Is the Ryan budget the last gasp of the public employee unions ?

As usual. Richard Fernandez has a unique view of current events. He compares the present federal government to Boss Tweed’s Tamany Hall.

But in actuality the impetus for moderating political excess often comes from the elites themselves when mismanagement finally becomes so bad it threatens the survival of everyone.

Until things reach the point of failure mismanagement has the effect of leaving voters no alternative but content themselves with the opposition party. Republican voters may have been disappointed and outraged at the perceived sellout by a Paul Ryan-led Congress to the Obama administration. “It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for,” said the Drudge Report.

Paul Ryan has engineered a “compromise” with Democrats that gives them everything they wanted.

Today, he defended it on Meet The Press.

And in divided government you don’t get everything you want. So we fought for as much as we could get. We advanced our priorities and principles. Not every single one of them, but many of them. And then we’re going to pick up next year and pick up where we left off and keep going for more.

Is this true ? I doubt it.

Tammany Hall was a key innovation in governance and under the leadership of Boss Tweed functioned as a dispenser of social justice to Irish immigrants.

Rooted in Jeffersonian democracy and transformed by the massive Irish immigration of the mid-nineteenth century, Tammany Hall, New York City’s Democratic organization, became synonymous with machine politics. … An expert in Irish-American history, Golway unsurprisingly sees the origins of this form of political organization in Irish anti-institutional activism. In overcoming and battling nativism in America, reaching out, albeit not selflessly, to new immigrant groups … the organization became, through Senator Robert F. Wagner, a major factor in the New Deal and, later, American liberalism.

Yes, we can see the remnants of Tammany Hall in today’s Democratic Party. What about the GOP ?

Tweed’s downfall came in the wake of the Orange riot of 1871, which came after Tammany Hall banned a parade of Irish Protestants celebrating a historical victory against Catholicism, because of a riot the year before in which eight people died when a crowd of Irish Catholic laborers attacked the paraders. Under strong pressure from the newspapers and the Protestant elite of the city, Tammany reversed course, and the march was allowed to proceed, with protection from city policemen and state militia. The result was an even larger riot in which over 60 people were killed and more than 150 injured. …

Yes, the riots and crime by Mexican illegal aliens and the terrorist attacks by Muslims incite reaction by the majority of citizens. It can be risky to the political class to defend rioters, murderers and terrorists.

The members know that I am a movement conservative. They know that I am doer, not a be-er.

I want to make sure that we have an agenda that we take to the American people that is rooted in our founding principles. This is what conservatives believe. To give the country a very clear choice. And that’s what we’re excited and looking forward to in 2016.

Really ?

The response to the Orange riot changed everything, and only days afterwards the Times/Nast campaign began to garner popular support. More importantly, the Times started to receive inside information from County Sheriff James O’Brien, whose support for Tweed had fluctuated during Tammany’s reign. O’Brien had tried to blackmail Tammany by threatening to expose the ring’s embezzlement to the press, and when this failed he provided the evidence he had collected to the Times.
The exposé provoked an international crisis of confidence in New York City’s finances, and, in particular, in its ability to repay its debts.

Do you suppose the towering debt edifice erected by Obama and the political machine established by public employee unions could ever topple ?

Tweed was ditched when he couldn’t meet the payroll; when he became bad for business. In 2011 Fred Siegel drew parallels between the modern Federal Government and the storied 19th century political machine, arguing that Washington was the 21st century reincarnation of Tammany Hall; an organization which existed only to pay itself, an arrangement maintained by public sector unions.

The Great Society put the state on growth hormones. Less widely appreciated, the era gave birth to a powerful new political force, the public-sector union. For the first time in American history there was an interest dedicated wholly to lobbying for a larger government and the taxes and debt to pay for it….
“public sector unions are displacing political machines as the turnout mechanism for the Democratic Party. They are the new Tammany Hall.”

Fred Siegel is now my go-to guy on modern American politics. His book, The Revolt Against the Masses, should required reading for anyone wondering where the modern Democratic Party came from.

Paul Ryan’s budget is proof of how difficult it is to stop the machine until things became well and truly desperate. Siegel noted that “reform” was really another word for the elites acting to save their own necks.

During its own “lost decade” after 1993, Canada shaped up its finances and it has weathered the latest economic crises well. (Although it has now elected an Obama-like empty suit as Prime Minister.) New Zealand’s Roger Douglas in the 1980s and Germany’s Gerhard Schröder in the early 2000s cut into expensive welfare states. In all these cases, Mr. Siegel notes, center-left parties carried out painful reform. “They did this out of necessity.” Sooner or later, American politicians will face the “unavoidable” reckoning, he adds. “It’s not the mean tea partiers who force this. It’s the facts on the ground.”
This implies that while the moral impulse to reform is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition to achieve change. The Federal government and both political parties can shrug off outrage until a financial and/or political crisis brings the house of cards down. Perhaps the best thing about the budget deal is it brings the cliff a trillion dollars closer.

21 thoughts on “Is the Ryan budget the last gasp of the public employee unions ?”

  1. While I agree with your doubts of Ryan’s honesty; indeed my not inconsiderable ability to curse in several languages has been bested in an effort to adequately describe Ryan, McConnell, and the “Government’s Other Party”, we differ in one key aspect of the situation at the end of Tammany.

    At that point there was an opposing political power center ready to move in and take over.

    Right now, there is absolutely no difference between the goals, means, and enemies of the Democrats with a D after their names, and the Democrats with an R after their names.

    We are below the critical mass necessary for electoral resistance to the State regardless of provocation. There are two possible presidential candidates, maybe a half dozen Senators, and a couple of dozen members of the House, maybe, who oppose what is now a merged political machine. And the machine has declared open war on them.

    The times are now officially interesting.

  2. “until a financial and/or political crisis brings the house of cards down”: could that be, for instance, defaulting on debt by Illinois or Chicago? If default by a state or by a local government were to be big enough to collapse the house of cards, which states/counties/cities might it be? California?

  3. Puerto Rico will be key, and it will be within a month. Part of the Omnibus Sellout bill was an agreement between Pelosi and the Traitor Ryan to schedule a vote in January on a Federal bailout for all of Puerto Rico’s debts. This will be used shortly afterward as the precedent for other Democrat fiefdoms that are collapsing. Nationalizing the debt will hasten the end game, added to the next terrorist attacks and whatever further surrenders that the “Government’s Other Party” has in the pipeline.

    Anything to make a state of emergency attractive.

  4. And to think I had a window of opportunity to stock up on… stuff… that would last until Hillary’s nomination.

    I better call my stock broker again.

  5. Sir as noted there is no opposition among elected officials other than a few lonely voices – and we’re not talking our way out of this.

    The main reason we can’t talk our way out of this isn’t even their deep hatred of the rest of the country – not true of Tammany – or even distrust. It’s the catastrophic state of the nation’s finances. Washington owes the angry and potentially “rioting” very heavily armed mobs more money then they can possibly pay. At the other end of the power Axis we have New York and Finance who’s derivatives are as of 12/15 at $552 Trillion.

    That $552T figure is probably at peak compression-that’s all the trades they can get rid of thru options derivatives compression-a new industry in itself. In other words that is something like “principal”. Note below our friend ‘swaps’ with us more than ever and it’s interest linked swaps. $434T.

    Finance is dead and so is DC. They can’t quit.

    They can’t quit or talk their way out of this either. Greed was back there, this is survival. Their survival or ours. Neither one of us can talk our way out of this.

  6. Kudlow on omnibus: ‘This is a big political and economic mistake’

    I really miss Larry. When his TV show was cancelled it coincided with the country going to hell. I believe there’s a direct connection.

    The last 20 or so minutes of his podcast are worth listening to. I follow some very good energy analysts on Twitter, and they all agree that Ryan got taken for a ride on the deal to allow oil exports in exchange for extending wind and solar tax credits and flushing $3 billion down the UN climate commission sinkhole.

  7. And by the way, regarding Illinois Republicans, the breakdown of fiscal responsibilty, and the rise of Obama, this is important to point out:

    Two Illinois GOP congressmen voted against the omnibus.

    Hultgren represents most of Hastert’s old territory, so this is a good sign for this historically solidly conservative region.

    The other one, Lahood, was the subject of some previous objections (specifically from some conservative blogs trying to push one of their own columnists in the election) because of how he came to be chosen in a special election after his predecessor was indicted. Lahood just took office, so this is a significant and revealing beginning.

    Anyway, it leaves me with some hope that some parts of Illinois are back in good hands. Maybe there’s a way out of this.

  8. “State bankruptcies are trivial compared to the Federal one.” The Feds would expect just to print money and escape from simple default by instead staging an inflationary default. So you might expect the federal game to continue until the USA ends.

  9. It doesn’t look like Hultgren & Hultgreen are related. However, I see on his Wikipedia page that he received his law degree from Kent. Maybe Bruno Behrend knows him?

    I was trying to dig through the omnibus bill to get some details on the tax break for medical devices. 2000 pages. Unbelievable. What a disgrace.

  10. “A Weimar republic with nuclear weapons and huge array of enemies: oh dear; its death throes won’t be pretty.”

    I suspect it will resemble Russia although Russians are more patriotic than leftist Americans.

    I still remember the book, “The Third World War,” by Sir John Hackett. The first edition ended with the west losing to the Soviet Union. It was related in a series of dispatches, not a description by narrative. The final one described the hanging of the Labour Party members that had opposed defense. They were hung by the victorious Soviets.

    The next edition of the book changed the ending and the west won by a whisker. No hangings.

    I certainly would not want to see victory by Islamists but it would be amusing to see what would happen of they captured New York City briefly. Long enough to throw some hedonists off buildings, perhaps. Los Angeles would be too close.

  11. So here’s the problem- this entire deal was a two part ‘tax and spend’ agreement. The spending part was the 2000 page omnibus bill. The tax part was another bill, the 233 page ‘Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes’ Act, which is where the tax breaks such as on medical devices are located (it turns out to be only a temporary 2 year moratorium – great negotiating Ryan).

    Just on length alone, I’d say spenders beat the tax cutters. Following the general rule of thumb that the longer the bill, the more damage it does to the country, I’d say this is a back breaker.

  12. “Following the general rule of thumb that the longer the bill, the more damage it does to the country, I’d say this is a back breaker.”

    Washington needs to break the country’s back.

    Washington understands who their enemies are, we their enemies continue to plaintively petition for mercy.

    They can’t afford mercy, they can’t you see afford us. Don’t care for our kind either.

  13. Well I’m pleased. This house of cards has caused more damage to ordinary people than anything else on the planet. Pain and misery follow awful acts and purpose, as night follows day.

  14. I used to dismiss Rush Limbaugh as one who exaggerates and embellishes what he sees. No more. Now has a better explanation of what is going on than I’ve seen elsewhere.

    How can you not, with the borders wide open and the influx of people who in no way, shape, manner or form even understand where they’re coming except for the fact that it’s a welfare state, or it’s something to undermine. If you happen to be a terrorist sleeper cell member, it’s a place to come to undermine, it’s a place to come to get even with, it’s a place to come because you think it’s guilty of all these atrocities around the world for 200 years. We have made a joke of the whole concept of any new arrivals assimilating and becoming Americans because to this current crop of liberal Democrats, America is a dirty word now. America equals the white male patriarchy that has to change. We have to get rid of it. And if you think that that is an exaggeration, hang in there and be tough, because I have found a piece — you might think it’s written by a kook and a wacko and an old ball, and it is, but that’s the point. The kooks and oddballs and wackos have become the mainstream; the radicals are now the mainstream.

    Pretty impressive analysis.

  15. >> We have made a joke of the whole concept of any new arrivals assimilating and becoming Americans because to this current crop of liberal Democrats, America is a dirty word now.

    I disagree with that. Anti-Americanism has been ongoing for a long, long time. Europe has been largely anti-American since its founding, though the underclasses found refuge here. For the last 60-70 years, Soviet-communist-Russian anti-American has been relentless. It was so pervasive and saturating it sank into the world’s collective consciousness and many now mistake it for truth, even though much of it was completely fabricated. The Russians are still at it full bore. The Chinese, like the Arabs, fan the flames of nationalism with Anti-American propaganda still. The Europeans never fail to hold up the USA as a bad example, unless they need us to do something difficult or expensive, and then the refrain, ‘Where is American leadership?’ reverberates across the Atlantic. So a lot of people have been at this for a long time. The American left just proudly joins the parade.

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