What Lessons Will The GOP Learn From The Shutdown?

Will the GOP learn the right lessons from the just-concluded showdown? That remains to be seen.

republicans-elephant-flag-shadow

In the wake of the shutdown showdown, there’s been much discussion about what this all means for the Republican Party going forward. Without a doubt, the party suffered what can only be termed an embarrassing defeat in the entire three week long drama. Not only did they pin their hopes to a foolish attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act that most party leaders knew had absolutely no chance of succeeding, but they have suffered significant damage in public opinion polls. Even if that damage is only short term, it already seems likely to have helped lock in a probably Democratic victory in the Virginia Governor’s race, and may end up impacting House and Senate races in 2014. As I’ve already noted, this has led to rather open warfare between the GOP’s Tea Party and more traditionally conservative wings that seems likely to continue for some time. How that particular conflict turns out depends, in no small part on whether or not the party has learned the lessons that the recent crisis is trying to teach. So far, the signs don’t look particularly promising in that regarding.

Former Congressman, and current Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, who was on Capitol Hill for the epic shutdown battles in 1995 and 1996, is among those arguing that his party isn’t exhibiting any signs of learning these lessons:

“This has all happened before and it will happen again” are the first words to that sweet movie about eternal youth. Unfortunately, those lines also fit a bit too snugly on the carcass of a political movement that seems incapable of learning from past mistakes. Chances are good that Republicans will continue getting blindsided by political events until Republican leaders stop cowering to public figures who insist on filtering out all realities that are in conflict with their preexisting worldviews.

If this sounds all too familiar, it’s because Republicans were licking their wounds around this time last year after being blindsided by a presidential election whose outcome they should have seen coming a mile away. But ignorance was bliss as conservative politicians and talkers pushed bogus polls and political fairy tales to angry voters who were once again on the losing side of history. Media outlets that released polls showing President Obama winning were attacked as biased and conservatives who warned of Romney’s weaknesses were rhetorically burned at the stake as heretics.

Barack Obama won again and Republican leaders swore that next time would be different.

Well, next time came one year later, and one year later, way too many conservatives once again found themselves shocked by the obvious. The Shutdown Strategy was doomed from the start even though conservatives like myself, Scott Walker, Tom Coburn and Charles Krauthammer agreed with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page’s early assessment that Ted Cruz’s approach would lead to political disaster. It did, and yet I understand why Cruz and his allies ignored smart conservative advice. It wasn’t so long ago that congressmen like Steve Largent, Matt Salmon, Tom Coburn and myself saw similar political warnings from senior Republicans as a sign of timidity and weakness. And then Bill Clinton cleaned our clocks, got reelected, and put the 1994 Revolution on its heels for good. Two decades later, conservatives wandered into that ambush again.

(…)

That is the crazy thing about the GOP’s latest battle. As Jonah Goldberg noted in National Review, this is not an epic ideological battle between Rockefeller Republicans and Goldwater conservatives. It is instead a legislative skirmish between Republicans who oppose Obamacare and wanted to use a two-month continuing resolution as a legislative device to undermine the law, and on the other side those who oppose Obamacare but did not think that tactic would work.

This was a big, fat nothing-burger turned into a gladiatorial grudge match by a blizzard of 30-second ads and tactical ignorance. As the smoke clears, we now see a Republican Party holding on to its lowest ever ratings

Steve LaTourette, another former Republican Congressman who representing Northeastern Ohio’s 19th (later the 14th) Congressional District before stepping aside last year in no small part because of his frustration over the radicals in his own caucus, makes similar points:

We know the Affordable Care Act is deeply unpopular. But one of the few things even less popular than Obamacare is how the Republicans have handled opposition to it. Three out of four disapprove of our suicidal “defund Obamacare” strategy. To win in next year’s mid-terms and the 2016 presidential election, we need to turn those numbers around.

The first thing congressional Republicans need to recognize is that we have an obligation to govern, not just sit on the sidelines saying no. If we want voters to give us the keys to the White House and to put us back in control of the Senate, we must earn their trust. We must prove we are more interested in doing their work than engaging in pointless partisan bickering.

There is no way forward for the Republican Party until we settle this most basic question: Why are we losing? Until that is settled, the GOP circular firing squad will continue. And so long as Republicans spend more time pleasing the amen choir than reaching out to new voters, the party will become increasingly poisonous as a brand, and we will keep losing.

Perhaps what’s most remarkable about the manner in which conservatives have reacted to the aftermath of the fiasco of the past three weeks is the manner in which before, during, and after the entire affair they rejected the advice and insight of those who had been through a not dissimilar showdown between the Legislative and Executive Branches. Rather than recognizing beforehand the fact that they were engaged in what was quite obviously a doomed plot to undo the Affordable Care Act by tying it to the continuing operation of the Federal Government, and completely ignoring polling in late September that indicated quite clearly that the GOP would get blamed more than anyone else if the Federal Government shutdown, they proceeded forward with a strategy that could not possibly succeed. Now, the rest of the Republican Party is left with the aftermath of that decision and, as I’ve noted, they ended up with an ending that made the entire shutdown look like a fight over absolutely nothing. Which, of course, it was.

Looking at things objectively, it seems rather obvious that the GOP lost the shutdown battle because they were pursuing a strategy that could not possibly succeed. Without control of the Senate and the White House, there was simply no way that they were going to make significant dents in the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats, even those up for reelection in red states like Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, and North Carolina, were not going to agree to it, and President Obama was not going to give in on the biggest legislative package of his first term as part of a budget showdown. That became even more apparent as the crisis went on and the polling clearly indicated that the public opposed the idea of keeping the government shutdown or holding the debt ceiling hostage over Obamacare. The lesson that should be drawn from what happened, obviously, is that the party needs to pick its legislative battles carefully. Rather than risking everything on a doomed strategy, the party would do better to concentrate on achievable goals such as, well, spending and tax reform, which has the benefit of actually being germane to a budget bill. Using a government shutdown showdown to try to achieve policy goals in other areas would clearly seem to only lead to disaster. The other lesson, of course, is that if Republicans want to achieve their policy goals, they need to do more than just win control of the House of Representatives, they’ve got to focus on the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, and they’ve got to do so with candidates who are actually capable of winning rather than ideologically pure candidates who end up losing races that should have been winnable. Whether Republicans actually figure either of those two things out is something only time will tell.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    What Lessons Will The GOP Learn From The Shutdown?

    That they didn’t try hard enough, that they didn’t push as much as they could have…in other words, they will double down on the crazy…

  2. merl says:

    So far they’ve learned that their unpopularity is being caused by the evil liberal media and RINOS.

  3. Mikey says:

    @An Interested Party: Indeed. My e-mail inbox was blowing up with exactly that kind of stuff from my more conservative friends.

    That, and blaming the media, of course. “41 stories blamed Republicans and none Democrats! That proves media bias!” No, it’s because the shutdown actually was entirely the Republicans’ fault.

  4. Mikey says:

    When I saw the title of this post, the first–entirely unprompted–mental picture I got was of a “Magic 8-Ball” toy with “Signs Point To No” displaying in its little window…

  5. john personna says:

    The zealots will never admit error, even those who may admit it to themselves in the long dark teatime of the soul.

    The more rational Republicans just need to trust them less, and remember that they are a captive minority.

  6. Argon says:

    They’ll still happily start a land war in Asia. They’ll still go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line…

    Why should you expect they would learn anything from the shutdown?

  7. michael reynolds says:

    They don’t even understand the so-called unpopularity of Obamacare. As soon as the GOP pulled their tantrum, support went up by 7 points. What does that tell you? It tells you the “opposition” isn’t all from the right. In other words they mis-read polls, yet again. They leapt to the assumption these self-righteous, smug and stupid people always make: assuming that they are only the courageous vanguard of some larger population that secretly agrees with them.

    Well, guess what? They are not the majority. Poll people on every single specific of Obamacare and they like it. All except the mandate. In other words, they love everything but the hard part, the part that pays the bill. But they still want the candy, and if the GOP thinks they don’t have to deliver the candy, they’re even dumber than I think they are. In other words: they’re going to have to try to replace something with something else, not with nothing.

    And where is that GOP health reform plan? Uh. . . . Well, it’s in Massachusetts. And now it’s all over the country. Since RomneyCare the GOP has had nothing specific to offer.

    Obamacare was a response to a need. Remove Obamcare and the need still exists. They’re going to have to come up with a plan. Something more than blind hatred. Chances of this Republican clown college doing that? Mmmm, maybe 5%. And that’s generous.

  8. Grumpy Realist says:

    No, it’s going to be more cowbell for quite some time….
    Until the Republican party realizes that the talk-show host/talk-radio environment doesn’t care about telling them the truth; it will continue to tell them only what they want to hear until they grow up and admit that reality exists and they need to keep track of it. As it is, they’re still like the Soviets, navigating according to Revealed Truth.

    So they’re going to have to continue to have more electoral anvils dropped on them.

  9. PJ says:

    Republicans created their own monster and now they are no longer able to control it.
    They made a deal with the devil and they are now paying for their Southern Strategy strategy.

  10. Kylopod says:

    Republicans were licking their wounds around this time last year after being blindsided by a presidential election whose outcome they should have seen coming a mile away

    And you know one example of such a Republican? Um…. Joe Scarborough. Remember his bet with David Axelrod (which he didn’t meet the terms of his defeat for)?

    Look, I’m all for people learning from their mistakes, but first you’ve got to acknowledge you made a mistake. Scarborough is criticizing his fellow Republicans for a problem that he doesn’t mention he himself was part of.

  11. rudderpedals says:

    The computer says no.

    Latourette’s an honorable guy. I hope he’s patient because it’s going to take a generation to rid your party of its firebreathers.

  12. Moosebreath says:

    The part I never understood about this entire episode is the by all estimates there are 30-40 full-on Tea Partiers in the House, and about the same number of people who know they need to pretend to be one to keep their seats. That combines for only about 1/3 of the GOP members of the House. So why was it hard for Boehner and Cantor and Ryan to take a full internal vote on appointing a conference committee around August 1, have it go 2 to 1 against the Tea Partiers, and based on that go to the conference committee and get the best deal he could pre-shutdown (say sequester stays in place for another full year, or sequester for shorter term, plus agreed-upon reduction in food stamps of 1/2 what the House passed as part of a Farm Bill, or removing the sequester in exchange for chained CPI for Social Security or something similar), any of which would likely have passed if there wasn’t a threat of a shutdown?

    Why are the Republican internal dynamics such that the Tea Party minority is leading the Establishment majority around by the nose? While Boehner’s much-discussed weaknesses as Speaker are part of it, it is not all of it.

  13. Mikey says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Why are the Republican internal dynamics such that the Tea Party minority is leading the Establishment majority around by the nose?

    Primary challenges are a big part, too. There may be relatively few Tea Party guys in the House, but the whacko wing of the GOP is much more prevalent down in the states and districts, and the threat of a primary challenger can be very persuasive. Even if the challenge is unsuccessful, it will require a lot of money that the sitting representative would much rather spend trying to defeat his Democratic challenger in the general election.

  14. Woody says:

    @Kylopod:

    Scarborough is an excellent example of a wealthy Republican whose memory is just a bit self-serving. And by “a bit” I mean comically extreme.

    @Grumpy Realist:

    The Republican Party and the rightwing media are not rewarded for the same outcomes. So long as News Corp and the Limbaughs make bank on feeding agitprop to those determined to accept it, there will be more surprises to come.

    As far as Mr Mataconis’ post: I haven’t seen a scintilla of evidence that any Republican national politician is remotely interested in striking a deal, or a bargain. This would necessitate giving up something, and the current state of the GOP remains We Get Everything We Want Period.

    So long as the party’s energy and passion stems from the tricorn hats, they have no choice, whether establishment or sans-culottes

  15. al-Ameda says:

    Let’s revisit this discussion after we go through another budget and debt limit ceiling round in about 3 months.

    I’m guessing that unless the budget conference run by Murray and Ryan is somehow successful, that Republicans are going to rethink their tactics and try to attack ACA from a different angle. That’s all. I suspect that the Tea-Cruzers see this as a failure of (1) nerve and (2) of strategy to a lesser degree.

    We’ll find out if Ted has been somewhat marginalized, or if guys like McCain and McConnell are the last gasp of the “normal” conservative establishment.

  16. CSK says:

    Nobody will learn anything. The rational ones knew all along it was a piece of cheap theatrics intended solely for the aggrandizement of Ted Cruz, and the crazies still think, and will always think, that it was on a par with Patrick Henry declaiming: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

  17. michael reynolds says:

    The funny part comes when you start to ask yourself, “What do the crazies want?”

    Try to explain it in practical policy terms without falling back on vague, “More of this,” and “Less of that.” Show me the GOP plan for anything? Immigration? Health Care? Entitlement reform? I have a pretty good idea of what they want in emotional terms; but what do they want that can be translated into policy? Policies they will actually stand up and spell out.

    They got nothin’. They hate Obama, they hate modernity, they hate everyone who is not themselves. But what is their actual position on actual issues?

  18. jukeboxgrad says:

    Scarborough:

    this is not an epic ideological battle between Rockefeller Republicans and Goldwater conservatives. It is instead a legislative skirmish between Republicans who oppose Obamacare and wanted to use a two-month continuing resolution as a legislative device to undermine the law, and on the other side those who oppose Obamacare but did not think that tactic would work.

    But it is an epic battle, and Scarborough seems to not understand that.

    There is a part of the GOP that cares about winning elections and achieving policy objectives (the ‘Establishment’), and there’s another part of the GOP (the “conservative entertainment complex,” in Frum’s words) that cares about fleecing the rubes. Cruz is part of the latter. These two parts used to have a deal, but the deal is falling apart because the latter part has discovered that it makes more money when the GOP loses.

    The GOP’s death spiral is irreversible because the forces in the GOP which care about electoral success are no match for this entertainment industry, which has taken on a life of its own.

    Palin, DeMint and Cruz are all people who figured out that being an entertainer is better than being a politician.

    Woody:

    The Republican Party and the rightwing media are not rewarded for the same outcomes. So long as News Corp and the Limbaughs make bank on feeding agitprop to those determined to accept it, there will be more surprises to come.

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    It’s clear from what everyone involved is saying: they won’t learn anything more than they did after the Romney drubbing.
    They believe their only mistake is not being extreme enough.
    Their only mistake was in not burning down the economy.
    They haven’t hit bottom yet.
    And that bodes ill for the Republic.

  20. john personna says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    I firmly think Cruz wanted it all, all GOP to praise him. Understand that his current faux victory laps amount to “I meant to do that.” What else can he say? To admit misjudgment means that he loses everyone, sane and crazy.

    @michael reynolds:

    What do the crazies want? We have made fun of “keep government out of my Social Security” for years now. These people are smart enough to understand the math, just not sane enough to admit it.

    They receive income redistribution.

  21. steve says:

    What they learned is that if you stage a fake filibuster, then shut down the government, you become the front runner for the GOP POTUS nomination.

    Steve

  22. jukeboxgrad says:

    I firmly think Cruz wanted it all

    My theory is that he knows exactly what he’s doing, and nothing about the process or outcome surprised him at all. He wanted to become president of the tea party, and now he is.

    To admit misjudgment

    I think it only looks like misjudgment when you misunderstand his true motivations.

    By ‘failing,’ he has drawn the wrath of the Establishment. This is exactly what he wants. He is enormously empowered by this. Cruz is doing Obama a big favor, and the GOP establishment is doing Cruz a big favor. That’s what makes the drama so fascinating.

  23. Grumpy Realist says:

    The mentality is…unfortunate. Defeat can never be due to misjudgment or lack of planning; it must always be because of betrayal and getting stabbed in the back. Which means a search for said enemies or traitors.

    Not to go all Godwin, but there are historical precedents. What I’m cautiously optimistic about is I don’t think the business side of the equation likes where things have been going …

  24. john personna says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    You are saying he anticipated this split between the money side and the nutty side, and chose rhe nutty side? I cannot believe that any politician would antagonize deep pockets that way. A smart “President of Tea Party” plan would not have done that, nor forced him to continue it.

    Cruz railed against “party bosses in Washington” today, not because that was his plan a month ago, but because it is tje only path left open to him.

    He is trapped out on a limb, when he hoped to climb a tree.

  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    I cannot believe that any politician would antagonize deep pockets that way.

    Palin has shown that “antagonize deep pockets that way” is a great way to make a fortune. Cruz is following in her footsteps.

  26. john personna says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Is she even solvent at this point?

    Not a model for wealth and success.

    Cruz might fall into a Ron Paul life, but for someone whos seriously wanted to be President of tje US, a career as perma-outsider and novelty candidate is consolation prize at best.

  27. john personna says:

    (Lotta phone typos this weekend, sorry)

  28. Grumpy Realist says:

    @john personna: but from all I’ve read, Cruz actually thinks he is being a brilliant man. The man’s got an ego the size of Louis XIV, which is unfortunate because he doesn’t have the brains of any of the Bourbons.

  29. Anonne says:

    @john personna:

    Sarah Palin made herself into the Kim Kardashian of the GOP. She gets paid to show up, she gets paid to tweet, she gets paid to make an appearance on tv. Woman gets paid, and is not constrained by things like reality, policy, or ethics. What a gig!

    Cruz is just one-upping her and all the rest because not only is he preserving his wingnut gravy train, he gets to be the obstinate ass that blocks any initiative he wants. Hell, he was de facto Speaker of the House for a few days.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    I dunno. Cruz may be smart enough to realize that there is no significant base of support to let him get beyond his Senate seat (which is not exactly a consolation prize). I’m sure he feels the reason everyone hates him is because they are jealous losers. But whatever the reason, his only true source of the kinds of cash needed for keeping his current job is to get a few billionaires to back him.

    Put another way, Cruz is smart enough to realize that even if he moderates his behavior fairly substantially he would still be toxic to non-crazies (or “the incapable of being enlightened” as he no doubt perceives them) whereas there is a viable niche slot for being the nastiest guy in the room.

  31. jukeboxgrad says:

    Is she even solvent at this point?

    Link:

    Since leaving office at the end of July 2009, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has brought in at least 100 times her old salary – a haul now estimated at more than $12 million — through television and book deals and a heavy schedule of speaking appearances worth five and six figures.

    He probably figures he can do better, and make it last longer. Why not? He’s a lot smarter.

    but for someone whos seriously wanted to be President of the US, a career as perma-outsider and novelty candidate is consolation prize at best.

    But it doesn’t have to be “perma.” He has plenty of time. He’s only 42. He knows that if he ran at age 45 a lot of people would rightly say that he’s too green, like Obama (Obama was 47 when he ran in 2008). Cruz never held elected office prior to 2013. Why not spend 5-10 years making lots of money and developing name recognition? Then he could stick his finger in the wind and decide it’s the right time to run.

    The other path is to stick it out in the Senate, paying dues and working his way up in the traditional manner, trying to distinguish himself from Paul et al. Such drudgery. Some years as a media personality is a high-speed shortcut around all that.

    He is not saying this: ‘how can I become POTUS as quickly as possible.’ Instead he is saying this: ‘how can I get the base to adore me intensely.’ He is succeeding at that. This gives him great options as a media celebrity, and he has plenty of time to use that as a platform to seek POTUS later.

    Palin could never go back through that revolving door, but only because she’s such a buffoon. Cruz knows it will be an option for him.

    The establishment attacking him only makes him look better to the wacky base. Therefore he’s going to do everything he can to further antagonize the establishment, so expect big fireworks in the next few months. Then further down the road he will have a great story to tell: ‘no one else had the guts to really take them on, but I did; they won a temporary victory and forced me out, but now I’m back because it’s finally time to chase the RINOs out of Washington.’

  32. superdestroyer says:

    What the main lesson that Republicans should learn is that conservatives are irrelevant to politics in the U.S. The Republicans know that as many Americans receive a welfare in the form of a subsidy for their healthcare that those receiving the subsidy will become automatic Democratic Party voters. Now that the Republicans can do nothing about ACA that means that the new entitlement is locked in and grow much faster than planned.

    The second lesson the Republicans should learn is that there is nothing they can do in the future to remain relevant. The Republicans can take the Joe Scarborough approach and exist as a minority party that exist to earmark and pork up budget and receive a few scrapes from the Democrats but the Republicans will still be irreelvant. The Republicans can try to return to being conservative party and let demographic changes bury them but they are still irrelevant.

    The final lesson should be than much more than 50% of Americans want a high tax, big spending federal government that provides a long list of entitlements. The only thing Americans resent is actually paying the taxes that such a government requires. Thus, the future of politics is about growing the government, growing entitlements, growing taxes,and fighting over who will pay for all of that government. There is just no place for Republicans (or any form of conservatives in that future).

    Joe Scarborough and all of the establishment Republicans seem content is the course of the future because they think they are clever and wealthy enough to avoid the bad parts of a high tax, high entitlement government while getting rich by going business with the government.

  33. Grumpy Realist says:

    @superdestroyer: The very fact that a whole bunch of geezers receive Medicare while very happily voting Republican shows that your theory is bunk.

    Besides which, can’t you ever post on anything else? You’re like a symphony of one note.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    “…The Republicans know that as many Americans receive a welfare in the form of a subsidy for their healthcare that those receiving the subsidy will become automatic Democratic Party voters…”

    I’m just assuming that you have no f’ing idea that every person who gets insurance through their employer, about 55% of the population, is in fact getting a health care subsidy. Republicans and a$$wipes like you tend to ignore that fact. And yet…lo and behold…many of those takers of taxpayer subsidies actually vote Republican. Just imagine if you fools started thinking about the housing subsidy so many of us get from the Government every April 15th.
    You know Super-Dooper…you are, based on reading your comments, an incredibly stupid person…and like most stupid people…you are just too stupid to realize the level of your stupidity.
    What always troubles me…is that people like you have no grasp of actual facts…yet you hold onto these obsessive beliefs like a life-line. Yet all of your beliefs are bullshit…because they are based purely on bullshit.

  35. john personna says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Your link is (1) too old, (2) shows Palin when her decline was less severe, and (3) relies on public “values of the deal” that publishers and entertainment companies love to inflate.

    If anything that is a dark warning for Cruz, about decline and fall.

  36. john personna says:

    It is actually rare for a Republican populist to have a long shelf life.

    Where is Herman Cain, and whatever happened to 9-9-9?

  37. john personna says:

    Or, do you all fear the political power of Rick Santorum?

  38. jukeboxgrad says:

    Your link is (1) too old

    I know it’s old. That’s why I said ‘he probably figures he can make it last longer.’

    It is actually rare for a Republican populist to have a long shelf life.

    Rush Limbaugh.

  39. Pharoah Narim says:

    @john personna: Cain has an unfortuate skin condition that would limit him from becoming a top earner on the crazy circuit. His value as a puppet from which to attack the President from cover is spent. The crazies have a new token now. Dr..whatever his name is.

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    It is actually rare for a Republican populist to have a long shelf life.
    Where is Herman Cain, and whatever happened to 9-9-9?

    You know, Herman Cain seems to be having a good time.
    And remember 9-9-9, turned upside down is 6-6-6.

  41. john personna says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Limbaugh is not a flavor of the month politician, no.

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Every single one-month-leader of the 2012 Republican primaries has crashed and burned.

    @al-Ameda:

    I think he’s lowered his expectations, which is pretty much my point.

  42. john personna says:

    More generally, I’d wonder why liberals at OTB grind their teeth rather than enjoying the show:

    GOP, Boehner take shutdown hit in new CNN poll

    Cruz: Senate Republicans are ‘single-most damaging thing’ for the GOP in 2014

    Whatever happened to “buy popcorn?”

    Cruz is not just sinking, he is fighting the rest of the GOP for the lifeboat.

  43. Liberal Capitalist says:

    What Lessons Will The GOP Learn From The Shutdown?

    Nothing.

    Not a thing.

    Not a damned thing at all.

    … bless their hearts.

  44. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I guess only a progressive would think that compension paid to employees for labor provided in the form of health insurance is somehow a subsidy. If you are going to call people stupid, you should at least look up why employers provide health insurance to workers in the U.S. It has to do with the very high income taxes during and after World War II.

    Also, the interest deduction for home mortgages is not really a subsidy for home buyers but is really a subsidy for home sellers. It allows sellers to receive a higher price due to the tax write-off. I am always amazed when progressives push for policies that would make more people renters. What is the benefit of that except it makes the government more powerful.

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Also, the interest deduction for home mortgages is not really a subsidy for home buyers but is really a subsidy for home sellers. It allows sellers to receive a higher price due to the tax write-off. I am always amazed when progressives push for policies that would make more people renters. What is the benefit of that except it makes the government more powerful.

    The mortgage interest deduction has the effect of enabling people to purchase more expensive housing than they otherwise would, by providing a tax subsidy to purchasers. Without the mortgage interest deduction most people would purchase less costly housing because their annual income net of taxes would be reduced. It really is that simple.

  46. Now, she and her daughter have made it easier for folks in the area to buy those kind of clothes and not have to travel far to get it. One of these servants she depicts is an American Indian who has survived smallpox. Rock was cherished for his eccentricities, as well as his knowledge of botany and of ethnic minorities. A child which one has nursed; a foster child. In questi giorni, ci sono pochi bit di informazioni riguardanti la regolare tutto americano studente universitario uomo. Learn more about bedbugs, including some of the top places that they show up, here.