Taxmageddon

What awaits us, no matter who wins the elections:

On Dec. 31, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire, raising rates on investment income, estates and gifts, and earnings at all levels. Overnight, the marriage penalty for joint filers will spring back to life, the value of the child credit will drop from $1,000 to $500, and the rate everyone pays on the first $8,700 of wages will jump from 10 percent to 15 percent.

The Social Security payroll tax will pop back up to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent under the deal approved Friday by Congress. And new Medicare taxes enacted as part of President Obama’s health-care initiative will for the first time strike high-income households.

The potential shock to the nation’s pocketbook is so enormous, congressional aides have dubbed it “Taxmageddon.” Some economists say it could push the fragile U.S. economy back into recession, particularly if automatic cuts to federal agencies, also set for January, are permitted to take effect. . . .

The tax shock is set to occur after the Nov. 6 election but before the new Congress — and potentially a new president — take office two months later. While the outcome of the contest is likely to color the tax debate, Obama will either be freshly reelected or on his way out and, therefore, free to play hardball with Congress.

White House officials say Obama will not sign another full extension of the Bush tax cuts, as he did in December 2010. Obama is demanding a partial extension that would preserve the cuts for middle-class taxpayers but permit rates to rise on household income over $250,000.

via ‘Taxmageddon’ looms at end of payroll tax holiday – The Washington Post.

This will be decided by the lame duck Congress and the potentially lame duck President (unless he is re-elected, which I still think is likely).  Doing nothing or being deadlocked means the tax cuts will all expire.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    If you spend, you must pay. There’s no way around it. And when George Bush was spending money like there was no tomorrow, no one had even heard of the Tea Party. Furthermore, doesn’t the Republican party still hold Ronald Reagan as its national hero, a president who ballooned the national deficit?

  • Michael B.

    If you spend, you must pay. There’s no way around it. And when George Bush was spending money like there was no tomorrow, no one had even heard of the Tea Party. Furthermore, doesn’t the Republican party still hold Ronald Reagan as its national hero, a president who ballooned the national deficit?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The piper has to be paid, yes.

    In the mean time, at leats one of your prospective candidates has a lot of warlust, therefore hiking the potential price of the piper. Given that the annual cost of the Real Defense Budget is nigh on 1 Trillion Dollars**, now or later, taxmageddon, or bankruptcy, is going to happen there – at least if he takes over.

    **http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/the-real-defense-budget/253327/

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The piper has to be paid, yes.

    In the mean time, at leats one of your prospective candidates has a lot of warlust, therefore hiking the potential price of the piper. Given that the annual cost of the Real Defense Budget is nigh on 1 Trillion Dollars**, now or later, taxmageddon, or bankruptcy, is going to happen there – at least if he takes over.

    **http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/the-real-defense-budget/253327/

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – Ron Paul was anathematized by many in the Republican Party for pointing out that point about Reagan. And now, many Republicans are shocked, shocked! that there are egregious levels of deficit spending in D.C. Further proof that the only good deficit is one your party creates and perpetuates. Remember, it’s for the children (the debt that is).

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – Ron Paul was anathematized by many in the Republican Party for pointing out that point about Reagan. And now, many Republicans are shocked, shocked! that there are egregious levels of deficit spending in D.C. Further proof that the only good deficit is one your party creates and perpetuates. Remember, it’s for the children (the debt that is).

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Actually, Reagan did what the Obama administration itself is arguing now. That argument is that deficits are no big deal as long as the economy is growing and is able to support it. The Democrats in Congress agreed with him and you see what happened. Bottom line…neither party is accountable when it comes to ballooning deficits and reckless spending. The only time it is pointed out is when your party is not the one in power.

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Actually, Reagan did what the Obama administration itself is arguing now. That argument is that deficits are no big deal as long as the economy is growing and is able to support it. The Democrats in Congress agreed with him and you see what happened. Bottom line…neither party is accountable when it comes to ballooning deficits and reckless spending. The only time it is pointed out is when your party is not the one in power.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, I was wondering how one man could be a “(potentially) lame duck president”, as well as evil-incarnate (as witnessed in the increasingly shrill tenor of this blog, in article and comment).

    Then I read this: “Conspiracy Buffs Will Believe Even the Impossible” **
    Then it all made sense.

    **http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/study-of-the-day-conspiracy-buffs-will-believe-even-the-impossible/252481/

    BTW, this also explains why some here can believe the same man to be a Muslim, Communist, Nazi, Abortionist, Liberal, Non-American blah-di-blah-di-blah, while at the same time applaud (well, at least not distance themselves from..) crude jokes made by grey-haired Republicans at the expense of women (see Tom’s remarks last week). No, I’m not pro-abortion. But the filth which some will endure for politcal expediency is galling, to say the least.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, I was wondering how one man could be a “(potentially) lame duck president”, as well as evil-incarnate (as witnessed in the increasingly shrill tenor of this blog, in article and comment).

    Then I read this: “Conspiracy Buffs Will Believe Even the Impossible” **
    Then it all made sense.

    **http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/study-of-the-day-conspiracy-buffs-will-believe-even-the-impossible/252481/

    BTW, this also explains why some here can believe the same man to be a Muslim, Communist, Nazi, Abortionist, Liberal, Non-American blah-di-blah-di-blah, while at the same time applaud (well, at least not distance themselves from..) crude jokes made by grey-haired Republicans at the expense of women (see Tom’s remarks last week). No, I’m not pro-abortion. But the filth which some will endure for politcal expediency is galling, to say the least.

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie, yes, Obama is the most incompetent President we’ve ever had. (“That’s what you get when you elect someone with no leadership experience.”) At the same time, he’s successfully carrying out a plan to turn America into a European-style Socialist state. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie, yes, Obama is the most incompetent President we’ve ever had. (“That’s what you get when you elect someone with no leadership experience.”) At the same time, he’s successfully carrying out a plan to turn America into a European-style Socialist state. :-D

  • kenneth

    What about a weaker influence in the world because of a lower defense budget around the world? Obama is cow towing to the Muslims already. Wouldn’t we need more protection from the military?

  • kenneth

    What about a weaker influence in the world because of a lower defense budget around the world? Obama is cow towing to the Muslims already. Wouldn’t we need more protection from the military?

  • Joe

    Tom – calls to mind the attacks on Bush that he was a moron and an evil genius no? (Not saying that one line of attack is right or wrong, just saying nothing new here)

    KK – I think the point was that Obama will be a lame duck post election day, not that he is a lame duck now. If he wins he will not be a lame duck, he will be inflicting his agenda on us. The point was that no matter what the out come of the election is – these tax cuts will expire.

  • Joe

    Tom – calls to mind the attacks on Bush that he was a moron and an evil genius no? (Not saying that one line of attack is right or wrong, just saying nothing new here)

    KK – I think the point was that Obama will be a lame duck post election day, not that he is a lame duck now. If he wins he will not be a lame duck, he will be inflicting his agenda on us. The point was that no matter what the out come of the election is – these tax cuts will expire.

  • Joe

    Michael B. I could not agree more. Now explain why higher taxes necessarily means an increase in revenue to the feds. History seems to indicate that there is in fact something to this whole Laffer Curve.

  • Joe

    Michael B. I could not agree more. Now explain why higher taxes necessarily means an increase in revenue to the feds. History seems to indicate that there is in fact something to this whole Laffer Curve.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 8, I don’t remember anyone on the left crediting Bush with genius, evil or otherwise. Cheney, on the other hand …

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 8, I don’t remember anyone on the left crediting Bush with genius, evil or otherwise. Cheney, on the other hand …

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I think Tom is right, Cheney got the credit back then….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I think Tom is right, Cheney got the credit back then….

  • Patrick Kyle

    The tax increase will be in vain. It will not change or alleviate our debt in any substantive way, and will only make it harder on the taxpayer. This video is an excellent intro to the math behind our situation.

  • Patrick Kyle

    The tax increase will be in vain. It will not change or alleviate our debt in any substantive way, and will only make it harder on the taxpayer. This video is an excellent intro to the math behind our situation.

  • DonS

    If the Republicans hold the House (pretty much a sure bet), take the Senate ( a very likely bet), and take the presidency (roughly even money to a slight long shot at this point), then they will have an opportunity to act on an urgency basis to extend the current tax system for another year, retroactively to the beginning of 2012. They should be able to use the budget reconciliation process to avoid a filibuster. Ultimately, the tax system needs to be completely revised to lower rates and eliminate most deductions, thereby to greatly simplify it and make it more fair by eliminating favored treatment for some entities and activities.

    Should government continue to be divided, there will be war in 2013 over the tax system. Since the Bust tax cuts will expire without action, massive tax increases on many Americans will occur.

  • DonS

    If the Republicans hold the House (pretty much a sure bet), take the Senate ( a very likely bet), and take the presidency (roughly even money to a slight long shot at this point), then they will have an opportunity to act on an urgency basis to extend the current tax system for another year, retroactively to the beginning of 2012. They should be able to use the budget reconciliation process to avoid a filibuster. Ultimately, the tax system needs to be completely revised to lower rates and eliminate most deductions, thereby to greatly simplify it and make it more fair by eliminating favored treatment for some entities and activities.

    Should government continue to be divided, there will be war in 2013 over the tax system. Since the Bust tax cuts will expire without action, massive tax increases on many Americans will occur.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS: In 2009, the US government collected $915 billion in individual income taxes. That is under the current tax cuts. Now I don’t have the 2009 figure, but the 2012 “Real” Defence budget is MORE than that amount. Unless your theoretical Total Republican government is going to cut THAT figure, debt is going to keep on growing….

    But, current inidcations are that at least 2 out of 3 leading candidates are itching to go to war, thus increasing the budget so much more (ignoring questions of just war, moral arguments and all that).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS: In 2009, the US government collected $915 billion in individual income taxes. That is under the current tax cuts. Now I don’t have the 2009 figure, but the 2012 “Real” Defence budget is MORE than that amount. Unless your theoretical Total Republican government is going to cut THAT figure, debt is going to keep on growing….

    But, current inidcations are that at least 2 out of 3 leading candidates are itching to go to war, thus increasing the budget so much more (ignoring questions of just war, moral arguments and all that).

  • Cincinnatus

    KK@14:

    Obama is also itching to go to war. He’s the one moving warships and troops into the vicinity of Iran and Hormuz. What’s your point?

    Also, Robert Gates–a Bush appointee–commenced plans to cut dramatically (albeit not dramatically enough) defense expenditures. His successor has continued these policies. Defense spending is no longer a partisan issue. Nor, for that matter, is entitlement spending. Neither party is interested in cutting spending, which is what really needs to happen.

  • Cincinnatus

    KK@14:

    Obama is also itching to go to war. He’s the one moving warships and troops into the vicinity of Iran and Hormuz. What’s your point?

    Also, Robert Gates–a Bush appointee–commenced plans to cut dramatically (albeit not dramatically enough) defense expenditures. His successor has continued these policies. Defense spending is no longer a partisan issue. Nor, for that matter, is entitlement spending. Neither party is interested in cutting spending, which is what really needs to happen.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Generally speaking I think we’d save more money freezing current Medicare and Social Security expenditures at 2012 levels for the next decade than eliminating the entire defense budget.

    I’d prefer we balance the budget by gradually phasing out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as none of those programs are consistent with liberty or the US Constitution.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Generally speaking I think we’d save more money freezing current Medicare and Social Security expenditures at 2012 levels for the next decade than eliminating the entire defense budget.

    I’d prefer we balance the budget by gradually phasing out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as none of those programs are consistent with liberty or the US Constitution.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Cincinnatus – I was responding specifically within the context of DonS’ perception that a GOP-in toto government will fix things. I’m not denying that Obama is sailing close to the wind as well, though I do think he is playing a more classical version of the “great game” than Santorum and his ilk wants to – doing more of the threat and posturing and bluff-calling etc.

    But it all costs a lot of money, and that was my real point. And since this post is about money, who is going to pay?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Cincinnatus – I was responding specifically within the context of DonS’ perception that a GOP-in toto government will fix things. I’m not denying that Obama is sailing close to the wind as well, though I do think he is playing a more classical version of the “great game” than Santorum and his ilk wants to – doing more of the threat and posturing and bluff-calling etc.

    But it all costs a lot of money, and that was my real point. And since this post is about money, who is going to pay?

  • Michael B.

    Sal@16 wrote: “I’d prefer we balance the budget by gradually phasing out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as none of those programs are consistent with liberty or the US Constitution.”

    You do realize that this would kill a lot of old people? How many people do you know that are saving up for their future medical expenses?

    @Joe@9 wrote “Now explain why higher taxes necessarily means an increase in revenue to the feds.”

    Higher taxes don’t increase revenue? Then why don’t we lower taxes even more than the Bush tax cuts? That way we can get more revenue.

  • Michael B.

    Sal@16 wrote: “I’d prefer we balance the budget by gradually phasing out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as none of those programs are consistent with liberty or the US Constitution.”

    You do realize that this would kill a lot of old people? How many people do you know that are saving up for their future medical expenses?

    @Joe@9 wrote “Now explain why higher taxes necessarily means an increase in revenue to the feds.”

    Higher taxes don’t increase revenue? Then why don’t we lower taxes even more than the Bush tax cuts? That way we can get more revenue.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    “You do realize that this would kill a lot of old people? How many people do you know that are saving up for their future medical expenses?”

    Medicare’s projected deficits are many multiples of the entire US economy. It’s not a question of whether Medicare will end. It’s only a question of whether we phase Medicare out gradually or abruptly when the nation is unable to borrow enough to fund it.

    It is an unAmerican attitude to assume Americans citizens are helpless without decades long welfare from the central government. We may have lost some of the instincts for self-reliance and mutual aid but we will either regain those attributes by choice or when the central government runs out of money.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    “You do realize that this would kill a lot of old people? How many people do you know that are saving up for their future medical expenses?”

    Medicare’s projected deficits are many multiples of the entire US economy. It’s not a question of whether Medicare will end. It’s only a question of whether we phase Medicare out gradually or abruptly when the nation is unable to borrow enough to fund it.

    It is an unAmerican attitude to assume Americans citizens are helpless without decades long welfare from the central government. We may have lost some of the instincts for self-reliance and mutual aid but we will either regain those attributes by choice or when the central government runs out of money.

  • Bob

    SAL’s last couple of comments give me fresh motivation to vote Democratic.

    Thanks, SAL.

  • Bob

    SAL’s last couple of comments give me fresh motivation to vote Democratic.

    Thanks, SAL.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 20: Sheesh, and here we thought we had you turned into a Republican ;-) . So close.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 20: Sheesh, and here we thought we had you turned into a Republican ;-) . So close.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 14: For a guy who tends to be a bit touchy about folks criticizing Canada, you sure take a lot of shots at the U.S.

    This historical chart puts the taxes/spending issue in perspective: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Bottom line — the wars of the past decade have pushed U.S. military spending from about 5% of GDP to between 6 and 7% of GDP. Even at these inflated levels, the domestic spending of the U.S. government has increased even faster, so that defense spending is less than 25% of total federal spending. And defense spending is the part that is actually constitutionally mandated.

    Ending the wars will, realistically, cut only $200-300 billion from defense spending on an annual basis. It’ll help some, but we’re talking about a $1.4 TRILLION deficit. Obama’s budget accounts for defense spending cuts by …. wait for it ….. increasing domestic spending EVEN FASTER! No help there.

    Look at the chart again. Spending by the federal government is at a higher level as a percentage of GDP, by 5% of GDP, than it has been since 1946 — as 15 million servicemen returned from WWII. Now, that was a war!

    It’s the domestic spending. Period. We must reduce it substantially, and we must make it sustainable, by ceasing the stupid idea of budgeting our kids’ money through entitlements. Yes, taxes are going to have to go up, to pay for our past stupidity and selfishness. But not by simply allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. We need to re-engineer the tax system so that higher taxes are fairly distributed, and are offset by far lower compliance costs. Everyone needs to feel the pain of excessive spending — no free rides, and no special favors. And, let’s at least make it possible to file your taxes without spending thousands of dollars on an accountant, and wasting dozens of hours assembling your paperwork.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 14: For a guy who tends to be a bit touchy about folks criticizing Canada, you sure take a lot of shots at the U.S.

    This historical chart puts the taxes/spending issue in perspective: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Bottom line — the wars of the past decade have pushed U.S. military spending from about 5% of GDP to between 6 and 7% of GDP. Even at these inflated levels, the domestic spending of the U.S. government has increased even faster, so that defense spending is less than 25% of total federal spending. And defense spending is the part that is actually constitutionally mandated.

    Ending the wars will, realistically, cut only $200-300 billion from defense spending on an annual basis. It’ll help some, but we’re talking about a $1.4 TRILLION deficit. Obama’s budget accounts for defense spending cuts by …. wait for it ….. increasing domestic spending EVEN FASTER! No help there.

    Look at the chart again. Spending by the federal government is at a higher level as a percentage of GDP, by 5% of GDP, than it has been since 1946 — as 15 million servicemen returned from WWII. Now, that was a war!

    It’s the domestic spending. Period. We must reduce it substantially, and we must make it sustainable, by ceasing the stupid idea of budgeting our kids’ money through entitlements. Yes, taxes are going to have to go up, to pay for our past stupidity and selfishness. But not by simply allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. We need to re-engineer the tax system so that higher taxes are fairly distributed, and are offset by far lower compliance costs. Everyone needs to feel the pain of excessive spending — no free rides, and no special favors. And, let’s at least make it possible to file your taxes without spending thousands of dollars on an accountant, and wasting dozens of hours assembling your paperwork.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – easy there cowboy! Please demonstrate where I take potshots?

    Facts: This country (Canada) relies heavily, as does many others, on the economic welfare of the US. Therefore we’d hate to see political decisions jeopardise US economic welfare. Now, I strongly suspect that your charts do not take the “real defense spending” into account, as per my link above, from a reputable American news source, certainly one of the better ones. Also, one would be naive in imagining that war against a majority Muslim country would translate into just the direct cost of that war. Because the propaganda value of such a war would prove enough fuel for radical elements to keep the security establishment busy, and thus a significant budget item, for years to come. Thus in the end, the budgetary contribution of another war could be, not only in the short term, but especially in the long term, quite devestating. Also consider that said country, Iran, has close ties economic ties to several major nations, being a major oil exporter to the largest foreign holder of US credit, and the biggest supplier of cheap consumer goods to the US market, and the country which enables many US companies, like Apple, to continue making record profits. Can you see why we are talking about serious economic impact here?

    This is not about taking potshots – this is about the economic well being of the 310+ million in your country, the 33+ million in mine, and billions elsewhere.

    Decisions have consequences. Eisenhower (yes – I’m not quoting your enemies, not taking potshots) warned against the military-Industrial complex. Ike was right. Whereas it is true that many places in the world have benefitted from the American “Empire”, and all that, empires have a habit of going broke in the end. You guys have a chance to end that, to let that go – as the Brits had to do. Now you can do it in a planned, careful fashion, not catastrophically, but with financial prudence, which would give America (long may she prosper, and I mean that) a new lease on life, keeping the ability to defend and to react where really necessary, but more in co-operation with others (ie, more in line with Ron Paul And Dennis Kucinich, but maybe not as drastically – one has to keep a healthy dose of Realpolitik in there too); or you could keep on trying to fight all wars everwhere – but as the Romans, and the English, and the Mongols, and everybody else will tell you – it doesn’t last.

    Now why is that so difficult to follow? Why the hell must people like you always jump on the damned jingoistic wagon when a “dreaded foreigner” like me point out the patently obvious – quoting American, non-extremist sources?????

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – easy there cowboy! Please demonstrate where I take potshots?

    Facts: This country (Canada) relies heavily, as does many others, on the economic welfare of the US. Therefore we’d hate to see political decisions jeopardise US economic welfare. Now, I strongly suspect that your charts do not take the “real defense spending” into account, as per my link above, from a reputable American news source, certainly one of the better ones. Also, one would be naive in imagining that war against a majority Muslim country would translate into just the direct cost of that war. Because the propaganda value of such a war would prove enough fuel for radical elements to keep the security establishment busy, and thus a significant budget item, for years to come. Thus in the end, the budgetary contribution of another war could be, not only in the short term, but especially in the long term, quite devestating. Also consider that said country, Iran, has close ties economic ties to several major nations, being a major oil exporter to the largest foreign holder of US credit, and the biggest supplier of cheap consumer goods to the US market, and the country which enables many US companies, like Apple, to continue making record profits. Can you see why we are talking about serious economic impact here?

    This is not about taking potshots – this is about the economic well being of the 310+ million in your country, the 33+ million in mine, and billions elsewhere.

    Decisions have consequences. Eisenhower (yes – I’m not quoting your enemies, not taking potshots) warned against the military-Industrial complex. Ike was right. Whereas it is true that many places in the world have benefitted from the American “Empire”, and all that, empires have a habit of going broke in the end. You guys have a chance to end that, to let that go – as the Brits had to do. Now you can do it in a planned, careful fashion, not catastrophically, but with financial prudence, which would give America (long may she prosper, and I mean that) a new lease on life, keeping the ability to defend and to react where really necessary, but more in co-operation with others (ie, more in line with Ron Paul And Dennis Kucinich, but maybe not as drastically – one has to keep a healthy dose of Realpolitik in there too); or you could keep on trying to fight all wars everwhere – but as the Romans, and the English, and the Mongols, and everybody else will tell you – it doesn’t last.

    Now why is that so difficult to follow? Why the hell must people like you always jump on the damned jingoistic wagon when a “dreaded foreigner” like me point out the patently obvious – quoting American, non-extremist sources?????

  • Bob

    DonS,

    Not even close.
    :)

  • Bob

    DonS,

    Not even close.
    :)

  • http://www.worldvieweverlasting.com SAL

    I think the annoyance is due to the red herring of attributing America’s fiscal problems to military expenditures when most of America’s growth in the deficit is due to popular programs like Medicare/Medicaid. These programs are expected to double their share of the American economy in just a few years. That is assuming we hold to the deep cuts to Medicare in the “Affordable Care Act”.

    Military spending is projected to significantly decline as a percentage of the economy given the significant cuts already agreed to by the Pentagon and the Congress. How can you rant about military spending when military manpower is shrinking, entire commands are being eliminated, and the military’s share of the federal budget is shrinking?

  • http://www.worldvieweverlasting.com SAL

    I think the annoyance is due to the red herring of attributing America’s fiscal problems to military expenditures when most of America’s growth in the deficit is due to popular programs like Medicare/Medicaid. These programs are expected to double their share of the American economy in just a few years. That is assuming we hold to the deep cuts to Medicare in the “Affordable Care Act”.

    Military spending is projected to significantly decline as a percentage of the economy given the significant cuts already agreed to by the Pentagon and the Congress. How can you rant about military spending when military manpower is shrinking, entire commands are being eliminated, and the military’s share of the federal budget is shrinking?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SAL – note that I’m asking questions because of a very obvious logical problem: If you are against spending more, why wage another war? That is the essence of the question. And I’ve enhanced the question with references to “real defence spending” etc. But so far, all I got was deflections. No real answers. Which indicate to me that the only people on the right (excluding the moderates here) that are serious about budget shrinking are the Paulites, who want to shrink both the war machine, AND the institutions you RANT about. ALL the time.

    The rest of the anti-medicare etc rants must therefore be more about ideology, than about finances. Finances are just a convenient excuse, and not a real reason.

    QED: I have seen the Emperor, and he is butt-naked. If only he will admit it.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SAL – note that I’m asking questions because of a very obvious logical problem: If you are against spending more, why wage another war? That is the essence of the question. And I’ve enhanced the question with references to “real defence spending” etc. But so far, all I got was deflections. No real answers. Which indicate to me that the only people on the right (excluding the moderates here) that are serious about budget shrinking are the Paulites, who want to shrink both the war machine, AND the institutions you RANT about. ALL the time.

    The rest of the anti-medicare etc rants must therefore be more about ideology, than about finances. Finances are just a convenient excuse, and not a real reason.

    QED: I have seen the Emperor, and he is butt-naked. If only he will admit it.

  • http://www.worldvieweverlasting.com SAL

    I’ve seen rhetoric that might concern you but why would we be shrinking the military (with bipartisan approval) if we actually intended to use it in a costly way soon?

    It seems to me you’re confusing political rhetoric with political reality. No politician will commit to a major conflict absent bipartisan approval and a casus belli.

    Even the overblown Iran war rhetoric assumes a very limited conflict more akin to quick raids than major combat.

    Absent bipartisan approavl and an ironclad casus belli, I’d be willing to bet America engages in no major combat for at least 15 years.

  • http://www.worldvieweverlasting.com SAL

    I’ve seen rhetoric that might concern you but why would we be shrinking the military (with bipartisan approval) if we actually intended to use it in a costly way soon?

    It seems to me you’re confusing political rhetoric with political reality. No politician will commit to a major conflict absent bipartisan approval and a casus belli.

    Even the overblown Iran war rhetoric assumes a very limited conflict more akin to quick raids than major combat.

    Absent bipartisan approavl and an ironclad casus belli, I’d be willing to bet America engages in no major combat for at least 15 years.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SAL: I wish you were right – the rhetoric vs reality thing did occur to me, but I dismissed it. I’m not convinced yet – but time will tell. It is only this week that Lieberman et al attempted to “move up the ‘red line’” which Iran must cross to justify military action… McCain didn’t join them though.

    The other interesting fact I have seen is that apparently RP has huge support among military folk. Now doesn’t that tell us something?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SAL: I wish you were right – the rhetoric vs reality thing did occur to me, but I dismissed it. I’m not convinced yet – but time will tell. It is only this week that Lieberman et al attempted to “move up the ‘red line’” which Iran must cross to justify military action… McCain didn’t join them though.

    The other interesting fact I have seen is that apparently RP has huge support among military folk. Now doesn’t that tell us something?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    OTOH, I would venture to predict that if the GOP picks RS, he’ll lose handily against Obama, who is unlikely to commit to anything beyond a military strike. If they pick MR, he could lose, but if he wins, he would be unlikely to go to war either. But RS could be a lose cannon in that regard (as would NG, but he is a spent force imho).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    OTOH, I would venture to predict that if the GOP picks RS, he’ll lose handily against Obama, who is unlikely to commit to anything beyond a military strike. If they pick MR, he could lose, but if he wins, he would be unlikely to go to war either. But RS could be a lose cannon in that regard (as would NG, but he is a spent force imho).

  • Bob

    Speaking of RS — I’m looking forward to the debate tonight and find out the latest vis-a-vis Rick’s Satan Watch. I know according to Rick, Satan’s already devoured the country’s 40 million + mainline Protestants.

    Wonder who will be next?

  • Bob

    Speaking of RS — I’m looking forward to the debate tonight and find out the latest vis-a-vis Rick’s Satan Watch. I know according to Rick, Satan’s already devoured the country’s 40 million + mainline Protestants.

    Wonder who will be next?

  • kerner

    Bob:

    Oh come off it. If you want to attack Santorum because you disagree with his politics, go right ahead. But let’s not start picking on him for believing in the devil and believing that Satan being loose in the world having somethng to do with there being evil around us. This just proves how polarized we have really become in this country, when commenters on a Christian blog think they have to attack someone for believing in the devil, just to keep from breaking ranks with your political pals.

  • kerner

    Bob:

    Oh come off it. If you want to attack Santorum because you disagree with his politics, go right ahead. But let’s not start picking on him for believing in the devil and believing that Satan being loose in the world having somethng to do with there being evil around us. This just proves how polarized we have really become in this country, when commenters on a Christian blog think they have to attack someone for believing in the devil, just to keep from breaking ranks with your political pals.


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