February 10th, 2013

So, here’s my question for Nancy Pelosi:…

…when you say it’s “almost a false argument,” does that mean it’s like, you know, true?:

It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address,” [Pelosi] told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday.

The Democratic House leader said she backed a “big, bold proposal,” to curb long-term spending, and, short of that, a plan that ended subsidies for large oil companies and eliminated loopholes in the tax code.

“It isn’t as much a spending problem as much as it is priorities,” she said at another point, arguing that tax subsidies were a better target than cuts to programs such as education.

“Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than investment in education of the American people, so we have to recognize that,” she said. “Cuts in education, scientific research and the rest are harmful and they are what are affected by the sequestration.”

Methinks Ms. Pelosi is just a tad confused. I’ll help her out here.

If I buy, let’s say, a diamond ring, and I don’t have the money to pay for it, do I have a spending problem? It’s certainly not “almost a false argument” to say so, although it’s also true that if I can manage to get enough money to cover it then I’ll be able to pay off my debt to the jewelry store. To do this I could work more hours, rob a bank, win the lottery, or borrow the money from a friend. Of course, in the latter event, I’ll still have debt that I’ll have to cover, debt I need to get more funds in order to pay.

In other words, a spending problem. Oh, and yes, also a related lack-of-funds problem. You really can’t have the first without having the second, too.

Plus, buying that diamond ring is a one-shot deal, unless a person is continually living beyond his/her means and continually buying things he/she can’t afford. The latter is far more analogous to the state of the US right now: our spending problem is ongoing.

But Pelosi knows all this. It just doesn’t serve her needs to say it that way. She’d much rather use bizarre and almost laughable (note that word “almost”) sophistry to advance the interests of her party and its patrons.

And speaking of false arguments, I’d say this is an example of one, “Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than investment in education of the American people.” Nothing? And I’d add that, with the direction education has been going in this country in the last couple of decades, further investment in our present educational system without substantial changes in its leftist PC content will bring no further money to the US Treasury at all.

32 Responses to “So, here’s my question for Nancy Pelosi:…”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    You are, of course, assuming that Pelosi has 1) a brain, 2) integrity.

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    “Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than investment in education of the American people.”

    Sure. Those Grievance Studies majors are tearing it up in the workplace. The sky’s the limit!

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun: where’d you get the “integrity” part? Did you read the next-to-last paragraph?

  4. vanderleun Says:

    As the Bard Says:

    plato told

    pelosi: she couldn’t
    believe it(jesus

    told pelosi; she
    wouldn’t believe
    it)lao

    tsze
    certainly told
    her,and general
    (yes

    mam)
    sherman;
    and even
    (believe it
    or

    not)you
    told her:i told
    her;we told her
    (she didn’t believe it,no

    sir)it took
    a nipponized bit of
    the old sixth

    avenue
    el;in the top of pelosi’s head:to tell

    her

  5. Occam's Beard Says:

    “It isn’t as much a spending problem as much as it is priorities,” she said at another point, arguing that tax subsidies were a better target than cuts to programs such as education.

    So, Nancy, if education pays off so handsomely, then we should spend more, right? How much more? Double? Tenfold? A hundredfold? What?

    The point is that there is an optimum amount to spend. We’re debating what that should be, but obviously it is not infinite, as her remarks imply. So by what operational criterion would she conclude that we were spending too much?

  6. M J R Says:

    As I was reading the piece, something kept gnawing and gnawing at me. You (neo) got to it in your final sentence, to wit, “with the direction education has been going in this country in the last couple of decades, further investment in our present educational system without substantial changes in its leftist PC content will bring no further money to the US Treasury at all.”

    That video of Dr. Ben Carson that’s gone viral lately illustrates, although we here knew it already, how what was once a sixth or eighth grade education is ^far^ more substantial than what the overwhelming majority of young people now get after twelve or even sixteen years of so-called education.

    Oh, Pelosi really believes it. So many pay such lip-service to “education”, she and so many really believe it. Of course, in Pelosi’s case, there’s always that nod to the education lobby as well. I’ll cut my rant short right here, as neo and others are doing quite well on this latest outrage. Carry on, folks . . .

  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    “It isn’t as much a spending problem as much as it is priorities,” she said at another point, arguing that tax subsidies were a better target than cuts to programs such as education Democratic constituencies that kick back some of the money as campaign contributions.

    FIFY.

  8. Paul in Boston Says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but “spending on education” is really just a form of money laundering by the Democratic Party. Taxes -> Education -> teachers -> unions -> DNC. Smaller classes = more teachers = more DNC $. Longer school days = more teacher’s pay = more DNC $.

    Pardon me for being cynical, but at this point it’s foolish not to be.

    Oh, and Pelosi is extremely shrewd, utterly corrupt, but really, really stupid. Just find the network interview of her denying that natural gas is a fossil fuel.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston: I don’t think it’s possible to be shrewd and stupid, unless we’re meaning different things by the word “stupid” (we probably are). I think Nancy Pelosi is no towering intelligence, but she’s certainly smart enough to know what a fossil fuel is.

    The point is that Nancy Pelosi is both shrewd and corrupt, and the combination of those two things makes her sound more stupid than she is—to those who disagree with her and/or see through her, that is. She is stupid like a fox, IMHO, and is a sophist willing to say whatever it takes to play to her constituents, who neither disagree with her or see through her (or, if they do see through her, consider what she does to be tactically smart). Yes, she could be more graceful about it if she were “smarter” (Obama is smarter in that way). But that doesn’t make her stupid, much less really, really stupid.

    Which makes me, I think, more cynical than you.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston: I also think it’s dangerous to think your enemy is stupid when they’re not.

  11. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Isn’t this the woman who said spending on unemployment benefits grows the economy?
    I rest my case.

  12. Molly NH Says:

    God, how I wish that woman would retire, I am so utterly sick of her. Maybe she can have her gallbladder out ala John Murtha, or
    have a re curring lymphoma like Arlen Spector, certainly no brain cancer like Kennedy, you need a brain for that !

  13. Gary Says:

    Of course Pelosi is a liar using idiotic “sophistry to advance the interests of her party and its patrons.” What drives me crazy is the fact that Republicans and the conservative/libertarian commentariat seem incapable of mustering a forceful response when the facts should make a budget-cutting argument easy. In particular, why is it that no one mentions that the federal budget was recently INCREASED by $700 – $750 billion per year (about 21% – 24%)??? This was accomplished by simply adding most 2009′s $830 billion “one-time” stimulus to the budget baseline. This is why Reid has not allowed a budget to be passed since then: “continuing resolutions” put spending on autopilot, thus remaining at about the same level.

    How about a response along these lines:

    What do you mean there’s no spending problem!? The federal budget was increased by more than 20% in 2009 for the stimulus plan and has remained at this unsustainable rate ever since through budgetary slight of hand. More than one-fifth of the federal budget is illegitimate and completely unnecessary. And yet Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats scream that even 1% or 2% reductions are impossible “cutting to the bone.” This is pure nonsense. Removing the illegitimate $725 billion or so simply restores the budget to pre-Obama levels–which were already swollen with large deficits. If spending 120% of an already bloated budget is not a “spending problem” then I don’t know what is.

    Instead, we get mealy-mouthed blah-blah from Boehner and other Republicans, as if they’ve got no case and need to be on the defensive. Stuff about tiny little cuts, “revenue enhancements” through removal of tax loopholes and other lame crap.

  14. parker Says:

    Pelosi is weird and corrupt. I will refrain from rehashing the long list of her strange, convoluted statements that make Biden look astute and intelligent by comparison. She’s very good at directing government largesse towards her husband. She passes the corrupt test with flying colors. But being weird and continuously re-elected in the 12th district of California requires no effort what so ever.

    http://tinyurl.com/auuahj7 In all of BHO’s 57 states.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to be shrewd and stupid

    I’d characterize her not so much as “shrewd,” but rather as having a certain rat-like cunning.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Occam’s Beard: I think that’s somewhat nitpicky.

    Synonyms for “cunning“:

    Machiavellian, acute, artful, astute, cagey, canny, crafty, crazy like fox, deep, fancy footwork, foxy, guileful, insidious, keen, knowing, sharp, shifty, shrewd, slick, slippery, sly, sly boots, smart, smarts, smooth, street-smart, streetwise, subtle, tricky, wary, wily

    Includes “shrewd,” and none of those words could be considered allied with “stupid.”

  17. Sam L. Says:

    Pelosi is a pelousy liar.

  18. Paul in Boston Says:

    Neo, I think of Pelosi as one of the Queen Bee types that infested high school. English, C, History C-, Math D, Social Skills A++. A Queen Bee with an extra fifty years of honing her skills. Some one else does the math for her at her command when her faithful retainers tell her its needed. Her full time job is manipulating people to do what she wants to reach her own goals without any regard to the consequences.

  19. Occam's Beard Says:

    neo, I’d distinguish shrewdness from cunning. The former connotes sagacity (notable by its omission from the thesaurus), whereas the latter (at least to me) connotes a rather lower cognitive skill.

    For example, one might wish to seek advice from someone who is shrewd, but think twice about doing so from someone who is cunning.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Occam’s Beard: Once again, it’s sort of splitting hairs, but I think that although you can’t be cunning without being shrewd, you can be shrewd without being cunning. “Cunning” has a more pejorative connotation than “shrewd,” and includes a sort of devious trickery (see definition) that “shrewd” does not necessarily include. But that’s a moral judgment, not a difference in cognitive skills.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston: I’m not talking about getting good grades in school. There are many different kinds of “smart,” and they don’t all result in getting good grades (although I know nothing about Pelosi’s grades; she may have been a good student for all I know). I disagreed with your assertion that Pelosi is really really stupid, and I continue to do so.

    Why am I harping on this? I’ve noticed that people in each party tend to think that many of their opponents that they dislike are stupid, when in fact they are not. I think it’s a dangerous error to make.

    The left thought George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were stupid. They were not (and even when I was a liberal, I didn’t think they were stupid; I just didn’t see that in them). Likewise, the right keeps saying Obama is stupid, Pelosi is stupid, etc.. They are not, IMHO. I can’t stand either one, but I have never seen either of them as stupid, and I also think it’s dangerous to do so.

  22. Paul in Boston Says:

    Neo, she’s extremely smart about power and manipulating people. The problem is that she lives in a reality distortion field which makes her say uninformed things (better?) like her statement about natural gas. I don’t discount her ability to use her skill and do tremendous damage to the country.

  23. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} “Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than investment in education of the American people.”

    I COULD be mistaken, but taking all of Congress out back of the building, selecting 10% of them at random to hang from gibbets, and telling the rest watching: “Get your head out of your ass or get your ass out of Washington.” would bring LOTS more money to the Treasury of the United States.

  24. holmes Says:

    I believe it was Tom Coburn who defended her as a “very nice person” to a group of tea partiers in 2010. She is shrewd if she can con a man like Coburn.

  25. tillurdizzy Says:

    If you are running a deficit, and spending is not the problem… then the problem must be on the other side of the balance sheet – income. That’s what Nancy means. We are just not giving her enough money.

  26. Lizzy Says:

    Pelosi is cunning and has had the street smarts to achieve and maintain her position of power in DC. However, she is not so good at convincing people who are not already on her side or whom she cannot strong-arm in backroom deals, etc.. Mainly, her terrible lies and strange logic betray her very low opinion of OUR intelligence.

  27. southpaw Says:

    “Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than investment in education of the American people.”
    As far as I understand, Nancy and the Forces of Good contribute 2% federal funding to my school distrcit. Local (my property tax) and state taxes make up the rest. See Cypress Fairbanks ISD budget here: http://www.cfisd.net/aboutour/profile/09-10Profile.pdf
    Nancy can shove her 2% investment in my childrens’ futures.
    Although it may reduce our global competitiveness, We’ll have to risk going without the 4th grade sex-ed classes on how to install a condom, “Joey has 2 daddies”, and how to locate the nearest Un-Planned Parenthood center.
    Like Neo, I’m struggling to see how further federal “investment” in education will do anything except foster a generation of utter retards, who can’t do simple math or write a complete sentence. When the present generation of taxpayers is dead, there’s going to be a lot of really dumb adults pressing the Democrat button at the ATM machine, I mean voting booth, but there won’t be any money coming out of the machine.

  28. artfldgr Says:

    she is telling you that if everyone gave her all the money, the deficit problem would be fixed (by everyone she is including the future unborn too).

  29. holmes Says:

    And by the way, “tax and spend” liberal used to be a slur that liberals ran away from. Apparently they’re embracing the cliche.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    “Like Neo, I’m struggling to see how further federal “investment” in education will do anything except foster a generation of utter retards, who can’t do simple math or write a complete sentence. ”

    Retards are more useful as slaves than genius rebels to the plantation owning tyrants of the LEft.

    It’s not like they want slaves that can think for themselves. That’s a little bit stupid for a plantation task.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    “She is shrewd if she can con a man like Coburn.”

    Don’t discount that she has a list of Coburn’s closet skeletons, sort of like a Nixon or Petraeus.

    A lot of the ways people get things done in DC is through blackmail, period. The Democrats are immune since even if you release their child molestation history, and murder history, and rape history, they don’t really care one way or another, with the media on their side.

  32. b9broompusher Says:

    I was so entertained by the cleverness of neo-neocon and responding ilk that I became quite unhinged. Then as the flies began appearing in the ointment (wits picking each other’s nits), I realized that this thread isn’t such a shining example to share with others after all — without some editing, and further contributions.

    Now that we’ve frolicked and splashed in the puddle that is Minority Leader Pelosi’s inadequacies as a public servant, I would enjoy seeing some ideas that will distinguish us from the Stupid Party rap we’ve endured of late.

    Say! More than half of the collectible student loans are in arrears, forbearance, or being deferred.
    Say! Our country is short on skilled labor.
    Say! In these few months since the Dodd Frank screws were tightened on manufacturers using Conflict Minerals, Wal-Mart has been advertising refurbished electronics.

    How’s about — What say — We shore up Rep. Ryan’s proposal to cut the Pell grants to university students (whose families are not required to repay because the household income is under $23,000), by restoring shop classes, and public-private partnerships (steady!) to encourage corporations to help in the funding and staffing of programs which will train the future workers — who are currently not finding teachers because the skilled ones are all working and can’t afford to retire to teaching. This is not to say that there aren’t future statesmen among the Pell-eligible class; rather, we have a shortage of nurses and welders and others, who make a very nice living, while we’re overstocked on law school exudates — er, graduates and Philosophy and Criticism of Anthropology of Classicism majors. To remove 600 million from Pell and put 250 million back into trade schools we could start a trend. Instead of paygo, we could promote pay4by saving2fold.

    I hope I haven’t offended our host and the contributors. I quite enjoyed the nonpareil quips, and I’m still laughing with you. Let’s do something more than a competition to saw off Mrs. Pelosi at her lovely knees. It’s entertaining, but will become boring soon. Behind all the cleverness I’ve seen from you, there are probably some wonderful ideas just waiting to be introduced.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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