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DC Snowed In – America Safe for 72 Hours

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The only thing falling faster than the dollar and the hopes of unemployed Americans this winter is the snow in Washington DC. The capital is now in the grips of its third blizzard in two weeks, this one expected to rival the famed Knickerbocker snowstorm of 1922 which shut the entire city down for a week. With 30 inches predicted and if the cold temperatures hold up we might get lucky and see federal offices still closed as the coming work-week starts.

Based on President Obama's proposed budget, every day we manage to keep the federal government completely shut down we save $10 billion, so if we can somehow keep the city closed for about 4 months of the coming year we could balance the federal budget, assuming there's any tax revenue left after back-door taxes and excessive regulation finish destroying the small businesses which make up 70% of our economy.

There's a certain ironic balance to the image of Washington buried under a blizzard of snow considering how they have buried the country under a blizzard of worthless paper in the form of bad debt and devalued money issued by the federal reserve. Perhaps it's cosmic vengeance for taking a nation which was an economic powerhouse only a few years ago and putting it so far in debt that economists are now predicting that our debt exceeds our ability to ever repay it and that the amount we will need to borrow to finance that debt actually exceeds the lending capacity of the financial resources of the entire world. All assuming anyone will lend us money when our national credit rating is downgraded.

Sadly we can't depend on winter to last forever and despite its extraordinary level of corruption and inefficiency, the DC government does have enough snowplows to eventually clear the streets, so business as usual will begin again in DC before long and our rights and our fortunes will once again be at the mercy of irresponsible legislators and out of control bureaucrats.

In addressing the risk that our national credit worthiness will be downgraded, Moody's Investment Services emphasized that the problem is not discretionary spending but entitlements, pointing out that "the combination of the medical programmes and social security is the most important threat to the triple-A rating over the long term."

When the snow ends and the government goes back to work, President Obama is going to have to face a reality which is going to be very unpleasant for the leader of a political movement based on handing out entitlements to every constituency. He's going to have to admit that not only can he not pass or justify a massive new spending program like national health care, but he is going to have to look seriously at cutting the benefits of already existing programs like Social Security and Medicare. Cutting those costs which make up over two thirds of the budget are the only possible way to get the debt situation under control and that debt now poses so great a threat to the economy that it cannot be ignored.

At this point, obligations to these programs have reached a level where even if the President were to cut 100% of discretionary spending the amount due for Medicare and Social Security alone would consume the entire projected government revenue in 2011. That means that it is effectively impossible to balance the budget without cutting these programs which now make up over 70% of the total budget. The experts at Moody's can see this, but it's not a reality that Obama or the Democrats in Congress are likely to embrace.

Republicans are already facing up to this reality. Earlier this week Representative Jeb Hensaerling (R-TX) was on MSNBC and got a lot of attention when he forwarded a proposal to cut Social Security benefits for younger retirees and ease into a privatized system. Obama's director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag is on record as advocating cuts in social security benefits prior to his appointment, and has pointed out that the projected deficits are unsustainable.

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) has now proposed a bill sponsored by five other House Republicans which would solve this problem for President Obama. It cuts the corporate tax rate to spur economic growth, moves many medicare and medicaid services into the hands of private insurance plans, raises the retirement age gradually to 70 and reduces the growth of social security benefits while allowing some social security investment to be privatized. It's a smart and forward looking plan which would address the critical budgetary crisis in an effective way.

The question is whether President Obama will listen to Congressional Republicans like Ryan and Hensaerling or will he and Congressional Democrats just pretend their proposals do not exist as they did with Republican ideas for health care reform. If Obama seriously believes in bipartisanship and is listening to the warnings coming from the international financial community and his own OMB director, he should take a hard look at Ryan's bill. It's pretty close to a life preserver for a drowning man. It's clear that the Democratic leadership in Congress wants to carry on business as usual, live in denial and pretend they can get away without making hard decisions. That leaves the burden of responsibility with President Obama. If he works with Republicans and it fails he can always blame them and if it succeeds he can get most of the credit.

Failing an outbreak of genuine bipartisanship and an alliance between Congressional Republicans and the President, we're lucky that the gurus of global warming are so laughably wrong. When this year's extraordinary snowfall turns into the fimbulwinter and DC is under a glacier, that might be the only hope we have left of stopping the mad spending.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Is there a reason why the articles published in politics get taken off of the front page so quickly?

    I can’t help but notice this fact, because I wanted to read Glenn’s new article and now, just two days after publishing, where is it?

    Just asking

  • I have to go look for an article to read.

  • Baronius

    Social Security was originally old age insurance. You save for things that you expect, but you insure for things that you don’t. *If* I get too sick or too old to work, or I die and leave dependents, then government helps me out. That’s insurance.

    This notion that healthy people should expect to spend the last 20 years of their lives resting is as crazy as the idea that we get to spend our first 23 years “learning”. And it isn’t like most of us are tilling the soil or working the mines during the middle 40 years.

  • Arch Conservative

    America safe for 72 hours?

    Maybe it will turn into 172 hours and they”’ cannibalize Barney Frank.

  • Baronius

    I wouldn’t eat Barney Frank. He’d be too fatty. Maybe Chris Dodd.

    Which elected official would you cannibalize?

  • Ruvy

    I looked at Dave’s map. I haven’t read the article yet. Note the bubble which says “These people should hit the liquor stores”. Only an American would think about stocking up on liquor for a huge drunk over a snow storm….


  • Ruvy

    Well, I read the article, and the quote from the Financial Times on Moody’s possibly lowering American credit seemed to me to be the only significant item in the whole article.

    There was of course the snow storm and cold snap hitting the States. But related to that, other sources tell me that the cold snap hitting the southern states is destroying crops (like pumpkins) and these storms, while they may moisten the soil, may well kill more crops growing.

    In other words, money may well be a problem, and food may well be a problem. Fun stuff, guys, fun stuff….

  • Obstruct and stall…it is the game plan.

  • Maybe it will snow in Washington until 2012.

  • Ruvy, you’ve clearly never lived in a country where it actually gets cold. Spend some time in Alaska or the Yukon or Russia or Scandinavia and you’ll come to truly appreciate the relationship between cold weather and excessive alcohol consumption.

    I have a Russian joke for you.

    How can you tell you’re in Moscow and not in Helsinki?

    In Helsinki they leave the drunks lying on the street when they pass out.

    Here’s another one…

    How can you tell when a plane from Finland arrives? They unload the passengers on the baggage carousel.


  • How do you get bigoted remarks removed from the threads?

  • I just locked my article, again. Unless your name is Clavos..I ask you to stay away.

  • Ruvy


    I lived in Minnesota for 21 years. Endured temps of -30 (don’t matter whether it is Fahrenheit or Centigrade when its that cold). I know how Minnesotans and Cheeseheads drink.

  • OMG am I being slagged on for my anti-Finnish bigotry. I feel so shamed.

    I get the feeling Jeannie hasn’t travelled much. She radiates a very provincial self-righteousness.


  • Baronius

    Dave, we’re all getting sick of your anti-Finn agenda. This is all because the President has some Finnish on his mother’s side, isn’t it? Every time you look at the man, all you see is a Finn.

    And enough of those Finnish code words. We know what you mean when you call someone “reserved” or “straightforward”. You’re just playing off old stereotypes. I just hate it that the Right in this country still judges people that way.

  • You know it’s because they like to tango so much, Baronius.


  • Dave,

    You should at least take the advice of another man. Perhaps you believe you can only be equalled in intelect by one.

  • aparently…transparent

    “Wouldn’t you agree?”

  • Baronius

    Dave isn’t sexist. He looks down on everyone who disagrees with him equally. (Except for his whole anti-Finnish thing. Some white guys can’t handle it when white women go out with *really* white guys.)

  • I still blame Renni Harlin for stealing Geena Davis from me…


  • …as well you should Dave

  • I never thougt I’d see the day when Arch wanted to eat Barney Frank. Snowpocalypse indeed!

  • re:10-Why do the Colts try to limit themselves to playing only on artificial turf?

    To keep their cheerleaders from grazing at halftime!

  • Arch Conservative

    “Which elected official would you cannibalize?”

    If I had to stick part of an elected official’s body in my mouth………..

    Michelle Bachman.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    On living in really cold places, Russia and equally-cold places are not fit for human habitation. That’s why I like it here in Puget Sound in Washington state – it’s got the mildest weather I know of. We’ve just gone through the warmest January on record – I think it got below freezing on two nights through the whole month. I’ve been walking around in short sleeves in the fifty-plus-degree weather almost the entire month…

    …and February’s shaping up the same way.

    Tusen takh!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    No, no, NO! NOT Michelle Bachman! Ever hear of bovine encephalopathy a.k.a. ‘Mad Cow’ disease?

    Look – get Paris Hilton to run for office! I mean, hey – half of Los Angeles can’t be wrong….

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “Only an American would think about stocking up on liquor for a huge drunk over a snow storm…. Sick.”

    someone needs to get:

    a) out more often
    b) a sense of humor

    dave: i’m finnish (well, half), and while i don’t appreciate your contention that we are a nation of drunks, i’ll live with it because it’s fairly true.

  • Well, so do the Russkies, zing, even more than the Finns, I bet.

  • Arch Conservative

    Sorry Glenn…I got confused. Baronius said which elected official would you cannibalize. I thought he said which elected official would you cunninlingize?

  • There’s more snow coming to DC. Does this mean members of Congress have time to R-E-A-D legislation before consideration? Oh, I forgot, members of Congress can’t read.