August 17, 2011

"While Perry was playing the retro trigger-happy cowboy, Obama was playing the retro henpecked husband."

Maureen Dowd:
In Cannon Falls, Minn., the president compared negotiating with House Republicans to negotiating with his wife.

“In my house,” Obama noted, “if I said, ‘You know, Michelle, honey, we got to cut back, so we’re going to have you stop shopping completely. You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.’ You know, that wouldn’t go over so well.”

In Decorah, he said: “Everybody cannot get 100 percent of what they want. Now, for those of you who are married, there is an analogy here. I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants. But, at a certain point, I have to draw the line and say, ‘Give me my little 10 percent.’ ”
You know what bugs me about this analogy? It's the contempt for the intelligence of the audience. The federal budget is not the same as a household budget scaled up. A husband and wife can't just "raise the debt ceiling." And the 10% Obama is referring to is not the avoidance of an expenditure (like the golf clubs). It's taxes. There is nothing like that in the family budget. The husband and wife do not have the option of commanding other people to give them money... unless they rob people... in which case the wife would be right to say, no, we can't go out robbing people. And the husband would be crazy to think he was making a modest and moderate argument by saying, "But honey, it's only for 10%."

Now, I'm not saying that taxes are theft. I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government. I'm just saying that the analogy between the federal budget and the household budget is all off. It's used by politicians to sound folksy and to try to persuade people who are not supposed to be very bright.

131 comments:

madawaskan said...

Obama:Give me my little 10 percent

I think what this really means is he wants Michelle to give him his Johnson back.

Michael said...

It is particularly irksome when the analogy is made by someone who thinks it is a good one. Who understands neither the problem or the corollary. Who is offended by the fact that he has gotten a softball question. And then whiffs. He needs another rest.

avwh said...

Obama is an idiot - or thinks his audience and most voters are idiots.

murgatroyd666 said...

You know what bugs me about this analogy? It's the contempt for the intelligence of the audience.

They deserve it. They elected him, didn't they?

Chip S. said...

No, it's really a very good analogy. You see, Obama was thinking about buying some new golf clubs at some point in the next ten years. Really expensive golf clubs. His part of the compromise was to agree to spend less on those future golf clubs in exchange for Michelle's agreement to raise his allowance today.

Michael said...

But the mean girl questioner should at least be grateful that Gitmo is closed. At least there's that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants...."

That says a lot.

Levi Starks said...

This takes me back to the health insurance debate. When his standard example was who pays for the medical care of the uninsured guy who gets run over by a bus? Well of course its the insurance company who insures the bus which is by law required to cary liability insurance.

Michael K said...

Nauseating that the fleebaggers didn't get recalled. Obama is just a minor annoyance at this point unless he is re-elected in which case all bets are off on what happens then.

ricpic said...

Kill folksy Obama!

Lucien said...

Boy is this ever the wrong tack for Obama to take. He should be making the point that the US government is not like a household, and not like a regular business either. To do otherwise is to lend credence to the arguments made by his opponents about how "your family" or "your business" could not run its budget the way the government runs the national budget.

People might differ about the extent to which the analogy is apt, but it sure doesn't make sense for Obama to surrender the issue.

Synova said...

Even if I don't attempt to apply it to the federal budget, the analogy is ridiculous on the face of it.

Of *course* you get to keep your golf clubs, they're paid for. Of *course* you stop buying dresses and shoes, because you've *got* dresses and shoes. You put gas in the car and decide if you need to cut your grocery budget or not.

You maybe don't go on vacation, again.

The other part of the analogy is creepy in a passive aggressive sort of way. He lets Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants and does with a piddling 10 percent of what he wants. Simultaneously presenting himself as controlling and neglected. If my husband said this sort of thing to anyone I'd be hurt.

It's not *cute* to pretend you're hen-pecked.

(Speaking of... I learned a new word this week... uxorial.)

Levi Starks said...

there are 2 groups of people in Obamas world, those who already agree with everything he says, and all of the rest of us who lack the intelligence to fend off his jedi mind tricks

Hoosier Daddy said...

Here is a better analogy. Mrs. Hoosier and myself are spending 40% more than we are earning so I will agree to cancel my World of Warcraft subscription and the Saturday night pub crawls and Mrs. Hoosier gets a second job.

bagoh20 said...

"I'm not saying that taxes are theft. I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government."

Well, that's not taxes. Taxes are collected from others to pay for what you want. And moreover we don't pay for what we want. We order it on credit that someone half our age will pay off, if they can.

It's super convenient and intoxicating. You got to love it. It's all the rage.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

You know, Michelle, honey, we got to cut back, so we’re going to have you stop shopping completely. You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.

That sounds pretty fair, since I assume Michelle is keeping all of the shoes and dresses she already bought.

Mattman26 said...

Ann, you skipped Dowd's punchline, after the part about giving Michelle 90 percent of what she wants: "Maybe Michelle should be the one negotiating with the Republicans."

Ouch.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The 10-day vacation on the Vineyard wouldn't be a bad place to start cutting back.

bagoh20 said...

So Michelle is 90% in charge and didn't get a single vote.

Finally, feminism triumphs!

robinintn said...

If I were Michelle I would be insulted. What is this, a Blondie and Dagwood cartoon?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Synova said...

If my husband said this sort of thing to anyone I'd be hurt.

If I said this sort of thing to anyone I'd be hurt. By my wife.

cubanbob said...

"I'm not saying that taxes are theft. I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government."

If its income 'redistribution' it sure as hell is theft.

bagoh20 said...

So who do you want negotiating with the Russians, because a "trigger happy cowboy" did pretty good in the 80's.

Scott M said...

It's used by politicians to sound folksy and to try to persuade people who are not supposed to be very bright.

You do realize you're talking about Democrats here, right? The contempt therefor is a given.

Synova said...

"Here is a better analogy. Mrs. Hoosier and myself are spending 40% more than we are earning so I will agree to cancel my World of Warcraft subscription and the Saturday night pub crawls and Mrs. Hoosier gets a second job"

Yes. This is brilliant.

Although I always thought that the good part of World of Warcraft was the either/or element related to Saturday night pub crawls. ;-)

Shanna said...

"Me, me, me...me, me, me, me"

Is this guy capable of talking about anything other than himself? None of the money is Obamas, it's all the American people's money, whether it is in their pocket or in his.

traditionalguy said...

Obama's way of negotiating comes from from the ChiTown/Mafia born and bred briar patch.

The Mafia always points out how little they are stealing from you as the threaten violence if resisted for a second and make them mad.

Paul said...

Don't worry Ann... after his vacation Obama will explain it all to you. You did vote for him, right?

So just get to the back of the bus and let Obama drive will sipping a slurpy.

Face it, he is a narcissist and he will talk down to any and all.

2012 can't come to soon!

Rialby said...

Whenever a Democrat starts dropping his g's, you know he thinks the audience is full of nitwits.

purplepenquin said...

Nauseating that the fleebaggers didn't get recalled.

Thanks for bringing that up!

What is really interesting is that not one single state senator who took place in breaking the quorum was recalled (Heck! Most of them didn't even face a recall election 'cause there wasn't enough grassroots-support to gather the signatures), yet (so far) two of the officials that voted to ban collective bargaining are no longer in office. And the GOP in Wisconsin keeps calling this a "victory".

With that in mind, I hope that the Republicans win a lot more, just like this...

cubanbob said...

Trigger happy cowboy or whinny little bitch? Oy! Such a difficult choice to make!

Synova said...

"So Michelle is 90% in charge and didn't get a single vote."

Yes, exactly!

How does he get to give her that 90% and then whine that he wants his piddling 10%? Bleh!

gerry said...

What an ass our president is.

bagoh20 said...

I'm NOT very bright. I have to admit that I completely missed the significance of the perfect crease in the pants leg. Therefore, I'm insulted..., or impressed,... no, no insulted, I think.

Obama is awesome! Of that I'm sure. I just hope I get a chance to vote for him again. I won't make the wrong choice the next time.

Sixty Grit said...

Well, if Perry is the man in the race, then clearly Obama is the woman. No, wait, Michelle is the man, Obama is a pussy.

Well, regardless, Ol' Jug Ears is far from being a man, in any case.

ic said...

Was that submission to or respect for his wife?

"...You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs."

So Fed spendings are buying shoes and dresses. May be Mrs. O could buy dresses that cost a couple hundred bucks (like the one the Duchess of Cambridge wore) instead of the thousands dollars dress she had on (that was really ugly). That means we could cut quite a bit of our Fed spendings if we were more intelligent on the things we spent on.

Btw, since our bad luck causes our current misery and there isn't much the Fed could do about it, may be we should scrap the multi-trillions Big Govt and hire a legion of shamans and witch doctors to chant for good luck.

BT said...

Just remember one thing: no matter what MODO writes about Obama between now and the end of the year, now matter how negative, no matter how disappointed etc., she will be voting for BO and shilling for BO all of next year up to election time.

kcom said...

You know what bugs me about this analogy? It's the utter stupidity of it.

What do the Republicans (or at least the Tea Party influenced section) want? Fiscal sanity, a balanced budget, cuts in spending to live within our means that will benefit all Americans now and in the future.

What does Obama want? A bigger slush fund to spend from to buy more votes with. He doesn't make the argument that higher taxes are going to help the country. Has he pledged to use the extra taxes to pay down the principal on the debt? That would be a balanced approach. No, he just wants higher taxes because then he'll have more to spend. That's what Democrats always want. It's not a matter of what's best for the country, it's a matter of having mine. As if our money belongs to him. It's the Obama narcissism again.

Hagar said...

I've told you before, this guy is not good with things that involve numbers!

Curious George said...

purplepenquin said...
And the GOP in Wisconsin keeps calling this a "victory".

With that in mind, I hope that the Republicans win a lot more, just like this..."

LOL After giving up a ton of runs early the Democrats scored two in the ninth to lose by one.

Joe Schmoe said...

For supposedly being such nanny-state whipcrackers on our national diet, Barry sure does have a lot of photo ops eating junk food. He's in the Midwest in late summer for crissakes; isn't there one farm stand he can pull into and get, I dunno, an apple?

Carol_Herman said...

I hope people go to Drudge. And, look at the Fox Interview with Greta and Trump. Yeah. 21 minutes. And, it exactly spells out the problem. Soup to nuts.

Revenant said...

Now, I'm not saying that taxes are theft.

Of course they aren't theft. They're *extortion* -- the taking of money by threat of violence.

Whenever a government program is proposed, ask yourself "am I OK with imprisoning or killing everyone who refuses to pay for this". If the answer is "no", you shouldn't support the program.

edutcher said...

She just figured out Little Zero's henpecked, after 4 your of Mom jeans?

And, of course, "It's used by politicians to sound folksy and to try to persuade people who are not supposed to be very bright", Zero needs the people he inveigled last time to vote for him again.

/ducks

PS Yes, the recall mess was a victory for the Republicans because the unions blew 35 mil in a Blue state and didn't get their way.

garage mahal said...

Perry is a manly man!

Obama is a pussy!

The strategy takes place at the Althouse blog. Nobody could have predicted.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Of course they aren't theft. They're *extortion* -- the taking of money by threat of violence

There you Tony Soprano=Barack Obama…and people wonder why libertarianism isn’t sweeping the nation

Whenever a government program is proposed, ask yourself "am I OK with imprisoning or killing everyone who refuses to pay for this". If the answer is "no", you shouldn't support the program
Ok everyone LISTEN UP…. I oppose Abortion and Capital Punishment, so all you Doodie-heads stop aborting or killing prisoners….*wow* ANOTHER stunner from Revenant! Of course to be fair you say, “you shouldn’t support” those programs…I don’t but they happen any way…what do I get “moral points” for “Opposing them?”

traditionalguy said...

Maybe Obama needs money for more planes , trains , and buses to take his hundred man traveling Wild Washington Show all over the country. At least it's not investigating Maui native affairs.

The USA's first traveling Presidency...it's not a campaign you know.

Smilin' Jack said...

I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government.

Like, say, protection from unesthetic photography.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Of course they aren't theft. They're *extortion* -- the taking of money by threat of violence

I meant to mention this last night, libertarianism is the Anti-Marxism and libertarians are Anti-Marxists…not that they oppose Marxism, but rather that they and their philosophy is just like Marxism, but negative…like electron and positron, EXACTLY alike, save for charge…Marxism and libertarianism are equally Utopian, equally theoretical, equally airy, and appeal to the same sort of folks, college students in their dorm rooms and their professors. To sum up, “it sounds really nice, until you try it in the real world.”


WV: "jewismu" WHOA is Cedarford writing the word verifications, these days?

LordSomber said...

Dowd writes for middle-aged women with middle school minds.

AllenS said...

That obama, he sure is awesome.

AllenS said...

He does have a nice new bus. I wonder what he bought Michelle?

Henry said...

What Obama wanted, more than anything, was to avoid the argument. We all know this guy. In the beginning he proposed a White House budget that pretended nothing was the matter. In the end, his very final negotiating point was that he didn't want to argue anymore. No more debt ceiling negotiations for a long time, please.

Maybe Michelle does get 90% of what she wants.

Seven Machos said...

Forget the analogy. Sometimes I forget what a great, great speaker Obama is. Then he comes up with this literary-quality gold. That right there is some of the best oratin' of all time! Right up there with Lincoln and Perecles.

Synova said...

"Perry is a manly man!

Obama is a pussy!

The strategy takes place at the Althouse blog. Nobody could have predicted.
"

Really?

Isn't it more that Perry (supposedly) tries to connect to his potential base by appearing manly and that his potential base is expected to value that, and that Obama tries to appeal to his base by appearing subservient to Michelle and his base is expected to value that?

I'm sure that it doesn't take any great ability at prediction to know that, in general terms, those who participate in discussions here would react poorly to the "isn't it cute how I'm so controlled by a strong woman" routine.

It also doesn't take any great ability at prediction to know that, in general terms, those who participate in discussions here would react to Perry carrying concealed, jogging, and shooting a coyote with some version of, "And?"

Seven Machos said...

Perry is a manly man!

Who is promoting this meme? Isn't it left-liberal pussy men?

DADvocate said...

Maybe this is as complex as Obama can get. It's not contempt for the intelligence of the audience. It's Obama's true intelligence showing through.

Palladian said...

"Of course [taxes] aren't theft. They're *extortion* -- the taking of money by threat of violence."

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: “Your money, or your life.” And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.


from Lysander Spooner's, "No Treason, No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority" Ch. III, Sec. I

DADvocate said...

Perry is a manly man!

Garage is a pussy!

Fixed it for you.

Chip S. said...

Rick Perry is Don Draper. Barack Obama is that English guy who lost his foot to a lawn mower at the office party.

Matt said...

Republicans are always making the comparison as well so while I think your argument is correct it is aimed only at a politician you happen to not like. Become an equal opportunity offender and I'll agree with your assessment.

garage mahal said...

Who is promoting this meme?

C'mon.

Henry said...

@Matt -- Are you talking to Althouse or Maureen Dowd. Maureen Dowd is an equal opportunity offender, at least as far as The Times goes.

Henry said...

C'mon.

No, really. Althouse has linked to a Maureen Dowd column and a Ben Smith bloggingheads.

If you can't tell, Ben Smith's idea of Perry as a "manly man" is just as much a tell as Obama's "take my wife" schtick.

Sixty Grit said...

Chip S - Crista Flanagan is awesome! I just wouldn't let her near my John Deere.

urpower said...

If he gives his wife 90% of what she wants, does that qualify as "submission"? Paging Byron York!!

pm317 said...

You know what bugs me about this analogy? It's the contempt for the intelligence of the audience.

You are only noticing now?!!

The right makes the analogy with a household budget to mean living within your means. But Obama is of course too smart (/sarcasm) to just leave it there.

Matt said...

Henry
I'm talking to Althouse. Yes, Dowd is an equal opportunity offender.

Synova said...

Joe, I think you're right about Libertarianism (or Objectivism) and Marxism's adherents, as far as it goes. What doesn't logically flow from that is that two separate systems based to some degree or other on those very different principles will arrive at the same bad end. It's not the idealistic people attracted to a philosophy that determines its viability.

Chip S. said...

SixtyGrit--Agreed. I wouldn't want her to trim the lawn either.

Rumpletweezer said...

Hearing him talk about how auto companies make money, how can any sentient being take him seriously?

Sixty Grit said...

Chip S - wink wink, nudge nudge...

Her Luann Lockhart skits are amazing.

Mary Beth said...

Was this the same speech/question & answer session? The 90/10% is there but not the bit about golf clubs.

Brennan said...

Hearing him talk about how auto companies make money, how can any sentient being take him seriously?

He's from, lived in Chicago. He's practically run an auto company.

Grabowskis!

Larry J said...

Well, that's not taxes. Taxes are collected from others to pay for what you want. And moreover we don't pay for what we want. We order it on credit that someone half our age will pay off, if they can.

Why don't we call this deficit spending what it is: economic pedophilia. They're screwing our children for their political benefit today.

AJ Lynch said...

Hoosier - if you can pull that off, you could start a seminar business and charge big bucks to explain how you did it.

The Crack Emcee said...

avwh,

Obama is an idiot - or thinks his audience and most voters are idiots.

Why would he think that? They only elected him,...

DaveW said...

You know what bugs me about this analogy? It's the contempt for the intelligence of the audience.

I don't like it either, but I am often surprised by how little people understand about the simple facts of taxing and spending. I swear, my neighbor must think there's a flippin' money tree in Washington. He hasn't got one single clue, and he'd crawl through broken glass to vote for Obama.

So it plays to Obama's audience (or at least some of them).

Sometimes I wish they'd go ahead and grant all the tax increases on "the rich" the dems demand so everyone could see how little money it would raise compared to the scale of the problem we have.

John said...

This is the smartest guy in the country?

His analogy about the gold clubs is about the stupidest thing I've heard in a while.

Yes, if you are running short of money you stop buying new shoes etc.

But he already has the golf clubs! He is not saying he is not buying new ones, just keeping the ones he has.

Now I suppose that he might be able to sell them and raise a couple dollars for the family pot. Could that possibly be what he has in mind?

But it still doesn't work. the analogy would only hold if he were asking Michelle to sell he existing shoes. I don't see any evidence of that here.

As president, presiding over the world's largest economy, he really needs to understand the concept of "sunk cost". He apparently doesn't.

John Henry

Fred4Pres said...

I agree that Obama's analogy is patronizing.

I drove through Madison yesterday and that fat guy is still on his hunger strike. Day 6? He is still pretty fat. I sent you an e-mail. I will make Skenatales tonight.

Lori said...

I saw a headline right after the debt ceiling vote, a wishful one: Maybe the GOP should ignore the Tea Party.

They had it all wrong. My first thought after the vote was: Good, now the Congress can just ignore Obama. What a waste of time listening to him.

I hope his handlers think he should keep on talking. Just run this analogy - keep expanding it like the car in the ditch morphed into Slurpy-drinking. He really doesn't do "folksy."

I love how his idea of hardship is giving up shopping and golf, when they have done neither, and the people who he is speaking to are wondering what to pay for this week: food, the electric bill, or gasoline?

He wants higher taxes to keep funding the Democrats' shoes and dresses. Any feminists upset about this analogy?

edutcher said...

Well, the good news is he's now at 44% approval in Jersey, so maybe we can start calling him Herbert, as in Hoover, Obama.

And his big new jobs plan is his big old jobs plan, apparently - Stimulus III.

If America's Politico isn't going to be disappointed again, Michelle better start kicking his ass harder.

walter said...

What's maddening about the push for "compromise" is that it assumes everything is simply opinion and avoids the hard discussion of what actually works. With history on eth side of tax cuts increasing revenues and tax increases in weakness being harmful, one is supposed to agree to both tax increases and cuts and hope for the best. I want a politician to invoke the success of the Edsel next time compromise is put on a pedestal. More importantly, I want to raise revenue by allowing the public to bet on whether Barry can block Michelle from that Tamale. Along with Pay per view and future Netflix and Redbox receipts. And Warren Buffet can head up a telethon for the debt to the super rich..a donation competition. There is an address for Warren to send his (and his friends')donation to the debt already. But I understand his need to grandstand and get that recognition/approval he apparently craves.

slarrow said...

The real problem with Obama's analogy is that he persists in thinking of tax cuts as spending. He really thinks that keeping his golf clubs is like the Republicans refusing to raise taxes (or not give up tax cuts, however you prefer to frame it.)

But raising taxes isn't like keeping your stuff. It's about income, and it's the equivalent of going to your boss and demanding a 10% raise. Only in this scenario, the boss has to give it to you, because you're the government. And maybe that 10% doesn't equal 10% more money because your boss has to cut your hours because business ain't so good. And furthermore, maybe part of the reason business ain't so good is because you're not worth the money he's giving you. If you took a pay cut and he could use the money to hire somebody more productive, then maybe the business would boom and you'd actually get a Christmas bonus this year.

None of which helps much if you can't stop buying shoes and dresses and playing golf with money from your credit card, of course.

Revenant said...

I meant to mention this last night, libertarianism is the Anti-Marxism and libertarians are Anti-Marxists…not that they oppose Marxism, but rather that they and their philosophy is just like Marxism, but negative

That's fine. You had already reached your daily quota for ignorant statements yesterday, so letting that one wait for today was the right call.

Chris said...

Rick Perry: The man who allowed an innocent man to be executed.

Yep, I would say that "trigger-happy" is an extraordinarily accurate term here.

ALH said...

"It's the contempt for the intelligence of the audience."

Precisely. It is one of the things that has perturbed me the most about Obama. The first time it was grossly apparent to me was when he was in Missouri giving a speech and got all "folksy" and developed a new accent. Even if I completely agreed with what he was saying, I would have been PO'd at the patronization. It was reminiscent of the fake passion of Al Gore in his painfully theatric "He liiiiiiiieahhhd" speech re: Bush, circa 2003.

Say what you want about Bush. He was not going to act much differently in front of the UN as he was in Iowa or New England, etc.

Perry seems be the same as Bush in terms of being his own man, not a cup of jello ready to conform to the setting it is placed in.

wv: aingst

bgates said...

we got to cut back

Just seeing the words, one can hear the precise eloquence of his majestic baritone. Not for our President the lazy, faux blue collar affectation of "gotta", or the equally loathsome insistence on the so-called "proper" verb "have to" one would hear from a wretched little striver like caribou Barbie. No, he sweeps away (fundamentally transforms?) the rules of grammar, remaking the language in his own image.

"we got to". "we got to". If ever the Nobel prize for literature were awarded for three short words, it would be for these. "we got to".

walter said...

The family budget motif might work a bit better if we all had a sympathetic neighbor with a counterfeit press in their basement.

bgates said...

You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.’ You know, that wouldn’t go over so well.

"So I don't try it. Instead, we're going off to that $50,000-a-week palace on Martha's Vineyard."

Jay said...

Well, the more Obama speaks about economics and foreign policy, you can see he isn't very bright.

So are you going to vote for him again Ann?

Jay said...

You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.’

I like how this idiot is comparing future purchases to items already sitting in the house.

AprilApple said...

The democrats love to rob people. They call it "shared sacrifice".

Alex said...

garage is a one-man snark machine. Way to win friends and influence people, sport.

Alex said...

Chris - haven't seen you here before.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Stunningly argued Revenant...I shall bear the scars of that retort for the remainder of my life.

UNLIKE say your statement that, functionally Barack Obama=Tony Soprano.....Were I'd you I'd say , "I've reached MY limit of stupid statements, and ought to hold off further comments."

The fact that you can even advance that suggestion pretty much proves my point...libertarianism isn't a real philosophy; it's a dream philosophy intellectuals produce in their dorms and offices.

Palladian quoting Lysander Spooner may score Anarchist points, but as he was a FAILURE, can't say I'd use him. In a choice between Madison or Spooner, go with Madison...he had some successes to his name. Spooner is just an Anti-Marx/Engels of the Anarchists...next yuo'll be dragging that twit Rothbard in here.

To finish off on that point to Revenant and Palladian, Rothbard, supposedly, celebrated the collapse of S. Vietnam, because it meant one less state in the world...any man who sees no difference between Ho Chi Minh's Marxist-Leninism and any other form of government is a fool and represents a foolsih set of beliefs.

Ned said...

"I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government. "

Who is the "We" that wants and the "We" that pays??? Not the same people I'm afraid

Henry said...

any man who sees no difference between Ho Chi Minh's Marxist-Leninism and any other form of government is a fool and represents a foolsih set of beliefs

Joe, you asserted that very lack of difference (between marxism and libertarianism) in this very thread (3:27).

What foolish set of beliefs do you represent? That's what I can't figure out.

Henry said...

status-quoism?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

No, Henry I have said that their adherents are of the same class, intellectuals dreaming in their dorms and offices...that they are equivalent in their Utopianism and Formalism...not that, on the surface, they aren't radically different...

Of course their imposition would lead to havoc, so in that sense, too they are the same....

But if YOU can't see the difference between Barack Obama, or Thieu, or Ho Chi Minh, I pity you.

I would say Spooner or Rand OR Marx will lead your society to destruction, but the road to H3ll will be slightly different with each one. But the same sort of idealists, those who were Red Guards or Objectivists or Brown Shirts will all look remarkably similar in their youthful enthusiamism to remake the world a better place.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Utilitarian/Pragmatism...many libertarian ideas work, so I'll adopt them

blake said...

Joe The Crypto-Jew,

No, anarchy would be the opposite of Marxism.

This country was quite successfully founded on something very close to modern libertarianism.

mrs whatsit said...

He cannot stop condescending and cannot hide his fundamental contempt for the American people. Today he insulted a farmer who asked him a question about pending noise pollution regulations by telling him "Don't believe everything you hear" and suggesting that the farmer had probably heard about something "ginned up" in Washington by lobbyists.

Like many city people with no knowledge of what it takes to run a modern farm, Obama figures that a farmer is a hayseed hick who needs to be instructed on how to think by his betters. Had I been that farmer, I would have had a hard time not throwing something at him.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
... It's used by politicians to sound folksy and to try to persuade people who are not supposed to be very bright.

The same could be said of 90% of Obama's rhetoric to date, including the solipsism that was his stock in trade campaign speech in 2008, which captured the allegience of a lot of people who are supposed to be very bright.

damikesc said...

Obama is an idiot - or thinks his audience and most voters are idiots.

Well, for his voters --- he'd be accurate by and large. Heck, my father-in-law --- who is CONVINCED that Tea Partiers insult people too much AND are worse than Nazis --- attempted suicide because his wife wasn't suitably supportive of Obama. Sadly, not a word of this is a joke.

BTW, I thought it "simplistic" to mention that families have to cut 10% off of THEIR budget to make ends meet. I guess it's now brilliant analysis.

Revenant said...

Joe,

I don't have time to address the things you imagined I said, so I'll just stick to addressing the parts of your comment that concern things I actually said.

... ok, done. Didn't take as long as I'd expected. :)

Seriously, while it is possible that you're actually dippy enough to not know what happens to you if you don't pay your taxes, most people do. If you're using threats to get money from someone, that's extortion. Period. End of conversation. That's what the word "extortion" means.

The only thing to discuss is whether it is justifiable extortion. That, of course, is the distinction between the mafia and the government that you weren't bright enough to figure out.

Quaestor said...

John Henry wrote:
This is the smartest guy in the country?

To be fair this was never claimed by Obama and his myrmidons. No, Obama is only the smartest man to hold the Office, and always the smartest guy in the room, especially when Republicans are present.

Obama must treasure his visits to the toilet, even more than Titus. Only then can he live up to the contrivances.

Kirk Parker said...

Jay,

"I like how this idiot is comparing future purchases to items already sitting in the house. "

Well, it's all stuff, isn't it? Duh!

MikeDC said...

As an economist, I've heard lots of people say "The federal budget is not the same as a household budget scaled up." but in practice, I've concluded the federal budget is almost exactly like a household budget. To wit:

* No, you can't raise the debt ceiling, but as a household you can certainly overextend yourself and go too far in debt. There's millions of households out there, apparently, who have borrowed exactly like the federal government, and let's not forget they've probably voted accordingly.

* No, you can't command other people to give you money as taxes, but really, Barack Obama cannot command anyone either, it's Congress that controls tax policy, and their jobs are frequently lost when they tell folks to pay more taxes. There are significant trade offs to a government when they make a tax decision, just like its a costly decision for families to give up more of its scarce "free time" to get a second job, or a better-paying one in order to bring in more revenues.

The analogy can actually be very sophisticated and accurate if you think it out. The fact that Barack Obama did a ham-fisted and contemptible job of it doesn't mean the analogy itself is ham-fisted and contemptible, just Obama's use of it.

Francisco D said...

Ann,

I am impressed. You are becoming a classic 50's "liberal". That's a good thing, and something that must be difficult in The People's Republic of Madison.

Just check your enthusiasm for next great modern liberal hope. You got Meade. (PC version, you got each other, babe). He seems like a great guy, and the two of you are an inspiration to divorced Baby Boomers.

Henry said...

@Joe -- I'll take pragmatism as well. Pragmatism is more a manner of thinking than a political or economic philosophy. Utilitarianism is an entirely different animal, half logic and half pangloss and not very useful in my opinion.

It appears to me that Revenant is insisting on a premise for political philosophy from which you are drawing conclusions that he hasn't specified nor which naturally follow.

The premise that all political systems are based on the exercise of power tells us nothing about which political systems are best. It certainly does NOT imply that all political systems are equal. In fact the opposite. The libertarian model, by accepting the disquieting premise without pretense, logically concludes that the best political system is the one that can create a stable society with the least accumulation of power.

Libertarians are not anarchists. They accept the idea of a state. A state is required to protect citizens from force. A state is required to define and enforce contract. It can even be logically concluded that the state has a (prescribed) role in managing economic externalities and neighborhood effects.

Luckily, western culture, and specifically the United States, are very amenable to libertarian ideas.

Socially libertarian societies have a marvelous track record. The arc of history in the West and other developed countries has been toward social freedom for 200 years. Social conservatives crab about the last few generations of change while ignoring the larger history.

What is even more evident is the economic success of libertarian ideas. The United States is a prime example, but almost all modern developed countries have a foundation of economic freedom unparalleled in history. The arguments between U.S. and European systems is about what to do with that wealth. Libertarians may well argue that this is short-sighted in terms of the record of success that got us to this point.

JAL said...

It's used by politicians to sound folksy

I heard a sound bite today.

Talk about "folksy."

He calls people "folks" and he says "I wanna ..." and murders the spoken word with his faux "I'm one of you(se), see? I even talk sloppy."

Hey Mr. President! You! You went to Punahou, Columbia, and Harvard ... and you are speaking to people and you say "I wanna...?" when you are trying to convince them that taxing the "millionaires and billionaires" will fix your problems?

Talk about talking down and thinking your audeince are idiots.

I wasn't allowed to get away with that in high school speech class.

wv preas
a fake Prius

Phil 3:14 said...

Hmmm

Complaining MoDo
Perry saying MoFo
Obama losing Mojo

And I got no mo'

Shanna said...

I love how his idea of hardship is giving up shopping and golf, when they have done neither, and the people who he is speaking to are wondering what to pay for this week: food, the electric bill, or gasoline?

The interesting thing about the golf point is that he talks about giving up the golf clubs he already bought, but he never mentions the fact that, although you can certainly own golf clubs and do nothing with them, actually going to a golf course to use them can be a pricey endeavour. Those are recurring costs and they're never mentioned.

Freeman Hunt said...

Women shop. Men play golf. Thanks, Obama.

blake said...

Women shop. Men play golf. Thanks, Obama.

There's probably some point to be made about how, if a Republican said it, various grievance mongers would be mongering grievances, but it's all a bit tiresome, isn't it?

On a related note, has anyone seen that "most sexist EVAR" Goodyear commercial from the '60s? It's all about how you care more about your tires when your wife is driving.

I thought it was kind of sweet.

chuckR said...

Now, I'm not saying that taxes are theft. I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we want and need from government.

I agree.

Here's what I want from the government.

Less.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heart_Collector said...

Obamas a dickhead, they should have watched him play sim city before they let him be the fucking president.

wv-chanz- This is your last chanz mang.

E.M. Davis said...

* No, you can't raise the debt ceiling, but as a household you can certainly overextend yourself and go too far in debt. There's millions of households out there, apparently, who have borrowed exactly like the federal government, and let's not forget they've probably voted accordingly.

True, but I can't raise my own credit card limits, can you?

jamboree said...

I took it as simply a play on the "Dems as Mommy, Pubbies as Daddy" meme. If Mom has to cut back on her stuff, so does Dad.

No, it didn't offend me.

Kirk Parker said...

blake,

"It's all about how you care more about your tires when your wife is driving."

OF COURSE we do! When we're driving, a rollover from a blowout is no big deal--in fact, for most of us cubicle warriors it's the biggest excitement we'll have all week.

J said...

Taxes ARE theft.

I am forced at gunpoint to pay taxes with the threat of jail or otherwise for failure to do so.

If I decide I don't like jail or other measures, then at some point someone is pointing a gun at me.

Taxes are forcibly taken from me using the threat of force.

If that isn't 'theft', what is?

Gene said...

Hoosier Daddy: "... I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants...."

That says a lot.


I was reading an advice column a while back. The key to a happy marriage, it said, was to do whatever your wife wants.

That might make the wife happy, perhaps, but what does the husband get out of it?

Oh wait, now I remember. She doesn't nag him then or make him sleep on the couch.

MikeDC said...

E.M. Davis,
I can't raise my own credit limit but that's not what the government is doing when it raises the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling is the gvts internal decision on whether to go out and and borrow more. Just like a household might decide to take out a second mortgage or apply for another credit card.

But ultimately the decision by private borrowers to lend more money to the government is a voluntary one, just like the bank actually giving me my 43rd credit card if I ask for it is a voluntary decision.

(I will concede that complicated and poorly understood changes in the Fed's monetary policy over the last few years make it easier for banks to say yes, but fundamentally it's still a voluntary exchange and not the government unilaterally declaring it's own credit limit. They can't do that just like a household can't, and just like when a household gets overextended and it's credit rating falls, the government's credit rating falls when it gets overextended and looks like it's a bigger risk than before.

John said...

For a good take on the taxes are theft, read Bastiat's long pamphlet/short book "The Law"

He asks the question (paraphrased)

"If it is morally wrong for me to go next door with a gun and take my neighbor's wallet, why is it morally OK if everyone on the block decides to collectively take the same neighbor's wallet at gunpoint?"

And if you do not believe that taxation ultimately relies on the gov't's ability to use lethal force, I have a bridge for sale.

The fact that it seldom has to use this threat does not mean it does not exist.

You can download the book here:

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

Kindle version is 99 cents

His other stuff, especially "Economic Sophisms" is well worth reading too.

John Henry

Hoosier Daddy said...

".. That might make the wife happy, perhaps, but what does the husband get out of it?.."

Does it make her happy? Maybe because she gets what she wants buy is she happy knowing she's married to a spineless wimp? Perhaps.

Then again what spouse brags that they cave on 90% of what their partner wants? That reminds me of Bill Paxton in True Lies begging Arnold not to kill him:


"I got a little dick, it'd pathetic, I'm nothing, I'm navel lint. I'm not worth a bullet!"

Seriously how can you have any respect for someone like that?

slarrow said...

Best term for taxes probably isn't "theft" or "extortion" (too much connotation with illegal acts) but "coercion". Regardless of the use the money is put to, it's always extracted from the people with the threat of punishment behind it. Always.

If that money is spent on defense or cops, it seems hard to call it theft since you benefit from that as well. It's not extortion to get taxes to pay for your local fire department, either. But to take your money and give it to someone else in order to buy their vote? Now we're talking something much more like "theft". (Oh, and give it to somebody in the fear that if they don't get it anymore that they'll riot? Now we're talking danegeld.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think we should pay taxes to pay for whatever it is that we WANT and need from government.

Right there is exactly what is wrong with left/progressive thinking and why we are in a financial melt down.

The Government doesn't exist to tax us for what people WANT. It is to provide us with a limited but necessary array of services.

I WANT a new car. I WANT a flat screen tv. I WANT to have my every need taken care of. I do not WANT the Government to provide those things for me. I do not WANT to be taxed to provide what other people WANT to have.

If I WANT something, I should plan to work and save for it and not demand that other people, (through their taxes) give me what I WANT.

This applies to government, state local and federal.

We have to make a distinction between what we NEED and what we WANT.

Quit spending on the wants and the needs will take care of themselves.

Joe Schmoe said...

Joe the Crypto-Jew, I enjoy your comments in other posts but you are way off base on this one. I'm not sure what you characterize as libertarianism, but I can assure you that it is not the darling of academic intellectual elites (speaking as an academic at an extremely liberal college). Libertarianism's desire for reduced government and individual freedom is anathema to the central-planning obsessed socialists who make up most of the faculty. You're ranting about something you seem to know little about; try Charles Murray's book for starters.

Also, if we know all other idealogies are doomed to failure, can you enlighten me as to the one true path?

blake said...

Kirk,

It's not uncommon for a man to think more carefully about the safety of his wife and children than of his own.

wv: swesson

It's just me and my two friends...