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

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 7, 2011

Peter Orzag On CNBC This Morning

I know it's not usually considered appropriate to comment on peoples' appearances. But sometimes, in a sort of onomatopoeia manner, a person's appearance speaks volumes about the rest of their self-presentation.

This is true, for me, for Peter Orzag. He was on CNBC this morning, repeating his calls for 'less democracy' in America.

There's no way around it- Orzag presents visually as a ferret. The glasses, body type, hair, facial construction all scream 'geeky ferret.'

A quick look at his bio confirms he has zero experience to suggest he's an expert on governmental affairs or system design.

Listening to him this morning, his comments confirmed his naivete and lack of a sense of history. But it's actually worse than all that.

Like so many liberals, Orzag appeals to non-democratic processes because he's frustrated that voter-driven democracy is so messy. And sometimes elects people whose policies with which he differs.

You know, democracy can be so unfair!

Those damned voters just don't know what's good for them!

Most people don't realize, but Amity Schlaes provided the evidence to support it, that FDR's actual initial motivation for his socialist policies upon election was to remedy US economic inefficiencies. FDR's cabal of progressives took a boat trip to Europe. They oohed and aahed at Italian Fascist efficiency.

Essentially, FDR and his liberal minions grew frustrated with free market participants understandably withholding investment and behaving prudently in the face of economic uncertainty. So they passed legislation to try to force the hand of business owners and investors.

That's what Wonderboy's administration is doing today. And what Orzag wishes would occur with the suspension of our present level of democracy. Their frustration with democracy is the frustration of jackbooted dictators who know what's good for you, dammit! Can't you see that, you simpleton? You could if you voted Democratic!

Now, to hear Orzag worm his way out of his earlier remarks today was to hear him appeal to examples like the Courter military base closings commission.

Suddenly Orzag tells us that Congress 'isn't good with details.' They should just pass, or not pass, the recommendations and rulings of various empowered commissions and panels.

Hell, we already DO THAT, Peter!

Ever hear of these alphabet soups? SEC. NLRB. ICC. FDA. EPA. FTC. CFTC.

The new consumer financial so-called protection, actually product, service and pricing distortion agency.

What I've come to understand is that many liberals, tired of not having their way, resort to complaining that our democracy is too slow, wasteful and incapable of 'getting things done.'

Debate or difference of opinion that results in no action is not an option for these liberal activists.

Something must be done! It just must be!

An older liberal friend taunted me recently by telling me one of his best friends, a lifelong Republican, quite the party because it 'couldn't get things done.'

I retorted that what his friend, and he, was seeing is the movement of a swinging pendulum through the bottom of its arc.

For 2009-2011, the Democrats controlled the House, Senate and White House and tried to ram through programs embodying huge, radical ideological change. Representatives of Americans who disagreed with these changes obstructed these attempts. Thus how tortured the process of how the Democrats were forced to craft ObamaCare- simply due to Teddy Kennedy's much-appreciated (by conservatives), untimely death.

For the past year, the GOP-controlled House has blocked further uber-liberal schemes, such as Stimulus 2, a/k/a Wonderboy's "jobs" bill.

If independent voters remain unhappy with Wonderboy next November, expect to see either or both the Senate and Oval Office go to the GOP, while the House remains in their hands.

Forget about the First Rookie's threat that the House GOP members will be "run out of town" for daring to question and not pass his incredibly bad legislative ideas. Has he forgotten the "shellacking" he and his party took last November? The complete rejection of his first two years in the Oval Office?

Then you'll see the tempo of government activity pick up again, only in the opposite direction to 2009-2011.

Hey, that's democracy. If you think I'm wrong, go read your US history. How several presidents dithered over slavery from 1820 onward. How Jackson's second election was all about the Second Bank of the United States. He basically drew a line in the sand and made most of his first term a fight for his second term on that single issue.

I recently read a review of the 80th, so-called "do nothing" Congress with which Harry Truman had to work for two years. Interestingly, the 80th passed pro-business legislation. It simply opposed Harry's so-called Fair Deal agenda. Again, an ideological difference which our system appropriately allows to slow change and force the two sides to present their cases in the next election cycle.

My point is that ideological gridlock is appropriate, natural and actually quite frequent in American government. It's how we handle large-scale change. If elections don't build up sufficient majorities in Congress and change the White House occupant, then change won't occur. But the change we saw with ObamaCare was just wrong.

Orzag complained that in the 1960s, Republicans and Democrats alike voted on major social legislation. Well, race-related change was long in coming, and actually used, some would say abused, federal power to force Southern states to change laws. Medicare and Medicaid were stupidly-designed programs that lifetime hacks of both parties ignorantly and arrogantly passed.

At least now we have the benefit of informed, more intelligent, principled objection by conservatives to liberal, spendthrift business as usual in the capitol.

Orzag's wrong. He has no credentials whatsoever- he's an economist by training- for making governmental change recommendations. And his prescriptions are characteristically ill-informed and wrong.

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