In latest news that will shock almost no one with a mediocre understanding of economics – it turns out that the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003 resulted in greater than expected federal revenues. Its almost like that whole Laffer Curve and Supply Side Economics thing actually works. But that won’t keep the liberals from trying desperately to tell us that it really doesn’t work at all.
Myth #1: Tax revenues remain low. Fact: Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.
Myth #2: The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit. Fact: Nearly all of the 2006 budget deficit resulted from additional spending above the baseline.
Myth #5: The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits. Fact: Projections show that entitlement costs will dwarf the projected large revenue increases.
Myth #6: Raising tax rates is the best way to raise revenue. Fact: Tax revenues correlate with economic growth, not tax rates.
I really wish people would stop basing tax policy on the vagaries of their hearts and start basing it on cold hard facts.
Our glorious alma mater has a tradition, phone nite, where unsuspecting students call alumni. When I participated, I got, among others, a man who started talking about what it felt like to be on the phone naked. So I normally try to avoid these calls—on a previous occassion, I was between jobs when they called and I was moderately hostile—but they finally got me. The kid tried to get me up “for CMC’s 60th anniversary!” to give an extra $10, but I held firm to my original (still too much) pledge.
Confidential to my caller: S., remember to ask Professor Valenza about the camel joke.
I, perhaps more than any other blogger amongst The Bastards, come down the hardest on George Bush and his prosecution of the Iraq War and the GWOT. At times it may seem that I have become, in the words of Lee over at Right Thinking, a Christ Punching Leftist. Every once in a while I read an article that snaps the entire struggle back into focus. As already mentioned by Hubbard, the recent protest in Washington D.C. showcased the worst of the American Left. The Blame America First crowd was out in full swing and demonstrated why we should never take them seriously. But don’t take my word for it. Here is Ed Koch, Democrat, saying it much better than I could.
My favorite paragraphs (hate the term graph, its for douchebags ):
These people and their counterparts do have the capacity to bring down the government and prevent the President from being effective in pursuing the war. They were successful against President Johnson, destroying his reputation and sending him into oblivion. It is not far fetched that they can do the same to the idea and those who believe it that Western civilization is at great risk. Pre-WWII in Great Britain, some in British universities — the leaders of the next generation — said they would not serve in the military forces. Many said they were pacifists, others supporters of the apparently invincible Nazis. Even the then-King Edward VIII before he abdicated to marry his love, Wallis Simpson, conveyed by his statements and his Nazi salute caught by a photographer his support for Hitler. In America, there was the rise of the America First movement led by the national hero, Charles Lindbergh. Nevertheless, when the chips were down and the Nazis began their conquest of the West, the British stood up and so did the Americans. The French collapsed quickly.
Will the spirit and willingness to die for the concept of freedom rise again? I don’t know, and I worry. We in America are leading la dolce vita. We’ve never had it so good. Sure, there are plenty of problems, but unemployment is down to 4.5 percent. More than half of America’s adults are in the stock market and it is rising. We are a country of wealth and prosperity, even if not fairly distributed. We love life. Our enemies, the Islamic terrorists, love death and martyrdom. Remember what Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, said, “Killing the infidels is our religion, slaughtering them is our religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us tribute.”
Irrespective of whether or not we should have gone into Iraq in the first place, and I believe we were right to do so because of CIA director George Tenet’s statement that WMD in Iraq was a “slam dunk,” it is surely a fact that today Iraq is a center of terrorism. While Shia and Sunni hate one another and are embroiled in a civil war, they are united in their hate of America and the culture of the Western world and were we to leave Iraq, they will seek to follow us across the sea in their endeavor to kill us, unless we convert or pay tribute.
My only problem with the piece is that it ends rather abruptly after a short and perfunctory attempt to discuss possible solutions to Mess-0-Potamia. His belief that the “surge” will probably not work is one I share , but his hope that we will be able to draw in allies from neighboring Arabic States through the threat of a withdrawal is a fleeting one. I honestly don’t know what the solution is – but hoping for help from some of the prime sponsors of terrorism is pretty idiotic.
I’m a fan of a certain kind of psychoanalysis. Great works of art and literature can sear one’s soul, and writing about the blending of art and life is a difficult but rewarding task in the hands of a great writer. My gold standard for this kind of writing remains Edith Efron’s anaylsis of Clarence Thomas. Based on an interview Thomas gave to Reason, Efron was able to tease out what was going on inside Thomas’s head during those terrible confirmation hearings. This kind of writing is dangerous to do, however, because any set of facts can be given a false theory that fits.
The Anchoress poses an interesting hypothetical along these lines:
The film ET, The Extra-terrestrial is Steven Spielberg’s baby – his intellectual property, his copyrights, etc. Obviously, if I wanted to write a play or a book or whatever using that story and those characters, I’d run into all sorts of copyright issues, and perhaps Spielberg would be exceedingly protective of it and not even allow a purchase of the rights. Is there a way around such a circumstance?
For instance, suppose rather than write a variation of the story of ET, I decided to write a fictionalized account – a play or book – about the life of Stephen Spielberg, and within that media I tried to weave ET throughout as a subconscious parallel – a means of digging into Spielberg’s psyche. Since ET is a historical part of Spielberg’s life and I’m writing a historical fiction of that life, wouldn’the ET story then be fair game, used within the context of the newer work? You can’t copyright life details, can you? Wouldn’t I be able to write a story that said, essentially: Spielberg lived, he created art, this was the art he created, this was why.
It depends a great deal on how much Spielberg wanted to haggle over things. He might want to avoid it altogether, given that the legal hassle could lose in court and lead to huge publicity over the book, rather like the mistake Margaret Mitchell’s estate made over The Wind Done Gone. Still, even though Spielberg would probably lose in court, the sheer legal mess of it all would make me want to avoid writing fiction with ET characters and names woven in with Spielberg’s actual life. It’s probably safest to write a roman à clef like Bellow’s Ravelstein or Welles’s Citizen Kane, or to stick to a nonfiction essay like Efron.
The term “minority” has clearly ceased to be a term that denotes any numerical circumstance. It is a political definition used to suggest “social and economic disadvantage.” The term was used consistently throughout the MCRI campaign to describe those who suffer from “institutional racism in a society dominated by white males.” This definition would allow those of Mexican descent in California, who are rapidly becoming the numerical majority, to be viewed as a “minority,” despite their fast-approaching majority numerical status.
Amen. When I ran a college newspaper, on stories about racial preferences I replaced the word “minority”–there is no racial majority in Los Angeles County–with “non-white.” At different meetings, both the college president and dean of the faculty asked me about this and I asked them to find one instance when “non-white” was not a more accurate term. Needless to say, they failed. One of the ways it’s far more accurate is that it emphasizes the only thing so-called “minorities” have in common. “Minority” is in part an attempt to form a bond between groups that have no more in common with each other than they have with whitey.
Some worthless weasels in my state’s legislature cannot resist the idea of digging their hands deeper into my pocket by slapping a 5% additional tax on gas (which would come to about 11 cents a gallon right now-on top of 17.5 cents per gallon already in taxes-but which would be an unpredictable source of revenue in the future). Sen. Kenneth Stole of Virginia Beach seems like a man after my own heart, calling the idea “counterproductive and idiotic” because it undermines a compromise he worked out that would have funneled money from other state programs into the transportation budget.
Saslaw said the idea of taxing gasoline more heavily would allow the state to get money from out-of-state motorists and truckers who drive on the roads but do not pay local or state taxes. He said 40 percent of Virginia’s interstate traffic is made up of people who do not live in the state.
Outrageous. Just who do those bums think they are, driving on my roads? Oh, yeah, federal taxpayers.
“They want to take the money from the schools, the state police and higher ed to pay for it, all to avoid charging anyone from out of state,” Saslaw said of his colleagues who oppose higher gasoline taxes. “They want to live with that; that’s fine. But that’s not a solution.”
Actually, that is a solution, a great one. I’d love to live with that. And while we’re at it, we can cut even more money from “the schools, the state police, and higher ed” to give me a tax cut. That’s an even better solution.
According to Popular Science, Adama and Roslin’s plan to bring humanity to Earth may be flawed:
The South Korean government and Samsung Techwin recently debuted SGR-A1, a weaponized robot that autonomously tracks intruders up to about two and a half miles away with high-resolution and infrared cameras. Anyone who doesn’t give the robot’s voice-recognition system the correct secret code is identified as an enemy to a remote human operator, who directs the ’droid to unleash a warning, rubber bullets, tear gas or live rounds.
…South Korea has one of the world’s lowest birth rates and shares a border with one of the most feared military dictatorships. The government is pouring millions of dollars into the development of guard robots to ease manpower shortages along borders, coasts and terrorism targets, and expects the robot to enter service after 2008.
Tom posted this at 10:04 PM CDT on Monday, January 29th, 2007 as Toaster Update
The Palestinian who blew himself up in the Israeli resort of Eilat on Monday was unemployed, despondent over the death of his baby daughter and driven to avenge his best friend’s killing by Israeli troops, relatives said.
Dozens of neighbors celebrated outside 20-year-old Mohammed Siksik’s house after the fiery attack that killed him and three other people, waving his photo and praising him as a martyr. Inside, his mother greeted mourners with a smile.
“He told me: ‘Meeting God is better for me than this whole world,’” said Rowayda Siksik, wearing a white veil.
She said her son told her only that he was going to carry out an operation inside Israel. “He said, ‘Goodbye, I am going, mother. Forgive me.’ I told him, ‘God be with you.’”
Siksik never found steady work, getting by with occasional jobs with his father, installing tiles. “You can’t find work in this place,” his mother said. Her son lost his 7-month-old daughter to a nerve disease, she said.
A disturbing story (H/T) but it does have a potential bright spot:
Outside the house, Islamic Jihad and Fatah members argued heatedly over who would sponsor Siksik’s funeral. The two groups claimed to have jointly planned the attack.
Since they love death so much, perhaps someone will bomb the funeral. For that loathsome mother, perhaps the mother of all bombs?
One of the benefits of being left-wing is never having to say, “I’m tacky.” Protestors just sprayed graffiti on the Capitol:
Anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on part of the west front steps of the United States Capitol building after police were ordered to break their security line by their leadership, two sources told The Hill.
According to the sources, police officers were livid when they were told to fall back by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Phillip Morse and Deputy Chief Daniel Nichols. “They were the commanders on the scene,” one source said, who requested anonymity. “It was disgusting.”
New mayor Adrian Fenty’s first test: fire Morse and Nichols. You just don’t allow scum to defile the Capitol.
Approximately 300 protesters were allowed to take the steps and began to spray paint “anarchist symbols” and phrase such as “Our capitol building” and “you can’t stop us” around the area, the source said.
The last time something like this happened was the war of 1812. Disgraceful.
Dinesh D’Souza says in a Washington Post op-ed that “the reaction to my new book, ‘The Enemy at Home,’ has felt, well, a little hysterical,” a response that seems a predictable enough reaction to a hysterical book.
In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11. … In faulting the cultural left, I am not making the absurd accusation that this group blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world. The Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks were the product of this visceral rage—some of it based on legitimate concerns, some of it based on wrongful prejudice, but all of it fueled and encouraged by the cultural left. Thus without the cultural left, 9/11 would not have happened.
Apollo’s quip that D’Souza seems to have been “possessed by a Coultergeist” is more apt than anything original I can offer.
Let’s compare the above quote from the book with an excerpt from his Washington Post op-ed:
Why the onslaught? Just this: In my book, published this month, I argue that the American left bears a measure of responsibility for the volcano of anger from the Muslim world that produced the 9/11 attacks. President Jimmy Carter’s withdrawal of support for the shah of Iran, for example, helped Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime come to power in Iran, thus giving radical Islamists control of a major state; and President Bill Clinton’s failure to respond to Islamic attacks confirmed bin Laden’s perceptions of U.S. weakness and emboldened him to strike on 9/11. I also argue that the policies that U.S. “progressives” promote around the world — including abortion rights, contraception for teenagers and gay rights — are viewed as an assault on traditional values by many cultures, and have contributed to the blowback of Islamic rage.
It’s pretty good evidence for the falsity of an argument when its originator defends it by obscuring his original words. In the book, the cultural left is “responsible for causing 9/11.” Without them, “9/11 would not have happened.” In the op-ed, the left “bears a measure of responsibility for the volcano of anger from the Muslim world that produced the 9/11 attacks.” Those statements are strikingly different in substance and style.
Even the watered down, op-ed version of D’Souza’s argument is wrongheaded.
Contrary to President Bush’s view, they don’t hate us for our freedom, either. Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world’s people are violated.
The passage is intellectually dishonest because D’Souza cherry-picks the most controversial manifestations of Western liberalism — matters of controversy even within the United States — without noting that radical Muslims are as adamantly opposed to core Western practices like religious freedom, the separation of church and state, co-ed workplaces, bars and health clubs, etc.
Nor does he note that Western interference with radical Muslims abroad include efforts to halt such practices as the genital mutilation of young girls, the stoning to death of women who are raped, and even genocides against non-Muslims.
In short, the grain of truth to D’Souza’s argument — that radical Muslims hate us, and attack us, because we threaten the way of life they prefer — hardly proves his conclusion that they wouldn’t have attacked us but for the cultural left because the American mainstream, and even religious conservatives, hold views utterly incompatible with radical Islam.
D’Souza goes on to write:
What would motivate Muslims in faraway countries to volunteer for martyrdom? The fact that Palestinians don’t have a state? I don’t think so. It’s more likely that they would do it if they feared their values and way of life were threatened. Even as the cultural left accuses Bush of imperialism in invading Iraq, it deflects attention from its own cultural imperialism aimed at secularizing Muslim society and undermining its patriarchal and traditional values. The liberal “solution” to Islamic fundamentalism is itself a source of Islamic hostility to America.
Never mind that far more Muslim suicide bombers have died for the Palestinian cause than any other, or that Islamic fundamentalism predates what D’Souza terms “the liberal solution” to it.
Ultimately the weirdest thing about D’Souza’s argument — gleaned from his op-ed, since I haven’t slogged through the whole book — is that it ignores the fact that Islamic radicals aren’t just attacking the United States. How does D’Souza’s argument explain a commuter train bombing in Mumbai, or the Jordanian wedding reception blown apart by a suicide bomber, or the Bali nightclub where another suicide bomber wrought carnage?
Let’s hope his book is quickly consigned to the dust heap of history.
conor friedersdorf posted this at 1:28 AM CDT on Monday, January 29th, 2007 as Uncategorized
Here’s a disturbing video showing U.S soldiers watching as their Iraqi Army colleagues – Shia – brutally beat Sunni civilians to near-death, as U.S. soldiers hoop and holler in support. It shows what this president is now risking: that the U.S. will become a party to one side in a sectarian civil war. It is happening already. It must be stopped. However grim things are in Iraq, this president’s policy could make things far, far worse.
Our soldiers’ behavior in this film is clearly unacceptable — what’s the point of being there if not to intervene in situations like this? On the other hand, I think the Shia soldiers’ actions had as much to do with finding mortars in the “victim’s” car as with ethnic/religious tensions. The mortars are mentioned twice in the video; first by the American soldiers, then by the snarky narrator.
Either Andrew Sullivan is the worst researcher in the world, or he’s dishonest.
Peter Drucker once noted that men with great strengths invariably come with great weaknesses; he also noted that great weaknesses were no indication of hidden great strengths, as the most common type of human being was the universal incompetent. Newt Gingrich, a disciple of Drucker’s, spoke on the second day of the NR Conservative Summit. Gingrich may be as close as anyone in the 2008 race comes to being a candidate for all seasons, but great weaknesses still shadow him.
First, the strengths. Speaking at 8 a.m., he was full of energy, funny, and effective. He got (and deserved) a standing ovation. I didn’t spend the whole day at the conference—I left around lunch time and went home to lie down—so perhaps Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney were better speakers. I wouldn’t know. But I can give my thoughts on the Newtster.
Gingrich managed to cover a great deal of topics and tied them all to American traditions. Whether it was tax reform, freedom, national unity, or America’s place in the world, everything was tied to the idea that American conservatism focuses on individuals, families, and communities rather than government. It’s tough to take so many issues and connect them, but Gingrich did so, seemingly without effort. But anybody who’s ever tried to write or give a speech like that knows that it only comes about with tremendous work. Mark Twain once referred to this style of speaking as the “Counterfeit Impromptu,” meaning that although it looks like the speech was off the cuff, it was the work of a lifetime of thinking and revising and practice. Twain would have loved Gingrich that morning.
Despite all of Gingrich’s hard work, he’s still not perfect. One of Drucker’s other maxims seems to have been forgotten: first things first, second things not at all. When Gingrich wanted to sum up his speech, he mentioned three key points which rather quickly multiplied:
The first point was that we needed to talk to America differently. In three subpoints, one must firstly talk personally—how a policy would affect families and communities. One must secondly talk historically—how a policy would fit into American traditions and ideals. One must thirdly talk politically—how we’ll get a good policy through the political meatgrinder.
The second point had seven (count ‘em) subpoints. They were conveniently listed on a handout we all got:
There will be four-to-seven times as much new scientific knowledge in the next twenty-five years as in the last twenty-five
There is a customer market and values system which leads to dramatic change and innovation
Pragmatism changing things now to get things done is the classic American philosophy
There are systems of productivity that are very powerful such as the Toyota production system, Six Sigma, the quality principles of Deming and Juran, the management principles of Peter Drucker, and the concept of lean manufacturing
Historic American culture as exemplified by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin simply works: the work ethic, courage, individual initiative, responsibility, team work, energetic effort, saving and investing, recognizing and rewarding achievement, having high expectations.
Insist that everyone be included and that a “new birth of freedom” (in Lincoln’s words) extends to every American
You have a lot to contribute to your family, your life, and your community.
The third point was that we needed to do what it takes politically to win the war on terror. He referred to a speech he’d given that listed 18 points of what politicians needed to do. God help me, I’m searching his site, and I don’t know what those 18 points are.
Even Woodrow Wilson, the first (and last) Ph.D. elected president got by with 14 points, and Wilson’s contemporary Georges Clemenceau noted that “Even God did fine with 10.” Gingrich overflows with ideas; the moniker “a one man think tank” fits him, but one may overflow with ideas and still be ineffective. Worse, failing with otherwise good ideas could discredit them and lead us into the realm of bad ideas. Gingrich is unquestionably brilliant, but he’s also prone to doing too much at once, as this speech demonstrates. Gingrich could be a great president, but he needs to focus if he doesn’t want to go the route of Wilson, Carter, Nixon, or Clinton.
“Isn’t this cool?” asked Joe. “How many places could you get your picture taken with John Bolton?”
Joe was asking this as I was watching John Bolton get mobbed with right-wing dorks asking for pictures. Bolton handled it much better than I would have; the crowd got to me several times, and I excused myself to a convenient lounge to sit and think alone on several occasions during the evening.
I decided to attend the National Review Institute’s Conservative Summit because I wanted to immerse myself in the right. Reading blogs is all well and good, but there’s no substitute for hanging out in person with fellow dorks from time to time. The open bar didn’t hurt anything, either. What follows are my thoughts and impressions from the evening. Please bear in mind that I have no editor as I write this, and that, as National Review editor Rich Lowry noted: “We should, when discussing the state of conservatism, be tanked.”
[Note: All quotes are from my notes, and may not be quite accurate, as I lacked a tape recorder. So if I misquote anybody, he has my sincerest apologies. Although if I misquote any woman, she had it coming.]
David Frum gave a nice anecdote about former Secretary of State George Shultz. Every time the Senate confirmed a new ambassador, Shultz would take him or her to his office and show them a globe. He’d ask the ambassador to point out his or her country. Invariably, the ambassador would point to Uruguay or Morocco or wherever he was going; Shultz would then say, “No, THIS” pointing to the United States, “is your country.” Bolton never forgot who he represented—a rare ambassador.
John Bolton was charming and gracious. Much more so than I probably would have been had I been filibustered to death in the Senate. Bolton mentioned that he had three job offers one Summer: research assistant to Alexander Bickel, intern at National Review, and intern in the office of the vice president. He chose the third option; a few months later, Spiro Agnew resigned. Some people have the magic touch.
After Bolton’s speech, I slipped out to the lobby to collect my thoughts. I heard one young man excitedly chatting away on his cell phone, “Oh my God! I just talked to Laura Ingraham!”
O’Beirne continued, “The federal government is too big and does too much—like Rosie O’Donnell.”
Ingraham seemed pessimistic about Jim Webb’s successful populism defending the little guy, but Charen dryly noted: “It’s just one guy with testosterone. Everybody else in the party is Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Edwards.” Not a real man among them, I suppose. Throughout the evening, I was mildly surprised at these women’s praise of manliness. I half expected them to pull out pom-poms. While it’s better than feminist deprecation of men, it felt a bit overdone.
Ingraham: “I’m afraid that the Democrats are learning. Should we have the same Republican leadership after our clocks got cleaned? It feels like it’s 1996 again.”
Malkin: “The key Republican is still Bush.”
Ingraham: “Yes, but he’s gone in 2 years. The House leaders will still be there. I think everybody’s looking for the next Reagan.” This drew the largest applause of the night. “But he was out there, ignored, for decades. Who’s out in the wilderness right now?”
Malkin: “We need to ratchet down expectations. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” landing was wrong, a disaster, because we need to establish civil order.”
Ingraham agreed, but noted: “The administration does a bad job getting the names of heroes out. The president should be the teacher-in-chief. Tony Snow suggested on my show that soldiers upload videos to youtube.com; a listener wrote in ‘I’m in Iraq right now, and we’re kind of busy with other things right now.’” Bush definitely seems afraid to use the bully pulpit. It’s probably the best way for Republicans to get any kind of public support for their policies, as Ronald “The Great Communicator” Reagan and Richard “Speaker for the Silent Majority” Nixon demonstrated.
O’Beirne: “We don’t see dead terrorists [on the news]. We want the terrorists to lose hope. And we have a bipartisan group of senators saying that the soldiers’ job is hopeless. It’s a disgrace.”
Charen agreed: “We’re sending signals of weakness that are heard in Tehran and Beijing.”
My favorite punches of the night came when the ladies discussed what President Hillary Clinton’s cabinet would look like. Charen suggested that Sandy Berger could be Attorney General, but Ingraham said that maybe he could make the deficit disappear.
I met Jack Fowler, publisher of National Review. He’s also a neat guy, and he told me a bit about the writer who got me reading NR, Florence King. He defended her (not knowing, apparently, that she once wrote porn with titles like Moby’s Dick) and she’s been grateful ever since. Hence the dedication in Deja Reviews.
The best dressed people seemed to be the young intern types. They abounded around the tables sponsored by think tanks: Cato, AEI, Hudson, Heritage. I saw a table reserved for the Manhattan Institute, but they weren’t there. [Note: they arrived the next day.] I wondered why Rudy Giuliani’s in-house think tank wasn’t there; they apparently drove down and got a bit delayed, so they weren’t there on the first night.
Michelle Malkin hugs a lot of people. I sometimes got the impression that she breathes fire from her blog, but it appears she’s quite human. Thank God.
I met Paul Mirengoff. Smart guy. He mentioned feeling bad about not posting much; given that he posts about twice as often as I do (or so it seems) I think I know why Powerline shapes the agenda, and we Snarky Bastards are around for comic relief. Of course, there’s also the reason best explained in a paraphrase of Cole Porter: Anything I can do, he can do better.
Hubbard posted this at 1:36 PM CDT on Sunday, January 28th, 2007 as Nerdom, Politics
Sad news today, as President Bush said that he was the “decision-maker” regarding troop levels in Iraq. Sad because his previous assertion that he was “the decider” was, I thought, inspired. “Decision maker” is such a clunky phrase, yet in our bureaucratic world, it’s a phrase that we use more and more. Who’s the person who decides matters but doesn’t implement the decisions? “Decider” is a great word, to-the-point, concise, and perfectly clear in meaning. “Decision maker,” aside from being much longer and two words where one could do, is not as clear. Is it the person who decides the matter, or the person who phrases the decision so that the decider can decide? And it conflicts with the superior idiom, “faced with a decision.” If we can “face a decision,” that means a decision is an object, something that exists. That would mean that a “decision maker” is not one who decides, but one who creates the decision that faces us. “Decider” cleared this all up.
Bush’s boobishness aside, his continued use of the word “decider” would have helped the word stick around. I hope it still does (certainly I shall use it), but here, as in so many other ways, this president has shown potential only to let me down.