As I type, the "Boehner Plan" for increasing the debt ceiling seems to be gaining momentum. The hope is to get enough GOP Congresscritters to hold their noses and accept it as the "best available option."

Chris Edwards points out that for all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, Boehner's plan doesn't cut spending.

The "cuts" in the Boehner plan are only cuts from the CBO baseline, which is an imaginary path of future spending designed as a planning tool for Congress. Boehner can propose to spend any amount in any future year he wants, and in this plan he choose to have a steadily rising spending path.
See also Peter Suderman on the gimmickry in the Boehner plan. It may be the best that can be obtained. It's not good enough.

Some better schemes:

  • Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn's proposal to "reduce the deficit by $9 trillion over the next ten years and balance the federal budget." Lots of details about what to get rid of.

  • The folks behind the One Cent Solution describe their plan with intriguing simplicity:
    The One Cent Solution gradually reduces total government spending (excluding interest payments) by making cuts equal to one cent of every dollar each year for six years. It also caps overall spending at 18% of GDP beginning in 2018 and beyond. This simple solution balances the budget by 2019, reduces federal spending by $7.5 trillion over 10 years and restores America's financial future.
    It's harder than it sounds—unlike Boehner, these guys advocate real cuts from current levels. But it gets us where we need to go.

  • I also liked the 19 Percent Solution offered by Nick Gillespie and Veronique de Rugy in Reason a few months back. This is another small-but-real-cuts every year approach.

Here's the thing, Republicans: you are going to be painted as cruel cold-hearted monsters by your adversaries in the other party and the MSM no matter what. You might as well actually try to fix the fiscal situation instead of relying on mythical targets.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Despite my negative feelings after watching the Part 1 DVD, we broke down and traipsed off to the theater for this one. I was worried that some scoundrel might slip me a spoiler about the ending. (I've managed to stay in the dark since the book came out.)

I won't bother with the usual synopsis; you either watched the previous seven movies, or you didn't. The body count rises a bit more, and there's plenty of suspense and action. It's a fine and satisfying conclusion to the story. I surprised myself by being kind of moved. Daniel Radcliffe, playing Harry, really stepped up into his role here, delivering a solid serious performance. Must have been a relief for the filmmakers, considering that he was signed up for the series over 10 years ago, when he was just a kid.

I'm still kind of a heretic, though: they could have really tightened things up and done the saga in four movies instead. And they slipped in a couple "video game" scenes, whose major purpose is to eventually wind up on Wiis, Playstations, and XBoxen. I suppose that's the sort of thing that pays the bills, but I'm not a fan.

Last Modified 2012-09-25 11:58 AM EDT