Posted tagged ‘Debt limit’

August 4, 2011

Barney Frank has written a clear, detailed and carefully reasoned explanation of why he voted against the debt ceiling bill.  It’s long enough to send most of it below the jump, but I want to highlight on the front page what my congressman had to say about our job now:

Dear Friend,

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know of your views on the debt limit.  As I will explain later, I think part of the reason that we wound up with a very unsatisfactory bill – one that I voted against – is that there was a disproportionate volume of communications from people who take a wholly negative view of virtually all government activity.  Fortunately, now that their efforts have called some fundamental values into question, a more broadly representative sector in the American public is speaking out and I think that will have a good result. [emphases added]

That is:  keep those cards and letters coming, now, through the summer, and all the way to Christmas.

There’s a lot more, all worth reading, reminding us (me) that despite the relatively negligible damage done up front by this deal, the potential remains for much worse to come.  To get Frank’s take, keep reading. (more…)

Clowns to the Right of Me…

July 26, 2011

This does say it all, doesn’t it:

Exempting war spending — which goes untouched in Boehner’s plan — the legislation would reduce spending by only $5 billion next fiscal year. And its impact on the deficit is even less — a paltry $1 billion.

This provides occasion for yet another penetrating glimpse of the obvious:  the debt ceiling battle is not about the debt.  It’s about the Republican attempt to rob the middle class and the poor to feed the rich.

That the collateral damage will be the long term erosion of America’s capacity to create wealth and wield power is…acceptable, it seems.

Per Doug J and Krugman (and David Kurtz), you do have to ask:  what would it take to get the VSPs on cable to, you know, look at the actual numbers and who’s proposing what?

Meanwhile, back at the headquarters of the Party That Hates America™, Boehner’s claque of merry pranksters are trying to rewrite the bill to grab back a fig-leaf of deficit cutting respectability.

Which is to say, a bunch of economic illiterates are trying to make fiscal and social policy in hours and minutes that would, if enacted, have ramifications for a generation or more.

We are “governed” (sic-ed.) by feral children.  May the FSM envelop them all in cosmic cappellini.*

*String theory, you know.

Image: Paul Cezanne, Pierrot and Harlequin, 1888

What Do You Call It When A Herd of Pigs Takes Flight? A Wallow of Swine? A Flutter of Trotters?

July 14, 2011

Via GOS, further signs that the apocalypse is upon us — or at least is descending on the GOP.

Yup, Alan Simpson, Catfood Commissionaire Extraordinaire,  he of the milk cow with 310 million tits, has noticed that we might do with a bit more tax revenue just now, not to mention a Republican Party that actually, you know, cared about the country:

“The stuff that’s going on in my party, where the -– pettiness overcomes the patriotism -– it’s just disgusting to me,” he told ABC News. “Reagan raised taxes. We’ve never had less revenue to run this country since the Korean war.”

Also as noted in that DKos story, Bill O’Reilly — yup, that one — is calling for more revenue.  Admittedly, and unsurprisingly, his is the worst possible idea, a truly regressive 1% national sales tax.  Heaven forfend that he and his stratospheric income buddies should actually have to pay even proportionately in any tax plan, much less progressively.   But still:  BillO is saying we need to raise taxes — and in this as in so much else, there’s no such thing as being mostly virginal.  If a sales tax is on the table, then so is an income tax rate change, hedge fund loophole closing and all the rest.

And back to the point:  it’s getting to seem like the only ones who think that the GOP Congressional delegation could manage a rowboat, much less a country, is some falling fraction of that caucus itself.

I’d feel schandenfreude if I hadn’t sat with my college-bound nephew last night, reviewing yesterday’s events, and then feeling compelled to apologize to him for hideous mess we are preparing for him and his.  I couldn’t even think what I might say to my eleven year old.

But here’s hoping that we might just be seeing the collapse of the Grand Old Party.  There are lots of real arguments a true oppposition party could make that would matter.  But not the GOP as it now.  It’s tearing itself apart along lines long noted here and many other places. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch…but for this:

The collateral damage. What we don’t know yet is whether the current Republican Party will merely collapse in self-destruction, or will manage to drag the rest of us down in what would amount to a murder-suicide.

Image:  Éduoard Manet, The Suicide, 1877-1881.