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April 11, 2011

DOOM!...just like Mom used to make.

Via Insty comes this LAT op-ed (yeah, I know, bear with me) about the latest liberal idea for making the economy more "fair": ending Roth IRA's. I won't sport with your intelligence by getting into the argument -- it's profoundly dumb -- but it does provide yet another example of the liberal belief that all money belongs to the government by default; the only question is how much they let you keep. Thus the war on "the rich". (And the definition of "rich" keeps sliding downward, have you noticed? Pretty soon that piss-smelling bum down by the bus-stop will be considered "rich" because he has an actual la-di-dah belt to hold up his pants rather than a frayed length of clothesline like the rest of us.)

The end times are surely upon us - the donks pretend to have budget-cutting religion. If you want to know if the Tea Party had any impact at all on the Democrats, wonder no longer. It won’t make any difference that matters, of course; Democrats exist to tax and spend. It’s what they do. But the cutters have won the rhetorical war -- we’ll see how far it gets us in the actual process of living within our means as a nation. Do we dare to look on that far shore?

And about that budget fight we just went through? It’s only the preliminary match. The title card fight is yet to come.

UK and the Netherlands to Iceland: Give us our money! Iceland: What money?

The SS/Medicare impasse is receiving a lot more attention now than even last year, but it’s still mainly of the “soul-searching” variety rather than the “here are the hard cold facts” variety. I expect the “Republicans want to kill grandma!” rhetoric to become pervasive as the 2012 campaign season builds up a bigger head of steam. I also expect the AARP to become fully engaged in the fear-mongering among the rocker-jockey set.

Can’t sell your house now that you’re badly underwater on your mortgage? That plot of land you bought back in ‘08 more of a drain on your pocketbook than you’d anticipated? No worries! The Chinese will buy your real estate. And will pay top dollar!

Speaking of the Chinese -- it’s like Bizarro world or something when the Chinese post a trade deficit for the first time in seven years. How could this happen? Commodity prices, kids -- food, fuel, and raw materials. Inflation is going through China like a honey badger through a beehive.

Veronique de Rugy puts us some f’in knowledge on spending cuts, myths versus facts. This goes to the heart of the “tax vs spend” war between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats believe, with religious fervor, that taxes must be raised to meet spending needs -- because to them, every penny of spending is necessary and vital. All money belongs to the government by default; the only question is how much they allow the peasants to keep. (See the Roth IRA story above.) In the land of the Democrats, there is never any fat; any cut immediately hits muscle and bone.

Though in fairness the GOP has an equally intractable problem: they love big government just as much as the Democrats, but they don’t like taxing people to pay for it.

ECB rate hikes could admister the coup de grace to Ireland, Portugal, Greece, and even Spain. I don’t know that a rate-hike will do more than hasten the inevitable, really -- what else can the PIGS do at this point but default? The citizens won’t stand for the kind of austerity that would be required to pay off the bond-holders -- especially given that those bondholders are primarily French and German banks (as well as the ECB). It seems to be a basic question of math: there is no possible way that these countries can pay off the debt they owe. Yet the merest thought of the breakup of the Eurozone gives the unelected Eurocrats a bad case of the vapors; they refuse to even consider the possibility -- in public, anyway. Yet reality is asserting itself, as it always does.

How did Trump get to be so popular in certain political circles? Here’s my take: when all we have to choose from are fools, ceteris paribus, Americans tend to choose the most entertaining fool.

Congressman Paul Ryan on Meet the Press. You can tell he has the Democrats scared because they’re trying to do two things at once: make him look like an extremist nutcase; and at the same time say the same things he’s saying, only with Democrat frosting on it.

And at last -- when the DOOM! finally arrives; when the wailing and groaning and gnashing of teeth drowns everything else out; when the living envy the dead; we will have one last miserable truth hammered home: it’s all our fault.

[UPDATE 1]: Let's check in with VDH and see if Callie is still boned. ...yeah, still boned.

[UPDATE 2]: Dylan plays China, allows the ChiComs to dictate his playlist. Can't have those hippies getting the peasants all riled up, now can we?

[UPDATE 3]: The government's motto is not E Pluribus Unum; it's Over-promise and Under-deliver.

[UPDATE 4]: Eli Lehrer: "Pensions aren't the problem!" Tom Cross, Illinois House Minority Leader: "Au contraire, mon frère!"

"Your misery amuses me, mortal!"

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posted by Monty at 08:58 AM

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