut, cap and balance bill, and the Senate killed it. Voted to table it with no debate.

      Yep, and not a whimper from the GOP. THAT bill had a chance in the Senate and they should have at least forced a showdown on getting it to the floor for discussion and a vote.

      And Obama WILL get re-elected if Hillary doesn’t bump him and the GOP again insists on filling the winning Generic Republican space with a liberal Democrat. As we are witnessing the last few days, the same big government Republicans we voted out of control of Congress and the WH in 2006 and 2008 are STILL in control of the GOP and can’t wait to finish the job Bush/Obama started.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

        How exactly would they “force a showdown” on getting it to the floor when a majority of Senators voted to table it? Wasn’t that the showdown and didn’t they lose?

          Boehner, Cantor, and the rest of the Assistant Democrats could have make a big stink to make it the sticking point on any further discussion. That would exposed how broken the process is that the Senate won’t even consider for discussion the only plan that addresses the issues that are getting our credit rating downgraded.

          It’s about picking your battles. In a government that has run off of the constitutional rails, you pick your spots. We (Tea Party conservatives) are being attacked by the entire one-party system. This would have forced the corrupt establishment pols to prove otherwise.

          If we are learning one thing in this entire debacle, it is that there is no two-party system. Our government is at war with citizens to the point that even in this battle, both sides have agreed to negotiate secretly behind closed doors while privately signalling markets, banks and the media that it is all kabuki and so there will be no default.

          The best opportunity we had to keep the details of the only worthy plan was making this stink on CC&B in the Senate. But the Stupid Party again fumbled the ball over to the Democrats who are now running for the winning touchdown with the entire GOP establishment (are you part of that now?) blocking conservatives.

          This is why I am no longer a Republican. I’ve seen this movie too many times.

          WarEagle82 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | July 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

          Can the House actually write language into a bill that would enable spending cuts and debt ceiling changes contingent upon either or both houses approving a BBA?

          I am not sure if or how that might be done. Short of that, I wouldn’t take Reid on his “word” to bring it to a vote on the Senate floor.

          But the current Boehner bill is a joke. The man doesn’t want to cut spending. His last two plans make that abundantly clear.

johnnycab23513 | July 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

I have been back and forth on this. Dr. Sowell has helped me make up my mind. A brillant man.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

No Runny Eggs has the “play-by-play” commentary (using NSFW language) on how the Republicans have screwed themselves at nearly every stage of the phony negotiations.

Here’s another way that could have been tried to force the Senate to table, debate and vote on CC&B: pass it again in the House and resubmit it to the Senate with the arguments I made above. We are looking for a solution, not a deal. If you have something better, let’s see it and show the voters the details.

All of the players on the field are Republican. It’s TP-Cons vs. Establishment. The Dems are just sitting in the stands jeering.

The GOP has done a poor job of getting Dems to put skin in the game.