The Bullshit Comes From the Top

Here is a quote from Tim Pawlenty’s Esquire interview:

ESQUIRE: Was spending going too far and government growing too big before Obama became president?

Tim Pawlenty: It certainly was, but he has pushed the gas pedal to the metal and exploded it in ways that were previously unheard-of. I mean, he’s taken the national deficit in one year and tripled it. So we now have a $1.4 trillion deficit just in the past year.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Let’s revisit that comment from the random commenter at Reason-:

Obama could have avoided all of this by governing more like Clinton. He could have permanently painted the Republicans as the party of fiscal irresponsibility after record half-trillion-dollar deficits under Bush. Instead he tripled them.

They make shit up, their supporters and the am radio crews and the hacks from the Koch funded “think tanks” repeat it over and over again, an uncritical media then reifies it, and before you know it, it is the new conventional wisdom. It is what it is.

Back to Pawlenty’s interview, because this was particularly laughable:

For example, instead of spending $800 billion in a stimulus package, I think we would have gotten much more bang for the buck if we would have done two simple things: focused on tax cuts that would have put cash immediately into the average citizen’s pocket, and two, put money into bread-and-butter infrastructure projects like roads and bridges that could be done quickly. Of the $800 billion stimulus package, only about $50 billion, give or take, actually went into roads and bridges. It was a paltry amount compared to the overall size of the bill.

This is funny for so many reasons. First, a good bit of the stimulus was tax cuts – 275 billion, to be exact. Second, when you have massive unemployment, as we do, tax cuts don’t benefit unemployed people (if there has been anything positive out of the last year, we know definitively that tax cuts are worthless as stimulus– not that will stop blue dogs and Republicans from proposing them as a cure-all for everything that ails you). Third, a large chunk of the bill was, as stated before, to provide relief to states.

And here is where it gets really good. Pawlenty on infrastructure projects. First off, I agree with him. In fact, I would love to have a bill pass the house and Senate right now for half a trillion dollars that is spent on nothing but infrastructure- rail, roads, bridges, sanitation and waste management, improving the power grid- all the things the American Society of Civil Engineers say we need to fix.

But what Pawlenty does not note is that it can’t happen because the Republicans and the blue dogs they have so terrified will never let it happen. They screamed that the existing infrastructure portion of the stimulus bill was just pork:

Republicans cry foul over $8 billion for high-speed rail

Alleging the money is for an Anaheim-Las Vegas rail project, they accuse Sen. Harry Reid of putting an earmark in the stimulus package.

They also screamed that it was just pork because it was not stimulus unless it happened immediately, and I blame Obama and company for the assist on that, making everything be “shovel-ready.” Finally, the best part of Pawlenty’s claim about support for infrastructure is the following question- If it is such a good thing for the country as a whole, why was is infrastructure spending not good enough for his own state:

In the past two years, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota twice vetoed legislation to raise the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation needs.

Now, with at least five people dead in the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge here, Mr. Pawlenty, a Republican, appears to have had a change of heart.

“He’s open to that,” Brian McClung, a spokesman for the governor, said Monday of a higher gas tax. “He believes we need to do everything we can to address this situation and the extraordinary costs.”

Maybe Pawlenty found religion when it comes to the value of infrastructure spending. Or maybe he is just full of shit. I know which option I am choosing.

And if Pawlenty is serious about running for the GOP nomination, he better stop talking about spending hundreds of billions on things other than tax cuts for the rich and bombing muslim countries, or he will get teabagged before you can say fiscal conservative.

88 replies
  1. 1

    Pawlenty is full of shit, squared.

  2. 2
    Ian says:

    When you have to achieve a perfect conservative record in order to one day run for the Republican presidential nod, you tend to do things to your state that f*cks its people over.

  3. 3
    mr. whipple says:

    They also screamed that it was just pork because it was not stimulus unless it happened immediately, and I blame Obama and company for the assist on that, making everything be “shovel-ready.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here. If the object of the stim was to get money out as quickly as possible, wouldn’t you want stim projects to be ‘shovel ready’?

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    Maybe we should have give a $40,000 tax cut to all the unemployed along with a tax rebate to pay for health insurance.

    By the way, once again I note a decided lack of focus on the revenue side of the spending equation — i.e., no recognition of the role a collapsing economy plays regarding tax receipts, no recognition of the negative role of massive tax cuts on the rich on tax receipts, no recognition of the positive role of future ordinary workers’ wage increases on tax receipts.

  5. 5

    Pawlenty also did not turn down Minnesota’s share of that federal money.

    But pointing out hypocrisy in Republicans is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  6. 6
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Maybe Pawlenty found religion Tha Stooooopid when it comes to the value of infrastructure spending.

    There… now it’s accurate…

  7. 7
    Derelict says:

    Silly liberals! Don’t you know that tax cuts ARE the answer for every problem? They’re the Republican’s Procrustean Solution.

    Eliminating the Capital Gains Tax would lower unemployment by 3 points. Getting rid of the Estate Tax would drop it another 10 points. Then we’d be a plus 2.6% employment–everyone would have at least one job and probably two. In fact, if we eliminated the Minimum Wage, everyone could have THREE jobs. Full time, too! (Oh, and the deficit would disappear in a quarter or two at the most.)

    So vote Republican! Taxes don’t cut themselves, you know!

  8. 8
    mk3872 says:

    This kind of echo-chamber repitition won’t fly in a general election.

    Call me stupid or too optimistic, but the way the press today parses every little statement from a politician, my take is that Pawlenty will get a free ride like this until he actually is taken seriously enough to become leader of the free world.

    At that point, he’ll have to explain his math, not to mention his contention that cutting taxes, instead of spending, somehow WOULDN’T explode the deficit …

  9. 9
    Cat Lady says:

    Pawlenty, Jindal, Palin, Romney, Barbour, Thune, Brown.

    Charge of the Lightweight Brigade. I despair, then imagine the presidential debates.

  10. 10
    balconesfault says:

    If you look at the growth in the Federal Debt by calendar year (instead of by fiscal year, as all the media keeps reporting) – it grew $1.49 trillion between Jan 1 and Dec 31 2008 … and $1.63 trillion between Jan 1 and Dec 31 2009.

    I am SOOOO sick of this “tripling the deficit” line. It’s a pure and simple lie, deliberately offered to ignore the disaster that was Bush’s last 4 months in office.

  11. 11
    Dave Fud says:

    @Derelict: We’ll have to have three jobs at the salary we’ll get, too.

  12. 12
    Kryptik says:

    Pawlenty and the geniuses in charge of the GOP may be full of shit, but again, the jokes on us.

    I mean…to shamelessly steal and paraphrase from George Carlin: Ever notice to the media that Dem’s substance is shit, while GOP’s shit is substance? Sadly, I’m sure that if Carlin were still alive today, he’d probably be eating 3 bacon burgers a day so he could go back to being dead, rather than let the stupidity kill him first.

  13. 13
    Warren Terra says:

    And note that essentially every Republican voted for a different “stimulus”, mostly permanent tax cuts on income and capital gains taxes. Short-term, fast-acting cuts for those who’d spend, it wasn’t.

  14. 14
    Max says:

    God, please let T-Paw be the nominee.

    Love, Max

    P.S. I teared up watching the new We Are The World video on the olympic show this afternoon. I especially like the hip-hop part. I love LL Cool J. His new show isn’t bad.

  15. 15
    cat48 says:

    Obama has said 1,000 times that Bush left him a $1.3T deficit, but it really doesn’t help. Also, almost every speech and Townhall he mentions the Recovery Act or Stimulus as he always says, and how it was tax cuts for 95% of folks; unemployment extension; Cobra reduction; Medicaid extension; and food stamp extension; along with aid to the states; and infrastructure like roads spending. I know it by heart, but no one else seems to. He has bullied the pulpit when it comes to this.

  16. 16
    mr. whipple says:


    Actually, I fear him a bit insofar as he’s the best of the bunch at hiding his wingnuttiness behind a facade of reasonableness.

    He was obviously able to lie his way thru this interview quite easily, and I wouldn’t ever count on the press to set the record straight when goopers lie.

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    Timmy is also a mean shit. I’ll never forget the smirk on his face (presser) when he was announcing cuts in health care to poor folk in MN. I’m not kidding when I say he looked like he was enjoying himself. I hate what he has done to our state.
    Mpls Strib article last Thurs. We have a $1.2 billion shortfall even after draining reserves, borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from other state funds & using more one time fixes than any state than Alaska. Moody’s, credit rating agency, warned what he’s been doing won’t last much longer. The state is running dangerously low on cash & would be bouncing checks buy April if it weren’t for a $423 million involuntary loan from the public schools.

  18. 18
    mr. whipple says:

    I know it by heart, but no one else seems to. He has bullied the pulpit when it comes to this.

    Yup. I don’t know what else he can do regarding this.

    I considered the tax cuts a major accomplishment insofar as it was a campaign promise met and one of the reasons I voted for him. (Although it wasn’t quite as large as promised. I haven’t forgot about that, Obama.)

  19. 19
    Max says:

    @mr. whipple: But remember, he was too boring to be the VP nom for McCain.

    I don’t see him getting a personality transplant anytime soon.

    Wasn’t there a poll that showed Obama would even beat him in Minnesota?

  20. 20
    Norbrook says:

    @mr. whipple:

    When you’re from the same state as Michelle Bachmann, there’s a different standard of “wingnuttiness” you’re going to get measured against. Compared to her, he’s downright sane. Measuring him against objective reality gives a different result.

  21. 21
    mr. whipple says:

    “I don’t see him getting a personality transplant anytime soon.”

    All he has to do is appeal to GOP primary voters. IE, be a genial, yet dickish individual that can talk some smack and be willing to throw some bones to the fundies and chamber of commerce.

  22. 22
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Balloon Juice has estimated that it would have cost approximately $100,000 per mile to electrify the railroads. America is approximately 3000 miles across. Therefore, the cost of a single transcontinental electricifation would be:

    $100,000 times 3000 equals Three Hundred Million Dollars.

    Now, we will determine how many transcontinental electricified lines we could have produced for Eight Hundred Billion Dollars:

    $800,000,000,000 divided by $300,000,000 equals 2667

    This is a lot of transcontinental railroads.

    The Association of American Railroads teaches us that there are 160,620 miles of railroad track in the United States. So we could have electrified every foot of our existing railroads, plus another:

    (800,000,000,000 minus (160,620 times $100,000)) divided by $100,000 equals:

    An additional 639,000 miles of railroad track that WE DON’T EVEN HAVE.

    This would make El Cid very happy, as I would surely be working overtime today, instead of practicing Mathematics.

    The money instead went to public unions and banks. What possible leverage could the financial sector have to blackmail the President? What secret card could they be holding?

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    Only around a third of the stimulus money was spent in 2009. A good sized chunk is due to be spent this year and then the rest, next year. It wasn’t really shovel ready.
    When righties don’t like something, they ignore it and make up their own facts,

  24. 24

    Never mind tax cuts, here is Cueball in the snow.

    (Snow in Eastern NC, it is the apocalypse I tell you!)

  25. 25
    The Republic of Stupidity says:


    Obama has said 1,000 times that Bush left him a $1.3T deficit, but it really doesn’t help.

    Well… the MSM is too busy to help out…

    The NY TImes own Bobo has PRIORITIES here…

    As you may or may not know, Thune is the junior senator from South Dakota, the man who beat Tom Daschle in an epic campaign five years ago. The first thing everybody knows about him is that he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome (John McCain jokes that if he had Thune’s face he’d be president right now). If you wanted a Republican with the same general body type and athletic grace as Barack Obama, you’d pick Thune.

    … expressing his man-love…

  26. 26
    The Republic of Stupidity says:


    When righties don’t like understand something, they ignore it and make up their own facts shit…

    Better… no?

  27. 27
    Jeff Fecke says:


    Word. Incidentally, T-Paw still vetoed a gas tax increase after the 35W bridge collapse, his feigned openness to the contrary. Taxes have gone up in Minnesota — property taxes, mostly — but they’ve gone up in a backward, regressive way because counties control property taxes, and the state’s been slashing aid to counties so Timmy can stay pure on taxes.

    Of course, Timmy has signed off on a cigarette “fee.” And he signed off on an increase in the sales tax for Hennepin County for a Twins stadium. But health care for the poor? Bridges that don’t self-destruct? Those are bridges too far for Timmy.

  28. 28
    cat48 says:


    A few months ago there was that poll and he did beat him in MN. Now O beats a generic repug by 2 pts so we shall see. I’m not sure he can get re-elected based on that report that Christina Romer just did. She projected unemployment would still be 8.2% in 2012. The Repug will have to perform poorly. I would still vote O, but a lot of people would not. Also, in 2011 they expect a commercial real estate bubble to pop so there is more Hell ahead.

  29. 29

    @ 9

    Pawlenty, Jindal, Palin, Romney, Barbour, Thune, Brown.
    Charge of the Lightweight Brigade. I despair, then imagine the presidential debates.

    This batch of clowns leads me to suggest that the Republican Party has decided to become a performance art troop. At the Republican debates last time, they were suggesting that Jack Bauer be put in charge of the interrogations.

    Where the fuck do these people come from? Jon Stewart poked the blond woman who sits between the two shit heads on Fox in the morning. He pointed out that she was a high school validictorian. She acts like she has had a lobotomy.

    Who the fuck are these people?

  30. 30
    Tecumseh says:

    And then, there’s this:

    Poll Reveals Most Americans Don’t Know They Got a Tax Cut

    To give the American people a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, the tax cuts was done in such a way that it wasn’t so obvious that it was one because whenever a tax cut is announced during a recession, most people use it as savings and don’t spend it. Which is another reason why using tax cuts as a way to fight a recession is ridiculous but that’s for another time.

    Still, if the American people get a tax cut in a huge bill and not only don’t know they got one but think their taxes got raised shows a serious problem and yet another reason why we’re all frickin’ doomed

  31. 31
    mr. whipple says:


    8.2% just might be the new norm, unless we want to reinflate the RE bubble or create another new one.

    @Dan Robinson:

    “Who the fuck are these people?”

    They are making a lot of money acting stupider than they are. It’s a gig.

  32. 32
    Max says:

    @cat48: I’m in commercial real estate and that bubble burst already. I work for a retail REIT and industry-wide, we are already prepared for a bad Q1, Q2, Q3, with it turning around by Q4.

    We may never get back to pre-recession rates, and a lot of retailers have gone under, but the strong retailers will survive and most companies, at least REIT’s, have already re-org’d and are operating very lean. As long as the lenders lend, which they are now, the industry will weather the storm.

    Speaking of shopping – great President’s Day sales. Get out there and shop people!

  33. 33
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Please come back when your math accounts for the purchase of rolling stock.

  34. 34
    cat48 says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    Yea, I saw that. I couldn’t believe he was cheating on Obama. He has written a lot of nice columns about O, but he hates the health care bill because he wants Wyden-Bennet instead. Also, he’s really annoyed by the deficit lately so BoBo has been sorta mean lately. I’m just hoping he doesn’t go full blown Teabagger.

  35. 35
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Dan Robinson:

    What he said…

    I suspect if you were to go through the collective resumes of both the Bush and Obama WH staffs – what’s that – a couple of thousand people? And checked for masters degrees, PHDs, honors societies, etc, etc, you’d probably be able to put together a pretty impressive list… ON PAPER

    And in practice, in the real world???

  36. 36
    The Republic of Stupidity says:


    In a word… fickle…

    Of course… Tweety did have a thing for Fred Thompson…

    Does [Fred Thompson] have sex appeal? … Gene, do you think there’s a sex appeal for this guy, this sort of mature, older man, you know? … Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man’s shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of — a little bit of cigar smoke? You know, whatever.

  37. 37
    Cat Lady says:

    @mr. whipple:

    It’s a gig.

    You know, that’s the biggest irony of all. I believe that every single Fox on-camera personality doesn’t believe a word that comes out of their own mouth. Roger Ailes’ business model depends on attracting media whores. You know the opening scene in Klute where Jane Fonda appears to be in full orgasm, then you see her look at her watch? The whole Fox stable is Jane Fonda in Klute. The wingnuts are the clueless johns, and that’s why they love Lady Starbursts. She’s the whore pretending that they’re giving her an orgasm, while she’s looking at her watch/their wallet. If they weren’t so dangerous, they would only deserve pity.

  38. 38
    cat48 says:


    Hopefully that was an old article I was reading. I’m an insomniac and read a lot when I’m really tired but can’t sleep.

    Ben Smith had a link to a MN blog that was outlining Tpaws problems with the budget. The blogger said it was going to be close whether he could get out of office before he was forced to raise taxes because there were upcoming expenses that could cause a budget explosion on him. I don’t remember the details but it seemed like a tenuous situation. That was a few months ago. I’ve been patiently waiting.

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: @26, oh yes it is much better. I hope you are still here.
    I read about a month ago that the mountain top mining has been halted.
    The fed agencies are functioning a lot better than under Bush.

  40. 40
    bemused says:

    @Jeff Fecke:
    LGA cuts to cities. There was a recent article in the Strib from the mayor of Bemidji. Not a happy camper with Timmy’s jabs at city budgets. Timmy likes to portray others as irresponsible when they’ve cut to the bone. He’s also raided the IRRRB fund on the Iron Range.
    I know he’s a vindictive jerk, typical R.
    Bachmann believes what she says, insane. I don’t think Pawlenty really believes everything he says. He wants to go far, will do whatever it takes to get there & have a hell of fun doing it. He’s a bully.

  41. 41
    mr. whipple says:

    @Cat Lady:

    “I believe that every single Fox on-camera personality doesn’t believe a word that comes out of their own mouth. ”

    I think there’s probably some that are true-blue nutters, or just conservatives. But the vast majority just see it as an acting gig and they’re making a shitload of money.

    Think about it: yer some talking head on local TV in Paducah, and you get an offer from FOX to make a gazillion bucks spewing bullshit to a national audience of morons, and get the hell out of Paducah. Who would turn that down?

  42. 42
    cat48 says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    Tweety appalled me with that crap! Thompson, sexy?? NOT!! Now he vascillates between Obama and the Senator Cosmo.

  43. 43
    Max says:

    @cat48: Commercial RE is totally dependent on Wall St.

    It’s an over built industry and there will be a lot of empty retail/office spaces.

    The successful players are already in the midst of dealing with occupancy issues and plotting a plan forward. I spend the majority of my day addressing occupancy worries and planning ahead.

    If a company hasn’t changed their business model by now, they are going to fail and deserve to.

    If anyone is interested in leasing space, either retail or office, now is the time to do it. It’s as cheap as it’s ever been. Great opportunities for the entrepreneur. I can’t believe what we’re doing deals for right now.

  44. 44
    Napoleon says:


    I do all commercial RE law. Do you really think it turns around by 4th Q? There are a ton of commercial loans coming due the next couple of years and no one to refi them. I see nothing but pain for sometime to come.

  45. 45
    kay says:


    Obama has said 1,000 times that Bush left him a $1.3T deficit, but it really doesn’t help.

    I think it has helped, and that’s why there’s a full court press make things up.

    This is from last week’s NYTimes poll:

    “While the president is showing signs of vulnerability on his handling of the economy — a majority of respondents say he has yet to offer a clear plan for creating jobs — Americans blame former President George W. Bush, Wall Street and Congress much more than they do Mr. Obama for the nation’s economic problems and the budget deficit, the poll found.”

    I completely sympathize. It’s hard to differentiate sometimes when we’re in the middle of a campaign by conservatives, but I don’t think they have quite succeeded yet in selling this latest load of bullshit.
    It’s probably why Obama’s talking fiscal prudence every day, and conservatives are in full campaign mode on it.

  46. 46
    Max says:

    @Napoleon: That’s why I predicated my comments on the lenders continuing to lend.

    I know the banks are all fuckers, but my industry depends on them, for billions of dollars.

  47. 47
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Gold Star for Robot Boy; The Association of American Railroads AGAIN teaches us that there are:

    24,143 locomotives in America. Let us apply the surplus $639 billion to build those little wire thingies on top of the locomotives, to allow the traction motors to obtain their power EITHER from the existing diesel engine, OR from the overhead line. This will also require a switch inside the cab and a wire going to the thingie.

    Out budget to retrofit the locomotives would be:

    $639,000,000,000 divided by 224,143 locomotives, yielding a budget of $2.8 million dollars per locomotive to put that little wire thingie on top.

    I hereby offer to put those little wire thingies on top for a discount price of only $1 million dollars per locomotive, saving the Obama Administration a lot of money.

  48. 48
    cat48 says:


    That’s good to know about the deficit. Now if we could just convince people he gave them a tax break. After I saw his approval rating was so low in that poll, I decided not to look at the entire thing. Gallup has him at 52 today. That’s the highest he has been on the daily for months so that’s good news for Obama! For a change.

  49. 49
    Napoleon says:


    My lending clients are still continuing to pull back. I just learned in the last few weeks one of them is totally done making RE loans.

  50. 50
    Zach says:

    This is nit picking to some extent, but it’s interesting how many people saddle Obama with the TARP renewal even though (1) it was an inevitable consequence of Bush’s economic recovery plan and (2) it was passed on January 15th, 2009. Articles at the time said it was a win for Obama, but that was because it meant he wouldn’t have to have a major veto right out of the gate, not because he was responsible for it.

    The craziest thing is that, outside of Defense and the stimulus, Obama’s budgets lower the deficit substantially relative to the state of the law when he assumed office, and that the deficits would be substantially slashed if not for Republican intransigence on letting Bush cuts lapse.

  51. 51
    The Republic of Stupidity says:


    You want to hear something truly grotesque?

    I rarely watch the teevee machine anymore. Haven’t even owned one for 5 or 6 years now. I did watch some the NFL play games back in January though and on one of those Sundays, during halftime, I happened to come across The Mclaughlin Group on PBS.

    Old Man McLaughlin and the equally hoary Pat Buchanan were going on and on about what a hawtie Cosmo Boy is, and has he eclipsed Palin as the GOP’s reigning sex symbol?

    Giggling like schoolgirls…

    Wanting to puke… it made me feel like…

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Zach: All Obama has to do to let the Bush cuts lapse is…nothing. Same with Pelosi and Reid. They just let them drift off into the sunset like they should. Of course the Republicans will sell this as a tax increase because the Bush cuts were an across the board cut, they just overwhelmingly favored the wealthy. That’s the only part Obama is trying to preserve at this point, even though I think he shouldn’t.

  53. 53
    Max says:

    @Napoleon: I understand, but think things will turn by Q4. Remember, they predicted a lot of the players would file for bk in 2009 and the only one of size that did, GGP, has already pulled 90+ of its properties out and the company at large should come out by summer.

    Simon recently raised a ton of capital and Westfield is very well positioned.

    These are good signs, but we’re not in the clear.

    But, I’m an O-bot, what do I know.

  54. 54
    Zach says:


    I think it has helped, and that’s why there’s a full court press make things up.</blockquote

    The audacity of the making-things-up strategy is truly amazing. Henserling became the GOP rising star of the week (step aside, Sen. Brown!) for dropping knowledge that was utterly at odds with reality. He then went and got a Politico article or something showing that he was actually right, when he was still wrong:

    (1) Henserling's claim was that current monthly deficits are as high as the average yearly deficits in "old Republican budgets"
    (2) If you generously give him fiscal years 1995 through 2006, you get an average GOP deficit:current deficit ratio of under 12.
    (3) Generously giving him that math is fucking retarded ridiculous. It gives Republicans a budget that was passed under Democratic control of the Senate (remember that brief period?), and ignores that budgets are passed one year in advance.
    (4) It ascribes the responsibility for the budget to whichever party controls congress, even though the President both proposes the budget and signs it into law

  55. 55
    cat48 says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    They are both sorta creepy to me anyway. I’m trying to figure out how old McLaughlin is now. He was old years ago when I used to watch. I stopped watching when they started having, I think her name is Monica Crowley on. She is very shrill.

  56. 56
    Zach says:


    All Obama has to do to let the Bush cuts lapse is…nothing. Same with Pelosi and Reid. They just let them drift off into the sunset like they should.

    If only that were true. Getting to even 50 votes if they pass the budget through reconciliation will be very difficult. There are more than 9 “fiscally conservative” Democrats, and a number of Democrats who will use the excuse of not wanting reconciliation to avoid getting hurt. I honestly doubt it’s possible to get 60 votes on a budget that lets any of the cuts lapse.

    You’re right that they lapse if we do nothing, but we do have to pass an FY2011 budget (or do they expire in FY2012? I forget), and doing that without extending the cuts will be very, very difficult.

  57. 57
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Correction… the budget would be:

    639,000,000,000 divided by 24,143 locomotives, yielding a budget of 26.47 million per locomotive.

    My price has gone up.

    My price is now $15 million per locomotive to install the little wire thingee, the switch, and the wire between the thingee and the switch.

    As this is an all-included, package deal. It is a bargain. I apologize for the calculator abuse and any mis-understandings regarding the previous bid.

  58. 58
    cat48 says:


    Tax cuts for the rich are gone at the end of the yr. He has that in his budget for next yr. Of course, Blue Dogs are begging him to extend them for election yr. With the deficit, I don’t see that happening.

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Zach: 60 votes on any budget is impossible. 50 plus Biden is much more doable, and Obama will be clamoring for a budget to get passed, mostly to avoid the Clinton shutdown mishegas. How much the budget gets amended in the final process I have no idea. But I highly doubt the Bush cuts fully intact pass the House. And they generate all spending bills.

  60. 60
    Napoleon says:


    I suspect the big REITs are going to do OK. It is the midsize guys that are getting killed.

  61. 61
    Zach says:


    Of course the Republicans will sell this as a tax increase because the Bush cuts were an across the board cut, they just overwhelmingly favored the wealthy.

    That’s actually a debatable point (although I agree); it depends on how you frame the cut. The lower your income, the more your taxes decreased (as a fraction of what you would’ve paid otherwise). Fractional change in after-tax income was higher the wealthier you got, but not dramatically (especially if you don’t break out the 1% and 0.1% data points and only look by quintile). You only see an overwhelming favoritism for the wealthy if you look at how many dollars went to each income level.

    I’d argue that the last sort of analysis is the most appropriate, but Bush’s supporters could point to the first one and say that they were helping the poor more than the rich. Rhetorically slimy, but not wholly inaccurate and very effective.

  62. 62
    cat48 says:


    Politifact got Hensarling on that.

  63. 63
    Max says:

    @Napoleon: Yes. I think that many of them will get bought or jv’d with hedge funds, retirement funds, cap mgmt companies, etc. Funding mechanisms that got out of commercial re in the past, but are now cash rich and need a place to put it, or ones that have been looking for the right opportunity to get in.

  64. 64
    The Republic of Stupidity says:


    Kinda goes to show you how low the MSM has sunk in terms of ‘doing their job’…

    Two old men giggling over the ‘new hawtie’ on the block?

    Saaaaaaaaay… is B.o.B. wearing his little engineer’s cap and bandana? Is it time to play Choo-choo?

  65. 65
    Zach says:

    @cat48: In this world, it doesn’t matter that he was provably telling a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie, and he was selected to give the Republican radio address that week.

    I’m confident that having the entire appeal of the Republican party sitting atop a pile of untruths and ignorance is going to collapse at some point. I’m not confident that it’ll happen before November.

  66. 66
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I believe that every single Fox on-camera personality doesn’t believe a word that comes out of their own mouth.

    Except for Glenn Beck?

  67. 67
    Chad N Freude says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: You blew it. BOB was being ignored, the most appropriate response to his Ride on the Reading Railroad posts, and now you’ve gone and acknowledged him. You should be tied to the very expensive tracks and run over by a very expensive locomotive for that.

  68. 68
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    My bad…

    A million mea culpas…

  69. 69
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Glenn Beck doesn’t count…

    (His words aren’t actually coming from his MOUTH…)

    Come to think of it…

  70. 70
    Bill H says:

    I would love to have a bill pass the house and Senate right now for half a trillion dollars that is spent on nothing but infrastructure

    A full trillion would be better.

  71. 71
    Tenzil Kem says:

    Just once, I’d like to see an article with Pawlenty note that he has never cracked 47% of the vote in a statewide election. The idea that this guy is the GOP’s equivalent of Mark Warner is a laughable one, and I will point and laugh as his presidential campaign falls flat on its face and Pawlenty realizes that he has once again trimmed his mullet for nothing.

  72. 72
    Cat Lady says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Especially including Glenn Beck. He’s a self-admitted rodeo clown.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @Cat Lady: Such an unfortunate metaphor, that. Rodeo clowns at least have a purpose.

  74. 74
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    It’s good to see that you are putting that injured wing back to work composing these works of art that are blunt and exquisitely painful assessments of the fuckeditude we are facing because of the boldfaced liars known as the Republican party.

    Silly liberals! Don’t you know that tricks (tax cuts) ARE the answer for every problem for Republicans?

    Sounds better.

  75. 75
    Cat Lady says:


    Yeah. Beck’s purpose on CNN was originally to distract the raging bull, now that he got the big Fox contract he’s focused the rage. I think that in his off camera time even he’s amazed at his own stature, and wonders how he has come to ride the bull, or the tiger, to mix metaphors. He’s not that smart, but he’s got the crying emotional thing down. He’s a clown, and he knows it and knows his audience doesn’t.

  76. 76
    Sanka says:

    First, a good bit of the stimulus was tax cuts – 275 billion, to be exact. Second, when you have massive unemployment, as we do, tax cuts don’t benefit unemployed people (if there has been anything positive out of the last year, we know definitively that tax cuts are worthless as stimulus- not that will stop blue dogs and Republicans from proposing them as a cure-all for everything that ails you).

    $275 billion out of $800 billion is a “good bit”? Um, ok. The rest was “shovel-ready” crap and “relief” to the states, almost 70% worth.

    So, according to your logic, given that the stimulus is a complete failure, the stimulus needed more shovel-ready crap and less tax cuts?

    Democrats should run on that platform in 2010: “VOTE DEMOCRATIC! BECAUSE 70% OF SHOVEL-READY CRAP IS NEVER ENOUGH!”


  77. 77
    Cat Lady says:


    My main client for several years was Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending – CRE securitization. Needless to say, I’ve had to find another job. The underwriting towards the end (late 2007) was all 10 year interest only, 30 year amort balloon notes, with the expectation that 5 years out there would be a refi. The borrowers got sketchier and sketchier. I had a front row seat to big shitpile, and saw it coming. CRE is going down, down, down.

  78. 78
    The Other Steve says:

    I really hope Pawlenty get’s the nomination for 2012. The guy’s a seriously arrogant elitist asshat. It’d be nice to see that smug little fuck get his ass handed to him by Obama.

  79. 79
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:


    So you say that the 70% was spent on shovel-ready projects that are crap? In my world 70% of what you consider “crap” beats the shit out of the runny 100% pure effluent the Republicans have been feeding us. But if you are enjoying your diet of 100% Republican Shit Spread(R) (why waste the bread, right?) then by all means keep heartily munching away.

    All I ask is if you could please turn your head when speaking to me. Contrary to what you may think, the breath mints aren’t working. Try munching on a well-worn urinal cake.

  80. 80
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    … given that the stimulus is a complete failure…

    Anybody got any proof of this… anything truly valid?

    And no, something from Newsmax or World Net Daily doesn’t count…

    I mean… what are the metrics? How do you determine something to be a TOTAL FAILURE?

    Did the Stimulus blow up in mid-launch, like Challenger, and come back to Earth in flaming pieces?

    How do you measure this and validate the bold, absolute determination It Was A Total Failure™?

  81. 81
    Svensker says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Try munching on a well-worn urinal cake.

    There used to be an office on a side street in Hollywood that had a large sign in the window that said “Edible Urinal Cakes”. I have a picture of it somewhere.

  82. 82
    Sanka says:

    $800 billion (70% shovel-ready crap vs 30% evil tax cuts)….and unemployment is at 10%. The stimulus, you will recall, was meant to get to “shovel-ready” projects and such to get “people” working again.

    Under Bush, unemployment “soars” to 5.0%. Under Obama, unemployment is….well, 10%. Billions and gajillions of “jobs” are magically spun from pixie-dust-woven string with the help of a unicorn-driven mill created or “saved”.


    The stimulus is working. It’s the (30%) tax-cuts that are holding us back from SUPER-DUPER Economic growth! You betcha!

  83. 83

    Without even reading the rest of the comments, I can attest that Ratface Pawlenty is an evil, shithead who doesn’t believe a single word that falls from his craven lips. I don’t have enough rusty implements to fuck up this asshat badly enough.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    Alleging the money is for an Anaheim-Las Vegas rail project, they accuse Sen. Harry Reid of putting an earmark in the stimulus package.

    I know I ask this question every time it comes up but why, exactly, would a high-speed train between Anaheim and Las Vegas be a bad idea? I mean, other than the fact that apparently Disneyland and Vegas are cesspools of corruption that no good American should ever visit so for goshsakes don’t encourage them.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Shocking that the idea of connecting two major American cities with a high speed rail system should be so controversial. It really does fall under the category of why we can’t have nice things.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to agree with Sanka — it’s pretty amazing how unemployment just magically soared after Obama was elected. I mean, it’s not like there was some kind of financial meltdown on Bush’s watch, or that the oldest bank in the US declared bankruptcy, or that a huge hedge fund almost caused a total collapse of the stock market.

    I mean, if something like that had happened, Sanka would remember it, right? So clearly what happened is that Obama was elected and unemployment went up to 10 percent with no other possible explanation other than Obama’s election.

    Well, that or a serious head injury on Sanka’s part.

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Amazing that it shot up even before Obama was inaugurated and it was still all his fault! Or it was the Clenis, since of course he was responsible for everything from the end of the Reagan Administration until the darkie usurped the throne got elected.

  88. 88
    brantl says:

    Pawlenty gets to talk about bridge-building without someone showing that bridge going down in St. Paul, and how it was his fault? What crap.

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