Speaking Honestly About The Ryan Budget
May 13, 2011
Republicans are still deeply bitter at President Obama's counter-attack against the House Republican budget, which almost immediately transformed the party mood from triumphalism to suing for peace. Charles Krauthammer today expresses some of that anger: Constructive and civil debate — like the one Obama initiated just four weeks ago on deficit reduction? The speech in which he accused the Republicans of abandoning families of autistic and Down syndrome kids? This reflects an inability to recognize of acknowledge the brutal effects of the Republican plan to slash Medicaid.
Yes, Paul Ryan Does Cut Taxes For The Rich
April 20, 2011
A number of conservatives have asserted that, contrary to what I've written, the House Republican budget written by Paul Ryan does not cut taxes for high earners. (See John McCormack, Ramesh Ponnuru, Charles Krauthammer, and McCormack again quoting Ryan.) Here's the argument. Ryan keeps overall tax levels the same as they are right now by making the tax cuts permanent. He would then reduce the corporate tax rate and the top income tax rate by ten percentage points, from 35% to 25%.
The Short, Happy Life Of Constitutional Conservatism
February 15, 2011
This is a bit of a legislative stunt, but it's a revealing one: More remarkable was the House vote on a motion offered by the Democrats, which sought to recommit the bill with instructions to add language ensuring that surveillances would only be conducted in compliance with the U.S. Constitution. That motion lost on a 186-234 vote. All 234 "no" votes came from Republicans, including two dozen members who minutes later would vote against extension of the surveillance authorities. Remember "Constitutional conservatism"?
Adventures In Imagining Popular Support
February 04, 2011
Charles Krauthammer on E.P.A. regulation of carbon emissions: I think it shows how ideologically determined the Obama administration is even after being chastised heavily in the midterm election about overreaching. It’s trying to reach around Congress, around the will of the people — and Congress when it rejected cap-and-trade — essentially imposing the carbon tax on the country which doesn’t want it, but it’s going to try to do it by regulation. On what basis does Krauthammer assert that the people don't want the E.P.A. to regulate carbon emissions?
The GOP's Trick Play
January 21, 2011
I don’t know for certain whether the Affordable Care Act will save money, cost money, or roughly break even. Nobody does. And if conservatives want to argue it's more likely to cost money--because, say, the subsidies are going to grow faster than the official projections suggest--that's a reasonable point to make. I think the evidence for that claim is pretty weak, but I can see how somebody could believe it and make a good faith argument along those lines. But I'm positively baffled by this argument that Democrats gamed the congressional budgeting system.
Charles Krauthammer Laughs At Arithmetic
January 21, 2011
Charles Krauthammer writes: Suppose someone - say, the president of United States - proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion. He'd be laughed out of town. Uh... why?
How Cynical Is Krauthammer? Answer Inside...
December 17, 2010
The other day I was pointing out the trickiness of conservatives following Charles Krauthammer and opposing the tax deal because it will improve economic growth in 2012: [N]either Romney nor Krauthammer quite say that the growth-boosting effects of the deal are a reason to oppose it. Rather they argue that the higher growth isn't worth the budgetary cost, making it surely the first time either one of them has rejected a debnt-financed tax cut on the basis of its effects on the national debt.
Most Hackish Post-Election Column Award Goes To...
November 05, 2010
The award for Most Hilariously Propagandistic Election Interpretation, at least in the non-elected official category, goes to Charles Krauthammer. Here's the Fox News All-Star and Washington Post columnist explaining the 2010 result: Our two most recent swing cycles were triggered by unusually jarring historical events. The 2006 Republican "thumpin'" (to quote George W. Bush) was largely a reflection of the disillusionment and near-despair of a wearying war that appeared to be lost.
Wehner Fallacy, Left and Right Versions
October 22, 2010
On the right, Charles Krauthammer says that the Republican gains in the midterm elections are a pure reflection of the fact that President Obama is more liberal than the country: No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country -- a country that is 80 percent non-liberal -- you get a massive backlash. ... The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic.
How Do You Ask A Man To Be The Last To Die For An Afghan Mistake?
October 01, 2010
Nobody is asking this question. And I'm not asking it because I'm not sure it is a mistake. But that's far short of knowing it's a good and justified war, let alone a winnable one. My friend John Kerry, who once asked this question about Vietnam (and knows a lot about Afghanistan), isn't asking it either. But Bob Woodward is asking it very pointedly in his new book, Obama's Wars. The fact is that I'm maybe half-way through the book.