April 11, 2018

Farewell, Mister Speaker!

I figured I would be the only one in this great nation with a kind word or thought for Rep. Paul Ryan (Whirlwind Reaper - WI). But -- no -- Megan McArdle handles the task with dignity and aplomb.

If he lost the battle for fiscal sanity, it's not because he didnít fight hard; it's because he faced an overwhelming force. Ten years ago, Ryanís budget crusades seemed admirable, if quixotic. Now, however, the crusade just seems suicidal. Any serious attempt to put entitlements on a sustainable path or address our budget imbalances will be extremely painful. It will have to be done on a bipartisan basis, because any party that tries to inflict that pain alone will be decimated in the next election -- except the party bases donít want their politicians to work with anyone from the other side, and will primary anyone who shows any sign of moving towards the center. Talking about a budget deal no longer means tilting at windmills; it means sending your pikemen out to face a 21st-century artillery barrage. You can't really blame anyone for thinking better of such a charge.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:18 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Something doesn't add up here. Please check my work:

Ryan resigned to spend more time with his family so as not to be "just a weekend dad."

Ryan's entire congressional career has been dedicated to federal budget fiscal sanity through budget (read: entitlement spending) reform. Some say it was his reason for returning to Washington every year.

Pursuit of bipartisan entitlement reform "just seems suicidal."

Paul Ryan retired. Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Why not speak truth to power, appeal to his constituents to rally behind him, and make a "suicidal" charge into the establishment's entitlement empire? You know, because it's so important to him. What's the worst that could happen? Lose reelection? Buehler?

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2018 3:27 PM
But Terri Goon thinks:

I always like him. It's too bad he was too nice of all things!

Posted by: Terri Goon at April 12, 2018 3:29 PM
But jk thinks:

The WSJ is laudatory today. Good for them. One of the meanest "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" columns I saw was Peter Suderman's in Reason. (I would pay $9.95/mo. for a webcam of the Suderman - McArdle dinner table. That has got to be the best show in the world.)

To your direct question, jg, I think it is one thing -- and a good thing -- for a sitting Congressperson to put all the chips on #22 and face the consequences. Ron Paul and Justin Amash have had great careers doing just that.

But Speaker Ryan accepted a leadership position. Like the WSJ Ed Page, I do not think he wanted it. Once he did, he is now betting for the whole House GOP Caucus.

My problem with his libertarian detractors (and there is a bootlegger and Baptist coalition) like Suderman is that there is ZZZZEEEEEERRRRROOOOO appetite for austerity. The President of his own party doesn't care. The GOP base doesn't care. This quixotic strike you seek has no backup outside Liberty on the Rocks -- and they won't vote because of Public Choice Theory.

I think he did a good job herding the fractious cats of the GOP caucus and sublimating his preferred policies. Accepting the Speakership gives him institutional and party-wide responsibilities.

Posted by: jk at April 12, 2018 5:51 PM

January 23, 2018

All Hail Jonah

Posted by John Kranz at 9:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2018


I'll give Congress and President Trump props.

I wanted to go a bit deeper on my comment to nb's video. The bonuses and wage increases after the Corporate Tax cut are exciting and are an unalloyed good. I'm not being argumentative. But...

But the repatriation of -- say it with me -- "A QUARTER OF A TRILLION DOLLARS" to the US from foreign accounts is exciting. My Libertarian buddies may not cheer, but the WSJ Page points out that the $38 Billion in taxes "finances a lot of Social Security checks." But what Apple will do with the remaining $212 Billion is pretty exciting.

Am I showing elitist stripes? The $1000 bonuses to good old, salt-of0the-Earth, American workers is swell. But just one company bring that kind of Jack home to design products and build factories might help them more.

By the way, some of the benefit is flowing into wages. Apple also announced a $2,500 employee bonus in the form of restricted stock. The longer-run benefit to workers is that investment makes labor more productive, which will make wages grow over time. Yet Democrats are still claiming that shareholders will be the sole beneficiaries of tax reform and workers will get crumbs. Who you gonna believe: Chuck Schumer or your own eyes?

Jeez, they might even fix iTunes on the PC!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

@JK: you're only being "elitist" to the extent that you can do math and understand economics. You'd be thrown out of Boulder if anyone finds out! Hmmm, maybe you should work from home for a few more days :-)

You are 100% correct, IMO, that the wage increases & bonuses are small change (still, enough "crumbs" for many to make a tasty cake) compared to Apple and other things like the $1B investment (equal to a million bonuses) by AT&T.

Still, I'm willing to float the populist balloon around here and see how it resists some arrows... then I'll put it up on FB {heh}

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 19, 2018 1:11 PM

December 18, 2017

Quote of the Day

It appears that the only ones entitled to Ms. Gillibrand's silence were Bill and Hillary Clinton, who enjoyed Ms. Gillibrandís enthusiastic support for more than a decade while they were politically useful. To stay, it seems that Mr. Franken will need to show how he too can be useful to the New York senator. -- James Freeman
Posted by John Kranz at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2017

Dodged a Bullet!

Do Moore's defenders not realize the extent to which religious freedom in this nation depends on a host of progressive judges and government officials complying with lawful court orders? For example, the ability to hire and fire pastors according to the dictates of the church and not the federal government was only recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. What if some state judge, somewhere, disagrees? If you accept Moore's behavior on the bench, you must accept that any judge can defy the Supreme Court whenever he sees fit. -- David French
Don't worry, Bannoniites! The master has promised to work his Alabama magic in every Senate race except Ted Cruz's. (Presumably, leaving Ted as the sole GOP Senator.)
Posted by John Kranz at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)