Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged debt ceiling

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U.S. Can't Afford to Pay to Print More Money

There are serious fears for the U.S economy today after it was revealed that there was not enough money to pay for paper to print more money for the economy.

"We’re asking congress to raise the debt ceiling so we can buy ink and paper to print more dollars so we can then pay for the ink and paper we just printed," Dan Fenster, a U.S. Federal Reserve worker told the Washington Times.

Emailed to me by a conservative with the subject line: “TOLD YOU SO!” I haven’t got the heart to tell him the truth after counting the 102 email addresses he sent this to yesterday.

Filed under The Daily Squib politics Federal Reserve debt ceiling US United States goddammit conservatives satire

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Poll: 62 percent say debt ceiling deal benefits the rich and hurts the poor

Sixty-two percent of Americans think the bill that raises the federal’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and makes major cuts in government spending benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday.

Only 27 percent say that the debt ceiling deal treats all classes fairly and 11 percent have no opinion.

The poll (PDF) also found that 47 percent of Americans rate the economy “pretty badly” and 28 percent rate it “very badly.” Only 23 percent think the economy is going “fairly well” and a meager 1 percent say it is going “very well.”

In other words, 62 percent of Americans are starting to realize something in the milk ain’t clean.

Filed under debt debt ceiling deal economy politics America Rich tax the rich

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‎Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues…

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently.

Standard & Poor, explaining their decision to downgrade the credit rating of the US for the first time in history.

So let’s revisit this:

"I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done." - Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell, on his party’s handling of the debt ceiling.

Was it worth it? You incorrigible bastards still wounded the hostage. And now, for acting like deadbeats, you all tarnished the full faith and credit others have in the US to make good on its obligations.

Bravo.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

Filed under S&P Standard & Poor debt debt ceiling economy politics brinkmanship hostage taking fuckery

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Former Sen. Alan Simpson told Lawrence O’Donnell it’s time to “peel all the layers of the onion” and figure out just why people seem to listen intently to Grover Norquist.

In an interview on The Last Word tonight, Simpson noted that Norquist had challenged Republican Sen. Tom Coburn on a $6 billion cut on ethanol subsidies he had called “tax increases,” which incensed Simpson greatly. “Grover and his happy band of warriors are trying to call that a tax increase– that’s a damn lie and he knows it,” he told O’Donnell. “And if he can get away with that, elect him President.”

Simpson continued to question Norquist’s power throughout the segment, arguing that “he can’t kill you, he can’t burn your house, he can defeat you in reelection,” and if a public servant thought the latter was enough to obey him, they didn’t deserve the spot.

He also told O’Donnell several times that “if Grover Norquist is more powerful than the President of the United States and the Congress, he should run for President” … On that note, Simpson called for an investigation. “Grover Norquist should be examined into– where does he get his money?” In times where people amass so much power, he argues, it becomes necessary to “peel all the layers of the onion.” “Anytime anyone gets this powerful,” he argued, “you want to dig in… who is he slave to?”

He clarified that he did not mean “salacious stuff and his personal life,” but how Americans for Tax Reform operated and why so many people in Congress feared him, because based only on his status as leader of an anti-tax group, “you must be chicken if you fall for that crap.”

I have a soft spot for former Sen. Alan Simpson. He’s part of the Reagan era, yes, and that’s where the accelerated sell-out of my generation began. However, he also has a streak of common-sense conservatism sorely lacking in the Republican Party. He’s pro-gay rights (including marriage) and pro-choice, which puts him to the left of nearly every Republican out there.

I agree with Simpson. Let’s find out where Grover’s getting his bucks.

Filed under Alan Simpson Lawrence O'Donnell MSNBC politics debt debt ceiling Grover Norquist Tax tax cuts Tax cuts don't solve everything Tax the rich

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I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell, on his party’s handling of the debt ceiling.   (via officialssay)

Goddammit. Is every single session of Congress going to be like this? One day, we’ll say, “No, Mitch McConnell, you bitter, turtle-esque asshole. We know you won’t shoot the hostage.” And then one day, those batshit bastards are going to shoot.

I’m glad you learned a lesson. By flat-out stating the economy, plus the full faith and credit of the US are worth taking hostage for ransom, you have officially revoked your right to bitch when someone calls you terrorists. Who takes hostages again? Riiiiight… criminals and terrorists.

Filed under Mitch McConnell politics so much RAGE debt debt ceiling hostage taking Tea Party Teahadists government

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Things I learned from the debt ceiling debate

  • It IS possible to experience exponential, chain-smoking rage with no dissipation for days on end.

  • If you really, really want something, threaten to crash the US economy in the name of responsibility. When people suggest you won’t follow through, just stick your fingers in your ears and insist in sing-song, "Nuh-uh! La, La, La, La, I can’t hear you!" 
     
  • Most importantly, I really boned “Negotiation 101” as a child. When my parents said I had to eat my veggies, clean my room, etc. instead of just throwing a temper tantrum, I should have held their mortgage payment hostage too. 

Filed under Tea Party debate debt debt ceiling hostage taking politics tantrums government

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Rep. Giffords returns to the US House floor

Turn on C-Span right now. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the US House floor just moments ago. This was her first vote since being shot earlier this year.

It’s amazing to see her colleagues from both sides of the aisle embracing her after such bitter partisanship. 

Oh, and the US House just passed the debt ceiling bill, 269-161.

(Source: politico.com)

Filed under Arizona Gabrielle Giffords Rep. Gabrielle Giffords politics debt debt ceiling vote US House

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Paul Krugman: The President Surrenders

Posting nearly in full:

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.

Filed under Paul Krugman debt debt ceiling not a compromise Democrats Republican republicans politics extortion

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What’s happening with the debt ceiling thing?: An imperfect dramatization through cats

ipsadixit:

In a country with a robust (or not so robust, as things currently stand) economy, it is sometimes necessary to raise the debt ceiling, allowing the country to borrow more money.

Otherwise, the country will default on its financial obligations and won’t be able to pay for things. 

The country’s defaulting will affect many things, and the government made sure to let us know how bad things could be and properly scare us.

So at first Boehner was like, “Cut your spending or else!”

There was a vote to raise the debt limit back in May, and the House was like 

And the American people were like, “That’s the opposite of what we wanted.”

But a lot of parties have to agree, before we can raise the debt ceiling, so people sat down, did their research, and wrote bills.

There are two choices: Raise the taxes or cut spending. Raising the taxes affects the rich a lot, and the Republicans don’t really want that. 

And the Democrats want to do some cuts but also raise taxes on the rich and protect the poor. 

There were a lot of talks and debate:

Obama and Boehner tried to get to a deal but it wasn’t working: 

At one point Obama walked out of a debate:

Everyone was afraid that the markets would collapse, but it didn’t really happen:

And meanwhile our courageous leaders were taking dramatic pictures, indicating concern and hard work at the same time. 

And once one side makes a decision, the other side goes:

The average Americans are following the news constantly and sending angry e-mails and tweets

Then Obama and Boehner both delivered addresses, blaming the other party.

Boehner’s bill passed in the House, but the Senate Democrats killed it.

Then Senate Republicans killed Reid’s plan:

They all worked very hard to reach an agreement. A lot of compromise was made.

Now they just have to vote on it.

 And we will all be happy. Or something like it.

If you’d actually like to know why the debt ceiling is important, watch this clip from West Wing. 

I was going to answer an anon asking me explain the debt ceiling crisis and timeline in “easier terms.” If anon doesn’t get it after this, I can’t help.

This explanation is the best thing in the history of things. It has cats and The West Wing. I yield the floor.

Filed under Politics debt ceiling West Wing Cats explanation the best thing I've seen all day fabulous government boehner Obama

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This is where political messaging is going. Justin Fucking Bieber apparently has something to teach Washington. Ooh, “Never say never!” - to spending cuts!

But let’s be offensive, and call America a bunch of drug addicts.

Here’s the ad script:

America could learn a lot… from a drug addict. Even though this country’s $14 trillion in debt – Washington raised the debt ceiling 10 times in the last 10 years.  Each time – it’s like another hit – another spending hit.  But you’re the junkies.  41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed –from places like China.  So China is like your dealer… And your addiction and your dealer control your life.  To borrow less – you need to spend less.  Yeah – Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict.

Yep, meeting our obligations is totally like tweaking. I’m guessing meth just because this looks like a leftover meth PSA. I’m not even going into how ridiculous it is to compare the national budget to the horrific disease of addiction. This whole campaign was ripped off from the laughable “______ is my anti-drug” PSAs. Faulty metaphor is faulty.
Oh, and Washington can learn a lot from Harry Potter and the Jonas Brothers.
Um, no. Just no. This debt ceiling issue was a manufactured crisis. However, it’s not Grandma and single moms driving up debt.
This is why we can’t have nice things:

This is where political messaging is going. Justin Fucking Bieber apparently has something to teach Washington. Ooh, “Never say never!” - to spending cuts!

But let’s be offensive, and call America a bunch of drug addicts.

Here’s the ad script:

America could learn a lot… from a drug addict. Even though this country’s $14 trillion in debt – Washington raised the debt ceiling 10 times in the last 10 years. Each time – it’s like another hit – another spending hit. But you’re the junkies. 41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed –from places like China. So China is like your dealer… And your addiction and your dealer control your life. To borrow less – you need to spend less. Yeah – Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict.

Yep, meeting our obligations is totally like tweaking. I’m guessing meth just because this looks like a leftover meth PSA. I’m not even going into how ridiculous it is to compare the national budget to the horrific disease of addiction. This whole campaign was ripped off from the laughable “______ is my anti-drug” PSAs. Faulty metaphor is faulty.

Oh, and Washington can learn a lot from Harry Potter and the Jonas Brothers.

Um, no. Just no. This debt ceiling issue was a manufactured crisis. However, it’s not Grandma and single moms driving up debt.

This is why we can’t have nice things:

Filed under this is why we can't have nice things debt debt ceiling default spending Washington washington d.c. politics federal spending are you fucking kidding me? Harry Potter Jonas Brothers justin bieber

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A sugar-coated Satan sandwich.

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.

Filed under Tea Party tea party caucus class war economy politics debt ceiling Emanuel Cleaver Raúl Grijalva Obama Barack Obama deficit default

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World Reacts To Debt Ceiling Debacle: ‘Irresponsible,’ ‘Worst Kind Of Absurd Theatrics,’ U.S. Politicians A ‘Laughing Stock’

zeitgeistmovement:

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.”

(Source: socialuprooting, via )

Filed under debt debt ceiling politics the whole world is watching compromise US