James Pethokoukis Jeopardy Champ Masquerading as Serious Thinker

Sometimes you read that Tweet or Blog post that just "set's you off" - this one took the cake for me today...

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  1. But first, we must take a look at his referenced blog post from earlier in the day:

  2. Jim uses this blog post to make his case that "policy uncertainty" can lead to "negative economic outcomes" and sites a study about how this very thing at a state/local level was linked to the "Great Recession"...and therefore, it now has a direct link to the federal government shutdown.  But, that's not even what set me off; let's just say this is a brilliant and true piece of work that has merits.  Jim goes on to CONCLUDE:

    "I would prefer to see Washington’s energy directed toward pro-growth tax reform and a pro-work middle-class agenda"

    Which on its own sounds like a reasonable request on the surface until you abstract his premise in the aforementioned blog post with the snark-laden title:

    "Why would Republicans think that the president was going to torpedo his whole agenda?”

    So, the whole "defunding Obamacare" is stupid, could potentially "inflict damage on the economy", and won't happen because Obama would never torpedo his own legislation.  But Jim wants the Republicans to focus their energy towards pro-growth tax reform.  Right, and Obama is going to torpedo his own "tax the rich" agenda with the brilliant ideas from AEI???

    Additionally, you (via AEI economist Stan Veuger) lump Defunding in with delay and repeal; this politically, and most definitely constitutionally, are completely separate items.  The House can legally (hence constitutionally) not fund Obamacare and there isn't a damn thing the president can do about it.  By law, you can't institutionalize spending for future congresses.

    Now come the scare tactics:

    "moderate voters are likely to think: “Well, that’s a bit uncalled for"

    Romney didn't lose the presidential election because we lost "moderate voters" - the base didn't show up.

    "It will make Republicans look irresponsible"...they get blamed no matter what. The GOP SUCKS at messaging and with the majority of the media in the tank for the Left, does it really matter?

    And then comes the BIG LEAP:  "it will make it less likely that they win back the Senate and the White House in the near future..."  Really??? Just like it did in 2010 when the Republicans took back the house, gained seats in the Senate, and won record number of state/local victories simply running against - you guessed it - OBAMACARE and proxy BIG GOVERNMENT.  So, no, let's not shut it down...

    And then comes your own personal genius - yes, I'm being snarky now too:

    "And let me add that the GOP negotiating position would be much stronger if they demonstrated some consensus on real-world healthcare reform to de facto replace Obamacare."

    You act as if, at a national level, the Republicans have only been about repeal.  There have been numerous ideas brought forward during the primaries and presidential election that were "real world" ideas like Health Savings Accounts and selling insurance across state lines.  Ways to reduce the costs without a government take-over.  Hell, we now know that doing nothing is better than Obamacare.  Maybe you haven't, but I liked my plan and I couldn't keep it and my costs still went up. 

    But, even that all aside, as you talk of "constitutional" matters.  Isn't enough to simply want to repeal a law that is unconstitutional itself??? Why does there always have to be a top-down government alternative?  Sometimes, "NO" is okay.

    So, what is worse to the economy?  The full implementation of Obamacare and its TRILLIONS of dollars price tag or a God forbid government shut down?  Maybe you guys at AIE should focus your energy on the real cause of the Great Recession 2.0 as big bloated government instead of a shut down.  Sounds kind of stupid when you say it out loud doesn't it?
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