Sen. Warren on the Shutdown and Why Government Matters
Over at Nation of Change, Public Beats Private: Six Reasons Why.
People don’t understand just how much has been privatized and the terrible effect this has had on regular people.
Example, a town privatizes its trash collection service to “save money.” ALl the employees were making OK pay and benefits, they are laid off (“saves money”) and then rehired by the private company for minimum wage and no benefits. The people at the top of the private company pocket that “saved’ money. They provide crap service to the people in the town.
The grocery and clothing and other stores where the workers used to shop have fewer customers. The government is paying for food stamps and other low-income assistance, etc. EVERYONE is poorer.
But … the people at the top of the trash collection company are making a ton, so it’s good, right? So they are now financing the campaigns of (or justpaying off) the elected officials who gave them the contract.
Is America a great country, or what?
Thom Hartmann asks if the Koch Brothers are the New “Copper Kings?”
PS Also explains why we hear so much about the Keystone pipeline.
No more cuts – the public is fed up. Democrats won the shutdown fight. Republicans lost and the public-at-large hates them and their ideas. There is no reason for Democrats to play on their playing field. Here is a guiding message Democrats should use from here on out: Jobs help the economy. Cuts hurt the economy. Don’t even talk about any more cuts.
Jobs help the economy. Later this morning (8:30 a.m.) we will finally see the delayed September jobs report. Unless there is a miracle and there is a sudden very strong boost in job growth, it will show what previous reports have shown. It will underscore the folly of austerity policies and the urgency of government policies that create jobs.
Here are some things to keep in mind. Democrats won the election. Republicans lost the election. Even the House, Democrats got more votes. Yes, there are more Republicans in the House because of gerrymandering, but even in the House Democrats (like Al Gore in 2000) won the most votes. Democrats won, and Democrats should start understanding and believing that and acting like they won. They have a responsibility to the country to use their power to deliver what the public voted for.
What Public Wants
But wait, there’s more. Public opinion polls show that the public supports Democratic and progressive positions on almost every issue. So there is no reason for Democrats to play on the Republican playing field of cuts and cuts.
The public wants Social Security protected and even expanded. The last thing Democrats should be talking about is any kind of cut, especially since much of any future shortfall is caused by the way income gains increasingly go to the already-wealthy (whose earned income is well above the “cap” on taxes sent to the Social Security trust fund). I mean, income inequality causes the shortfall, so therefore the victims of that inequality are supposed to take the hit? Really? And with 74 percent opposing, would any politician with a brain even talk about “chained CPI?”
The public wants to get rid of tax incentives that companies get for sending jobs, factories and profit centers out of the country.
The public wants environmental protections, and something done about climate change.
The public wants equal wages for men and women doing the same work.
The public says the governemnt has a responsibility to “take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.”
The public supports the government ensuring that gays and lesbians are treated like everyone else under the law.
The public supports making it easier, not harder to vote.
The public supports a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.
There are so many more issues where the public solidly lines up with Progressive or at least Democratic positions. But in every instance the public has been and is being thwarted by the ongoing obstruction of Republican filibusters in the Senate and by House rules that prevent votes on bills that would be passed by majorities that include Democrats.
Talk About Jobs, Not Cuts
Regular people out in the country expect Democrats to go into the next round of budget negotiations and next year’s legislative sessions to get jobs and economic growth. Don’t even talk about cuts. Don’t even talk about cuts. Don’t even talk about cuts. No one is going to understand why Democrats would even talk about more cuts, when the country needs to get out of the recession. (If 95 percent of all gains since the “recovery” started go to the top few percent of wealthy, it is fair to say that the rest of the country is still in a recession, right?)
So the public is fed up. The economy is suffering from previous rounds of budget cuts and especially from the “sequester.” It is time to get the economy moving, instead of cuts taking money out of the economy.
Here is what people want: Jobs. Infrastructure. Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. City transit. Environmental protection. Bank regulations. Jobs. Stop the incentives to move jobs and profit centers out of the country. Fund the Post Office. Rebuild our cities. High-speed rail. Wind and solar energy. Jobs. This list could go on for a very long time. Jobs.
There is a miscalculation at the core of Democratic strategies for ending the shutdown and avoiding default. Democrats keep saying, “They wouldn’t really do that.” But this calculation doesn’t “get it” about who and what the country is dealing with.
Here is the miscalculation: If you listen to right-wing radio, watch FOX News and read their online media and take it seriously (because they do) then you would know that many on the right don’t want to live in a country that has Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, the minimum wage, Food Stamps, immigration, public schools, infant nutrition programs and the rest of the things government does to make our lives better. And they don’t want anyone else to live in a country that has those things, either.
They are willing to destroy the village to keep the village from having those things. If you don’t “get that” before entering into negotiations, you’re at risk of making a terrible mistake — like the sequester.
Remember what led to the sequester? There was a fundamental miscalculation that led to these terrible economy-killing cuts taking effect. White House negotiators believed the sequester cuts were so terrible and stupid that Republicans wouldn’t really let that happen. So they offered these cuts as an inducement — a worst alternative — to coming to an agreement about taxes and cuts. (Never mind the mistake that any deficit reduction at all right now is economy-killing.) The idea was that the sequester cuts are so terrible and have such a disastrous effect on the country and economy — and people — that “they wouldn’t really do that.”
But they did that. Now many Republicans are celebrating the sequester cuts, calling the sequester an accomplishment. They are celebrating the damage that they have caused to our government.
If you “got it” about who they are then you knew that of course they would do that. Offering the terrible sequester cuts because they were so terrible and stupid that “they wouldn’t really do that” was a fundamental miscalculation of how terrible and stupid — and destructive — their insular ideology has become. It was based on a fundamental misunderestimation of who they are.
Misunderestimating Who They Are
Are enough Democrats listening to right-wing radio, watching FOX, reading the right’s online media? Are they taking what they see and hear seriously? We listen to Rush Limbaugh and laugh. But they listen to Rush Limbaugh and believe.
Are Democrats and the President making a fundamental miscalculation by assuming the right-wingers of the Republican Party don’t want the country to default, and the terrible economic destruction that would bring? A strategy based on the idea that movement conservatives will yield rather than do that much harm to the country and economy and people, like the sequester strategy, is a fundamental miscalculation, fundamentally misunderestimating who they are: They do want things to be that bad!
Don’t Give In
The strategy of offering terrible and stupid cuts to an opposition that is bent on destruction only led to terrible and stupid cuts becoming the ongoing baseline, with them celebrating the sequester as a victory. Trying to scare and shame them with the terrible specter of the destruction from default could be offering them just what they want.
I am certainly not saying here that Democrats should give in to avoid the destruction Republicans are willing to cause. Giving in — or miscalculating and accidentally handing them what they want (like the sequester) — means they will just escalate the destruction — as they have done each time. That has been their game and will be their game. It’s just time to realize this and change strategies.
It is late in the game, much harm has been done, much harm is being done, but it is time for a shift from “get along” strategies to reach “bipartisan compromise” to instead realizing this crowd fundamentally opposes and seeks to dismantle the very things that most of us treasure about our country.
Remember how Republicans “won” the 2000 election? Remember how they tricked the country into going to war in Iraq? They used non-democratic means to get what they couldn’t get legitimately, and it worked, so they did it more. They got used to getting their way using bullying, so they did it more. Now it’s flat-out hostage-taking. And they’re doing it more.
Again and again, Republicans take a hostage and demand something they could not get through elections or the legitimate constitutional legislative process. The hostages over the last few years have included (but are not limited to) unemployment benefits, the Federal Aviation Administration, the “fiscal cliff,” disaster relief, government funding, even the debt ceiling. Manufactured crisis after manufactured crisis…
Again and again, they take a hostage and demand they get their way. Never mind election results, House and Senate majorities, and especially never mind the will of the people.
And then they have the nerve to mock democracy, saying, “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya?”
The Ongoing Obstruction And Today’s Hostage-Taking Are The Same Game
Here is something to recognize as part of what is happening today. They have also used obstruction to take hostage the power of We the People to legislate. They have used the filibuster in the Senate and the “Hastert Rule” in the House to obstruct almost everything We the People tried to do to make our lives better in the last several years.
They have blocked bills to hire millions to fix the infrastructure. They blocked bills to remove the incentive to move jobs out of the country. They blocked further stimulus to get the economy going. They blocked efforts to fix immigration laws. They blocked the “public option.” They blocked nominees and judges. They have blocked … everything.
This obstruction is part and parcel of what we are experiencing with this shutdown and the threats to force the country to default. It is about getting what they want but can’t win in elections or through legitimate legislative means.
It Will Not Stop Here If They Win
They continue these tactics because it is getting them what they – and the billionaires and giant corporations who fund them – want. They do it because it works. And then they do it again, because it worked.
Here’s the thing about this budget “standoff.” If Democrats or President Obama give in again, Social Security and Medicare will certainly be targets, sooner than later. What else?
Things Republicans hate:
- #1 of all time: Social Security.
- #2 of all time: Medicare.
- Public schools.
- Environmental Protection.
- The Food and Drug Administration.
- The minimum wage.
- The eight-hour workday and the 40-hour workweek.
- Unions and the National Labor Relations Board – the right of workers to organize.
- The 47% of Americans who they say are “takers” and “moochers.”
- Anything other than fossil fuels to provide energy.
This is not a complete list. Think of things Republicans hate, and then try to picture them not using hostage-taking to dismantle whatever you are thinking of.
Constitutional Crisis: Self-Government Under Attack
It has to stop.
This is a constitutional crisis – as in Republicans have thrown out the idea of following the Constitution, democracy and law, recognizing only power. Republicans have one power that We the People have not yet managed to take away from them: the power to destroy. And they’re using that power to get what they want for the billionaires and giant corporations who fund them.
If we are going to maintain the idea of government by We the People, using elections and the legislative process and everything else the country is supposed to be about, we can’t let them win again. If they win again, they’ll just escalate.
March 31, 2011 Budget Fight: Why Are Republicans Forcing a Shutdown?
Sept. 23, 2011 ANOTHER Hostage-Taking Threat To Shut Down Government,
Just weeks after the “debt-ceiling” hostage-taking, forcing trillions to be cut out of the economy, the hostage-takers are at it again. Now they are threatening a government shutdown, demanding even more cuts in the “continuing resolution” that keeps the government operating. This time they even want to cut the disaster-relief spending that helps people hit by wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Sept 26, 2011 Shutdown and Hostage-Taking — It Is NOT Both Sides Doing It.
Dec. 15, 2011 Republican Hostage-Taking Threat Again Guess Who Benefits,
Once again, Republicans are holding government hostage, trying to force through unpopular cuts to the things We, the People — “the 99%” — do for each other and our economy, while giving handouts to the 1% who pay for their campaign ads and smears. Once again they are threatening to just shut down the whole government if they don’t get their way. This time the hostage is unemployment benefits for 2 million people and the payroll tax cut that is the only stimulus left to keep the economy going. Here’s the thing, they say they want “cuts” but what they are really doing is shifting costs from the 1% on to the rest of us.
The “fiscal cliff’ was the result of the last debt-ceiling hostage-taking and threats and lies, which was enabled by earlier capitulation to hostage-taking and threats and lies, which was enabled by earlier capitulation to hostage-taking and threats and lies, which was enabled by earlier capitulation to hostage-taking and threats and lies…
It finally came time for Republicans to put up or shut up. Instead they’re shutting down.
Never mind Obamacare; that’s just a mask for a huge Republican failure to govern. If you want to understand how we got to the point of a government shutdown, ask any Republican exactly what they would cut from the budget, and ask them to give actual dollar amounts of how much money that would “save.”
The current shutdown fight is over passing a “continuing resolution” (CR). Do you know what a continuing resolution is? It is what Congress uses when they haven’t passed an actual budget. It is a resolution to continue operating the government at existing spending levels, under existing policies.
And why hasn’t the Congress passed a budget? I’m glad you asked me that question.
Republican Budget Lies
Under President Reagan, Republicans cut taxes on the rich, and when huge deficits resulted (as intended), they said, “We have a spending problem, and we have to cut government.”
Ever since then, the propaganda has been flowing, 24/7/365: government spends too much, is too big, waste-fraud-and-abuse, is bankrupting us, etc. But they never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever will tell you what they would cut and by how much. Ever.
If pressed, they’ll say “cut foreign aid.”
Again, Republicans will always, always, always tell people that government spending needs to be cut. And Republicans will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever tell people exactly what they would cut, and by how much.
Because they understand that if people knew what they are really talking about cutting, no one would ever vote for another Republican again.
The Magic Asterisk
THIS year, however, it finally, finally came to be “put up or shut up” time. The Republicans in the House had to actually pass a budget that said what and how much they would cut. Instead, however, they didn’t put up and are shutting down.
You might remember that Republicans passed something called the “Ryan budget.” This was a budget outline that dramatically cut the federal budget, but without specifics. Economist Paul Krugman wrote repeatedly about the Ryan plan, explaining how it relied on a “magic asterisk.” This is an asterisk they insert, and below they write that specific cuts will be named later.
For example, Krugman, in “Big Fiscal Phonies,” writes:
…once you strip out Mr. Ryan’s “magic asterisks” — claims that he will somehow increase revenues and cut spending in ways that he refuses to specify — what you’re left with are plans that would increase, not reduce, federal debt.
Later, Krugman wrote in “What’s In The Ryan Plan?“:
Yet Ryan claims a big deficit reduction, via two big “magic asterisks”. First, he insists that the tax cuts won’t reduce revenue, because they’ll be offset with unspecified “base-broadening”. [. . .] Second, there are large assumed cuts in discretionary spending relative to current policy. [. . .] all of the alleged deficit reduction comes from revenue and spending numbers that are simply asserted, not the result of any policies actually described in the “plan”. [. . .] All the claims of major deficit reduction therefore rest on the magic asterisks. In that sense, this isn’t even a plan, it’s just a set of assertions.
Put Up Or Shut Up Time
This Republican budget outline was then sent to the various House committees and they were charged with coming up with specific cuts. It was finally put up or shut up time.
So what happened?
In “Republicans Choose (More) Vacation Over Governing,” I wrote about what happened in one instance of a committee having to specify what to cut and by how much.
This week was put up or shut up time for Republicans. After decades demanding unspecified budget cuts they finally had to put their vote where their budget outline was. So what did they do? They are taking a 40th vote on repealing Obamacare and then heading home for five weeks vacation. This is who they are.
The House Republican leadership withdrew its own THUD bill – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development – because the cuts in the bill were just too much for members to stomach. They had to vote to put actual numbers on their eternal promises to cut, cut, cut, and they couldn’t even stomach it themselves.
What about Tuesday’s shutdown? I wrote at the time, “When they return in the fall it looks like they will try to divert attention from their failure to come up with specific cuts by passing something that Democrats cannot accept and the President will veto, then shut the government down and try to blame Democrats.”
And here we are.
It was put up or shut up time, and they instead decided to shut down. Obamacare is just a mask for what is happening here.
In a democracy, isn’t the definition of “government spending” the things that We the People decide to do that make our lives better?
Conservatives say government makes us “dependent” and not “self-reliant.” Does bringing water to our houses make us “dependent” and less self-reliant on going down to the stream with a couple of buckets, or does it just make our lives better? Does a police force and courts make us “dependent” on not carrying a sword and a big club around with us, or does it just make our lives better?
Let’s say it’s the 1970s and you’re a foreign power of one sort or another – Soviet Union, China, Arab oil interests, secret cabal of billionaires, whatever – and you want to dominate the world. But the US is in your way…
Let’s say you do a comprehensive analysis of all the things that make the US a world power (for better or worse). Let’s say you develop a plan to infiltrate, undermine, weaken, fracture and ultimately dismantle each the institutions that made America so strong.
Looking back today, can anyone offer anything that could have been more effective at accomplishing this plan than funding America’s conservative movement?
OK, wait. A private company does background checks instead of government employees?
While our government is laying off hundreds and hundreds of thousands and cutting services in the name of cutting deficits, a new report exposes that taxpayers are handing more than $1 trillion a year to the wealthiest.
DC Focused On Deficits Not Jobs
Instead of focusing on jobs, Congress and the White House obsess on how to cut the budget -– the things We the People do to make our lives and economy better. While the “sequester” has already cost 900,000 jobs — 1.6 million thru 2014 — Republicans are threatening to shut down the government and force the country to default on its debt as leverage to force even more cuts.
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has repeatedly said the country is “broke.” For example, “We’re broke, broke going on bankrupt,” Boehner said Feb. 28, 2011. Here he is saying it on Dec. 11, 2012, “Let’s be honest. We’re broke.”
So we have to cut and cut and cut, even though the cuts are costing millions of jobs and damaging the economy and the prospects for our country and peoples’ future, because supposedly “we’re broke.”
New Report: More Than $1 Trillion Per Year Handed To Wealthiest
But a report out today from the National Priorities Project (NPP) shows that the country is handing more than $1 trillion to the already-wealthy.
That’s right, the government is cutting services and laying off hundreds upon hundreds of thousands in the name of cutting deficits, while handing more than $1 trillion a year to the wealthiest. The rest of us pay taxes and suffer cuts in jobs and services to make up this lost money.
According to the report, lots of 1%ers will pay no taxes at all this year, while the country cuts jobs and services in the name of cutting the deficit.
“Ten major tax breaks that together total more than $750 billion in tax savings in 2013 are tilted heavily in favor of the top income earners; according to the Congressional Budget Office, 17% of the benefits from these major tax breaks go to the top 1% of households. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, nearly 1.2 million taxpayers in the top 1% will owe no income tax at all in 2013, thanks in large part to tax breaks that help them reduce their tax liability down to zero.”
Two of the key findings in the report tell the story:
- Corporate tax breaks will total $108 billion in FY2013 – more than 1.5 times what the U.S. government spends on education funding. Between 2007 and 2013, the revenue lost from U.S. corporations deferring taxes on income earned abroad rose 200%, going from $14 billion to $42 billion.
- All tax breaks for individuals will exceed $1 trillion this year, with about 17% of the biggest individual tax breaks going to the top 1% of earners. In fact, many individual tax breaks disproportionately benefit wealthy households.
The country’s budget shortfall is not from “entitlements” (things We the People are entitled to as citizens in a prosperous democracy) and “government spending” (the things We the People do to make our lives and economy better). The deficit is down to $640 billion while $1 trillion in tax breaks goes to the 1%. (Actually mostly the 1% of the 1%.)
Deficit Talk Is A Rigged Discussion
So why is the country terrified that budget deficits are going to eat us alive? Why don’t people know that the deficit is already down more than 50% from the levels Bush left behind and is falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II? Why are Republicans able to get away threatening to shut the government and force the country into default in their drive to cut spending on the things that make our lives better?
The reason is that there is a massively-funded PR campaign underway to convince people of these things. Fix The Debt, for example, has pumped at least $60 million into a PR campaign to convince people that we have a deficit emergency and must therefore cut back on the things government does. Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson has pledged $1 billion toward the same end. These are just two sources of the massively-funded campaign to convince people that the government should be cut back, instead of hiring people to fix the infrastructure, instead of having universal health care, etc.
And those are just two examples. How many headlines like these has the public seen? Budget deficit reaching point of no return, 20 Must-See Charts On America’s Disastrous Level Of Government Spending, Budget, Deficit, Debt Disaster, Deficits Must Be Curbed or It’s Disaster For Economy: Study and on and on and on.
And now we learn that the government is handing more than $1 trillion to the 1% and their corporations, while the deficit in only $640 billion and falling.
A Corruption Spiral
We are witnessing here a corruption spiral. This is big money using money to influence the government to give them even more money. And they then use that more money to influence the government even more to give them even more more money. And they then use that more money to influence the government even more more to give them even more more more money. And they then use that more more money to influence the government even more more more to give them even more more more more money. And then …
What Can We Do About This?
This is about the powerful predatory pigs feeding at the trough and taking it out on the weak. It has to stop.
How do we stop the corruption spiral that is eating our economy, our jobs and the things We the People do to make our lives better? We must get the money out of politics — and out of the national discussion. Money is not “speech.” In a democracy each person having an equal say is “speech.”
Corporate money is supposed to be used to run the corporation, period. Corporations use their money to drive the purposes of the corporation. So corporations by definition cannot use their money without the expectation of getting something in return. Even the use of corporate money to fund a Little League team is for the purpose of advertising and “brand development.” So giving money to a politician is done with the expectation of getting a tax break, a contract, a patent or some other form of advantage over competitors or otherwise increasing its profits. According to the law giving anything of value to any public official with the intent of influencing that official is bribery. It is not speech to give money to a politician, it is bribery. It is corruption.
By the same token, corporations giving their money to lobbying operations is done with the same intent. It is done to influence politicians or use front groups to drive support to politicians (a thing of value) to get them to do something that financially rewards that corporation.
And of course those with the most money are able to have the most influence. Which brings them more money. Which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence. This increased influence brings them more money, which brings them more influence.
Again, a corruption spiral that eats our economy, jobs and democracy.
Corporate money must be banned from politics or otherwise influencing policy. Corporate money should be used to operate the corporation, period.
So how do we stop the influence of the billionaires? We just learned that the Koch brothers ran a group that pumped almost a quarter of a billion dollars into the last election (that we know of). Aside from that, according to the Sunlight Foundation, the 1% of the 1% funded a huge share of the election all by themselves.
The answer here is of course limiting the amounts individuals can put into campaigns and banning efforts to influence elections outside of campaigns themselves. This includes a complete crackdown on the use of special-tax-status organizations in election activities, front groups, etc.
These steps will at least be a start, and will give democracy a bit of breathing room. Then We the People might be able to figure out where to go from there.
Martin Luther King Jr. outlined his dream 50 years ago this weekend. We made much of it happen. Let’s dream some more. Let’s dream about what we could do in the next 50 years.
Fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and famously told the country “I have a dream.” Fifty years later there is progress and there are setbacks. We no longer have segregation — separate schools and bathrooms and the rest. Many states finally allow everyone to marry the person they love, but at the same time many states are returning to apartheid-era restrictions of voting rights.
One huge part of the “Jobs and Freedom” Dream that still evades us is the goal of full employment or an income until a job becomes available.
On August 16, 1967 King delivered a speech titled, “Where Do We Go From Here?” addressing the need for everyone to have a job or an income,
…our emphasis must be twofold: We must create full employment, or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available. In 1879 Henry George anticipated this state of affairs when he wrote in Progress and Poverty:
The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves driven to their tasks either by the, that of a taskmaster or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who somehow find a form of work that brings a security for its own sake and a state of society where want is abolished.
A Country Based On A Dream
Our country was founded on the dream that We the People can do things for each other instead of depending on the rich and powerful to throw us scraps.
If you look at our Constitution you see that our country is supposed to be for We the People. And I mean just look at it, not read it. The only words you see from any distance are the words “We the People.” The Founders were making a point.
The Constitution told the world about a dream that “We the People” would build a country that protects and empowers us, where together we do things for the common good, to make our lives better. And for a while we did that.
We have lost sight of that dream. We no longer seem to recognize who our country is for. We no longer talk about the common good.
Who is our country for? Who is our economy for? Certainly a We the People economy would at the very least guarantee that We the People have jobs and an income until a job is available.
The parents of the Republican Party are away for the summer and the Tea-nagers are ransacking the House. But is it really a surprise that people who hate government itself would act to destroy government itself?
Shut The Government Vs. Global Meltdown
There are more and more indications that Republicans might either shut down the government or “breach” the debt ceiling when they return to DC from the summer recess. Bill Scher’s Republicans Flinch Again, captures the essence of what this means,
A government shutdown would dent the American economy, inconvenience millions and generally make Republicans look like children. But preventing the government from paying its bills would wreck the full faith and credit of the government and spark a global economic meltdown.
Terrifying Scenario Developing
If you read this morning’s Progressive Breakfast (and you always should), you see a terrifying scenario emerging in DC. The Tea Party is working itself up into a full destruction tantrum, and it is hard to see a way around it. Remember that they left town for the summer after refusing to pass the “THUD” bill. This was the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill that tried to line up with the Republican-mandated “Ryan Budget” spending cuts that drastically reduces the things government does to help make We the People’s lives better — also called “government spending.” The cuts were too much for some Republicans to swallow, and not enough for others. So they gave up and went home without doing anything at all. (And of course they never took up a jobs bill at all.)
Now they are getting ready to return, and the early indications are that there will be more of the same. There will be no governing in the House, just more of the same: posturing and destroying,
“Flirting With A Fail”
Politico, Eve of Destruction, “Republicans are in jeopardy of convincing voters they simply cannot govern.”
Republicans are all flirting with a fall that could see influential party voices threatening to default on the debt or shut down the government — and therefore ending all hopes of proving they are not insane when it comes to governance.
The NY Times digs a bit deeper into the problems, in Puzzle Awaits the Capital: How to Solve 3 Fiscal Rifts,
On the endgame for the budget showdown looming in Washington this fall, only this is clear: President Obama thinks Republicans cannot risk another debt crisis or government shutdown, and Republican leaders agree.
[. . .] Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has reiterated that Republicans will not raise the debt limit without offsetting spending cuts. … But Mr. Obama, burned by the downgrade of the United States debt rating after those 2011 negotiations, insists he will not negotiate on the issue this time.
Meanwhile the Republican “base” is demanding a shutdown over Obamacare. Erick Erickson at Redstate today,
Stay focused. Show up and confront your Congressman. Tell him if he votes to fund Obamacare, he cannot really say he is fighting against it.
Heritage Foundation has a campaign to shut the government over Obamacare. They are pushing the idea that a shutdown “won’t hurt” the Republicans (with no mention of, or concern over, the millions of Americans who will be hurt).
So here it comes people. In a short time we find out whether the Republicans are going to close the government they hate or destroy the “full faith and credit” of the United States, which would destroy the government they have along with the economy of the world.