For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status…
Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.
Indeed, slashing spending while the economy is depressed won’t even help the budget situation much, and might well make it worse. On one side, interest rates on federal borrowing are currently very low, so spending cuts now will do little to reduce future interest costs. On the other side, making the economy weaker now will also hurt its long-run prospects, which will in turn reduce future revenue. So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.
And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. Republicans will supposedly have an incentive to make concessions the next time around, because defense spending will be among the areas cut. But the G.O.P. has just demonstrated its willingness to risk financial collapse unless it gets everything its most extreme members want. Why expect it to be more reasonable in the next round?
In fact, Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.
Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.
First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.
And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options. In ordinary circumstances, this might have been an extreme step. But faced with the reality of what is happening, namely raw extortion on the part of a party that, after all, only controls one house of Congress, it would have been totally justifiable.
Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.
And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.
In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.
This goes to the heart of the stand-off. Although the ultra-conservatives are not in control of the White House and the Senate, they feel they have the political wind at their back. Why compromise when they can get all they want – no increase to the debt limit and the entire pain being taken by swingeing cuts to federal spending? Which is why President Obama and Democrat Senate leader, Harry Reid, have given so much ground. The Democrats’ latest plan for deficit reduction contains virtually no tax increases, despite Obama’s insistence it is a balanced package with the rich and corporate America taking some of the burden. But it does require that the issue be taken off the table until after next year’s elections. …
All the US’s great advances – in the internet, computers, aerospace, space, the internal combustion engine, drugs, optics – have had the federal government as their sponsor. A well-designed social security system offers people security while not removing their incentive to work; well-judged federal spending on innovation boosts the economy; a banking system needs federal deposit insurance and a central bank as a lender of last resort when banks are distressed.
But in the land inhabited by Michele Bachmann, these propositions are false; they undermine US self-reliance and individualism and obstruct America’s road back to greatness.
Just to reinterate: We’re pretty much laughingstocks right now. The rest of the globe cannot comprehend how we’d let this happen.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), quoted by Roll Call, describing the debt ceiling deal negotiated between the White House and Republicans.
And why would it be described as such? Roll Call has the details:
The deal framework appeared to give Republicans most of what they were seeking — with about $3 trillion in guaranteed spending cuts but no tax increases, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.
In return, Obama gets to avoid another debt ceiling battle before voters head to polls in November 2012, and he will be able to argue that he was willing to compromise to help save the country from a default crisis.
But first, the president and Democratic leaders could face a backlash from liberals angry that they appear to have agreed to a revenue-free debt ceiling bill that includes a “trigger” only for automatic cuts in defense, Medicare and other programs if a second deficit reduction package isn’t enacted by the end of this year.
"This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it," ripped Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want.”
The White House tried to tamp down the liberal unrest by making it clear that Obama still wants revenue in a final deficit reduction package later this year. National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said on CNN that Obama would still insist on a balanced package that includes tax reform, and he noted that the president still does not support anything that would cut benefits for seniors without asking the wealthy to sacrifice as well. But there is no guarantee that Republicans will give an inch on revenues.
I predict they’ll hold the First Family’s dog hostage to avoid tax reform. Yet again, we’ve been sold out by a president who’s slightly to the right of Richard Nixon. But it’s not 100% his fault. The Tea Party caucus whined and threw tantrums until we are literally facing global financial collapse from a purely self-inflicted crisis. Obama should have sent them to their rooms and invoked the 14th Amendment. Instead, he’s reinforced their bad behavior.
Anyone who claims we don’t have class warfare in this country is either naïve or winning.
Conservative German Die Welt: “[T]here are few signs of self-doubt or self-awareness in the U.S. … [The Tea Party movement] sees the other side as their enemy. Negotiations with the Democrats, whether it’s about appointing a judge or the insolvency of the United States, are only successful if the enemy is defeated. Compromise, they feel, is a sign of weakness and cowardice.”
The German mass-circulation Bild: “What America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics and the whole world is being held hostage… Most importantly, the Republicans have turned a dispute over a technicality into a religious war, which no longer has any relation to a reasonable dispute between the elected government and the opposition.”
French newspaper Le Monde: ”The American politicians supposed to lead the most powerful nation in the world are becoming a laughing stock.”
Chinese state-owned newspaper Xinhua: “Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinksmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible.”
The 'requirements' in that message I sent you were for college students to accept food stamps where I live. I should have been clearer on that.
But as far as that anon's comment is concerned, I would rather live in a world where a few people cheat a well-intentioned system than live in a world where there is no system to help the people who actually need it, because I am not an asshole.
Ah okay, I thought that might be the case. As for the rest of your comment…
That’s my thought. No system will ever be perfect, but to twist a cliché, one or two bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch.
Yes, the federal debt has grown by nearly $3 trillion dollars in the past three years. And yes, the dollar amount of that debt is quite large (in excess of $14 trillion and headed toward $15 trillion should the ceiling be raised). But large numbers are not the problem. The U.S. has a large economy (slightly larger than that debt number). And, crucially, we have very low interest rates.
Because of those low rates, the amount the U.S. government pays to service its debt is, relative to the size of the economy, less than it was paying throughout the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s and for most of the last decade. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that net interest on the debt (which is what the government pays to service it) would be $225 billion for fiscal year 2011. The latest figures put that a bit higher, so let’s call it $250 billion. That’s about 1.6% of American output, which is lower than at any point since the 1970s – except for 2003 through 2005, when it was closer to 1.4%.
Under Ronald Reagan, the first George Bush, and Bill Clinton, payments on federal debt often got above 3% of GDP. Under Bush the second, payments were about where they are now. Yet suddenly, we are in a near collective hysteria.
I am acquaintances with citizens who do not work, but receive food stamps.
People do rip off the system.
Not all, of course.
But some people do, and we need to accept that.
So would you rather they starve? 1 in 7 Americans currently receive food stamps. Not working does not disqualify one from food stamp benefits.
And these benefits stimulate the economy:
Every dollar spent on food stamp benefits generates $1.73 back into the economy. Moody’s has more:
Income support has been part of the federal response to most recessions, and for good reason: It is the most efficient way to prime the economy’s pump… People who receive these benefits are hard pressed and will spend any financial aid they receive very quickly. Another advantage is that these programs are already operating and can quickly deliver a benefit increase to recipients. The virtue of extending UI benefits goes beyond simply providing aid for the jobless to more broadly shoring up household confidence. Nothing is more psychologically debilitating, even to those still employed, than watching unemployed friends and relatives lose their sources of support. Increasing food stamp benefits has the added virtue of helping people ineligible for UI such as part-time workers.
With a real unemployment rate hovering near 20%, I’d say it’s quite unfair to judge those who are out of work for accepting meager government benefits to feed themselves. Plus, it’s very difficult to get on food stamps, especially if you cannot document every penny you receive.
Fraud happens, I’m sure. But I’m also sure that occasional instances of fraud should stop people from receiving benefits. Even if your friends are the worst stereotype conservatives champion, those lazy bastards coasting on government benefits, I’d rather pay taxes for them to eat than to have one penny go to support the real freeloaders - GE, Bank of America, etc…
The framework of a tentative deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling calls for up to $2.8 trillion in total deficit reduction over the next decade, two sources familiar with the negotiations told CNN late Saturday night.
The agreement, still being negotiated by the White House and bipartisan congressional leaders, would allow the debt ceiling to be raised by enough to last at least through the end of 2012.
The debt limit would be increased in two stages, both of which would occur automatically — a key Democratic demand that would prevent a repeat of the current crisis before the next election.
The agreement includes upfront spending cuts in the range of roughly $1 trillion, the sources said. A special congressional committee would recommend additional spending reductions of up to $1.8 trillion no later than Thanksgiving. If Congress failed to approve the recommended cuts by late December, automatic, across-the-board cuts - including both defense and Medicare - would take effect.
And why can’t we just pass a stand alone bill to raise the debt ceiling? One of my friends said it well: “Whether or not it is a spending problem or a revenue problem is not relevant to the question of what to do about it now. It doesn’t matter what we had for dinner, the check is here.”
“For the anti-choice, I believe the heart of the abortion controversy is not about the fate of unborn babies. It’s about the value of women in society. In North America, for example, many anti-abortion leaders oppose ideas and programs that could help women achieve equality and freedom, and protect the health and well-being of families. For instance, they oppose affirmative action programs that help women gain equity in the job market. They force poor women to have babies and then cut off their welfare. They lobby against health and nutrition programs for children. They condone the bombing of clinics providing reproductive services, and the killing of doctors and staff.
These uncivilized actions reveal the true nature of anti-choice goals. They want a return to the days when women had few choices in life. They don’t like women having too much freedom, especially in controlling their reproductive lives. They’re convinced that women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions. And they certainly don’t like women having sex for fun without paying for it.”—Joyce Arthur, summing up the anti-choice movement well.
Not only that, to get food stamps you have to be enrolled full time and work 20 hours a week without getting over a certain amount of income, so for them to act like it's a handout to people who don't do shit with their lives is, no surprise, more bullshit.
Right? It’s a leftover from the 1980s “welfare queen” stereotype. It varies from state to state, but overall, you must be in fairly dire need to get any kind of benefits.
Another disturbing act of violence was committed at a family planning clinic when someone threw an ignited container of diesel fuel at the Planned Parenthood in McKinney, Texas late [Tuesday] night
Holly Morgan, director of media relations and communications for Planned Parenthood in Dallas, says:
"We have not had this kind of violence at any of the other locations in the past. I believe we’ve had some vandalism in the past but that was a decade or so ago. We have never had any kind of attack to this degree."
While attacking any health clinic is disgusting, the crime was particularly senseless because the McKinney clinic doesn’t perform abortions.
"The states are not free, under the guise of protecting maternal health or potential life, to intimidate women into continuing pregnancies." - Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973
Domestic terrorists must not be allowed to intimidate women either.
“So you can go to college on Pell Grants — maybe I should not be telling anybody this because it’s turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century. You can go to school, collect your Pell Grants, get food stamps, low-income energy assistance, Section 8 housing, and all of a sudden we find ourselves subsidizing people that don’t have to graduate from college.”—
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) voicing his opposition to subsidizing higher education back in April. And sure enough, Tea Partiers are attempting to cut Pell Grants.
I could fully rebut this, discuss how hard it is to get Section 8 housing - virtually impossible without dependents. I could point out that Pell Grants are disbursed to the university first, and the student does not receive anything if tuition is not paid in full. I receive the Pell Grant. It’s $2,750 a semester, $5,500 a year. This does not go far. I could go into more details, but I’m tired of this shit. This guy’s net worth makes him the 14th richest member of the US House, though he thinks he’s “cash-poor” and “struggling like everyone else.”
Here’s my message to those people like Rep. Rehberg, who think it’s perfectly acceptable to make it even harder to go to college:
In this installment of Cognitive Dissonance, Meg rails against the debt ceiling debacle, derides the war on the poor, and explains how we may all be screwed by the Tea Party’s insistence on holding the global economy hostage to their temper tantrums. She also shares tweets from folks around the country encompassing their views on what’s going on with Congress in 140 characters or less.
Dammit Troy stops by to troll Meg and discuss the virtues of llamas, plus Glenn Beck’s political re-education/summer youth camp; Will returns from Prague and gives his take on welfare queen Michele Bachmann; and Meg tops it off with an epic amount of D-bags o’ the Week. Angry Malcontent will return in a week or so - he was at the beach. Lucky bastard.
All music remains copyright the original artist.
“The Internationale” - Billy Bragg
“Hang ‘Em High” - Dropkick Murphys
“Nothing’s Going to Happen” - Elf Power
“American Dream” - Cletus Got Shot
“I Might” - Wilco
“We Can’t Make It Here” - James McMurtry
“Little Prince” - Andrew Jackson Jihad
“What We Had” - Handsome Furs
“Which Side Are You On?” - Tom Morello/The Nightwatchman
“Gratitude and Thanks” - Mischief Brew
“Stupid’s Pledge” - Utah Phillips
“Politician” - Smalltown
“God Damn Shame” - Ike Reilly
“Unless You Are Free” - Utah Phillips
“New Revolution” - The Killigans
“Thatcherites” - Billy Bragg
“Talk-Action=Shit” - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
“Rawhide” - Dead Kennedys
“Dead Man’s Curve” - Black Francis
“Every Last One” - Common Market
“Everyday Normal Guy” - Jon Lajoie
“Refuse To Lose” - Avery Storm, Chuck D, Dead Prez and The Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern
“Dump the Bosses”- Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips
“The Triple Bill of Shame” - Collection Agency
“Right Wing Pigeons” - The Dead Milkmen
“Only Sean Can Judge Me” - The Gunshy feat. Andrew Jackson Jihad
So can you direct me to how I can download your radio show? Laramie is pretty far from St. Paul. I know Google is everywhere, but it is almost 2am and I just don't have the energy to find it myself. Thanks.
No problem! It’ll be posted here on the site as soon as I’m finished editing and uploading, so look for it within the next few hours!
What if we try to ignore raising the debt ceiling? Well, those proposing this are arguing that we simply prioritize spending. If we enact this plan, the first thing covered would be servicing our debt’s interest, plus paying bondholders. Then we pay Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military payroll. This will halt most federal spending.
Many economists have pointed out this would have drastic consequences, and the US Treasury said in a statement that this would be seen as a default anyhow.
But let’s go to Tea Party fantasy land, where it’s not. Megan McArdle, senior editor at The Atlantic, takes a look at what this will mean for the country:
Let’s say that we refuse to raise the ceiling. Does the prioritization mean that we don’t need to cut politically untouchable programs? No. Let’s think through what would happen if we tried to use this plan:
You just cut the IRS and all the accountants at Treasury, which means that the actual revenue you have to spend is $0.
The nation’s nuclear arsenal is no longer being watched or maintained
The doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.
The border control stations are entirely unmanned, so anyone who can buy a plane ticket, or stroll across the Mexican border, is entering the country. All the illegal immigrants currently in detention are released, since we don’t have the money to put them on a plane, and we cannot actually simply leave them in a cell without electricity, sanitation, or food to see what happens.
All of our troops stationed abroad quickly run out of electricity or fuel. Many of them are sitting in a desert with billions worth of equipment, and no way to get themselves or their equipment back to the US.
Our embassies are no longer operating, which will make things difficult for foreign travelers
No federal emergency assistance, or help fighting things like wildfires or floods. Sorry, tornado people! Sorry, wildfire victims! Try to live in the northeast next time!
Housing projects shut down, and Section 8 vouchers are not paid. Families hit the streets.
The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, making it unclear who’s going to be teaching your kids without a special property tax assessment.
The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. Hope your kid wasn’t going to college this year!
The mortgage market evaporates. Hope you didn’t need to buy or sell a house!
The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don’t have a government backstop for their funds, which has all sorts of interesting implications for your bank account.
The TSA shuts down. Yay! But don’t worry about terrorist attacks, you TSA-lovers, because air traffic control shut down too. Hope you don’t have a vacation planned in August, much less any work travel.
Unemployment money is no longer going to the states, which means that pretty soon, it won’t be going to the unemployed people.
These are just the very immediate, very theatrical outcomes. Obviously, over any longer term, you’d have issues from bankrupt vendors stopping work funded with federal highway money, forgone maintenance on things like levees and government buildings, and so forth. Averting any of these things would require at least small cuts in Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid spending, or military payrolls.
Even though these seem theatrical, it could happen. This is the kind of fire the Tea Party is playing with - do we really want to test these possibilities?
“The Bachmann incident demonstrates that as homosexuals gain more civil rights, heterosexuals are losing theirs. Because gays are a wealthy and politically powerful minority, they claim access to media attention, political power and corporate influence that middle America does not have.”—
Your privileged whines about middle America having no influence do not amuse me.
My third reaction:
If you can’t handle gay people in the media talking about gaining civil rights, there’s a sure-fire way to shut them up: Allow them to exercise their civil rights like everyone else and treat them as human beings. Just sayin’.
Rep. Paul Broun, the people you mentioned also try to increase their income by getting second (or third) jobs. Increasing taxes on the rich is a part of citizenry doing their fair share to solve our fiscal/social issues.
Bingo. Don’t forget corporations! When I pay more in taxes than General Electric, something is fucked.
“The thing is, when someone is overextended and broke, they don’t continue paying for expensive automobiles; they sell the expensive automobiles and buy a cheaper one. They don’t continue paying for country club dues, they drop out of the country club.”—Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), displaying today how he’s completely out of touch with the other 98% of Americans. Total shocker: He’s a member of the Tea Party Caucus.
Rude anons? If you don't want them don't leave anon on fucking dunce.
Oh, I see what you did there. You’re trying to be meta - though I think it was totally an accident on your part.
See, I leave it on because not everyone has a Tumblr account. And I’m not going to make them sign up for one just to ask a question.
Plus, people like yourself are in need of something to do. So instead of you going out lighting fires and torturing small animals, I leave open the anonymous option for asking inane questions as well as serious ones. I imagine it distracts you for however long it takes to compose a few sentences that are little more than grammatically incorrect travesties. It’s a public service, really.
“With lawmakers still at an impasse over increasing the debt ceiling, a special team of 40 eighth-grade civics teachers was air-dropped into Washington earlier today in a last-ditch effort to teach congressional leaders how the government’s legislative process works. ‘We started them off with the basics, like the difference between a senator and a representative, and then moved on to more complex concepts, like what a resolution is,’ Bozeman, MT social studies teacher Heidi Rossmiller told reporters as all 535 members of Congress copied down the definition of ‘checks and balances’ from a whiteboard in the House chamber. ‘It’s been a bit of an uphill battle, since most of them seemed to have no real sense of how or why a bill is passed, and Sen. [Harry] Reid [D-NV] had to come up to me during a break and ask, ‘Ms. Rossmiller, what happens if Congress can’t reach a compromise?’ But hopefully it will all start to sink in soon.’ At press time, an unruly House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had noisily stormed out of a lecture on bipartisan cooperation, claiming it was ‘too hard.’”—The Onion, "Emergency Team Of 8th-Grade Civics Teachers Dispatched To Washington"
In the lead (of course) is President Obama. Not a shock though. It’s asked by RightChange:
RightChange is a new generation of conservative film, Hollywood, TV and technology professionals who are bringing a new approach to a predictable political methodology. Operating as both a 527 and a 501(c)4 organization, RightChange is illustrating just how significant and effective the use of cutting edge video content blended with social media web platforms, can penetrate voters with targeted and cost-effective relevant messaging. We use animation and non-traditional production techniques to provide independent and conservative voters with something more than the traditional political sound bite that is sometimes ignored.
“He also became known for filing controversial bills, including his annual anti-abortion legislation that this year included a provision that could make miscarriages criminal in certain circumstances. … A member of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, he would frequently attempt to add anti-abortion language to unrelated bills to the exasperation of his colleagues.”
ANNUAL anti-abortion legislation? Abortion riders? Wow, even God wanted this guy to shut the hell up.
“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.”- Clarence Darrow
Gawker writer Jim Newell sums up House Republicans nicely:
Counselors at the youth summer camp that we know more commonly as the “House Republican Caucus of the 112th Congress” penciled in time for a movie yesterday! All of the campers were so excited to relax a little bit after pretending to be members of Congress for so long. And better yet, they got to watch an R-rated movie — without their parents’ permission! Is that even legal?
Here’s the scene as described by theWashington Post. They were meeting to discuss the their latest camp project, “Fucking Up the Nation’s Credit For No Reason Whatsoever: Should We?” It’s a tough one. But maybe Ben Affleck and his ragtag band of Boston goons were able to get through to these kids:
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party’s vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, “The Town”, trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.
One character asks his friend: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later.”
"Whose car are we gonna take," the character says.
After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.
"I’m ready to drive the car," West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full -throated support for the [Boehner] plan.
“House Republicans have lost sight of the country’s welfare. It’s hard to conclude anything else from their latest actions, including the House speaker’s dismissal of President Obama’s plea for compromise Monday night. They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America’s economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation. They have warped an exercise in paying off current debt into an argument about future spending. Yet, when they win another concession, they walk away.
In a scathing prime-time television address Monday night, President Obama stepped off the sidelines to tell Americans the House Republicans were threatening a “deep economic crisis” that could send interest rates skyrocketing and hold up Social Security and veterans’ checks. By insisting on a single-minded approach and refusing to negotiate, he said, Republicans were violating the country’s founding principle of compromise. “How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries?” he said…
We agreed strongly when Mr. Obama said Americans should be “offended” by this display and that they “may have voted for divided government but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.” It’s hard not to conclude now that dysfunction is the Republicans’ goal — even if the cost is unthinkable.”—The New York Times Editorial Board on Monday, imploring compromise and castigating the US House Republicans for holding the global economy hostage.
Johnathan Alter, writing for Bloomberg, rips apart House Speaker John Boehner’s speech last night. A sample:
Speeches by politicians are usually full of spin, biased use of facts and appeals to emotion. President Barack Obama’s address to the nation last night on the debt ceiling was no exception. House Speaker John Boehner’s response was in a different league. It was chock full of statements that simply aren’t true.
Let’s go to the videotape.
Boehner: “Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health-care bill that most Americans never asked for. A ‘stimulus’ bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.”
Facts are stubborn things. Whatever one thinks of it, the Obama health-care law wasn’t part of the “spending binge.” The law has yet to significantly contribute to the budget deficit because most of it hasn’t been phased in yet.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus bill created millions of new jobs, which as a factual matter is at least as “effective” as a David Letterman monologue. And anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of the 2008-09 economic meltdown knows that it was “sparked” by a crisis in private debt, not “the national debt.” The latter wasn’t a big problem when, say, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bust.
Emphasis is mine. The health care bill is being targeted simply because they don’t like it. The national debt sparking crisis is one of the GOP’s own creation, as Alter rightly observes:
Boehner: “You see, there is no stalemate in Congress.”
We do see, and our eyes tell us the plain truth: There is in fact a stalemate in Congress.
Boehner: “If the president signs it,” meaning the House bill, “the crisis atmosphere he created will simply disappear.”
Boehner is right that if Obama fully capitulated and signed the House bill, the crisis would end. But it’s simply untrue to suggest that the president “created” the “crisis atmosphere.” Saying so is Orwellian.
Conservatives can legitimately argue that they were right to turn the debt ceiling into a crisis to achieve their ends. But it’s unfair to blame someone else for creating something you created yourself - and, make no mistake, the Republican Party has turned what should be a standard procedural increase to the debt ceiling into a potential calamity.
Thank you to those who posted about Kolton Stoner by reblogging and sharing on Facebook.
Unfortunately, Kolton is no longer with us.
I spoke with his sister Rickie and she wanted me to pass along their sincere gratitude and appreciation for everyone’s efforts, time, and prayers in finding him. Please hold his family in your thoughts.
Thank you from me as well. I had only met Kolton briefly, but he was a great guy, and I wish I could have gotten know him better.