The Intransigent Conservative
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
View the story "Tuesday's Tidbits (2/5/13)" on Storify
Tuesday's Tidbits (2/5/13)
· Tue, Feb 05 2013 16:53:18
Jeff Zeleny reports on the new
Conservative Victory Project
group, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies, and is intended to counter other organizations that have recently helped defeat establishment Republican candidates.
“The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group
to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents
from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.”
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business,
but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win
the establishment is taking steps to fight back
against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election.”
“As Republicans rebuild from losing the White House race and seats in the House and Senate last year, party leaders and strategists are placing a heightened focus on taking control of the Senate next year.
Republicans must pick up six seats to win a majority
“It is a delicate and sensitive undertaking,” Mr. Law said. “Our approach will be to institutionalize the Buckley rule:
Support the most conservative candidate who can win
“But by imposing the rule of the conservative leader William F. Buckley, the group could run afoul of
Ronald Reagan’s ‘11th Commandment’
to not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”
“Grover Norquist, who leads Americans for Tax Reform, a fiscally conservative advocacy group that plays a role in Republican primary races, said he welcomed
a pragmatic sense of discipline in recruiting candidates
. But he said it was incorrect to suggest that candidates backed by Tea Party groups were the only ones to lose, pointing to establishment Republicans in North Dakota and Montana who also lost their races last year.”
Can GOP instill discipline in 2014 primaries? A new Super PAC, the Conservative Victory Project, will try. My story: http://nyti.ms/VCoRuBJeff Zeleny
Political analyst Michael Barone writes that our entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare, are based on the incorrect assumption that America will continue to enjoy perpetual economic and population growth.
“Last week, the Commerce Department announced that
the gross domestic product shrank by 0.1 percent
in the fourth quarter of 2012. And the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. birthrate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44,
the lowest ever recorded
“The birthrate fell from the peak of 122.7 in 1957 to 68.8 in 1973 and hovered around that level until 2007. The baby boom, it turns out, was an exception to a general rule that
people tend to have fewer babies as their societies become more affluent and urbanized
“Economic growth and market competition have enabled Americans to spend smaller percentages of their incomes on food and clothes, with more left over to spend on other things… But in a society in which the elderly are an increasing share of the population
and working-age people are a decreasing share
, it becomes increasingly difficult to fund these programs.”
“(Jonathan) Last points out that our fertility rate -- the number of children a woman has over a lifetime -- has been below the replacement level of 2.1.
Over time, a below-replacement-level fertility rate means population decline
The danger is that all this can come to seem the new normal
. Low birthrates, as Last argues, can persuade others to want fewer children… Low economic growth or even decline can shape expectations and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Why fewer dollars and babies threaten social programs @MichaelBarone http://ow.ly/hoNHIAEI
James Pethokoukis writes that sluggish growth and high unemployment are increasingly just accepted.
“Nations probably never choose decline, at least not consciously.
More likely they become victims of a creeping normalcy.
Things once objectionable can become passively acceptable if they happen slowly, incrementally: the boiling-frog syndrome. Decline just sort of happens, year by year, decade by decade,
one ‘meh’ economic report at a time
“For the year, the U.S. economy grew a meager 2.2 percent. That’s a bit better than 2011, but about a percentage point less than what most economists think is the economy’s current potential. Even worse, the first few recovery years after deep downturn typically exhibit abnormally strong catch-up growth.
But that’s not happening post–Great Recession
“It must be terribly inconvenient for the Obama White House to be reminded every quarter and every month that the $800 billion stimulus — and subsequent mini-stimuli —
failed to ignite the boom
Obama economists repeatedly predicted through the first term.”
“With an economy that hasn’t hummed since the 1990s,
we’ve already had one lost decade
. If we begin to accept and acquiesce to the creeping new normalcy,
America risks suffering its own lost generation
My National Review column: America’s Creeping New Normalcy http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/339652/america-s-creeping-new-normalcy-james-pethokoukisJames Pethokoukis
Richard Rahn (senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth) writes that proponents of Keynesian economics lack verification that their theory works.
“If you are a Keynesian school economist like Mr. Krugman, you define ‘austerity’ as a reduction in government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
If you are a classical Austrian school economist, you view a reduction of government spending not as austerity, but a growth-enhancing policy
“Mr. Krugman seems to have forgotten that the government share of GDP dropped after Reagan was able to get most of his policies through the Democrat-controlled Congress (which Mr. Krugman would define as austerity).
The economy boomed and employment soared
. Likewise, when government spending was reduced as a share of GDP during the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress,
the economy and employment boomed
“Most countries had a bump up in government spending as a percentage of GDP during the financial crisis of 2008-09, and the private sector actually shrank in many countries. Many developed countries tried some measure of orthodox Keynesian ‘fiscal stimulus’ — that is, increasing government spending. Those countries that quickly pulled it back or did not engage in it at all
have had much better growth and employment
than those who are still spending at much higher levels than they were in 2007.”
RAHN: Desperate Keynesians: Proponents lack verification their theory works: http://bit.ly/WMukguThe Washington Times
Aaron M. Renn (urban analyst, consultant, and publisher of the urban policy website
) writes that the federal government’s relentless expansion has made Washington, D.C., America’s real Second City, for better or for worse, as “
the city has become, in effect, the Brussels of America
“The Washington, D.C., region has long been considered recession-proof,
thanks to the remorseless expansion of the federal government in good times and bad
. Yet it’s only now—as D.C. positively booms while most of the country remains in economic doldrums—that the scale of Washington’s prosperity is becoming clear. Over the past decade, the D.C. area has made stunning economic and demographic progress. Meanwhile, America’s current and former Second Cities, population-wise—Los Angeles and Chicago—are battered and fading in significance. Though Washington still isn’t their match in terms of population, it’s gaining on them in terms of economic power and national importance.”
“Since 2001, Washington has enjoyed
the lowest unemployment rate
of its peer group. Over the course of the entire decade, it ranked second in job growth, trailing only Houston. That wasn’t just because of the federal agencies and gigantic contractors of Washington stereotype. The region has also been a hotbed of entrepreneurship—much of it, to be sure, dependent on federal dollars.”
“During the 2000s,
per-capita GDP grew faster
in Washington than in any of its peer regions except the Bay Area. Today, Washington’s per-capita GDP is the country’s second-highest—again, after the Bay Area. Unlike Washington, however, the Bay Area hemorrhaged jobs over the course of the decade.”
“Finally, Washington’s population is
the best-educated in America
. Almost half of all adults in the Washington region have college degrees, the highest proportion of any metro area with more than 1 million people. The same is true of graduate degrees: almost 23 percent of Washingtonians hold them.”
“It isn’t just the Washington metropolitan region that’s thriving. The current boom is accomplishing something that previous ones didn’t: transforming the city itself, the District of Columbia… The District owes almost all its population growth to people in their twenties and thirties; 48 percent of its households are single-person, a nationwide high.
What’s attracting these upscale young?
At warp speed, Washington has become a New York–style urban playground and employment market.”
“But what solidifies Washington’s emerging status as America’s new Second City isn’t its economic performance or its emerging global-city profile. Both of those are secondary effects of the real change in Washington:
the increasingly intrusive control of the federal government over American life
“The leaky-bucket model may indeed be nearing its limits. But Washington has discovered a new way to extract value from the federal government,
based not just on spending but on an ever-expanding regulatory state
… The trend began long before President Obama took office, but its quintessence is Obamacare, an annexation by the federal government of one-sixth of the American economy via 2,000 pages of byzantine legislation, not counting the thousands of pages of implementing regulations still to come…
The regulatory superstate is turbocharging Washington’s local economy
“Even more than the old leaky-bucket system did,
the regulatory superstate depends on inflicting pain on the rest of the country
, pain that only Washington itself can relieve—if you pay up and have the right connections, that is.
Washington’s fortunes and America’s are increasingly at odds
. The region is prospering because it’s becoming something that would have horrified the Founders:
an imperial capital on the Potomac
My Latest Post: Hail, Columbia! - http://bit.ly/TzfV7h - Washington, DC is America's new Second CityAaron M. Renn
James Surowiecki writes that New Jersey voters want to
make sports gambling legal
, but the four major professional sports leagues, the N.C.A.A., and the Justice Department are suing to prevent them from going ahead with their plans.
“Last week, football fans across the country committed a crime: they bet on the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars was wagered on the game, almost all of it staked by people who live in states where sports gambling is against the law. Like participating in an N.C.A.A. office pool, betting on the Super Bowl is an all-American pastime. But in most of the country it’s illegal.”
The constitutionality of the federal ban on sports gambling may be an open question
. But there’s little doubt that permanently, and arbitrarily, dividing the country into ‘betting states’ and ‘non-betting states’ was terrible public policy.”
“Betting has become ubiquitous,
and a major source of revenue for states
. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have lotteries. All the states except Utah and Hawaii have commercial gambling in some form. And more than forty have racetrack betting. But sports betting—
which, ironically enough, is much fairer than lotteries or slot machines and involves more skill
—allows politicians to express their inner puritan.”
“The leagues insist that legalized betting will make people suspect that games are fixed, thus harming their brands. Yet in Vegas billions are wagered legally on sports every year,
apparently without ill effect
, and legal sports betting in Great Britain doesn’t seem to dim anyone’s passion for Premier League soccer…
They happily condone fantasy sports
, which are, in effect, an attempt to predict on-the-field outcomes, and which have become an industry with more than a billion dollars a year in revenue.”
“The ban on sports betting does exactly what Prohibition did.
It makes criminals rich
. People still gamble, after all: the National Gambling Impact Study Commission estimates that more than three hundred billion dollars is bet on games annually… As for the concern that legalization would encourage shady behavior, the truth is that legal and regulated betting makes it easier, not harder, to spot things like point-shaving.”
“Overriding states’ rights and insisting on national legislation makes sense in many circumstances—
but not when one state’s decision has no obvious negative effects on other states or on the national economy
"Betting on the #SuperBowl is an all-American pastime" but illegal in most states. A case for legalized sports betting http://nyr.kr/14DMKn1The New Yorker
Share to Twitter
Share to Facebook
Share to Pinterest
Post a Comment
Post Comments (Atom)