Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Intertubes Mini Round-up

Just three items (so far) today...

(1) Rasmussen - "62% Say Obama Should Not Meet With Iran Until It Stops Nuclear Weapons Program"

I'm sorry, what?! That necessarily includes a lot of Obama voters.

Let's see what happens in the upcoming Iranian elections and ask the question later.

(2) Bob Smith, go home. Nobody cares about you, you gasbag.

(3) New source of amusement and/or fear for the future of the nation: "Spotted: DC Summer Interns".

I don't want to believe these interns are that stupid, but I do believe it.

Added --- Be sure to check out Ed-vs-Ted and the Ed/Ted redux posts, if nothing else.


Samay said...

You posted something about how DC insiders are always wrong. You pretty much predicted that the ultimate DC insider would tank his first political race.


JoeCollins said...

that was "2/3 of 'GOP insiders'" are always wrong, which is a slam against (1) those who are the insiders and (2) the media for selecting those who they consider to be insiders and citing their opinions as authoritative and representative. but I get your point.

On the other hand, Ed Rendell (D) and Haley Barbour (R) made the transition from party chair to gov.

I didn't follow that race at all but I'm a little surprised McAuliffe did so poorly. I suspect he would have gotten creamed in the general election. Virginia's trending Dem, but not THAT far Dem just yet.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe - would like your take on http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy/10leonhardt.html?_r=1&hp


JoeCollins said...

That NYT piece is basically on the right track, but a few things -

A little disingenuous to start the clock at the end of Clinton's term. Structural faults in the budget were present before Bush took office even if some of the Clinton (+GOP Congress) years had surpluses.

No fiscally serious Republican would defend Medicare D.

Iraq/Afghanistan, expensive though they are, do not represent multi-decade structural budget problems. They will eventually end.

Tax cuts are incrementally beneficial to the economy, while spending is incrementally detrimental and virtually always less efficient. (the lesser of two budgetary evils.)

Cap and trade may not "cost" the government up-front, but it will have a detrimental economic impact that will affect revenue. (I'm side-stepping the issue of whether carbon externalities should be priced/taxed. Just making a statement about economic impact.)

I'm rather skeptical that only 3% of the out-year deficits are a result of non-stimulus agenda items including health care. The health care bill is going to be a major problem.

Many of the stimulus programs are not temporary, and will represent a new (higher) baseline budget.

If anything, the author understates the problems inherent in attempting to control health care spending.

The new PAYGO rules are a joke:

But they are correct that Republicans in office aren't serious either.

Samay said...

Yes, no fiscally responsible Republican would defend Medicare D, but like you said, the media doesn't select them to be the "respected Republicans" who get their views aired on TV or in major publications...

JoeCollins said...

Karl Rove to this day still credits Medicare D with re-electing Bush in 2004. I don't doubt it contributed, but Rove has a tendency to take a static view over a dynamic view. If Bush hadn't done Medicare D but instead had fixed something else (like Iraq, for starters), he might have done better.

Similarly, Rove blames the 2006 Republican losses on scandal, etc. Well, that was true at the margin, but there a zillion other things that brought us to the point where a few scandals could push the GOP over the edge.