Where the money is going

by on February 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm in Current Affairs, Political Science | Permalink

Defense spending most of all, but there is also this, by Heather Long and Jeffrey Stein:

“There are a ton of unmet needs out there because of federal cuts: job training, low-income assistance programs, help for students with Pell Grants, child care assistance,” said David Reich, a senior fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. “This is the opportunity to make some progress with those needs. Money here will help.”

Meeting a key Democratic priority, the agreement funnels billions of dollars for several key health-care priorities — funding community health centers for two years, extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program for an additional four years (on top of six years that had been previously authorized), and staving off several cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that would have been triggered had the caps not been lifted.

“All I can say is the obvious: It’s great to get the funding for these finally nailed down,” said Tim Jost, a health-care expert at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. “It finally brings stability to some very important health-care programs.” About $7 billion will be spent on the community health centers, which provided care to 26.5 million Americans in 2016.

No, Trump and the Republicans never were going to “gut Medicare.” Overall, so many commentators on the left are fooled into thinking elected Republicans are far more ideological, and far less majoritarian and less sensitive to public opinion, than in fact they are.  Oddly, or perhaps not so, they are fooled in many of the ways that many of the Fox News viewers are fooled too.

By the way, have I told you my “gut” rule?  If you read an article or tweet these days, where “gut” is used as a verb in a non-self-reflective way, it is almost always a bad piece or tweet.  That is what my gut says at least.

1 Bob February 9, 2018 at 1:56 pm

I understand the Republicans not trying to gut Medicare, but why not gut things like “community health centers” and the Children’s Health Insurance Program? The former is a broad based program, while the latter are giveaways to Democrat voting constituents.

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2 John Thacker February 9, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Because the money is partially a payoff to Democrats to get the Democrats to betray the DACA recipients. That’s part of the compromise. This is part of showing who’s going to “pay for the wall,” as it were.

(Yes, I know there’s a standalone bill promised, but that would have to get passed by both House and Senate, and get the President’s signature, which means it would contain other unpalatable things.)

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3 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm

get the Democrats to betray the DACA recipients

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

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4 John Thacker February 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm

I believe I described it neutrally. For the Democrats, they traded one thing (DACA recipients) for another, lots of spending on other spending priorities.

Are you in that group of conservatives who believe that it’s easily worth spending $150 B a year extra if you get to end DACA?

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5 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Are you in that group of conservatives who believe that it’s easily worth spending $150 B a year extra if you get to end DACA?

I hadn’t pondered an explicit trade-off in terms of dollars and cents. The $150 billion is less than 1% of personal income flows in this country.

I kind of liked the world I grew up in. The things I didn’t care for (and do not care for retrospectively) would not have been and are not now remedied by turning wide swaths of the country over to Mexican colonization or cultivating the Democratic Party vote farm. The quantum of funds you mention can be reduced in next year’s budget. Someone else has you’re country, you don’t get it back (and least not without prohibitive costs).

6 Hazel Meade February 9, 2018 at 4:17 pm

DACA recipients are generally culturally American, not “Mexican”.
They have been, by definition, raised here since childhood.
In a sane universe, someone who has been here since he was 3, speaks perfect English, and is completely assimilated, would be considered American.

7 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm

DACA recipients are generally culturally American, not “Mexican”. T

Hazel, there’s your imagination and there’s reality, both about people on the ground and what happens when programs are actually implemented. Rachel Dolezal isn’t black just because you like to play let’s pretend. Same principle applies here.

8 Joël February 9, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Art Deco, I believe that in this case you (and many others here) are fooled the same way the “commentators on the left” and the “Fox News viewers” are. Actually this is a fine example of Tyler’s theory, that deserves to be made clear.

Trump is not only Okay to extend DACA, he is for making it permanent, by making all potential recipients of DACA (and not only the actual recipients) legal immigrants, and before long, green card holders and then citizens. He has said so consistently. Many Republicans will also support this position, because, good or bad, “dreamers” are popular and Republicans are, as Tyler says, “Majoritarian”.

The position of Democrats on DACA is more complicated. They are saying all the time they are the strongest supporters of “dreamers”, but this is just signaling. When they had full power 8 years ago, with a super-majority in the senate, a majority at the house and Obama at the white house, they didn’t regularize the dreamers. Of course they cultivate “electoral farms”, but who knows for whom these dreamers will vote ten years from now — after all they come from mostly catholic families
with a lot of culturally conservative views? As they are, increasing the total population, hence the number of representatives and electoral college voters, of many blue states, but without having a say for themselves, “dreamers” already provide everything Democrats dream of, electorally. Also Democrats like a large cheap undocumented population to man their restaurants, to clean their houses, to be their “doula”, etc.

This is why, since Trump has proposed his plan to give citizenship to dreamers, you see democrats, changing the subject (“Trump is racist”, “he is a Russian”, “he is a sexual predator”) instead of saying clearly where they stand. They probably have the power, with the help of some republicans, to make any attempts to improve the life of dreamers fail. But they risk to pay a huge political prize if they do too visibly. So I believe (but I am not sure) they will finally play along and accept Trump’s plan to legalize dreamers, together with the second part of its plan aimed at avoiding that such a population of illegals regrow too quickly, namely the wall and the improved immigration enforcement.

9 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

The position of Democrats on DACA is more complicated.

Ultimately, it isn’t.

10 The Rage February 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Dreamers are somewhat, but not hugely politically sensitive. Trumps poor immigrant control and love for work visa’s make him the weakest immigration President I have ever seen. Clinton and Bush were bad, Trump is worse. All talk.

11 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:51 pm

they didn’t regularize the dreamers.

Other things were sucking up the oxygen in the room.

12 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Trump is not only Okay to extend DACA, he is for making it permanent,

Trump stakes out positions in a negotiating dance, some of which includes public relations bank shots.

13 Hazel Meade February 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Art,
What do you think makes someone culturally an American, if not having lived in the US since childhood?
Culture isn’t defined by pieces of paper. Someone could award me Japanese citizenship tomorrow, and it wouldn’t make me ethnically Japanese. Or are you suggesting they aren’t American because they aren’t “white”?
We’re talking about people from whom this is their childhood home, who speak the language, who have shared the same cultural experiences as anyone who was born here.

14 msgkings February 9, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Hazel, why do you bother? Art is what he is. Some people are just that way.

15 FYI February 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm

My main problem with DACA is not whether they are “american enough” or not. The problem is that DACA is a band-aid. A dirty band-aid for that matter. Say we forgive them all, every one is in. What happens in 15 years? Same thing? Do we keep doing this indefinitely? Are we saying that no matter how you got here, if you are able to hide long enough you are an american?

There’s got to be a way to fix this in a less crappy way.

16 HL February 10, 2018 at 2:36 am

There is no American culture. Too much diversity, too much atomization. There are advantages to this but the competition of cultures isn’t limited to work ethic and flavorful dining. If a black swan event happens, the uniformity and cohesiveness of a common culture will be sorely missed. We crossed that Rubicon a long time ago.

17 Dick the Butcher February 10, 2018 at 8:00 am

Art,

You are too charitable.

The dogs understand that only a few (what two dozen?) will be deported and nearly a million will stay to be paid entitlements, take Americans’ jobs, commit crimes, and, worst, vote (illegally) Democrat.

NYC idiots’ panties are in a bunch over ICE agents arrest of a so-called dreamer after he was charged (Bronx Court House) with assault and battery.

That is all they got. It is beneath stupid.

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18 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 3:13 pm

“community health centers” and the Children’s Health Insurance Program? The former is a broad based program, while the latter are giveaways to Democrat voting constituents.

“Community health centers” are more likely giveaways to a miscellany of parties among the clientele of Democratic members of Congress and almost certainly should be defunded. If the State of Minnesota wants such clinics, they can pay for them. CHIPs is a subsidy to impecunious people generally, and that’s not a constituency owned by either party and not (given the purposes to which the expenditure is put) a constituency it’s a priority to shiv. (Well, it would be to Ayn Rand admirers, but there’s no indication the President’s men are Objectivists).

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19 John Thacker February 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm

almost certainly should be defunded

You can’t get everything you want in our system. Crack down on one Democratic priority like DACA, the tradeoff is more money for other Democratic priorities like community health centers. The immigration hardliners, along with the military spending boosters, are the ones who guaranteed that the community health centers would get more money. Politics is about compromises, and it’s the compromise you chose.

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20 Hazel Meade February 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Apparently some people would rather deport their fellow Americans to foreign countries, because they have Mexican ancestry, rather than restrain the size of government. The mask has slipped.

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21 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Apparently some people would rather deport their fellow Americans to foreign countries, because they have Mexican ancestry, rather than restrain the size of government. The mask has slipped.

They’re not ‘my fellow Americans’. They’re illegal aliens (and illegal aliens used as cardboard cutouts in Democratic Party sales pitches). You don’t enforce the law, you have open borders. ‘Open borders’ is proper policy only in the mind of autistics for whom everyone is foreign. Mexicans who respect legal norms, come here only when they arrive at the head of the queue, learn English, have regular jobs, stay out of gangs, and manage to avoid getting hauled in for drunk driving are welcome to stay.

I doubt if I were sentenced to your company in an office setting that I’d ever be displeased to see the back of you, even though you’re not Mexican.

22 Hazel Meade February 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm

A person who has lived here since they were 3 is as American as you are, Art.

23 msgkings February 9, 2018 at 5:17 pm

“I doubt if I were sentenced to your company in an office setting that I’d ever be displeased to see the back of you” – did Art just say he would like looking at Hazel’s butt?

24 OMG February 9, 2018 at 10:54 pm

What is your definition of an ‘American’, Hazel? Serious question. Someone who’s been here 15 years, 5, 1 … someone who says they’re ‘American’? It doesn’t seem to require any basis in law. Why not just say what you think, that you believe in open borders, people should be able to live and work anywhere they feel like (and hopefully this applies to all countries even though most are more restrictive than US) … it would make your ‘arguments’ much more coherent.

25 msgkings February 9, 2018 at 11:53 pm

@OMG: DACA kids are a special case. These are not people who have been here 1 year. These are not people who chose to break the law and enter the country illegally. These are people brought here as kids, who grow up American, who don’t have any knowledge of the countries they were forced to leave.

One can be against ‘open borders’ and still advocate for the American-ness of these people. The ONLY argument against naturalizing them is the moral hazard one (mentioned in this thread): parents will see they can get their kids in and may eventually see them be citizens. That is too weak of an argument IMO. We do plenty of things that create moral hazard but the benefits outweigh the costs. Ine this case the moral hazard pales in comparison to the moral monstrosity of kicking these people out.

Argue the point, don’t strawman it so lamely. Hazel has indeed advocated for open borders, and that’s a separate issue. Supporting ‘dreamers’ is not endorsing open borders.

26 Anon7 February 10, 2018 at 2:57 am

Art is correct. Membership in a political community is defined by law NOT culture. Familiarity with a culture may make a person more desirable as a citizen (though the multiculturalists who whine about hegemonic domination of ethnic minorities reject assimilation anyways), but it is not a sufficient condition to make a person an actual American.

27 clockwork_prior February 10, 2018 at 9:35 am

‘Membership in a political community is defined by law NOT culture. ‘

Both Germans and Russians disagree with this perspective, by the way – you are welcome to read about Aussieldler,

28 OMG February 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

Ok I looked up Aussieldler and Wikipedia says:’The right of return is a principle in international law which guarantees peoples right of voluntary return to or re-enter their country of origin or of citizenship’.

Is Clockwork now moving to the La Raza argument that US belongs to Mexico?

29 Art Deco February 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

A person who has lived here since they were 3 is as American as you are, Art.

No, they ain’t, Hazel. They’re not here lawfully and they do not have American parents. Or grandparents. Or great-grandparents. Or great-great grandparents. I do.

30 Bob February 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

CHIPs goes disproportionately to blacks and Hispanics:

https://www.kff.org/report-section/the-impact-of-the-childrens-health-insurance-program-chip-issue-brief/

Medicaid and CHIP play an especially important coverage role for children of color, whose families are more likely be low-income compared to Whites. As such, the two programs have reduced racial/ethnic disparities in children’s coverage. CHIP and Medicaid cover more than half of Hispanic children (52%) and Black children (56%), compared to about one-quarter of White (26%) and Asian (25%) children.8

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31 Bill February 9, 2018 at 5:18 pm

So what. They are citizens. I don’t vote for racists.

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32 Bob February 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

They’re Democrat voters. Medicare is more of a broad based program. The Republicans should try to gut CHIP, not Medicare.

33 Art Deco February 10, 2018 at 10:52 am

CHIPs goes disproportionately to blacks and Hispanics:

That’s true of common provision generally, because blacks and hispanics are less affluent and blacks have mildly depressed labor force participation. The programs are still of contingent utility to others. The CHIP recipients I know best are small town non-ethnics.

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34 JonFraz February 12, 2018 at 2:55 pm

You have CHIP confused with Medicaid, the health plan for the poor. CHIP is a subsidy for people whose employers do not provide affordable dependent coverage, a category of people who extend well into the middle class. There ‘s reason it was a bipartisan program: huge numbers of Republican voters also benefit from the program.

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35 OneGuy February 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm

The federal government has no business funding ” job training, low-income assistance programs, help for students with Pell Grants, child care assistance”. We are $20 trillion in debt because of these foolish left wing give away programs.

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36 Jan February 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Tens of millions of poor people get their health care from community health centers and CHIP is the only way those kids get health insurance (if they have access to private coverage they have take that). You want to gut them because they serve minorities and many likely vote Democrat. Every time I think the right can’t get any worse I just have to look at the newspaper or the comment sections.

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37 Doug February 9, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Medicine has no impact on life expectancy or survival on the margin. Cutting any health program (medicare, medicaid, CHIP, community health) really is a free lunch. Any of them could be cut by 20% or more and there’d be zero net human cost. This has nothing to do with being good or bad, but just optics.

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/09/10/robin-hanson/cut-medicine-half

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38 Jan February 9, 2018 at 8:42 pm

So give up your health insurance. Heh.

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39 JonFraz February 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

If you really believe health care is useless I invite you to forego it for yourself and your family.

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40 OneGuy February 9, 2018 at 10:03 pm

I sympathize with anyone who cannot afford health insurance, food housing etc. What are the odds that they have a $600 phone, smoke, drink and do drugs, own a car and choose to not work. But the larger point in this is that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to tax the productive and give that money to the lazy. The states can do it but not the federal government.

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41 Jan February 10, 2018 at 6:26 am

It’s not unconstitutional, but I encourage you to bring your case forward. You have standing, assuming you’re a working, tax paying person.

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42 Anon7 February 10, 2018 at 3:04 am

Yes, it’s bad for people to vote themselves bread and circuses. Democrats provide the bread and Trump provides the circuses.

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43 Jan February 10, 2018 at 6:28 am

Well, didn’t the rich and corporate donors just vote themselves a massive baguette to the tune of $1.5 trillion?

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44 OneGuy February 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

Did they? It would be appropriate if all of the tax cut money went to those who pay taxes. But a great deal of it went to people who pay no taxes or very little taxes. But it is the nature of cutting taxes that those who are taxed the highest are benefited the most. Math is a tough nut to crack but you can probably figure out why that is true. The purpose of the tax cut was to improve the economy and make America more competitive with the rest of the world. It is hard to compete with 40% federal taxes on corporations. The tax rates should have been cut more to improve the economy even more.

My view is that everyone who works for it should have baguettes and those who don’t work should have Pelosi’s crumbs.

45 Art Deco February 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

Tens of millions of poor people get their health care from community health centers

We’re not talking about people out on Indian reservations in South Dakota. They stuck one of those boondoggles in my home town about 1 mile from a massive University hospital complex with outpatient clinics up the wazoo.

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46 JonFraz February 12, 2018 at 2:51 pm

CHIP is not a “give away to Democratic constituents”. Participation in CHIP extends well into the middle class– and certainly includes a goodly number of working class families too. (Hint: CHIP is not a program for the poor).

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47 Dikfore February 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Is this a straussian post?

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48 RPLong February 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Is that a Straussian question?

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49 Borjigid February 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Is this a Straussian answer?

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50 WC Varones February 9, 2018 at 3:00 pm

What’s a dikfore?

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51 Borjigid February 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Echidnas are bad at spelling.

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52 Gabe Atthouse February 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm

If someone read these three posts, it would be an effective crash course on how this blog works.

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53 clockwork_prior February 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

‘Defense spending most of all’

Which is likely good for growth, according to a NYT columnist – ‘The continuing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies has prompted soul-searching among economists. They have looked to weak demand, rising inequality, Chinese competition, over-regulation, inadequate infrastructure and an exhaustion of new technological ideas as possible culprits.

An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

The world just hasn’t had that much warfare lately, at least not by historical standards.’ https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html

Thankfully, the economic curse of an existing persistence and expectation of peace is fading away, while the tide of America’s rising federal deficit is lifting the only boats that matter.

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54 Oleg February 9, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Now THAT’S sarcasm!

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55 WC Varones February 9, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Have we finally achieved structural deficits as a % of GDP greater than nominal GDP growth?

This will be fun!

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56 clockwork_prior February 9, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Well, at least the Republicans can be counted on to follow their principles once they have a majority in Congress.

Yeah, I’m not finding that funny either.

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57 Dale February 9, 2018 at 2:33 pm

I don’t see the claim that Republicans were going to “gut Medicare” anywhere in this post or in the article that is linked. The only reference to Medicare is to stave off cuts that would have taken place if the cap had remained in place. So, where did the “gut Medicare” come from?

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58 clockwork_prior February 9, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Prof. Cowen’s gut?

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59 ricardo February 9, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Sehr gut.

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60 Borjigid February 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Dale guts Tyler’s post.

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61 Transnational Pants Machine February 9, 2018 at 4:35 pm

>So, where did the “gut Medicare” come from?

Only every single Democrat election ad created since the late 1960s.

Do some googling. We’ll all hold our breaths til you return.

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62 gab February 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm

So, in commenting on an article, Prof Cowen references ads which people may or may not have seen or may or may not have imagined, but have to incorporate into their thought process.

I can’t be the only person hoping Dale doesn’t return and TPM holds his breath until even more brain injury occurs.

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63 Anonymous February 10, 2018 at 2:04 pm

If you haven’t heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the “gutting” of medicare and medicaid you must have been living under a rock

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64 rayward February 9, 2018 at 2:51 pm

More than a trillion dollar deficit this year, with the combination of the tax cut and spending increase. And Cowen is worried about signaling? Does this mean that Cowen believes a trillion dollar deficit, in one year, a year when the economy is at or near full employment, will have little or no ramifications for the economy?

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65 John Thacker February 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I’m afraid I don’t understand your comment, can you explain? Tyler is warning that a trillion dollar deficit was always more likely than the feared alternative of cutting spending, especially since the latter was more Mulvaney’s dream than Trump’s.

Of course, Trump’s insistence on immigration being a big issue (plus not caring about reducing spending either, in fact being in favor of spending on net) meant that letting DACA expire could be traded by Democrats for progress in all their other spending priorities.

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66 TMC February 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

See? Things haven’t changed that much.

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67 msgkings February 9, 2018 at 5:19 pm

See? Idiot partisans don’t care about anything but having Team Red or Team Blue in charge.

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68 A clockwork orange February 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Forsooth, the accordance in lucre and the rose of moral suspicion has enacted a bathos in the ninety-nine of one hundred shoulders.

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69 TMC February 9, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Its to my displeasure that things havent changed. Just thought it would make you feel better. Bring back Newt! The last guy to balance a budget.

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70 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 3:03 pm

“There are a ton of unmet needs out there because of federal cuts: job training, low-income assistance programs, help for students with Pell Grants, child care assistance,” said David Reich, a senior fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. “This is the opportunity to make some progress with those needs. Money here will help.”

Martha Griffiths, who represented a blue collar district in Michigan, once lost her temper at a social work industry lobbyist testifying at a congressional hearning, telling him ‘needs’ was a phony standard concocted by paternalistic bourgeois. “The real standard is what similar people earn, and how they are treated”.

“Low income assistance programs” is socialworkspeak for ‘Open ended dole supervised by case workers’.

That aside, there isn’t one item on that list for which there are discernible economies of scale or which would suffer notable performance deficits without central co-ordination. Why would Congress be mulling over these matters? Don’t we have state legislatures? Well, we do, but state legislatures might be less negligent with incremental bits of expenditure, state governments face legal constraints on deficit spending, state legislators are commonly part-time politicians whose patterns of social contact incorporate a higher ratio of ordinary people to sectoral lobbyists and Washington reporters, and there’s just a lot more shoe-leather cost in lobbying state legislatures than there be lobbying Congress. Also, Washington reporters are your stenographers and frame things in your way. Papers have one guy on the state capitol beat and he writes a weekly column on the folly of it all (when the Leg is in session).

Cue Michael Kinsley. Note how the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an uncritical advocate for every barnacle left over from decades of Congressional apercus. Subsidies for this, subsidies for that, and jobs for human-service professionals administering each and every one. Awardable berths in ‘training programs’ for a few (and we’ll produce a sketchy study demonstrating the programs ‘worked’; the press reads the executive summary and won’t glom onto the reality that a grand total of 6% of the programs graduates had better jobs than the control group).

You might just junk the whole kit and kaboodle and replace it with a wage subsidy enveloping and simplifying the EITC program. The trouble is that incorporates the assumption that the impecunious hold jobs, have the social competence to hold jobs, have the social competence to arrange for their own child care, and have some rough sense of what sort of training might be of interest and of use to them. And if that’s the assumption, it’s rather incongruent with maintaining to yourself the fiction that there was some utility to yourself and others in getting that MSW degree.

And that’s what liberal social policy amounts to: Leave No Social Worker Behind.

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71 Connie Lingus February 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Whew! That was a mouthful!!!

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72 Mulp February 10, 2018 at 10:31 am

Why should Federal deficits under an eitc subsidy to employers to allow high profits from Federal deficits than allow workers to buy more than they are paid?

Without Federal deficits, GDP would be limited to worker incomes.

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73 Hazel Meade February 9, 2018 at 3:08 pm

staving off several cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that would have been triggered had the caps not been lifted.

Haven’t they been doing this for that past 20 years? Or is this a new set of cuts that weren’t ever going to happen, that are not happening?

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74 John Thacker February 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

This is a new set of cuts postponed, from spending caps in the Budget Control Act and the sequester (that hadn’t gone into effect because cost growth had been somewhat slower than expected at the time of the agreement), not the cuts from 20 years ago that were postponed every year, nor the Cadillac Tax (which has been separately postponed.)

This deal does repeal the IPAB (“death panel”) from the PPACA that has never had anyone appointed to it or met, again because of caps that haven’t been met. As expected, of course, any cuts (and pay for taxes) in the PPACA were always going to be repealed in a bipartisan way.

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75 Transnational Pants Machine February 9, 2018 at 4:31 pm

So, no individual mandate, no death panel, no Cadillac Tax.

Too bad these useless GOP folks can’t repeal Obamacare, eh?

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76 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 3:17 pm

About $7 billion will be spent on the community health centers, which provided care to 26.5 million Americans in 2016.

And without a doubt 25.8 million of them could have readily shlepped over to an ordinary private clinic for care.

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77 Bob from Ohio February 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm

“There are a ton of unmet needs out there because of federal cuts: job training, low-income assistance programs, help for students with Pell Grants, child care assistance,”

All of these programs are either useless or counterproductive.

The first major mistake of the Trump era.

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78 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:14 pm

They’re useful for someone and produce some sort of results. However, what Pat Moynihan observed 50 years ago holds: the impetus for the programs was to be found not on the street but in the heads of social policy mavens &c. When James Q Wilson and a colleague were doing survey research in Boston at that time, they discovered that a crevasse separated city hall and the public they talked to. The former were chuffering about strategies to combat ‘poverty’ while the latter wanted the former to do something about street crime.

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79 Transnational Pants Machine February 9, 2018 at 4:28 pm

>The first major mistake of the Trump era.

Meh. The guy is at least 50% Democrat; what did you expect?

He’s never tried to hide it. I’m sure he genuinely thinks this is a victory.

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80 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:35 pm

The Republican Congresses (2003-07) compare favorably to the drunken sailors who succeeded them. You lay the bar on the ground, though, even Dennis Hastert can clear it. You say Trump is ‘50% Democrat’.

The last ‘100% Republican’ administration had three priorities in domestic policy: yet another tax cut, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and private accounts for Social Security. Oh well, we got Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

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81 The Rage February 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Alito’s zionism is unmatched.

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82 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

83 Jan February 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

“The first major mistake of the Trump era.” Bwahahahaha, lollololololol.

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84 edgar February 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm

“Defense spending most of all…” Even with the bump up, defense spending will continue to amount to about 15% of federal spending.

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85 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Of course, provisioning the military actually is a delegated power and not something that you can readily devolve. And, unlike schooling, it’s not something that arises spontaneously on the market. However, the military is staffed with chaps who once might have stuffed chess nerds into lockers, so Bryan Caplan et al resent every dollar spent on them.

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86 Art Deco February 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

“can’t readily devolve”

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87 Jan February 9, 2018 at 7:20 pm

So still as much as the next 7 countries combined? Great.

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88 edgar February 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Yes. We pay our troops well and we don’t have conscription. Are you advocating we man our forces like China or Russia? Non-mililtary DOD medical research funding is over a $1 billion a year and that too is more than a lot of other nations spend in total on their defense. One solution that I would endorse is to quit building our own jets and ships. We can’t do it cost effectively and the stuff we do finally get built appears to be junk. So why not just start outsourcing arms production to India or start flying French jets? This is one area in which more importing could beneficial rather than a subsidy to import mail and tax arbitrageurs.

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89 Mulp February 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

Social Security pays workers based on where the medicare beneficiaries decide to live, which is too democratic. Military spending involves elites picking the workers who get paid, and where by central planning in DC by conservative elites.

Liberals/progressives once controlled this central planning. FDR, LBJ, JFK, et all. FDR bought conservatives with jobs from military spending. JFK made military spending popular by calling it space exploration.

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90 Thomas February 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm

That is ridiculous. All of the Republican pitches involve massive cuts. (they conveniently leave out where) Just because they don’t stick to their word doesn’t mean those on the left where over reacting.

Why do you insist that people who assume republicans should be taken at their word are to blame?

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91 Jan February 9, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Oh Paul Ryan wants to cut Medicare and Social Security. He just wants to cut taxes for rich people more.

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92 jack February 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm

All of these institutes, centers, experts, college professors and so on make these arguments and assertions in the hope that some of the dough will come their way. Doubt there is much else going on.

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93 jorod February 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm

We need to phase out all poverty programs over 18 years. When you subsidize poverty, you just get more of it.

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94 Borjigid February 9, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Hence the great wealth of Somalia, which has zero subsidies for poverty.

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95 Potato February 10, 2018 at 7:28 am

And conversely, the only difference between Somalia and the US is CHIP and subsidized vocational training!

By the grace of God (Allah?), go we.

Did we win the interwebs now? We made an insane comparison to Somalia. Bonus points if a conservative compares us to Greece and their financial problems because of CHIP and Community Health spending.

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96 Mulp February 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

Taxes to pay for great transportation, eg Lincoln et al and big government railroad subsidies, and taxes to pay for universal education to first 6th, then 8th, then 12th grade during the Depression.

Try to do farming the way the US did in 1890 in Africa without railroads. Fertilizer by truck is too costly, and poor farmers can’t get their crops to market without high costs limiting them to specialities while commodities get to cities from the US cheaper by rail and then water.

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97 jorod February 10, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Socialism in Somalia and most of Africa and mid-east. Never had anything but poor.

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98 Transnational Pants Machine February 9, 2018 at 4:25 pm

The gut rule it is good. Even better though is the rule for “draconian,” and any reference to The Assault On The Environment, or our omnipresent Crumbling Infrastructure.

It’s amazing anyone can get to work these days, what with all the crumbling bridges.

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99 nigel February 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

I agree with the gut rule and have always implicitly followed it. Also draconian. I felt the same way about “austerity” back when that misnomer was in vogue.

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100 The Rage February 9, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Best part of Trump’s immigration scam is in my little ohio town that votes Republican 65-70% of the time. Think it is the corporations gunning for work visa’s? The lil man does as well. One of my favorite small businesses was cursing Obama for freezing work visa’s and he was very very mad. Well, Donnie made him very very happy this year.
Temporary Visa’s are why DACA exists in the first place. Guys, business associations recruit people from other countries to come here. ff they could get Indo-Europeans to come here, they would, but Indo-Europeans don’t like our policies and that includes from South America. All we get is the native indians. What a shame.

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101 AlanW February 9, 2018 at 6:14 pm

I can’t remember ever reading another Tyler post and immediately exclaiming, “That’s stupid!” But this one is stupid! The idea that Republicans aren’t serious about ending Medicare because they were willing to kick the can down the road is nonsense. It’s just as nonsensical as saying Democrats have given up on universal coverage because Obamacare wasn’t immediately popular. Republicans have taken serious runs at Medicare before, and they will again. In the meantime, they’ll chip away at Medicaid because it’s easier.

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102 Anonymous February 9, 2018 at 6:26 pm

I think Tyler chose a weird “hook” for his piece.

The big story is standing right there in the middle of the room. *All* spending is good. Deficits *don’t* matter.

Welcome to Republican government.

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103 Potato February 10, 2018 at 7:32 am

Welcome to any democracy.

Instead of a partisan lens, you could try a public choice economics one.

The benefit of public choice economics is that it does not lead to insane emotion based conclusions depending on which tribe you are rooting for,

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104 Anonymous February 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

Nope. On two obvious levels. We have never before had a congress and a president united for pro-cyclical stimulus. And for good reason.

See Tyler’s new post.

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/02/fiscal-policy-might-make-matters-worse.html

I was, and still am, for what is called there “ideal policy.” I took my economics seriously.

Too bad Republicans did not, and split themselves between what is called there “common sense” overreaction, or tribal acquiescence.

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105 Potato February 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Word salad for my tribe good, other tribe bad!

You did not take your economics seriously. Otherwise you would understand public choice economics. And your obvious partisanship would have faded away. It’s the equivalent of brain damage on its impact to rational thought.

You’re not for “there ideal policy” whatever that is supposed to mean.

Get a grip. I remember the days when MR wasn’t random emoting and signaling.

Democrats are definitely more susceptible to responsibility signaling/appealing to authority. Whether that is relevant to “there ideal policy” is anyone’s guess.

106 Anonymous February 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

I will also repeat a nontrivial question:

Who was the last president to balance the budget?

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107 TMC February 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm

None. Congress balances the budget. Bring back Newt! The last guy to balance a budget.

108 Mulp February 10, 2018 at 10:00 am

“. In the meantime, they’ll chip away at Medicaid because it’s easier.”

No, they will target the health care of those who vote Democratic while preserving health care paying and benefiting GOP voters.

How many GOP hospital executives have been in Congress with ties to Medicare fraud and bloat? They claim both medicare and medicaid pay hospitals too little, but they want higher medicare payments with less medicaid, but bigger hospital bailouts when patients can’t pay bills from a Federal slush fund controlled by State politicians picking the hospital bailout winners.

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109 Anonymous February 9, 2018 at 6:24 pm

The Navy was quite clever to crash those ships. It made the readiness and training argument a bit easier to frame.

Seriously, sure if “No enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combination of” budget caps and temporary funding resolutions, it was time for an increase.

But I’m taking that on trust .. and crashes.

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110 mkt42 February 9, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Are articles that use the word “gut” lower in quality than ones that use “slash” or for that matter “mushroom” or “explode”?

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111 ns February 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Commentators from any political perspective who have their eyes open can tell that FOX, Limbaugh, and the rest of the GOP propaganda machine have helped radicalize large swaths of “the base” by feeding them stories of how they, the true Americans, have been victimized, through scapegoating, demonizing, dishonest narratives, and other ways of amplifying the outrage machine. Through this fog of constant outrage, we are to see the elected Republicans as closet moderates, who in their moderation have waited patiently through nine years of political obstruction, holding the debt ceiling hostage, endless continuing resolutions and a lack of regular order in the legislative process, the Hastert Rule, blatant hypocrisy over executive power and fiscal responsibility, all while Eric Cantor gets ousted in a primary and Roy Moore nearly joins the Senate. These moderates are OK with spurious claims over voter fraud, extreme partisan gerrymandering, corruption being defined by SCOTUS as limited to blatant quid pro quo deals that anyone with an once of sense can do with a wink and a few institutional transfers. These moderates haven’t been enablers of racist populism, they have just been waiting around to make a pragmatic deal on the eve of the 2nd government shutdown in a month.

Tyler, may have a very, very high IQ, but this post is a HUGE TELL. The quoted material has nothing to do with overwrought fears of “gutting” Medicare, such that there actually are some. But that one example of hyperbole is also a strawman. Arguments about reducing social welfare spending made by conservatives in terms of positive economics have always been a fraud. Now that the emperor has no clothes and the deficit hawk / inflation hawk hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see, and Tyler is issuing a obvious projection as a distraction.

Liberal commentators who have excessive fears about policy changes that have been long-standing agenda items in the conservative movement of are no better than FOX sheep who think the Nunes Memo is real and senior Trump campaign meetings with Russians over hacked dirt on their election opponent were actually about adoption policy?

Get a grip, people. The future of the republic is at stake.

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112 Potato February 10, 2018 at 6:25 am

Seek help.

The unintentionally ironic use of the phrase “outrage machine”….yikes

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113 lxm February 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

Potato:
If you’ve ever listened to Rush you will know why outrage machine is an appropriate description.
And if you do listen to Rush and don’t hear the outrage machine, get your ears cleaned out.

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114 Anonymous February 10, 2018 at 9:54 am
115 TMC February 10, 2018 at 2:16 pm

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/2017-is-second-biggest-year-for-gun-sales-ever-might-top-2016/article/2627883

In a welcome surprise for the arms industry, 2017 is on a pace to easily be the second biggest for gun sales ever, and could beat last year’s record. New gun background check data released Thursday by the FBI revealed that 12,601,102 checks have already taken place this year

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116 Potato February 10, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Yes,

When a political party comes into power whose base wants to make guns illegal, the demand for guns skyrockets.

Irrational, perhaps. The Dems never had close to enough votes to ban private ownership of guns. But it does drive up the short term demand for firearms.

When that party is out of power that irrational demand fades and the gun industry demand declines to its base level.

I have no idea what your point is.

Rush Limbaugh on the radio? It’s an (more plebeian and inarticulate) inverse reflection of Op-Eds in the Washington Post or Nytimes. Obnoxious and stupid to us? Sure. Then again, so are more than half the articles on any given news or politics website.

A fundamental difference, I do not see.

The appropriate response is to roll your eyes. Not this wail and gnashing of teeth.

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117 lxm February 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Potato: I think you seek help.

Soon.

Please.

For your sake.

118 Mulp February 10, 2018 at 9:48 am

The deficits are to get trump and republicans reelected:

WaPo:

Some of that heavy armor will be headed to Poland, where it will be in place as a check on the Russians. But the extra money for tank and Bradley upgrades also has a domestic component and will mean more factory work in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama. Three of the four are key swing states.

“There’s a Trumpian piece of this,” said a senior military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss his opinion of the spending plan. “We are going get those factories humming. These are good jobs.”
===
FDR, LBJ, JFK knew the best jobs programs was military spending targeted at rural districts, ideally with significant direct government involvement to control the social policy on who was employed and on what terms.

The progressives who become Bernie Bros see economics as zero sum in that paying one block of people to work means not paying another block of people because only a fixed number of workers can be paid to work.

Conservatives on the other hand want lots of spending, but fewer jobs so profits are much higher, and government is the best way to get around the economics of zero sum: consumers can’t buy more than they earn. Military spending brings extra money from coastal elites into Alabama to fund bigger spending than conservative low wages policy will allow.

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119 Aaron February 10, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Individual GOP legislators come from non-competitive districts where a primary challenge is the primary mechanism through which they’ll lose their office, they care about the base, conservative media who influence the base, and large donors who fund races.

The party as a whole (represented somewhat by house leaders) cares about maintaining majorities. This includes keeping the base engaged (so they come out and vote) while trying to moderate them so they don’t nominate toxic candidates. They also care about the donor class to fund national campaigns. They care less about CNN and Fox News since they need to influence moderates as well.

I don’t understand the extremism the leadership showed during the ACA repeal, but the tax bill seemed to be a handout to the exclusive benefit of the donor class.

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