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We’ve all known people who just couldn’t handle money. It slips right through their fingers. They’re not just living check-to-check, but check-to-scheme. They’re always in debt, and always in crisis. They constantly need another loan to cover the last. They play silly little tricks, like cashing a check with insufficient funds, gambling that it won’t bounce before they can make a deposit. It’s a way of life where, no matter how much money they have at any given time, they are predisposed toward broke.

It’s bad enough when a friend or family member is that way. Unfortunately, we’ve got a federal government just as ghetto.

The Huffington Post recently reported that “conservative strategists” are advising the GOP to soft-pedal resistance to raising the debt ceiling. They warn that the consequences of a protracted fight could be adverse.

If the markets get spooked, U.S. treasury bond yields will spike, driving up interest rates and increasing the price of borrowing money for everyone from the federal government to municipalities to consumers, [former Treasury and White House official in the Bush administration Tony] Fratto warned. The cascading effects on the economy would be severe and long-lasting.

You don’t understand. I have to take out another credit card. If I don’t, I won’t be able to make payments on the five I already have out. I won’t be able to pay my other bills either. I’ll have to sell my car, find a cheaper place to live, get another job…

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In the wake of passing Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan, some members of Congress have hosted town hall meetings upon returning to their home districts. Slate’s David Weigel notes a curious lack of anger at these proceedings, particularly compared to the outrage over Obamacare which swept the nation during the August 2009 recess.

If the Ryan budget is so unpopular, where are the town-hall meltdowns?

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone takes a stab at the answer.

… One should note that there was some very loud—and violent and abusive—protest to Governor Scott Walker’s plans in Wisconsin. But organizing those protests was mostly the work of paid union staffers, not citizen volunteers, and the union folks were able to draw on street people/university town types who live in great numbers in Madison. The union folks, as Weigel notes, don’t seem to be sending people into town hall meetings.

If they were, it still wouldn’t impress as much as those angry constituents who were roused in droves to combat Obamacare. That’s because, as Barone points out, the ruckus at 2009 town halls was intrinsically motivated.

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This list post was originally published on January 5 here.

Sherlock Holmes once referred, to Watson’s bewilderment, to the “curious incident of the dog in the night time.”  Watson replied that the dog did nothing in the night time.  Which, of course, was the “curious incident.”

This year, after barking– and biting– a lot in 2008 and 2009, Keith Olberman was most conspicuous when he was absent.  In at least two out of his three biggest moments, he had his biggest impact when he didn’t show up.

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Last weekend, Tea Parties throughout the country held Tax Day rallies to protest bloated government budgets, ever increasing debt, and the ballooning entitlement state. Some among the Left were not content to let the Tea Party own Tax Day.

In Arkansas, an anti-Tea Party rally dubbed “Make Them Pay” took place on the steps of the state capitol. Jim Lendall, a former state representative and 2010 Green Party Gubernatorial nominee, was applauded when he took the podium to call for the beheading of businessmen and conservatives.

The French, inspired by our American Revolution, knew how to deal with the wealthy arrogant aristocrats. The French people built guillotines. Maybe we can park a guillotine in front of every chamber of commerce, corporate headquarters, bank, investment house, and Republican Party headquarters to remind them that democracy is about people, not profits. We need to tell them in one clear voice, ‘No more greed.’


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Imagine an argument for the abolition of slavery based not upon natural law and fundamental human rights, but whether slavery is an effective means of production. Such an abolitionist might say, Slaves cannot be relied upon to produce all that the country requires. The subsequent debate would then center around the efficiency of slavery, rather than its morality.

That’s the character of our modern debate regarding taxation. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial on Monday demonstrating “the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit.” Confiscating all the taxable income of the top 10% of taxpayers will not close the deficit, they say. Taxes will therefore have to be raised on the middle class to maintain the entitlement state.

Jeffery Sachs counters from The Huffington Post. He claims that the “IRS data in fact prove exactly the opposite of what the Journal claims.”

I’ll leave it to the Journal to defend their math, not because their case lacks importance, but because it is entirely beside the point. While it may be prudent to highlight “the fiscal futility” of the Left’s tax-hiking impulse, the foremost argument against perpetuating the entitlement state is a moral one.

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