Posted by: Debby Durkee | July 6, 2011

Washington in denial.

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Washington in denial.

When faced with a crisis, what’s the best way to approach it? Logically-thinking people would say – address it head-on, get busy, figure out the best way forward and Just Do It. Then there are those who can’t face reality or don’t want to face reality. It’s easier for them just to deny, deny, deny because if it can’t be answered with an easy fix or by demonizing someone else then they’ve got nothing. That’s what we’re facing with a political class in Washington who just can’t seem to get their act together to do what’s right for the American people. This is from Michael A. Walsh in the New York Post.

In New York, New Jersey and Florida, politicians as philosophically disparate as Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republicans Chris Christie and Rick Scott have taken significant steps to bring their states’ fiscal houses into order, no matter what the eventual political price.

They’re hammering home a theme not much heard in Washington — personal responsibility.

Others, alas, are still in deep denial. The Minnesota government has just shut down in a duel between its Democratic governor and Republican legislature. In California, Jerry Brown is furiously raising taxes to support the satrapy in Sacramento, seemingly unconcerned that he’s driving out the productive classes.

With the Blue State model of high taxes and a huge underclass teetering on the brink of breakdown, Brown and others pretend that all it takes to right the system is more taxes and fewer services for the middle class — not addressing crucial issues such as bloated public workforces and entitlement reform. Snip –

…Dems led by Sen. Chuck Schumer are floating the notion that the president can simply ignore Congress, citing section four of the 14th Amendment, which has to do with the validity of the nation’s public debt.

Under this scenario, America would go on running up a tab for as long as anyone will lend us money, paying interest on the debt and doling out appropriations and entitlements without a care — using as its authority a Reconstruction-era amendment primarily crafted to redress some wrongs of slavery.

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online takes note of how Obama lives in his own unreal world talking out of both sides of his mouth. This is his reaction to Obama’s press conference announcing he’ll have Congressional leaders of both parties to the White House on Thursday to discuss the way forward on raising the debt ceiling.

The president who has yet to propose a detailed entitlement-reform plan and who chose to vehemently demagogue the Ryan plan declared that lawmakers have to make hard decisions, “sooner rather than later.”

Obama announced he’s invited Congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday. Note that an entire six days ago, Congressional Republicans invited Obama to the Hill for a meeting and his spokesman responded that it was “not a conversation worth having.”

The president who last week invoked tax rates on corporate jets six times during his press conference said to lawmakers that he hoped both parties would “get out of their comfort zones” and be willing to make the hard choices.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper observed one of Obama’s habits most infuriating to fiscal conservatives: his repeated references to tax increases he wants or deductions he wants to eliminate as “spending in the tax code.”

After declaring that he would oppose any short-term deal that merely “kicks the can down the road,” the president who voted against raising the debt ceiling back when he was a senator closed by saying he hoped “everybody leaves their ultimatums at home.”

Pundits are already talking about this White House meeting as just a dog and pony show, just a way for Obama to look like he’s the adult bringing the children to the table. All the while, he’s unserious and just wants to bully the Republicans into raising taxes and the debt limit while not cutting any spending at all. Call it denial, call it holding the country and Republicans hostage, call it whatever you want, but this is despicable.

Thomas Sowell has made note of the fact that facts don’t mean anything to a politician. Reality is just an inconvenience, so they live in talking points. The problem is that reality has a way of finally catching up.

The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on “the rich,” is a classic example of talking points versus reality.

Most of those who favor simply raising tax rates on “the rich” — or who say that we cannot afford to allow the Bush “tax cuts for the rich” to continue — show not the slightest interest in the history of what has actually happened when tax rates were raised to high levels on “the rich,” as compared with what has actually happened when there have been “tax cuts for the rich.”

As far as such people are concerned, those questions have already been settled by their talking points. Why confuse the issue by digging into empirical evidence about what has actually happened when one policy or the other was followed?

The political battles about whether to have high tax rates on people in high income brackets or to instead have “tax cuts for the rich” have been fought out in at least four different administrations in the 20th century — under Presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

The empirical facts are there, but they mean nothing if people don’t look at them, and instead rely on talking points.

All one has to do is look at Greece where reality is hitting them hard with an austerity program that punishes their children for the adults’ own profligate ways. Greece (and perhaps the United States?) is a great example of what happens when a country does not address runaway spending. This is from Investors Business Daily.

Greece, which has turned government into a vehicle for special interests seeking their own slices of the pie, where voters are unable to quit electing socialists, is a textbook example of a nation that ignored its debt, let it snowball and now is paying a price.

The reckoning came Wednesday, with Greece’s parliament passing a $40 billion austerity package to qualify for the last tranche of an International Monetary Fund bailout.The act went against every political instinct any of these free-spending politicians had, but they had no choice. “What stops socialism? Only bankruptcy, I fear,” Victor Davis Hanson has observed.

That force — bankruptcy — was strong enough to collapse the Soviet empire in 1991, the Spanish empire in 1652, China’s Manchu Dynasty in 1839, Chile in 1973, Argentina in 2001, Greece now and, the hard fact is, America, if its politicians remain in denial about spending.

In the U.S., congressional Republicans are trying to force their Democratic counterparts to agree to spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling to avoid a default on Aug. 2 — and the Democrats remain in denial…

Then there’s the story about how Obama’s ICE is making it easier for illegals to stay in the country, which does nothing for the country except take jobs away from Americans and add to our costs of social programs.

What is this administration doing while Rome burns? Does anyone still believe that this administration is interested in helping the economy and the country? If so, I suggest psychological help.


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