October 20, 2005

TALK IS EASY (via mc):

Blunt won’t gamble on budget votes (Alexander Bolton, 10/20/05, The Hill)

Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told the House Republican Conference yesterday that he would not take upcoming budget and spending legislation to the floor without being certain of winning the 218 votes he needs for passage, a response to nearly losing a close vote on energy legislation before the October recess.

Blunt, who is also the majority whip, is taking a cautious approach to the upcoming budget and spending votes in the midst of complaints from Republican lawmakers who say House leaders should follow regular procedures on floor votes.

Before the October recess, House Republican leaders held open a vote on energy legislation for 45 minutes to give the GOP whip operation enough time to cobble together the necessary 212 votes.

A leadership aide acknowledged that Blunt’s message to his colleagues was “in response to what happened with that energy bill” and lawmakers said they support the more conventional approach. [...]

By announcing the new guidelines, Blunt conveyed to conservative and centrist members of the GOP conference the need to work together to identify spending cuts and stressed that without party unity there will be no action.

You could hold them open until there's hockey in Hell and they won't find the votes for significant cuts.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2005 9:02 PM

There is no place in the federal budget for significant and meaningful cuts, in the sense of reducing spending from the previous year. The structure of federal spending virtually guarantees that.

$1.8 trillion of the $2.3 trillion federal budget is for entitlements and defense expenditures, and these two are the fastest growing components (12% and 8% annually). If you cut everything else by 50%, you would only keep pace with the growth in the entitlements and military expenditures.

And it gets uglier every year. Soon we won't even have to worry about other expenditures, the entitlements will choke us anyway. If somebody is serious about cutting spending, they have to look at the biggest expenditure categories. Focusing on these minor items may make us feel righteous, but it is nothing but tilting at windmills. Unless somebody has the guts to cut entitlements, don't even waste your time, it is not going to make a difference.

Posted by: sam at October 20, 2005 9:27 PM

Easy there Sam, OJ has a new third government to build first

Posted by: Perry at October 20, 2005 9:36 PM

Ah, but what does the 3rd way do to the old-school 2nd way entitlements Perry?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 20, 2005 9:42 PM

No one's going to cut entitlements, we'll just put the money in accounts so that it grows faster.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 10:32 PM

same thing, oj, govt. will no longer be obligated to pay for "entitlements"

Posted by: sam at October 20, 2005 10:58 PM


Yes, it will force you to fund your own directly.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 11:05 PM

I think there is no third way, at least how Oj is calling it. He seems to be flirting with a mix of libertarian ideas wrapped in an outer shell of government regulation. An example would be our stock market. An individual can own stock, buy and sell, but is regulated (controlled) by government regulatory body (SEC) and a number of laws. Oj calls this a third way. Does not seem novel to me but if you are a statist at heart, it might appear grand considering what a failure statism has been.

I think the guys above have it right. No way to get rid of entitlments and transition to private accounts without really screwing somebody.

Also, maybe I am wrong about the uniqueness of a third way but even so, how are you going to get all the uneducated lazy arses with unearned high self esteem off those ever fatter butts - to work?

Posted by: Perry at October 20, 2005 11:14 PM


Yes, once you get past the fact that the government is forcing you to buy the stock it is libertarian.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 11:19 PM

No way to get rid of entitlements and transition to private accounts without really screwing somebody.

That may be true, but even if so, it still might be possible to transition to personal accounts - because the current systems have ALREADY put GenX and the Millenials in a bad spot.

Now it's just a question of whether they want to mitigate the pain, or do it the hard way.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 21, 2005 3:24 AM