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Inarticulate Republicans


If the continued existence of mathematics depended on the ability of the Republicans to defend the proposition that two plus two equals four, that would probably mean the end of mathematics and of all the things that require mathematics.

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, epitomized what has been wrong with the Republicans for decades when he emerged from a White House meeting last Wednesday, went over to the assembled microphones, briefly expressed his disgust with the Democrats' intransigence and walked on away.

We are in the midst of a national crisis, immediately affecting millions of Americans and potentially affecting the kind of country this will become if ObamaCare goes into effect — and yet, with multiple television network cameras focused on Speaker Boehner as he emerged from the White House, he couldn't be bothered to prepare a statement that would help clarify a confused situation, full of fallacies and lies.

Boehner was not unique in having a blind spot when it comes to recognizing the importance of articulation and the need to put some serious time and effort into presenting your case in a way that people outside the Beltway would understand. On the contrary, he has been all too typical of Republican leaders in recent decades.

When the government was shut down during the Clinton administration, Republican leaders who went on television to tell their side of the story talked about "OMB numbers" versus "CBO numbers" — as if most people beyond the Beltway knew what these abbreviations meant or why the statistics in question were relevant to the shutdown. Why talk to them in Beltway-speak?

When Speaker Boehner today goes around talking about the "CR," that is just more of the same thinking — or lack of thinking. Policy wonks inside the Beltway know that he is talking about the "continuing resolution" that authorizes the existing level of government spending to continue, pending a new budget agreement.

But, believe it or not, there are lots of citizens and voters outside the Beltway. And what is believed by those people whom too many Republicans are talking past can decide not only the outcome of this crisis but the fate of the nation for generations to come.

You might think that the stakes are high enough for Republicans to put in some serious time trying to clarify their message.

As the great economist Alfred Marshall once said, facts do not speak for themselves. If we are waiting for the Republicans to do the speaking, the country is in big trouble.

Democrats, by contrast, are all talk. They could sell refrigerators to Eskimos before Republicans could sell them blankets.

Indeed, Democrats sold Barack Obama to the American public, which is an even more amazing feat, considering his complete lack of relevant experience and questionable (at best) loyalty to the values and institutions of this country.

The Democrats have obviously given a lot of attention to articulation, including coordinated articulation among their members. Some years ago, Senator Chuck Schumer was recorded, apparently without his knowledge, telling fellow Democrats to keep using the word "extremist" when discussing Republicans.

Even earlier, when George W. Bush first ran for President, the word that suddenly began appearing everywhere was "gravitas" — as in the endlessly repeated charge that Bush lacked "gravitas." People who had never used that word before suddenly began using it all the time.

Today, the Democrats' buzzword is "clean" — as in the endlessly repeated statement that Republicans in the House of Representatives should send a "clean" bill to the Senate. Anything less than a blank check is not considered a "clean" bill.

The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the responsibility to originate all spending bills, based on what they think should and should not be funded. But the word "clean" is now apparently supposed to override the Constitution.

If Republicans want to show some seriousness about articulating their case, they might start by deleting the abbreviation "CR" from their vocabulary. As has been said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." That journey is long overdue.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



126 Comments | Post Comment
Good actions speak for themselves; they need no tin horn.
Comment: #1
Posted by: morgan
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:25 PM
Mr. Sowell,
These are two different questions:

1. Is the ACA a good first step on the path to save the American Health Care system from itself or is it just a worse disaster that should be reversed before it brings on the socialist zombie apocalypse?

2. Is it appropriate for a faction of the minority party, after strong-arming the rest of their party, to use the threat of destroying the nation's economy unless they get their way.

On the first, reasonable people can disagree. On the second the president must stand firm. To give in to such bullies will mean that the tactic will be used on the next round where the entire economy is at risk and the one after that. And it would become acceptable for the other party, if the stars became so aligned next time. If the GOP wants to reverse the ACA, they should try to win at the ballet box. Who knows, if they develop a coherent message the voters might choose them next time.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Mark
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:29 PM
I think the GOP's message, particularly that emanating from the Tea Party "wing," is very coherent: The federal government is outsized - dangerously so - and at the expense of our collective liberty. The problem is the Democratic constituency won't even entertain such an idea and go along with the villainization of the GOP. Modern Democratic ideology - particularly that promulgated by Obama's statist regime - is no less divisive and much more destructive than any conservative political path. The proof is in Obama's unwillingness to negotiate on TWO - yes TWO - components of the ACA, a bill so complex and overwhelming the Obama Administration has had to capitulate on myriad deadlines and provisions just to get the bill off the ground.

Persons such as yourself, Mark, fail to hear their own rhetoric. If "shutting down the government" is such a poison pill for the economy, how is it you cannot even consider that the size of government is, indeed, a major problem?
Comment: #3
Posted by: Eric Wixom
Tue Oct 8, 2013 5:50 PM
Mr. Sowell; I am most concerned that the Republicans are putting up an appearance of disgust and bewilderment because they don't truly desire solutions. After all, Obama Care will generate trillions of dollars over time and the party in power will enjoy these proceeds. Why eradicate a really sweet deal for all politicians in general?
Comment: #4
Posted by: Carmen Mazzuca
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:10 PM
Sorry, I'm unable tobfind the part of the Constitution that places the origination of spending bills in the House. Where is that agian?
Comment: #5
Posted by: Dugway
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:14 PM
Re: Carmen Mazzuca
It will cost trillions.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Dugway
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:19 PM
Re: Mark,
The current group of representatives were sent to Congress via the ballot box, many of them on a tide of discontent over the passing of the ACA. The power of the purse was given to the House of Representatives because it is the branch of government most responsive to the ballot box, due to the fact that they must seek reelection every two years, instead of every four or six. The decision of funding or not funding any part of the government is the exclusive purview of the House. If the Executive Branch can decide to suspend enforcement of a law (like delaying the implementation of the Employer Mandate in the ACA) then the House of Representatives can decide to limit the amount of funds that the implementation of that same law gets. If the ACA is self-sustaining, rather than a massive government give-away, 'defunding' it is not even relevant. However, considering that it is a massive give-away, and destined to create larger and larger deficits as it buckles under the weight of unchecked healthcare costs, it is subject to potential limitations of funding by the House. That is our system, like it or not, and if Obama can use his constitutional powers of enforcement, so can the House use their constitutional powers of funding.

Dr. Sowell's comments are very enlightening. I agree that the Republicans are not doing a good job of articulating their case. Yes, the president's demand does amount to congress writing a blank check rather than passing a "clean" resolution.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Jill Osecki
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:19 PM
Re: Mark First of all, Republicans are the MAJORITY party in the House. Following liberal talking points instead of using your own ability to think only makes you look inept. As for who is bullying whom, the Democrats lead by the president are the ones who are using the bully tactic of refusing to give ANY ground. You might not like the Republican alternatives but insisting on meaningful negotiations is a democratic process which I would think you would support.

Also, the ones who are threatening the entire economy to stand their ground are the Democrats and BHO. Obama has stated in no uncertain terms that he will NOT negotiate. How you and other liberals can spin that into the Republicans being to blame is more than mystifying, it is psychotic.
Comment: #8
Posted by: TxSon
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:20 PM
It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Edmund Burke, 1729-1797 Irish statesman, philosopher
Comment: #9
Posted by: rawheadrex
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:21 PM
Re: Eric Wixom & morgan

Comment: #10
Posted by: Dugway
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:25 PM
Article I, Section 7 states that all revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives
Comment: #11
Posted by: Mikepw
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:26 PM
0bama and Senate Democrats, lead by Harry Reid, are in the midst of a power grab from the House of Representatives.

What is happening right now is nothing short of the elite monied interests in Washington, as represented by the Senate, trying to remove the Constitutional power vested in the People, as represented by their Representatives, to craft the budget and spending priorities of the US government.
Comment: #12
Posted by: SammyH
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:26 PM
Re: Carmen Mazzuca

Obamacare budgeted $93B to set up its website. After three years and $630M, all admit it is a catastrophe. Total costs of the so called ACA program have quadrupled from original estimates. Preparing for penalties within it have caused companies to lay off hundreds of thousands and/or reduced employees across the country to less than 30 hours per week.

Contrary to obamunist spin, sign ups by the young and healthy are few, the very group they needed to be foolish enough to spend $200/mo for a $5,000 deductible, nearly worthless policy, to generate the extra money needed to fund the subsidized and waivers and elderly.

Where is there an iota of credibility this is not the train wreck most see? Obama's unending lies and those of Sebeius? Even John Stewart thinks that's funny.
Comment: #13
Posted by: krusatyr
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:32 PM
When you peal away the false facade of some Republicans you find a Demonrat.
Comment: #14
Posted by: gary lacey
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:41 PM
Re: Mark

@morgan , #1 - No, it is not good, even liberals are seeing this.

On #2 you are so wrong, it is isn't funny. You should do some research to see how debt ceiling increases and budget related issues have been resolved in the past.

The Majority party does not get a blank check to do whatever they want with the economy. It is the GOP reps job to stand firm and represent the 49% of the people.

You act like the left doesn't use this tactic, are you kidding me? You should go back and research previous government shut downs and previous budget negotiations.

The simple fact that you think a president should negotiate with SYria and Iran but not it's own people is disgusting.

The only one holding the people hostage is Obama, in not doing what EVERY president before him has done.

By the way, where is our budget? It's been what, 5 years now since we have had one?
Comment: #15
Posted by: Marc Matthews
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:45 PM
Republicans are that timid they don't even mention that Obamacare became law under false pretenses.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Caligulia
Wed Oct 9, 2013 4:02 PM
I agree with Dr. Sowell but place the primary blame on the Republican Party which should be finding ways for the elected officials to elucidate their positions and policies and helping to get the word advertised to their constituencies. (Dems use talking points effectively: why not Republicans?) I remain a member of the Republican party only because all other choices are not viable and I do not want to give up a right to vote in a primary. I have stopped donating to the party, though, because I do not see that their efforts are successful. Had they been able to get 3 million voters that had voted for McCain to vote for Romney, the worst excuse for a President of the U.S. would be back in Chicago dodging bullets (I bet he moves to Hawaii in 2017). Instead, I give directly to candidates that represent me. Just once I would like to see some literature sent to voters that actually EXPLAINS something without asking them to send money.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Peter Hand
Wed Oct 9, 2013 4:11 PM
Inarticulate? For the most part... But I would say the Republicans are more "Stifled" than speechless. After reading the NY Times hit piece today about how the Republicans have purposely cut the Head Start funding and how a wealthy donor has "saved" the progam, not ONCE did the NYT even mention the fact that the Republicans had tried several times to provide funding for the dubious program, only to have it rejected out of hand by the Donks in the Senate!

With such scurrilous enemies in the media, it's a wonder the public gets to hear anything at all from the GOP.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Dredd
Wed Oct 9, 2013 4:14 PM
Re: Mikepw
"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives". my question stands, as the CR isn't for raising revenue, it is to spend revenue.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Dugway
Wed Oct 9, 2013 4:22 PM
Mr. Sowell is making valid points that have long frustrated me. In his support, the evidence is very substantially in agreement. The logjams seem to be the successful use of propaganda and the strong emotional attachments of Progressives that are irrational to most people other than Revolutionaries.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Sebby
Wed Oct 9, 2013 4:29 PM
Nailed it.

This is the government the Founders warned us about.

Comment: #21
Posted by: Teddy Novak
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:01 PM
Dr. Sowell, you are a national treasure. I can't believe Obama hasn't put up barricades around you.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Jethro
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:14 PM
Mr. Sowell has hit the nail squarely on the fiscal head. The Republicans are well within their Constitutional rights to fund only the bills that they feel are appropriate, and are fine with approving everything except Obamacare.

The only bullies in the room are the President and his cronies who have been making up their own rules as they go along for the past two terms. And now they are twisting the facts and public opinion around to suit themselves yet again because the Republicans are too inept to keep the focus where it should be. The President and company are the ones keeping the government closed in an attempt to get their way, not the House Republicans.

Thomas Sowell for President!
Comment: #23
Posted by: Vegas
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:17 PM
As further evidence of the GOP's inability to communicate, just two days ago Speaker Boehner received top billing in response to the president's address to the nation. He said the GOP would not pass a "clean" CR. A guy who was listening with me asked "so, I guess this means they want a "dirty" CR? What's that?
The GOP has long won the hearts of the American people with its ideas, when viewed objectively. But when it comes to communicating with the people, they send out stumblers, fumblers, and governmentspeakers.
Too bad... because the American people love their ideas when they're actually explained coherently.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Rich Gimmel
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:20 PM
To a former Marine;

Thank you professor. You're absolutely correct. Better articulation of "the message" and more coordinated effort would go a long way in countering the democrat's "salesmanship". I have long wondered about bungled or clumsy republican responses to easily-anticipated questions and the apparent inability to stay focused on-message. Where are our graduates of the J. Goebbels School of Journalism & Rhetoric?

Vita est dura, sed durior si sis bardus.
Or; in the words of (Sands of Iwo Jima) Sgt. Stryker who said,
"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."
Comment: #25
Posted by: Quanah Parker
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:24 PM
Re: Dugway

Here you go Dugway...

The Appropriations Clause is the cornerstone of Congress's "power of the purse." It assigns to Congress the role of final arbiter of the use of public funds. The source of Congress's power to spend derives from Article I, Section 8, Clause 1. The Appropriations Clause provides Congress with a mechanism to control or to limit spending by the federal government. The Framers chose the particular language of limitation, not authorization, for the first part of the clause and placed it in Section 9 of Article I, along with other restrictions on governmental actions to limit, most notably, executive action.

In The Federalist No. 58, James Madison described the centrality of the power of the purse's role in the growth of representative government and its particular importance in the Constitution's governmental structure:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of the government. They, in a word, hold the purse—that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Michael Perry
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:36 PM
Mr. Sowell,
Please write a statement for Mr. Boehner to read to the cameras. I'll take a crack at it to give you some ideas: [in the voice of J.B.] "Can I have your attention. I want to address the American people and tell you all an important message: our American system of government was designed so that no single branch can tyrannically control our country's fate. This system is sometimes called 'divided government' and it is the cornerstone of our American democracy. The House of Representative's job is to control the purse strings, and in so doing, prevent the other branches from doing what we believe may be harmful to our country. Our President has referred to us in the House as terrorists, arsonists, hostage takers -this is insulting to us personally, and insulting to the intelligence of every American. Of course we are not terrorists. We are not criminals. We are good people, duly elected by the People, trying to do our jobs. Just because we disagree with your political philosophy, Mr. President, does not make us bad people, and this is no way for you to lead. Mr. President, you were supposed to be a uniter, not a divider. By calling us terrorists and by refusing to negotiate, you are being a hypocrite: You are trying to blame Republicans for the shut down and all the other damage to our nation that is happening on your watch, but the fact is we represent half this country and you need to sit down with us respectfully and work out our differing opinions without calling us names. This is no way to lead."
Comment: #27
Posted by: Yosef
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:38 PM
In politics, it seems apparent that just because a party wins an election by a slight majority that doesn't mean that they can ignore, marginalize, and ride rough-shod over, the other 49% who didn't vote for them.

Since 2008, the democrats have treated the 49% like they don't exist.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Quanah Parker
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:43 PM
Re: Yosef
Comment: #29
Posted by: Quanah Parker
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:48 PM
Re: Dugway
Before money can be spent it needs to be appropriated. By failing to pass a budget continuing appropriation resolutions are being used to deny debates on what will be appropriated. Demanding passage of a clean CR denies the house a voice in that process. The constitution specifies that raising revenues originates in the house and passed to the senate where the senate concurs with or proposes amendments, if they concur it goes to the president, if they propose amendments it goes back to the house. The senate is demanding, not negotiating in that process.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Hubienj
Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:53 PM
I agree. We need a speaker that can speak. If John Boehner has a slogan, it must be "trite sayings for all occasions." How many more time are we going to hear, "kick the can down the road." Practically everything that comes out of Nancy Pelosi's mouth is a lie but at least she articulates them with eloquence and persuasively. If we cannot get rid of this vocabulary limited bartender can we at least get him a speech writer?
Comment: #31
Posted by: M>L>Finigan
Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:02 PM
This to me is a very interesting article. I am Eric Gurr the man who is running against John Boehner in the May primary. On my website, on the few radio interviews I have done and in articles I have written this is the exact point I have been making. John Boehner and the GOP leadership cannot simply blather on about Obamacare being a train wreck. They must explain and articulate a logical defense. What is so troubling is that this is not a difficult proposition.
If one looks at the ACA the first and obvious question is how did big health insurance companies and progressive Democrats come together? The big insurance companies are facing trillions in future liabilities as a result of the aging population. Progressives wanted control over health care. These strange bedfellows thought they were each going to get something they wanted.

The reality is that once the progressives offered the carrot of the individual mandate they started dictating the terms of the carrot. The big insurance providers (many of them anyway) realized that the controls were going to kill any chance of profit and probably cost them money. So they pulled out.

By the time the monstrosity was completed they realized it was going to cost way more than they anticipated. So the brilliant minds decided to add a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. A tax on innovation. The one thing that could have given us lower prices. Nothing was done to increase the number of doctors, nurses or health care technicians. We are left with a train wreck because you cannot increase demand without some how increasing supply and expect prices to fall. There is no mechanism in the bill to increase supply. In fact the excise tax on medical devices will lower supply.

The other issue is of course that one big law covering health care rules for everyone from Meridian, Mississippi to Los Angeles is a terrible idea. Different regions need different things. The Democrats are consistent about their big hammer of stupidity. They swing it with the same vigor at health care as they have done with education and every other idea they come up with.

If Mr. Boehner were more articulate in his rhetoric I would still challenge him in a primary. Dr. Sowell points out Boehner and others in the GOP leadership keep complaining but never quite explain why they are complaining. I would think this would make my job easier in winning the congressional seat, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Eric Gurr
Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:09 PM
Dr. Sowell. I couldn't agree more. The mystery is why Ted Cruz, who is tremendous debater, isn't in the lead here. Do the RINOs hate him that much?
Comment: #33
Posted by: wGraves
Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:16 PM
Where (and who) is the next Ronald Reagan. He was the best at communicating in my life time. Had the ability to put his thoughts into words the average blue collar guy could relate to.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Gizmo56
Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:27 PM
Re: Mark
Obviously you have not been watching closely. Throughout our history, many great men have used similar tactics when a bully is in the majority.
5 plus years to get a budget together that is workable. Are we actually supposed to trust this administration? Time and again it has broken promises. First it was we will tackle spending issues after you allow a tax increase. REPUBLICAN RESPONSE: DOH, O.K. Let me roll over for ya. Then no compromise since then. Now pass a CR so we can kick the can again and promise we will sit down and discuss spending cuts. wink, wink.
They weren't willing to come up with a budget while in control, what makes you think they want one now? How else can they just keep printing money and spending it?
Yea you keep believing brother, but I hope YOU are in the majority.
Comment: #35
Posted by: fromthemiddle
Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:48 PM
The R party members appear to be inarticulate primarily due to the old guard RINOs are largely positioned at the helm . . . for now.
Comment: #36
Posted by: rbblum
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:10 PM
The problem with the Republicans is that they never imagined they would have to create a Ministry of Propaganda for Americans. The Dems naturally know this.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Astralis
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:15 PM
Re: Quanah Parker Which, you would think, those of the liberal or democrat persuasion would understand since they believe in championing the minority. You would think they could better understand the reason we are a republic and not a pure democracy. Even had he won in a landslide that doesn't mean 20% or 10% should forgo all representation and not be heard nor considered. This is a replay of when they were debating the ACA and they didn't want any Republican input or (tampering) and why they jumped over those hurdles and through those hoops in order to get it passed without a single republican vote. I think the analogies both parties use to try and enlighten the people as to what all of this means are confusing and off the mark as well. It's very simple, there has never been a budget passed since this president took office. The one he proposed didn't get a single vote from his own party. In reality from what I have read we haven't had a real budget passed since 1997.I would also contest that as being real because I don't see how anyone can think they have a surplus of anything when they still hold a large amount of debt and continue to borrow. Call me crazy. I also don't believe they include all the numbers. If they did and the American people could grasp the extent of what our Government will end up leaving the posterity of this country, because we the people were not vigilant, we would hang our heads in shame.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Lora Wooton
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:29 PM
Re: Mark
Many a bad bill has been passed and repealed within congress in the last 236 years. Even Amendments have been passed and repealed and it didn't take took bi-partisanship of Congress. The House controls the purse. If the House conflicts with the law, they can refuse to supply the is a check by OUR FOUNDERS. If Obama does not want to deport Dreamers...he ignores the law too. Obama did not want to uphold the law, DOMA, so he ignored it. See...they all do it, Mark. By the way....the country is swinging conservative again, hence the strength of the conservatives in Congress. You don't want to believe that but after the 2014 election, you will be a believer.
Comment: #39
Posted by: suzy000
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:32 PM
Re: Mark

But the power of the purse belongs to the House. It is not obligated to fund things the President's way, per the Constitution. I'd argue that Obama is more to blame, by 1) insisting that he won't negotiate, and 2) behaving as a demagogic community organizer rather than even attempting to lead the country to a solution. You can't excuse the Dems here.

My big fear is that he's happy to shut it down since he figures that he and his media fawns can pin the tail on the Republicans. And further, that he may even seek to default over the debt limit, when even an unraised debt limit does nothing more than prevent govt from spending more than it takes in. Cloward-Piven writ large - what demagogue, lie-every-day community organizer could resist that? But it would still harm the Dems tremendously - people are not quite as stupid as Dems figure them to be.
Comment: #40
Posted by: alpineguy
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:33 PM
Re: wGraves Yes they do ... they fear him and those of like mind across this country.
Comment: #41
Posted by: Lora Wooton
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:34 PM
Re: Dugway

Do any Americans ever post here? Or is it only modern democrats, liberals and all other manner of socialists? I have never been on a board where the readers have so little grasp of the US Constitution; must also be a great NEA hangout as well.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Mark Edman
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:37 PM
Re: Gizmo56 That would have been Sarah Palin, had John McCain not left her to twist in the wind and allowed the vipers from the left and the media (but I repeat myself) savage her daily.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Odysseus
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:45 PM
Mr. Sowell,
I agree on the mumbling and news speak.
I think the American see through Mr. Obama's disdain and trash talking towards the political opponents who he is trying to intimidate to roll over. I get the feeling the country will hold the Republicans responsible for bringing spending under control by reigning in pie-in-the-sky and chicken-in-every-pot promises by the Democrats.
Americans, for the most part, were tired of war and Mr. Obama seemed the most likely candidate to put an end to them. Add that many could satisfy that 'I am a hip person' feeling about themselves by voting against the standard mold of presidential candidate. They overlooked his inexperience and and,as Jeanne Kirkpatrick labeled many Democrats, his "Blame America" brand of politics.
If they don't reach agreement, interest on the debt gets paid - 10 times that amount in tax revenues comes in daily - and the national defense gets funded as the Constitution sets forth. I guess entitlement spending will get a good going over as the money gets scarcer as will other programs before the money runs out.
Comment: #44
Posted by: cjones1
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:47 PM
Completely agree with the beginning statement. Boehner just gave away a golden opportunity to enlighten the public. I like the way they are keeping the fight though.
Next time maybe he should articulate more and have a 7 minute (one sided conversation - that the Pres is famous for). Strong silent ...doesn't help. One should not be afraid to speak one's mind. Keep up with the good work as a lot of good citizens are behind you.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Godreigns
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:53 PM
Re: Mark Edman What do you mean? I think most are agreeing... but are not showing any optimism that it will change or get better. I personally believe many of us Americans have taken our freedom for granted. We have not been paying attention and many of us know something is wrong and have been learning things about what this countries freedom has done not only for it's citizens but the rest the world. I know I have been reading a lot and learning things about our founders and the ideas that our constitution stem from. I have found myself in a great love affair with the founders and their vision of America. I believe we have neglected to ensure every generation learn what is so special about our country. It isn't just Government that has gotten us here. We have aloud it. It also isn't just one party that has done this. There are many in the republican party that aren't fighting as hard as they should if they really believed in the things they ran on to get elected. Nothing of great import has ever come to pass with out pressure from the people. Many times we have righted our course and I pray that we will do it again. I believe it won't be in my life time but my children and grand children. I have made a covenant with myself to do all that I can to ensure they will be at least 2 generations that understand their civic duty to fight for their constitution and their individual freedom. To ensure it is in tact for posterity.
Comment: #46
Posted by: Lora Wooton
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:01 PM
Truer words have never been spoken Mr. Sowell. The Republicans haven't had an effective spokesperson since Lee Atwater.
Comment: #47
Posted by: John Leeson
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:02 PM
Re: Dugway: "Sorry, I'm unable [sic] tobfind the part of the Constitution that places the origination of spending bills in the House. Where is that [sic} agian?"

You can find it in Article 1, Section 7:

"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

I'm sorry, Dugway, but you couldn't manage to find this in a document that's only seven pages long? Wow.
Comment: #48
Posted by: The Bruce
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:06 PM
Whoa, let me clear up something. I was short on time, but maybe sarcasm is just too big a stretch for some of you. It's a saying that means the Republicans have clearly demonstrated by their actions exactly who they are and what they are doing and what they are doing, their actions, is not good. They're willing to sink the country and the economy to make sure they get their way and that Obamacare doesn't succeed. Yes, they need a tin horn so they can continue their destruction and articulate it as patriotism and wrap a flag around it so you all can salute as they attempt to bring the country down and the economy to its knees.

Seems Republicans consider the things which government does for them, such as corporate welfare and entitlements as social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism.

Here's a thought, let's cut off all funding for Ryan's Tax Cuts for the wealthy. That's 8 Trillion over 10 years.

We can't afford that. So let's negotiate. Here's the new offer Mr. Speaker: Ryan's Tax Cuts for the Wealthy must go. It is your "signature legislation" and it must go before talks continue.
Comment: #49
Posted by: morgan
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:09 PM
The threat made by the Republicans "Gimme what I want or I'll kill the government."

Democrats refused to pay the ransom to defund the Affordable Care Act, so the GOP defunded the federal government.

That cost 800,000 federal workers their jobs. It denied life-saving treatment to kids with cancer. It closed national parks and hobbled tourist-dependent businesses. It ended services to veterans, children and seniors. The suffering could stop, Republican extortionists say, if President Obama would just surrender the Affordable Care Act, just give the GOP what it failed to achieve through the normal democratic, majority-rule process.
President Obama has said he won't submit to this shakedown.

So first, let's round up some of the vets of the Democratic party, pay for buses and their expenses to shuttle them in from the blue states so they can parade in front of the cameras and protest Republican baggers who refuse to pay the country's bills and have shut down the government. (Hmmh, no. That is such an obvious ploy everyone would see through it.)

What he should do instead is counter with demands of his own -- demand that Republicans approve legislation that Democrats want but didn't get passed through the normal, democratic, majority-rule process.
Democrats' counter offer must be big and bold. Republicans want the Affordable Care Act repealed? Well, Democrats want gun control, immigration reform, a financial transaction tax, an income tax increase for the 1 percent, a raise in the minimum wage, the Employee Free Choice Act, better Social Security benefits, an end to GOP challenges to abortion rights, re-institution of the Glass-Steagall Act regulating Wall Street, Cap and Trade environmental regulations, a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United campaign finance decision, immediate approval for all of President Obama's federal judge nominees, a human heart for Grover Norquist, a spine for John Boehner, a lobotomy for Ted Cruz, and a chicken in every pot.
That would be a good start for negotiations.

This proposal from Democrats, like the proposal from the Republicans, is really just designed to begin talks. Few Republican baggers have a soft spot in their hearts for Norquist because his no-new-taxes pledge caused them so much heartburn. So they're unlikely to accept a human heart for him in exchange for the death of the Affordable Care Act. That's fine because what Norquist needs most (similar to Dick Cheney) is not a heart but a soul. And Congress can't accomplish that. Securing a soul requires divine intervention.
With the two sides talking, the next step in negotiations is easy for Democrats. They could agree to repeal the Affordable Care Act in exchange for Republicans approving single payer health insurance -- Medicare for all.
With Medicare for all, Norquist could get his human heart transplant, Boehner could get a backbone, Cruz his much needed lobotomy, and every American would get health insurance - just like the citizens of all other Western industrialized nations.

That's a deal where everyone wins.
Comment: #50
Posted by: morgan
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:14 PM

Making enemies of blacks, Latinos, Gays, school teachers, scientists, union members, women, and environmentalists wasn't good enough for Republicans. So now they have found a way to alienate the rest of America too. God speed in your quest to be the most hated people in the nation.

Comment: #51
Posted by: morgan
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:18 PM
On the right we have a problem of "elder statesmen" RINOs not getting off the stage and allowing younger voices to take over such as Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg. This would have been a problem for the left also if it wasn't for Obama beating out Hillary in 2008, as no matter what one thinks of individuals such as Plouffe, they brought with them fresh thinking and cutting edge ideas as opposed to Hillary's campaign team which had a lot of deadwood.

Why don't these senior RINOs get off the stage? Well part of the problem is Fox News allowing RINOs and neo-conservatives such as Karl Rove and Bill Kristol to stay on the stage. Even Krauthammer, although he is undoubtedly very smart, is not relatable to younger generations. Unless such individuals get out of the way the public can still fall into thinking that fiscal conservatives would run government in exactly the same way as GWB. Therefore they do not get fundamental differences such as:

(i) Fiscal conservatives and libertarians would not support Medicare Part D today, and neither would they support GWB's enlargement of the federal Department of Education. They do not agree with his brand of social conservatism. They believe more in the Tenth Amendment and moving decision making and governance back to state level, reducing the size of the federal government at the same time. Individuals such as Jeb Bush are still a problem, as they are big advocates of "Common Core" and special interests associated with such.

(ii) Fiscal conservatives and libertarians do not stand for crony capitalism and special interests and we wouldn't stand for repeats such as Halliburton and Jack Abramoff. We are on the side of the common man, entrepreneurs, and small business. We do not align ourselves with big multinational conglomerates who traditionally have been able to gain favourable treatment due to lobbying power in Washington.

(iii) Fiscal conservatives and libertarians have a different approach to foreign policy than neo-conservatives, and this again is about focusing more on the fiscal health of the U.S. They believe that there should be no intervention *unless* there is a direct threat to the U.S. that should be defended against.

Unless the "old guard" GWB era communicators get out of the way the message will remain confused as the public just are reminded of GWB. In fact such individuals, including Dana Perino, constantly just defend GWB instead of supporting a fresh vision for the future.

My other issue is Reince Priebus. Is he actually broaching this problem in communication in any way? It's his job to be on top of this sort of stuff.
Comment: #52
Posted by: overthemoonbat
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:39 PM
Re: morgan I personally want to see the entire tax code thrown out and a flat tax. The whole tax system is a joke to begin with. I would also like to say that it's very unfortunate that any American at any time would ever agree to something like Social Security or Medicare to begin with. Anyone who truly believed in individual freedom and the idea of personal responsibility would never have put anything so important into the hands of Government to manage for them in the first place. Let alone believe Government would manage it better for them than they would themselves. The whining about insurance companies is the same whining about what the government already would or wouldn't cover for people on medicaid or medicare well before the ACA or even Obama becoming President. I can't even imagine what our Veterans go through for what they get. But hey when the government screws you to save money it's understandable. But when insurance companies do it to be able to stay in business and provide better than the government... it's greed. I really don't care if your a Democrat or a Republican. Get your government off my LIBERTY! I can buy my own birth control if I want it. I am not some helpless little girl that can't take care of myself and someone in government suggesting otherwise is insulting. I don't have insurance and I pay $47.25 per Dr. visit because he doesn't have to deal with all the BS to bill when I go in for a visit. I am sure that won't last long now thanks to ACA (Atrocious Costs for Americans) What I want to know is what the heck do you want for a country? I know I want freedom! I want to be able to care of myself and my family without the government constantly making it harder and harder to do, while telling how much I need them to do it for me.
Comment: #53
Posted by: Lora Wooton
Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:47 PM
Re: Mark Good Sir, you seem to miss the fact that the bills the President is refusing to sign and that the Democrats do not want him to sign is a clear indicator that do not want to live under the same health care bill as you and I are being forced into.
The House of Representatives has an imperative to continue to fight this bill AT ALL COST. This is not a fight that America can afford to lose and for your own good, we will continue to demand that the Republicans stand firm. The lie that our govt will default is not true according to Moody's, so we can only benefit in a tremendous way as an entire nation if ACA is folded and sent to the dumpster.
I understand you want this program...but those of us who do not want to be forced should have the right not to be. What is next, we force you to bend your knees in prayer? You have no heart if you do not see the irreparable damage to freedom this bill causes over half the nation...WE DO NOT WANT THIS.
Comment: #54
Posted by: Grunge
Wed Oct 9, 2013 9:06 PM
Re: Spending bills and where they have to originate

Dugway is right. Only bills that raise revenue for the general welfare [i.e., taxes] have to originate in the House. All other bills, including spending bills like a continuing resolution to appropriate money for federal government services, can originate in either chamber. Read United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 US 385 (1990).
Comment: #55
Posted by: Phadreus
Wed Oct 9, 2013 9:21 PM
Re: Mark Republicans won control of the House in the last election, so don't need to genuflect to any dictator in the White House. Obama has proven over and over that he is a Marxist at heart, following the Cloward-Pivin strategy to bankrupt and overwhelm the nation's welfare system, that he is more empathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood than to the many victims of their terrorist atrocities, that he hates the Jews of israel, and even hates ordinary Americans of conservative ideas, as seen just recently in his abuse of power in the National Parks. The Republicans must stand strong and firm against his dictatorship, as it gets worse by the day, and to organize for impeachment of Obama for his many crimes and misdemeanors.
Comment: #56
Posted by: Black Eagle
Wed Oct 9, 2013 9:39 PM
With apologies to the Kingston Trio and to Thomas Paine, these are the times that try men's souls.
In the course of our nation's history, the American people have rallied bravely, whenever the Rights of Man have been threatened.
Today a new crisis has arisen -- the launch of OhBummerCare. And where are the Senate Republicans?
They are dithering. They are candles in the wind. They flicker in one direction, and then another --- and there are less kind observations now afoot, across the fruited plain.
The Republicans cannot find their bums, with both hands and a flashlight.
They keep their cojones locked in a bank vault --- although if they were valuable to Republicans, you'd think that they'd take them out for a spin, once in awhile, now wouldn't you?
When asked how best to destroy the Soviet communist dictatorship, novelist and Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn replied, "Don't lie." The corollary of that injunction is, "Tell the truth."
This is a gangster government, of Barak Hushpuppy OhBummer, and the OhBummer Wrecking Crew.
This is a dictatorship. If Republicans fail to smite it a mighty blow, then they are cowardly and worthless.
Did I leave anything out? For what do we need the Republicans, if they will not fight?
Fund everything except OhBummerCare and let the Democrats shut down the government.
It does not matter that the fascist Democrat-captured media will lie and blame the Republicans.
The Democrats always lie. Lies are the heart and soul and the sword and shield of the Democrat party.
To the Senate or House Republican I say this. "Be a man. Drive a wooden stake through the heart of OhBummerCare.
"The vast majority of the American people do not want OhBummerCare --- so be a happy warrior --- and destroy it."
Comment: #57
Posted by: Osamas Pajamas
Wed Oct 9, 2013 10:11 PM
Republicans realize the futility of explaining what is going on to most of the low information voters and other Democrats who elected Obama two times. Even putting the details into the style and wording of Dick and Jane books would not bring any light into their atrophied brains.
Comment: #58
Posted by: aberdeenvet
Wed Oct 9, 2013 10:34 PM
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
-Albert Einstein

And one could never accuse the above posters of having limits.
Ordinarily they are insane, but they have lucid moments when they are merely stupid.

Comment: #59
Posted by: morgan
Wed Oct 9, 2013 10:54 PM
ideally we need a knowledgeable ,fearless and talented orator in the congress with a bass voice to attack the left and present conservative positions convincingly..high c or cannot do the job.
without a commanding voice our arguments lack acceptance,
Comment: #60
Posted by: RON AHLERS
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:14 AM
Re: morgan

Morgan seems not to understand that IF the ACA succeeds, this country, under the current framework (US Constitution) will fail. The rule of man is overtaking the rule of law that made this country the light of the world for generations. That's what the "progressive" mindset has brought us. We must resist.
Comment: #61
Posted by: Bill H
Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:47 AM
Re: Dugway
Section. 7. (US Constitution)
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives
Comment: #62
Posted by: Gridiron
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:11 AM
Dr Sowell,
How do we fix this problem with the Republican Party? I agree that the GOP has a problem articulating issues but it doesn't help that the media, who controls information flow and messaging, are overt supporters of the current regime. That is another part of the problem that needs to be fixed.
As for those who support Dr Sowell for President, I say "no".....I say Sowell for Chief Justice of SCOTUS.
Comment: #63
Posted by: Gridiron
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:18 AM
Re: Sebby
'Leftists such as Barack Obama euphemistically refer to this collapse as a "fundamental transformation," on the theory that society can only be improved by destroying the deeply flawed existing order and replacing it with what they view as a better alternative."
This information explains in detail what we are experiencing and will continue to experience as the collapse efforts continue. Although many of us already knew about the radical agenda it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is still very much alive. The Affordable Care Act and Debt/spending crises' are serving the means of collapse. They are also working hard to loosen voting requirements. And to get people riled up over race issues, financial concerns, and perceived or manufactured inequality overall. This is a well-coordinated radical Socialist movement to topple America with Obama as point man. With the clock ticking on the president's reign and considering the ages of Piven and Soros, is there any doubt they want to personally watch their life's ambition of a Transformed America rise from the ashes of destruction.
Look up the Frankfurt School to see the origins, theory and plans of the radical Marxist revolution from years ago being played out across America today. In addition to Alinsky's Rules for radicals the Democrats are following to the letter.
Comment: #64
Posted by: Roger Monk
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:22 AM
Re: Carmen Mazzuca
Because it's a really bad deal for all people,
The ACA is not about health care it's about destroying the system re: Cloward and Piven theory.
They want universal health care single payer, government run. (everyone dependent on government. It's a large part of the radical Socialist agenda, but first overload the system to cause it to fail)
Comment: #65
Posted by: Roger Monk
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:39 AM
Re: Dugway
“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

Article I, Section 7, Clause 1
Comment: #66
Posted by: CRupp
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:49 AM
Sowell is right about Republican inability to communicate clearly and in the right way and that is part of poor leadership. McCain, Dole, Boehner,even Romney had problems with distilling and communicating well the values and essence of their presentations about problems. And by the way, if the other side lies, say so and don't beat around the hedges. There is truth to be found, even in the world of politics.
Comment: #67
Posted by: Eaglewings
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:09 AM
Why the Democrat message is spoken in unison across the media spectrum has more to do with the alignment of the collectivist mindset. Although various subgroups are gathered under the Democrat umbrella they are bidding their time to advance their particular wishes but first desire to solidify power. Filtered and polished by the MSM, the Democrat message is prioritized above Republican. The Democrat collectivist rally around their own. Their platform has been crafted to a degree that the various leftist factions can agree on as a strategy forward. What allows then to have a better message is the solidity of their plan. Although flawed in reasoning as it relates to liberty they none the less stick by their plan and are able to demonstrate more loyalty and integrity toward it, Their confidence grows and is contagious. Validation comes with endorsement. The plan must be good because so many think it is good.
The much more liberty inclined Republicans by contrast, have a general message but do not appear so fired up over it. Often presented in clinical, mundane terms and tones the perception becomes that there is nothing exciting coloring it. Similar to the difference between two products, the one with the most convincing promotion will win out. Republicans in general are not so much into collectivism. There are factions within the party that do not agree on several key issues. The perception is non-unity and even hostility among various members of the party. The public can get turned off quickly and become suspicious when in-fighting occurs within a party (or a product). The key item to salvage the Republican party is not so much the messenger but the multiple, disconnected, non-resonating messages.
Comment: #68
Posted by: Roger Monk
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:10 AM
Re: Yosef

Alinsky rule #4

(4). There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents. The latter must be depicted as being evil.
Comment: #69
Posted by: Roger Monk
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:19 AM
Hello Mr Sowell
I have not read the content of your post but want to tell you that I admire your willingness to call out a fellow Republican for a seeming lacuna.
Over the years, I have learned to appreciate your incisive mind, courage and eloquence.
Comment: #70
Posted by: Michael Cohn
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:59 AM
Bravo! Someone has said (written) it out loud. The GOP is its own worst enemy. It allows the Dems to control the dialog. It constantly reacts instead of stating a clear position and/or agenda. This should be simple, but maybe Bobby Jindal was right when he said the GOP was becoming "the party of the stupid."
Comment: #71
Posted by: YtownSports
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:10 AM
Thomas Sowell should be in charge of Treasury and the Fed. Better yet, he would make a great President.
Comment: #72
Posted by: John Lindsay
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:10 AM
Re: Dugway Article 1, Section 7
Comment: #73
Posted by: Pat Mooney
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:47 AM

Unlike any other President in US history, Obama was vilified from the moment he took office. Does anyone need reminding about the "birther" attacks or the vow McConnell and the right made from day one to "make Obama a one term President" and all that followed?

Are any of you learned posters obtuse enough to believe that this craziness in Washington today is unrelated to the right's initial and ongoing attempts to bring Obama to his knees?

Comment: #74
Posted by: morgan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:33 AM
I couldn't agree with you more and that's been my topic of conversation for the past few days!! Until the Republicans figure out how to communicate with the American people, I'm afraid these issues will continue -- recognizing that communication is just one small part of the problem. The Dems have hijacked the conversation and the Republicans can't get it back. I believe they tend to be more direct and don't sugar coat to the degree the Dems do but all in all, they do not communicate well. No matter what we think of President Obama, he can get his message across, in simple terms that everyone can understand. Some of us put different meaning into what he says but he doesn't clutter a lot of his communication up with terms the majority don't understand. Why is it so difficult for the Repubs to do the same? And, I have to say that Boehner always looks mad -- and that doesn't help. I wouldn't want his job and this is very, very serious but no matter the subject, you never see the guy smile! I'd guess people see that and immediately don't like him regardless of what he has to say. The Repubs need a wonderful PR firm who can start to give them some direction to make them more appealing to the population. Their philosophy often makes so much more sense for the country but they cannot even start to get the message across.
Comment: #75
Posted by: Nina O'Leary
Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:35 AM
Tom, you are so right about the Republicans allowing OTHERS to define every issue, We will never win until we are not afraid to tell the people the TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES FACING OUR COUNTRY. AS IT HAS BEEN SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE: LET THE TRUTH SET US FREE!
Comment: #76
Posted by: Roy E. Adams
Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:36 AM
Re: Michael Perry
Thanks - here I spent all this time thinking the Senate was part of Congress...
The House has the power to RAISE revenue, still looking for the part where they must originate bills to SPEND revenue...
Comment: #77
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:43 AM
This has been an ongoing problem for conservatives, in many cases speaking over the heads of the average American citizen like a calculus professor might teach addition to a third grader, over complicating an otherwise understandable concept. If you recall, in a recent, "man-on-the-street," experiment, many average citizens could not distinguish the difference between the, "affordable Care Act," and what's been dubbed, "Obamacare." Many of those asked had strong preferential opinions of one over the other. When the choices that dictate the direction of this country's future rest in the hands of ignorant citizens casting votes based upon opinions derived from inarticulate politicians, it's no wonder we find ourselves in this current state of affairs.
Comment: #78
Posted by: TorreyS
Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:54 AM
Re: Dugway

Article 1, Section 7 requies all bills for raising revenue, i.e., spending, originate in the House of Representatives. It is there plain as day.
Comment: #79
Posted by: Marc Pittinaro
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:41 AM
Republicans have been inarticulate since Reagan's departure. Then again, being mere Democrat enablers doesn't require much eloquence.

The last literate professor of (what used to be) the Republican credo was Newt Gingrich who stylistically proved disastrous.
Comment: #80
Posted by: jnsesq
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:41 AM
Re: Dugway
“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1
Comment: #81
Posted by: johnqpublius
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:42 AM
Thomas Sowell is a racist.
Comment: #82
Posted by: Dutchie
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:51 AM
Re: Dugway

I must humbly state that I now see your point Dugway. After doing some research, it seems this issue is not "well settled." Indeed, Article 1, Section 7 says nothing about spending, and I do not believe that we can interpret "raise" to also mean spend, unless the Founding Father attached that meaning to the word. To raise revenue conjures thoughts of bills related to taxation, imposts, excises, tariffs and other similar revenue raising measures. Me thinks the origination of "spending" bills in the House of Representatives is simply some type of tradition upheld by both houses of Congress.
Comment: #83
Posted by: Marc Pittinaro
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:55 AM
Re: Dugway

Article 1 Section 7
All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills
Comment: #84
Posted by: Michael Kraus
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:04 AM
Re: johnqpublius
i got it; RAISING REVENUE; phrased otherwise, means DETERMINE WHERE MONEY COMES FROM. As opposed to the liberal viewpoint, based on the word RAZING, (causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer exists).
The CR would create a situation where laws RAISING REVENUE (e.g., taxes in the Internal Revenue Code) are extended, and therefore the CR would have to originate in the HOUSE. The Cornell Law Website seems to back that up.
Mr. Sowell makes the point that ALL spending bills must originate in the HOUSE. I want to know why the SENATE is unable to originate a spending bill if it does not RAISE REVENUE, or do ALL spending bills have provisions to RAISE REVENUE? The Cornell Website indicates that the Origination Clause applies only to RAISING REVENUE, and that that phrase has been narrowly applied to levying TAXES, as opposed to other forms of revenue.
Thank You.
Comment: #85
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:14 AM
I have always said that Democrats out argue Republicans almost everytime. It is like we fight by the kings rules and they come out and kick us in the nuts. Republicans are so polite and are worried about what liberals will say about them. Democrats lie, stretch the truth, take things out of context and bully and they are not ashamed of themselves. We have the better argument but don't give it. Cruz has been doing the best lately. I support him.
Comment: #86
Posted by: johne2123
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:17 AM
Inarticulate Republicans? Speaker of the House Boehner does not need a teleprompter to enunciate a word, but President Obama cannot survive without one. When it comes to the Democratic President Obama it is not an issue of how articulate he maybe but whether he actually knows the English language. The article blunders along as it accuse Boehner whether he can get the right answer for two plus two. My question is whether Obama can get the right answer for two and two.
Comment: #87
Posted by: Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:22 AM
You are right. My wife and I talk about this constantly. Even some of our Democrat friends parrot the ridiculous narrative of the Dem politicians that is defining the Republicans. There are several Republican's in Congresss and the Senate who can articulate the message but for some reason they are not part of the leadership. One of them is Peter Roskam from Illinois but the Dems have found a scandal over funding of a trip he took in the hope of keeping him out of the limelight. The Dems get away with everything but another aspect of the problem is the liberal media that is in the pocket of the Democratic Party.
Comment: #88
Posted by: Dennis Galinsky
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:27 AM
Respectfully, Hon. John Boehner, it's time to remind the president and the democrats that the US House of Representatives is not just a"Sugar Daddy"for their Neo-Socialist, Progressive agenda.
Comment: #89
Posted by: Quanah Parker
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:30 AM
Re: morgan

It's time to remind the president and the democrats that the US House of Representatives is not just a"Sugar Daddy"for their Neo-Socialist, Progressive agenda.
Comment: #90
Posted by: Quanah Parker
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:35 AM
Re: Jill Osecki
Jill, that was a terrific summation of what's going on in DC. Great job. It's shameful how many Americans lack the general knowledge about our government and therefore lack the capability to understand the situation and that what the Senate is doing is completely legal, constitutional, and within their purview.
Thank you,
Comment: #91
Posted by: Dan Curtis
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:04 AM
Re: Carmen Mazzuca

"After all, Obama Care will generate trillions of dollars over time..." There is one MAJOR issue with your statement but don't feel too bad because the majority of leftists don't understand this concept either. THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GENERATE ANY INCOME; it merely confiscates and redistributes it! Every single dollar that is issued to one citizen from the government must first be confiscated by the government from another citizen.
Comment: #92
Posted by: Ryan Sullivan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:10 AM
Re: Where spending bills must originate

Everyone -- Raising money and spending money are two different actions.

The authority for Congress to do the first is Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1 [the "Origination Clause"].

The authority for the second is Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 [the "Spending Clause"].

Only bills that raise money -- specifically, to tax the populace -- must originate in the House of Representatives.

Read what the Supreme Court has to say about the matter in its United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 US 385 (1990) decision.
Comment: #93
Posted by: Phadreus
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:11 AM
Re: gary lacey.. Correction. When you peal away the facade of RINO's you find a Democrat.
Comment: #94
Posted by: Jack Bauer
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:15 AM
I've got a message you can articulate: attention left brainers and no brainers. The right wants you.

I'm reading your comments, all showing how brilliant or intellectual or smart you are. Ego running rampant on this site. As is ignorance. Unless you also use your mind you could be compared or replaced with a computer. It wouldn't surprise me if that's already happening. I digress.

Reading the comments, one might conclude it's about the right and the left and they'd be right. The might also conclude it's about Alinsky vs Rand but that is wrong. Alinsky vs Rand is a myth floated by the GOP to get the young and the dumb, appealing to the left brain dominant right, and getting them to do their dirty work for them.

Their dirty work is to destroy Obama. The "uppity" "arrogant" black man who has the temerity, the tenacity, to be a great man, great President and Commander in Chief.

The right's message, dominated by their rigid left brain thinking GOP, puts self before god and country, diminishes all other people into groups and labels, and appeals to the inflexible, unyielding, unexamined viewpoints and encourages and exploits their baser instincts, prejudices and biases.

The left's message appeals to the dominant right brain thinker. Those who use their minds to examine their thoughts and their hearts with a focus not just on self, but what's best for the entire organism which allows a more flexible, well rounded, long term perspective and viewpoint.

Bottom line, the GOP, the baggers, and most of all, the billionaires who own them want this black President to fail. It's not about the ACA, the ACA is the vehicle they chose for you to bring him down.

Now you brainers and no brainers, you mindless zombies may choose to deny racism as your motive and who will believe you? We will. What you can't deny is you and all of the above are puppets of the despicable racist good ol boy billionaire(s) pulling all the strings.

Have you considered the puppetmaster billionaire(s) whose money you take and power you crave and blindly serve may be a foreign entity determined to end the American dream and collapse our economy from the inside out? A bloodless conquest using a trojan horse disguised as patriotic Americans.
Comment: #95
Posted by: morgan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:24 AM
Re: morgan

Wow! absolutely brilliant. Where would us no brainers be without you to spell it out for us? We are so naive, of course it all boils down to racism, I mean how could it not? Children of the future will surely be reading about your profound findings in history books.
Comment: #96
Posted by: Ryan Sullivan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:36 AM
Re: Ryan,


Prove me wrong. You can't.
You guys crack me up.

Comment: #97
Posted by: morgan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:00 AM
Re: Mark

The Republicans are not the "Minority" party. They are the Majority. Republican Governors far out number Democrat Governors, The Republicans hold the Majority in the House of Representatives which is the "People's House". The House of Representatives represents the will of the people. If the Democrats and Obama want to hold firm against the will of the people it will be to their detriment as Obama's 37% approval numbers prove.
Comment: #98
Posted by: Perceptions
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:04 AM
Re: Dugway Article I Section 7 Was that hard?
Comment: #99
Posted by: David Phillips
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:23 AM
Dr. Sowell has nailed what I have been contending since Ronnie left office. Repubs act and talk like deer in headlights constantly. You have to believe they are at a loss for words because they are trying to articulate and and feign support of positions they really don't understand or support. Boehner speaks like an 8th grader who has slept through his entire school career being asked to explain the Theory of Relativity to the class. Kevin McCarthy, my congressman incidentally, speaks as a 3rd grader who got caught trying to tie a firecracker to the family cat's tail. On the Senate side, McConnell capitulates to every Demoncratic position before even hearing the issues, all other Repubs are irrelevant. With the sorry opposition that he faces, Hussein could be at 0% approval and destroy any Repub challenger in an election. Hillary is a shoe-in 2016.
Comment: #100
Posted by: willys36
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:24 AM
Re: Mikepw

That assumes we are in a representative republic instead of this absolute dictatorship. With unrestricted Executive Order power, and the alphbet soup of federal agencies reporting to the executive branch, totally out of control of the legislative branch, Hussein has no reason to fool with congress. He is by any definition an absolute dictator.
Comment: #101
Posted by: willys36
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:29 AM
Dr. Sowell hit the nail on the head.
It is a matter of great frustration to see the Republicans march out to the mic year in and year out and never clarify their position on an issue or reveal what the ramifications of the oppositions position is to the country. This always allows the opposition to come out and negatively define them.
Comment: #102
Posted by: pokey5735
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:35 AM
Re: Dugway Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1.
Comment: #103
Posted by: John Pittman
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:45 AM
Re: Phadreus -Thaanks, I was feeling a bit lonely!
Comment: #104
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:52 AM
Re: Marc Pittinaro Thank You! the power of the Purse seems to apply to the control over putting money into the purse, rather than taking money out.
Comment: #105
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Re: John Pittman - maybe we are getting closer - which clause in Section 8 says that all appropriations bill must originate in the House?
Comment: #106
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:00 PM
Re: Dugway
Article I, Section 7 states that all revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on any other bills. The reason for this is that at the time the Constitution was written, it was felt that Senators would be more wealthy than Representatives and might be willing to spend more government money than the Representatives would. Also, the House with its greater numbers was seen as being the better gauge of the wishes of the people for spending measures.
Revenue bills were only to originate in the House because members of the House of Representatives are the only federal officials elected directly by the people. Senators, up until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, were chosen by the state legislatures. And the president was chosen by the Electoral College. At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 it was felt that, in order for the new federal government to have sufficient legitimacy to gain popular support, it was imperative that at least part of the government would always have a popular mandate. Hence the three words at the beginning of the Constitution are "We the People." This meant that the new government would derive its authority directly from the people and not from state governments.
Comment: #107
Posted by: Alabama Dumas
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:01 PM
Re: Mark
The Republicans have voted to fund that beloved monster of yours several times, but it your president who is threatening the economy because he is holding out on the principal of selectively enforcing his pet toxic legislation. I'm sure selectively enforcing the law in his favor looks like equality to you.
Comment: #108
Posted by: Aeneas
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:06 PM
Re: Mark
First off, it is not just a minority that is fighting Obominationcare, it is I and my representatives and many, many many more. Secondly, if the ACA is so good, why won't the Dems require it for Congress members? Thirdly, who is going to pay for Obinationcare? Taxpayers, that's who! This is reported to be the biggest tax increase in our history. Wait 'till that and the wasteful spending increases take effect. And fourthly, why should those who don't take care of their health pay the same rate as those that do? Doesn't that encourage sloth and discourage responsibility?
But hey, party on, dude!
Comment: #109
Posted by: deeman
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:11 PM
Re: Mark
The Republicans have voted to fund that beloved monster of yours several times, but it your president who is threatening the economy because he is holding out on the principal of selectively enforcing his pet toxic legislation. I'm sure selectively enforcing the law in his favor looks like equality to you.
Comment: #110
Posted by: Aeneas
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:15 PM
Re: Alabama Dumas - The direct quote from Article I, Section 7 says:
"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."


'All Bills for revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.'
Comment: #111
Posted by: Dugway
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:16 PM
Re: Mark
The Republicans have voted to fund that beloved monster of yours several times, but it your president who is threatening the economy because he is holding out on the principal of selectively enforcing his pet toxic legislation. I'm sure selectively enforcing the law in his favor looks like equality to you.
Comment: #112
Posted by: Aeneas
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:19 PM
Re: Gizmo56

If you are looking for the next Reagan, the best place to look would be where the first Reagan came from: a governor's mansion. There is nothing more insipid and infuriating in all the of the speculation of the Senators that are slated to be the "front runners" for the nomination in 2016, such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Only a liberal would be stupid enough to believe that the Legislative Branch is a training ground for a Chief Executive.

Politics is show biz for the ugly, and as such, legislators do nothing but give speeches and prance around on the political red carpet (Washington) while the paparazzi focus on them, but all the while you have more than a handful of GOP governors who are out of the limelight because unlike the "Kardashians" of the party, they have day jobs which do not provide them the luxury of time to be portrayed in the political paparazzi.
Comment: #113
Posted by: Kevin Pearson
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:19 PM
Re: Mark
The Republicans have voted to fund that beloved monster of yours several times, but it your president who is threatening the economy because he is holding out on the principal of selectively enforcing his pet toxic legislation. I'm sure selectively enforcing the law in his favor looks like equality to you.
Comment: #114
Posted by: Aeneas
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:20 PM
Re: Phadreus
That doesn't mean the House has to roll over onto its back and accept what the President and Senate are demanding. They are trying to deny a debate. They don't pass a budget so we continue to use CR's and they use that as an excuse to ridicule Republicans for not playing fair, just trying to deny debate and obfuscate the real issue which is slowing down the growth of the government and spending.
Comment: #115
Posted by: Hubienj
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:21 PM
Re: TxSon
Yes, I don't really understand how the 'gun to the head" metaphor has been so strongly linked to the GOP, while it is the Democrats who are literally holding a gun to the head of children with cancer -- preventing potentially life-saving treatments, unless the GOP accedes top all their wishes.
Comment: #116
Posted by: Fred Schmurtz
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:42 PM
Dr. Sowell: thank you so much for saying what had to be said about the great damage caused by Republicans' inarticulate communication with the American people. They sound like blockheads, and they are outgunned by the Democrats at every turn. Mr. Romney, who had the tools to re-engineer our bloated federal government, resorted to mouthing campaign platitudes too often, rather than providing clear explanations and speaking from the heart rather than canned talking points. By signing Romneycare, he created cognitive dissonance for those opposed to government-controlled insurance and medicine. How could people vote for him if he signed into law a program that was the blueprint for the ACA? That is how he lost 3 million votes.
I will never forget the debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden. The smirking Biden bullied, belittled, patronized and laughed at a decent man. He reminded me of a school yard bully who had not taken his meds. Yet, his supporters applauded his despicable performance. He is neither a gentleman nor a statesman. That civil discourse has been abandoned for abusive diatribe puts the country at risk for fascism, which is not too far away from the administrative, statist state we live in today. The people are at grave risk and the Republicans are too inarticulate to save them.
Comment: #117
Posted by: Virginia Scanlan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:08 PM
Reading through the comments on this article, I am amazed to realize that most people are as ignorant about the facts of this shutdown as I was, until yesterday when I read a column by Ann Coulter. Coulter says that Republicans in the House have passed three different budgets. The first budget fully funded the government except for ObamaCare. The second budget merely delayed ObamaCare for one year. The third budget fully funded ObamaCare, but required Congress to by subject to it. It is precisely accurate to say that Democrats in Congress are shutting down the government for the sole reason that they refuse to be subject to ObamaCare. Yet Republicans have completely failed to articulate these facts.
Comment: #118
Posted by: duke47
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:11 PM
Re: morgan:

Do you recall that Bush was called a crack head, alcoholic, and just plain dumb? I saw him host a reception on TV and was amazed by his warmth, gracious manners and good humor.
Comment: #119
Posted by: Virginia Scanlan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:18 PM
Dr. Sowell: Please offer to craft speaking points for Boehner. I imagine that you need this task like getting a nail in the head. But the nation is in grave trouble. I imagine that the Democrats have a war room, manned by 20 somethings, that is grinding out rhetoric for Obama, Reid and Pelosi. They are bullies. The Republicans need your help!!!
Comment: #120
Posted by: Virginia Scanlan
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:33 PM
Re: morgan
Morg. Why do you find the need to insult those with whom you disagree? You evidently are bereft of a strong memory yourself, given that long before they were elected, Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were vilified by the democrats and the left as "stupid" and "moronic." Bush was called an alcoholic and worse. Dwight D. Eisenhower, architect of the greatest (in terms of both magnitude and outcome) military campaign in history, was referred to as a "dullard" by the left and the democrats (and their sycophants in the press). Lincoln was routinely insulted in the basest of terms both before and after he was elected.
So before you make silly statements such as "[u]nlike any other President in US history, Obama was vilified from the moment he took office," perhaps you should read a bit of the history to which you refer. You will find that vilification of presidential candidates and Presidents has a long history in the country.
As for your other bon mots, they simply make you look foolish and you should stop.
Comment: #121
Posted by: Curly Bill
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:58 PM
Re: Mark
You are incorrect. Your talking points have been discredited by Moody's, which says in a memo dated Oct. 7.
” We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” the memo says. “The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury's extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default."
Comment: #122
Posted by: Wild_Bird
Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:28 PM
I already sent you a tweet about my web site I strongly believe that no matter what Republicans say, Obama will jump off the WH roof before he gives up his coveted government run heath care law.

If my proposed amendment is at least given a public airing, it just might focus the conversation or even better, it might be ratified. One thing sure, no one else has yet to come forward with a better idea.

If the second method in Article V for amending our Constitution is not appropriate now we might as well do an amendment to have it removed from the Constitution so no one else brings it up in the future.

"I told you so" is not a political strategy. As my Mom often said: "Action speaks louder than words." Ed Ruff
Comment: #123
Posted by: Ed Ruff
Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:42 PM
Re: Carmen Mazzuca. It's already cost us over a half billion dollars and the ACA is in its infancy.
Comment: #124
Posted by: Beatriz Perez
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:50 PM
Re: krusatyr

the very policy that you mock is the one I've been living off of for YEARS (except it costs more per month, and has a higher deductible - it is the *best* plan my husband's workplace offered). It only confirms the belief that healthcare in this nation has to change. Because of the ACA, my husband's work stepped up their game, and is now offering a MUCH better policy for $10 more a paycheck. I will *gasp* be able to go to the dr when I'm sick. My husband will *gasp* finally be able to get the medication for his chronic condition ($600/month because of our deductible, previously). So when people like you titter and giggle at health care, I feel ashamed of the selfishness and greed of the American people. No WONDER other countries laugh at our hypocrisy.
Comment: #125
Posted by: Susan S
Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:05 AM
You think the Republicans can't get their ideas across? I STILL see and hear crap about death panels, Congress being exempt, the next apocalypse, blah blah. The GOP has NO problems spreading hate and lies. Hate and fear mongering are their specialty.
Comment: #126
Posted by: Susan S
Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:07 AM
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