What can truly destroy our economy and is the GOP willing to do that for political reasons?
The article “Are Republicans serious about refusing to raise the debt ceiling?” describes this stating “The looming “debate” over whether to raise the debt ceiling beyond $14.3 trillion is not a debate in the typical sense, in which one side argues for the wisdom of a policy and the other argues against it. Rather, it’s a debate like that between a hostage negotiator and a suicide bomber. Unless the negotiator agrees to the bomber’s demands, the bomber will take out the negotiator and everyone else with him.
The bombers, in this case, are Republican freshmen, who don’t even take office until next year. Many incoming GOPers attacked their opponents during the 2010 campaign for voting to raise the debt ceiling, arguing that such a move allows out-of-control government spending. Now that stance has put them in a bind: Do they stick with their principles and vote against raising the ceiling-which could shut down the government when Uncle Sam can’t pay his bills-or compromise and get labeled as flip-floppers? (A vote on raising the debt ceiling is likely in February.)”
Republican freshmen came into office riding the Tea Party insanity. They had to make promises to appeal to the baser instincts of red staters. The more experienced GOP politicians are queasy about acquiescing with the loons as the article states “The Republican leadership, meanwhile, isn’t so hot on the idea. “We’re going to have to deal with it as adults,” incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner told the Wall Street Journal.
“Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations, and we have obligations on our part.”
The possible showdown between Democrats and Republicans-not to mention within the GOP-prompted Alan Simpson, co-chair of the president’s bipartisan deficit commission, to gleefully predict a “bloodbath.” Simpson said he hopes the fight forces Democrats to accept some of the commission’s deficit-reducing recommendations.
Why the disagreement among Republicans? Perhaps the elders have learned their lesson. In 1996, Boehner, then a freshman, led the last budget showdown between a Republican Congress and a Democratic president. When the parties came to an impasse, Boehner blamed Clinton: “We have offered to work with the president to avert this crisis,” he said. “But so far, all we have gotten are excuses.”
Everyone remembers the outcome of that gambit. The new Republican majority refused to raise the debt ceiling. President Clinton refused to meet GOP demands, which included eliminating the Commerce Department. The government shut down. Newt Gingrich made an unwise comment about how Clinton had once made him sit at the back of an airplane. Voters blamed Republicans for the crisis. Clinton was re-elected.”
It is a sad state of affairs when Boehner is considered to be the calm, agreeable source. He knows what might happen though as the article states “What would happen if Republicans forced another shutdown? This time would be worse. The administration would have to come up with $1.4 trillion in savings to make up for the budget shortfall. With a total annual budget of $3.8 trillion, that would entail a budgetary massacre. Treasury would be unable to sell more bonds, driving the already vulnerable bond market haywire. Investors could also take it as a sign that the United States is unable to repay its debt. And as in 1996, voters could blame Republicans.
Odds are we won’t get there. The most likely result is a face-saving compromise. Democrats agree to a trim here, a cut there. Republicans declare victory. Everyone votes to raise the debt limit. Nothing changes.
The irony is that both sides want to reduce the deficit-or at least say they do. But refusing to raise the debt ceiling is a terrible way to get there. Sure, self-appointed deficit hawks will extract a few minor budgetary concessions. But that will build up the kind of partisan resentment that makes a larger-scale, sustainable solution-like the one soon to be proposed by the Simpson-Bowles commission-impossible. If Simpson wants his reforms to pass, maybe he shouldn’t be looking forward to a “bloodbath” but instead should be trying to avoid one.”
Democrats actually care about the ramifications of policy. Sometimes they get so entangled in that the Democrats forget they are elected officials and need to worry about appearances for political advantages.
The article “The Democrats have picked the wrong strategy on the Bush tax cuts” addresses how the GOP is willing to do anything for political gain stating “In February, Congress will have to vote to lift the debt ceiling. Eventually, it will do this. It always does, because if it doesn’t, it creates a fiscal crisis. But Republicans, despite wanting to increase the debt by extending the Bush tax cuts, don’t want to vote to raise the debt ceiling. They’re already planning to hold the vote hostage until they get substantial concessions on health-care repeal and spending cuts. And Democrats, at that point, will have little choice but to accede to their demands. The politics of the debt ceiling are tough, and since Democrats both lost the last election and control most of the government, they’ll get blamed.”
The GOP knows it has to ruin health care reform and weaken our social service network to appeal to the right-wing fanatics they have as their base and they don’t really give a damn that the bottom 99% will be hurt by this including many of their constituents. Many GOP goons, Reagan in particular, dreamed of starving out these social service network programs because by doing that would cost the Democrats to lose some of their voters in primarily two ways. One would be that these voters would be disenchanted that Democrats couldn’t provide these services. Another would be that these people would literally die from lack of these services. Neither of these outcomes would bother the GOP or their voters and the GOP ghouls love prattling about tough love and compassionate conservatism.
The article continues “Getting rid of the tax cuts for the rich is not as important as extending unemployment benefits or protecting the Affordable Care Act. Right now, Democrats have settled on a strategy that focuses on those tax cuts and leaves unemployment insurance and the debt ceiling alone. That’s a bad strategy. If we’re extending economic relief, we should be extending it to for the jobless. Giving someone making $195,000 a year a tax cut but cutting off the unemployment benefits for an unemployed machinist in Ohio is cruel and counterproductive. And if both parties want to add trillions to the deficit by extending these tax cuts, then both parties need to raise the debt ceiling at the same time.
The right outcome here is not the end of the tax cuts for the rich, though that might be nice. It’s an extension of unemployment insurance and an increase in the debt ceiling. Democrats shouldn’t vote with Republicans to extend the tax cuts — which is, of course, the only way the tax cuts can be extended — unless Republicans will simultaneously vote with them to extend UI and lift the debt ceiling.”
Red staters are suckers for hate and fear mongering and have for generations lapped up GOP lies. It is a shame in the US that one of the two major parties is so brutal-the GOP and that the other, the Democrats-whose policies benefit the majority of the people, have to expend so much time and energy countering the baseless charges of the GOP whose voters get their thrills from exhibiting their hatred for others.
Just how corrupt is the GOP is answered in the article “GOP lawmaker holding 2 million unemployed hostage on behalf of richest 2%” which states “If this isn’t class warfare, I don’t know what is.
A senior Republican in the House of Representatives said he could back extending jobless benefits, favored by Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in exchange for an extension of all Bush-era tax cuts, including for the wealthiest groups.
“What we’re going to do is sit down and talk with Mrs. Pelosi,”Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican in leadership, told Reuters as he left a meeting of House Republicans. “I see nothing wrong with her winning as long as the American people do.”
In other words, give the rich a tax break, or the two million people who will lose their benefits by the end of December are out on the street. Oh, and happy holidays.”
Congress is bad now, but how will the next session be is addressed in the article which states “This was a hostage ripe for the taking, unfortunately. It also demonstrates the necessity of getting this vote done and done soon, preferably extending jobless benefits for a full year instead of using the stopgap approach. Squeezing more benefits out of the Republican House in the coming two years is going to be a massive challenge.”
Also, can Democrats get to GOP to extend unemployment benefits is addressed in the article “Republicans kill bill to extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans” which states “Millions of Americans will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the year thanks to Republicans in the House of Representatives killing a bill on Thursday that would extend them through the end of February…..
The previous 6-month unemployment extension passed in July – again with much Republican opposition – and cost $34 billion. This latest extension would have cost $12.5 billion. Unemployment benefits have needed extensions four times this year with Congress failing to meet the deadline multiple times because of opposition. The shorter lapses did not cause too many issues, but over the summer Senate Republicans filibustered an extension for 50 days causing 2.5 million people to stop receiving their checks for several weeks.
“This vote was a stark test of our priorities, and House Republicans showed that their priorities are decidedly in the wrong place for middle-class families,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement….
This latest act of Republican opposition is infuriating. It is unimaginable how Republicans could basically say to millions of Americans sorry we are not going to help you. Some families rely on the unemployment benefits to provide them the extra money they need to put food on the table and clothes on their backs.
To end the benefits in the holiday season also is unbelievable. To think that some families across the nation were relying on those unemployment benefits to provide their kids with the Christmas – or whatever holiday they celebrate – they deserve and now they will not get that is disheartening. Parents should not have to choose between feeding their family or giving their kids an enjoyable and happy Christmas but this year, thanks to Republicans, it looks as if that might be the case for many.”
The GOP likes to lie that they were voted in because the Democrats didn’t listen to US citizens. The article notes that this line of attack is sheer hypocrisy as it states “A poll released Monday showed 73 percent of voters said it was too early to cut back benefits for those who were struggling to find work. According to the report released from the National Employment Law Project and Half in Ten, a campaign aimed at cutting poverty in half in 10 years, only 24 percent said the deficit was a reason to cut back on the benefits. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, during the past 60 years, the highest unemployment rate where federal unemployment benefits were cut off was 7.2 percent.
Republicans have said the outcome of the midterm elections was because the Democrats were not listening to the American people and pushing through legislation they did not like. Whether or not that is the case, what can be said is throughout the campaign season Republicans said they were listening to the American people and they would tackle the issues the American people wanted. Well, they certainly are not listening to the American people now.
Just like on Wednesday when Senate Republicans filibustered legislation that would ensure women received equal wages as men when doing the same job, Thursday’s vote against extending unemployment benefits shows the GOP do not care about the needs of middle class families. These families are the ones who are hurting the most from this sluggish economy and helping them to survive is the best thing the government can do for them right now. It might cost $12.5 billion to extend the benefits through February but that money would get put back into the economy as families buy things their household needs.”
The GOP knows that care about lashing out at others. Their policies hurt the bottom 99%, but red staters have bought GOP fear and hate mongering for generations. If they didn’t have buyers they would have to change their product.
Can Democrats get these soulless GOP ghouls to compromise? The answer depends on what lies deep within the souls of the common red stater masses.