Monday, October 21, 2013

The defunding wars are over. The accusations are fading. We are back to reality.

But short term, we are walking over landmines that threaten to blow up the normal way of doing business, and pose far more harm for Democrats than for Republicans. - Victor Davis Hanson/PJM

...The shutdown may have temporarily sidetracked the Republicans, yet Obamacare threatens much worse for the Democrats. By 2014 the former will be ancient history, while the latter will be an ongoing mess.

The Debt

All the old liberal pretexts for the debt are now questionable. Foreign wars are over in Iraq and about over in Afghanistan. Sequestration already made radical cuts in spending. New taxes on the top brackets were passed. The economy is supposedly recovering, bringing in new revenue.

Why, then, are we still borrowing $700 billion annually?

Obama will probably not get GDP growth up to 4-5%. He won’t be able to raise taxes again, above the new 39% rate, on “fat cats.” There are no more wars to blame for the borrowing. Instead, he faces always higher entitlement costs, Obamacare, and possible hikes in interest rates. This paradox has no answer other than spectacular economic growth, the repeal of Obamacare, an extension of the private-energy revolution onto federal lands, and vast cuts in entitlements. I don’t see any of that happening in the next three years, and so the deficits will continue to hover between $600 billion and $1 trillion per year. “Bush did it” will not excuse a president who in eight years borrowed more than did all previous presidents put together.

So What? ...MORE at the link. VDH is always one of the best reads on the net.

Relax, GOP — Obamacare Will Defund Itself - Roger L. Simon/PJM

Amidst the brouhaha over defunding Obamacare, the government shutting down, the Republican brand plummeting as the party fractures, etc., etc., the GOP is being presented with a golden opportunity that they would be extremely wise to consider and exploit carefully — Obamacare is about to defund itself....

What is worse for Obamacare is what happens after they actually fix They need young people to sign up, almost three million of them, to make the system fly, to subsidize it. But why should they? Many twenty and thirty somethings are paying off $20,000-$30,000 student loans. Many others don’t have jobs. And those that do, already subsidize Social Security....

I am writing this before Obama speaks on Monday, so have little idea of what he is going to say. But his only choice is to put his best face on the dreadful enrollment figures. Otherwise, he has to announce a delay in the program — the very thing Republicans shut the government over! (He’ll never do that. It’s too easy to point out.)

...So what should Republicans do? First, as Hippocrates said, do no harm. Stop attacking each other. Follow Ronald Reagan’s prescription about never speaking ill of fellow Republicans. That kind of behavior turns off voters.

Never cease to point out the problems of Obamacare, but do it with humility and grace, maybe a little humor. Trust me — the public gets it. They’re supposed to enroll in the damn thing.