Monthly Archives: December 2012
The two great issues of our day are the “fiscal cliff” and the NHL lockout. Ok, I may be overstating the importance of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations but you get the point.
Aside from both being agita inducing they are both exercises in ego and arrogance.
Start with the “fiscal cliff” talks in DC. Obama, fresh from his reelection campaign, has decided that he was elected king and not President. He has flatly stated he’s not willing to negotiate at any part of his one sided opening list of demands which amount to total surrender by the GOP, oh and, they will have to pay him for the privilege of surrendering in the process.
Not only does Obama want $1.6 billion in new revenues, he wants them via tax rate hikes. He won’t accept these revenue increases in the form of closing “loopholes” or eliminating “tax expenditures”. He also won’t talk about cutting spending in any serious fashion. In fact, he wants MORE spending from this supposed exercise in deficit and debt reduction.
In tribute for accepting the GOP’s complete destruction he wants them to sweeten the deal by giving him sole authority to increase the debt. You know, the debt we’re supposedly paying down with these tax hikes.
Meanwhile in New York City, NHL owners fronted by Commissioner Garry “Lockout” Bettmann, are increasingly annoyed at the NHLPA and its Executive Director Donald Fehr for refusing to completely surrender.
The NHL negotiations have been a series of one-sided give-backs by the players.
Under the previous system (which the NHL won after cancelling an entire season to get a salary cap that would give them what they called “cost certainty”) league revenues shot through the roof. Seeing all this money going to the players (players received 57% of the “Hockey Related Revenue” under the old CBA) and the NFL and NBA getting new labor deals that saw their players share of revenue capped at around 50%, the NHL immediately said, “give us that too!”.
Eventually the players caved in and agreed to a 50/50 split of HRR but wanted existing contracts to be honored. “You’re crazy” said owners who went on massive spending sprees hours before the old deal expired. “No you stupid players, we will not honor the agreements we signed with you. Now take this offer or you’ll get nothing and like it”.
Oh and as payment for accepting massive givebacks from players the league is also demanding a cap on contract lengths, a massively long term for a new CBA (10 years) and lots of other “minor” things.
In return for all of this the NHL might chip in a bit more for pensions and possibly limit how much skating teams can make players do in training camp.
So hockey fans who side with the owners and want the union to cave so the season can get going…don’t bitch about Obama’s tactics. He could very well have learned at the foot of Garry Bettman.
Barack Obama wants $1.6 TRILLION in new revenue over the next ten years. Now that’s a lot of money…unless you’re talking about the federal deficit and/or the national debt. Unfortunately, those are exactly the things we’re talking about.
So, how much does this new revenue get you? Not much when this years budget deficit will be between $900 billion (assuming sequestration happens and the stars align) and…God knows how much. We’re not off to a good start.
Since the total tax hike is over 10 years, you can only count $160 billion against this year’s deficit.
Oh my. That’s not much, is it?
Well, it’s far less compared to the $16 TRILLION + and growing federal debt.
Now that assumes the WHOLE tax hike that will only come in over 10 years AND that we stop adding debt TODAY. Considering Obama is looking for a hike in the debt ceiling and new spending….yeah.
Of course all of this assumes that a tax hike has no impact on how people manage their money or on economic growth not slowing further. Oh and spending staying at current levels. None of those things will happen. So this drop in the bucket of revenue won’t do anything about our deficit or debt (except likely make them worse).
Why, it”s almost as if all Obama cares about is wealth redistribution and destroying the GOP. Heck of a job America!
The only solution to our fiscal mess is a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reform and massive economic growth. Anything other than that…..
Let me say upfront I think the “logic” of Costa’s and Whitlock’s position is flawed to say the least (Ace nailed it yesterday). What I’m not however is outraged that Costas took the opportunity to say it. He’s a liberal and NBC is a liberal network. It’s what they do.Complaining about them mixing sports/entertainment and politics is about as useful as complaining about the weather.
With that said, there’s a lesson here for the right, something we’ve been talking about since the dismal failure of Romney on election day…culture matters.
If you think it’s wrong to talk about a political issue when engaging a cultural activity like a football game you are conceding a lot of the battlefield to liberals. Sure it would be nice if liberals would leave their idiotic politics at the door but they don’t and they never will. Instead of either retreating from these spaces or sitting quietly by while the left has total possession of the field, we are going to have to engage in these spaces too.
The challenge will be to do so in an effective way. This is an area where I think the right has a communications problem. We tend to talk to persuadable types or low information people as if it is manifestly obvious they should agree with us. Obviously it’s not.
Take guns for instance. If you start off talking about the 2nd Amendment or gun ownership being the last against tyranny, you’re going to lose most people right off the bat. Arguments like that are too conceptual and usually too extreme for people who aren’t highly motivated one way or another. If you want to protect gun rights, tell everyone you know about Alex The Chick’s story.
Until we effectively connect our policy preferences to the concrete reality of people’s lives, we’re going to be in trouble.
I loathe how liberals substitute emotion for reasoning but the fact is conservatives rely far too much on concepts and intellectual arguments when trying to talk to non-conservatives. The reality is people relate more to stories, to other people and yes, to emotions when trying to make up their mind about something.
Think of pop-culture. What’s a more effective way to reach people? A documentary that hammers home a point of view with facts and figures or a blockbuster action film with a clear message woven into the subtext?
Costas didn’t care about the setting or the facts. He had a point of view and was willing to play off emotion to advance his goals. Whether or not he was effective in doing so is questionable, the lesson remains…politics and culture are inseparable. We need to accept that and find more ways to make our arguments part of the culture.