Today Roll Call and TPM report (via PowerLine) that a large coalition of left-of-center groups is planning a meeting on December 10 in Washington to advance a strategy to weaken or eliminate the filibuster in the Senate. The groups in question include various labor unions (Communications Workers of America, United Auto Workers), environmental groups (Sierra Club, Greenpeace), anti-poverty campaigners (NAACP), and so forth. Presumably the concept is that with less ability of the Republicans to obstruct legislation in the Senate, these groups will be better able to move their legislative agendas toward enactment.
Well, what are the legislative agendas of these organizations? It takes minimal searching to figure out that the agendas in question come, in the aggregate, to some combination of (1) use Federal spending to fix the people's problems, (2) use Federal coercion and subsidies to make the environment perfect, and (3) use Federal coercion to enhance the power of labor unions.
As just a few examples, here we have the AFL-CIO blog criticizing the Romney-Ryan proposed budget that would "cut nutrition assistance, early childhood education and job training and end Medicare as we know it." Here is an editorial from the recent issue of the NAACP's magazine urging a vote for Obama because of the issues of "Social Security, health care, college affordability" - presumably seeking to preserve and enhance Federal funding for all of the above. Here we have the Sierra Club's web site "Goals" page, setting forth goals of "Beyond Coal," "Beyond Oil," and "Beyond Natural Gas." So they must be in favor of nuclear? No, they're against that too. Well, that pretty much eliminates all the options that don't require Federal subsidy, but no problem, there's an infinite supply of that. Meanwhile, the latest "climate" talks continue in Doha, Qatar, with the leading proposal to "save the planet" being that the developed countries commit to an annual transfer of $60 billion to the undeveloped countries. How exactly will that save the planet? It doesn't matter. Just keep drawing on the infinite credit card.
What is the thought process? One hypothesis is that they've seen the (fake) Federal deficit numbers of about $1 trillion per year, and they've seen Obama's proposal to raise $1.5 trillion by tax rate increases on the high earners, and they think that represents a solution because they haven't figured out that the $1.5 trillion number is a ten-year number and therefore does not represent a solution to the problem but barely a dent. Is there another hypothesis? Maybe just that Federal capacity to borrow, spend and print money is infinite. Plenty of other sovereigns in the past have fallen into that delusion.
And by the way the real deficit number if you include a reasonable accrual for all the insurance obligations of the government is more like $8 - 10 trillion per year, and you couldn't raise that by seizing all the income of all the high earners and the entire middle class as well.
The jig is up. When are they going to figure it out? (Same question applies to the Republicans, who should be saying this every day.)