“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jeb Hensarling & Steny Hoyer On CNBC This Morning

If you wanted to see a really clear example of the difference in philosophies of the liberal Democrats in Congress versus the more conservative wing of the Republican party, this morning's long, argumentative exchange between former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and GOP Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling. Hensarling was on the Bowles-Simpson Commission, and is vice-chair of the committee on financial services in the House.

Hensarling was excoriating the Democrats' lack of even passing a budget for this fiscal year, and Wonderboy's 2012 budget proposal. In response, Hoyer immediately launched into a predictable, hacked-up whine, complaining that our deficits were all the fault of Republican presidents and, gosh, you know, the Democrats just want to 'invest' in important things. It's not really 'spending' if you swear it's 'investment.'

Joe Kernan, the CNBC co-anchor moderating the melee, asked Hoyer why we couldn't leave it to private sector sources to invest in infrastructure? Hoyer, of course, had no response.

Then Kernan mentioned how the deficit and over-spending has been the rule for over 30 years, back when Hoyer was already in Congress. Steny couldn't resist another whine, claiming that when Clinton was in office, so many million jobs were created, but George Bush destroyed them, and and more, making Democrats better on budgets and economics.

Nowhere did Hoyer admit to the contexts of Clinton having the vaunted 'peace dividend' from the fall of the Soviet Union, while George W Bush fought two wars. Hoyer also accused Republicans of permissive financial sector regulation, carefully omitting Barney Frank's role in swelling the GSEs over time.

My point is, Hoyer reflexively just went into a whine, tossing out all sorts of accusations spread over past decades, as if to excuse high level of spending now. He simply couldn't admit that the past two years have seen more new debt accumulated, to no good purpose, than the all the prior years of the Republic.

Even in the midst of an obvious fiscal problem, and widespread public acknowledgement thereof, Hoyer and his ilk simply cannot stop themselves. They still think a budget that adds another $1.3T of debt this year is okay.

I wish more people could have seen Hoyer's disgraceful grandstanding.

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