If You Call Obama “Socialist,” Then the House GOP Is 99% Socialist

 Cato's Chris Edwards is correct.  Republicans are playing small-ball.  They have no real vision, so they've ended up with policy paralysis.  - Jon Henke

As I note in a recent New York Post op-ed Republicans are fond of implying that President Obama is a big-spending socialist. But the House GOP recently offered a spending cut plan that was able to find savings worth less than one percent of Obama’s budget.

As Tad DeHaven and Brian Riedl have also pointed out, the GOP spending reform effort is rather pathetic. It proposed specific annual budget cuts of about $14 billion per year.

Consider that the center-left budget wonks at the Brookings Institution put their heads together a few years ago and came up with a “smaller government plan” that proposed about $342 billion in annual spending cuts (by 2014). The Brookings authors note:  

These cuts are achieved by reducing government subsidies to commercial activities ($138 billion); by returning responsibility for education, housing, training, environmental, and law enforcement programs to the states ($123 billion) . . . by cutting entitlements such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare ($74 billion); and by eliminating some wasteful spending in these entitlement programs ($7 billion).

Thus, the Brookings scholars found cuts more than twenty times larger than the House GOP leadership cuts, and Brookings proposed its plan back when the deficit was about one-fifth of the size it is today. (Note that both the Brookings and GOP plans would also put a cap on overall nondefense discretionary spending, in addition to these specific cuts).

My point in the New York Post piece is that the GOP needs to challenge Obama’s big spending agenda at a more fundamental level. They need to do some careful research, pick out some big spending targets, and go on the offense. Why not propose to eliminate the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development? Why not sell off federal assets, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, in order to help pay down the federal debt? Why not open up the U.S. Postal Service to competition?

Obama won’t agree to these reforms at this point, but they would hopefully open a serious national debate about reforming our massive and sprawling federal government. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the congressional Republicans in 1994 didn’t win by splitting hairs with the Democrats over 1% of spending. They offered a more fundamental critique.

At least, GOP leaders need to offer up spending reforms as bold as those of the Brookings Institution.

Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at The Cato Institute

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Comments

 My only problem with

 My only problem with returning programs back to the states is that the states are broke. It is the government that took away our jobs with free trade. It is the government that has taken our money for a war on a lie (Iraq). Local communities cannot compete when the government creates stupid policies. On the free trade issue, and/or globalization, it has come about with or without legislation, but the government has done nothing to replace the jobs that have left the country. Cities and states are going broke with the ignorance of Washington. 

The Brookings Institute idea of shifting responsibility back to the states is just passing the problems back to the states and not dealing with problems. Reagan did the so called "cutting" by shifting responsibility and adding fees. He still had deficits and Bush 41 raised taxes to save the Reagan legacy. 

The other point is that you can do all the right things to cut spending and then a president comes along like Bush 43 and screws up everything. While I would not like to see Gingrich as president and that he carries baggage, he did control spending and kept Clinton under control. And you had a surplus. 

One of the things I think should be done, is to have commissions (for example, the base closing commission) and come up with a plan that way. The politicians don't like this, but it is the only way to capture the American people on the seriousness of our problems.

Jon, before endorsing more blather, try getting it right, ok?

Like we've pointed out in prior posts, Jon Henke is fairly quick to find fault with House GOP Caucus leaders even when Jon Henke's point is off-the-mark by a mile or more.  And he'd like us all  to believe that when the House GOP leadership speaks, it's the voice of the GOP.  Sort of like thinking that when Bob Barr speaks it's the voice of the LibbieLoon-atics.

Maybe if Henke was a little slower on the endorsement process and actually thought about the wisdom and insight contained in the Cato-cum-LibbieLoon-atic pieces (like this one by Edwards and the earlier deHaven rant) rather than his usual impulse to pile-on witlessly because it's fun to bash what Henke thinks of as "the GOP"... it'll be worth some insight.

But the sorry truth is, it ain't.

Like we pointed out earlier, the allegedly "GOP budget response" wasn't anything of the sort nor is this hacked rewrite of deHaven's earlier piece... I'm just surprised Henke didn't learn to hold the drool over this trumpeting of a non-issue.

Again, it isn't a GOP repsonse.  It was the House GOP leadership's response to Obama's challenge, issued during a WH press event where House GOP leaders took issue with Obama's supposedly paltry $100m "Cabinet cuts" stunt... the House GOP knew it couldn't put forward the typical budget cut nonsense that some LibbieLoon-atics might slather and ooze over.  The cuts, by the nature of the challenge from Obama, had to be cuts the Messiah would possibly entertain... and then quickly dismiss, of course.

And, again, it isn't the GOP's voice speaking out on the need to slash govt.  That would rightly come from both House and Senate GOP caucus leaders with the approval of the RNC Chair, Michael Steele.  Henke, deHaven and now Edwards and Henke again miss that point by a mile and get the balance of their points --however muddy and misapplied-- wrong, again.

I'm all for reduced govt.  I'm all for nixing the Depts of Ed and Energy and all the Arts/Humanities councils and subsidies for many things from cars to corn... but for once I'd like to see the supposed-insider-Washington types like Henke & his Cato-cum-LibbieLoon-atic pals get it right for a change here.

When will the farRight LibbieLoon-atic fringe get it right? 

Probably around the time that they can draw more than 510,000 votes in a Prez election.

Which, given Al Gore's prediction of a global warming, may make a cold day in Hell a very distant, distant, mega-distant possibility... because that's about when the LibbieLoon-atic fringe will get it right.

This sorta sits with me like George Will's constant carping

It really doesn't matter whether it's from a RINO, a neocon,  an evangelical or a vegetarian, the "screw 'em all, they all suck" motif is a guarantee to get Democrats elected. In case you hadn;t noticed, that party brooks no acknowledgment of fault; meantime. running down the party in toto simply reduces turnout by conservatve unaffiliated voters. The Democrats are quick to adopt the "Republican all suck" mantra, now aren't they?

How many Republicans voted for the last spending bill?

Was it two?

AKA 'The Party of No'

AKA 'The Party of No'

Right

No endless deficits and national debt equal to GDP. See, you get it!

Gramm has alleviated that issue.

Consumer debt is already at 100% of GdP

Knackers, are you really that big a moron?

Knackers contends that consumer debt is already at 100% GDP.

For your edifiction, Knackers, the GDP-2009 estimate is about $13.8 trillion.

US consumer debt continues to fall in the last quarter fell 7.4% overall, revolving and non-revolving debt.  It stands at an estimated $2.4 trillion in the 2d Q 2009.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/Current/

Only in the Econ College of the FarLeft are those two items equal.  I think what you meant to say was that after Obama and the Democrats get done with the bailouts, the budget and expanding the govt bureaucracies, the only functioning part of the economy will the interest paid on the debt and all the collection agencies going after Americans without a job... and the IRS looking to gather enough taxes to appease Obama's spending lust.

wrong year. 2007.

Knackers, when you actually understand something, come back

'til then you're still wrong on your stupid, patently ignorant claim that consumer debt equalled US GDP in 2009, 2007, or just about any other year you'd like to submit.

US consumer debt in 2007 is $2.5 trillion.

US GDP in 2007 is $14.11 trillion.

And to answer Nannie's perpetual demand --"Links!  Links! We must have links!!!!"

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/US.html

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/Current/

Like we said, when you actually know something Knackers, come on back.  Til then, don't disturb the adults.

ZERO Republican votes for tax-spend-and-borrow Obama budget

There were ZERO votes for the Obama budget from real Republicans.

There were 3 RINO votes for the Obama stimulus bill in the Senate.

Here's why

Why not propose to eliminate the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development? 

This is a Republican chestnut.  These departments have relatively small budgets and much of what they do Americans want.  Eliminating the departments would save a small fraction of their budgets.

Why not sell off federal assets, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, in order to help pay down the federal debt? 

A "Director of Tax Policy Studies" should know that selling off state assets is a sign of bad state government.  These are non-recurring sources of income that do not solve long term structural problems, only postpone them until after the next election.   There may  be a case for privatizing the TVA, but it isn't a long term solution to government over-spending.

Why not open up the U.S. Postal Service to competition?

FedEx?  As Director of Tax Policy Studies, you surely know that individual letter delivery is not privatized because it would leave rural people with very expensive of no mail service.  Americans are willing to subsidize rural mail, just like we subsidize rural utilities and roads. 

The bigger picture, dispite your supposed boldness, is that these are small items.  Zeroing them out will not a large difference.  To make a big difference, you have to go after the big iterms -- entitlements and defense.  The American people have spoken against cuts in entitlements -- even Bush at 80% popularity could not cut social security.  Maybe Republicans should move on wasteful defense spending -- work to cut star wars, super fighters, and nuclear subs, none of which has made a difference in US military operations in the past three decades.  Maybe you could line up farm state Republicans behind cuts in farm subsidies? 

And once you've figured out that Americans will not tolerate significant spending cuts, you will embrace taxes at a level appropriate to spending.

We are ALL Republicans ... so MAN UP WHINERS and fight BHO!

Like we've pointed out in prior posts, Jon Henke is fairly quick to find fault with House GOP Caucus leaders even when Jon Henke's point is off-the-mark by a mile or more.  And he'd like us all  to believe that when the House GOP leadership speaks, it's the voice of the GOP.  Sort of like thinking that when Bob Barr speaks it's the voice of the LibbieLoon-atics.

Michigan-Matt and other nails this one. Republicans are a DIVERSE GROUP WITH DIFFERENT VIEWS. So stopping putting all Republicans in one box, and stop pretending that the 33% of voters who are self-described Republicans in this country can be put in a box with whatever you imagine the GOP congressional leaders are saying and doing. And for gosh sakes, if you are going to criticize, at least get it RIGHT.

THIS ...Thus, the Brookings scholars found cuts more than twenty times larger than the House GOP leadership cuts,

Is a lie. It's simply the wrong math which I debunked on a previous thread. In fact, I pointed to $300 billion in just one intance of cuts and $4 TRILLION in differences in overall budget trend between what the GOP supports and Obama and the Democrats. In other words, the Obama budget will leave us 4 trillion in more debt and taxes than the republican plans. Why is Jon Henke endorsing this lame counterfactualism?

Why is NextRight out-to-lunch on the BIG ISSUES OF THE DAY - like Iran, cap-and-trade energy taxes-and-regs, govt-run health insurance, $16 trillion in spending in Obama's first term, and tax increases?

It really doesn't matter whether it's from a RINO, a neocon,  an evangelical or a vegetarian, the "screw 'em all, they all suck" motif is a guarantee to get Democrats elected.

Preach it Ironman! Instead of these nit-picking and dishonest "ooh the GOP leadership isnt doing exactly what I want so I'm going to whine about it  and tell them to propose things that wont EVER happen and dont even have majority support so are totally impractical and bad politics anyway" Meanwhile  Obama destroys USA and the whiners doing nothing effective to stop it. Way to go - not.

MAN UP, WHINERS! Obama's four Horseman of the Socialist(*) Apocalypse is upon us. The battle is joined! Stop nitpicking and start fighting.

(*) If you don't want to call it socialism, fine, but another word would still not cover the statist stench of the largest and most massive shift in govt power ever in our history.

Sometimes I like to think of

Sometimes I like to think of Patrick R. masquerading as 'Freedoms Truth' and John Henke as 'Michigan Matt' and it makes reading TheNextRight even more entertaining.

Tucker, I can honestly believe you do...

because it's about as reality-based as your usual rants and partisan hack slams offered here... it's really not hard to believe.

A question for you, for someone who clearly doesn't share the interests of this site, why do you spend so much time in the discussion?  I mean, is it really all about spitting out your speical brand of spite and irritation?  For you, that's entertainment?

Is that what triggers your few good moments in life?  My God, that's sick and pathetic, Tucker.

No need for meds; you need to get straight to a psych's couch for some soul-searching therapy.  Long overdue, dude.

Matt, you're missing the point.

Matt--

Sadly, I think you're missing the advantages of hearing and understanding other points of view.   Clearly, you'd prefer more of a vacuous echo chamber rather than some give an take discussion of points of view.

I know that you think that your reality is rock solid based on logic...what I think you need to understand that almost everyone has the same feeling.  From reading your posts over the last few months, I get the impression that you are severely partisan and unable to appreciate the criticisms of the Right and steadfastly wish this were more of an echo chamber.

Speaking for myself, I appreciate the other points of view and use them to hone and sharpen my arguments and feelings on different issues.

I truly believe that the Republican party won't be strong again until they can move above and beyond the silliness of "Socialist!", "ACORN!",  and "Save Marriage!" and like this site because it provides a platform for that discussion.  If you don't like Tucker's comments, don't respond.  Move on.  Make a better point later.

I don't feel the need to defend Tucker's points (or anyone else's here, for that matter), but will speak that we need to encourage discussion.   What you're offering is yet another step on the path to failure.

-Pain

background info for Matt:

My mother-in-law STRONGLY objects to my wife travelling overseas to visit her best friend (whose husband is based in London) because she says there are "TOO MANY ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS OVER THERE". This is the most recent example of why I am PISSED at Republicans.. Now, I love my mother-in-law, and I don't want to get divorced, so theNextRight is the way to go. :) Also, my wife totally agrees with your critique of my online persona. She said the comment you made is dead-on and smiled. Then I reminded her that 'The Bachelorette' is fixed and she walked off. No offense dude.

Difference

The only difference between the GOP socialist movement and the Obama socialist movement is that the GOP is more secretive about it. Obama just makes it painfully obvious. casino en ligne