Recent Posts From Zach Holiday
So Paul Ryan announced his plan to balance the budget, cut trillions from proposed spending, and put America on a path to paying off the deficit. Republicans around the country are hailing it as the second coming of Ronald Reagan, and Democrats continue to call any reasonable idea extreme.
Me? I am not at all excited.
Let me explain. Paul Ryan’s proposal continues to run a deficit for the next 26 years. That means that even if the plan was adopted as is, and we know it won’t be, the best we can possibly hope for is a deficit that continues to swell for 26 more years before the first dollar is paid off.
Add to this that his projections also rely on unemployment reaching 3%, and you can quickly see that the the whole thing is just not that realistic.
I am glad that Representative Ryan has taken some leadership where there has been none, and I do not want to beat up on the guy, but this plan just isn’t enough. It is time to get real. And it is time to make some really tough choices.
We shouldn’t be looking at 26 years of additional deficits as the best we can do.
As gasoline prices head north of $3.00 per gallon, up nearly $0.41 cents from a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reports that new wells may not be drilled in the Gulf of Mexico until as late as 2012. The effects are multifaceted, impacting fuel costs, jobs, and ultimately the economy.
The impact of the delays goes beyond the oil industry. The Gulf coast economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in drilling activity, especially because the oil spill also hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries. The Obama administration in September estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 workers could lose their jobs temporarily as a result of the moratorium; some independent estimates have been much higher.
The slowdown also has long-term implications for U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration, the research arm of the Department of Energy, last month predicted that domestic offshore oil production will fall 13% this year from 2010 due to the moratorium and the slow return to drilling; a year ago, the agency predicted offshore production would rise 6% in 2011. The difference: a loss of about 220,000 barrels of oil a day.
In the wake of the BP disaster, I think it is safe to say that safety should play a prominent role in future. That said, Rahm Emanuel’s philosophy of “never letting a serious crisis go to waste” seems to be guiding the Obama Administration’s actions in this case.
It is important to remember that there were laws and regulations before the Deep Water Horizon exploded last April. In fact, the administration has filed suit charging BP and other companies with several violations.
I have long had a problem with Politifact.
There is just something wrong with not being able to come out and call a statement straight up true or false. I guess I’m a black and white kind of guy. For crying out loud, they have four different versions of a statement being deemed true. For me, it is either true, or it is false.
What has happened in the political arena as a result of painting with so many shades of gray, is that politicians can use Politifact anytime they want to demagogue just about any issue their opponents have made a statement about. They can point to a Politifact rating of Half-True (Insert sneering chortle here) and say their opponent is being dishonest with the voters.
And I guess what really irks me out of my pants-on-fire is that they are simply wrong so often. Case in point; they recently deemed the Lie of the Year to be the following statement; “A Government Takeover of Healthcare.”
Really? Why not pick something a little more easily provable, like I dunno, Christine O’Donnell’s claim that she, is in fact, you.
Billy Hallowell over at Mediate does a good job pointing out how much of the debate Poltifact had to ignore to reach their conclusion that “Government Takeover of Healthcare” is a lie.
That’s what Domino’s Pizza said to America in their recent ad campaign, and as it turns out America has been willing to give them a second chance. Sales are going through the roof, up 16.5% in the first half of this year.
But it wasn’t enough to simply admit they had a problem. Domino’s had to actually do something about it. And in their case, completely reinvented the product they sold.
It occurs to me that there is a lesson that the GOP can learn from Domino’s that could allow them to once and for all disassociate themselves from the big spending days seen under George W. Bush. And that seems like a simple first step; admitting that under Bush, they sucked.
But then comes the hard part; doing something about it. Repealing No Child Left Behind would be good place to start. Permanently swearing off ear marks would be another.
In the current political environment, it is simply enough to be the guy without the D next your name if you want to get elected. So actually taking actions to reinvent the fiscally responsible and smaller government message may not be what the Republicans are driven to do especially if they can win by avoiding it.
But if they want to build to a wider audience and build a more loyal grass roots support base, they must take bold and definitive action to correct not only the mistakes of the Obama big government agenda, but also their own failed big government policies.
Dick Morris needs to shut up.
University of Virginia Center for Politics Director, Larry Sabato, issued some insightful tweets on October 2nd that have gone largely ignored by many Right Wing Pundits, including Dick Morris.
1:15 PM Oct 2nd: Some GOP leaders need a refresher course in basic campaign strategy. Predicting R House pickups of +60, +80, +100 is just plain dumb.
1:17 PM Oct 2nd: (1) It isn’t going to happen;(2) It induces overconfidence;(3) If Rs win a narrow majority or just fall short, big gains look like a loss.
1:18 PM Oct 2nd: You’d think after all this time, people would’ve caught onto the polling game & wouldn’t take polls so seriously. And you’d be wrong.
Meanwhile, Dick is still out there claiming that the GOP will pick up 60+ seats in the house and regain control of the Senate as well.
Prediction: The Republicans will win the Senate, capturing seats in Indiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington state, Illinois and Nevada. And they could prevail in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California to boot.
The GOP will capture the House by a goodly margin, winning upward of 60-plus seats now held by Democrats. And it could go a lot higher!
To be clear, any combination that includes either a new Speaker of the House and or a New Senate Majority leader will be a victory for the GOP. But predicting a sixty seat pick up in the house is not only silly, it sets up the Democrats with tools they need to marginalize their defeat.
In just one week the Democrats have closed a ten point gap on a generic ballot according to a Gallup Poll released yesterday:
The latest Gallup update on 2010 voting preferences marks the first time in over a month at which Republicans have not held an advantage among registered voters on Gallup’s weekly generic ballot update. This shift, coupled with the fact that Democrats led on the measure earlier in the summer, shows that voter sentiments are not immune to change. Hoping to prove this, Democrats from the president on down are gearing up to maximize their chances of keeping party control of the House, just as voter attention to the campaign is increasing after the Labor Day weekend.
While the Republicans are seemingly distracted by rabbit holes, as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour called it, they have not seized the opportunity to clearly set an agenda to deal with the number one issue facing the American Voter this year; jobs, jobs, jobs.
Hoping to win by default just isn’t going to cut it. And playing on biases and cultural differences to score cheap political points will only work for so long. It is time for the Republicans to clearly articulate a plan for economic recovery.
Perhaps this poll can serve as the wakeup call the Republicans so desperately need. If they choose to stay on the path they are on, their wins will not be as great as they could be.
With President Obama set to unveil his new economic plan this week, there is sure to be much talk about the “cost” of tax cuts. The premise, albeit false, is that a tax cut is equivalent to a spending program.
Don’t be fooled.
As the debate over whether to extend the Bush Tax Cuts heats up, look for the Democrats to try to paint the Republicans as big spenders as the GOP continues to advocate an extension. The idea being that the Democrats can try to beat the Republicans at their own game (Spend Less) all the while stoking the fires of class envy and divisiveness.
The problem with all of this is that tax cuts are not spending programs. And Mr. Obama’s effort to focus tax cuts towards Research and Development is yet another example of how the Federal Government is trying to use the tax code as a social engineering tool.
Tax cuts are simply allowing the tax payer to keep more of their own money to spend how they see fit. It costs the government nothing because they are not collecting that money at the time it is earned and then redistributing it.