Boehner trying to pass bill to pay China, but shaft the troops

Jennifer Bendery at HuffPo reports that GOP House Speaker John Boehner admitted what Democrats have been claiming for a while.  Namely, that GOP legislation to address the debt ceiling would force the US to pay foreign holders of US debt like China before funding the US military.

Call it: China’s financial amnesty bill.

House Republicans are trying to pass the “Full Faith and Credit Act,” which attempts to “prioritize” who and what gets funded if the House GOP lets America reach its debt ceiling, and thus the government runs out of money (yes, the Republicans are still playing with America’s credit rating, and the entire world’s economy).

The way the GOP prioritizes spending in the bill, debt-holders like China would get paid, while the US military’s nearly 2 million troops would not.

Hong Kong via Shutterstock

Hong Kong via Shutterstock

When asked about this by Peter Cook on Bloomberg TV, Boehner didn’t disagree with this analysis of how the bill would work.

We’ve said before that while Republicans may not hate the troops, they don’t care about them much either.

(Remember when the Bush’s administration refused to give our troops in Iraq adequate body armor? Funny, Lindsey Graham and John McCain weren’t nearly as vocal about that as they are Benghazi.)

But it’s understandable that Republicans don’t care about the troops.  After all, most US service members don’t hold seats on Wall Street, or on the boards of big banks, so they’re not terribly useful to GOP politicians, except during elections – thus Lindsey Graham’s interest in Benghazi, which he’s already fundraised off of.

You see, Republicans see tragedy, especially those involving national security, as “opportunities,” as the Romney campaign famously described the taking of US hostages in Iran, and the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

So you shouldn’t be surprised that American service members are struggling to survive while John Boehner worries more about paying China.  Remember this story from just last month?

John Stanton at Buzzfeed had a horrific story on Monday about Jeff Maryak, a 39-year-old Army reservist and combat vet, who now is thinking of going back to war in order to pay his debts.  You see, Maryak’s DOD salary was just cut by 27% because of the sequester.  Imagine your salary being cut by 27%, when you owe a mortgage.  When you have kids.  It’s disgusting that the Republicans are doing this to a combat vet because they care more about their billionaires, and they hate our government so much that if US service members are collateral damage, so be it.

Did Boehner fix things so that our vets wouldn’t have to re-enlist simply to afford to stay alive?  No.  Boehner fixed the part of the sequester that affected him personally, flight delays at DC’s National Airport.

So don’t expect John Boehner to lift a finger to help US troops during the debt ceiling debate either.  Unless American troops get Chinese citizenship, or become the CEO of Goldman Sachs, John Boehner and the GOP are too busy to care.

Hey, now there’s a bill the Democrats should try to pass: Give the troops honorary Chinese citizenship so they can finally get some help from the GOP.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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28 Responses to “Boehner trying to pass bill to pay China, but shaft the troops”

  1. SardonicVeritas says:

    How’s that phrase go….don’t get your panties all bunched for nothing? Do you really think we won’t pay our troops?

    As you should know, China holds about 7.5% of our debt among all holders which counts for 26% of the foreign holdings account that you write about, but the the other 74% of that debt is held by important U.S. allies like England, Japan, Switzerland, etc…

    More importantly, If you don’t pay off your debt, just like your personal credit card, the interest rate that we will have to carry our debt will skyrocket, we would be up sh__’s creek and actually might end up in a position where we really can’t pay our troops or anything else for that matter.

    Take it easy with the rhetoric, there are people out there who actually might believe you.

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    They are extremely right wing because it’s a volunteer army split on class lines with many middle class Guard troops and many working class troops driven by the bad economy. The absence of an antiwar movement makes organizing by antiwar GI’s particularly difficult.

    I was part of the student/civilian anti-war movement that supported and worked with large groups of active duty GIs opposed to the Vietnam war. Those GI groups – GI-Civilian Alliance for Peace and others nationwide – unleashed a torrent of antiwar newspapers like “Counterpoint, Fed Up, the Lewis-McChord Free Press, and G.I. Voice from Fort Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma; the unit newsletters B Troop News and First of the Worst, from Fort Lewis; Sacstrated and Co-Ambulation from Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, WA; Puget Sound Sound Off from Bremerton Naval Yard on the Washington peninsula; and Yah-Hoh, published out of Fort Lewis by a group of radical Native American servicemen.” antiwar.

    There were other groups and underground papers on bases all across the world. The GI underground press was passed hand to hand in huge numbers. Together it changed the character of the US military and the GI’s became openly political, defiantly antiwar and insubordinate.

    The huge size of the antiwar movement, the growth of the GI antiwar movement in Vietnam and the heroism and intransigence of the Vietnamese led to rising levels of mutinous incidents from large numbers of fraggings to a marked “screw the orders, go slow and save lives” attitude that disrupted Pentagon in Vietnam. That was a key factor in finally forcing Nixon and his generals and admirals into humiliating retreat.

    In the absence of a large civilian antiwar movement – liberals consistently betray and abandon antiwar activity in order to build the Obama campaign – and the extremely reactionary character of the islamist cultists who control the insurgents, this war likely won’t end on the Vietnam model. What will end this war is the ongoing deterioration of the American economy and the ongoing resistance economic decline, Obama’s imposed austerity and the ongoing mass radicalization of working people.

  3. Zorba says:

    An excellent start, lynchie. And while we’re at it, legalize, regulate, and tax drugs and close down the DEA. Take the cap off of social security withholding. Treat long-term capital gains as regular income for tax purposes. Raise the top marginal income tax rate to at least what it was back in the days of the Nixon Presidency, and close a lot of the loopholes. Tax religious institutions, just like any business- if they make money, they pay taxes. (And they can help out their local jurisdictions by paying property taxes.)

  4. lynchie says:

    But the rank and file military still largely vote Republican.

  5. lynchie says:

    The military is bloated I agree but not by salaries for the troops, perhaps for all the generals and support staff but the rank and file make diddley squat. As for getting out in the free market have you missed the high unemployment figures in this country, there are no jobs. The problem is with tanks the military don’t want and more aircraft carriers, jets, drones, etc. Close the bases in Europe make those countries defend themselves. Close the bases that don’t have a real role in defending America. Cut Congress’s pay if they can’t do their jobs. Cut off access of lobbyists and corporations who influence how our officials vote. Put Wall Street and the banks in jail if they committ fraud. That would be a start.

  6. PABLO VALLE says:

    would America be bankrupted?

    how to Filed for bankruptcy?

  7. BlessLiberty says:

    The military is bloated anyway. This country needs to stop wasting tax payers’ money on stupid wars and salaries of service men who should be out there being productive in the American free market economy, providing goods and services, instead of going to foreign lands shooting and bombing people in their own countries.

  8. karmanot says:

    ie. check out the Mondragon system.

  9. karmanot says:

    Exactly, the last two generations have been feed entitlement, indulgence, self interest and adolescence well into maturity. They can now get of my f’ing lawn!

  10. BeccaM says:

    Thanks Bill, appreciate the link.

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    This refers only to Sequestration, not COLA reductions via chained CPI’s. That’s not decided yet.

    “What is Exempt from Sequestration?

    All Department of Veteran Affairs programs and services are exempt. This includes programs such as disability compensation, pensions, and education and healthcare benefits.

    Military pay and allowances are exempt.

    Retired military pay is exempt.

    Paychecks, allowances, payments and annuities will continue to be paid on time and without interruption.”

  12. BeccaM says:

    I read through the Obama budget proposal and didn’t see any exemptions for military pay, or anything. Just a kludgey ‘birthday bump’ for some seniors on Social Security. Can you provide a source on that exemption? I’d prefer not to be mistaken myself.

  13. BeccaM says:

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about. There was no question of my father having to join the army just so my mother and I could get health benefits. As soon as he landed his first regular blue-collar job as a sheet metal worker, health insurance came with it.

    Nowadays, even many college grads can’t seem to claw their way up from the lower class. There’s virtually no hope for someone who didn’t graduate HS.

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    We should default on our debts to foreign and domestic banks and begin plans to nationalize, without compensation, any banks or corporations that required a bailout or other loans to survive, reopening them as democratically run enterprises run by workers and consumers.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    Unless Boehner has his way military pay and benefits are exempt. There never were plans, until his statement, to cut them. Most of the cuts will affect civilians with pay cuts and periodic furloughs.

    As of now the only way military pay will be cut is that training will be reduced. Pilots in the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will see a pay cut (sob) because they have less fight time, which pays more than regular time.

    I don’t know if COLA cuts will affect the military too. I haven’t seen any discussion of it one way of the other.

    The easy solution to the fake deficit crisis is to

    1) bring all the troops home, demobilize them, guarantee them them good jobs greening the economy and renounce wars of aggression.

    2) increase the taxes in the rich by taxing their annual income from any source at 100% if income over $250.000.00 and have the same tax on estates except when they involve assets like the homes of workers and the farms of small farmers.

    3) Using Quantitative Easing, allot however many trillion dollars it takes to green the economy.

  16. condew says:

    Actually, what is more important is to raise taxes and make moderate spending cuts so we don’t keep raising the debt to where such choices could be forced upon us. Republicans are always grandstanding with some quick, unworkable fix like this rather than do the hard work of preparing a real budget and then addressing the shortfall rather than just imply more borrowing. Even in a recession, they could be making plans for the near future, when the economy recovers, of what taxes will be needed and which functions of government can be done more efficiently.

    But crap like this makes headlines, sound planning does not. Whose fault is that?

  17. condew says:

    Replace “couldn’t get into college” with “dropped out in the 8th grade” and remove “had to get married” and that’s not all that different than my parents.

    Sad thing is, that hard start does not seem to lead to compassion for those having trouble now; mom’s attitude is “we worked hard and made it work out and so should they.” She just can’t see that as jobs are harder to find and pay less while lots of things like medical care and college tuition cost more, it’s just an entirely different situation.

    With an 8th grade education, dad gave us a firmly middle class life and put 3 sons thru college. I don’t think that is remotely possible now.

  18. Thomas Montz says:

    That is the problem today with our government, take care and kiss the a**es of other countries, especially Communist ones. But deny its own citizens any rights, help or other means to live. How about we take the comforts of luxury from the Politicians and see how they like it.

  19. BeccaM says:

    The GOP as a whole and the Dem Blue Dogs — including the current President — are in favor of chained-CPI.

    Which, due to its planned gov’t wide adoption, in addition to the much-reported reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits, would also erode the wages of our servicemen and -women.

  20. BeccaM says:

    And sadly, many of the lousy choices are because ordinary Americans simply don’t have the economic opportunities we had after WWII. My own family’s bullet points, with my father, would have read as follows:

    — Couldn’t get into college due to poor grades and abusive upbringing
    — Got girlfriend pregnant, had to get married
    — Baby born extremely prematurely, lots of health problems (i.e., me)
    — Barely kept a roof over our heads, depended on family and on gov’t assistance for a few years
    — Managed to be apprenticed to a trade union, and soon after began landing decent-paying jobs
    — Bought a small house in a nice suburban neighborhood, moving well out of poor and into the middle class
    — Bought a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood to house a growing family, supported by a single union-backed blue-collar income
    — Sent two of his kids off to college, and one to trade school, none of those kids leaving school with more than $10k total in loans to pay off.

  21. nicho says:

    Actually, the only thing keeping the Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese economy from imploding is the constant inflow of money. If that money stops coming in, the Chinese are screwed royally.

  22. nicho says:

    Sadly, this is exactly the way a lot of Americans live.

  23. perljammer says:

    I just read the Buzzfeed piece. Really, John, you could have picked a better poster child for this subject.

    — Flunked out of college due to partying to hard.
    — Got his girlfriend pregnant; had to get married.
    — Moved across the country because he “heard” about high-paying job opportunities which evaporated.
    — Joined the Army to get health benefits for his wife. Seriously. Then divorced.
    — Got married again. And divorced again.
    — Bought a BMW. Seriously.
    — Traded the BMW for a low-MPG sedan, then complains about crappy gas mileage.
    — Wants to get deployed to a war zone to help with his finances.
    — Living paycheck-to-paycheck, quits his job for a new one that involves moving and taking on an extra $950/month rental obligation.

    This was not, as the Buzzfeed article states, “… living a model, modern American life.” This was a disaster waiting to happen; the result of a life of reaction rather than planning.

  24. Please burn your voter ID card before you hurt somebody, namely ME!

  25. It’s pretty scarey that you are so stupid that you don’t understand what the term “Default” means. I’d like to see your personal finances.

  26. clarenceswinney says:

    “You are going to exclude a lot of younger workers”
    80% that would get a raise are adults.
    Add in those indirectly affected it is 92% adults.
    Most are parents. Seven million children would be affected.
    The majority that would get a raise are women.
    The Republicans rejected a proposal to go to $10.10
    and indicated they would oppose Obama’s $9.00 proposal.
    Polls show nearly 75% support the increase.
    Will Republicans ever stop working to stop Progress of the Middle Class?
    Still old Country Club Outfit! Aid the rich. Trickle down nonsense.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Typical Republican arrogance soon to be coupled with Democrat cowardice. I wonder if they’ll actually pass it and if they do what the reaction of GIs might be.

  28. Jim Parker says:

    What is actually more important here? I would say to keep paying your obligations to the Americans!! The Chinese will live without a few payments,but Americans that depend on these monies to survive and keep going wont.China already gets billions from U.S. trade and true they lent us monies,but the need for our country to keep functioning is more important.

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