The obscene logic of the GOP government shutdown

There is actually a logic to GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to allow a vote on a clean continuing resolution to fund the federal government and end the shutdown: The alternative is to have a fight over raising the debt ceiling and risk a US default.

The original pretext for refusing to raise the debt limit, the deficit, has gone. The US deficit is on track to fall to $642 billion this year. If this happens, it will be the first deficit less than a trillion dollars since George W. Bush and the Wall Street banks blew up the economy.

While $642 is still too big for a long term deficit, it is not much different to the deficits of $400-500 billion that George W. Bush created with the help of a Republican Congress and a fake case for starting a war in Iraq.

John Boehner

GOP House Speaker John Boehner

The demand for raising the deficit ceiling is essentially the same as the demand for ending the shutdown: Democrats must agree to the entire Tea Party platform except for a federal ban on abortion, and you can be certain they would ask for that as well in the next round of hostage taking.

The Republicans are like a small child who has found a hand grenade and is threatening to pull out the pin unless they get a ride on a magic flying pony. It is not only the absurd demands that make the situation dangerous: It is the obvious fact that they don’t have the slightest understanding of what the consequences of making good on their threat would be.

Boehner’s strategy is to stop the children from pulling the pin on the grenade by letting them play with matches. Whether that is a good idea depends on whether you think the children are serious about the grenade. Boehner seems to think they are serious, so does Obama.

Anyone arguing that Obama should have done this or that or the other to keep the Republicans in line is missing the fact that the Republican party radicals are simply not responsive to logic. They were not ’emboldened’ by Obama’s ‘surrender’ in 2011: That crisis was created because the lunatics had already taken the country hostage.

The Treasury estimates that it will run out of money around October 17th unless the debt ceiling is raised. Nobody expects Obama to capitulate on the government shutdown without a deal that includes raising the debt ceiling. The longer the shutdown continues, the harder it is for Republicans to argue that Obama will be forced to negotiate with them.

Some House Republicans are already heading for the exits on the shutdown crisis. It is really hard to see them swigging another dose of the Kool-Aid and blocking the debt limit increase a week later.  Then again, crazy does not follow any particular logic.

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82 Responses to “The obscene logic of the GOP government shutdown”

  1. Cowboydroid says:

    I’m not asserting that a sales tax is anything BUT regressive. It is FAIR. A “progressive” income tax progressively violates the property rights of one group of people. If our property rights are to be violated by a tax, better that they are violated equally.

    No, YOU live in a different world than reality. You have convinced yourself that up is down, and right is left.

    “Waahhh! Go away!”

  2. The_Fixer says:

    No amount of insulting me is going to change the fact that funding the government through a sales tax is regressive in nature.

    You live in a different world than the rest of us, and I am going to leave it at that. This discussion is not worth the expenditure of my time. Now go away.

  3. Cowboydroid says:

    Stop applying the tax to income! The sales tax is a tax on expense, NOT income! Why is that so difficult for you to understand! The purpose of tax is to collect revenue for the state, NOT to attempt to equalize or level out incomes!

    If two people are paying the exact same tax on the exact same expenditure, then their burden is EQUAL. What they each EARN as their personal income is based on their relative productivity, NOT what they’re “allowed” to have.

    Taxation and spending are obviously to sides of the same coin. There is no “switch” of the discussion. A discussion of one obviously involves a discussion of the other.

    Defense spending was an ENORMOUS portion of federal spending under FDR, so OBVIOUSLY it would constitute a major portion of federal spending cuts under Eisenhower.

    So you have clearly been indoctrinated in a government school, and simply don’t have the mental capacity yet to question anything you’ve “learned.” If you’ve never critically challenged your own beliefs, then you have no business asserting any sort of intellectual or moral authority on those subjects.

  4. The_Fixer says:

    First off, you accuse me of obfuscation regarding a flat sales tax, insisting that the burden is equal. Well, your math is a hell of a lot different than mine. You want math, let’s look at the math.

    Suppose we have two people, one with an income of $1,000 weekly, and another with a $2,000 weekly income. Both have a taxable expense, let’s say for an auto repair of $500. There is a flat sales tax of 20%. The sales tax on that auto repair would be $100. That represents 10% of the person’s income who makes $1,000 weekly, but only 5% to the person who makes $2,000 weekly (because he’s making twice as much, he pays half the amount of his income on that sales tax). I would say that it is less of a burden on the person making $2,000 a week, right? The person least able to afford a higher tax rate is paying more of his weekly paycheck on taxes. If you deny this math, then I simply don’t know what to say.

    I noticed that you switched the discussion from taxation to spending, then back again. So let’s tackle spending first.

    The only major spending that Eisenhower slashed was defense spending. He spent well on infrastructure and social programs because he saw the value of both. He retained the high tax rate he inherited in spite of considerable pressure to lower taxes – which allowed that spending to take place without getting into budget deficit. Note that I specifically said that there is no causal relationship high tax rates and economic growth – you put those words into my mouth. I simply said that high tax rates don’t automatically inhibit economic growth – there are a lot of other factors to consider in an economy.

    One is defense spending. I think we agree that excessive peacetime defense spending is a drag on the economy. As I mentioned above, Eisenhower knew that and resisted pressure from Democrats at the time to increase defense spending that they felt was justified in countering the “Soviet Communist Threat”. As I mentioned above, he was an investment spender – infrastructure and other programs that he felt were an investment in the country. He only entered deficit spending territory when the economy was lagging, and only for one budget cycle at two separate times. This proves the theory that deficit spending can provide economic stimulus, if done properly and not for too long. It also worked, the economy was stimulated, more tax revenue came in, and he was able to return to a balanced budget afterward.

    There were other factors at work in the 1950s economy as well. We had cheap, domestically produced oil. We didn’t have to go to foreign sources, nor pollute our aquifers with expensive processes to extract oil and natural gas (and deal with the deferred costs of pollution), as we are currently doing.

    Now, back to taxes.

    Income disparity of course is rooted in greed, but can indeed come as a result of low tax rates on the wealthy (and it’s not the same thing as saying that high taxation rates cause economic growth, which I did not say). This is a well-known economic principle. That’s because the government has less money to spend and has to spend it on things that are not an investment in the country, like infrastructure, R&D, and other such things that help economic activity. In current days, we aren’t spending it on fixing bridges and improving this country’s infrastructure, we’re spending it on building and maintaining a ridiculous defense infrastructure, often in other countries, that is of no benefit to us. We’re building armaments, vehicles and other “tools of the trade” that get blown up. A perfect example of waste. I won’t go on, you have said that defense spending is a waste as well, so I don’t have to prove that point.

    And I did not suggest that spending money on public welfare is good. We really don’t have welfare as you imagine it to be anymore. We do have various social programs that are designed to soften the impact of life events like joblessness (unemployment insurance, which is not exclusively funded by the government), to help educate our people, and to generally help to lift people up, resulting in a better society in the process. Your quarrel should really be with how these programs are implemented and mismanaged, not with their presence (or lack of it in the case of welfare).

    There are a number of causes of poverty, among them poor education, corruption, mental illness, lack of industry and a host of others that vary depending on what part of the country you’re in and the prevailing conditions. Nobody in their right mind could say with a straight face that just giving people money is going to solve the problem of poverty. Giving them money is only designed to alleviate suffering and an attempt to keep some semblence of social order. Look what happened during the Great Depression – people were ready to riot, and some actually did.

    I really think that’s all there is to say on the matter. If you disagree, fine.

  5. Cowboydroid says:

    The burden is EQUAL with a flat sales tax because the percentage paid by each individual is EQUAL. This is not hard math. Stop trying to obfuscate.

    The greatest GDP growth occurred post WWII due to Eisenhower SLASHING government spending. This freed up capital in the market so that the economy could actually GROW.

    Income disparity is not caused by taxation. It is caused by monetarism and corporatism, both of which have run rampant this century.

    One of the great downfalls of public policy is that policy is judged by intent, and not by results. Just as you suggest, supposedly spending public money on welfare is “good” because the intentions are “good,” even though the results, UNCHANGED POVERTY LEVELS the last 60 years, show that spending to be entirely ineffective. But we’ll run up the debt to our eyeballs with “good intentions.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  6. The_Fixer says:

    No, a flat sales tax is not based in equality. Although the percentage of a given sales tax is equal, a lower income person has a greater burden paying a sales tax than a higher income person. In that sense, it is regressive. It is not equality in any sense. To say otherwise is denying sensible analysis.

    It is not a myth that economic growth (in terms of GDP) has been highest during times of high tax rates on the top earners. At the bottom of this post is a chart illustrating this over the course of the last 50 years. The greatest GDP growth (nearly 4% per year) occurred during the 1950s.

    Which is not to say that there is a causal relationship. Actually, too much income tax can stunt economic growth. Too little causes income disparity that stunts economic growth (the situation that we’re in now). There are many other factors to consider when one talks about real economic growth.

    It’s not so much what the tax rate is, but on what the government spends the collected tax. In the 1950s, we were paying the debt incurred from World War II, building the Interstate Highway System, and sending people to school under the GI Bill, among other things. Infrastructure building and education are worthy government spending options. They are a real benefit to the country – having a better educated population and an infrastructure that can support economic growth are things that only government can do.

    Now I did not say that all government spending is beneficial. Yes, our defense spending is rife with fraud and is used to maintain an imperial world-wide presence. This is not beneficial spending, obviously. But it is interesting to note that the Internet that we’re all using to send these comments was a project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects agency, so not all defense spending is bad. By the way, I didn’t even mention defense spending in my above comment, you are making an assumption that is incorrect.

    In short, all government spending is not evil, and not all government is evil. It’s what you spend the money on that matters. And what you do with government that determines what is evil. I will be the first to say that the US government does a lot of evil things. But I think a complete Libertarian or anarchist disassembly of government would not bring about the utopia that some folks imagine.

  7. The_Fixer says:

    Well, that is a simplistic, incomplete and altogether wrong response. Government has roots in tribalism, as Naja padilla points out above. It is the expression of people banding together to do more than they can do individually. Not that all of any government is perfect, but a “to each his own” society would never get anywhere.

  8. Bob says:

    The main problem is that people don’t understand why we are in such a financial mess in the first place. Without understanding the problem you can’t get to a solution. Checkout http://canonicalthoughts.blogspot.com/ for insights into our financial system, our economy, trade, and the future of our country.

  9. karmanot says:

    Broke Back Moron

  10. Cowboydroid says:

    Notice I did NOT cite the 1990s as a “low point” in the DEBT. It was certainly lower than it is now, but it was by no means “low.” Low is what the government was spending in 1900, when the national debt was around 5% of the total economic productivity of the nation. The federal government is now well over 100% borrowed against the entire economic output of this nation.

    LESS people are working and paying taxes! The workforce participation rate is at it’s lowest since the Carter administration.

    Again, the DEBT IS NOT GOING DOWN. A fall in the DEFICIT does not reduce the DEBT.

    Leave it to economic neophytes to confuse DEBT and DEFICIT.

    You people really do live in an alternate reality, where you can just make up facts to serve your expedient purposes.

  11. ArthurH says:

    Notice that you cite the 1990s as a low point in the deficit. That was during the Clinton Administration when we paid down the deficit. Before Dubya demanded a tax cut because “it’s our money!” even as military costs skyrocketed fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the deficit has been going up since. And you back the Toilet Paper (er – Tea Party) people on this issue despite the deficit finally going down because more people are working and paying their taxes? AMAZING! It must be fun living in a bubble.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    There isn’t a civilization in history that didn’t form itself around some kind of governing structure. Even the most savage of ‘barbarian’ tribes had leaders, councils, elders, who made decisions in what they believed was the best interest of the group as a whole, and most people were followers. The idea that we can just abandon government, because it costs too much, and run the United States on unicorn farts and leprechaun semen is patently ludicrous.

  13. Cowboydroid says:

    Government itself is uncivilized. It is the institutionalization of violence, coercion, theft, and murder as a method of achieving goals.

  14. Indigo says:

    The pattern is there, no doubt, but I doubt that Boehner attempted a double play around it. It compounds the near future, though, and we ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the face of the coming decade. I don’t like it but I can see where maybe, just maybe, after this civil war we’re having is settling, we’ll have other pressing matters to be concerned with. Water rights, polluted soil, fracking damaged fields, flooded coastal cities, increased breathing problems, broken bridges and collapsing highways will demand our attention. Now is not the bad part, now is just the prelude. This really is a civil war.

  15. Indigo says:

    You said that wrong. A truly civilized nation has a truly civilized government.

  16. Indigo says:

    Not only is that a fact, it’s a bothersome fact that underpins my suspicion that Obama sold out to Corporatism very early in his first administration.

  17. Cowboydroid says:

    Yes. A flat-rate sales tax is fair. Everyone pays “their fair share,” which comes out to the same percentage for everyone. If thieves are going to rob us, better they take from everyone equally with a least a pretense of recognizing our equal rights.

    That’s a myth that our periods of greatest economic growth came during high taxation years. That doesn’t even make logical sense. The period of greatest economic growth came during the latter half of the 19th century, when taxes were at their lowest and there was no federal income tax.

    You think government spends money efficiently? Tell me again about those military defense contracts…

    Being absolutist about government spending and making up “facts” as you go tends to make you non-credible.

  18. Cowboydroid says:

    You see what is seen, but you fail to see the unseen. You make the same mistakes as almost every modern economist. The market correction would have been very short without “stimulus” spending. It didn’t stop a world-wide economic depression. It lengthened a world-wide economic recession.

  19. Cowboydroid says:

    The DEFICIT is coming down off its previously monstrous high of a TRILLION dollars a year. It’s still nowhere close to 90s level spending.

    The DEBT has been increasing, and is not slowing down at all.

  20. DGT says:

    You are correct. I have many friends and relatives in Texas, and they are all thrilled with this shutdown. They absolutely love it. They are cheering on Ted Cruz and the hostage-takers.

    Even more scary is the fact that many of them also think that refusing to raise the debt ceiling will be even better.

  21. Ned says:

    Because the federal government has almost perpetually been in debt since the time of George Washington! Raising the debt ceiling is something that Congress has been doing for a long time–they did it during the Reagan administration, for example. Even as the deficit is coming down (which it is) we still have to raise the debt ceiling. And if McCain or Romney or Cruz were somehow president, they would be requesting a raise in the debt ceiling–just like Reagan did.

    Our only (slender) hope of surviving as a nation is if we look at the facts objectively.

  22. Ned says:

    Is that why the federal deficit has been dropping over the past few years?

  23. Austin says:

    incorrect, most humans wish to be “told what to do”, it releases them from responsibility, That is the reason governments and religions form.

  24. Austin says:

    It seams to of stopped a world wide economic depression, well maybe not yours, but under the new law your pre-existing condition ( You Crazy) wont be held against you.

  25. The_Fixer says:

    So let me get this straight. You want to get rid of a progressive tax in favor of one that is regressive – the sales tax.

    Oh and by the way, the U.S. had it’s greatest economic growth during the periods where the effective tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was something like 70%.

    And this business of government always wasting money is ridiculous. Do you think things like the National Weather Service and the FAA are wastes of money? I don’t think so. I happen to know that the NWS is always scrapped for cash, do an incredible job considering that they are underfunded and do the tough work that private industry can’t or won’t do.

    Being absolutist about government spending and making up “facts” as you go tends to make you non-credible.

  26. The_Fixer says:

    Yes. And they don’t understand that anarchy was why humans came up with the idea of government.

  27. karmanot says:

    To pay the bills that Congress has already spent. Got it? BTW, that includes billions in Republican pork.

  28. Cowboydroid says:

    Yes, the defense budget needs an axe taken to it. We need to close all overseas bases, withdraw all military personnel from those bases, lay off tens of thousands of military personnel, end our presence in the Middle East, and abruptly cancel all outstanding defense contracts. We can negotiate new ones after the system has been overhauled. Then we can finally get around to writing and passing an Amendment that justifies the existence of the Air Force.

    Then we need to figure out how to slash welfare spending to pre-1920s levels. Welfare spending has grown by orders of magnitude since then, and yet the poverty level has remained unchanged. It clearly isn’t working, and it’s immoral.

    Then we can get around to ending the corporate tax, the income tax, and all import/export taxes. We can replace all federal taxes with a flat-rate sales tax that only funds the most essential government services. Our economy will experience a boom like never seen before, and unemployment will drop to almost nothing.

    Then we can get around to opening up our borders to anyone who wants to come here and make a living. Since all men are born equal and endowed with equal rights, everyone has a right to live here in the US and enjoy their freedoms and the protection of those freedoms.

  29. Cowboydroid says:

    Yep, humans are uncivilized, violent, sociopathic creatures…especially the ones who claim to be “government.”

  30. BeccaM says:

    We’re dealing with an anarchist libertarian. Most likely a worshiper at the altar of Ayn Rand.

  31. BeccaM says:

    Well, that’ll never be America then. Or any other country for that matter.

    We humans are like that.

  32. BeccaM says:

    I think maybe we could have a point of agreement then.

    Let’s start with the Defense budget, shall we? That, along with ‘national security’ spending,’ have skyrocketed ever since 2001. We literally cannot afford a military with a budget larger than the next dozen-plus largest countries combined. We’re now spending more than $1 trillion a year on that.

    How about we bring that back down to 1999 spending levels, adjusted for inflation of course. Roughly half the current budget, if I remember correctly. And completely end the off-the-books wars. No more gravy trough for companies like Halliburton.

    Plus completely rescind the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, returning us to the year 2000 rates.

    And how about we make Medicare and Social Security solvent forever by doing nothing more than removing the tax cap, making the rich pay a little more into the system and while still only a flat tax, at least the payroll tax would no longer be regressive.

    Do all those things and the United States budget deficit would drop to less than $300b, and most of that only because we’re still in an economic depression.

  33. Cowboydroid says:

    Tyranny didn’t begin under Obama. But he’s certainly no angel. He’s an authoritarian sociopath, just like every politician that came before him.

  34. Cowboydroid says:

    Don’t mistake me for defending anything that monster Bush did.

    Spending has gone UP EVERY YEAR under EVERY President. Congress doesn’t know the meaning of cutting spending. They quiver at the thought of cutting INCREASES in spending.

    Rome was the “greatest ever” too…for a while…until the barbarians had something to say about it…Empires die, and they usually die violently.

  35. Cowboydroid says:

    Government is the institutionalization of violence and coercion.

  36. Cowboydroid says:

    Wrong. A functional government is not necessary for a civilized nation. A truly civilized nation has no need for government.

  37. Cowboydroid says:

    Obama SIGNED the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. TARP was signed in 2008 by Bush.

  38. Cowboydroid says:

    The government doesn’t spend money on defense contracts? Is that your assertion? Just who pays those contracts?

  39. Ty Morgan says:

    Nice theory, but I really don’t think Boehner is that smart.

  40. MyrddinWilt says:

    I think that is exactly what gets rolled out by Friday. The latest GOP ploy is to only fund the parts of the government they like. The Dem response should be to attach the deficit ceiling raise.

    But we don’t have as much info as the folk on the hill. Best leave micromanaging tactics to them.

  41. Naja pallida says:

    As soon as he whipped out the term ‘Keynesian’ I knew he had no idea what he was talking about and was just a wing nut.

  42. Monoceros Forth says:

    I really wonder what’s in the head of these clowns. I imagine it’s like all a sort of golden mist of sweetness and light in which there was no such thing as government or taxation or deficits, and terrorism dashed itself impotently against the edifice of the nation like the waves against Gibraltar, while the figure of…er, some guy, can’t quite remember his name or what he looked like…towered over us all and kept us strong and safe. But then the Kenyan fascist communist atheist Muslim sprung from the depth in a burst of flames and choking fumes and seized control, and lo! suddenly all was a black night of federal tyranny, and the taxation blighted the Earth as it had never done.

    What do you do with an attitude like that? Eight years of Bush and nary a peep from the teabaggers, then Obama comes in and suddenly it’s like he invented taxation. It’s just so insane. And then we get lectured from these moonbats on how we don’t understand how government works!

  43. len43 says:

    if that is the case then why are they trying to raise the debt ceiling????

  44. BeccaM says:

    I find it humorous that guys like you forget who passed the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 in the first place, turning a yearly surplus into deficits that were, even back then, estimated to keep growing year after year. Which is exactly what happened.

    And who then passed an unfunded Medicare-D program. And launched two off-the-books wars. And through unwise financial markets deregulation, crashed the economy, further depressing tax revenues.

    Hint: It wasn’t the Democrats. Nor a Democratic President. Nor was it them insisting that the Bush tax cuts must be made permanent and absolutely no new revenues be raised.

    Y’know, no nation can be considered “the greatest ever” without a functioning government. Thanks to your beloved Republicans and their absolute refusal to compromise on anything, we don’t have one.

  45. lilyannerose says:

    These politicians take a lot of big money from different big donors, you can just bet that they are hearing from the ones who will be hurt from this shutdown!

  46. karmanot says:

    Actually, the gov. has decreased spending under Obama.

  47. Monoceros Forth says:

    It always wastes money, doubling or tripling the real cost of something.

    No, no, you’re thinking of defence contracts again. Jeez, don’t you know one word from another?

  48. Cowboydroid says:

    Money spent by government is never well spent. It always wastes money, doubling or tripling the real cost of something. That’s what bureaucracy does, it is inefficient. Yes, showering boatloads on special interests also inefficient…which is what all stimulus spending is.

  49. Monoceros Forth says:

    Eh? The big Economic Stimulus Act was enacted in February 2008. Obama wasn’t President yet. You haven’t been asleep for five years have you and are just groping your way to stumbling wakefulness?

  50. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s useless. I mean, anyone who is batshit enough to declare that we need NO GOVERNMENT AT ALL is beyond reason or even ridicule. I don’t think he could even give a coherent definition of “government” that would survive five minutes’ scrutiny. It’s pure duckspeak.

  51. Cowboydroid says:

    I’m talking about “stimulus” spending, beyond what the government already spend on its services.

  52. Naja pallida says:

    Except that a functional government is necessary for a civilized nation… and those billions of dollars provide countless services necessary for millions of people, their employers, and their states. We save nothing by being non-functional.

  53. Monoceros Forth says:

    Er, the symbol for the number “thirteen” isn’t “5”.

  54. Monoceros Forth says:

    I don’t think reducing spending is all that important honestly, so long as the money is well spent. Hint: showering Halliburton and Lockheed-Martin with boatloads of cash doesn’t count.

  55. Cowboydroid says:

    And keeping it open costs us BILLIONS of dollars a DAY.

    I find it humorous that you complain about how much closing certain government services costs us, but apparently have no concept of how much government costs us just being open. Stop pretending to be fiscally responsible when it suits your ideological whims.

  56. Cowboydroid says:

    Increased government spending is what we’ve had for 5 years now! It’s done nothing!

    Stop drinking the Keynesian Koolaid!

  57. Cowboydroid says:

    The DEBT has been growing by almost a TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR due to TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS. Again, what the hell are you reading that tells you it is growing “slowly?”

  58. Cowboydroid says:

    It’s already progressive. And higher taxes have never lead to reduced debt or, more importantly, reduced spending.

  59. nicho says:

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. In this type of economy, increased government spending is exactly what we need. Otherwise, we will sink further and further into the Bush/GOP depression.

  60. nicho says:

    You beat me to it. Rarely do I applaud the DN, but this is great.

  61. jm2 says:

    New York Daily News really best front page – “House of Turds” – you have to see the picture!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/ny-daily-news-shutdown-house-of-turds_n_4021642.html

  62. Naja pallida says:

    Even they admit that much, or they’d be trying to govern instead of trying to shut things down.

  63. Bookbinder says:

    “Not Fit to Govern” as the Daily Beast put it.

  64. Naja pallida says:

    They’ve already happily driven the car off a cliff… as soon as this is resolved, they’ll be looking to drive it into a brick wall. If the Democrats had even a lick of sense, they wouldn’t accept any deal from the Republicans at this point that didn’t also include a debt ceiling raise. Just to prevent this happening all over again in a couple weeks.

  65. Naja pallida says:

    Shutting down the government costs us hundreds of millions of dollars a day, and exacerbates the already existing backlog for many federal government services, and essentially punishes tax payers for Republican ideological catatonia. It is, quite literally, the most fiscally irresponsible thing they could have done. It makes absolutely no sense at all, except in a mind devoid of rational thought.

  66. The deficit is growing slower under Obama than it has since Eisenhower. While not perfect, It’s on the right track.

  67. Monoceros Forth says:

    “The consequences are real, and the more we put off sound fiscal strategy, the more brutal those consequences will be.”

    I agree. We should bring back a truly progressive income tax such as we had in past decades.

  68. heimaey says:

    Great piece Myrddin

  69. Cowboydroid says:

    I don’t know how on earth you come to the conclusion that the debt is going down each year. Every chart I look at shows it going up every year. Can you show me some information that shows the DEBT going DOWN every year?

    The DEFICIT has dropped from previous years, but it is still far higher than it was just a decade ago. Deficits contribute to DEBT, and as long as there are deficits, the DEBT will continue to rise.

  70. MyrddinWilt says:

    I can’t see them losing the continuing resolution fight then immediately starting a debt ceiling fight. If they throw in the towel on the first, they have given up the second. Contrawise, Obama is not going to agree to a compromise giving the GOP a victory on the first unless there is an agreement on the second.

    If there is going to be a debt ceiling fight it is going to be because the GOP has not come to its senses over the shutdown.

  71. Drew2u says:

    Of course, but actual readers (not Supreme-Court-decided ‘people’) should be given a response to read that challenges a false assertion.

  72. NCMan says:

    There’s “droid” in his moniker for a reason.

  73. Drew2u says:

    The problem with this is the gerrymandered maps that make districts safe for the next decade.
    I still want to see someone compile the data of voters in 2012 as compared to a 2010 map and see what the House would truly look like without gerrymandering.
    I’ve been redistricted out of my old representative and into the district of another Rep because my area is safer for the other guy, no other reasoning behind the change and why the areas around me have not also been incorporated. It’s a cluster-fuck and I blame the general American populace’s apathy and ignorance.

  74. Drew2u says:

    You do realize that with the debt going down every year, that means the federal government is spending less each year, right?

  75. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m of split mind when it comes to this consideration. I really don’t want to be one of those folks who tacitly encourages his political enemies to succeed with the idea that, when they ultimately fail, it will prepare the ground for someone better. Yet I honestly think that’s where we might be headed. I suspect that you’re right in conjecturing that this is not “the end” for the teabaggers. I think myself they’ve got a few years left in them at the very least. But I do think (or perhaps forlornly hope) that if or when the teahadist wing does take over the GOP they will finally learn for certain that the insane ideology that worked so well for gaining power within their party just doesn’t have much appeal outside their party.

  76. SkippyFlipjack says:

    The Republicans are like a small child who has found a hand grenade and is threatening to pull out the pin unless they get a ride on a magic flying pony.

    That’s good, I’m going to use that one! hahaha.. so true

  77. Cowboydroid says:

    You know what’s even more absurd?

    Thinking the federal government can keep spending like it does without any consequence.

    The consequences are real, and the more we put off sound fiscal strategy, the more brutal those consequences will be.

  78. iamlegion says:

    The alternative is to have a fight over raising the debt ceiling and risk a US default.
    What in the Wide World of Sports makes you think they they won’t also refuse to raise the debt ceiling? The only way the Teahadists will cooperate with anyone is if they get every single thing they want right now, and that’s not going to happen. They’ll make the government default just to “raise the stakes”. And you can quote me on that, because I guarantee that’s _exactly_ how they’ll phrase it. Do you think Boehner has the ‘nads to stop them?

  79. usagi says:

    What I find most disturbing is that everyone seems to be thinking this is “the end” for the Tea Party branch of the GOP. It’s not. It’s the start of the rallying cry to put more of them in office in 2014. When they lose (by enacting the Paul Ryan nightmare budget) they’re only going to come back stronger. No one who sits in a Tea Party seat is from a district that gives two craps about what the DC press corps or anyone else thinks about them, and pissing off liberals is what they live for. They don’t answer to voters outside their district, and they really believe the bilge they’re spouting.

    From where I’m sitting, I think they’re taking over the GOP and they’re getting the Republican name at the fire sale. Anyone in the GOP who undercuts them is going to be primaried and probably lose their seat, and I have yet to see anything supporting the premise that a single current Tea Party member is in danger for 2014 because of this. This is what their constituents want. They’ll still want it even after the grenade goes off and injures everyone around them.

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