“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, September 03, 2012

Should Romney and Ryan prevail in November, they would face a situation as dire as was Reagan’s — with fewer policy options.

By: Patrick J. Buchanan 
8/31/2012 06:02 AM  Human Events

“The success of a party means little except when the nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose,” said Woodrow Wilson in his first inaugural, 100 years ago.

The Republican Party of Richard Nixon was called to power in 1968 to bring an honorable end to the war in Vietnam and restore law and order to campuses and cities convulsed by crime, riots and racial violence. Nixon appeared to have succeeded and was rewarded with a 49-state landslide.

The Republican Party of Ronald Reagan was called to power in 1980 to restore America’s prosperity and military might and halt her stumbling retreat in the Cold War. He succeeded and was rewarded with a 49-state landslide in 1984.

Should Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan prevail, what would be the “large and definite purpose” for which they and their party had been called to power? Answer: Put America’s fiscal house in order and restore the prosperity the nation knew before the Great Recession.

Yet the only path consistent with party principle to achieve this goal is by imposing real pain upon an electorate that is less likely to reward Romney-Ryan with a 49-state landslide in 2016 than punish their party with a massacre of Republicans in 2014.

Recall: In 1982, before the Reagan tax cuts began their healing work, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s deep-root-canal economics — double-digit interest rates to scour inflation out of the economy — caused a loss of 26 Republican House seats. In early 1983, Reagan was widely viewed as a one-term president.

Should Romney and Ryan prevail in November, they would face a situation as dire as was Reagan’s — with fewer policy options.

Consider the 20 percent income tax cuts Romney proposes. With present tax rates generating revenue only 15 to 16 percent of gross domestic product, a cut that size would explode a deficit that is already in excess of $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

Moreover, the principal beneficiaries of those tax cuts would be Americans in the 35 percent bracket, who would see their top rate fall to 28 percent. Someone earning $10 million a year in salary income could get a tax cut of around $700,000 — a nice piece of change.

Romney suggests he will pay for tax cuts by cutting deductions. But the three largest deductions for most taxpayers are mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable contributions. And if the GOP is reluctant even to discuss these cuts today, is it likely to enact them?

The Romney-Ryan supply-side tax cuts had better produce a boom, and fast, because, given the makeup of the media, they will be portrayed as a plutocrats’ raid on the U.S. Treasury.

Moreover, while tax cuts produce only ideological angst on the left, any major budget cuts must inevitably cause real pain.

For consider the major categories of federal spending.

The largest domestic programs are Medicare and Social Security. Pare back these middle-class entitlements, and a President Romney will be at war with AARP, tens of millions of seniors and an army of baby boomers now reaching retirement age at a rate of 10,000 a day.

If Romney is going to bring the budget even close to balance, he has to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and stay out of any new wars in Syria or Iran. But a policy of no war where no vital U.S. vital interest is imperiled would be seen as a moral abdication by the democracy crusaders and a betrayal by the neoconservatives.

As for defense, Romney has taken that off the table and would increase it to 4 percent of GDP.
What about education? The major items here are Head Start, Bush II’s No Child Left Behind, Pell grants and student loans. Has any president since Sputnik jolted America awake ever cut back on education?

What about infrastructure? Since the Interstate Highway Act of President Eisenhower, when has federal spending for highways, roads, bridges, airports, ports and mass transit ever been cut?
Among the major poverty programs are rent supplements, food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit, welfare and Medicaid. Would a Romney administration that is slashing tax rates for the top 20 percent dare to cut programs that benefit the working poor?

Only once in the lifetime of Americans now living did the U.S. government slash spending. Right after World War II, the feds’ share of the U.S. economy was cut by two-thirds, and all those dollars put away in wartime savings came flooding out to buy the homes, cars, TVs, freezers, and washers and dryers suddenly available.

What would a Romney-Ryan administration do once in office?

A guess: freeze federal spending rather than slash it. Retain the Bush tax cuts, and pass the new Romney rates. Take a chainsaw to regulations choking free enterprise. Tighten eligibility for federal programs. Cut federal payrolls through attrition.

And pray it all works, as it did for the Gipper not so long ago.
But however it turns out, those 49-state landslides are history.


  1. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The monthly jobs report, always a big event to Wall Street, will take on added importance in the next two months as the 2012 presidential election draws near.

    Yet the odds of a big change in the employment picture are slim. Despite an uptick in hiring in July, economists predict the U.S. will continue to add jobs at a modest rate that’s disappointing by historical standards.

    In August, economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast the U.S. added 120,000 jobs, down from an initial estimate of 163,000 in the prior month.

  2. If Obama pulls a win out of this election, he is a genius.

    1. Either that, or the majority of the people are just really stupid. I don't think it is possible he can win, cause I can only think of two small groups he has helped, the illegal aliens, and the gays. Everyone else is about the same or worse off, except a few green crooks, and some unions, who vote dem anyway. That's why I've been so cocky about predicting a landslide, and intend to stick with it, committed to the prediction as I am. Working class whitey is pissed, and fired up.

  3. A suicide attack on a U.S. consulate vehicle in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar killed two people and injured 19, police said.

  4. Master and commander? Russell Crowe gets lost kayaking off Long IslandBy NBC News wire services

    Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe lost his way kayaking in the waters off New York's Long Island and was picked up by a U.S. Coast Guard boat and ferried to a harbor, officials said Sunday.

    The 48-year-old actor was kayaking with a friend and launched from Cold Spring Harbor Saturday afternoon on the Long Island Sound, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki.

    As it got dark, the two got lost and eventually headed for shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay, nearly 10 miles east from where they had set out.

    The U.S. Coast Guard was patrolling the area, and heard Crowe call out to them from the shore around 10 p.m., Swieciki said. The "Gladiator" actor and his friend, who Swieciki didn't recognize, paddled over to the boat. The Coast Guard officers pulled them up and, along with their kayaks, gave them a ride to Huntington Harbor.

    "He just needed a little bit of help, he just got a little lost," Swieciki said. "It wasn't really a rescue, really, more of just giving someone a lift."

    1. He ought to go kayak the Frazer with that metrosexual, Sam.

  5. In Tampa we saw a Republican Party fired with enthusiasm, blessed with rising young political stars like Paul Ryan, Mia Love, and Marco Rubio, and running a ticket brimming with brains, real-world experience, and fresh ideas of the sort needed to get our economy out of the fiscal ditch Obama and the Dems drove it into. So what will we see this week in Charlotte?

    Watch any episode of “Walking Dead” and you’ll get a preview. Progressive ideas are beyond old. They’re dead. Yet they’re still walking around, mindless zombies reflexively moaning left-wing clichés and petrified orthodoxy. And just as the victims of zombies also become zombies when gnawed on by the undead, progressivism has spread by taking over schools, popular culture, the mainstream media, and for now the White House and Senate. With a record of failure and a total absence of any plan for turning the economy out of the path of the fiscal iceberg, all the Dems can do in Charlotte is set those rotting ideas loose to hunt down any still uninfected voters and chew away at their brains.

    Last line hints the dems may be hunting the 'ethanol brain dead' vote.

    1. Kind of ideas that cinch the 'brain dead ethanol' vote (bde vote) -

      Of course, these dirigiste and redistributionist ideas have failed and are failing everywhere they’ve been tried, including in America. They breed dependence, kill incentives to strive for success, create the entitlement mentality, diminish individual autonomy and responsibility, enrich the politically connected, and eventually will kill the capitalist golden goose by strangling it in regulations, deficits, debt, and expanding entitlements. But what else does Obama have to get people to vote for him? He can’t run on $5 trillion in new debt, a new $2.6 trillion entitlement, a $716 billion raid on Medicare, a failed $1 trillion “stimulus,” crony “green” capitalism, bailing out the United Auto Workers, 8.3% unemployment, or 15% underemployment. He can’t run on nonexistent plans to rein in debt, control government spending, and reform metastasizing entitlements. All he has is the rhetoric of “fair share” and “you didn’t build that” to justify taking money from the productive so that it can be redistributed to political clients and cronies.

  6. VW, VW, VW.
    Bug, Bus, Squarebak (shoulda never sold that gem I built from a pile of parts.)

    ...Fuel injection in 1968!

    32 mpg

    ...but not FLEX, sorry Rufus, but I've used less than 1/3 the energy in my lifetime than you, if not far more.

    Got Solar Water Heat yet, Rufanolman?

    1. Nah, I'll be moving soon. Maybe when I get to the new home.

    2. I had Wood/Solar Hot Water in 1970!

      ...sometimes to include communal sharing of said water.

      All to save Gaia, of course.

  7. Volker raised rates to 17%.

    A TWO PERCENT rise in interest rates now would consume 45% of the budget paying interest!!!

    Reagan faced a Piece of Cake compared to the nightmare Mitt/Ryan will confront following their landslide victory.

    ...remember 'Rat saying Arizona was going blue?

    Yeah, like Ted Cruz isn't Hispanic, but that Massachusetts Whore Bitch Cunt is a fucking Native American!

    1. Well, doug, three of AZ's eight current Congressmen are Democrats, down from four of eight in the 111th Congress.

      AZ was listed as a "toss-up, before moving to "Lean Romney".

      In the 2003-2005 Congressional term there were 2 Dems. The trend line is definately shifting "Blue".
      More to do with the age of the residents than the ethnicity. AZ is getting younger.

  8. "Doug"
    Lowering Sea Levels and Healing the Earth,
    ...since 1970.

  9. Clint for King

    ...that'll git her done.

  10. .

    As usual, Pat Buchanan is right about as much as he is wrong. This may be the result of his understandable nostalgia for Reagan.

    For the most part he is correct when he says that whoever wins will play hell getting the economy turned around in the next four years. If it does happen, the winning party will get credit for it although I truly believe it will merely be the result of time and the business cycle. As currently constituted and given the policies each promotes, whichever party wins will merely inhibit the return to some form of normality.

    I also agree with Pat's final prediction on what the GOP would actually do rather than what they are promising to do if they win. Unlike some here (one here?) that think this will be a landslide election, there is unlikely to be a major shift in numbers in Congress, though who will control what is up for grabs. This will continue the political gridlock that exists and limit the change either party can bring about.


  11. Obammie don't need a "bunnie" rabbit to pull out of a hat; he needs a Swamper. And, the day is getting late.

  12. China is really slowing down (7 straight months of contraction in their manufacturing sector,) and Europe is going backwards.

    The "Plowhorse" economy of the U.S. is only barely pulling the load. Biofuels, Fracking, and some well-crafted Free Trade Agreements are providing just enough energy for a slight amount of headway.

    1. All that, of course, plus the ability of the Government to borrow very cheaply, and, through redistributive policies, keep some amount of Demand alive.

  13. Where are you moving, Rufus? Back to the bootheel?

  14. Bring it. Big place. Lots of choices.

  15. Poll Date Sample MoE Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
    RCP Average 8/19 - 9/2 -- -- 46.4 46.4 Tie
    Rasmussen (Monday) 3-Day Tracking 1500 LV 3.0 44 48 Romney +4
    Gallup (Monday) 7-Day Tracking 3050 RV 2.0 47 46 Obama +1
    Democracy Corps (D) 8/23 - 8/27 1000 LV 3.1 49 47 Obama +2
    CBS News 8/22 - 8/26 1051 RV 3.0 46 45 Obama +1
    ABC News/Wash Post 8/22 - 8/25 857 RV 4.0 46 47 Romney +1
    CNN/Opinion Research 8/22 - 8/23 719 LV 3.5 49 47 Obama +2
    FOX News 8/19 - 8/21 1007 LV 3.0 44 45 Romney +1


    Romney +6

    1. Rasmussen reports on the only electors that count

      Electoral College
      Obama: 247 - Romney: 196 - Toss-up: 95

    2. How do the bubble bullshitters report on the Electoral College?

  16. Should Romney and Ryan prevail in November, they would face a situation as dire as was Reagan’s — with fewer policy options.

    I really doubt anyone's got The Answer. But at least we won't have limbo parties in the White House, and will have a law abiding Attorney General.

    And a little less government snooping.

    And can start over on medical care.

    And not sell out to the Russians.

    And not support the Muslim Brotherhood.

    And have a much sounder energy policy.

    And, the No Smoking signs, pot, crack, or tobacco, will be back on in the White House.

    And Ann Romney won't waste so much jet fuel.

    Little things count!

    George Obama for President 2012

    1. going down boobie's list

      1. government snooping. The Patriot Act was passed in 2001 and all programs will continue under a Romney Administration. He will keep US secure, guaranteed.
      Mr Ryan's record speaks to it
      Warrantless wiretaps? Patriot Act? The NDAA???

      Paul Ryan..

      NO on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations:

      NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad:

      YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps:

      YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent:

      YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight:

      YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant:

      YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad:

      YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms' warrantless surveillance:

      Voted YES on The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aka "indefinite detention"

      Here you have a man who has consistentlt and repeatedly voted for everything "patriot act"..including 4 tiimes in 2011...not just post 9-11 fear.

      2. Medical Care. The Federals pay for 45% of all fee for service medical care in the US. Mr Romney promises to continue in that program. A promise for no cuts in existing programs for seniors, which makes repealing Obamacare impossible.

      3 Selling out to the Russians. a comical complaint when they provide the only safe and secure supply line to our troops in Afghanistan. The Russians are essential to the US war effort, unless we abandon the war on terror. Which Mr Romney does not ascribe to.

      4 The Muslim Brotherhood? Mr Romney will not cut US ties to Saudi Arabia. He will not cut funding for the Egyptians. No where can boobie find a statement by Romney/Ryan to the contrary.

      5. A sounder energy policy? Mr Romney wants to maintain US reliance upon Saudi oil. That is not sound policy.

      Smoking?, who gives a shit.

      Ann Romney's taxpayer subsidy for her horse, $14,000 in 2010, is an example of her lack of fugal management of public funds.

    2. .

      Yeh, yeh, yeh.

      But what about those damn limbo parties?


    3. White boy limbo

    4. 1,480,087 views!

      Who'd have ever thought?

    5. .

      Well, it is David H. afterall.