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Old 07-06-2011, 02:53 AM
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Default David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Because the right will kick out anyone who is into self examination.

The Mother of All No-Brainers By DAVID BROOKS


The Republicans have changed American politics since they took control of the House of Representatives. They have put spending restraint and debt reduction at the top of the national agenda. They have sparked a discussion on entitlement reform. They have turned a bill to raise the debt limit into an opportunity to put the U.S. on a stable fiscal course.



Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.

Moreover, many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred billion dollars of revenue increases.

A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.

But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.

Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.

The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Good find.
It about sums up the way a lot of us 'swing' voters are feeling I think. This stuff in congress isn't happening in a vacuum chamber on the moon but in a very glassy house where CSpan shines its light daily.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Proof of the dementia is in this rebuttal's title:
Tea Partiers: We're Not Anti-Intellectual, David Brooks Is Just Dumb

Atlantic Wire


btw here's a link for the original OP:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/op...ooks.html?_r=1
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Although David Brooks is far from a conservative republican he is right about what is happening in Congress and the staunch anti-tax movement that has taken hold of them. But by doing this they are missing a chance to preserve the real Reagan legacy..........


From the National Tea Party...............

Quote:
Throwing The Gipper Under The Bus

It's impossible to overstate both the importance and impact that President Ronald Reagan had on the modern conservative movement. Actually, one could be forgiven for definitively stating that Reagan was the founder of the modern conservative movement. The problem with holding such an exalted position is that it's easy for people on both sides of a debate to co opt your legacy for their own purposes.

Reagan is rightfully exalted for being the godfather of supply side economic theory. He didn't develop it (Economist Arthur Laffer did), nor did he even modify it, but he was certainly his most enthusiastic supporter (with former congressman Jack Kemp coming in a close second) and the economic growth that his policies helped create were unprecedented in American history.

The problem with the Reagan presidency is separating fact from fiction, and nowhere is this problem more evident than in the current debate over extending the national debt ceiling. House republicans, led by John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan have insisted that no tax increases are up for discussion, with Speaker Boehner saying, "...tax increases are unacceptable and are a nonstarter"

Oddly enough, the record shows that supply side cheerleader Ronald Reagan himself incorporated tax increases into his economic recovery plans, most famously into 1982's Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, though there were four more tax increases in the remaining six years of his presidency, with a total of $190 billion (in today's dollars) in revenue increases coming from those tax hikes. That's an amount significantly above what Vice President Biden is calling for during the recent deficit talks with GOP leaders.

In hindsight, one of Ronald Reagan's most enduring legacies was the economic recovery from the 1970's "malaise" and it's staggering, long-term positive impact on both our economy and our society as a whole. No one is doing Reagan's legacy any favors by misstating it's essential truths.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
Although David Brooks is far from a conservative republican he is right about what is happening in Congress and the staunch anti-tax movement that has taken hold of them. But by doing this they are missing a chance to preserve the real Reagan legacy..........


From the National Tea Party...............
Yep. Although it was a different time, common sense is still in style.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Brooks long ago traded his Conservative principals for a column in the NYT and acceptance into the elite cocktail party circuit as the token Conservative. His latest rant, sure to increase his standing in the social circle he aspires to, is long on indignation and short on facts.

He natters on about the Dimocrats supposedly offering a deal but

Quote:
Harry Reid has "talked about" supporting a deal. Other Democrats "are open to" a big agreement. Still others, "in the White House and elsewhere," might even be willing to think about some nibble-round-the-edges entitlements cuts. What, pray tell, does all this amount to in reality? Absolutely nothing. Democrats have "talked about" a lot of things over the past few years -- including fiscal restraint and entitlement reform. Hell, Harry Reid has even occasionally seemed "open to" producing a budget. But what have they actually done? They've jammed through a new entitlement program Americans can neither stomach nor afford, passed a wildly ineffective and wasteful "stimulus" package that failed to live up to the promises and projections on which it was sold, and racked up roughly $6 Trillion in new debt. Harry Reid's caucus has refused to introduce a budget blueprint for nearly 800 days. Reid even called the prospect of fulfilling this fiduciary responsibility "foolish."
Brooks: Those tax-hike blocking Republicans are just indecent Hot Air

The President's 10-year spending plan proposed adding $13 trillion to the debt. The Senate validated the credentials of the "Great Uniter" by voting it down 97-0.

The Dimocrats have resorted to the same "crisis" playbook used for the Porkulus and Obamacare, stall ball until the last moment then spring a bill crafted in secret onto the floor with demands for an immediate vote. At least Senator Sessions is aware of the tactic.

Quote:
“Everything we’ve seen indicates that there’s a conscious, crafted strategy to produce a monumental deal on the eve of the August recess,” the senator said. “I’m worried most of all that somewhere towards the end of this process, at the 11th hour, a bad bill will be dropped on us, leaving the Congress with the choice of rejecting it and being attacked for not raising the debt limit … or voting for something irresponsible. It does appear the plan is to bring it up late so it will be very difficult to actually debate and offer amendments or to even fully understand what’s in it. … Congress shouldn’t be put in a position where they can’t read the fine print and get a truthful analysis of what’s in the legislation.”
Sessions bill to demand sufficient time to review any debt limit deal Hot Air
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
Although David Brooks is far from a conservative republican he is right about what is happening in Congress and the staunch anti-tax movement that has taken hold of them. But by doing this they are missing a chance to preserve the real Reagan legacy..........


From the National Tea Party...............
What is the "National Tea Party"? It seems odd that Taxed Enough Already (TEA) would suddenly be changed to tax one for the Gipper.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZRWinger View Post
Brooks long ago traded his Conservative principals for a column in the NYT and acceptance into the elite cocktail party circuit as the token Conservative. His latest rant, sure to increase his standing in the social circle he aspires to, is long on indignation and short on facts.

He natters on about the Dimocrats supposedly offering a deal but



Brooks: Those tax-hike blocking Republicans are just indecent Hot Air

The President's 10-year spending plan proposed adding $13 trillion to the debt. The Senate validated the credentials of the "Great Uniter" by voting it down 97-0.

The Dimocrats have resorted to the same "crisis" playbook used for the Porkulus and Obamacare, stall ball until the last moment then spring a bill crafted in secret onto the floor with demands for an immediate vote. At least Senator Sessions is aware of the tactic.



Sessions bill to demand sufficient time to review any debt limit deal Hot Air
Ha ha ha, Here come the attacks on Brooks. Geez it is just like clockwork. You should address his point. It has merit.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post
Ha ha ha, Here come the attacks on Brooks. Geez it is just like clockwork. You should address his point. It has merit.
You are so right, the "trouble" with Conservatives is we are willing to criticise our own, even nominal Conservatives like Brooks.

Sorry the point my earlier comment eluded you. So, I'll repeat it. Brooks complains that Republicans are behaving irresponsibly by not signing on to tax increases in the deficit ceiling increase deal. But the problem is there is no deal. The only thing so far from the backroom negotiations is a shadowy deal and a call to tax corporate jets. It's another "pass it so you can find out all the good things inside" affair.

Brooks is asking Republicans to refudiate the central pledge of the 2010 election campaign, castigating them as immoral if they don't, in return for vague promises of fiscal responsibility (sanity) from the biggest peacetime spenders in our history. No deal.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: David Brooks will soon be an ex Conservative columnist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post
Because the right will kick out anyone who is into self examination.

The Mother of All No-Brainers By DAVID BROOKS


The Republicans have changed American politics since they took control of the House of Representatives. They have put spending restraint and debt reduction at the top of the national agenda. They have sparked a discussion on entitlement reform. They have turned a bill to raise the debt limit into an opportunity to put the U.S. on a stable fiscal course.



Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.

Moreover, many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred billion dollars of revenue increases.

A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.

But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.

Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.

The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right
(1) I do not believe it is a calumny to refer to David Brooks as an ex-conservative, anymore than it would be to ferer to Garry Wills in the same way.

(2) The article, rather predictably, speaks in the antiseptic wording of "revenue increases"--not higher taxes.

(3) If an agreement is not reached by August 2, there will be no immediate "default" upon our debt. This will be a chance for government to prioritize, and payback our creditors first.

The worry (and it is a quite reasonable one, in my opinion) is that the Democrats will do all they can to cause as much pain as possible--perhaps by shutting down the meat industry, through the temporary elimination of meat inspections; or even by postponing of the delivery of Social Security checks--so as to be able to demonize Those Mean and Heartless Republicans...
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