Three Little Things

2010 November 18
by Dave

Three items that seemed worth passing along burbled to the top of my RSS reader today.

First, Lexington makes an interesting point about the bribing of Israel to commit to a 90 day settlement freeze. He posits that one might look at this as the first time that support once taken for granted will have some strings attached.

Second, David Frum had his bloggers do a bit of work contacting the signatories of an open letter to Bernanke that is critical of the latest round of quantitative easing. The question that was put to them was a simple one, “what would you do instead?” The common answers had some similarities. If one takes reality into account they are not implementable, and some of the proposals are of questionable utility. My favorite point that Frum makes is that if you think that deficit reduction is the way to spur the economy and create jobs, then the logical corollary is that the deficits of 2009 and 2010 caused the job losses of 2008 and 2009.

And third is Eric Cantor’s statement that the Deficit Commission’s proposal of a national sales tax was a non starter because it sounds kind of European. You know, like a VAT. This is one of the early signs of how the tea party monster that the GOP fed is following it around and causing problems. Republicans have been pushing a regressive sales tax as a replacement for progressive income tax for almost as long as income tax has been around. But now that it is on the table they can’t touch it with a ten foot pole because they are allergic to anything that could be in anyway tied to socialism.

This shows how profoundly the GOP is screwed because there are practically no positive actions that government can take that cannot be viewed as socialistic if looked at right. You can’t govern if the very act of governing is socialism. If they can’t at least sell the pretense of trying to govern, then they will loose the independent support that swung their way this election. And if the GOP even so much as convincingly pretends to participate in responsible governing they will enrage their base.

The main Republican hope right now is that bunkering down and doing nothing will somehow either help, or at least not stop job creation and deficit reduction. Good luck with that.

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