Opinion Piece - Debt Ceiling Follies: Extremist ideology, partisanship over country and incompetence rule the day

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 10:28 PM GMT
    This the truly dangerous aspect to the debt ceiling "crisis" and one that I'm not sure I can forgive Obama for. I'm beginning to agree with those who think we should raise a truth leftists as a primary challenger.

    Hunter on Daily KosOur picture-perfect demonstration of Washington as being little more than a dysfunctional collection of crooks continues today with further "negotiations" on top of an already preposterous notion: that we're going to blow up the nation's entire economy if a small group of partisan ideologues don't get what they want.

    This never happened before, because in the past even ideologues had enough basic decency to not, you know, actually take the entire American economy hostage and threaten to shoot it unless they got some perks. They took the entire government hostage, during the Gingrich years (he wants to be president now, I hear), but the whole of the economy? Nope, that's new.

    Right now negotiations are coalescing around the idea of a "Super Congress." The Super Congress would be that wonderous thing that every elected official in Washington loves to propose, because it is a body that is tasked with Doing Their Own Fucking Job For Them, once it has been sufficiently proven that nobody else has any competence whatsoever to do it. I think the notion of "Super Congress" was not enshrined in the Constitution because the founders, who were no slouches themselves when it came to cynicism about basic human nature, still couldn't conceive of a situation in which the existing Congress would be so spectacularly dysfunctional as to need such a thing.

    Now, the original compromise, the Grand Bargain that set all of this in motion, is the casual acceptance by all parties (Republicans, Democrats and the media) that "threatening to destroy our own nation's economy for partisan gain" was an even remotely acceptable notion, as opposed to something that would be referenced at trial just before a person was dragged from the courtroom, placed before a firing squad and shot. No, I think we are long past the point where anyone seriously considered "the good of the country" to be more important than a partisan squabble, and, after all, the terrorists are saying that they're doing it for our own good.

    So that was the original compromise. Since then, they've led us by the nose the entire way. The next compromise was that even though we're supposedly in a deficit crisis (hint: the numbers say we're not), and even though we're in a time of what was once called "catastrophic" unemployment (before all the politicians decided it was in their better interests not to point that out anymore), we weren't going to be "allowed" to raise any new revenue. That's been off the table since day one, and hasn't changed since. Altering the U.S. Constitution to give the Republicans what they want, now that's been on the table. But not raising taxes on the wealthy back to Clinton-era or Reagan-era levels.

    The next "compromise" after that is that we'd put Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on the block. Because while, say, altering private jet depreciation schedules is Right The Fuck Out, cutting grandma's ability to pay for food and medicine is damn bipartisan, and the sort of thing all of the well-to-dos in Washington can get behind. Never mind that Social Security isn't in trouble. Never mind that medical care issues in America don't have much to do with Medicare and Medicaid, which are two of the only medical programs in the nation that actually manage to work: they have been declared far too liberal and must go.

    The subsequent "compromise" the GOP insisted on, and one that Democrats apparently are hellbent to deliver, is that they be allowed to keep the all the hostages for later as well. No simple debt ceiling increase, but a dizzying array of potential plots to make sure that the debt ceiling bomb stayed precisely where the Republicans want it, available for use all over again in a few months, if America didn't cave into their demands at those later dates as well. This has been a huge sticking point for the GOP.

    All of these were previously declared showstoppers for both the White House and Republicans. All were then "compromised" in the Republican's favor.

    So what "compromise" will be coming next? We have some ideas. But I've got a more pressing question: in exchange for all of these very-hard-right compromises, each one of them in and of itself expected to be damaging to the economy in some fashion, what have Democrats gotten in return?

    What has the nation gotten in return, rather than a begrudging acceptance that maybe the incurred debts of the United States will not be defaulted on, as part of these incompetently partisan follies?

    The most dangerous part of this game is the Grand Bargain we've already agreed to, which is that the very economy of the United States can be held hostage, successfully, in exchange for increasingly radical partisan concessions. The moment we started "compromising" rather than having the press, both parties, and the citizens calling that out as unacceptable, unpatriotic, and un-a-few-other-things, we allowed even it to be used as a hostage at every single point going forward, from now until doomsday.

    That was stupid, and remains stupid. But we've bought into it now, and there seems no capability to undo it.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Jul 31, 2011 10:45 PM GMT
    I think it's a bum deal. The only highlight is the Super Committee dealing with tax reforms. If it's not supported by the House, the Pentagon will get some deep cuts, which it needs. Also there will be a veto of the Bash tax cuts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    Latest bullshit meme going around: Cutting taxes, government spending, and entitlements is "taking money out of the economy."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidLatest bullshit meme going around: Cutting taxes, government spending, and entitlements is "taking money out of the economy."


    Not a meme. A fact.

    More unemployment down the road. Lower consumer confidence and spending. Lower reimbursement for doctors. Etc.

    In fact, as the stimulus has dried up unemployment has increased.

    This deal has sunk the economy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:36 AM GMT
    They are fond of noting that the government is "a significant sector of the economy." So of course, taking money out of it is "taking money out of the economy."

    But the government as such a large part of the economy is the problem in the first place. It only takes, and does not produce.

    And it is indeed a meme. It's the latest talking point going around among Liberals - it's been popping up all over the press the past few days. Similar to Obama's "framework"; and Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to convince us that unemployment insurance "gives the biggest bang for the buck" providing two dollars for every dollar spent; and so forth.

    Every time one of these morons comes up with a new angle, the idiot white Liberal media runs with it, as if it were some new divine revelation.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Aug 01, 2011 3:50 AM GMT
    A lot of government funds support production. Just because it is not a government employee doing the work does not mean it is absent of government involvement. Many companies rely on government contracts directly or indirectly. Federal funds are also used to support research.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    creature saidA lot of government funds support production. Just because it is not a government employee doing the work does not mean it is absent of government involvement. Many companies rely on government contracts directly or indirectly. Federal funds are also used to support research.


    Yes, but taking the white Liberal logic to its insane and inane conclusion, we ought to be striving for a government which comprises 100% of the economy. News flash: That's been tried before, and has failed miserably every time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidThey are fond of noting that the government is "a significant sector of the economy." So of course, taking money out of it is "taking money out of the economy."

    But the government as such a large part of the economy is the problem in the first place. It only takes, and does not produce.

    And it is indeed a meme. It's the latest talking point going around among Liberals - it's been popping up all over the press the past few days. Similar to Obama's "framework"; and Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to convince us that unemployment insurance "gives the biggest bang for the buck" providing two dollars for every dollar spent; and so forth.

    Every time one of these morons comes up with a new angle, the idiot white Liberal media runs with it, as if it were some new divine revelation.


    Nicely put.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    What I would like to see is a revolt by the progressive caucus who have stated that they may not go along with this bullshit caving to Tbagger demands. Then Obama will have to refer to the 14th Amendment to save us from the TBaggers and Obama's 'spine problem. SS is not the problem, it did not lead to the debt, two unfunded wars, tax deductions for the most wealthy, unfunded Medicare part D and continuous Corporate Welfare, subsidies for taking our jobs overseas. This is just a partial list of what terrible decisions brought us this debt and of course like a snowball rolling downhill gathers more snow, the longer time goes the worse the problem gets.

    True Compromise would have included the GOP agreeing to some revenue increases as Obama rightfully had suggested, but didn't have the spine to bring to the fore, even with the backing of the majority of Americans.

    Don't try to hand us the bullshit that this started with Obama, because it didn't. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO TAKE AWAY THE SAFETY NETS FOR THE ELDERLY, LOW INCOME AND MIDDLE CLASS, because doing so will further stall the economic recovery and exacerbate our problems by further reducing what money is circulating in this slow moving economy. Even the Chamber of Commerce has come out against this TBagger crazyness.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Aug 01, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    creature saidA lot of government funds support production. Just because it is not a government employee doing the work does not mean it is absent of government involvement. Many companies rely on government contracts directly or indirectly. Federal funds are also used to support research.


    Yes, but taking the white Liberal logic to its insane and inane conclusion, we ought to be striving for a government which comprises 100% of the economy. News flash: That's been tried before, and has failed miserably every time.


    When a significant number of liberals in Congress are striving to have the government compromise 100% of the economy, then I'll believe you. Otherwise all I'm seeing is cackling reminiscent of Chicken Little.

    And is there a reason you keep targeting White liberals? Why are you bringing race into this.

    Edited to add:

    Show me an example of just 1 congressman who wants government to compromise 100% of the economy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:10 AM GMT
    Ooops, I forgot another one: "Revenue," as in "revenue enhancers."

    This is one that people like David Gregory and Matt Lauer have dutifully taken up, as they sit cross-legged on the NBC news set, like dainty little ladies.

    Can't they just say "taxes"?

    Oh, and another one: Suddenly they're all bitching about Medicare Part D.

    Of course there is the perennial favorite about "taking away the safety net." No one has proposed anything even close to that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidThey are fond of noting that the government is "a significant sector of the economy." So of course, taking money out of it is "taking money out of the economy."

    But the government as such a large part of the economy is the problem in the first place. It only takes, and does not produce.

    And it is indeed a meme. It's the latest talking point going around among Liberals - it's been popping up all over the press the past few days. Similar to Obama's "framework"; and Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to convince us that unemployment insurance "gives the biggest bang for the buck" providing two dollars for every dollar spent; and so forth.

    Every time one of these morons comes up with a new angle, the idiot white Liberal media runs with it, as if it were some new divine revelation.


    You'll forgive me if I believe the majority of Nobel prize winning economists over some guy from Jersey. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    creature said
    JackNWNJ said
    creature saidA lot of government funds support production. Just because it is not a government employee doing the work does not mean it is absent of government involvement. Many companies rely on government contracts directly or indirectly. Federal funds are also used to support research.


    Yes, but taking the white Liberal logic to its insane and inane conclusion, we ought to be striving for a government which comprises 100% of the economy. News flash: That's been tried before, and has failed miserably every time.


    When a significant number of liberals in Congress are striving to have the government compromise 100% of the economy, then I'll believe you. Otherwise all I'm seeing is cackling reminiscent of Chicken Little.

    And is there a reason you keep targeting White liberals? Why are you bringing race into this.

    Edited to add:

    Show me an example of just 1 congressman who wants government to compromise 100% of the economy.


    You misunderstand. When Pelosi says that unemployment "gives the biggest bang for the buck," then the logical conclusion is to give every American unemployment money, and forget every other program and attempt at "stimulus."

    Or when Obama talks about "structural issues in our economy" being a problem, giving ATMs and automation at airports as examples, then logically we should ban ATMs and automation at airports, and watch the economy boom!

    In fact, we could "create" a LOT of jobs by banning machinery and automation. Think of the possibilities!

    Milton Friedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren't there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman's response: "Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:26 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    JackNWNJ saidThey are fond of noting that the government is "a significant sector of the economy." So of course, taking money out of it is "taking money out of the economy."

    But the government as such a large part of the economy is the problem in the first place. It only takes, and does not produce.

    And it is indeed a meme. It's the latest talking point going around among Liberals - it's been popping up all over the press the past few days. Similar to Obama's "framework"; and Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to convince us that unemployment insurance "gives the biggest bang for the buck" providing two dollars for every dollar spent; and so forth.

    Every time one of these morons comes up with a new angle, the idiot white Liberal media runs with it, as if it were some new divine revelation.


    You'll forgive me if I believe the majority of Nobel prize winning economists over some guy from Jersey. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I won't if one of them is Krugman. Here's a rewrite, substituting Krugmanomics for broken windows:

    A handful of al-Qaeda hijackers, say, fly two airliners into the heart of a city’s financial district, destroying several buildings, and taking the lives of nearly 3000 people. The nation is furious, but the attackers are dead and their overlords are elusive. A crowd of economics professors from Princeton gathers, and begins to gloat with satisfaction at the gaping hole in the ground and the shattered glass, twisted metal, burning rubble, and human remains.

    After a while the economics professors from Princeton feel the need for philosophic reflection. And several of the economics professors from Princeton are almost certain to remind each other and the public, after all, the misfortune has its bright side. Make no mistake: It will save or create jobs! This is real hope, real change!

    As they begin to think of this they elaborate upon it. How much does a new financial center cost? Fifteen billion dollars (not counting overruns)? That will be quite a sum. After all, if buildings were never destroyed by insane Muslims, what would happen to the construction business? If people were never killed by crazy Islamists, what of the undertaking trade? And so forth.

    Then, of course, the thing is endless. Numerous companies, corporations, and contractors will have $15 billion (and counting) more to spend with other companies, corporations, and contractors, and these in turn will have $15 billion (still counting) more to spend with still other companies, corporations, and contractors, and so on, ad infinitum. The destroyed financial center will go on providing money and employment in ever-widening circles.

    The logical conclusion: The insane Muslims who hijacked the planes, far from being murderous blood-thirsty criminals, are ambassadors of goodwill. Just like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney.


    Acknowledgements:

    Paul Krugman, "After the Horror," The New York Times, September 14, 2001.

    Mad props to Hazlitt.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:30 AM GMT
    The left is so far up Obama's ass that they don't even recognize that he is dedicated corporatist, less progressive than Richard Nixon. It's really sad how he has fooled and defanged the Democratic Party.

    Obamacrats screwed the pooch last December when they not only did not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, but they actively wrote and signed a bill extending them!

    Not even seven months later, we are supposed to buy that lack of revenue is all the GOP's fault?

    It's really pathetic people who should know better continue to fall for and make excuses for Obama in the name of partisanship only. He deserves to be primaried but movement liberals do not have the guts of movement conservatives, so it will never happen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:40 AM GMT
    TroyAthlete saidThe left is so far up Obama's ass that they don't even recognize that he is dedicated corporatist, less progressive than Richard Nixon. It's really sad how he has fooled and defanged the Democratic Party.

    Obamacrats screwed the pooch last December when they not only did not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, but they actively wrote and signed a bill extending them!

    Not even seven months later, we are supposed to buy that lack of revenue is all the GOP's fault?

    It's really pathetic people who should know better continue to fall for and make excuses for Obama in the name of partisanship only. He deserves to be primaried but movement liberals do not have the guts of movement conservatives, so it will never happen.


    ===================================================


    AMEN BROTHER !!! I really do agree with you on this, I am so disgusted with Obama that the only way I'll vote for him is if Backmann or some other such GOP nutcase is their Presidential Nominee.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    ^You probably shouldn't be voting at all, frankly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 4:52 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ said^You probably shouldn't be voting at all, frankly.





    LOL !!! I will vote though, to wash out your vote for the party who would strip away all our rights if given the chance, and who would also take us backward to the 1800's in many other ways.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 6:47 AM GMT
    This is the unconfortable truth fellas - as I posted in my own forum topic this morning:

    Republican contribution to current deficit : $8.6 trillion

    The hypocrisy of the Republicans and their looney Tea Party compatriots is very evident when you see who has contributed to the current debt levels of the USA:

    Ronald Reagan $1.0 trillion
    George H Bush $1.5 trillion
    George W Bush a whopping $6.1 trillion

    Democrat contribution to current deficit: $3.9 trillion

    Bill Clinton $1.5 trillion
    Obama $2.4 trillion

    Added to this, the almost total deregulation of the financial systems and the wastage of tax cuts to the wealthy under the Republicans which led to the Global Financial Crisis has made Obama's job incredibly difficult.

    If I were the Obama Administration - I would have the above figures writ large on billboards all over the USA.

    The rest of the world is starting to breathe again...however...the looney Tea Party still wait in the lower house...they have shown with their ridiculous chant...'hold the line...hold the line'...that they are unfit to govern
  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Aug 01, 2011 7:22 AM GMT
    The President Surrenders

    By PAUL KRUGMAN (a Nobel prize for winner economics)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/opinion/the-president-surrenders-on-debt-ceiling.html?_r=2
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 01, 2011 10:31 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    creature saidA lot of government funds support production. Just because it is not a government employee doing the work does not mean it is absent of government involvement. Many companies rely on government contracts directly or indirectly. Federal funds are also used to support research.


    Yes, but taking the white Liberal logic to its insane and inane conclusion, we ought to be striving for a government which comprises 100% of the economy. News flash: That's been tried before, and has failed miserably every time.


    Errrr ? ..... Like When?
    The government has never and will never compromise 100% of the economy
    What HAS failed is the economic falsehood that taxcuts for the wealthiest among does ANYTHING but make the wealthy wealthier
    The middle class is under attack
    and Warren Buffett has famously said ... There has been Class warfare ... and we won
    The republican party had set up a system where the redistribution of wealth in this country has been staggering .... something we hadn't seen since the days of the Robber Barons of the earlier twentieth century
    and yet they STILL refuse to bring back the tax rates of the wealthiest 2% we had seen during the Clinton era
    ..... with just that one stroke .... repeal of the Bush tax cuts That one move would make a huge dent in our debt crisis
    But NO .... the republican party trots out the most ridiculous piece of crap legislation that makes me think they are incompetent as well as completely wrong on the subject
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 10:50 AM GMT
    Some form of Okun's law (or rule of thumb, as wiki puts it) is bound to show in the next several years--cut GDP, see more unemployment. We have already seen it with the state and local government cuts.

    Cutting GDP by 1-2% with decreased government spending will probably exacerbate the unemployment figures by 0.5-1%.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 01, 2011 11:17 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidSome form of Okun's law (or rule of thumb, as wiki puts it) is bound to show in the next several years--cut GDP, see more unemployment. We have already seen it with the state and local government cuts.

    Cutting GDP by 1-2% with decreased government spending will probably exacerbate the unemployment figures by 0.5-1%.


    Eyup...... This is very true
    Bill-Maher_GOP-motivation-film-300x167.p
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 12:13 PM GMT
    realifedad said
    JackNWNJ said^You probably shouldn't be voting at all, frankly.

    LOL !!! I will vote though, to wash out your vote for the party who would strip away all our rights if given the chance, and who would also take us backward to the 1800's in many other ways.

    I will work real hard and provide campaign dollars, even in your state if need be, to cancel out your vote many times over. Seeing guys like you really fires me up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2011 12:18 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    Christian73 said
    JackNWNJ saidThey are fond of noting that the government is "a significant sector of the economy." So of course, taking money out of it is "taking money out of the economy."

    But the government as such a large part of the economy is the problem in the first place. It only takes, and does not produce.

    And it is indeed a meme. It's the latest talking point going around among Liberals - it's been popping up all over the press the past few days. Similar to Obama's "framework"; and Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to convince us that unemployment insurance "gives the biggest bang for the buck" providing two dollars for every dollar spent; and so forth.

    Every time one of these morons comes up with a new angle, the idiot white Liberal media runs with it, as if it were some new divine revelation.


    You'll forgive me if I believe the majority of Nobel prize winning economists over some guy from Jersey. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I won't if one of them is Krugman. Here's a rewrite, substituting Krugmanomics for broken windows:

    A handful of al-Qaeda hijackers, say, fly two airliners into the heart of a city’s financial district, destroying several buildings, and taking the lives of nearly 3000 people. The nation is furious, but the attackers are dead and their overlords are elusive. A crowd of economics professors from Princeton gathers, and begins to gloat with satisfaction at the gaping hole in the ground and the shattered glass, twisted metal, burning rubble, and human remains.

    After a while the economics professors from Princeton feel the need for philosophic reflection. And several of the economics professors from Princeton are almost certain to remind each other and the public, after all, the misfortune has its bright side. Make no mistake: It will save or create jobs! This is real hope, real change!

    As they begin to think of this they elaborate upon it. How much does a new financial center cost? Fifteen billion dollars (not counting overruns)? That will be quite a sum. After all, if buildings were never destroyed by insane Muslims, what would happen to the construction business? If people were never killed by crazy Islamists, what of the undertaking trade? And so forth.

    Then, of course, the thing is endless. Numerous companies, corporations, and contractors will have $15 billion (and counting) more to spend with other companies, corporations, and contractors, and these in turn will have $15 billion (still counting) more to spend with still other companies, corporations, and contractors, and so on, ad infinitum. The destroyed financial center will go on providing money and employment in ever-widening circles.

    The logical conclusion: The insane Muslims who hijacked the planes, far from being murderous blood-thirsty criminals, are ambassadors of goodwill. Just like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney.


    Acknowledgements:

    Paul Krugman, "After the Horror," The New York Times, September 14, 2001.

    Mad props to Hazlitt.


    Your post makes no sense whatsoever. icon_rolleyes.gif