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Friday, February 05, 2010

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T SKIP THIRD GRADE   I just love it when snotty liberal elitists embarrass themselves. Wait till you read this about our old nemesis Dean Baker. From Jim Glass at Scrivener:
The man writes...
More Failed Airthmetic [sic] at the WSJ

It's often said that everyone in Washington is so smart that they skipped directly from 2nd grade to 4th grade. This explains why so many people in top positions don't know third grade arithmetic.

The WSJ gave us another example of this lack of knowledge when it listed Medicare and Social Security as "the U.S.'s biggest budget busters." In fact, those of us who did sit through third grade know that Social Security actually is running an annual surplus. The amount of money it takes in each year on the designated Social Security tax and the interest it collects on its bonds exceeds what it pays out in benefits.

... Social Security is a money loser in the same way as IPOD is for Apple.

First, having looked at the offending WSJ piece -- always the responsible thing to do when one person is ranting about what another supposedly "said" -- we see something strange. The "failed arithmetic" Dean is ranting against is the Administration's, not the WSJ's. Here it is from the story...
Interest payments devour nearly one-tenth of federal revenues ... Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid consumes an additional 57%. The administration projects that those entitlement programs, as they are known, plus interest on the debt, will absorb 80% of all federal revenues by 2020.
So Dean seems really peeved that the Administration's arithmetic projects these as "budget busters" -- and the WSJ dared report it.

Moreover the year referenced is 2020, not today. Dean didn't notice?

And there are more strange things in this one little post:

..."those of us who did sit through third grade know that Social Security actually is running an annual surplus".

Well, no. Those of us who are alert to facts know that Social Security actually is incurring a shortfall right now. Back when Dean was in third grade they may have projected we'd be running a surplus today, but events have happened since then.

There's much more... read the whole wonderful thing!

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:41 PM | link  

Thursday, February 04, 2010

ACRIMONY ABOUT ACRONYMS AND ADS   My DC-insider friend "Mick Danger" muses about the California sentatorial race:
Let’s admit it’s fun to toss a few clever barbs at opponents. May I proceed?

Over at Daily Kos, they seem to have missed the memo that independent voters these days are attracted only to candidates who will deliver on their fiscal conservative promises once in office. On spending issues, you lie, you die.

Carly Fiorina can beat Barbara Boxer. She first needs to take out her Republican primary rival, Tom Campbell. She’s now running this ad.

Daily Kos calls the video “strikingly bizarre.”

Well, more like “strikingly effective” at inventing an acronym for Campbell -- FCINO, a Fiscal Conservative In Name Only — which puts him in a weak position on the biggest (maybe only) issue out there: government spending is completely out of control because incumbent politicians can’t say no. The only solution is to replace the incumbents. The voters are saying, “This time, no pretenders.”

OK, the ad also flubs its attempt to be artsy. Who cares, the message will break through. Like a bullet.

The Daily Kos piles on Carly’s Mad Men:

It's as if a very expensive Senate campaign for an incredibly wealthy woman in the biggest, richest state in the United States of America collectively dropped acid and decided to make an art school, prog rock "concept commercial." Tom Campbell's "pedestal" might be "so high," but not as high as Carlyfornia's new media team.
What’s the thinking behind the bombastic populist pie-throwing at this “incredibly wealthy woman”? Does the left still have that hangover from the ‘60’s, thinking the country wants to eat the rich? Not in this country. Here, the voters (increasingly, all but the leftists, die-hard liberals and celebrities) are positively starving for people who know how to manage money. Most voters don’t have any real money and that’s exactly why fiscal conservatism is so prevalent. The peeps are pissed at having to pick up the tab because Ted Stevens or Barbara Boxer has some cool new project.

Moreover, this ad by Carly sets a new record in the age-old battle of the sexes. It shows she knows how to manhandle her male opponent, Barack Obama.

Yes, indeed, I mean the President. Want proof? In this item on her campaign website, Carly attacks the President on the budget because it’s his power the voters want to check. Get very nervous, Barbara. Oops, I meant to use that title you’ve earned. The ones your colleagues use: Senator Bitch.

Was that use of the B word over the line? My bad, I guess I got a little Kos-tic.

Senator Boxer, Carly Fiorina will draw you out, wait for you to boil over and then she’ll pause, smile and talk to the voters.

Update... Jameson Campaigne writes,
Carly's campaign now being run by Mike Murphy and the stuff so far is classic Mike.

Not sure it is also Carly "stuff", but who cares if BB goes down?

I too thought it was a great ad. Ads are not supposed to be logical, to reason people into a p.o.v. Most ads would flunk sixth grade logic, if sixth grade logic, the basic fallacies were taught anywhere. They are impressionistic, aimed at the heart, the gut and the posterior ... only when absolutely necessary at the head.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:54 PM | link  

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

NO Q? NO A!   DC-insider "Mick Danger" thinks Obama might be afraid of a little friendly fire!
President Obama loves a stage, teleprompter and a crowd.

Questions? Depends upon who’s asking, I guess.

See this gem from today’s Politico:

Q&A WITH DEMOCRATS: President Obama will speak to Senate Democrats on Wednesday morning, and will take their questions as the cameras roll as he did with House Republicans on Friday, Majority Leader Harry Reid's office announced. But unlike at the rumble with the GOP, Obama is expected to take only a handful of questions.
Update... William Heasley commends our attention to this -- a website devoted to trinkets and trash commemorating TOTUS -- Readership You Can Believe In!

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:42 PM | link  

Monday, February 01, 2010


Thanks to Dave Duval, via the Wine Commonsewer.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:25 AM | link  

CAN SCOTT BROWN REALLY DESTROY ILLINOIS?   My DC-insider friend "Mick Danger" admires the Massachusetts Cinderella. Who doesn't? But there seems to be a bit of a Brown-mania going on here...
Is Senator-elect Scott Brown really to blame for the big trouble with Illinois's budget? Someone asked this question of economist Don Marron:
A sharp reader offers the following hypothesis (which I have edited):
Illinois is fundamentally bankrupt. It has less than $1 million in cash, pays vendors net 90, and owes its state university $450 million that it cannot pay. Oh, and it also has $60 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

Now that the Republicans have 41 votes in the Senate, Illinois can’t count on any federal aid. The President’s home state will thus become insolvent.

Marron (with all due respect) shows too much respect for a dull questioner and, instead, misses a chance to correct the poor soul. Excessive spending by the government of Illinois isn’t cured by a bailout from the Congress.

A quick check of the Scott Brown campaign website clears up any confusion:

I am a free enterprise advocate who believes that lower taxes can encourage economic growth. Raising taxes stifles growth, weakens the economy and puts more people out of work. Our economy works best when individuals have more of their income to spend, and businesses have money to invest and add jobs. I have been a fiscal watchdog in the state legislature fighting bigger government, higher taxes and wasteful spending.
OK, so who --- among many others -- was in Springfield, Illinois running up the spending?

From 1997 until 2004, among others, this guy was:

What trend is the “fault” of Scott Brown? Increased truck sales.

Welcome to Washington, Mr. Brown.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:15 AM | link  

Sunday, January 31, 2010

DOES ANYONE KNOW...   ...or at this point does anyone care -- what this blurb could possibly mean, describing the latest column of New York Times "public editor" Clark Hoyt?
Secondhand Sources


The Times avoided relying on someone else’s anonymous sources in reporting on a book written in a way that the paper’s standards would not permit.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 6:16 PM | link  

THE SOLUTION TO THE HEALTH CARE "CRISIS"   We have it already. It's already beginning to work. And Obamacare destroys it. Insurance master-maven Jim Heasley has all the details.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 6:10 PM | link