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Broken Government And The Debt Crisis

John Harwood in for Tom Ashbook

The latest on the debt ceiling negotiations, and how the markets will react as the deadline nears.

As Congressional leaders try to reach an accord to avert a debt-ceiling crisis, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, strides from his office to the House Chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011,  following a morning meeting other GOP leaders.  (AP)

As Congressional leaders try to reach an accord to avert a debt-ceiling crisis, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, strides from his office to the House Chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011, following a morning meeting other GOP leaders. (AP)

If Washington followed the script, this would be the moment for bipartisan compromise. Instead they are digging in –- with dueling televised speeches by President Obama and Speaker John Boehner, and dueling House and Senate debt-limit plans.

Have markets already gotten their answer about America’s solvency? Have voters gotten their answer about our politics?

This hour On Point: One week before Treasury’s debt deadline, the race to keep the country from going bust.

-John Harwood

Guests:

Carol Lee, White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Thomas Mann, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. He’s coauthor (with Norman Ornstein) of
The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track.

Allen Sinai, chief global economist at Decision Economics.

Kim Alfano, Republican media consultant. President and CEO of Alfano Communications.

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  • Yar

    I can see Social Security Recipients telling congress “don’t make me come down there.” and that is just what they should do.  If just one in 50 decided to come to town, there would be total breakdown.  Congress couldn’t handle a million retires in the capital.  If congress wants to shut government down, maybe the old folks should be there to meet their legislators as they come out of the house and senate.  I am ready for some non-violent protest.  Talk about shutting government down,  I believe that 1 million elderly will do the trick.  It might be fun too.

    • Ellen Dibble

      The PBS show American Experience broadcast part 5 tonight, part 5 of “Abraham and Mary Lincoln:  A House Divided,” which is the lead-up to the second presidential campaign,1863-1864, where McClellan was running to overturn the emancipation proclamation, saying the war had been about keeping the union, not about freeing the slaves, and the political ads were showing Lincoln as incompetent and the widow maker of 500,000 widows.  
         The president doubled down to try for enough victories to convince people to re-elect him. Since the Gettysburg memorial address (November 1863 I think), he had framed the war for the nation as a rebirth of the founding principles of equality, and he called up 300,000 more union soldiers to be drafted.      And a large delegation comes from Illinois, his home state — this is what I am thinking of in responding here — and those Illinois men tell Lincoln in person that he has bled that state dry and they are not about to sacrifice any more of the young men.       The idea at the time is that if Lincoln will retract the emancipation proclamation, the South will return to the Union, and this is the kind of compromise that will end the war.  This makes an especial impression on me since I have a great grandfather from Illinois who fought in the Civil War on the Union side.       Anyway, Lincoln impressed upon them with all the moral and emotional force of one in his position that it was the people of Illinois who had urged the arming of Fort Sumter, and even urged terrorist advances against the secessionists.     Who are the Illinois people now to withhold their support when it is most needed?  He was more than firm.     And the film suggests that the quantity of blood spilled more or less sealed the need to underscore the higher principle being fought for (which resonates with the position paper of a certain Norwegian of the right fringe, but anyway), the higher ideals versus the secession of states.      I’m thinking where is Abraham Lincoln when we need him to address the freshman Republican House caucus, steely, sure.  Budgets are not about blood, not our blood at any rate…

      • Yar

        Ellen, I think the comparison to Lincoln is appropriate, I expect that President Obama may have his Lincoln moment when congress fails to raise the debt ceiling and he declares an emergency and raises it on his own, using the 14th amendment as justification. http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2011/07/gr-falling-wealth-624.gif
        The graph above shows who has lost the largest percentage of their wealth for the crisis caused by greedy banks and Wall street.  The graph is part of a story on Morning edition. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/26/138688135/study-shows-racial-wealth-gap-grows-wider

        My question in comparing now to Lincoln’s, are we blindly heading toward civil war again?  The civil war was about the right to exploitation, with current corporate laws those rights have been awarded to groups of individuals.  Corporations have replace the white ruling class of Lincoln’s time and they have carved out special rights to exploit the common worker.  We decided it is wrong to exploit based on race in 1865, now it is time to end exploitation based on economic class.  This is at the root of the debate: Should a worker earn a living wage, have an old age pension, and have access to adequate healthcare in return for their labor?  Does a job that doesn’t provide a living wage add to our GDP or does it take away from it? These are issues that are under the table in the debt and deficit fight. 

        When the gap between rich and poor becomes too great, history has shown time and again that the lightening bolt of anarchy strikes.  It is in the best interest of all to step away without violence. That must involve reducing the gaps between rich and poor!  That can be done though inflation, or taxes or revolution, but it will be done.  How close are we to the breaking point? Will we get struck by lightening or will we treat or working class better, after all they are who’s labor creates our wealth.

        • GLH

          Emancipation today is about abolishing wage slavery and debt peonage, a yoke across the back of 80% of Americans. Yar gets it, but Obama doesn’t. The Traitor-Party advocates for wage slavery in service to the Oligarchy. Be an Abolitionist!

          • Mark S.

            More and more, I’m thinking, hoping and praying for revolution.

        • GLH

          Emancipation today is about abolishing wage slavery and debt peonage, a yoke across the back of 80% of Americans. Yar gets it, but Obama doesn’t. The Traitor-Party advocates for wage slavery in service to the Oligarchy. Be an Abolitionist!

        • GLH

          Emancipation today is about abolishing wage slavery and debt peonage, a yoke across the back of 80% of Americans. Yar gets it, but Obama doesn’t. The Traitor-Party advocates for wage slavery in service to the Oligarchy. Be an Abolitionist!

        • Ellen Dibble

          I thought the president has Repeatedly laid out your argument about the America’s class that is almost untouchably successful taking advantage of the American system, its Wall Street, its educated workers, its infrastructure, its support for capitalist expansion of many sorts, its laws, its tax structure.  I get it, I get it.  He pointed to it in a few choice sentences last night as well.
              It seems to me Lincoln took another tack (with another century, and other issues) and said something like:   “You brought about this situation, you asked for this war, you asked for this commitment; now I/you/we are in this struggle; ante up.”
               The equivalent argument would go something like:  “You Republicans were on board for funding the Iraq war; you were not over there fighting; but are you there for the paying for it?  If not right now, then in a measured way over the next quarter century? If not, why not?  You Republicans were on board for making the new pharmaceuticals available to seniors in a way that benefitted American pharmaceutical companies a well.  Your seniors have lived off that benefit while those drugs were under patent; now are you going to help pay for that?  In a planned and measured way?  Or are you going to pretend you didn’t drive us to that?”
              “It’s time to stand up for your own commitments.”
               I don’t think the modern Lincoln has to do this alone.  If the Tea Party faction is reading the Zeitgeist, they’ll get a dose of the same from plenty of us.

          • Steve

            From whence the wisdom to produce another Lincoln?

        • Ellen Dibble

          I thought the president has Repeatedly laid out your argument about the America’s class that is almost untouchably successful taking advantage of the American system, its Wall Street, its educated workers, its infrastructure, its support for capitalist expansion of many sorts, its laws, its tax structure.  I get it, I get it.  He pointed to it in a few choice sentences last night as well.
              It seems to me Lincoln took another tack (with another century, and other issues) and said something like:   “You brought about this situation, you asked for this war, you asked for this commitment; now I/you/we are in this struggle; ante up.”
               The equivalent argument would go something like:  “You Republicans were on board for funding the Iraq war; you were not over there fighting; but are you there for the paying for it?  If not right now, then in a measured way over the next quarter century? If not, why not?  You Republicans were on board for making the new pharmaceuticals available to seniors in a way that benefitted American pharmaceutical companies a well.  Your seniors have lived off that benefit while those drugs were under patent; now are you going to help pay for that?  In a planned and measured way?  Or are you going to pretend you didn’t drive us to that?”
              “It’s time to stand up for your own commitments.”
               I don’t think the modern Lincoln has to do this alone.  If the Tea Party faction is reading the Zeitgeist, they’ll get a dose of the same from plenty of us.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I thought the president has Repeatedly laid out your argument about the America’s class that is almost untouchably successful taking advantage of the American system, its Wall Street, its educated workers, its infrastructure, its support for capitalist expansion of many sorts, its laws, its tax structure.  I get it, I get it.  He pointed to it in a few choice sentences last night as well.
              It seems to me Lincoln took another tack (with another century, and other issues) and said something like:   “You brought about this situation, you asked for this war, you asked for this commitment; now I/you/we are in this struggle; ante up.”
               The equivalent argument would go something like:  “You Republicans were on board for funding the Iraq war; you were not over there fighting; but are you there for the paying for it?  If not right now, then in a measured way over the next quarter century? If not, why not?  You Republicans were on board for making the new pharmaceuticals available to seniors in a way that benefitted American pharmaceutical companies a well.  Your seniors have lived off that benefit while those drugs were under patent; now are you going to help pay for that?  In a planned and measured way?  Or are you going to pretend you didn’t drive us to that?”
              “It’s time to stand up for your own commitments.”
               I don’t think the modern Lincoln has to do this alone.  If the Tea Party faction is reading the Zeitgeist, they’ll get a dose of the same from plenty of us.

        • Steve

          Thank you for your thought provking posts.

          I think there may be several stages that will be traveled between
          inflation-taxes-revolution.

          Subterfuge and misinformation being one.

          Many in the ruling classes seek to insulate themselves not only from the squalor they create but also from the day to day management/contact with those lower born.  For example, think of the private police agencies prevalent throughout the later half of the nineteenth century hired from the working poor to control the working poor.  Even the motive/origin of Civil Service exams and merit based emploment reforms may have been designed to in part insulate workers from their growing allegiance to machine politics.

           

        • Steve

          Thank you for your thought provking posts.

          I think there may be several stages that will be traveled between
          inflation-taxes-revolution.

          Subterfuge and misinformation being one.

          Many in the ruling classes seek to insulate themselves not only from the squalor they create but also from the day to day management/contact with those lower born.  For example, think of the private police agencies prevalent throughout the later half of the nineteenth century hired from the working poor to control the working poor.  Even the motive/origin of Civil Service exams and merit based emploment reforms may have been designed to in part insulate workers from their growing allegiance to machine politics.

           

        • Steve

          Thank you for your thought provking posts.

          I think there may be several stages that will be traveled between
          inflation-taxes-revolution.

          Subterfuge and misinformation being one.

          Many in the ruling classes seek to insulate themselves not only from the squalor they create but also from the day to day management/contact with those lower born.  For example, think of the private police agencies prevalent throughout the later half of the nineteenth century hired from the working poor to control the working poor.  Even the motive/origin of Civil Service exams and merit based emploment reforms may have been designed to in part insulate workers from their growing allegiance to machine politics.

           

      • GLH

        That Mary Lincoln wanted to run the household like a government, so she put on her green tie and nearly cost Abe the presidency.

        • Ellen Dibble

          It was interesting that Abe did not “want to burden” Mary with the issues he was dealing with as president.  The film offered a psychological explanation for Mary’s shopping and her concern to keep the debts incurred secret from Abe:  She could control the spending (on clothes mainly, I guess), but she couldn’t control any of the rest.  Apparently she couldn’t even know about the rest, because she was “protected” from it.  Anyway, the postulated explanation was that obsessing about spending and debt protected her from getting lost in things she couldn’t control and largely wasn’t being informed of.
          Lincoln apparently felt quite alone in the responsibility for emancipating the slaves and a lot of the suffering to soldiers and their families, and could not envision being happy in the future.       If they had a more modern marriage — or maybe if Mary had been made of more sinewy emotional fabric to begin with — then we wouldn’t have the fingerprint of one individual, Abe, on that war.   I’m not sure what we’d have instead.

      • GLH

        That Mary Lincoln wanted to run the household like a government, so she put on her green tie and nearly cost Abe the presidency.

      • GLH

        That Mary Lincoln wanted to run the household like a government, so she put on her green tie and nearly cost Abe the presidency.

    • GLH

      An occupation of DC (Freedom Square) is being organized to begin Oct. 6. (Google it) Racism plays a strong role in undermining Obama. Traitor-Party leaders are counting on hate among older people. I doubt it is there in sufficient strength. Of course, the very Obama (a corporate Obedient) who needs an occupation of Washington could turn Syrian when we get there. When you answer to the Oligarchy crimes against humanity are just another marketing tool.

    • GLH

      An occupation of DC (Freedom Square) is being organized to begin Oct. 6. (Google it) Racism plays a strong role in undermining Obama. Traitor-Party leaders are counting on hate among older people. I doubt it is there in sufficient strength. Of course, the very Obama (a corporate Obedient) who needs an occupation of Washington could turn Syrian when we get there. When you answer to the Oligarchy crimes against humanity are just another marketing tool.

    • GLH

      An occupation of DC (Freedom Square) is being organized to begin Oct. 6. (Google it) Racism plays a strong role in undermining Obama. Traitor-Party leaders are counting on hate among older people. I doubt it is there in sufficient strength. Of course, the very Obama (a corporate Obedient) who needs an occupation of Washington could turn Syrian when we get there. When you answer to the Oligarchy crimes against humanity are just another marketing tool.

  • Jbandm781

    “This Is No time for Games” by Peggy Noonan (review, July
    16) Ms. Noonan attempts to make the case that Americans are nostalgic for old
    America; a time when people were nice to each other and we felt safe. I agree
    it is helpful to reflect on inspirational communicators like Kennedy, Reagan
    and Clinton, as they spoke directly to us about their personal vision for
    America’s future.  What Ms. Noonan
    doesn’t understand is that Independent voters have been patiently sitting in
    silence for too long and we are tired of the old political games that
    continually take America to the brink of crisis.  Our democracy was created on set of
    principles that require compromise. Term limits, balanced budget amendments and
    assigning commissions to make tough decisions only serve as “side-tracks.”  Former Senator, Chuck Hagel was right-on when
    he said, elected officials must come to Washington to “govern, find solutions,
    and solve problems.”  Unfortunately, we
    have elected officials who only have one goal in mind – retain power and get
    re-elected.  Ms. Noonan, not all voters want
    to go back in time to the 1970’s. The rigorous Monday-Thursday work schedule is
    the excuse pundits use to justify why congress is so dysfunctional. I believe
    America is engaged in a USA “spring” of the generations where congressional members
    have different values and goals for America. We are witness to the old and
    powerful lobbyists prolonging the inevitable, as they are unwilling to disengage
    authority. Americans over age 50, must transition power and influence, as it is
    now time for our children to become accountable and take the lead. Americans
    understand that cooperation is an essential interaction for our species.  As a fifty four year old only mom and working
    professional, it is time for me to begin my new role as advisor.  I reflect on a band from my youth that has
    begun the transformation.  The band
    Journey has replaced their lead vocal with a passionate young Filipino singer,
    Arnel Pineda. Congressional leadership must also begin this inevitable
    process.  What a legacy for the originating
    band members to transition honorably and mentor their replacements.  The changeover in band members will ensure
    that their music will endure for the young and old to enjoy.  In 2012, independent voters will be very
    selective and identify leaders who will explore new ideas, and to seek out
    opportunities that will lift America from rehab.  Leaders must respectfully communicate a plan
    that will re-invent America the Beautiful.  Don’t stop believing.

    Maria Rella

    Boise, Idaho

  • nj

    The Orange One checks in with Rush before his own members. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Boehner briefed Limbaugh on debt plan

    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the GOP’s debt-ceiling plan to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on Monday before showing it to his conference. 

    On Monday during his radio program, Limbaugh talked about the call he received from Boehner. Limbaugh’s support of the plan would be advantageous to Republicans because it might help rally the conservative base.

    —snipped

    • nj
    • Chris

      Take notice America. Your leaders are bought and paid for by the criminal rich.

      • GLH

        Some of the posters on this site are bought and paid for by the criminal rich. Others are operatives in the covert security apparatus.

        • TFRX

          Hey, one could get serfs to fight for their lord in the middle ages. But nobody’s dumb enough to do that as freed men now, are they?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Unfortunately, yes.  There are also drug-addicts that will fight for whoever supplies the drugs.
                 There are illegal aliens  that would fight for whoever pays them a little more! 
                 There are people that are in an economic vise, with family members needing health-care, that would fight for money! 
                 There are poor workers, that think the rich create jobs, out of altruism, that would fight for the rich.

        • TFRX

          Hey, one could get serfs to fight for their lord in the middle ages. But nobody’s dumb enough to do that as freed men now, are they?

        • TFRX

          Hey, one could get serfs to fight for their lord in the middle ages. But nobody’s dumb enough to do that as freed men now, are they?

        • TFRX

          Hey, one could get serfs to fight for their lord in the middle ages. But nobody’s dumb enough to do that as freed men now, are they?

      • GLH

        Some of the posters on this site are bought and paid for by the criminal rich. Others are operatives in the covert security apparatus.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    DISGUSTING!!!  Republicans have never sank this low before!  They are the ones that got seven Debt Limit raises,in  the recent past, with two wars ‘off budget’, Medicare Prescription Plan that wasn’t paid for,  and  many other things they were putting off until later!  Each of them should PROVE they are serious about spending cuts, by cutting spending on two major programs, in their constituency, that they have historically supported!  Would their rich citizen corporations buy them elections, if the Republicans cut Corporate Welfare, in ALL its guises?

  • Gary

    Without a hint of irony, Obama said that ALL of the presidents before him have raised the debt ceiling.  Yes, we know, Obama…we know.  That’s the problem.

  • Steve

    Why are we talking about “a broken government” and “a broken Washington”? We’ve essentially had the same structure of government for generations, and, however flawed, it has usually worked. What’s “broken” about the system now is that we have a party (the Tea-Bagged Republicans) who refuse to let a fairly elected president do his job. Americans elected Obama for a reason, but a minority of well-funded extremists have decided they know better than the voters and have made it their stated mission to prevent him from governing. That’s what’s “broken”: the connection between the voting public and the powers that govern. For all of our sakes (Liberals, Conservatives, and Centrists alike) lets hope Obama wins this manufactured crisis.

    • william

      The elections last November don’t matter?

      • Anonymous

        They absolutely do.  They represent the installation of the “keep government out of my Medicare” element to positions of authority.  Incompetence based on faux principles was inevitable.

        • TFRX

          …and every anti-women’s health and anti-gay/lesbian bill brought up in state leges and in Congress since then shows where their priorities are.

        • TFRX

          …and every anti-women’s health and anti-gay/lesbian bill brought up in state leges and in Congress since then shows where their priorities are.

        • TFRX

          …and every anti-women’s health and anti-gay/lesbian bill brought up in state leges and in Congress since then shows where their priorities are.

        • TFRX

          …and every anti-women’s health and anti-gay/lesbian bill brought up in state leges and in Congress since then shows where their priorities are.

      • Anonymous

        They absolutely do.  They represent the installation of the “keep government out of my Medicare” element to positions of authority.  Incompetence based on faux principles was inevitable.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        They would, if MORE MONEY had not been spent, than prior Presidential election cycles.   Most wins for Republicans were where several times the money spent for Democrat candidates, was spent supporting the Republican.  Money bought the position, NOT the candidate, or platform!

        • william

          You are saying the billion dollars Obama collected to get elected means he bought his position?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            2010 was first election after 5 Supreme Court (Justices?) said, without seeing the Birth Certificates of foreign corporations, that they are ‘citizens’, and can spend on U.S. elections without limit!  They DID, with RECORD SPENDING!!  They bought inaccurate ‘attack ads’, and a lot of other harmful tactics, to buy their chosen candidate into offices.

          • william

            Obama collected millions of dollars from overseas and that was never looked into by the election commission. Obama did not use attack ads? Even Bill Clinton complained about the race card being used on him. Was the MSM fair and balanced on the 08 election? Or in the tank for Obama?

          • TFRX

            “Was the MSM fair and balanced in 2008?”

            Tell us what you consider media crit, and I’ll know your answer. I’m too busy going over my greatest hits of everything which was Such Good News For Republicans:

            Just five seconds’ thought brings up McCain being discovered on TV in NYC after blowing off David Letterman. Sarah Palin going rogue. The GOP stopping their efforts in Michigan.

            But the MSM was hell-bent to fluff McCain’s chances right up to 10:59pm Eastern Time on election night 2008.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        They would, if MORE MONEY had not been spent, than prior Presidential election cycles.   Most wins for Republicans were where several times the money spent for Democrat candidates, was spent supporting the Republican.  Money bought the position, NOT the candidate, or platform!

  • Fredlinskip

        The corporations and mega-wealthy presently sitting on trillions not using any of it in any way to benefit employment or economy, must be just loving how the debate has shifted from those actually responsible for our recent financial crisis and who actually ended up with what used to be in nation’s treasury.       Even though it ’s rare you hear from any media outlet much argument for the position that the wealthiest amongst should share a greater burden of tax burden, still polls have shown majority of Americans from BOTH PARTIES agree that they should. This is really quite a feat considering the amount of propaganda to the contrary from so many sources.     One of the arguments we always hear is that, if you want more taxes of any sort you’re a socialist. Tax rate for the wealthiest since early 1900’s have averaged over 60%. Since about 90% of the time, tax rates for the wealthiest were higher than now, apparently for last hundred years most of the time we were all a bunch of pinko commis.      Imagine that and all this time I thought we’d been a democracy.    GOP believes we need tax cuts for wealthy when economic times are good (Like right after Clinton) and when times are bad (after W). That doesn’t change- only their arguments do. If the economy and employment were now great, you know GOP would be saying, “see we told you those tax cuts were great”. They haven’t noticed the opposite has happened????

  • Guest-22

    Could Rep. Boehner’s shiny green tie have shouted “Money!” any louder? I’m sure the moneyed classes he’s prone to protect got his message loud and clear: Protect them above all else, even if it jeopardizes the financial stability of our country for years to come. I do not see any evidence of bipartisanship by him now. It’s clear the GOP does not truly value our country, just the richest people.
    I will do what Pres. Obama suggested in his speech and call my Congressional representatives. Congress must NOT weaken Medicare and Social Security, which our seniors have earned and paid into. It should cut military budgets and programs and cut subsidies and entitlements to large corporations and financial institutions instead. Make those corporations and the very wealthy shoulder more of the tax burden, since they’ve been unable to create jobs here in the USA while their taxes have nevertheless been so very low lately.
    The Republicans ought to be very, very ashamed of themselves for continuing this stonewalling. Enough’s enough.

  • JP

    It’s unreal how dense these Republicans are… they can’t get it through their thick skulls that in poll after poll, 70-75% of Americans want BOTH Republicans and Dems to compromise on the debt/deficit/revenue; that a majority of Americans blame the Republicans and their policies first and Bush second for our economic mess; that the vast majority of Americans view TPers as extremists determined to destroy our country.

    Let these idiots dig their own graves, but don’t let them take us all down with them!

    Call your Republican Representative and tell him/her to stand up to the tiny TP cabal which is holding our country hostage to the extremist ideology destroying our nation!

     

    • twenty-niner

      Americans blame the Republicans and their policies first and Bush second for our economic mess

      If this were the case, the Republicans wouldn’t have won 63 house seats, 5 senate seats, 6 governorships, and numerous state elections less than a year ago. Manufactured or not, the Tea Party has finally brought the issue of unsustainable deficits to the fore in a big way. Now I agree that taxes should go up for high earners, and many loopholes should be closed, but this also needs to be coupled with spending cuts to cover any remaining shortfall.

      • Thinknaboutit

        That “supporters of the Tea Party” are proud of the destruction to our country a default would bring is pathetic, all in the name of preserving loopholes for the corporations.  I’m not sure how such a fascist political movement has gained traction in the United States, it is truly historic, almost as historic as having our first African American President.  I’m thankful nobody in my family has been brainwashed by these Kochs brothers, and good to see you aren’t fooled by them either twenty-niner.

        • Michael

          ”  I’m not sure how such a fascist political movement has gained traction in the United States”

          Reason? it’s that (supposed) liberal media that helped them, when they came out with racist signs, incoherent logic, the claim the Tea party consisted of Liberals, Con’s and independents the MSM (for fear for being called the L word) bought it, promoted it and gave massive about of press and airtime to such group. Instead of calling it what it was a astro turf re-branding of republicans to embarrassed to be called republicans the media allowed them to bs,threaten, and even call for violent revolution with very little probing questions.

          See Onpoint show with two tea party guess one from Texas and the other trying to hock his flags.

          • GLH

            There is a cadre of right wing Christian officers in our military who stand ready to launch a coup when the Oligarchs say “GO”. I think the Traitor-Party and the business fascists in Congress know this possibility exists. China is a fascist business dictatorship and Pakistan is often a military dictatorship so a nation of a mere 300 million cowards would be easy to run, just like a chickenhouse. After 9/11 and the Meltdown and some of the Supreme Court shenanigans nothing surprises me. Well, maybe it surprises me that citizens don’t react in protest.

          • GLH

            There is a cadre of right wing Christian officers in our military who stand ready to launch a coup when the Oligarchs say “GO”. I think the Traitor-Party and the business fascists in Congress know this possibility exists. China is a fascist business dictatorship and Pakistan is often a military dictatorship so a nation of a mere 300 million cowards would be easy to run, just like a chickenhouse. After 9/11 and the Meltdown and some of the Supreme Court shenanigans nothing surprises me. Well, maybe it surprises me that citizens don’t react in protest.

          • GLH

            There is a cadre of right wing Christian officers in our military who stand ready to launch a coup when the Oligarchs say “GO”. I think the Traitor-Party and the business fascists in Congress know this possibility exists. China is a fascist business dictatorship and Pakistan is often a military dictatorship so a nation of a mere 300 million cowards would be easy to run, just like a chickenhouse. After 9/11 and the Meltdown and some of the Supreme Court shenanigans nothing surprises me. Well, maybe it surprises me that citizens don’t react in protest.

      • JP

        It’s wasn’t hard for these TPers to get elected in RED states, that still has nothing to do with what the MAJORITY of Americans think of these pea-brains.

      • JP

        It’s wasn’t hard for these TPers to get elected in RED states, that still has nothing to do with what the MAJORITY of Americans think of these pea-brains.

      • JP

        It’s wasn’t hard for these TPers to get elected in RED states, that still has nothing to do with what the MAJORITY of Americans think of these pea-brains.

      • JP Too

        So they got some TPers elected in their little podunk districts… so what?

           What does that have to do with what most Americans think?

      • JP Too

        So they got some TPers elected in their little podunk districts… so what?

           What does that have to do with what most Americans think?

      • JP Too

        So they got some TPers elected in their little podunk districts… so what?

           What does that have to do with what most Americans think?

      • JP

        Yep, these boneheads get elected in some hick districts, but didn’t take the senate and don’t have the presidency, yet somehow the majority of Americans and the majority of government (still run by Dems) doesn’t count.

        Americans left Dems in control of the majority of government because they know there is still plenty of Republican mess left to clean up!

      • JP

        Yep, these boneheads get elected in some hick districts, but didn’t take the senate and don’t have the presidency, yet somehow the majority of Americans and the majority of government (still run by Dems) doesn’t count.

        Americans left Dems in control of the majority of government because they know there is still plenty of Republican mess left to clean up!

      • JP

        Yep, these boneheads get elected in some hick districts, but didn’t take the senate and don’t have the presidency, yet somehow the majority of Americans and the majority of government (still run by Dems) doesn’t count.

        Americans left Dems in control of the majority of government because they know there is still plenty of Republican mess left to clean up!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How many TP’s offer to cut their OWN pet projects, or pork for their OWN constituency?  How many TP’s offer to cut pork for their OWN contributors, or lobbyiests? 
           How can we take them serious?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How many TP’s offer to cut their OWN pet projects, or pork for their OWN constituency?  How many TP’s offer to cut pork for their OWN contributors, or lobbyiests? 
           How can we take them serious?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How many TP’s offer to cut their OWN pet projects, or pork for their OWN constituency?  How many TP’s offer to cut pork for their OWN contributors, or lobbyiests? 
           How can we take them serious?

  • Thinknaboutit

    This is what has broken our government.

    When American colonists declared independence from England in 1776, they also freed themselves from control by English corporations that extracted their wealth and dominated trade. After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end.The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these: Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_origin_and_history_of_corporations#ixzz1TCFqZkqu

  • Cornelia Gibbs

    While we spend so much time in US Debt … We feel sorry for the events in
    Norway, but those kids have sort of invited trouble. It was their fault to be
    anit-israel. Nobody has forced them to like Palestinians.http://radiopatriot.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/norwegian-campsite-utoya-was-socialist-and-anti-israel/
    Saddam has messed with Israel. And then Libya’s Gaddafi. Both are in deep regret
    now.Before that, it was the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Anna Lindht, who
    suggested that Swedish people should Boycott Israel. She paid with her
    life.

  • Cornelia Gibbs

    While we spend so much time in US Debt … We feel sorry for the events in Norway, but those kids have sort of invited trouble.  It was their fault to be anit-israel.  Nobody has forced them to like Palestinians.

    http://radiopatriot.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/norwegian-campsite-utoya-was-socialist-and-anti-israel/

    Saddam has messed with Israel.  And then Libya’s Gaddafi.  Both are in deep regret now.

    Before that, it was the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Anna Lindht, who suggested that Swedish people should Boycott Israel.  She paid with her life.

    Nobody Messes with Tel-Aviv.

  • Anonymous

    In 2006 the Senate and the House changed hands.
    In 2008 the White House switched.
    In 2010 the House changed again.
    The last 3 elections have been wave elections, as voters tried one party, then the other, hoping for a solution.

    The problem is not something as vague as “government is broken”.
    The specific problem is the Senate. It acts to prevent change and accountability and is profoundly undemocratic.

    The Senate rules on holds and filibusters are arbitrary. They are not in the Constitution. There is no reason that the Senate could not function like the House, with simple majorities required to do business.

    The existence of these arbitrary rules allows a minority to prevent the majority from governing. That is profoundly undemocratic and means that there is no real accountability, because a party that “wins” an election doesn’t actually get to govern as if it had.

    The Stimulus Bill was too small because it needed 60 votes.

    The Health Care bill took too long because it needed 60 votes.
    We can’t get a jobs bill because it needs 60 votes.
    We are about to see Boehner’s bill fail in the House because the Tea Party wing of the party sees no need to compromise as long as the Republicans in the Senate can stop Reid’s bill from getting a vote in the Senate.
    The 41 most conservative senators represent states with about 10% of the population of the US, and they only need to get half that 10% to vote for them. That means that 5% of the American electorate can prevent the rest of the Senate from even voting:http://www.dailykos.com/story/

    • Cory

      Some of the waves were because we are a fickle and feckless electorate.  We vote for whoever promises a “bluer shade of white”.

    • Cory

      Some of the waves were because we are a fickle and feckless electorate.  We vote for whoever promises a “bluer shade of white”.

    • nj

      NW, if you run for office, you have my full support!

  • Chris

    Folks, do you get it yet?

    They want this crash. You are going to have your wages lowered much much, more when this is over.

    The rich are going to own everything and you will be a life-long debt slave.

  • william

    Broken government? So is this Public Radio finally admitting that “big government” does not work and needs a massive downsizing or rightsizing?

    • nj

      “Downsizing” is a simplistic, rather mindless way to approach a complex problem; a set of complex problems, actually.

      Size is but one factor, but internal rules as to how the branches work, laws that govern campaign spending, excessive corporate influence, damaging effect of “free-trade” legislation, etc., etc. need to change.

      This is but one reason why the Baggers are mostly trivial and irrelevant to any real solution(s).

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t big guvmint save hundreds of thousands of jobs related, directly and indirectly, to the auto industry?  And did I not read that Chrysler has already paid their loan off?  And is not GM rebounding as well?  You consider that a failure?  You would rather see thousands out of work, and two honored American companies gone so that foreign owned companies could gobble up more of our market?

      Didn’t big guvmint build the interstate highways that revolutionized commerce in this country?

      Didn’t big guvment save the financial system from total collapse?

      Here’s something to think about.  China, which will soon enough be the preeminent global power, is big guvment on steroids.  Why?  Because they studied history and figured out that was how America became a superpower.  We are the opposite now, more like a banana republic counting pennies, with every man, woman and child looking out only for themselves.

      Sure, let’s downsize the government and not bother with infrastructure upgrades or public works projects.  We can all vacation in China (as I have) when we want to see new transit systems, cutting edge, energy efficient factories, or a growing middle class.  At least we know the military and the NSA will be well taken care of.  It’s just getting hard to know exactly what we think is so valuable that they are defending…

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t big guvmint save hundreds of thousands of jobs related, directly and indirectly, to the auto industry?  And did I not read that Chrysler has already paid their loan off?  And is not GM rebounding as well?  You consider that a failure?  You would rather see thousands out of work, and two honored American companies gone so that foreign owned companies could gobble up more of our market?

      Didn’t big guvmint build the interstate highways that revolutionized commerce in this country?

      Didn’t big guvment save the financial system from total collapse?

      Here’s something to think about.  China, which will soon enough be the preeminent global power, is big guvment on steroids.  Why?  Because they studied history and figured out that was how America became a superpower.  We are the opposite now, more like a banana republic counting pennies, with every man, woman and child looking out only for themselves.

      Sure, let’s downsize the government and not bother with infrastructure upgrades or public works projects.  We can all vacation in China (as I have) when we want to see new transit systems, cutting edge, energy efficient factories, or a growing middle class.  At least we know the military and the NSA will be well taken care of.  It’s just getting hard to know exactly what we think is so valuable that they are defending…

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t big guvmint save hundreds of thousands of jobs related, directly and indirectly, to the auto industry?  And did I not read that Chrysler has already paid their loan off?  And is not GM rebounding as well?  You consider that a failure?  You would rather see thousands out of work, and two honored American companies gone so that foreign owned companies could gobble up more of our market?

      Didn’t big guvmint build the interstate highways that revolutionized commerce in this country?

      Didn’t big guvment save the financial system from total collapse?

      Here’s something to think about.  China, which will soon enough be the preeminent global power, is big guvment on steroids.  Why?  Because they studied history and figured out that was how America became a superpower.  We are the opposite now, more like a banana republic counting pennies, with every man, woman and child looking out only for themselves.

      Sure, let’s downsize the government and not bother with infrastructure upgrades or public works projects.  We can all vacation in China (as I have) when we want to see new transit systems, cutting edge, energy efficient factories, or a growing middle class.  At least we know the military and the NSA will be well taken care of.  It’s just getting hard to know exactly what we think is so valuable that they are defending…

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Government run by GREEDY individuals and Corporations of ANY size is broken government.  Government attacked and distracted by people bent on its disabling, is broken government!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Government run by GREEDY individuals and Corporations of ANY size is broken government.  Government attacked and distracted by people bent on its disabling, is broken government!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Government run by GREEDY individuals and Corporations of ANY size is broken government.  Government attacked and distracted by people bent on its disabling, is broken government!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Government run by GREEDY individuals and Corporations of ANY size is broken government.  Government attacked and distracted by people bent on its disabling, is broken government!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Government run by GREEDY individuals and Corporations of ANY size is broken government.  Government attacked and distracted by people bent on its disabling, is broken government!

    • TFRX

      Uh, when one party wants to destroy governance, in this system, they pretty much can.

      That’s been demonstrated.

      Enough of the false equivalence.

      • william

        So when the Republicans pushed for the Civil Rights Act you would have said they are trying to destroy governance? The idea that we cannot speak out against Obama and oppose spending plans is nonsense.

        • TFRX

          Yeah, not even bothersome enough a gnat to swat at.

          Record # of filibusters, holds, ordinary governance is now a panic because of right-wing WATBs.

          You have all of Fox Propaganda to speak out with. You’re invited to retreat to some other, more ignorant corner of the internet.

  • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

    The Republicans and especially the Tea Party contingent will take the country down to make Obama look bad. The American people are waking up too late (we elected these idiots).

    The problem isn’t just the Republican congress, it is us and we need to take responsibility for it. If people only get involved after its obvious their benefits will be cut maybe we deserve what we get.

    We need to get literate and vote these people out of office. Recall them if necessary.

    No matter how this standoff comes out it’s obvious that Americans don’t understand that when Tea Party folks say smaller government they mean cutting real benefits.

    I have seen the problem and it is us. If we can’t elect people who will do the right thing then we deserve what we get.

    The real problem is the dumbing down of America. We are so ####ed.

  • Gregg

    The Tea Party has changed the debate. There will be no tax hikes in whatever deal is reached. It’s a beautiful thing to see patriotic Americans rise up and demand accountability. Just beautiful.

    • Michael

      Thank jebus for the tea party, just look at how great there doing in creating jobs…..oops.

      • Gregg

        That’s Obama’s job but he’s not up to it. 

        • Michael

          so congress has no place in creating jobs? lol, I read your previous post how it was congress during the Clinton era that actually created jobs not Clinton now it’s just the president.

          btw, didn’t this 2010 congress run of creating jobs? oh wait that’s the president’s job. funny how they would run on something they have no intention of during.

          • Gregg

            The “Tea Party” is not really a party, it’s a movement. It’s not part of Congress but the influence on both parties is dramatic. Hope that helps.

          • GLH

            Considering how it is the invention of oligarchic corporate interests I’d compare it to patent medicine. It was something hatemongers and fearfactories needed to get out their s**t. So it was a laxative prescribed by the Koch brothers. Yes, in that way, it is a movement. Quit smelling, wipe and flush!

          • GLH

            Considering how it is the invention of oligarchic corporate interests I’d compare it to patent medicine. It was something hatemongers and fearfactories needed to get out their s**t. So it was a laxative prescribed by the Koch brothers. Yes, in that way, it is a movement. Quit smelling, wipe and flush!

          • GLH

            Considering how it is the invention of oligarchic corporate interests I’d compare it to patent medicine. It was something hatemongers and fearfactories needed to get out their s**t. So it was a laxative prescribed by the Koch brothers. Yes, in that way, it is a movement. Quit smelling, wipe and flush!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            EVASION!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            EVASION!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            EVASION!

          • Gregg

            The “Tea Party” is not really a party, it’s a movement. It’s not part of Congress but the influence on both parties is dramatic. Hope that helps.

        • Michael

          so congress has no place in creating jobs? lol, I read your previous post how it was congress during the Clinton era that actually created jobs not Clinton now it’s just the president.

          btw, didn’t this 2010 congress run of creating jobs? oh wait that’s the president’s job. funny how they would run on something they have no intention of during.

        • Anonymous

           So you think one person in the government is the primary job creator?  Sounds like you’re a socialist.  I’m still waiting for you to explain your comment on a different show setting out what Obama policies you claimed are responsible for “destroying the job market”. 

          • Gregg

            Obamacare, Green jobs disaster, moratoriums on drilling, the uncertainty caused by waiting two years to extend the tax cuts, failed “stimulus”, threats of tax hikes, onerous regulations, telling GM to make lemons no one wants, telling Boeing not top expand in SC, etc.

          • Gregg

            Obamacare, Green jobs disaster, moratoriums on drilling, the uncertainty caused by waiting two years to extend the tax cuts, failed “stimulus”, threats of tax hikes, onerous regulations, telling GM to make lemons no one wants, telling Boeing not top expand in SC, etc.

          • Gregg

            Obamacare, Green jobs disaster, moratoriums on drilling, the uncertainty caused by waiting two years to extend the tax cuts, failed “stimulus”, threats of tax hikes, onerous regulations, telling GM to make lemons no one wants, telling Boeing not top expand in SC, etc.

        • Anonymous

           So you think one person in the government is the primary job creator?  Sounds like you’re a socialist.  I’m still waiting for you to explain your comment on a different show setting out what Obama policies you claimed are responsible for “destroying the job market”. 

        • Anonymous

           So you think one person in the government is the primary job creator?  Sounds like you’re a socialist.  I’m still waiting for you to explain your comment on a different show setting out what Obama policies you claimed are responsible for “destroying the job market”. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          It’s everybody’s job that got tax-cuts, for so many years now, high enough to create jobs!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          It’s everybody’s job that got tax-cuts, for so many years now, high enough to create jobs!

        • Anonymous

          You mean like the thousands and thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the auto industry that he saved?  And the loans for which are being paid off ahead of schedule?  Good point.  That was not only an excellent job, it was a great moral decision as well.  Would you suggest it would be better if GM and Chrysler, two august American brands, had just gone away, their market positions to be captured by German, Japanese and Korean owned brands?

          Plus, he unfortunately saved the jobs of thousands of investment and banking slugs on the Street, too.

          Oh yeah, and the thousands of avoided layoffs at the state and local level.

          Failure of imagination is really the problem.  If you can’t imagine other possible scenarios, it is tempting to think that the existing reality is as bad as it can get.  A common misconception and rather common.

        • Anonymous

          You mean like the thousands and thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the auto industry that he saved?  And the loans for which are being paid off ahead of schedule?  Good point.  That was not only an excellent job, it was a great moral decision as well.  Would you suggest it would be better if GM and Chrysler, two august American brands, had just gone away, their market positions to be captured by German, Japanese and Korean owned brands?

          Plus, he unfortunately saved the jobs of thousands of investment and banking slugs on the Street, too.

          Oh yeah, and the thousands of avoided layoffs at the state and local level.

          Failure of imagination is really the problem.  If you can’t imagine other possible scenarios, it is tempting to think that the existing reality is as bad as it can get.  A common misconception and rather common.

        • Anonymous

          You mean like the thousands and thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the auto industry that he saved?  And the loans for which are being paid off ahead of schedule?  Good point.  That was not only an excellent job, it was a great moral decision as well.  Would you suggest it would be better if GM and Chrysler, two august American brands, had just gone away, their market positions to be captured by German, Japanese and Korean owned brands?

          Plus, he unfortunately saved the jobs of thousands of investment and banking slugs on the Street, too.

          Oh yeah, and the thousands of avoided layoffs at the state and local level.

          Failure of imagination is really the problem.  If you can’t imagine other possible scenarios, it is tempting to think that the existing reality is as bad as it can get.  A common misconception and rather common.

        • Anonymous

          You mean like the thousands and thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the auto industry that he saved?  And the loans for which are being paid off ahead of schedule?  Good point.  That was not only an excellent job, it was a great moral decision as well.  Would you suggest it would be better if GM and Chrysler, two august American brands, had just gone away, their market positions to be captured by German, Japanese and Korean owned brands?

          Plus, he unfortunately saved the jobs of thousands of investment and banking slugs on the Street, too.

          Oh yeah, and the thousands of avoided layoffs at the state and local level.

          Failure of imagination is really the problem.  If you can’t imagine other possible scenarios, it is tempting to think that the existing reality is as bad as it can get.  A common misconception and rather common.

        • Anonymous

          You mean like the thousands and thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the auto industry that he saved?  And the loans for which are being paid off ahead of schedule?  Good point.  That was not only an excellent job, it was a great moral decision as well.  Would you suggest it would be better if GM and Chrysler, two august American brands, had just gone away, their market positions to be captured by German, Japanese and Korean owned brands?

          Plus, he unfortunately saved the jobs of thousands of investment and banking slugs on the Street, too.

          Oh yeah, and the thousands of avoided layoffs at the state and local level.

          Failure of imagination is really the problem.  If you can’t imagine other possible scenarios, it is tempting to think that the existing reality is as bad as it can get.  A common misconception and rather common.

        • TFRX

          Over the most obstructinist Congress in history, with record holds and filibusters?

          What we learned is that one side can grind everything to a halt if they wish. Then sit back and blame “government”, the generic.

    • Michael

      Thank jebus for the tea party, just look at how great there doing in creating jobs…..oops.

    • Michael

      Or the first time in history the teaparty is willing to have the U.S. default on it’s debt(not pay our bills) this to me show fiscal responsibility by the teaparty. But hey they did increase foreign aid, new attacks on abortion, gays and passed the P.Act again, failed to cut off funding for obama’s libyan war.

      these guys are great. who would thought that the teaparty would fail at such a grand scale? And showing once and for all that government under the teaparty(or republicans) doesn’t work.

      • Gregg

        “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit
        is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government
        can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing
        financial assistance from foreign countries to
        finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt
        weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the
        buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad
        choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America
        has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve
        better.”

        • Gregg

          No one wants to touch this one.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            We TOUCHED it, and you EVADED.

          • nj

            The foot stomping is so cute!

        • Gregg

          No one wants to touch this one.

        • Gregg

          No one wants to touch this one.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Which Republican, or TEA partier, does the buck STOP with? 
              Which one openly admits their own part in this mess, and has PERSONALLY made SACRIFICES, to repair it?

          • Gregg

            The one who said the above.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            His personal sacrifices?  His admission of personal part in this mess?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            His personal sacrifices?  His admission of personal part in this mess?

          • Gregg

            The one who said the above.

    • Michael

      Or the first time in history the teaparty is willing to have the U.S. default on it’s debt(not pay our bills) this to me show fiscal responsibility by the teaparty. But hey they did increase foreign aid, new attacks on abortion, gays and passed the P.Act again, failed to cut off funding for obama’s libyan war.

      these guys are great. who would thought that the teaparty would fail at such a grand scale? And showing once and for all that government under the teaparty(or republicans) doesn’t work.

    • Michael

      Just to add on the grand tea-party,

      for the first time in history people will not be paying increase taxes during war time. Isn’t that the best way to support our troops is by not taking any fiscal burden or responsibility and instead charge it on our china express. for the wars we involved them in?

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, but people like Gregg really, truly, “support the troops”.  Why, they will even put a yellow magnet on their car to prove it.  They just refuse to pay for the support of our military.  Kind of like deadbeat parent with their car plastered with “proud parent” bumper stickers.  In a word, a phony.

    • Anonymous

      “accountability” is the exact opposite of what we’re getting.

    • Anonymous

      “accountability” is the exact opposite of what we’re getting.

    • Anonymous

      “accountability” is the exact opposite of what we’re getting.

    • Cory

      The teaparty has a long way to go to shake the toothless, inbred, fearfull and hateful images it conjures to most thinking Americans.  The practice of ignorant intransigence and inflexibility doesn’t help.

    • Cory

      The teaparty has a long way to go to shake the toothless, inbred, fearfull and hateful images it conjures to most thinking Americans.  The practice of ignorant intransigence and inflexibility doesn’t help.

    • Cory

      The teaparty has a long way to go to shake the toothless, inbred, fearfull and hateful images it conjures to most thinking Americans.  The practice of ignorant intransigence and inflexibility doesn’t help.

    • nj
      • Gregg

        O please!

        • nj

          My thoughts exactly!

    • nj
    • nj
    • nj
  • Anonymous

    I’ld like to see some fact based decision making. The Tea Party’s anger-based ideology is doing the country no service. The Tea baggers are making this country look like it is being ruled by a bunch of five year olds… they are playing chicken with an economic disaster; even respected retired Republican statesmen are calling their behaviour irresponsible and reckless.  

    The republican leadership needs to step up and show some real leadership and stop the tail from wagging the dog.

    • Gregg

      I’d say love is a more accurate word to describe tea party motivations. Love of country. If we don’t get our fiscal house in order we are doomed.

      • Cory

        Sometimes love just ain’t enough.

        • Gregg

          But love and spending cuts may be.

        • Gregg

          But love and spending cuts may be.

        • Gregg

          But love and spending cuts may be.

        • TFRX

          Aw, they apologized real nice after hitting us this time. Don’t you see they’ve really, really changed?

      • Cory

        Sometimes love just ain’t enough.

      • Cory

        Sometimes love just ain’t enough.

      • Terry Tree Tree

           Love of country is LESS regulation on the banking industry, that caused the housing bubble disaster, due to lack of regulation and non-enforcement of applicable regulations? 
           Less regulation of the oil industry, Deepwater Horizon was a victim of less regulation, and non-enforcement, along with the entire Gulf of Mexico Coast, and some of the Eastern Seaboard. 
           Less regulation of the mining industry killed, and will kill miners, who are trying to make an honest living.
           Love of country is ignoring the people, and the policies that got us into this mess, and blaming those handed this mess?
            Love of country is helping polluters pollute even more than they pollute now, because they fund so many distractions, such as the TEA party?

        • Mark S.

          Agreed. The Republican Party is evil and the Tea Baggers are maniacally evil.  If love of country is destroying it’s economy and throwing millions more out of work, then you are nothing more than a traitor and deserve to be treated as one.  You are as evil as Bin Laden, since his overarching goal was not to try to kill all the infidels, but rather to crash the Western economy.  Looks like the fanatical al-Teabaggers are going to do for Bin Laden in death what he could not accomplish in life.   Once we pick up the pieces of the calamity the Repugnants are going to visit upon us, they are going to pay a price for this, hopefully by dissolving as a viable political party and being replaced by something else.  Something sane.  Note to the wimp On Point moderators:  Is this post nicey nice enough for you or are you going to delete me again? 

      • Thinknaboutit

        More footage of the loving atmosphere that motivates Tea Party gatherings.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDED_vGkTfA&feature=related

        What next, the “they were blinded by love” defense?

        • Gregg

          Lame.

          • Thinknaboutit

            I agree, these people are disgusting.  Glad to see you finally see the light.

          • nj

            Yes, the Baggers are.

        • Mark S.

          They are monsters.  Plain and simple.  I’ve thought that ever since I saw the tape of the monsters ridiculing and tossing money at the old man with Parkinson’s who could not stand up with his sign opposed to them during a D.C. demonstration last year.  They are insane, cruel and vicious, and very scared and cowardly, white people whose day is passing whether they like it or not.  My dad died of Parkinson’s.  Had I been at that D.C. demonstration, I would still be in jail today.  With pleasure…

    • Gregg

      I’d say love is a more accurate word to describe tea party motivations. Love of country. If we don’t get our fiscal house in order we are doomed.

    • Gregg

      I’d say love is a more accurate word to describe tea party motivations. Love of country. If we don’t get our fiscal house in order we are doomed.

  • Anonymous

    I’ld like to see some fact based decision making. The Tea Party’s anger-based ideology is doing the country no service. The Tea baggers are making this country look like it is being ruled by a bunch of five year olds… they are playing chicken with an economic disaster; even respected retired Republican statesmen are calling their behaviour irresponsible and reckless.  

    The republican leadership needs to step up and show some real leadership and stop the tail from wagging the dog.

  • Winston Smith

    Let’s be honest with ourselves…allowing the deficit to grow to $14.5 trillion dollars with no likelihood of that figure plateauing or even being reduced represents default for all practical purposes.  None of the current proposals address this problem.  What we need to do is pass a balanced budget amendment (which all states expect Vermont have considered a wise fiscal step to take) and then take a balanced approach (reduce government spending significantly and raise taxes on the rich and corporations) until the budget is balanced and actually results in a surplus that we can use to begin reducing the national debt. If we don’t do it now, it will just be more painful later when we are in a catastrophic situation like Greece.  Everything needs to be on the table: ridiculously generous government pensions and benefits (even for those that have already retired), defense, farm subsidies, oil subsidies, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  There is plenty of blame to go around to both Democrats and Republicans.  A balanced budget is the only thing that will work…The legislative and executive branches of the government need to be hit over the head with a hammer.

    • Cory

      I don’t disagree, but is our political climate amiable to this solution?

      The only thing I am uncomfortable about is breaking existing pension promises.  People built their realities on these assumptions.  I’d much rather see gradual change applied to new hires who’ll know the rules up front.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        The term for what you describe Cory is “moral hazard” and I for one would be royally pissed if I don’t get back what I’ve paid into social security and medicare.

        It’s a myth that these programs have become insolvent on their own. They have worked for many generations because we’ve paid for the wars we’ve entered.

        Only during the Bush/Cheney years did we enter two wars AND pass a tax cut on the top 2% of earners.

        Bush/Cheney broke the country. Never forget this.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        The term for what you describe Cory is “moral hazard” and I for one would be royally pissed if I don’t get back what I’ve paid into social security and medicare.

        It’s a myth that these programs have become insolvent on their own. They have worked for many generations because we’ve paid for the wars we’ve entered.

        Only during the Bush/Cheney years did we enter two wars AND pass a tax cut on the top 2% of earners.

        Bush/Cheney broke the country. Never forget this.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        The term for what you describe Cory is “moral hazard” and I for one would be royally pissed if I don’t get back what I’ve paid into social security and medicare.

        It’s a myth that these programs have become insolvent on their own. They have worked for many generations because we’ve paid for the wars we’ve entered.

        Only during the Bush/Cheney years did we enter two wars AND pass a tax cut on the top 2% of earners.

        Bush/Cheney broke the country. Never forget this.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        The term for what you describe Cory is “moral hazard” and I for one would be royally pissed if I don’t get back what I’ve paid into social security and medicare.

        It’s a myth that these programs have become insolvent on their own. They have worked for many generations because we’ve paid for the wars we’ve entered.

        Only during the Bush/Cheney years did we enter two wars AND pass a tax cut on the top 2% of earners.

        Bush/Cheney broke the country. Never forget this.

    • Cory

      I don’t disagree, but is our political climate amiable to this solution?

      The only thing I am uncomfortable about is breaking existing pension promises.  People built their realities on these assumptions.  I’d much rather see gradual change applied to new hires who’ll know the rules up front.

    • Cory

      I don’t disagree, but is our political climate amiable to this solution?

      The only thing I am uncomfortable about is breaking existing pension promises.  People built their realities on these assumptions.  I’d much rather see gradual change applied to new hires who’ll know the rules up front.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How can a balanced budget amendment work for a National Government?  How do you deal with unexpected wars, Man-made disasters, natural disasters, etc…?   How do you get there from here, when the people that created this mess, PROFIT from it, while calling for SACRIFICE from those SUFFERING from it already?
           If those that got tax-cuts large enough to create a job, or jobs, HAD created jobs with that money, we wouldn’t be in this mess!  Why is their word better than then? 
          Corporate Welfare, and other subsidies for companies and individuals that don’t need them, is worse than the Welfare to individuals that can’t or won’t work!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How can a balanced budget amendment work for a National Government?  How do you deal with unexpected wars, Man-made disasters, natural disasters, etc…?   How do you get there from here, when the people that created this mess, PROFIT from it, while calling for SACRIFICE from those SUFFERING from it already?
           If those that got tax-cuts large enough to create a job, or jobs, HAD created jobs with that money, we wouldn’t be in this mess!  Why is their word better than then? 
          Corporate Welfare, and other subsidies for companies and individuals that don’t need them, is worse than the Welfare to individuals that can’t or won’t work!

    • Ellen Dibble

      A  balanced budget is like an iron corset, which is too bad since our current waistline is far greater than the proposed iron corset.  We won’t be able to digest our food, or change position.  We’ll sit like Dresden dolls, fragile as fragile could be.  We’ll have to live on a liquid diet, and heaven help us if we eat something we’re allergic to and suffer gas and bloating.  Oh, the heartache.  A better plan is a careful diet, with no more steak (subsidizing the rich and certain corporations) and no more candy (waste, fraud).

    • GLH

      The expressed goal of the fascist cabal beginning with Rotten Reagan was “starving the Beast” by breaking the bank. Democrats are the “ggod cop” in the subjugation of democracy so they went along for the ride. It was easy to bankrupt a one-party state by handing out goodies to the already wealthy and powerful in exchange for smaller favors in return. Most people realize that the Traitor-Party seats in Congress were bought by Oligarchs. They are as shameful as the business fascists appointed to the Supreme Court. The day of hiding corruption behind faux law and procedure is at an end because the majority of people will lose rights and benefits, and they are waking up. A coup is the only choice of Oligarchs in retaining control. The debt ceiling impasse is a precipitant to a military takeover, and maybe a Christian Taliban code for social control. Result: A hybrid between Iran and China. “Conservatives” are praying for it.

    • Dpweber83

      “allowing the deficit to grow to $14.5 trillion dollars with no likelihood of that figure plateauing or even being reduced represents default for all practical purposes.”

      That’s absolutely not true.  Do I have to explain to you what interest rates are?

      You’re arguing from a transparently false premise.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Winston Smith

        I do not understand what you disagree with.  With the two plans on the table, they would simply slow down the increase in the annual deficit and national debt.  So the amount of interest that we pay and the amount of debt that we have would continue to grow and grow.  At some point, especially given how week our economy has been for the past several years, the world will realize that continuing to lend the U.S. money is like the emperor with no clothes….$20 trillion, $25 trillion is a ridiculous amount of money that we will never pay back.  It will just keep growing until the world realizes that it is unsustainable, we are just printing money, and the whole system collapses.  It looks like that day has arrived in Greece, is on the door in Italy, and is approaching us faster and sooner than many people (not me) expected.  I’m surprised that the system didn’t collapse a decade ago.

        • Winston Smith

          weak, not week.  Sorry for the misspelling.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          A decade ago, ‘W’ promised to make the Budget Surplus bigger!

      • Winston Smith

        I do not understand what you disagree with.  With the two plans on the table, they would simply slow down the increase in the annual deficit and national debt.  So the amount of interest that we pay and the amount of debt that we have would continue to grow and grow.  At some point, especially given how week our economy has been for the past several years, the world will realize that continuing to lend the U.S. money is like the emperor with no clothes….$20 trillion, $25 trillion is a ridiculous amount of money that we will never pay back.  It will just keep growing until the world realizes that it is unsustainable, we are just printing money, and the whole system collapses.  It looks like that day has arrived in Greece, is on the door in Italy, and is approaching us faster and sooner than many people (not me) expected.  I’m surprised that the system didn’t collapse a decade ago.

      • Winston Smith

        I do not understand what you disagree with.  With the two plans on the table, they would simply slow down the increase in the annual deficit and national debt.  So the amount of interest that we pay and the amount of debt that we have would continue to grow and grow.  At some point, especially given how week our economy has been for the past several years, the world will realize that continuing to lend the U.S. money is like the emperor with no clothes….$20 trillion, $25 trillion is a ridiculous amount of money that we will never pay back.  It will just keep growing until the world realizes that it is unsustainable, we are just printing money, and the whole system collapses.  It looks like that day has arrived in Greece, is on the door in Italy, and is approaching us faster and sooner than many people (not me) expected.  I’m surprised that the system didn’t collapse a decade ago.

      • Winston Smith

        I do not understand what you disagree with.  With the two plans on the table, they would simply slow down the increase in the annual deficit and national debt.  So the amount of interest that we pay and the amount of debt that we have would continue to grow and grow.  At some point, especially given how week our economy has been for the past several years, the world will realize that continuing to lend the U.S. money is like the emperor with no clothes….$20 trillion, $25 trillion is a ridiculous amount of money that we will never pay back.  It will just keep growing until the world realizes that it is unsustainable, we are just printing money, and the whole system collapses.  It looks like that day has arrived in Greece, is on the door in Italy, and is approaching us faster and sooner than many people (not me) expected.  I’m surprised that the system didn’t collapse a decade ago.

      • Winston Smith

        I do not understand what you disagree with.  With the two plans on the table, they would simply slow down the increase in the annual deficit and national debt.  So the amount of interest that we pay and the amount of debt that we have would continue to grow and grow.  At some point, especially given how week our economy has been for the past several years, the world will realize that continuing to lend the U.S. money is like the emperor with no clothes….$20 trillion, $25 trillion is a ridiculous amount of money that we will never pay back.  It will just keep growing until the world realizes that it is unsustainable, we are just printing money, and the whole system collapses.  It looks like that day has arrived in Greece, is on the door in Italy, and is approaching us faster and sooner than many people (not me) expected.  I’m surprised that the system didn’t collapse a decade ago.

    • Dpweber83

      “allowing the deficit to grow to $14.5 trillion dollars with no likelihood of that figure plateauing or even being reduced represents default for all practical purposes.”

      That’s absolutely not true.  Do I have to explain to you what interest rates are?

      You’re arguing from a transparently false premise.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • Winston Smith

    Let’s be honest with ourselves…allowing the deficit to grow to $14.5 trillion dollars with no likelihood of that figure plateauing or even being reduced represents default for all practical purposes.  None of the current proposals address this problem.  What we need to do is pass a balanced budget amendment (which all states expect Vermont have considered a wise fiscal step to take) and then take a balanced approach (reduce government spending significantly and raise taxes on the rich and corporations) until the budget is balanced and actually results in a surplus that we can use to begin reducing the national debt. If we don’t do it now, it will just be more painful later when we are in a catastrophic situation like Greece.  Everything needs to be on the table: ridiculously generous government pensions and benefits (even for those that have already retired), defense, farm subsidies, oil subsidies, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  There is plenty of blame to go around to both Democrats and Republicans.  A balanced budget is the only thing that will work…The legislative and executive branches of the government need to be hit over the head with a hammer.

  • Winston Smith

    Let’s be honest with ourselves…allowing the deficit to grow to $14.5 trillion dollars with no likelihood of that figure plateauing or even being reduced represents default for all practical purposes.  None of the current proposals address this problem.  What we need to do is pass a balanced budget amendment (which all states expect Vermont have considered a wise fiscal step to take) and then take a balanced approach (reduce government spending significantly and raise taxes on the rich and corporations) until the budget is balanced and actually results in a surplus that we can use to begin reducing the national debt. If we don’t do it now, it will just be more painful later when we are in a catastrophic situation like Greece.  Everything needs to be on the table: ridiculously generous government pensions and benefits (even for those that have already retired), defense, farm subsidies, oil subsidies, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  There is plenty of blame to go around to both Democrats and Republicans.  A balanced budget is the only thing that will work…The legislative and executive branches of the government need to be hit over the head with a hammer.

  • Cory

    No one is asking the rich to become poor, just to pay more taxes.  We aren’t asking you to walk a mile in another man’s shoes, just to walk 1.1 miles in your own.

    • Gregg

      It would solve nothing but it would make you feel better.

      • Cory

        So?

      • Cory

        So?

      • Cory

        So?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?  $Millionaires lust to be $Billiionaires, $Billionaires lust to be $Trillionaires, most at the cost of any REAL personal relationships, which give meaning to life.  If someone had the childhood dream of ‘All the money in the world’, what would they do that would be significant?  How much of it could they do, with what they have?  If you take ALL the marbles and go home, then what?  To most children, the fun is in the playing, the interaction, and the attempting to get better.  None pushing this increasing divide, can be Christian, because they have bloated their camel larger than an elephant.

        • Gregg

          So, if someone achieves wealth then they have no soul so the government should take their money? That’s a pretty cynical view. 

          • Ellen Dibble

            Gregg, if you have enough money to understand this, consider:  Money begets money.  It earns interest.  Invested well, it can boost new enterprises, here and abroad.  If you want to reduce your taxes, you can give a ton of money to a university, or a museum, or feed-the-children.  You can hire lawyers to deal with your taxes.  You can hire investors to make sure you maximize your profits.  There is a built-in engine for growth inside being reasonably successful, which multiplies as that engine grows.
                On the other hand, the same individual, with the same skills and determination, who is starting out, healthy as a horse but without more money than a foundational job can provide, that man or woman, if he or she wants to start creating a bit of independence, a business or his or her own, or a nest egg that could grow, or a homestead that would increase in value (presumably), this individual is not pulling in interest and dividends beyond need every week.  This individual is doing just the reverse, paying interest, taking a risk with every step out into independence and security.
                So there is a BIG drag on those below, and a BIG wind pushing from behind those at the top.  
                This is why you need a government to prevent the obvious unfortunate result.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ellen Dibble

            People have children very early because it is a way to ensure some government support.  People who have acquired a skill and are in a position to support the children themselves are indeed thinking the way you are:  “I’ll invest early and hope to make it through the obvious coming struggles.  I wouldn’t want to inflict that on any children whatsoever.”  My response to that, yesterday, was:  “How are you going to keep yourself going?  A pair of eyes looking to you is the best motivator.  And you can create your own team [with a family].  And consider, what looks impossible can be managed.  The generation before us made it through World War II.  And we made it through the Cold War,” with instant eradication over our heads.  She heard me.  Others heard me.  But as I came home, I thought, I didn’t tell her about the plague.  We’ve made it through lots and lots.  She wanted to worry about some child chopped up and put in a freezer.  I told her there are plenty of children who do grow up.  More grow up now than 100 years ago.  Look in the records.  Child one dies at one year.  Child two survives, but the mother dies.
                 We have a lot to count on in terms of resilience.

          • Thinknaboutit

            So charitable deduction is reason people give to charities, without the deduction it’s just not worth it?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That’s the only reason of the GREEDY rich!!  They COULD pay their taxes, give charitable donations, and STILL live like a king!   They ONLY give charitable donations, for the publicity, to enable them to separate MORE people from their money ,  and the tax deductions!

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ggergmusic

            Are you aware that one of the “loopholes” Obama want’s to eliminate is the charitable deduction?

            I don’t disagree with your premise but people have choice to work hard, invest early, not have children before they can afford them and eventually earn interest. They should be applauded.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Gregg, if you have enough money to understand this, consider:  Money begets money.  It earns interest.  Invested well, it can boost new enterprises, here and abroad.  If you want to reduce your taxes, you can give a ton of money to a university, or a museum, or feed-the-children.  You can hire lawyers to deal with your taxes.  You can hire investors to make sure you maximize your profits.  There is a built-in engine for growth inside being reasonably successful, which multiplies as that engine grows.
                On the other hand, the same individual, with the same skills and determination, who is starting out, healthy as a horse but without more money than a foundational job can provide, that man or woman, if he or she wants to start creating a bit of independence, a business or his or her own, or a nest egg that could grow, or a homestead that would increase in value (presumably), this individual is not pulling in interest and dividends beyond need every week.  This individual is doing just the reverse, paying interest, taking a risk with every step out into independence and security.
                So there is a BIG drag on those below, and a BIG wind pushing from behind those at the top.  
                This is why you need a government to prevent the obvious unfortunate result.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Gregg, if you have enough money to understand this, consider:  Money begets money.  It earns interest.  Invested well, it can boost new enterprises, here and abroad.  If you want to reduce your taxes, you can give a ton of money to a university, or a museum, or feed-the-children.  You can hire lawyers to deal with your taxes.  You can hire investors to make sure you maximize your profits.  There is a built-in engine for growth inside being reasonably successful, which multiplies as that engine grows.
                On the other hand, the same individual, with the same skills and determination, who is starting out, healthy as a horse but without more money than a foundational job can provide, that man or woman, if he or she wants to start creating a bit of independence, a business or his or her own, or a nest egg that could grow, or a homestead that would increase in value (presumably), this individual is not pulling in interest and dividends beyond need every week.  This individual is doing just the reverse, paying interest, taking a risk with every step out into independence and security.
                So there is a BIG drag on those below, and a BIG wind pushing from behind those at the top.  
                This is why you need a government to prevent the obvious unfortunate result.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            NOT near as cynical as “Might Makes Right” or ‘Criminal Wealth, by Banksters that deliberately caused Housing Bubble, CEOs that get HUGE pay, for bankrupting the company that employs them, etc…, is more important than workers they shafted!

        • Gregg

          So, if someone achieves wealth then they have no soul so the government should take their money? That’s a pretty cynical view. 

        • Gregg

          So, if someone achieves wealth then they have no soul so the government should take their money? That’s a pretty cynical view. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?  $Millionaires lust to be $Billiionaires, $Billionaires lust to be $Trillionaires, most at the cost of any REAL personal relationships, which give meaning to life.  If someone had the childhood dream of ‘All the money in the world’, what would they do that would be significant?  How much of it could they do, with what they have?  If you take ALL the marbles and go home, then what?  To most children, the fun is in the playing, the interaction, and the attempting to get better.  None pushing this increasing divide, can be Christian, because they have bloated their camel larger than an elephant.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?  $Millionaires lust to be $Billiionaires, $Billionaires lust to be $Trillionaires, most at the cost of any REAL personal relationships, which give meaning to life.  If someone had the childhood dream of ‘All the money in the world’, what would they do that would be significant?  How much of it could they do, with what they have?  If you take ALL the marbles and go home, then what?  To most children, the fun is in the playing, the interaction, and the attempting to get better.  None pushing this increasing divide, can be Christian, because they have bloated their camel larger than an elephant.

      • Blurmy

        It wouldn’t solve the whole problem, but simply get us closer. We need spending cuts and more revenue. Alan Simpson’s take is a start at pragmatism. We all need to give a little more.

      • Dpweber83

        Repealing the Bush tax cuts on the top brackets alone would make up for about 1/4 of the current deficit.  That’s “nothing” in your book?

        -dan
        Boston, MA

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

          • TFRX

            Yep. No one thing is the panacea, so don’t try anything.

            And nice alarmist add-on there. “Take ALL of their money…”

          • Gregg

            Who said “don’t try anything”? Alarmist.

            The point about “All the money” is it isn’t enough. No one advocates that.

          • TFRX

            Who said “Take ALL of their money…”? Nancy Pelosi? The Genuine Socialist, Bernie Sanders?

            It’s a simple step, it’s in line with recent history when the rich didn’t suffer (actually did pretty well), and you’re all hepped up against it. That’s a tip-off.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

        • Gregg

          No it wouldn’t. Not even close. Take ALL of their money, still not enough.

      • Dpweber83

        Repealing the Bush tax cuts on the top brackets alone would make up for about 1/4 of the current deficit.  That’s “nothing” in your book?

        -dan
        Boston, MA

    • Gregg

      It would solve nothing but it would make you feel better.

    • Gregg

      It would solve nothing but it would make you feel better.

  • Cory

    No one is asking the rich to become poor, just to pay more taxes.  We aren’t asking you to walk a mile in another man’s shoes, just to walk 1.1 miles in your own.

  • Cory

    No one is asking the rich to become poor, just to pay more taxes.  We aren’t asking you to walk a mile in another man’s shoes, just to walk 1.1 miles in your own.

  • Paulaa Jones

    Okay, so why did the President last night mention revenues and cutting taxes for the wealthy if it isn’t part of the Boehner or Reid plans?

  • Paulaa Jones

    Okay, so why did the President last night mention revenues and cutting taxes for the wealthy if it isn’t part of the Boehner or Reid plans?

  • Paulaa Jones

    Okay, so why did the President last night mention revenues and cutting taxes for the wealthy if it isn’t part of the Boehner or Reid plans?

  • Ellen Dibble

    You know, I would take myself to Dallas or Oklahoma City or whatever Tea Party district I could identify in order to argue the case of stop Creating The Grand Canyon Between the Haves and the Strugglers — I would argue that to the voters who put these Representatives in Congress.  Probably there are people my age with vastly more time than I have, and resources for travel.  If I could loan them part of my determination…
    However, my impression is that they and their Representatives are not depending on reason.  They are not about listening and planning.  They are about stonewalling.  That is close to a call to arms, something that must be torn up by the roots, not nourished and “educated.”

    • nj

      Understatement of the day: “However, my impression is that they and their Representatives are not depending on reason.”

      Note: 

      http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/07/25/278811/lee-admits-he-is-an-extortionist/

      “Mike Lee: I Want America’s ‘House To Come Down’ Unless Congress Votes To Rewrite Constitution”

      CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.The prosecution rests.

    • nj

      Understatement of the day: “However, my impression is that they and their Representatives are not depending on reason.”

      Note: 

      http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/07/25/278811/lee-admits-he-is-an-extortionist/

      “Mike Lee: I Want America’s ‘House To Come Down’ Unless Congress Votes To Rewrite Constitution”

      CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.The prosecution rests.

    • nj

      Understatement of the day: “However, my impression is that they and their Representatives are not depending on reason.”

      Note: 

      http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/07/25/278811/lee-admits-he-is-an-extortionist/

      “Mike Lee: I Want America’s ‘House To Come Down’ Unless Congress Votes To Rewrite Constitution”

      CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.The prosecution rests.

    • Chev

      You can talk till you are blue in the face you will not change the views / actions of the tea party.  The problem is that the tea party people are the more engaged in the political arena right now but I do think the majority of the US population agrees with their politics / course of action.  What needs to happen is for the majority of the US population to stand up and call their senator / congressman b/c I honestly believe that the majority of the people out there agree with the president. 

      • Mark S.

        I blame the stupidity, ignorance and low-information slack-jawed cluelessness of the American electorate more than anything else.  Because a black president could not fix in two years the steaming pile left to him and the country by an arrogant, empty-suit fratboy during eight years, they had a tantrum and voted in a redneck, hick, Clampett contingent with less intelligence and financial acuity than the clerk in a general store twenty miles off the Interstate.

        In particular, when someone on Social Security votes for an idiot like Joe Walsh in my district or that traitor from Utah, don’t expect me to cry when your checks stop.  That’s called poetic justice.  And you know that a significant cohort of the Tea Baggers’ voters are probably older, white, SS recipients who were afraid of getting a dark-skinned guy in the White House.

        So, let’s place a substantial portion of the blame for this disaster where it belongs, on the backs of the dummies who voted against their own interests and for the interests of corporate oligarchs and the rising tide of neo-fascists who are their tools.  Thanks a lot, Bubba.

    • Chev

      You can talk till you are blue in the face you will not change the views / actions of the tea party.  The problem is that the tea party people are the more engaged in the political arena right now but I do think the majority of the US population agrees with their politics / course of action.  What needs to happen is for the majority of the US population to stand up and call their senator / congressman b/c I honestly believe that the majority of the people out there agree with the president. 

    • Chev

      You can talk till you are blue in the face you will not change the views / actions of the tea party.  The problem is that the tea party people are the more engaged in the political arena right now but I do think the majority of the US population agrees with their politics / course of action.  What needs to happen is for the majority of the US population to stand up and call their senator / congressman b/c I honestly believe that the majority of the people out there agree with the president. 

    • Chev

      You can talk till you are blue in the face you will not change the views / actions of the tea party.  The problem is that the tea party people are the more engaged in the political arena right now but I do think the majority of the US population agrees with their politics / course of action.  What needs to happen is for the majority of the US population to stand up and call their senator / congressman b/c I honestly believe that the majority of the people out there agree with the president. 

    • Chev

      You can talk till you are blue in the face you will not change the views / actions of the tea party.  The problem is that the tea party people are the more engaged in the political arena right now but I do think the majority of the US population agrees with their politics / course of action.  What needs to happen is for the majority of the US population to stand up and call their senator / congressman b/c I honestly believe that the majority of the people out there agree with the president. 

    • Anonymous

      Because this is a deep, pervasive cultural war much more than a political war, and it goes back decades.  On the political side, it is fueled, organized and funded by right wing political movements dating back to the ’30′s and beyond.  Come to Oklahoma or Texas and you will likely be talking with the pawns (who are largely not aware of their pawnage) not the chess masters.

  • Ellen Dibble

    You know, I would take myself to Dallas or Oklahoma City or whatever Tea Party district I could identify in order to argue the case of stop Creating The Grand Canyon Between the Haves and the Strugglers — I would argue that to the voters who put these Representatives in Congress.  Probably there are people my age with vastly more time than I have, and resources for travel.  If I could loan them part of my determination…
    However, my impression is that they and their Representatives are not depending on reason.  They are not about listening and planning.  They are about stonewalling.  That is close to a call to arms, something that must be torn up by the roots, not nourished and “educated.”

  • Blurmy

    Our representatives are retreating into demagogic dream worlds on the brink of a truly dismal, and completely unnecessary self inflicted wound to the people of the US. It’s hard to talk to, much less negotiate with, people primed with the arrogance and deafness of unbridled anger.

    • Gregg

      I agree but until Republicans get back the Senate and White House it won’t change.

    • Gregg

      I agree but until Republicans get back the Senate and White House it won’t change.

    • Gregg

      I agree but until Republicans get back the Senate and White House it won’t change.

    • Gregg

      I agree but until Republicans get back the Senate and White House it won’t change.

    • Gregg

      I agree but until Republicans get back the Senate and White House it won’t change.

  • Anonymous

    A perfect example of how Washington is broken is the push for a balanced budget amendment. It gives the illusion of motion when it is clearly unobtainable.

    Worse still, it’s a horribly bad idea. It would eliminate the ability of the government to jump start the economy, and recessions would become depressions. But that’s not even the worst of it.

    Imagine we’d had a BBA on December 7, 1941.

    • Ellen Dibble

      We would repeal it pronto.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        In time?   Jets and rockets are far faster, and have longer range than 1941 carrier-based prop-planes!!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        In time?   Jets and rockets are far faster, and have longer range than 1941 carrier-based prop-planes!!

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, and guess who the obstructionist where then.
      The republicans tried everything to destroy FDR. They only agreed to go to war because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Before this event they were against anything FDR wanted to do for the economy or to help Britain in it’s war effort.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, and guess who the obstructionist where then.
      The republicans tried everything to destroy FDR. They only agreed to go to war because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Before this event they were against anything FDR wanted to do for the economy or to help Britain in it’s war effort.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, and guess who the obstructionist where then.
      The republicans tried everything to destroy FDR. They only agreed to go to war because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Before this event they were against anything FDR wanted to do for the economy or to help Britain in it’s war effort.

  • Expat Bob in Nassau, Bahamas

    Most commentary on the debt ceiling by both The Right Wing and the media have left out the cause of the problem, which was summarized last night by President Obama:

    “For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus.
    But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.”

    The President’s approach addresses the problem. The GOP’s ignores it altogether. 

  • Dpweber83

    I cannot believe this is happening.  I place the blame squarely on the Republicans—they could have picked this fight without endangering the value of my meager retirement account.

    Fix it.  Increase the debt limit, authorize Congress to pay for the appropriations you’ve made, and do it now.  Grow.  Up.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    I cannot believe this is happening.  I place the blame squarely on the Republicans—they could have picked this fight without endangering the value of my meager retirement account.

    Fix it.  Increase the debt limit, authorize Congress to pay for the appropriations you’ve made, and do it now.  Grow.  Up.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • GLH

    If the People ever wise up and get organized we all know that wealth and income will be capped at a moderate level and that corporate charters will be subject to public approval. As a Progressive I have to believe we learn as we go along. The P-Tardy or Traitor Party is the last gasp of the discredited wealth worship religion called corporate capitalism. Even as humanity faces cascade collapse on several fronts my TV is spouting about “flash sales” where handbags and heels are 85% off. But fewer and fewer people are listening. Fewer still are hearing that old rottening yellow Boehner or corporate shill Obama. I am a neo-Abolitionist (end wage slavery and debt peonage now) and proud of it.

    • Dpweber83

      As a fellow progressive, I implore you to resort to something other than uninventive name-calling.  

      Or, you could just admit that you have little to no interest in doing the hard and sometimes dirty work needed to achieve your stated goals.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • TFRX

        Agreed. Let’s not bandy about words like “traitor” until they go all Ollie North on us. Words have meanings.

        • Thinknaboutit

          Wether it is their intention or not, the actions of the Tea Party are in fact treasonous.  I tend to see it as intentional given all the calls for secession.

          • TFRX

            Secession, yes. But there’s too much crazy to just throw it all in a pile and hit it with the metaphorical flamethrower.

            There’s so much bat-crappery on the right that we on the left can afford to separate things.

      • TFRX

        Agreed. Let’s not bandy about words like “traitor” until they go all Ollie North on us. Words have meanings.

    • Dpweber83

      As a fellow progressive, I implore you to resort to something other than uninventive name-calling.  

      Or, you could just admit that you have little to no interest in doing the hard and sometimes dirty work needed to achieve your stated goals.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

    • Dpweber83

      As a fellow progressive, I implore you to resort to something other than uninventive name-calling.  

      Or, you could just admit that you have little to no interest in doing the hard and sometimes dirty work needed to achieve your stated goals.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • GLH

    If the People ever wise up and get organized we all know that wealth and income will be capped at a moderate level and that corporate charters will be subject to public approval. As a Progressive I have to believe we learn as we go along. The P-Tardy or Traitor Party is the last gasp of the discredited wealth worship religion called corporate capitalism. Even as humanity faces cascade collapse on several fronts my TV is spouting about “flash sales” where handbags and heels are 85% off. But fewer and fewer people are listening. Fewer still are hearing that old rottening yellow Boehner or corporate shill Obama. I am a neo-Abolitionist (end wage slavery and debt peonage now) and proud of it.

  • GLH

    If the People ever wise up and get organized we all know that wealth and income will be capped at a moderate level and that corporate charters will be subject to public approval. As a Progressive I have to believe we learn as we go along. The P-Tardy or Traitor Party is the last gasp of the discredited wealth worship religion called corporate capitalism. Even as humanity faces cascade collapse on several fronts my TV is spouting about “flash sales” where handbags and heels are 85% off. But fewer and fewer people are listening. Fewer still are hearing that old rottening yellow Boehner or corporate shill Obama. I am a neo-Abolitionist (end wage slavery and debt peonage now) and proud of it.

  • GLH

    If the People ever wise up and get organized we all know that wealth and income will be capped at a moderate level and that corporate charters will be subject to public approval. As a Progressive I have to believe we learn as we go along. The P-Tardy or Traitor Party is the last gasp of the discredited wealth worship religion called corporate capitalism. Even as humanity faces cascade collapse on several fronts my TV is spouting about “flash sales” where handbags and heels are 85% off. But fewer and fewer people are listening. Fewer still are hearing that old rottening yellow Boehner or corporate shill Obama. I am a neo-Abolitionist (end wage slavery and debt peonage now) and proud of it.

  • Yar

    Does wealth come from the farmer’s bridle in the horses mouth and whip in his hand? Or does it come from the labor of the horse at the plow? In essence, it is both, but our current ideological fight is over the decision of if should we put the horse out to pasture for the winter of his life or if we will work together with the horse to gather in hay for cold winter nights.  What responsibility do we have to the citizens who create our national wealth?  Do we care more for the farmer then the horse?  In our economy they are both human.  Fend for yourself is cutting spending, putting up hay is raising taxes.  You can starve the animals but they won’t plow your fields next year, and some may even eat you.  Our current policies point toward revolution.  

    • BHA in Vermont

      Absolutely. The people who BUY the goods and services created by businesses are the ones who make it POSSIBLE for the corporations to MAKE money. No job, no money, no purchases.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Absolutely. The people who BUY the goods and services created by businesses are the ones who make it POSSIBLE for the corporations to MAKE money. No job, no money, no purchases.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Absolutely. The people who BUY the goods and services created by businesses are the ones who make it POSSIBLE for the corporations to MAKE money. No job, no money, no purchases.

    • Steve

      A farming analogy that includes Locke, Jefferson, OT theology and apocolyptic imagery.

      Very nice.

      Original sources and the synthesis of a fertile mind.

  • Yar

    Does wealth come from the farmer’s bridle in the horses mouth and whip in his hand? Or does it come from the labor of the horse at the plow? In essence, it is both, but our current ideological fight is over the decision of if should we put the horse out to pasture for the winter of his life or if we will work together with the horse to gather in hay for cold winter nights.  What responsibility do we have to the citizens who create our national wealth?  Do we care more for the farmer then the horse?  In our economy they are both human.  Fend for yourself is cutting spending, putting up hay is raising taxes.  You can starve the animals but they won’t plow your fields next year, and some may even eat you.  Our current policies point toward revolution.  

  • Yar

    Does wealth come from the farmer’s bridle in the horses mouth and whip in his hand? Or does it come from the labor of the horse at the plow? In essence, it is both, but our current ideological fight is over the decision of if should we put the horse out to pasture for the winter of his life or if we will work together with the horse to gather in hay for cold winter nights.  What responsibility do we have to the citizens who create our national wealth?  Do we care more for the farmer then the horse?  In our economy they are both human.  Fend for yourself is cutting spending, putting up hay is raising taxes.  You can starve the animals but they won’t plow your fields next year, and some may even eat you.  Our current policies point toward revolution.  

  • Yar

    Does wealth come from the farmer’s bridle in the horses mouth and whip in his hand? Or does it come from the labor of the horse at the plow? In essence, it is both, but our current ideological fight is over the decision of if should we put the horse out to pasture for the winter of his life or if we will work together with the horse to gather in hay for cold winter nights.  What responsibility do we have to the citizens who create our national wealth?  Do we care more for the farmer then the horse?  In our economy they are both human.  Fend for yourself is cutting spending, putting up hay is raising taxes.  You can starve the animals but they won’t plow your fields next year, and some may even eat you.  Our current policies point toward revolution.  

  • Yar

    Does wealth come from the farmer’s bridle in the horses mouth and whip in his hand? Or does it come from the labor of the horse at the plow? In essence, it is both, but our current ideological fight is over the decision of if should we put the horse out to pasture for the winter of his life or if we will work together with the horse to gather in hay for cold winter nights.  What responsibility do we have to the citizens who create our national wealth?  Do we care more for the farmer then the horse?  In our economy they are both human.  Fend for yourself is cutting spending, putting up hay is raising taxes.  You can starve the animals but they won’t plow your fields next year, and some may even eat you.  Our current policies point toward revolution.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Allen Sinai explains the Republican take on corporate misbehavior, the way they relocate offshore, and send jobs overseas, the way the Republicans say we will lose our corporations if we take away their tax advantages.  Perhaps we’d be a lot better off without Wall Street and the corporate raiders.  Then again, it seems the Obama plan reduces the corporate rates.  So I’m confused badly on this.

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

    • Guest-22

      Once again, WSJ= conservative news organization, Mann from Brookings= conservative “think tank,” and Alfano =a Republican media consultant. Where’s the balance here?

      All I can figure is that NPR is bending over backwards to give right-wing voices all the podium time it wants as a way to stave off more cuts to public broadcasting. Tomorrow, I hope we have three left-wing advocates allowed to speak in an equal amount of air time.

      • nj

        And they still haven’t presented the friggin’ People’s Budget. 

        Just like Obummer, NPR will cower at the prospect of right-wing criticism rather than stand up and defend fair, strong journalism.

    • Guest-22

      Once again, WSJ= conservative news organization, Mann from Brookings= conservative “think tank,” and Alfano =a Republican media consultant. Where’s the balance here?

      All I can figure is that NPR is bending over backwards to give right-wing voices all the podium time it wants as a way to stave off more cuts to public broadcasting. Tomorrow, I hope we have three left-wing advocates allowed to speak in an equal amount of air time.

    • Guest-22

      Once again, WSJ= conservative news organization, Mann from Brookings= conservative “think tank,” and Alfano =a Republican media consultant. Where’s the balance here?

      All I can figure is that NPR is bending over backwards to give right-wing voices all the podium time it wants as a way to stave off more cuts to public broadcasting. Tomorrow, I hope we have three left-wing advocates allowed to speak in an equal amount of air time.

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dpweber83

    Let’s go, John Harwood—focus, we need you to bring your A-game today…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • 1656amati

    The far right arm of the House seems to have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome when it comes to the stewardship of the nation. Clearly the plan is to destroy this administration by bringing our economy to the brink of ruin, so they can then sweep in and save the day. I truly hope our people respond to Obama’s call to contact their representatives and be heard.

    • BHA in Vermont

      The brink of ruin? Bush did that with his unfunded wars.

    • BHA in Vermont

      The brink of ruin? Bush did that with his unfunded wars.

    • BHA in Vermont

      The brink of ruin? Bush did that with his unfunded wars.

  • 1656amati

    The far right arm of the House seems to have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome when it comes to the stewardship of the nation. Clearly the plan is to destroy this administration by bringing our economy to the brink of ruin, so they can then sweep in and save the day. I truly hope our people respond to Obama’s call to contact their representatives and be heard.

  • 1656amati

    The far right arm of the House seems to have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome when it comes to the stewardship of the nation. Clearly the plan is to destroy this administration by bringing our economy to the brink of ruin, so they can then sweep in and save the day. I truly hope our people respond to Obama’s call to contact their representatives and be heard.

  • 1656amati

    The far right arm of the House seems to have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome when it comes to the stewardship of the nation. Clearly the plan is to destroy this administration by bringing our economy to the brink of ruin, so they can then sweep in and save the day. I truly hope our people respond to Obama’s call to contact their representatives and be heard.

  • 1656amati

    The far right arm of the House seems to have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome when it comes to the stewardship of the nation. Clearly the plan is to destroy this administration by bringing our economy to the brink of ruin, so they can then sweep in and save the day. I truly hope our people respond to Obama’s call to contact their representatives and be heard.

  • jim

    I will vote that bogus group, “the tea-party”, out of office on the next election. I want Reagan Democrats and Midwestern Republicans like Kent Conrad in office.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      The problem is, why in hell did you vote them into office in the first place?

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      The problem is, why in hell did you vote them into office in the first place?

  • jim

    I will vote that bogus group, “the tea-party”, out of office on the next election. I want Reagan Democrats and Midwestern Republicans like Kent Conrad in office.

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

    • BHA in Vermont

      And you expect it would be otherwise?  Class warfare is here. Not that it wasn’t before. It is just getting SO bad, the “not wealthy” are starting to figure it out.

      Time to storm the Bastille.

    • BHA in Vermont

      And you expect it would be otherwise?  Class warfare is here. Not that it wasn’t before. It is just getting SO bad, the “not wealthy” are starting to figure it out.

      Time to storm the Bastille.

    • BHA in Vermont

      And you expect it would be otherwise?  Class warfare is here. Not that it wasn’t before. It is just getting SO bad, the “not wealthy” are starting to figure it out.

      Time to storm the Bastille.

  • jim

    I will vote that bogus group, “the tea-party”, out of office on the next election. I want Reagan Democrats and Midwestern Republicans like Kent Conrad in office.

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • Jime

    People who got wealthy bankrupting us want those who are not wealthy to eat the bill!! People who are not responsible for the debt we are in!! Who did not put us there!! Rubbish!!!

  • MJ

    Over the past 12 hours, I’ve heard several commentators and politicians criticize Pres. Obama for asking people to contact their representatives/senators.  However, NO ONE criticized Pres. Regan for doing the VERY SAME thing 25 years ago.

  • MJ

    Over the past 12 hours, I’ve heard several commentators and politicians criticize Pres. Obama for asking people to contact their representatives/senators.  However, NO ONE criticized Pres. Regan for doing the VERY SAME thing 25 years ago.

  • MJ

    Over the past 12 hours, I’ve heard several commentators and politicians criticize Pres. Obama for asking people to contact their representatives/senators.  However, NO ONE criticized Pres. Regan for doing the VERY SAME thing 25 years ago.

  • william

    We have reached Peak Government and it is time for massive spending cuts across the board.

    • TFRX

      That’s a new talking point. I must not be keeping up with things.

    • TFRX

      That’s a new talking point. I must not be keeping up with things.

    • TFRX

      That’s a new talking point. I must not be keeping up with things.

    • Dpweber83

      Why?  Why now?  Interest rates remain low, consumers are retrenching, businesses don’t want to spend—why should government pull back too?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Anonymous

        Our Debt to GDP has exceeded the point of no return.  No society has returned to normal from the point we are at now without some sort of massive pain.  AKA Inflation, Credit Freeze, and/or austarity!

        • Dpweber83

          That’s objectively and verifiably not true!  Our debt-to-GDP ratio was north of 1:1 after World War II!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debtDo facts mean nothing to you?  Just once, please, try to make your arguments fit the facts!-danBoston, MA

        • Anonymous

          You keep posting these silly comments. The debt was larger after WW2. It was paid down considerably by the mid 50′s due to a strong work force and a pretty high tax rate. You really do not seem to understand how our federal government works do you.

      • Anonymous

        Our Debt to GDP has exceeded the point of no return.  No society has returned to normal from the point we are at now without some sort of massive pain.  AKA Inflation, Credit Freeze, and/or austarity!

      • Anonymous

        Our Debt to GDP has exceeded the point of no return.  No society has returned to normal from the point we are at now without some sort of massive pain.  AKA Inflation, Credit Freeze, and/or austarity!

    • Dpweber83

      Why?  Why now?  Interest rates remain low, consumers are retrenching, businesses don’t want to spend—why should government pull back too?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

    • GLH

      It’s not that simpleminded. We have reached peak corruption and a peak wealth and income gap, just as we did in 1929. The wealthy faction claims they own the football outright and  that they are stopping the game and taking it home because they are afraid of losing. People in 1929 were better sports than now. While they’re getting their little egos massaged by the hired help we just might plow up the field and plant marijuana, if that’s what the majority wants. Or we might open a football factory and hand them out. American citizens are tougher and more resourceful than the Oligarchs think.

    • GLH

      It’s not that simpleminded. We have reached peak corruption and a peak wealth and income gap, just as we did in 1929. The wealthy faction claims they own the football outright and  that they are stopping the game and taking it home because they are afraid of losing. People in 1929 were better sports than now. While they’re getting their little egos massaged by the hired help we just might plow up the field and plant marijuana, if that’s what the majority wants. Or we might open a football factory and hand them out. American citizens are tougher and more resourceful than the Oligarchs think.

    • GLH

      It’s not that simpleminded. We have reached peak corruption and a peak wealth and income gap, just as we did in 1929. The wealthy faction claims they own the football outright and  that they are stopping the game and taking it home because they are afraid of losing. People in 1929 were better sports than now. While they’re getting their little egos massaged by the hired help we just might plow up the field and plant marijuana, if that’s what the majority wants. Or we might open a football factory and hand them out. American citizens are tougher and more resourceful than the Oligarchs think.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I think we can look to England to see how massive spending cuts lead to a really healthy long-term economy and social structure.

      Lucky for us those crazy, know nothing Chinese are going gangbusters on huge projects that they think will stimulate their economy and grow their educated middle class.  Won’t they feel like dopes in a decade or two.  Eat our dust, China, we’re cutting across the board!

      • william

        So we should move more quickly towards Socialism and away from free markets? The PR China and former USSR are moving towards free markets and have a better economic growth than their previous failed centrally planned economy, Socialism, ever worked out for them.

        The UK has a huge tax burden and government regulations that is a burden to their economy.

        • Anonymous

          China is presently a command economy.   Since when is investment coupled with cost savings a recipe for socialism?  This post is disingenuous.

          • william

            China is moving towards a much more aggressive free market than we had at our best years.

          • TFRX

            Okay, I’ll bite: When were our best years?

            When the idea of “retirement” was those few hours between the Black Maria dumping one’s mangled body at the front of the little shack in the company town, and the company evicting one’s family because they couldn’t pay the exorbitant rent because there was no longer a breadwinner in the family?

          • william

            It was when FDR’s Treasury Sectary said the following before Congress May 1939.

            “We are spending more money than we have ever spent before and it
            does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see
            people get a job. We have never made good on our promises. I say after
            eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as
            when we started and an enormous debt to boot.”

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You use a quote like that to define our ‘Best Years’?   Why?

          • william

            Because you have a top government official in the FDR administration admit that FDR’s ideas were a total failure. The legacy or urban myth of FDR’s “New Deal” that is saved this country but in reality it was a total failure. From that moment on we never should have returned to the failed ideas of FDR.

          • TFRX

            1939?

            You really should go see Captain America.

            You might then understand that the “best times” you adore topped off a decade of untold poverty and suffering that we were just climbing out of, leaving a half generation of children growing up stunted and underfed, and not making miniumum weight requirements to get into the military.

            You just might be disconnected from reality to be a genuine libertarian!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Evidently, he’s one of the GREEDY rich, who had it extra good, in the Depression, because they had money, could hire workers for pennies, could abuse without worry of Justice, and so many other abuses available to the GREEDY rich then.

      • william

        So we should move more quickly towards Socialism and away from free markets? The PR China and former USSR are moving towards free markets and have a better economic growth than their previous failed centrally planned economy, Socialism, ever worked out for them.

        The UK has a huge tax burden and government regulations that is a burden to their economy.

      • william

        If the UK dumped their taxes, welfare programs, regulations they would have a much better economy. PRC China is dumping Socialism and moving towards free markets and their growth rate reflects they are in the right direction.

        Socialism has failed each time is has been tried but Obama and the Liberal Democrats want to “try one more time”. They will fail.

        • TFRX

          Everything to the left of…some imaginary goalline, you call socialism.

      • william

        If the UK dumped their taxes, welfare programs, regulations they would have a much better economy. PRC China is dumping Socialism and moving towards free markets and their growth rate reflects they are in the right direction.

        Socialism has failed each time is has been tried but Obama and the Liberal Democrats want to “try one more time”. They will fail.

  • MJ

    Over the past 12 hours, I’ve heard several commentators and politicians criticize Pres. Obama for asking people to contact their representatives/senators.  However, NO ONE criticized Pres. Regan for doing the VERY SAME thing 25 years ago.

  • william

    We have reached Peak Government and it is time for massive spending cuts across the board.

  • william

    We have reached Peak Government and it is time for massive spending cuts across the board.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Please explain how asking for a 1.5 year increase is a “Blank Check”.
    This whole theatrical B.S. has wasted a ton of time when those involved should be doing real work. If they go for a 6 month and then do this again, I ask “Where is Ted Kaczynski when you need him”?  *

    Boehner is right about one thing, it is ALL about the 2012 election but it isn’t the Democrats trying to get Obama reelected, it is the Republicans who created this fiasco trying to make sure Obama is a “one term president”.

    * OK, I don’t actually propose that they should be receiving mail bombs but I am REALLY POed that these jerks are screwing the country for their political (perceived) gain. Shut off the A/C, freeze their pay AND that of everyone on their staff. Should they or their staff need any government service (including fire, police, etc) too bad, they don’t get it.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Please explain how asking for a 1.5 year increase is a “Blank Check”.
    This whole theatrical B.S. has wasted a ton of time when those involved should be doing real work. If they go for a 6 month and then do this again, I ask “Where is Ted Kaczynski when you need him”?  *

    Boehner is right about one thing, it is ALL about the 2012 election but it isn’t the Democrats trying to get Obama reelected, it is the Republicans who created this fiasco trying to make sure Obama is a “one term president”.

    * OK, I don’t actually propose that they should be receiving mail bombs but I am REALLY POed that these jerks are screwing the country for their political (perceived) gain. Shut off the A/C, freeze their pay AND that of everyone on their staff. Should they or their staff need any government service (including fire, police, etc) too bad, they don’t get it.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Please explain how asking for a 1.5 year increase is a “Blank Check”.
    This whole theatrical B.S. has wasted a ton of time when those involved should be doing real work. If they go for a 6 month and then do this again, I ask “Where is Ted Kaczynski when you need him”?  *

    Boehner is right about one thing, it is ALL about the 2012 election but it isn’t the Democrats trying to get Obama reelected, it is the Republicans who created this fiasco trying to make sure Obama is a “one term president”.

    * OK, I don’t actually propose that they should be receiving mail bombs but I am REALLY POed that these jerks are screwing the country for their political (perceived) gain. Shut off the A/C, freeze their pay AND that of everyone on their staff. Should they or their staff need any government service (including fire, police, etc) too bad, they don’t get it.

  • Freeman

    John;
            That Mr. Boehner is less than genuious; HE has NO credibility. A person with half a brain can deduce that it was the Republicans that put the United States in the perdicament that we are currently in. They ( Republicans) would relish to see the END of Democracy. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. The stories that STILL come out about that Bush/Cheney fiasco. John, Was what happened in Norway an examole of “Failure of Government” ?

  • Freeman

    John;
            That Mr. Boehner is less than genuious; HE has NO credibility. A person with half a brain can deduce that it was the Republicans that put the United States in the perdicament that we are currently in. They ( Republicans) would relish to see the END of Democracy. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. The stories that STILL come out about that Bush/Cheney fiasco. John, Was what happened in Norway an examole of “Failure of Government” ?

  • Freeman

    John;
            That Mr. Boehner is less than genuious; HE has NO credibility. A person with half a brain can deduce that it was the Republicans that put the United States in the perdicament that we are currently in. They ( Republicans) would relish to see the END of Democracy. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. The stories that STILL come out about that Bush/Cheney fiasco. John, Was what happened in Norway an examole of “Failure of Government” ?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I couldn’t get onto the White House website for an hour or so last night, and I thought maybe Anonymous had decided to overcrowd it.  But I’m not sure.  Maybe Americans instead of trying to contact their Representatives, tried to contact Obama.

    • Guest-22

      With the phone lines jammed up and the federal servers overloaded, the American people can’t even get through. More gridlock! I’m becoming so cynical, I think even this might be orchestrated to block the middle class from being heard.

      I will call my representatives’ local offices and hope the messages get passed along.

      • Thinknaboutit

        They can’t block you in person.  We all need to go on strike and picket every elected officials office demanding they raise revenue and cut spending.  I think a few thousand angry voters per office will get the message through pretty quickly.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I couldn’t get onto the White House website for an hour or so last night, and I thought maybe Anonymous had decided to overcrowd it.  But I’m not sure.  Maybe Americans instead of trying to contact their Representatives, tried to contact Obama.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I couldn’t get onto the White House website for an hour or so last night, and I thought maybe Anonymous had decided to overcrowd it.  But I’m not sure.  Maybe Americans instead of trying to contact their Representatives, tried to contact Obama.

  • Freeman Kirby

    example

  • Freeman Kirby

    example

  • Freeman Kirby

    example

  • Mike in PA

    Will someone please explain what will actually happen on August 2nd and 3rd?

    I blame BOTH parties.  The Republicans are to blame for spending, spending, spending over the past decade (maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era).  The Democrats are to blame for spending now.  And both are to blame for adding fuel to the fire by threatening catastrophes all the time if something does or doesn’t happen.

    I also blame US.  Where is the sacrifice?  Sure our representatives should sacrifice first, not last.  But why do I always hear complaints about losing social security “that I paid for”?  I am willing to take a cut in social security, work longer.  I can handle higher interest rates and tighten my pocket book if it helps us reduce our debt.

    • Dpweber83

      The U.S. government will not have enough cash on hand to meet the obligations due on that day, including debt service, debt redemptions, social security payouts, etc.  

      “The Democrats are to blame for spending now.”  What spending are you talking about?  

      I understand that you’re less-than-informed on this subject, but the fact of the matter is that one party is acting reasonably, and the other controls the House of Representatives.  It’s worth reading up on.-danBoston, MA

    • Dpweber83

      The U.S. government will not have enough cash on hand to meet the obligations due on that day, including debt service, debt redemptions, social security payouts, etc.  

      “The Democrats are to blame for spending now.”  What spending are you talking about?  

      I understand that you’re less-than-informed on this subject, but the fact of the matter is that one party is acting reasonably, and the other controls the House of Representatives.  It’s worth reading up on.-danBoston, MA

    • BHA in Vermont

      maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era

      Nope back to Reagan.
      “Don’t tax but spend anyway” Conservatives.
      Given only two choices, I would prefer the “Tax and spend” Liberals.

    • BHA in Vermont

      maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era

      Nope back to Reagan.
      “Don’t tax but spend anyway” Conservatives.
      Given only two choices, I would prefer the “Tax and spend” Liberals.

    • BHA in Vermont

      maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era

      Nope back to Reagan.
      “Don’t tax but spend anyway” Conservatives.
      Given only two choices, I would prefer the “Tax and spend” Liberals.

    • BHA in Vermont

      “I am willing to take a cut in social security, work longer.  I can
      handle higher interest rates and tighten my pocket book if it helps us
      reduce our debt.”

      Instead of or in conjunction with the rich paying more? Don’t think for a minute it will be the latter, the Republicans have already dug their heels in on “NO tax increases”.

      SS is NOT contributing to the deficit and SHOULD NOT be part of this political theatrics.

    • Mike in PA

      I agree with you BHA.  As a Republican, I can agree on an increase in taxes – even though I already pay a lot from the middle class.  Why?  Because my President says we need an increase.  I would however like to see my representatives take a paycut and reduce their limosine healthcare and pensions.  These guys are out having affairs, tweeting pictures of themselves and screwing around with our economy, yet they’re sending our kids off to war and cutting teacher and emergency pay first.  Let’s see some austerity at the Congress first, and then increase taxes.  This measure would be symbolic, but helpful.

      Dan-it’s already been shown that social security, etc. monies are there to pay out on August 2nd.  Moreover, there is an emergency cutting procedure that takes place if the event happens, which will cause certain agencies to make cuts first before the government cuts butter.  I won’t get into “what spending” I am talking about, because it’s pretty obvious.  President Obama hasn’t changed much from the Bush era spending policies, particularly on bailing out Wall Street, permitting corporate subsidies, and defense (Iraq/Afghanistan particularly).

      I do not agree that the Tea Party is the only entity that is not acting responsibly.  I will concede that the Republicans wanting to put the 2nd portion of the debt ceiling debate on center stage during the upcoming presidential election is party politics.  But the fear over having that debate boggles my mind.  If the Dems are correct, why not be willing to debate that during the election?

    • TFRX

      “I am willing to…work longer.” (I hope I’m quoting your intent properly.)

      Putting a chunk of Americans one to three years further away from
      retirement, by raising the SocSec benefits age, is exactly what the
      labor market DOESN’T need right now.

      And don’t forget the Plumber’s Crack: Blue collar types, manual
      laborers, are not enjoying the extended life expectancy of people in
      their 60s today v. the 1930s. That’s going to the rich and white collar
      workers.

  • Mike in PA

    Will someone please explain what will actually happen on August 2nd and 3rd?

    I blame BOTH parties.  The Republicans are to blame for spending, spending, spending over the past decade (maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era).  The Democrats are to blame for spending now.  And both are to blame for adding fuel to the fire by threatening catastrophes all the time if something does or doesn’t happen.

    I also blame US.  Where is the sacrifice?  Sure our representatives should sacrifice first, not last.  But why do I always hear complaints about losing social security “that I paid for”?  I am willing to take a cut in social security, work longer.  I can handle higher interest rates and tighten my pocket book if it helps us reduce our debt.

  • Mike in PA

    Will someone please explain what will actually happen on August 2nd and 3rd?

    I blame BOTH parties.  The Republicans are to blame for spending, spending, spending over the past decade (maybe back to the end of the Gingrich era).  The Democrats are to blame for spending now.  And both are to blame for adding fuel to the fire by threatening catastrophes all the time if something does or doesn’t happen.

    I also blame US.  Where is the sacrifice?  Sure our representatives should sacrifice first, not last.  But why do I always hear complaints about losing social security “that I paid for”?  I am willing to take a cut in social security, work longer.  I can handle higher interest rates and tighten my pocket book if it helps us reduce our debt.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we just finish passing the Cut, Cap & Balance…  It passed with bypartisan support of 264 votes!

    • Dpweber83

      That “bipartisan support” included 5 Democratic members, while nearly double that number of Republicans broke with leadership.

      Do you think we can’t use Google?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Cut cap and balance is hardly radical.  It was never allowed to the senate for debate.

    • nj

      Because cut, crash and burn is a regressive, horrible piece of crap.

    • nj

      Because cut, crash and burn is a regressive, horrible piece of crap.

    • mary elizabeth

      That “bipartisan” supported consisted of 5 Dems vs 259 Repubs!

    • mary elizabeth

      That “bipartisan” supported consisted of 5 Dems vs 259 Repubs!

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we just finish passing the Cut, Cap & Balance…  It passed with bypartisan support of 264 votes!

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we just finish passing the Cut, Cap & Balance…  It passed with bypartisan support of 264 votes!

  • Anonymous

    Social security recipients will get paid even if nothing is done in congress for the next 6 months.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent!  And who wins the Super Bowl next year?

  • Anonymous

    Social security recipients will get paid even if nothing is done in congress for the next 6 months.

  • Anonymous

    Social security recipients will get paid even if nothing is done in congress for the next 6 months.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think we vote for presidents for leadership and values, but we vote for senators and congresspeople in order to bring home the bacon, millions of dollars for The Big Dig in Boston, or a speed train from New York to Boston.  We’ve been taught to vote like that, so people are trying to address the White House now.  And I guess the purse-strings have to revert to a non-cameral government, if the house/houses don’t do their jobs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremyrshipley Jeremy Shipley

      We need transportation infrastructure. Yes, there are boondoggles where things go over budget or there are unanticipated expenses, but let’s not pretend we can have a modern society without modern transportation infrastructure. The people managing the projects should be held accountable. There’s nothing wrong with funding them in the first place, and you don’t hear about the ones that finish on time and on budget.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think we vote for presidents for leadership and values, but we vote for senators and congresspeople in order to bring home the bacon, millions of dollars for The Big Dig in Boston, or a speed train from New York to Boston.  We’ve been taught to vote like that, so people are trying to address the White House now.  And I guess the purse-strings have to revert to a non-cameral government, if the house/houses don’t do their jobs.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think we vote for presidents for leadership and values, but we vote for senators and congresspeople in order to bring home the bacon, millions of dollars for The Big Dig in Boston, or a speed train from New York to Boston.  We’ve been taught to vote like that, so people are trying to address the White House now.  And I guess the purse-strings have to revert to a non-cameral government, if the house/houses don’t do their jobs.

  • Anonymous

    The problem here is that the sides are speaking past one another.  Consider:

    I suspect it is true that a debt ceiling piercing would result in higher interest rates and tighter credit markets.  It could certainly threaten the primacy of U.S. dollars as the global currency standard (recall that oil is currently priced in dollars, but it needn’t be.  Gulp.)

    If this first premise is true, I believe that there would be real, tangible effects on people who depend upon things such as mass transit and reasonable rents and public services like trash collection, since these could be made much more expensive as the cost of borrowing increases.

    I also believe that there is a class of earners in America who would not see tangle effects on their day-to-day life, although would see their investment and/or retirement portfolios affected. 

    The democrats, poorly, seem to be trying to make the argument that not raising taxes as well as reducing expenditures and raising the debt ceiling will cause literal, observable harm to the daily existence of some citizens.  So in some sense, you can say they are making a moral argument:  That it is unfair to make people suffer when the resources to prevent that suffering may be at hand.

    The republicans, as far as I can see, view this much more abstractly.  Their position seems to be that taxation, in principle, is an infringement on our rights to live our lives lawfully and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts (excepting, of course, national defense and a few other items.)  In this framing, making $1M or making $30,000 per year is irrelevant.  The principle still holds.  Hence, no new taxes.  And ideally, all taxed at the same rate.

    Because the republican party shows little interest in realpolitik, I think they will stand tough to see what happens when the debt ceiling is pierced.  I suspect they believe Obama to be too timid to veto a short term increase, but I think they’ll take the plunge – on principle – if given the chance.

  • Anonymous

    The problem here is that the sides are speaking past one another.  Consider:

    I suspect it is true that a debt ceiling piercing would result in higher interest rates and tighter credit markets.  It could certainly threaten the primacy of U.S. dollars as the global currency standard (recall that oil is currently priced in dollars, but it needn’t be.  Gulp.)

    If this first premise is true, I believe that there would be real, tangible effects on people who depend upon things such as mass transit and reasonable rents and public services like trash collection, since these could be made much more expensive as the cost of borrowing increases.

    I also believe that there is a class of earners in America who would not see tangle effects on their day-to-day life, although would see their investment and/or retirement portfolios affected. 

    The democrats, poorly, seem to be trying to make the argument that not raising taxes as well as reducing expenditures and raising the debt ceiling will cause literal, observable harm to the daily existence of some citizens.  So in some sense, you can say they are making a moral argument:  That it is unfair to make people suffer when the resources to prevent that suffering may be at hand.

    The republicans, as far as I can see, view this much more abstractly.  Their position seems to be that taxation, in principle, is an infringement on our rights to live our lives lawfully and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts (excepting, of course, national defense and a few other items.)  In this framing, making $1M or making $30,000 per year is irrelevant.  The principle still holds.  Hence, no new taxes.  And ideally, all taxed at the same rate.

    Because the republican party shows little interest in realpolitik, I think they will stand tough to see what happens when the debt ceiling is pierced.  I suspect they believe Obama to be too timid to veto a short term increase, but I think they’ll take the plunge – on principle – if given the chance.

  • Anonymous

    The problem here is that the sides are speaking past one another.  Consider:

    I suspect it is true that a debt ceiling piercing would result in higher interest rates and tighter credit markets.  It could certainly threaten the primacy of U.S. dollars as the global currency standard (recall that oil is currently priced in dollars, but it needn’t be.  Gulp.)

    If this first premise is true, I believe that there would be real, tangible effects on people who depend upon things such as mass transit and reasonable rents and public services like trash collection, since these could be made much more expensive as the cost of borrowing increases.

    I also believe that there is a class of earners in America who would not see tangle effects on their day-to-day life, although would see their investment and/or retirement portfolios affected. 

    The democrats, poorly, seem to be trying to make the argument that not raising taxes as well as reducing expenditures and raising the debt ceiling will cause literal, observable harm to the daily existence of some citizens.  So in some sense, you can say they are making a moral argument:  That it is unfair to make people suffer when the resources to prevent that suffering may be at hand.

    The republicans, as far as I can see, view this much more abstractly.  Their position seems to be that taxation, in principle, is an infringement on our rights to live our lives lawfully and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts (excepting, of course, national defense and a few other items.)  In this framing, making $1M or making $30,000 per year is irrelevant.  The principle still holds.  Hence, no new taxes.  And ideally, all taxed at the same rate.

    Because the republican party shows little interest in realpolitik, I think they will stand tough to see what happens when the debt ceiling is pierced.  I suspect they believe Obama to be too timid to veto a short term increase, but I think they’ll take the plunge – on principle – if given the chance.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Social Security should be OFF THE TABLE!

    - It is SELF FUNDING.
    - It is NOT contributing to the deficit (though it will in 30 or so years if it is not revamped soon).

    STOP RAIDING THE SOCIAL SECURITY money to pay for the deficit  STOP sticking it to those receiving SS to pay for the deficit.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Are you aware that they stopped collecting 2% of the FICA tax this year in another stimulus attempt?

      Last year there were some months with more money payed out than collected.  Yes, SS was running a short term deficit.

      Are you aware they spend the SS revenues in the general fund?

      There is only about $2T in the ‘trust fund’ but the chief SS actuary calculated a liability of $15T in 2009.

      I think this qualifies as a quasi-Ponzi scheme.  I don’t think most people understand what has happened.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Well said BHA. Agreed. If Obama and Reid bargain with social security and medicare they are playing with fire. I might be tossing a match their way if they let these Republican thugs bully them into it.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Social Security should be OFF THE TABLE!

    - It is SELF FUNDING.
    - It is NOT contributing to the deficit (though it will in 30 or so years if it is not revamped soon).

    STOP RAIDING THE SOCIAL SECURITY money to pay for the deficit  STOP sticking it to those receiving SS to pay for the deficit.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Social Security should be OFF THE TABLE!

    - It is SELF FUNDING.
    - It is NOT contributing to the deficit (though it will in 30 or so years if it is not revamped soon).

    STOP RAIDING THE SOCIAL SECURITY money to pay for the deficit  STOP sticking it to those receiving SS to pay for the deficit.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    IS “STARVE THE BEAST” TREASON?

    Just what is Starve The Beast? It was once a far Right strategy to use fiscal irresponsibility as a political weapon to create a financial crisis where the GOP hoped to sabotage Democratic programs they knew could never get voters to approve through the ballot box. This is now the mainstream in the GOP with the vast majority of GOP representatives and senators having signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to pursue this strategy.

    Given Starve The Beast calls for the willful sabotaging of government revenues and the creation of massive debt, it is a deliberate attack on government’s ability to function and deal with emergencies. At what point does this strategy cross the line into treason?  

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      One more note: the GOP’s stated rationale that they are interested in economic growth by protecting “job creators” is just another cynical smokescreen used to conceal their Starve The Beast strategy. They KNOW low taxes don’t create jobs as claimed. But they also know Starve The Beast is so dangerous and irresponsible that they can never admit to it publically. There is a propaganda industry I’ve dubbed the Orwellian Right that concocts such smokescreens… to make it appear this dangerous strategy is redefined as something positive which benefits us all. The problem now is there is now a generation of politicians and voters who have bought these disingenuous justifications and no longer can tell reality from what was once just self-serving fictions.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      There is a moral question here both parties seem determined to ignore. Since the far Right strategy of Starve The Beast was instituted 30 years ago, Reagan and Bush2 were DIRECTLY responsible for about 50% of our national debt. Arguably Bush 1, Clinton, and Obama, have had to run up debt because of Reagan and Bush2′s irresponsible tax cuts.
      It doesn’t matter if that now $13 trillion spent in the last 30 years that we REFUSED to tax ourselves for was spent wisely or now. IT’S GONE!!!

      WHO should pay for OUR generation’s gross fiscal irresponsibility. The Starve The Beast crowd may say differently, but it needs that debt as a political weapon and wants to pass it on to our kids and grandkids. We saw that when Bush2 deliberately sabotaged debt paydown in 2001.

      It’s not just that their Starve The Beast strategy borders on treason, their fiscal priorities are both grotesquely irresponsible and immoral.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      There is a moral question here both parties seem determined to ignore. Since the far Right strategy of Starve The Beast was instituted 30 years ago, Reagan and Bush2 were DIRECTLY responsible for about 50% of our national debt. Arguably Bush 1, Clinton, and Obama, have had to run up debt because of Reagan and Bush2′s irresponsible tax cuts.
      It doesn’t matter if that now $13 trillion spent in the last 30 years that we REFUSED to tax ourselves for was spent wisely or now. IT’S GONE!!!

      WHO should pay for OUR generation’s gross fiscal irresponsibility. The Starve The Beast crowd may say differently, but it needs that debt as a political weapon and wants to pass it on to our kids and grandkids. We saw that when Bush2 deliberately sabotaged debt paydown in 2001.

      It’s not just that their Starve The Beast strategy borders on treason, their fiscal priorities are both grotesquely irresponsible and immoral.

  • Anonymous

    The idiots who voted in the extremist Republicans deserve the oncoming mess especially the ones who did so to “keep the government away from my Medicare.”

    • BHA in Vermont

      Unfortunately the rest of us burn for their “no tax” dogma.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Unfortunately the rest of us burn for their “no tax” dogma.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The MAJORITY of us do NOT deserve the results.  How well did that “Keep government away from Medicare” work?  TP’s are going after Medicare!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The MAJORITY of us do NOT deserve the results.  How well did that “Keep government away from Medicare” work?  TP’s are going after Medicare!

    • TFRX

      The word you are looking for is “Rascalbagger”; it refers to someone attending a Teabagger rally on a Medicare-funded electric scooter.

    • TFRX

      The word you are looking for is “Rascalbagger”; it refers to someone attending a Teabagger rally on a Medicare-funded electric scooter.

    • nj

      The extremists deserve it, but unfortunately, we’re all going to get the mess. The rich will get by, everyone else will suffer.

    • nj

      The extremists deserve it, but unfortunately, we’re all going to get the mess. The rich will get by, everyone else will suffer.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      I wish those who do not wish to contribute to entitlements would have to pay the price directly: make tax paying a la carte so that TPers could opt out of Medicare for all. Then when they go to the ER they’d be refused and if they tried to drive on an interstate they’d be pulled over and ticketed.

      The only way they’ll get it is if it hits them squarely in the face. They do not have the brainpower to think abstractly (or think much at all short of the inherent racism in stopping Obama).

  • Ellen Dibble

    This morning on BBC news hour, one Albrecht Ritschl of the London School of Economics, stated that the financial institutions need another model for [making their profits].  I can’t find his little interview on the BBC website (that was this morning), but it meshes with my view that driving people into bankruptcy and then forcing the rest of us (through taxes or interest rates) to pay for this — that is the mode now.  Bet on Greece defaulting and profit by it.  Bet on the USA defaulting, and profit by it.  I wouldn’t count that out.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Me either. They have come up with the biggest Credit Default Swap imaginable.

  • Simon

    Why is the system broken? It is all because the enormous (and now unlimited) campaign contributions, lobbying from the big companies, special interest groups.

    Try to control the runaway health care cost? Not possible because the insurance companies, drug companies etc won’t allow it.

    Why we are spending billions of dollars on so many stupid wars? Because some big companies/contractors are profiting from that.

    Why republicans won’t let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire? Its not because they believe it would hurt jobs, its because the rich won’t give their campaign contributions if they do that.

    • Simon

      Also why after the financial meltdown started in 2008, no reform is done to prevent that from happening again and Wall street is back to business as usual? Because they give lots of campaign contributions….

  • BHA in Vermont

    Raise taxes NOW. You KNOW the Republicans won’t go for it later even if they say they will. The Bush “temporary” tax cuts were supposed to expire. Guess not, we have the Tea Party in the house, “no tax increase” Republicans in the House. NO DEAL on letting the tax cuts expire, not even for the NON job creators that live high on on the hog of the poor and middle class.

  • Jack

    What is lost in all of this is that the Tea Party came in on an off year election (42% turnout) so their ” mandate” is merely a majority of the less than half of all eligible voters…probably 30% of the electorate of the US. The spin is that this is a ground swell is tripe and another example of how the GOP machine can manipulate the message and away from issues crucial to the country.

  • Anonymous

    I should have voted for Hillary. 

    • Dpweber83

      Because the Republicans would have been more reasonable if they were dealing with a Clinton?

      Shut.  Up.  You lost in 2008, and so did the Republicans, and it appears neither of you has faced up to that fact.

      Gobama,

      dan
      Boston, MA

      • Anonymous

        I voted for Obama in both the primary and the general and will vote for him in 2012.  For all of her faults, Hillary wouldn’t have compromised so ineptly and established a pattern of weakness as a negotiator, which the Republicans are exploiting yet again.

        • Dpweber83

          I’ll repeat my question: why do you assume that Republicans would have been more reasonable if they were dealing with a Clinton?

          -dan
          Boston, MA

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think they would be more reasonable but they wouldn’t expect to get their way to the same degree they expect it now based on the way Obama caved on extending the Bush tax cuts and abandoned the public option . . .

          • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

            I’m no fan of Hillary and I too will vote for Obama in the next primary and election, but he’s bending over way too far and his lack of leadership is troubling.

            The Republicans aren’t going to compromise on anything. Why is it he can’t see this or refuses to acknowledge it. They keep moving the goalposts and changing the game so why deal with them?

            If Obama doesn’t shore up his base and kick some Republican ass he’s going to lose some independent support which may make the next election closer than it needs to be.

    • BHA in Vermont

      And this would have kept the Republicans from holding the debt ceiling hostage? I really doubt it.

      I also would bet that were McCain in the White House, the Republicans would have said “go ahead” from the get go.

  • Janet Moran

    Our government representatives need to get off their horses and walk into town.  This is ridiculous, they are acting like spoiled children.  Let’s get this done, work togehter (for a change) before we end up in the midst of another financial crisis!

    • TFRX

      You can’t work with infants holding hand grenades.

    • TFRX

      You can’t work with infants holding hand grenades.

  • John

    The biggest unfunded mandates in D.C. are the four military actions and the massive anti-terrorism bureaucracy. I’d like to see both side grow up and agree to develop income (taxes) to pay for these AND make cuts to these and the other areas of the budget.  But first you have to raise the debt ceiling.

    Simply having an agreement on these areas will put the US on a sounder financial footing.  So tell Obama, Boehner, Cantor, Reid et al to grow up, be adults, be truthful help the US and campaign next year on THAT.

    John
    Williamstown, VT

    • Dpweber83

      You’re using the term “unfunded mandates” in a funny way.  Those military adventures are funded—No Child Left Behind is not.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Terry Tree Tree

        When did the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cease being ‘off the books’?

  • John

    The biggest unfunded mandates in D.C. are the four military actions and the massive anti-terrorism bureaucracy. I’d like to see both side grow up and agree to develop income (taxes) to pay for these AND make cuts to these and the other areas of the budget.  But first you have to raise the debt ceiling.

    Simply having an agreement on these areas will put the US on a sounder financial footing.  So tell Obama, Boehner, Cantor, Reid et al to grow up, be adults, be truthful help the US and campaign next year on THAT.

    John
    Williamstown, VT

  • TFRX

    Can we get someone from slightlytheleft to not peddle the false equivalence line about “the circus in Washington”?

    Thirty times for the last three GOPers in the White House, and one black Democrat makes raising the debt ceiling, especially at this point in the business cycle, *poof* a crisis.

    • BHA in Vermont

      You are suggesting that Obama is making this a crisis?

      • TFRX

        No, that changing only one thing, having a black Democrat as President, made this piece of humdrum housekeeping into a 1!!!1OhNoes!!!CRISIS11one!

        (Yeh, sorry, I really should have phrased that better.)

        • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

          I completely agree. Racism is behind quite a bit of this Tea Party stuff but is also behind many of the “establishment” Republicans in Congress taking the country down to make Obama look bad.

          I’m going to start sounding like Ed with his single message but here’s mine:

          Bush and Cheney broke the country and it will take generations to fix it. Never forget this. Don’t mix up Obama’s seeming failures with the pile of #### he’s been digging out of since he took office.

          • TFRX

            The thing is about whatever reasonable Republicans remain: Have they learned they need to act like racists or run the risk of getting primaried?

            Look at Olympia Snowe, in sensible, middle-of-the-road Maine. A few noises here and there in the last session (barely when it mattered to make some legislation centrist, to get cloture, or to pass things), and there’s a crazy crackpot out there trying to take her down.

            (And I use the term “crazy crackpot” on the scale of 2010 crazy, not 2006 crazy.)

          • Gregg

            It is the epitome of lazy, hateful, shallow thinking to ignore the disastrous policies of this administration and cry racism. Disgusting.

          • TFRX

            Not as disgusting as:

            Fox News: Not racist, but #1 with racists.
            The GOP: Not racist, but nowhere without them.
            GOP candidate X in 2012: Not racist, but needs their votes.

      • TFRX

        No, that changing only one thing, having a black Democrat as President, made this piece of humdrum housekeeping into a 1!!!1OhNoes!!!CRISIS11one!

        (Yeh, sorry, I really should have phrased that better.)

  • TFRX

    Can we get someone from slightlytheleft to not peddle the false equivalence line about “the circus in Washington”?

    Thirty times for the last three GOPers in the White House, and one black Democrat makes raising the debt ceiling, especially at this point in the business cycle, *poof* a crisis.

  • Dee from nYS

    In Washington these days, any crises expands to fill the available airtime. So a short-term “solution” to the debt crises just ensures we have to listen to more pointless blathering from both sides. We suffer from a failure of leadership on every side.

  • Dee from nYS

    In Washington these days, any crises expands to fill the available airtime. So a short-term “solution” to the debt crises just ensures we have to listen to more pointless blathering from both sides. We suffer from a failure of leadership on every side.

  • xx

    What’s the point of having a president if he can’t decide? The government structure is wrong. We should all stand up, strike, and end this rule of greed. There IS enough for everybody; just not if some want it all.

    • Dpweber83

      What system of government do you propose?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Anonymous

        I think Jimmy Buffett has some good ideas base on his leadership of Margaritaville.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Fantasy World, NOT real.

    • Really

      Are you insane? You don’t understand Checks & Balances, or why it was done? The President is less powerful than Congress, because we didn’t want a KING! Are you American? What school did you go to? Holy Mary Mother of God! Astounding ignorance! 

  • xx

    What’s the point of having a president if he can’t decide? The government structure is wrong. We should all stand up, strike, and end this rule of greed. There IS enough for everybody; just not if some want it all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremyrshipley Jeremy Shipley

    Boehner has some nerve. After voting in favor of Bush’s budget busting tax cuts, dumb wars, and corporate welfare he now claims the deficit is Obama’s fault and is holding the full faith and credit of this great nation hostage to force through the Republican ideological war on entitlements. When Republicans ran on “repeal and replace” they didn’t tell seniors they were talking about Medicare, but that’s just what they voted to do in the House, even after lying during the 2010 election about the Affordable Care Act and saying Obama’s fiscally responsible cost savings were benefit cuts. Since that election House Republicans have used every tool in the box to set the agenda, including this debt ceiling nonsense. Well, you’ve been setting the agenda Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? The Democrats got the car out of the ditch and headed in the right direction. This swerve toward the Republican austerity agenda has gotten us off track.

    • TFRX

      Can we get a count of every “born again virgin” on the right who voted, metronomically, for debt limit increases under every GOP president?

      It’s not something I’ve seen mentioned on the news. Wonder why?

      • william

        Where does that put Obama? He voted against raising the debt ceiling.

        • TFRX

          *yawn*…once. When there were overwhelming votes to pass.

          That’s called symbolism, and is typically a part of politics. Look it up; it’s practiced often.

          The Teabaggers, however, are drinking their own KoolAde.

          • william

            Did any Democrats vote to pass the debt ceiling that Obama voted against raising?

          • TFRX

            You keep coming back to that one piece of fool’s gold, demanding we assay it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremyrshipley Jeremy Shipley

    Boehner has some nerve. After voting in favor of Bush’s budget busting tax cuts, dumb wars, and corporate welfare he now claims the deficit is Obama’s fault and is holding the full faith and credit of this great nation hostage to force through the Republican ideological war on entitlements. When Republicans ran on “repeal and replace” they didn’t tell seniors they were talking about Medicare, but that’s just what they voted to do in the House, even after lying during the 2010 election about the Affordable Care Act and saying Obama’s fiscally responsible cost savings were benefit cuts. Since that election House Republicans have used every tool in the box to set the agenda, including this debt ceiling nonsense. Well, you’ve been setting the agenda Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? The Democrats got the car out of the ditch and headed in the right direction. This swerve toward the Republican austerity agenda has gotten us off track.

  • Cabmanjohnny

    Best circus show I’ve seen yet, even beat out the Winehouse coverage. The ringmaster’s solemn speech followed by a clown rebuttal. As the elephants march in unison around the ring, the whole damn tent appears to be falling.  

  • Cabmanjohnny

    Best circus show I’ve seen yet, even beat out the Winehouse coverage. The ringmaster’s solemn speech followed by a clown rebuttal. As the elephants march in unison around the ring, the whole damn tent appears to be falling.  

  • Anonymous

    That was a powerful quote from Robert Reichauer and, I believe, right on target.

  • Anonymous

    That was a powerful quote from Robert Reichauer and, I believe, right on target.

  • Freeman

    John;
           Your guest is right an understatement  ” on point”—–”poorer all the time”. come out HERE on MAIN street and see the killing going on !!!

  • Freeman

    John;
           Your guest is right an understatement  ” on point”—–”poorer all the time”. come out HERE on MAIN street and see the killing going on !!!

  • JP

    Three decades of no wage growth he says… when and what did the Reagan era begin and usher in, exactly?

    • Fredlinskip

          Ronnie’s Budget Director David Stockman “signed on to” ‘supply-side’ as he was supposed to, but never believed it. He told Reagan and staff what they wanted to hear, but knew the #’s didn’t jive.  
          He was responsible for reams of the “fuzzy math” though.

       
         Reagan and W were especially good at chopping wood at the ranch, funneling $ to those who didn’t need, Borrow and Spending, and smiling a lot.
       
          That’s their biggest legacy.

      • TFRX

        W cleared brush at a pig farm.

        Of course, his vacations were the high points of his term, governance-wise.

  • JP

    Three decades of no wage growth he says… when and what did the Reagan era begin and usher in, exactly?

  • Witterquick

    The Bernie Sanders list.  Corporate loopholes that should be closed.  No new taxes, just pay like everyone else.1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

    2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

    3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

    4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

    5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

    6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

    7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

    8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

    9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

    10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

    • BHA in Vermont

      GENERICALLY, anyone or any company can get a tax REFUND if they over paid what they owed. There is nothing wrong with that.

      There is something wrong with people and companies making massive amounts of money and paying a lower % in taxes than the common person working a 40 hour week.

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        Some of this is poor tax laws with loopholes. But some of it is people (and corporations) with resources learning and knowing tax law (as unfair as it is) and taking advantage of it.

        Everyday people who file short form taxes might do better if they took better advantage of legal deductions, etc.

        Until the tax code is simplified and made more progressive and the loopholes taken out of it, it’s everyone’s right and some would say duty to learn what’s legally possible and take advantage of it.

        I don’t think it’s unpatriotic to follow the letter of the law and pay less in taxes if it can be done. The problem is, money/resources give some better access to understanding and taking advantage of the fine print of the law.

        • TFRX

          I’m going with the football coach’s adage, and will apply it to individuals or people with enough means and enough expertise on tap*: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin.”

          *That leaves out the bulk of Americans.

    • william

      Let us not forget the ever increasing number of so called “non-profits”, churches and foundations that use their organizations to enrich themselves or pet programs but don’t pay any federal income taxes on the funds they collect.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many Foreign Corporations, or companies that have made themselves Foreign Corporations, by moving their headquarters, or operations?

  • Guest-22

    Contributors to John Boehner’s reelection campaign = NY hedge fund Paulson & Co. ($61K), Moore Capital Management (NY corp., ($53K), and investment co. Cantor Fitzgerald ($45K). Wall Street “workers” pay their protection money to the GOP organized crime group. I say crime, because it’s a crime this party is putting Wall Street ahead of the millions of middle Americans who are struggling.

  • Land

    Our system of Federal government is ingeneous but no longer functioning. In other words it no longer produces good results. Our system was designed for a smaller and more unified population. It doesn’t work for 300,000,000 people with different cultural stories. In other words the parties themselves aren’t the original basis of the problem. Let’s figure out a system that would work better.

    • Dpweber83

      A more unified population?  

      You mean, like, when we had slaves?

      This is not a matter of destiny.  This is a matter of choice.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Registrationkilledtheinternet

        Proof that multiculturalism destroys. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Proof that GREED destroys!

  • diioriop65

    When Democrats tried to pass significant financial reform, Republicans protested that it would hurt ordinary Americans whose retirement was invested in e.g., stocks.  Yet, they are willing to hold raising the debt ceiling–which they acknowledge is going to happen–hostage to the entirely separate issue of balancing the budget through revenue versus spending reduction. This starkyl;y differentiates them from Obama, who does not link these issues and argues against the stupid perception that “both parties are at fault” in the debt limit issue. I think this Republican dependence on linking spending issues to the debt limit reflect an intrinsic weakness in their argument against raising revenue and this “playing politics” with the markets–yet again– belies their commitment to ordinary Americans. 

  • JP

    The sad thing is that even after tearing down our country, the TPers are so delusional they’ll never admit or even understand they are to blame for what has happened.

    • william

      Was it a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) member that said ?

      “I want to fundamentally change America”.

      • TFRX

        And how ignorant was that person when they said that?

        If one doesn’t know where they’re starting, they won’t know where they end up.

  • Dania

    We know what is wrong but what can we do to change this broken system? How can we introduce longer term i.e. 6 years, allow the winning party to actually govern by a simple majority, etc
    Is there a possibility of a national referendum regarding rule of congress, renumeration of congressmen and so on.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Wasn’t 8 years of GWB enough? Imagine what damage he would have wrought if he had 12 years!

      • Anonymous

        He wouldn’t have gotten a second six years.  He would have been out in 2006 when enough of the voters finally realized what a disaster he was.

      • TFRX

        Agreed, but I don’t think anyone (even in Grover Norquist’s wet dreams) is talking about making the Presidency a one-term limit.

        This seemed always to be about Congresscritters (as Jim Hightower calls them), in the Senate and the House.

      • nj

        Much of Obama’s agenda amounts to essentially a third, Bush term.

        Extended/expanded wars, increased “military” spending, whistle-blower repression, secrecy, continuation of Guantanamo and rendition, administration loaded with former lobbyists and corporatists…

      • william

        I would take 4 more years of 5 percent unemployment.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          My, the rose colored glasses you ware are sure thick!
           
          If Bush had a third term he’d would be faced with the imploding economy HE created… and because he was such a braindead ideologue convinced of his own infallibility, he’d just make the mess worst.

  • James E. Fayal

    Most of the
    current gridlock can be avoided with one systemic change: reform the filibuster.
    I know this is not an immediate solution, but looking forward, why isn’t anyone
    talking about a campaign to elect senators who will pledge to change the rules
    of the filibuster so that there is not this continual gridlock. The framers of
    the constitution allowed for a simple majority in order to pass bills in both
    chambers, and the reason there is gridlock in Washington is because of the
    tyranny of the minority. The Democrats are just as much to blame for this as
    the Republicans because they failed to significantly reform the rules of the
    Senate at the start of this session in January.

     

    • BHA in Vermont

      Except that the filibuster has nothing to do with the current mess.

      • Anonymous

        It did indirectly as it resulted in having to cut deals with the so-called moderates to pass heath care and was a factor in not trying for a sufficient stimulus, which created a perception of weakness in the president and a jobless recovery. 

  • Anonymous

    We’re doomed:  Gerrymandered House seats lead to uncompromising extremists.  Sixty votes are required for every vote in the disproportionate Senate.  Corporations are people.  Money is speech. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    The Tea Party members do NOT want to be re-elected.  They said so when they came.  But meanwhile, what we the American taxpayers pay on the national debt will be higher because our credit rating will be lower, because – 
        Not to mention, everything else will be higher.
        And the idea was to make costs go down.  So.

  • Dpweber83

    GAH! 

    John Harwood, that is NOT “a fascinating economic question!”  If our indebtedness alone was leading to a downgrade, we should have been threatened with a downgrade a long, long time ago!

    Knock off this “teach the controversy” crap!

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • jack

    Everything will work out OK?  hahahaha  Alfano left out the part with American Civil War II, economic calamity, splitting up the country, or other disasters in the future. 

  • Freeman

    John;
           Me and the “Main Street Lot” have been colladeral damage for about twenty five years . Uh, maybe when Reagan became President.

  • Levon Buller

    I believe that not enough citizens contact their Members of Congress to let them know what they think.  I did not contact my House Member until after the President’s talk last night, although I had been thinking about it for weeks.  Our representatives need to know what we want and need in order to adequately represent us.  Silence only makes the vocal citizen’s voice louder.

    Levon Buller

    • Quack97

      One of my reps is a bonafide Tea Partier.  No amount of email is going to get him to change his position.  But I send them anyway so that he knows he’s not guaranteed re-election.

  • Caro M Parkey

    This is not just an internal American spat or disagreement…this is a situation and mind-set that other nations and non-government players are salivating over because it is an indication that America is vulnerable…and an economic event a la 911 will bring us to our knees.  This is scary and real!

    • Anonymous

      China probably feels like it just found out it’s girlfriend has an STD.  They will begin shifting their investments, and the great unraveling will begin.  Give it, oh, ten years.

      • Steve

        China came this conclusion long ago.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, but I think they believed we were rational actors.  The current nonsense about the debt ceiling really calls into question our ability to manage our own affairs anymore.

  • sbpg

    Alan just said that we “tried investing in infrastructure these past three years and it didn’t work”???  Does he know what was in the ARRA?  There was almost *nothing* in terms of infrastructure spending.  Absolutely nothing.  How 300 billion in more ineffective tax cuts?  That’s what was in the ARRA and no one bothers to talk about that, now do they?  

  • Land

    In answer to Dpweber83, unity in a society is attributable to many factors, such as common history, economy, geography, culture, religion, and world view. If this unity does not exist, the nation will work against itself, which is what we are seeing. Without such unity I think our only choice will be to reconvene the way our government is designed so that our disparate groups can all feel empowered within the framework of one nation.

    • Steve

      Both political parties in this country take advantage of the glorification of the individual at the expense of unity in the body politic.

      Tension between freedom for the individual and a cohesive society is an old and underlying issue that I hope will not go away.

      To resolve this tension the individual must in voluntarily organizations work in ever expanding circles to care for and work for the good of others. 

  • Dpweber83

    This regular, long-time listener is sorely disappointed.  

    I want Tom back.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dave

    If a combination of the current ‘Reid/Boehner’ plans were to come to the President’s desk, does anyone think he has the nerve to cast a Veto??

    Myself, I’d love to see him do it.  

  • Charlie

    John or Tom,
        On a future program, hopefully soon, could someone please tell us how many jobs would be lost as a result of the level of spending reductions being proposed in the various deficit reduction plans?  I suspect that the number will be in the hundreds of thousands.  What effect will that have on the economy?  It certainly won’t result in increased consumer demand, which is the biggest immediate problem in the economy, I think.  This is critical information.  It just doesn’t help me, or I suspect many others to hear about 1.4 trillion reductions long term or 500 billion short term.  What does that mean in terms of how may people will lose their jobs?  And I’m pretty certain that there will be no loss of Congressional or White House jobs in any of the proposed plans. 
        Thsnks very much.

    Charlie

    • Thinknaboutit

      Precisely why this is the wrong time for the “debt” discussion.  But the GOP knows this and it is exactly why they’ve chosen this moment to pick this fight, they see it as a win-win situation and either way the people lose.  If the debt is paid down any amount they will waste no time spending all the savings on tax cuts or other corporate handouts like no bid contracts to Haliburton.  Just like abortion they will milk this issue for as many elections as they can and never really get anywhere.

    • william

      If we reduced the federal work force by say 100,000 and reduced the tax burden required to support those people don’ t you think we would be better off?

      • Thinknaboutit

        Your suggestion for creating jobs and paying off the debt is to fire people and decrease revenue? 

        • william

          Fire federal workers and leave the money in the private sector that was being taken out to support a bloated federal work force. What was the Obama stimulus plan all about? putting money into the private sector in an attempt to create jobs. Why take the money out, then put it back in? Just leave it in the private sector.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Brilliant, the next time your roof develops a leak perhaps you should just take care of it with a shotgun.

          • william

            3.5 percent reduction…you need to man up….fire 10 percent of the federal workforce and your life won’t change….

          • Thinknaboutit

            Man up?  Your idea of manhood is to fire 100,000 hard working citizens so the private sector doesn’t have to pay their taxes…

          • william

            Who says they are hired for life? they can’t find jobs after the federal government? you have so little faith in these people? a 3.5 percent RIF? where is the shared sacrafrice? Even President Clinton said the era of big government was over and that was years ago. Just normal attrition would dump 25k, then early retirement or voluntary resignations wold dump another 50k..so only what, 20k actually get the RIF?.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Keep digging, maybe you’ll come out the other side.

          • william

            Bury your head in the sand and maybe things will work out for you.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Where is the shared sacrifice of the rich?  How many $Billionaires are homeless, searching for their next meal?   THEY are the ones that call for sacrifice, shared sacrifice, and THEY DON’T SHARE!  People that worked, had jobs, had homes, and were responsible citizens, had their homes and jobs taken from them, by rich GREEDY people, that ‘sacrifice’, by putting another $Million in government bonds, instead of jobs!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Private Sector now hoarding $Trillions, you want to give them more to hoard, when the party they support claimed JOBS #1, to be their Job #1,  in the recent election, now claim Obama-one-term-President, to be their Job #1? 
                Their promise to create jobs is now #399,879, or somewhere near there!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        100,000 Air Traffic Controllers?  100,000 FDA Food Inspectors?  100,000 Mine Safety Inspectors?  100,000 Federal Employees that protect you and your family?  Or, 100,000 Federal Employees that protect other people’s families, less affluent than you?  I can guess!

        • william

          There are about 2.65 million federal workers so to dump 100k is what a 3.5 percent reduction? Does not see too difficult or drastic considering the financial crisis we find ourselves right now. Would you rather see a financial implosion of the US?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I didn’t hear the “long answer” from Allen Sinai of what to do since none of the macro-economic “solutions” used in the past have worked.  I’m not sure the macro-economic solutions did more than allow for a couple of bubbles that warped our expectations and made us cynical.  You can pump up “the economy,” for a couple of decades, and end up with empty houses and unemployed people.  What comes next will be unpalatable to everyone, and so both Republicans and Democrats want the other side to take the blame.  I want to hear more from that LSE economist Albrecht Ritschl who is saying there is a different way for the financial institutions to operate, presumably without crashing family after family, nation after nation.  Meanwhile, we eat our hats.

  • Yar

    Stimulus spending targeted at a specific group, our youth, use 2 years compulsory labor of 18 to 24 year old’s. Have them work to make our schools more effective, our social services better equipped and our health care system more efficient.  Yes, this will cost money, to pay for food and shelter for these workers, people to lead them in their service, but that is the role of a society, to pass on to the next generation the skills to live in our democracy.   In the long run this will save money, and make our next generation better citizens.

    • Thinknaboutit

      It was just a matter of time before someone suggested slavery as a solution.  What other problems do you think free labor would solve?

      • Yar

        Society spent over 100,000 dollars to get an citizen educated through high school, and that education is not enough to make that individual a productive member of society in most cases.  I see this modern version of the CCC as more of an educational opportunity than slave labor.   Do you feel economic slavery is acceptable and public service isn’t?  I would want the participants of this program to earn monetary credit toward higher education.

        • TFRX

          Compulsory? Not sure if I’m into that.

          However, I’d be interested in the option being there.

          Curious how much a New CCC would cost to implement with all-volunteer v. all-minimum wage frontline labor force. Methinks the difference wouldn’t be very much.

          • Yar

            My logic to support everyone’s participation is that we are currently a nation that “doesn’t play well with others.”  To maintain our democracy we must cross economic, race and class lines.  What better way than to live and work with a cross section of society.  I think this would work better than compulsory military service, however I would teach proper use of firearms to all participants.  I see this as a replacement for the original intention of the national guard.  The military could recruit their forces out of the CCC.  They would get better trained recruits and we get a better prepared workforce.  The health benefits of the physical activity alone will pay for the program with reduced chronic diseases latter in life.  This is not about slave labor, it is about giving our country back to our children.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Yar, while I’m sure your intentions are pure and you honestly feel that compulsory service is a grand idea, it wouldn’t take long for the corporate puppets to morph it into outright slavery.  First they would make corporate service the main goal instead of community service, then stretch the length of service untill eventually you were either working outright as a slave for room and board your entire life or picking through trash heaps to avoid it.  This is a slippery slope best left in the past.

          • Yar

            Corporations already use economic slavery, actual slavery also exists in America, read Tomatoland.  The sex industry is full of slaves as well.  I just read The Jungle, and little has changed in the financial manipulation of low wage workers.  Service that teaches the use of firearms and the respect for quality work, empowers not enslaves.  The place to stop abuse is in implementation of the program.  It should not be run for the profit of private industry, our returning military would make a better leadership corp.  Any large program will have some problems, but with some good oversight this concept will change America for the better.  If we don’t create opportunities for our kids they will turn on us, a generation of youth that has little hope of finding decent  job or an acceptable mate is a danger to themselves and others.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Corporations do try to “enslave” us in some sense sure, but that is much different than telling every child they WILL work for 2 years unpaid without choice, not to mention the FACT that the wealthy will undeniably get a pass.  You want to justify slavery by pointing to illegal examples of it’s existence?  You know there is also murder in America, maybe we should just start murdering our way out of the recession?  Kill enough of the unemployed and watch that rate drop like a rock, we could even get it to zero that way eh?

          • Yar

            ” You want to justify slavery by pointing to illegal examples of it’s existence?”I did not do that at all.  
            This is why communication breaks down.
            I see public service from the point of view as parent to child, the next generation will get the the country, I just hope to give it to them in a condition that they can survive in it.  I see my generation as working for our youth.  I hope they don’t decide to kill us because of the mistakes made in the past.

          • Thinknaboutit

            I’m glad you weren’t trying to justify slavery, I apologize for asking so directly.  Communication does break down, that is natural, or as some say miscommunication.  The only time it is a problem is when the communication ceases. 

            I agree that public service is a noble cause that would benefit many who otherwise will not know it’s value.  That being said I still think that forcing public service onto people is a bad idea, give it as an incentive for tax breaks or government aid (like the national service loan forgiveness idea)or something, don’t make it compulsory. 

            I would say my experiences with volunteer opportunities in my youth shaped my career choices as an adult.  I’m less concerned with compensation, and more interested in my positive impact on my community.  I’m not so sure everyone would have that same result, or if I would feel the same had my experience not been of my own choosing.

             

    • Anonymous

      Gee, 2 years of compulsory labor for 18 to 24 year old’s.
      I’m not sure how to respond to such an inane idea, but it steps all over the constitution and would just make people in this age group resentful. Most likely wealthy families would have an out and this would be a slave labor for the poor and middle class kids.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Too young to remember the Draft?  That was 2 yrs of Required Millitary Service.
             Wealthy families found several ways out of that too.  Personal Physicians determining rich brats 4-F, leading to drug-addiction, to keep up the ruse.   Phony State National Guard , that gave Drill Credit for political campaigning, and paid sports practice and game-playing.  Having students drafted from school, to substitute for rich brats.   Several other rich diversions, and obstructions.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Until the “slippery slope” argument was launched, I was wondering where this discussion would lead.  Corporate exploitation and its expansion and intrusion into our lifestyles is a subject all its own.  We are manipulated by ads on TV from age 2.  We are manipulated by taxes from age 16.  Etc.
          I’m thinking that most slippery slopes are worth, um, navigating.  The suggestion is simply that decisions will have to be made.  No all-encompassing decision reaches to infinity.
          I have not heard good counters to the plan for national service, yet the idea goes nowhere.  Unemployment is rampant, the ways young people can end up, at far greater cost, in prison (being educated there, even; see NewsHour Tuesday night; where Bard College is educating prisoners so well that some refuse to be “let out” when parole is available).   Young people see little advantage in a rather bad school system and lots of advantage in gang membership and “independent,” um, enterprise.  Those in college can feel abstracted from the real world.  
          What would happen if they were all blended the way World War II blended all sorts via the draft?  (Except most women, back then, and African Americans were kept separate…)
           Well, young people would find mates from all corners of the USA.  They would be uprooted, hook, line, and sinker, and the family farm would no longer have its proper lineage.
          Something like that.  It would further challenge our idea of melting pot.  It would require melting and collaboration, far beyond politically correct “tolerance.”  So that may be the counter-argument.

      • Yar

        I saw the piece about Bard College.  We can’t save our way to prosperity, we must invest in something and youth is the best idea I can come up with.  I was blown away with how quick and passionate one of the guys that they were interviewing in prison.  Just think what our nation has lost by not developing these minds when they were young children.   Our biggest deficit in my mind is our failed education system, public service is a start to fixing that.  Take the best students from the best schools and put them in the some of the struggling schools as teacher aids, then everyone gets an education. Especially  those privileged kids that get to witness the slave conditions that exist in many poor school districts.  Physical activity should also be part of the school day, I could see the CCC filling that role and giving teachers a well deserved lunch hour where they didn’t have responsibilities. I would add an hour to the school day and get kids up and moving during that time.  Thanks for your dedication to this forum, you are the best liked member.  I believe you could turn your comments into a book.

  • Anonymous

    It seems that the tea party congress members are really showing themselves to be unfit for office. That they are so obstinate that they think they are right not matter what is beyond the realms of belief.
    That they would through the entire nation into default with based on unproven ideologies is also so far beyond the level of responsible governing it is beyond the pale. If they are wrong the entire nation suffers and they all go home without any consequences. How about some jail time for taking the nation into default for nothing.

  • Renoir

    What do we make of this agent provocateur, “who cares about
    re-election, anyway?” approach to governance as exemplified by the Tea Party
    neophytes?  Is this the beginning
    of a trend, all sides taking a non-compromise stance against opposition?  What would be the consequences to
    presidential power and prestige, as well as consequences to electorate cynicism?  Might we term this as objectified institutionalized obstructionism in the making?  I see the American public as quickly adapting to such an environment become naturalized.

  • Ellen Dibble

    You are showing 265 comments, but the frames up top show that there are 490 comments.  Am I to conclude that 225 comments were weeded out as inappropriate?

    • nj

      The numbers haven’t added up since the program ended.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Furthermore, for the first time since Tom was last on vacation, there is actually a vote for “Recommend” up top.  Just one vote.  But that infinitely better than none.

      • Anonymous

        The numbers haven’t added up since Bill Clinton left office.

  • DecisionMaker

    I almost choked when Allen Sinai claimed that the looming US debt rating debacle was driven by the amount of US debt, as Republicans claim, and not the artificial debt ceiling crisis manufactured by Republicans.  The ratings agencies themselves have publicly stated that their threats to lower the US credit rating is based upon the increasing probability of a default.

  • Donald West

    VOTE FOR THE PERSON
    YOU REALLY WANT TO

     

    ON-LINE NOMINATION FOR ALL ELECTED
    POSITIONS

     

    The ultimate goal is to get highly qualified
    persons elected to all elected offices in the United States. The present high
    cost of campaigning defeats the democratic theme of equal opportunity for the
    most important positions in our nation. We must therefore eliminate the cost of
    this process.

     

    The
    presidency of the United
    States of America is the most powerful
    political position in the world. As we are now painfully aware, the importance
    of this position in today’s world no longer allows this office to be purchased
    by the highest bidder and occupied by a special interest puppet. We must
    guarantee that this position, along with all others, especially at the federal
    level, be occupied by the most highly qualified persons our country has to
    offer. By utilizing what may be man’s greatest achievement, the Internet
    provides the capability of finding and electing highly qualified, world class
    leaders for most elected positions.

     

    The
    concept is extremely simple but can be very effective. Ideally this concept
    would become the accepted method for all elections however, it could be
    initially structured for independent candidates. An Internet web site will be
    established whereby:

     

    1.      Any person who meets the current
    constitutional requirements and believes they are highly qualified to manage an
    elected position, can post their résumé at no cost. 

     

    2.      Registered voters throughout the nation
    will be issued a secret PIN to allow access to the voter’s section of the web
    site.

     

    3.      One year before election time, monthly,
    on line voting will begin.

     

    4.      After six months, all but the top ten
    will be eliminated.

     

    5.      After 9 months three will remain.

     

    6.      By the regular voting time the most
    qualified person will be registered as an independent candidate or simply
    declared the winner of the office.

     

    7.      All expenses for supporting this web site
    and getting selected persons placed on ballots will come from voluntary
    contributions (write in voting avoids the necessity of having to be on
    ballots).

     

    8.      All votes will be automatically returned
    to the owner of the PIN number for verification.

     

    9.      Partisanship would disappear.

     

    10.   This process eliminates voting machine break
    downs and possible fraud.

     

    Throughout
    the year the news media and others will have time to find any disqualifying
    information that some candidates may try to hide. By removing the necessity for
    huge financial support, the selected persons will not be burdened by political
    favors; they will not be tied by partisan bias and they will have proven high
    moral principals. They will be intelligent and they will be proven to be
    qualified before they occupy the office.

     

    A
    secondary benefit of this process is that a database of highly qualified,
    trustworthy people in almost every aspect of human endeavor will be collected.
    This can be extremely valuable for convening highly qualified people for future
    planning of every aspect of successful habitation.

     

    Money,
    power and political debt has rendered a political system that is essentially
    ineffective at a time of great world crisis. In short, the survival of humanity
    on Earth is in the balance. Left in the hands of corrupted politicians and
    radical social factions, accidents or planned elimination of Earth’s population
    is not only possible, but likely. 

     

    Humanity
    has evolved through the eras of tribes, kingdoms, religious demagoguery, brutal
    dictatorships and now faces a push to democratize the world. Irresponsible
    actions of perhaps well meaning, but poorly informed and improperly motivated
    leaders have created many enemies of current U.S. policies. 

     

    All
    people of the world must be allowed to live according to their principles and
    beliefs in so far as each is tolerant of all other person’s principles and
    beliefs. This truly satisfies the principals of liberty and freedom that are
    now disappearing in the U.S.
    People must be lured and aided through education and opportunity to achieve
    harmonious habitation.

     

    Through
    selection of our most highly qualified leaders we can solve not only the ills
    of the United States,
    but also establish a model for other nations. The marvels of technology that
    have been discovered and developed in the U.S. are proof of our ingenuity.
    Used for education and skills development, rather than weapons for war, there
    is no limit to our contribution for a peaceful world. Only the wisdom of great
    leadership can promise the best results.

     

    Candidates
    must meet standing requirements and regulations for the offices that they
    choose to occupy. Considering the increased complexity of our country and
    indeed, the world, compared to the time of adoption of the Constitution, it was
    impossible to know the skills required for management of the world’s most
    powerful nations. The fast pace of events does not allow time for “on the job
    training” in high-level leadership positions.

     

    Unquestionable integrity,
    expansive knowledge, experience in many disciplines, the ability to organize
    and direct, and above all, the desire to advance the dignity of mankind —
    these are the necessary qualifications of a modern leader. The modern world
    requires knowledge of technology and its application to advance the welfare of
    people around the world.  Leaders must
    have demonstrated skills in management, communication, social and political
    science. Such people are rare, but they do exist. Given the opportunity to seek
    high positions with dignity, they will rise from the crowd and return dignity
    and trust to our grand experiment — The United States of America.

     

     

    Donald L West

     
     

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You gurantee the accuracy and veracity of these resume’s , how? 
          

    • Guest

      Hey Donald… please learn something about spacing before you post again. I’m tired of 80% empty space and 20% content. 

  • Quack97

    The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling

    http://tinyurl.com/3rdeaac

    “Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to
    blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter
    incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit
    but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single
    contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.”
    The Bush tax cuts alone cost more than all of Obama’s new spending combined. The cost of healthcare reform barely registers.
     

    • Gregg

      The CBO says Obamacare will cost $2 trillion.

       http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/cbo-obamacare-would-cost-over-2-trillion

      Tax cuts don’t cost money.

      • Yar

        “Tax cuts don’t cost money.”

        Except when they increase the deficit!

        • Gregg

          Still don’t. Tax credits do.

          • Yar

            Gregg,
            Does the deficit cost money? 
            Do we pay interest on our debt?
            If the answer is yes, then tax cuts indeed cost money.
            If you think education is expensive compare that to the cost of ignorance. 
            This discussion today shows me just how far from civil understanding people have gotten.  It is all about the other side losing,  unless both sides work together the boat will sink, we are all in the same boat. 

          • Gregg

            The deficit is money owed, it comes from spending. Spending (and interest) cost money. Allowing (the word is creepy) people to keep a little bit more of what they have worked for is not spending.

            When a retail store puts an item on sale does that “cost” them? What is the sale results in more customers and revenue?

          • Fredlinskip

            Borrow and Spend GOP cost us lots and lots of $ over past 30 years. So did unfunded Wars, etc.
              It wasn’t a free lunch, even though that is what “trickle-uppers” have led many to believe.
             
               Concentrating wealth in hands of a few (which is mission statement of GOP) has cost our economy in general enormously as now there aren’t enough folks left to do ther share of consuming. 
             
            (Sure wish I could indent paragraghs) Having heck of time posting

          • Ellen Dibble

            First it was the poor and middle class who couldn’t afford to buy enough to satisfy the corporations.  So “they” encouraged borrowing, and with the borrowed money, the GDP went up and so on — up until the debts grew too large, and the house of cards (risk) fell.  
                Now the other house of cards is teetering, not that of the poor and middle class who had been persuaded to take on too much debt.  
                Now the house of cards is the US Treasury that has been acting like the credit card was the key to the Great Economy, undertaking wars without extracting the cost from the population, and undertaking the prescription drug benefit for seniors without extracting the cost from the population.
                 So the USA isn’t doing so well with the poor and middle class backing off the idea that living on credit is good.  Clearly it is good for the banks.  But only the banks.  
                 What will happen when the USA with its enormous power of the purse loses its ability to fish for money from whatever the Golden Goose may be that allows for that?  Where will the money come from that infuses a large percent of the GNP?  Won’t that mean another stiff cut in overall demand?  
                 Won’t the corporations have to think of some other trick?

          • Richard

            Gregg, I can’t believe you’re clinging to your losing argument.  It is as cogent as arguing that paying the rent costs money but getting laid off doesn’t.

          • Gregg

            Paying rent cost money. Key word “paying”. I don’t know anyone who went to their boss and said, “I’ll pay you $100 if you lay me off”.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Well, using your logic tax increases don’t cost money either.  Since the loss of income due to a lay off isn’t “costing” anyone anything, the loss of income through taxes isn’t “costing” anyone anything either.

            I don’t agree with your point on either count, but you don’t get to use your double standard here.

          • Gregg

            To understand just figure out which pile of money actually exists. In which scenario do you write a check that debits your bank account? It’s hard, I know.

          • Thinknaboutit

            False.  Both scenarios effect cash flow, but you will continue to pretend otherwise.

      • GMG

        …and losing your job doesn’t cost any money either, by that logic. 

        • Gregg

          Exactly! 

      • Thinknaboutit

        Gregg lying is not helping your argument it only makes you look worse.

        The CBO has never scored anything called “Obamacare” as there has never been legislation or even proposals by that name.  Your biased link only proves your inability to prove your in-valid point using the CBO website. 

        • Gregg

          The Congress has
          recently approved major health care legislation in the form of two
          pieces of legislation: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
          (PPACA, Public Law 111-148); and, following that, the Health Care and
          Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), which made a number of
          changes to provisions of PPACA along with significant changes to the
          federal postsecondary education programs.

          On March 20, 2010, CBO released its final cost estimate for the reconciliation act, which encompassed the effects of both pieces of legislation

          http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11379

          My apologies, “Obamacare” is easier to spell.

          • Thinknaboutit

            So when you look at the actual CBO figures it seems the HCR expands coverage for nearly all Americans and reduces the deficit by 130 billion the first 10 years.  The estimated savings of over 1 trillion dollars the following decade are less clear but are still better than a projected deficit. 

      • david

        Gregg, you cannot reason with some of these people. They are like the people on the Titanic, this ship is unsinkable. They cannot see or refuse to see the coming economic disaster. They are blinded by Obama, who can talk out of all four sides of his mouth at the same time. They think things are bad now, the worst is yet to come.
        Keep up the fight, Wake up America!!!!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Reason?  Many of Gregg’s assertions are based on fallacies, for example the small business grossing $250,001, before expenses, payroll, etc…, which IS NOT subject to the proposed tax change.

          • Gregg

            If you file as an individual and gross over $250,000 you would be affected in the unlikely event the top rate changes. What am I missing? Is it $200,000?

          • THinknaboutit

            If you pay taxes on your gross income either as a business or an individual you are an idiot to begin with.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Sure people can be reasoned with… REASONABLE PEOPLE!!!  Right wing ideas by both the GOP and corporate Dems have brought the US to its knees. Yet I see NO soul searching or second thoughts on their part. It’s as if the Right so believes their ideas were handed down on a slab, that if the system imploded it’s because they were not extreme or crazed enough. There’s no reasoning with those people.

          As for the deficit, REASONABLE people know budgets have TWO variables… revenue and spending. Yet the GOP has taken commonsense off the table insisting that only spending counts… in fact they can have all the irresponsible tax cuts they want… and THOSE deficits don’t matter.

          There’s no reasoning with those people.

        • Gregg

          Well said.

      • Ellen Dibble

        The issue of the cost of medical care is very much still an issue in this country.   Medical advances seem to guarantee that care will outpace in cost the general cost of living by far.  As I understand it, Obamacare is intended to bring the cost of medical care for the entire country down from the current staggering portion of the GDP that we spend — counting insurance and insurers, covered care and uncovered care, government care, and private care.  All the current forces tend to push the cost of care up, and those are raw capitalist forces.  Because we provide care to all via the ER by statute, medical care is de facto a right.  But it is paid for by driving the dying into bankruptcy, and providing care in the least efficient way, in many cases.  If the cost to the Treasury is X, what is the cost to the GDP?  And then again, how many jobs would be lost if there were greater efficiencies?  Or vice versa?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        If tax cuts don’t cost money, then raising the taxes on those making over $250,000, won’t cost any money, so what are you whining about?  Same logic!

        • Gregg

          Taxes cost money, tax cuts don’t.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Let me guess Gregg, and that $2.9 TRILLION Bush pissed away on just on interest during his 8 year reign was just a rumor??? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Do you mean that taxes cost YOU money, tax cuts cost THE OTHER taxpayers money?  Tax cuts come from somewhere!

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Repeating the Orwellian Right’s Free Lunch fable Gregg wrote: “Tax cuts don’t cost money.” Back with that bogus claim? We’ve been through this before.  If there were no debt… you’d be correct… cutting taxes/revenue would cost nothing.  But if We The People we in 2001 some $5.6 TRILLION in debt, then those Bush tax cuts are nothing but future tax hikes plus interest. No, despite your claims, there’s NO free lunch. Growth in revenue because of a good economy doesn’t count because it’s now years behind the former revenue curve.

        You constantly pretend revenue must be looked at as a static number… not a dynamic one. So in your world if Bush revenues in constant dollars finally exceed Clinton’s last year some 6-7 YEARS later, then that’s “proof” the Bush tax cuts produced more revenue… and we have our free lunch. Of course you never really say more revenues than what.

        In reality revenue growth must be looked at as dynamic. It’s more like a kid repeatedly falling behind in grade school and staying back. So in your world even if the kid is now 18 and only capable of doing 6th grade work, that’d be “proof” there’s nothing wrong with the school system… even if that kid is now 6 years behind and will never catch up to his peers.    

    • Yar
    • Yar
    • Worried for the country(MA)

      LOL.  Clicked on your link and James Fallow is a dead ringer for W.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Poor James Fallow!!!

      • TFRX

        Until either one of them opens his mouth.

  • Puah

    I was very disappointed to hear Thomas Mann speak of our disfunctional government as “like a banana republic” without challenge from John Harwood.  When is this racist and imperialist phrase going to become unacceptable in public discourse?  It refers to the countries of Central America and the Caribbean at a time when they were dominated by US companies like United Fruit, and when their governments were unable to develop democratically because of US policies which were intended to promote US commercial interests, including the CIA overthrow of the elected government of Guatemala.  The implication is that the instability and corruption in those countries was due to their own ignorance and incompetence, ignoring the US role.

    • Hbdansby

      If you take away a man’s metaphors he might not be able to express himself. Sheeeshhh! Or should I say “a person’s metaphors”?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Unstable government controlled by greedy corporations, sounds like the U.S. situation, to me!

  • ErinHogue

    We must not raise the Debt Ceiling. Nobody is going to downgrade us. We have NUKES! We are the people who invented “Credit Grades.” The world will collapse if we default. Nobody is going to let that happen. They will find a “magical fix”. Money has no value! It’s FIAT people. Fiat currency is just an agreement. Stonewall them and force them to renegotiate. DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING! This is a game of chicken between us and the global banking cartels. They will blink first! Pay them NOTHING! 

    • Yar

      “We have NUKES”

      Yes, and so have our bankers, do you really want to bring the argument to that level of disagreement?  What is more likely to happen is we  lose the ability to borrow in our own currency, say bonds were issued in barrels of oil for example instead of dollars.  In other words the bond pays the dollar equivalent of oil on the date the bond matures.  Then debt is backed by promise of a commodity.  It is like an adjustable mortgage for the US government. How would you respond to demands like that from our creditors?
      A debt downgrade is in the near future, the politics is to see how to make the other party take the blame for it.

      • ErinHogue

        Money isn’t worth anything! Who cares? It’s all just made out of thin air! Nukes are tangible. Yes, I’d rather blow up the rest of the world than allow us to be brought down by things that aren’t even real.

        • Yar

          You sound like Jonah in Nineveh.  Why are you angry, who has abused you, where is your life unfair?  What do you really want?  I want to understand the Tea Party logic, and you seem to be a poster boy for the ideology.  How does destruction build anything?

          • ErinHogue

            There is a huge section of this country that got “left behind.” They eat red meat, smoke, only went to high school, don’t want to experience multiculturalism. They didn’t hurt anyone, but that wasn’t good enough. Well, they’re broke and about to be homeless now. Nothing left but revenge. And there are enough of them that it can’t be stopped. 

          • Yar

            Who did this, the liberal elite? The corporate right?  Who deserves revenge?  Who are you angry with and what will it take to make it right?

          • ErinHogue

            This isn’t about making anything right. We’re well past that opportunity. I think you mis-understand how far past the point of no return we really are as a nation. This is the “French Revolution” scenario.  

          • Anonymous

            Wow!  A REALLY angry Barney Fife. Who’d a thunk the revolution would be triggered by a bunch of cholesterol-saturated, smoke-smelly yahoos defending to the death their desire to never have to engage anyone that isn’t just like them.  The “old guard” indeed.

          • ErinHogue

            Yep, and you’re gonna have nothing left when they’re done with you. Laugh it up! 

          • Thinknaboutit

            You won’t be talking so tough when there’s are drones flying over your compound dropping gifts down your chimney.  Who will be laughing then?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            This is your, and their American Dream?

          • ErinHogue

            Yar, your concern is touching. Just hunker down and cross your fingers. The Sleeping Giant has awoken, there’s nothing that can be done once that happens is to get out of his way and hide until he goes back to sleep. 

          • ErinHogue

            While the media and elite have been fat-back slapping each other, the rank & file have been laughing at them behind their backs. Now they’ve pushed it far, and are finding out that far fewer than they ever imagined were following them. Their shock and horror is that they now realize that it is not they who are really in control. If we can’t live the way we want to live in peace, then it’s better to crash the whole system. The old guard may well have to leave, but they are taking what they built with them. You’ll have to start from scratch. Good Luck!

      • ErinHogue

        The ultimate value of power, is the ability to kill everyone in the room. That’s the most basic value of power. Nobody likes to talk about it, but it’s there, and it’s true. The US has the most of that in the world. That’s why we’re Godfather. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And how many Generals and Admirals do you have close control over?  Own mortgages on their houses?  How many have their childrens’ collage financed through you?  How many upper-level politicians do you own?  What control over the Admirals and Generals, the CIA, The President, and others of power, do you have, that you could bring this about?

  • Harry Toder

    I think this was the best program I’ve heard on NPR.  One person commented that, ultimately, this is the fault of the American people for not being more informed about their government(i.e. allowing it to reach this point).  Another person said (in essence) that the American people expect great government at a small price, a contradiction in terms.  What all of this points to, and I realize this is a long-term solution, is more education about government for citizens, from early on in their schooling.  Some measure of critical thinking is also called for, in my view.

    • Hbdansby

      Harry, I said the same thing to myself, that this was the best program I have heard on NPR. 

      • Harry Toder

        Thanks, HB.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Doesn’t look like we’ll have time to educate the citizens on government.  If the Republicans destroy it first.

      • Harry Toder

        They’re out to get Obama.  No doubt about that.  I think a lot of Republicans look back to “the old days” when they think people had more of a work ethic.  Not all Republicans are born rich.  They are just against welfare.

        • TFRX

          Don’t you mean against “wel(dogwhistle)fare”? Plenty of white people on poverty programs, but that’s not what roils the right’s waters.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          They promote Corporate Welfare, each recipient of which, gets $Millions, while already rich.  Without FRAUD, no Welfare recipient receives 1/1000th of that.   Which needs to be rid of first?

  • david

    A lesson in Government economics.
    $1 spent = $1 in tax
    $1 borrowed = $1 in tax plus interest
    We have borrowed and spent $14.3 Trillion, they want to raise that to who knows what!!
    Who do think will pay for all this??????? Obama? Politicians? The wealthy?  Maybe somebody from Mars????
    You are witnessing before your very eyes a well placed plan to fundamentally change America in the wrong direction.
    We are taking on a European look, you know, the one our founders left!!

    • Thinknaboutit

      A lesson in American history…America was changed in the wrong direction long ago.

      “After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.”

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_origin_and_history_of_corporations#ixzz1TCFqZkqu

      • david

        Another lesson in American History:
        “After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of….” a overpowering Government

        “During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.”
        http://www.restoredworks.com/2011/04/the-bill-of-rights-constitution/

        Thus we got the Bill of Rights that protected citizens from the over reach of a out of control government.
        America is being once again changed in yet another wrong direction.
         

        • Thinknaboutit

          OK…  But lets shrink the corporations first and completely remove their influence, because it will take a strong government to stop them.  Then we can talk about shrinking the big bad federal government.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          And how many of those ‘Bill of Rights”, have the corporations NOT violated, repeatedly?

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            The Bill Of Rights is to limit government power. But if that’s the kind of society we want, it’s reasonable to expect such limitations on the institutions We The People allow into existence… like corporations. The problem here seems to be some bad court decisions that have allowed corporations to create private tyrannies where some of the normal rights we expect no longer exist.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          As Madison predicted, a Bill of Rights may have done more harm than good. He was concerned that enumerating SOME rights would place the others at risk. The Ninth Amendment was to deal with that, but as we see… both politcal parties want to sweep it under the rug.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      I don’t really see the Right stepping up to pay debt off. Bush2 PROMISED to pay down debt and instead passed round after round of irresponsible tax cuts. And Paul Ryan? He wants to let the debt slide for 70 years. The Gang of Six? Don’t they want all new revenue to go to tax cuts not debt paydown? Notice any pattern here?  As I’ve been writing for days here… the debt poses a MORAL question everyone seems determined to ignore: who should pay for OUR generation’s fiscal irresponsibility? Clearly the Right doesn’t believe it’s us. But then, despite their pretense at fiscal conservatism, in reality they are the biggest advocates of the Free Lunch.

  • Gailprush

    when
    you elect ignorant people, you get what you deserve…problem is…it
    effects me too…the Republican stance is not about the deficit, it’s
    about the Corporations who are running the Republicans, and the desire
    to ruin Obama…at the cost of our country.
     

    • ErinHogue

      What color is the sky on your planet?

      • Fredlinskip

        Blue, most days.
        You?

        • ErinHogue

          You’re not the person that was asked. Mind you own business. Thanks.

          • emilio.matos

            LOL

          • Fredlinskip

                  Kinda sorta thought this was a public forum.
               You commented that someone who thinks, “the Republican stance is not about the deficit, it’s about the Corporations who are running the Republicans, and the desire to ruin Obama…at the cost of our country”… must be from another planet.
                That sounds a lot like Earth as as far as I can tell. 
                 You livin’ in the real world or just watch Fox news and read WSJ all day? 

  • Anonymous

    is it just madness to wonder out loud if civil war is looming?

  • Fredlinskip

        We are now living in the best of all worlds. High gas prices and low wages mean lot of the riff-raff are kept off the roads -more room for those that matter. Servants are cheap. We need to subsidize more corporations . These people that have no jobs- are there no work houses? are there no prisons? The top deserve it all- that’s all there is to it. The rest of the population- just make sure they have a lot of easy access to guns. It’ll worked it’s way out. Just stay away from my gated community, my off-shore tax shelters and my private island, please. Can’t find a job – decrease the surface population and leave a little more for rest of us. That’s what’s life’s all about.     30 years of mostly decreasing wages for majority, funneling $ to the Haliburton’s, financial institutions, corporate media, oil companies, etc. of the world; unfunded wars and look where it has lead us. Ain’t it pretty.   Anybody who believes raising taxes on those that have trillions on the sidelines are a bunch of pinko socialists. Since early 20th century wealthiest have been asked to pay on average over 60% tax rate. As we all know we were all a bunch of communists during all that time. All social programs are bad.      Let’s see if we can get tax rates for the wealthy down to the 25% and income inequality exactly as it was just before the Depression- I reckon that’s about right.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Irony, I hope.  I see that it is the attitude of the rich, but they are nowhere that honest, most of the time.

      • Gregg

        Really you two (TerryTreeTree and Fredlinskip), what is it that causes you to paint with such a broad brush? Envy? That’s the only deadly sin that gives no pleasure. What does “rich” even mean… besides evil? Certainly not a small business with employees, inventory and a mortgage grossing $250,001. Is there no such thing as a good, honest, hard-working man/woman who makes good? Is the exhilaration of compassion more fulfilling than the humiliation of depravity or not? Are all the “rich” too juvenile in enlightenment 101 to get that? Does anyone with money use it as a force for good?

        You cannot buy a used car if someone richer than you doesn’t first but a used one. You cannot rent a house if someone doesn’t first put their money at risk and buy one. You cannot get a job unless someone “rich” makes one. The top 1% pays for 39% of everything while nearly half of America pays nada. Why are theses people the enemy? You should thank them.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          So what’s your point Gregg?

          Here we are some $14.3 TRILLION in debt… where the top marginal rate was once 90% and is now 35%… and in your example of someone making $250,001 this person would pay 4 cents more in taxes under changes Obama has proposed. And for that you all want us hang our heads in shame, say 20 Hail Marys, and confess to class envy?

          I think what’s more appropriate is for YOU to finally realize that it’s the RICH who have been waging class warfare these past 30 years… and THEY are winning.

          • Gregg

            Do you even understand the 90% rate? No one paid 90% of what they earned.

          • Thinknaboutit

            How many pay 35% of what they make now Gregg?  Those exemptions and breaks are still in place, along with newer cuts for race horses, yachts, jets, and shipping jobs overseas.  The idea behind the 90% top tax rate wasn’t to confiscate people’s money, it was to get them to reinvest it in the economy that allowed them to gain it in the first place.

          • Gregg

            Fair enough. I think I read somewhere that Paul Krugman and Robert Reich came out in favor of a 70% top rate but other than that no one is considering it now. It’s totally unfeasible in this economy even if there was merit for different circumstances. ulTRAX pines for the day and gives far to much credence to the idea that it’s relevant today. You mention Yachts, do you remember the yacht tax and the repercussions? Unintended consequences are a bummer. Also, the economy greatly improved when Kennedy lowered Eisenhour’s rates.

            So, I get your point but I still think this talk of 90% rates from some is wacky.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Unaware of his hilarious hypocrisy Gregg wrote: ” No deception here. BTW, you guys are getting a bit testy these days what with your hideous accusations. Fine.” Then about the 70% top marginal tax rate: ” ulTRAX pines for the day and gives far to much credence to the idea that it’s relevant today.” So who’s tossing around hideous accusations? Please Gregg… show me where I EVER supported this top 70% rate. All I’ve ever done here is say the Orwellian Right’s claims LOW tax rates are needed for economic growth are pure bullcrap as evidenced by the nation doing quite well at those 70% and 90% rates. The only top rate I’m on record of supporting is a return to the Reagan 1981 ERTA 50% rate for about 10-15 years to recoup revenue that NEVER should have been lost because of the grotesquely irresponsible Bush tax cuts that were mainly aimed at benefitting the rich.

          • Gregg

            I said you pined. You pine. And if you don’t accept my characterization of your giving credence the the relevance today then why would you bring up something irrelevant? Which is it? Unaware of hilarious hypocrisy?

            Yadda yadda.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I took that as my endorsing a 70% rate. But the point remains, that the Orwellian Right’s claims that such high margianal rates impede growth (or that Clinton’s 39.6% would cause a recession) are pure BS. But then how else can the Right sell irresponsible tax cuts except to pretend they benefit us all?  

          • Gregg

            “Please Gregg… show me where I EVER supported this top 70% rate.”

            As soon as you show me where I accused you of supporting it.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Am I on that list?

          • Ellen Dibble

            Very nice point.  Right now, it’s not all that clear that “investing” money actually goes to growing the economy.  It has seemed that for the last 20 years, the best advice has been to grow the economy by building houses (growing the GNP, mostly bank profits, and short-term jobs during construction).
                That is/was eventually a bankrupt idea.  
                Investing in every more spacious homes is not the same as investing in a factory or research facility.  
                It is not the same at all.  The idea of investing for instant profit and long-term disaster has seized us and seized us up.
                 Where are all these 401(k)s investing in our economy?  That’s the question.  Are they running scared and betting against the prosperity of Greece, or some such gimmick?  Are most of our retirement funds invested in new green energy, something beneficial to all, or is all that retirement money trying to keep senior citizens alive along with trying to keep a dying economy alive?  Most seniors I know invest their emotional energy in the young.  I assume they’d want their financial energy to do the same.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Tell me something I don’t know Gregg. You’re missing the point, as usual.

          • Gregg

            Actually it’s 40 cents more not 4 cents.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Uh? They’d already be paying that 35% tax rate on that next dollar over $250k. The only added tax would be going up from 35% to 39%… actually it might be 39.6%. Either way it’s NOT 40 cents.  

          • Gregg

            Your funny. Yes it would be 39.6 cents. You would be required to round up. 40 cents. You said 4 cents.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Wrong again Gregg… 

            The statement was that there would be an increase of 4 cents, now wether it is 4 cents or 3.9 cents or 3.96 cents is trivial.  The point is it is not a 40 cent or 39.6 cent increase as you are implying.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Someone doesn’t seem to understand the concept of a marginal tax rate which is curious since he’s here everyday seemingly 24/7 fixated on taxes. But then what can we expect from someone who thinks tax cuts while we’re in debt is a free lunch.

          • Fredlinskip

            Ultrax, Gregg,   4 cents, 40 cents?     The main thing is that we all need to grab our paper hats & pitchforks and march on the capital for just CONSIDERING such an absurdity as aking wealthiest amongst us to pay ONE CENT more in order to help aid the country out of fiscal crisis.    (But, as if it actually matters to Gregg and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him admit he was wrong, Ultrax is right, the plan does not raise taxes 40% on over 250g, therefore the “unfuzzy” math would be 4 cents on that extra dollar. No?)

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Sorry you’re math impaired Gregg. Under current law, that last dollar WOULD ALREADY BE TAXED AT 35%. You’re making it sound as if there would be NO tax on that last dollar. So it’s only that extra 4.6% that would be assesed on that dollar…. NOT 40 CENTS!

            Gettin’ it yet?  

          • Gregg

            It’s not the last dollar it’s the next one. 40 cents.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            There’s only $1 in question Gregg…. the one after the $250k in your own example.  Feel free to play all the word games you want. I know you think you can get out of any pit you dig yourself in with such games. It doesn’t change the fact that dollar WOULD ALREADY BE TAXED UNDER CURRENT LAW AT 35%. All that the proposed Obama tax change would do is tax that dollar at 39.6% instead of 35%… or 4.6 additional cents. I’m sorry if this simple math test baffles you so.

          • Gregg

            Alright, alright! I surrender. I was on the wrong track, I see your baseline as torturous as it is.

        • Anonymous

            @Gregg:twitter :”Certainly not a small business with employees, inventory and a mortgage grossing $250,001.”

          You really have no idea how marginal income tax rates world, do you?  Or are you intentionally trying to deceive readers of this site?

          • Gregg

            No deception here. BTW, you guys are getting a bit testy these days what with your hideous accusations. Fine.

            Yes, I understand marginal tax rates. That’s the point I was making to ulTRAX below. What’s that got to do with anything? My problem (clearly stated) is with the definition of “rich” and the dastardly connotations thereof. Small businesses filing as individuals grossing $250,001 are being equated with billionaires and they are all selfish , greedy bastards. It’s divisive, destructive and doesn’t solve squat.

            I don’t care that only $1 is taxed at the top rate in my hypothetical. It couldn’t be more irrelevant. These people are not the enemy. That’s it.

          • Anonymous

            You don’t pay the marginal income tax rate on your gross income, and if you don’t understand that, you simply are not capable of commenting competently on the subject of taxation.  Period.

            Now, on the other hand, a working stiff making $30,000 a year DOES pay the 15-plus% payroll taxes on his TOTAL income.  Not true of someone with income over $106,000.

            It makes me wonder how many so-called conservatives simply have no idea what they’re talking about when they comment on taxes.  I suppose if “Joe the Plumber ” and his obvious ignorance on the subject can be taken seriously by anybody, the number of uninformed is quite high.

          • Gregg

            Dude, did you miss my point entirely?

            I’m talking demonization of the rich not tax code. But on that subject the payroll tax is not a tax on income that’s why it is capped. You are paying into a system that hopefully pays you back.  Social Security is a whole different ball of wax than tax rates. If you don’t understand that, you simply are not capable of commenting competently on the subject of taxation.  Period. Which is cool because we’re not talking about that.

          • Anonymous

            No one is demonizing anyone  based on their gross receipts or income.  “Making over $250,000″ means taking that much in compensation.  That is who is being called upon to pay a tiny bit more in income tax.   Your obfuscation, or confusion, regarding this issue continues.

            But thanks for acknowledging that social security has nothing to do with the deficit, other than being used as a hostage.

          • Gregg

            Alright jimino. If you aren’t saying they are evil and greedy criminals then God bless you. Many here do and make no distinction betweeen $250,000 and $50 million. Obama himself refers to the top bracket as being for “millionaires and billionaires”. It’s misleading and divisive. That remains the only point I was making to Fredlinskip and TerryTreeTree.

            I’m not sure how you got that but I most certainly agree SS is being mischaracterized as a cause of the deficit. However, it is unsustainable and the day of reckoning will come. There is time to reform and fix it just not the political will. Medicare and Medicaid are a more immediate concern as is Obamacare.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            No one I know is demonizing the rich… except those engaged in class warfare and are determined to use the power of state to further enrich themselves are the expense of the rest of us.

        • Thinknaboutit

          Gregg, since you repeatedly make this claim that the rich aren’t part of the “half of America pays nada” crowd please share with us your source that proves without a doubt that it’s all those freeloading poor people sucking the money out of the economy.

          • Gregg

            I just pointed out the rich (especially as defined by the top bracket) are not the enemy. They should be thanked. I never said or implied  our problems are a result of “all those freeloading poor people sucking the money out of the economy.” What on earth are you talking about?

          • Thinknaboutit

            Gregg you wrote…
            “The top 1% pays for 39% of everything while nearly half of America pays nada.”

            I disagree with your statement now just as much as I have every other time you’ve made similar claims.  Where is your proof that it is the “top 1%” that are paying for “39%” of everything?  And don’t pretend you’ve never insinuated it is the bottom 50% that pay “nada”.

            I have brought to your attention nearly every time you’ve made this claim that many of those in the top 1% are in fact part of the “half of America pays nada” group and do not recall you ever responding with evidence to support your assertion.

          • Gregg

            It’s not a secret. You can find it and I could give it to you. Would it make a difference? Are you really operating under a different belief? BTW, I said “nearly” half pay nada. The bottom 50% pay 3.46% of the total bill.

          • Thinknaboutit

            I have a feeling I know where you distorted your figures from.  The statistic I believe you are misquoting is for people who file an individual or joint tax return and regards the amount they pay in “federal income taxes”.  Now first of all lets assume you are leaving those who pay social security (an income tax), medicare (another income tax), or have no obligation to their respective states taxes  out of this equation.

            What you are left with are people who have little or no income that qualifies for the federal income tax.  What you do not have is proof of the financial standing of the “nearly half pay nada” group.  Some people keep their money offshore.  Some people live off of trust funds.  Some people operate outside of the tax syste.  You fail to show that this “nearly half” group are not in fact the super wealthy.

            Think about it this way if you will.  If you remove the top 10% of the people from the group this “statistic” was pulled from, would it change much?  What if this statistic is ignoring that those at the very very top are in fact getting the best deal come tax day?

          • Gregg

            Entitlements are not taxes on income they are programs paid into that pay you back. This is old but gives a good overview. http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes. 

          • Gregg

             http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/howtaxes.asp

          • THinknaboutit

             http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx

          • THinknaboutit

            Gregg, all taxes are programs paid into that pay you back.  Everytime you drive on a taxpayer funded road.  Everytime you use any of the taxpayer funded infrastructure.  Anytime you exercise your rights as an American in our justice system.  The list goes on and on.  Social Security and medicare are payroll taxes based on income, therefore yes they are income taxes.  Every American with an income pays into Social Security and Medicare, but not everyone collects on those programs so how does your “Entitlement” argument explain that? 

          • Gregg

            I’m all for taxation to fund government and even progressively so. That’s one thing. Getting a check in the mail is something else. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid need reform. No one thinks they can survive with the boomers coming of age. That’s an entirely different discussion and it’s one that Democrats refuse to take part in.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            More disingenuous Right wing swill? Bush brags about taking 5 million off the income tax rolls, then the Orwellian Right claims that the rich are stuck paying more of the tax pie and we dare not tax them any more. Let’s sweep under the rug that they just got a massive tax break.
             

          • Gregg

            That’s not what we’re saying at all.

          • Terrybrewster

            DIVERSION!!

          • Ellen Dibble

            It seems to me the tax code is either designed to make those paying less to the IRS less sensitive to national budget issues and therefore more likely to vote on the kind of issues that the Republicans can poll and use, like the definition of family, or the ways of legislating away abortion, rather than on the way monies come their way from the government.  This might be seen as because the poor are a big source of tax deduction in various win-win arrangements between the rich and the poor. 
                So every time you have someone earning say $20,000 a year, they look at their tax return and owe so little that they are not all energized about the national budget.  If they earn $10,000 a year, they are probably beneficiaries of several government projects, besides education and so on, and there should be enough owed on that tax return to guarantee they don’t have the attitude that “this is the land of milk and honey, and the more I can get out of it, the better.”   Instead, they should think, “The more I bleed the system, the more my taxes will go up.”
               My somewhat cynical take is that for instance if they’re in “affordable housing,” which does pay local property taxes and functions as a tax deduction for the “wealthy” developers, there is a win-win that sees an advantage to people not thriving too much.  The Massachusetts and national health care similarly functions to make it advantageous to earn less.  Not to worry; the government will cover the cost.  Win-win for rich (insurers) and poor (those earning under $45,000), right?
                 These are the voters who need to be calling their congresspeople right now.  Are they paying enough in taxes to motivate them?  They should, because they are absorbing their share of the resources.   Watchdogs, weigh in.  Time to bark.

        • Terry Tree Tree

              I thank them for calling for ‘shared sacrifice’, when the get the shares, and the working class get the sacrifice.   I thank them for spending $Billions , or $Trillions, to get jobs for political lackeys, when that money could keep their promises and create LOTS of jobs, for the working class, that is losing its homes, and suffering in so many ways.  I thank them for spending LARGE AMOUNTS of money to get laws and regulators to allow them to pollute the environments of others, while taking the profits from that pollution, to live in pristine areas.  I thank them for multiplying their pay, to chase secretaries, play golf, and run companies into ruin, while cutting wages of those that make their salaries possible. 
             Want more thanks?

          • Gregg

            Don’t you feel better?

        • GLH

          Why would your theory of envy be any worse than my theory of limitless greed? You have a poor history when it comes to logical argument and you use the fascist codephrase “honest debate” as a foil. How can there be any “debate” between the victim and the perpetrator? between the master and the slave? between the corporate criminal and the poorly paid employee?What motivates the starving individual, hunger or envy? Your lack of empathetic capability demonstrates your impairment. You are probably emotionally sentimental about your possessions but see no value in human rights. You may then be a Treason-Party member, looking out for yourself only. Was your moral sense arrested at the toddler stage?

          • Gregg

            Actually my empathy is a crucifix through my heart, I deal with it.

            I love questions marks and you provided 6.

            I don’t know which theory is more valid, yours is cool. I just don’t know if it explains the extreme disdain for anyone who has a dollar more.

            You choose to be the victim just as you choose to be a perpetrator.

            You choose to be the slave just as you choose to be the master.

            You choose to be the poorly paid employee just as you choose to be the corporate criminal.

            Hunger, envy would be stupid. Always is.

            You just couldn’t be more wrong on the last one and it’s amazing to me you think you know different. You don’t.

          • Thinknaboutit

            I see you post the “conservative” view on this blog quite often.  You never seem to tire of painting any argument or idea regarding the “progressive” viewpoint as being a matter of envy, jealousy, or some other “sinful” descriptor.  While I appreciate opposing views as providing an opportunity for meaningful discussion, I often find your rhetoric to be uninviting for a response, when I do try to engage you I am often abandoned by you at some point.

            Perhaps this highlights the problems our government faces presently.  Not each particular issue, but the general lack of understanding of where each side is coming from.  I do try to empathize with you from time to time, and sometimes I even agree with you to some degree believe it or not.  I honestly would miss your input (some) if for some reason you decided not to show up for a political yawn.

             I, upon reading your latest rant, wonder if you have ever truly taken the time to “empathize” with those you are having a discussion with.  If you try this you might realize that those feelings you are calling “envy” and “jealousy” really aren’t that… they are something closer to “disgust”. 

          • Gregg

            I think you may be generalizing. I try not to throw out labels despite being called racist, fascist, paid hack, ignorant, and a host of othere slurs. I don’t recall, other than asking the question, ever bringing up jealousy. Maybe I’m wrong.

            So, if not envy, why the disdain for the rich? I really would like to know.

            If you want me to “empathize” with people who believe we are helpless puppets with no control over our actions which are controlled by the oligarchy then no thanks.

          • THinknaboutit

            Projection and deflection are not valid arguments.  Yes you in fact do tend to use labels, you aren’t always the first to throw them out there, and I seem to recall your use of the “envy” “jealousy” argument on a regular basis.
             
            It’s called disgust.  Most Americans are disgusted by the greed of some of our most wealthy citizens.  Most Americans are disgusted by the politics of those who argue on behalf of those greedy few.  Most Americans are disgusted by this… http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec10/income_09-28.html

            I understand you are unable to empathize with anyone who isn’t a carbon copy of your own political beliefs.  If you were able to have an open mind when discussing complicated issues then you would be a liberal.

          • Gregg

            It’s hilarious to hear you talk about open minds in this cocoon of myopia. You should get out more, broaden your horizons. The views expressed here do not represent America. They are based in the close-minded elitist belief disagreement must mean a lack of understanding. No I understand. I’m the one behind enemy lines taking the pulse of the extreme left. Plus I’m not as conservative as you think. I’m an open-minded, empathetic, harmless, lovable fuzzball.

          • THinknaboutit

            You are so open minded that you completely ignore my points and rant about your open mindedness.

        • Drewjkelly

          Gregg- the 250 G argument is bogusand you know it. Why?
           
               The plan for raising taxes on those making over 250G, states that those making between 250G and 1/2 mil would be taxed an extra $400. This is going to effect ability to hire?? 
          How many extra folks are you going to put on payroll with that $400? Are you going to pay 4 people 25Cents a day or something?
           
                 I know it’s hard for GOP Borrow and Spender to understand, and I don’t expect you ever will, but you can’t pay down debt without $.

              Tax rates on the wealthy are prettty close to historical lows- You know that to. And that’s not even including off-shore tax havens, etc.
           
             You also know that corps and individuals are sitting on the sidelines with trillions to spare and are not hiring.
           
              That’s because the actual job creators are small business and new startups. Unfortunately for past 30 + years since trickle-up, these job creators have been on decline.

          • Gregg

            “GOP borrow and spender”?

            Er… the GOP wants to cut spending and not borrow.

            This notion that we can tax our way out of this is really outrageous.  If we were to take ALL of the money from the rich (not advocating) it would not be enough. Nearly enough. Growth is the only remedy. “Cut, Cap and Balance” had $800 billion in new revenue through tax rate reductions.

          • Fredlinskip

                Borrow & Spend is how we got here. No? Who started this trend. You know who. Ronnie? Ronnie wannabe W redoubled those efforts.    Can’t tax wealthy at reasonable levels as we did in past so have to borrow.    Why GOP decided it suddenly was fiscally conservative (they sure aren’t during Rep administrations) who knows? they haven’t been for 30 years plus that’s for sure….but it’s a cold hard fact they are not going to pay down the mess they created without revenue.

          • THinknaboutit

            Gregg, when will you abandon this extremist argument?  You “conservatives” are the only ones I see suggesting we “tax our way out of this”.  Democrats and reasonable Republicans acknowledge it has to be a mixture of spending cuts and taxes.  But here you are like clockwork distorting the issue again.

          • Gregg

            No, that’s your premise. It is my view we need a combination of spending cuts and increased revenue. Your premise is new taxes = increased revenue. I believe increased revenue can only come from growth and growth is not encouraged with higher taxation. That is not extremist.

          • THinknaboutit

            Gregg you are beginning to show your inability to carry on an honest discussion.  You will never get enough revenues to meet our needs through growth alone, if we were to grow at the rate needed it would create many other problems that would negate any positive revenues.  Coupled with your desire to “Cut Cap and Balance” one might ask why you are so intent on destroying the United States of America.

            I’m not suggesting new taxes, I’m suggesting more traditional taxes.  Our current predicament is the result of the “new taxes” that “conservatives” have shoved down our throats for over 30 years.

            Yes, your arguments tend to be to the extreme right of the political spectrum.  I’m more middle-left.

          • Gregg

             “Coupled with your desire to “Cut Cap and Balance” one might ask why you
            are so intent on destroying the United States of America.”

            How’s that for an “inability to carry on an honest discussion”?

            You are suggesting higher taxes to raise revenue but higher taxes will only impede growth.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            You’re so naive Gregg if you think the Right has suddenly changed its 30 year pattern. We saw it in action… in all its irresponsible glory during the Bush years. The Right doesn’t give a crap about fiscal responsibility. They just resent Democrats spending money.  As for your red herring that we can’t tax our way out of this… no one I know has suggested that.  As for growth, sure, but there’s now a $14.3 trillion debt to deal with. In your determined denial of reality you refuse to deal with this simple fact: all the growth in the world doesn’t mean crap if tax rates are too low. As for the alleged $800 billion in new revenue from the GOP… what is that, over 10 years? How does that undo the damage the $1.8 TRILLION dollars lost to the Bush tax cuts? And for a bit more perspective, Bush pissed away $2.9 TRILLION on interest in just his 8 years. Get real Gregg.

          • Terrybrewster

            Cut, Cap, and Balance, PROVED to NOT have $800 Billion in new revenue.!  Boehner had to scrap it!

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Of course what could explain Gregg’s determined denial of reality isn’t ideology. He could be a paid shill for the Right.

  • Kmb3960

    This was a great program. Our country is at a crossroads.
    With two wars, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and
    increased global economic competition, it is no wonder that “Tea
    Party” republicans were elected.  The
    Tea party republicans promised a radical makeover of the Federal government.  They are true believers.  Their agenda will be the “salvation” of the
    nation.  And in times like these a lot of
    voters will support the person who promises “salvation”.

    Everyone says “Washington is broken”. It is not broken;
    it is working the way it always has. The difference is that the Tea Party
    faction of the republicans will not compromise. If anything is
    “broken”, it is the educational system of our country. Too many
    voters desire and expect a quick and simple fix to complicated problems that
    took years to develop.  And what is
    worst, is that they do not want to be inconvenienced in any way by any proposed
    “solution”.  If the Tea Party succeeds in
    their agenda, a lot of folks who consider themselves “Tea Partiers” are going
    to be shocked when they see their middle class entitlements disappear (as well
    as their union rights, their local budgets for education, road maintenance,
    etc., etc.)

    • Thinknaboutit

      If the Tea Party gets it’s wish and the world economy suffers for it, their elected officials should all be charged with crimes against humanity in The Hague.  This will have been no accident as they have been repeatedly warned!

  • Glenn

    What if no one is to blame? Neither political party? What if they’re all doing what they think is right, but in a system that’s way bigger than either of them? A world that’s evolving away from partisan politics, leaving it all behind?Size Matters. I have been saying this over and over and over again to anyone who will listen (precious few, it seems).
    Clearly, there is a difference between the two parties. I’m not denying that. But what I’m desperately trying to say, here, is that staying stuck in partisan politics, one side is ‘better’ than the other means we’re not paying attention to the ultimate systemic problem here. Something so huge it dwarfs Bush, Obama, Limbaugh, all of them. That’s where I am looking.
    What’s behind the curtain is nothing less than the ultimate dissolution, slowly, of the United States of America. And just saying that scares a lot of people, but it’s true. And it’s not because any one party or person or ideology is bringing it down. Far from it. I am not laying blame, here. I’m trying to get everyone to see that we are in the midst of a revolution being wrought not by political parties, but by dramatic shifts in culture world wide. These shifts are overwhelming our original governmental structure with population, technology, and other worldwide forces.
    And this will, ultimately, be a GOOD thing, not a bad one. I firmly believe that it is a huge error to think that if the USA decentralizes that the result is chaos, debauchery, violence, etc. That is *not* what I see coming, and I urge us all to work together on visions of how we want things to be, not how we don’t want them to be.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And this is not drivel, how?

    • Dmariano37

      Glenn I can’t agree with you more.  There are so many powerful forces keeping so many truly concerned and caring people fighting each other in the name of political parties, which is just one of many obstacles laid down to distract from true nature of our situation. 

    • nj

      The U.S. should “decentralize”? Do tell.

  • ErinHogue

    The United States of America is TOO BIG TO FAIL! Nobody’s going to mess with us if we default. They take themselves down with us if they do.

    • Sam Walworth

      Wait a few more years, when the emerging markets BRICs and the rest of the world can sustain themseleves. Heaven’s forbid, if our law makers continued to argue like 2nd graders, we will be kicked around like a can on the road.

      (remember, British Empire, Germany, USSR, Kingdom of Italy, Ottoman Empire all were world power horses, Once Upon A Time..) 

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    I remember when America was great. We were the industrial powerhouse of the world. We had a thriving middle class. We were creditor to the world… and we went to the moon. Even then the total national debt in 1980 was less than a trillion… not something to be proud of, but it was manageable.

    All that was before the so-called Reagan Revolution.

    Thirty years later we SHOULD be asking us, where did this experiment take us? We’re deep in debt largely because of the Right’s dangerous and irresponsible Starve The Beast strategy which deliberately sabotaged the fiscal health of the federal government. The rich are making out like bandits and wages for the average Joe have stagnated for decades. Where once we were creditor to the world we’re now the biggest debtor and to add insult to injury… Red China holds the choke chain. Even corporate Dems bought into some of this madness. Together they sabotaged our own industrial base with free trade. They deregulated the commodity markets bringing us $147 a barrel oil, and they deregulated banking sector which self-destructed in an orgy of greed. One of our major parties has gone insane discarding all common sense insisting that revenue is off the table as we try to tackle a $14.3 trillion debt. 

    The Right’s vision has proved a disaster, yet the Right, convinced of its own infallibility, shows no second thoughts. They seem to believe if things didn’t work out, it’s because they weren’t crazed enough. Yet those on the Liberal “left” who warned us all the above was insane continue to be ignored.
    I fear America is no longer a place that can do great things and all the momentum is in the wrong direction.

  • Tim E

    Your guest Alan mentioned the problem of credibility.  It isn’t credible to suppose that if we raise the debt limit we will subsequently muster the political will to balance the budget, let alone use a surplus to reduce our debt.  The brokenness of our system is not in our failure to compromise in order to sustain three decades of the status quo but in the failure of the system to achieve the kind of taxation and spending discipline by which we could prosper from a position of savings rather than be crushed from the weight of debt.

  • Dav

    TWO things come to mind- ONE is the structural defects in the white house (abuse of executive authority), senate (the abuse of the filibuster), and house of rep’s (caucus loyalties trump the well being of the country they SWORE to protect and nurture) along with a lack of election reform. so with some rules that are simply not working (did someone on the program suggest a parliamentary system might work better?) we are unable to stop beating ourselves up (AND a big NO THANKS to the SUPREME COURT for giving corporations voting rights- completely absurd ignoring all precedent; this is a direct threat to free and fair elections- i think the constitution and the voting rights act clearly trump John Roberts and we need to reign in this dangerous decision). 
        TWO is- there IS NO DEBT- wealthy people and corporations have TONS OF MONEY. money that they have accumulated since they can’t find anything else for the time being that they need to buy with it. we arelosing our grip on our ability to build our nation and our economy. this is a threat to our national security that our military will be unable to do anything about. either increase revenues on you-know-who and rebuild our country, or mandate that the “job-creators” invest the money directly into domestic manufacturing AND BY hiring US, not the Chinese (bless them but their economy is doing just fine). after they give us jobs, we will go out and buy what WE produced with the money we just earned. Merry Christmas all over again…if this is a violation of someone’s “rights” under “capitalism”, i have to ask you, where else are you prepared to go live? this is our problem and we have to assert our power to tell, NOT JUST THE GOVERNMENT, but the guy down the street in the big house with the security system and the 12-car garage that the game is up. it is time to pay your dues to the UNION as in “E PLURIBUS UNUM”- “out of many- ONE”.

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Free and fair elections? In our federal system, and this might explain why it’s so dysfunctional, we can have  100% voting age participation 100% public financing of elections 100% vote count accuracy and a candidate REJECTED by the People can be installed as President, a mere 18% of the US population will get a majority of seats in the Senate, about 5% of the population can thwart any amendment, etc. Toss in Gerrymandering and a party with 51% of a state’s votes can get 70% of the seats.  We’ve developed a civic religion that teaches us our Constitution was handed down on a slab. We’re so enthralled with our own delusions of grandeur that we’re blind to all the dysfunctionality all around us. Our narrow political spectrum makes a mockery of the idea of a marketplace of ideas.

      I’d much prefer a multi-party parliamentary system to the anti-democratic mess we have. Perhaps THEN I can vote my conscience and finally get some representation, and the system will provide some useful feedback to the voters that makes it more clear which parties are responsible for the messes they create. In a system where the minority is not just given great powers to block the majority but can actually govern, WHO DO WE BLAME for the current mess in our system when both the GOP and corporate Dems were responsible for free trade which sabotaged our industrial base, and waves of deregulation which brought us $147 a barrel oil, let sociopathic predators loose on Wall St, and collapsed our economy?  

  • Deb

    There is very little coverage of WHAT is being cut under the various proposals.  Specifics please!!!!!

    • Walker

      Specifics in America…good luck!

  • Marka

    Folks! We live together as a community!! Not as a marketplace!! We’re human!! That’s what got lost!!!

  • Elizabeth B.

    I am having a problem with this debt crisis because we are not supplied specific information on the problem.   We, the public, is kept in the dark, we are only told about the battle among the various political groups and the specifics are left out.
    Making people pissed and outraged, and not providing sufficient information is not an intelligent way of discussing an issue. 
    One thing is certain, we pay a large amount into taxes, fees, etc. but those who pay taxes receive very little back.  

  • Thinknaboutit

    Since it is the Tea Party preventing any deal being made I propose a compromise specifically tailored to them.

    ABOLISH THE MINIMUM WAGE!

    Instead of a minimum wage set a maximum wage.  The maximum wage of any employee, ceo, or contractor working for any business, corporation or any of it’s subsidiaries should be no more than 100 times the lowest wage paid to any employee or contractor.

    Currently the lowest paid worker in the United States should be making 7.25 per hour, this maximum wage policy would set the highest paid CEO $725 per hour which is more than enough for anyone.  If a company chooses to abuse cheaper labor markets, their pay goes down accordingly.  All compensation should count as wages…  stock options, benefits, bonuses, everything.

    Abolish capital gains taxes at the same time and count all sources of income as INCOME.  After a couple of years under this policy adjust tax rates, down if our financial outlook is better…  UP if it is the same or worse.

    This would also require the dept. of labor to monitor ways in which the greedy would try to game the system, but that is a given no matter what you do.  This “maximum wage” would be much more fair to the American worker and rebuild the middle class which is the root of our financial woes anyhow.

    So what do you say Tea Party?  There is no tax increase involved, will this be acceptable to your boss Mr. Norquist?  How about it Michelle, haven’t you been trying to get rid of minimum wage anyhow?  Let’s compromise and fix the problem!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Obviously you don’t know about the special low wages of waitress, and others, $2.95, the last time I heard! 
           By your proposal of a bill, after they abolish the Minimum Wage, CEOs will be working for $1.00 per hour!   That will really help the Budget!

      • Thinknaboutit

        Servers (men do this too) make tips as well and if their tips+hourly pay are less than the minimum wage ($7.25?) their hourly rate is adjusted accordingly.  Just to keep the conversation accurate…

        Do you really think CEO’s will pay themselves $1 per hour in order to lower wages for the rest of a companies workers.  I am confident they would take the other route and raise the wages of all employees in their business which would make the distribution of compensation more fair to everyone.  How many of those minimum wage positions could be paid twice as much if the pigs at the top weren’t making 1000+ times the lowest paid worker? 

        The way it is now, many Americans have to work 2-3 of these lower wage positions to make ends meet.  If compensation were more evenly spread out in EVERY business it would make multiple jobs less necessary and therefore open up more jobs for the unemployed, and at better pay.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I agree with you!  I just wanted to point out that even Minimum Wage isn’t Minimum Wage.  If that is true that employer is to make up difference to Minimum Wage, I know waitresses that will be happy to get their back-pay.
              I was pointing out that CEOs want to pay 1cent/hr.  Some are that stubborn, or crafty enough to ‘pay’ themselves otherwise!

          • Thinknaboutit

            Yes the federal minimum wage requires that tipped positions make the minimum wage.  And I’m sure your waitress friends are entitled to back pay if they have been shorted.  This link may help…

            http://www.dol.gov/wb/faq26.htm

            As for stubborn CEO’s crafty enough to pay themselves otherwise, there would need to be strict oversight as with anything.  I’m sure there are other issues and that this proposal off the top of my head is not at all perfect.  We do need to find a way to force a more equal distribution of the resources in our country, specifically if we are going to reduce our alread paltry safety nets.

          • Gregg

            My question is who would work for minimum wage? Not me, I’m worth more. It is not compassionate and helps no one to artificially set wages. Better to become good at something, make yourself indispensable and get paid.

          • THinknaboutit

            Your arrogance is predictable.  Poverty could never happen to a “real patriot” like you Gregg.  You are too special to have circumstances like medical emergencies, lay offs, or other tragedies affect your lifestyle.  Your ingenuity trumps any unfortunate situation that sends other less equipped citizens into a downward spiral. 

            You wouldn’t work for minimum wage if that was all that was available to you, you would sit at home collecting your welfare all while blogging to the world nearly everyday about those lazy unemployed or underemployed Americans.

          • Gregg

            Where do you get this stuff?

          • THinknaboutit

            From thinking about it, you should try it sometime.

          • Gregg

            No dude/dudette you’re just making things up and being nasty.

          • THinknaboutit

            You don’t think your sneering at the millions of Americans that have no choice but to work for minimum wage is nasty?  They just aren’t good at anything?   I’m just showing you how your comments look to most Americans by rephrasing them for you… your original intent is still there… 

            I understand you won’t appreciate this as it would take empathy, a trait you already admitted you refuse to work on.

          • Gregg

            I think people do have a choice. I have more faith and confidence in my fellow man than to assume everyone is a helpless victim. I think telling someone they are worth only minimum wage is insulting. How is that nasty?

            Minimum wage is for burger flippers starting out. If you intend to buy a house and raise a family without the skills and passion to earn more than minimum wage then you are making a horrible decision.

            I an self-employed with many vocations, mainly as a musician but I also have a Contractors license. I am constantly amazed at hero status heaped upon me for simply being on time, on budget and honest. In my mind it’s the least that should be done. It’s not hard to better yourself and succeed. 

            All ya gotta do is put your mind to it Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it -Roger Miller

        • Gregg

          How much does Bill Gates pay in taxes that would disappear? Would there even be a Microsoft if his wages had been capped?

          • THinknaboutit

            How much more would those at the bottom of the ladder pay in taxes to ensure corporations still retained their “top talent” at the executive level?  How many working people would have no need for government assistance if the pay scale were leveled out closer to the model of the 50′s?  How many more jobs would be available to Americans (more tax payers) as companies bailed out of their cheapest labor possible strategy?

            Why do those on the right feel you can destroy safety nets designed to prevent desperate situations while everyone but the top has had virtually stagnant wages for the past 30+years? 

          • Gregg

            Now your getting somewhere with your “more tax payers paying less instead of fewer taxpayers paying more” strategy!! I’ve been saying that all along. The math works far better that way for increased revenue and a strong economy. Bravo for conservative principles.

            BTW, the last I checked it Republicans are the only ones spending political capital to save the “safety nets” from their ultimate and certain demise.

          • THinknaboutit

            Nobody is arguing for less tax payers Gregg, that is an argument concocted by the Republicans to avoid real solutions to taxation problems.  How do more jobs in China or India create tax payers again?  How do more handouts to corporate executives in the form of tax breaks create more tax payers?  Perhaps it’s not the goal we disagree on, it’s how to achieve that goal. Nothing Republicans have suggested will increase the number of taxpayers, only the number of minimum wage slaves buying the products they used to make from China.

            Maybe try checking sources that aren’t so biased then, you could start here…

            http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=70&sectiontree=5,70 

          • Gregg

            How do more jobs in China or India create tax payers again?  How do more
            handouts to corporate executives in the form of tax breaks create more
            tax payers?

            Those two questions are related. A government that creates an environment that makes it cheaper to do business a half a world away is the problem. What do you suggest to encourage business here? Higher taxes, onerous regulation, demonization of corporations as the devil? I’m not sure it would work, But we do agree on the goal.

          • THinknaboutit

            Effective tax rates in China are actually higher.  Regulation might be more lax, but some care more about the environment than others.  Not all corporations are parasites, but most of the largest are.

            You want to encourage business here, stop encouraging it elswhere with free handouts to those who abuse slave labor markets.  But you will be quick to label that a “tax increase”.  Change the corporate model from it’s current form to one that benefits our country instead of the CEO’s and lobbyists/advisors.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            The obvious answer is to stop sugar coating what business does and realize that it profits more when it can shift costs to society. Corporations love free trade because it allows it to escape our century long effort to civilize how they do business. Corporations use to profit from their ability to make others pay for the health and property damages from their pollution, poor working conditions, etc. They profited from child labor and not having to pay unemployment, Social Security, etc. Now with “free trade” they can escape those costs by moving to nations that allow its workers and environment to be exploited, while those products can be brought back to the highest profit retail market back home.    
            The obvious answer is if we are going to allow free trade we place a stiff tariff on goods from such nations equal to the costs those corporations are escaping here. In this way companies are still free to go where they want, we protect domestic industry and jobs, and the government gets needed revenue.  

          • Terrybrewster

            How are Republicans spending political capital to save the “safety nets” from their ultimate and certain demise?   They are all about cutting SS and Medicare, when they are responsible for waste, and corruption, that costs us ALL!

          • Terrybrewster

            Disappear how?

    • Gregg

      You’re on to something with aboloshing the minimum wage and capital gains. The rest of it, not so much.

      • THinknaboutit

        Explain again how eliminating the minimum wage will fix the income gap?

        • Gregg

          I don’t know that it would. I don’t consider the income gap in and of itself to be bad. It would be if the rich got rich at the expense of the poor but that’s not the case. The rich can get richer, the poor can get richer and there could still be a bigger gap. And it’s all voluntary. Your life would not be improved one bit by punishing the rich. This is our disagreement.

          • THinknaboutit

            You don’t consider the income gap to be bad… this isn’t the first time you have demonstrated you ignorance of how economies work.

            You have proof that the rich are not getting richer at the expense of the poor, because the majority of America sees it very differently than you do.

            Distributing the wealth more equally is not “punishing the rich”, unless of course the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor…

          • Gregg

            There you go again with your elitist self. I understand.

            I said “in and of itself” because it seems to be enough to rile up the masses. What evidence do you have that says the rich got rich at the expense of the poor? Who stops me from getting rich? Convince me and I’ll agree that the gap is bad. You aren’t talking about “distributing” the wealth, you can’t be because the government has no wealth. You are talking redistribution which is un American. This is what Obama meant when he promised to “Fundamentally transform America”. He’s dong so with the help of those who believe as you. Fine, but call it what it is.

          • THinknaboutit

            No Gregg, you misrepresent again.  Funny that you would “label” (I know how you try to avoid labels) me an elitist when you are the one arguing to continue the upward distribution of resources.

            What most progressives/liberals are fighting for is more equal distribution from here on.  I don’t recall proposals to confiscate the  wealth already accumulated by anyone and give it to others who have none.  In fact the only person I’ve heard that line from are those trying to defend the give it all to the rich and let it trickle down policies.  What policies has Obama proposed, supported, or passed that has confiscated or attempts to confiscate already aquired wealth?

            You want to call it what it is eh, ok… how about justice.

          • Gregg

            I said I tried to avoid labels not that I’m a doormat unwilling to defend myself and callum’ like I seeum’.

            You insist on insisting I am too ignorant to comprehend vagaries like “Upward distribution of resources”? If you could show how that works it would be peachy. See, I’ve thought about it and think its unexplainable. It’s a talking point. You cannot connect the dots and will not attempt to because your closed mind is comfortable in the belief you know best. Humor me, tell me how that rascally rich guy took my self-worth, work ethic, passion and money.

          • THinknaboutit

            Sorry I don’t have the time to educate you Gregg, perhaps you could take the time to educate yourself.  Instead I’m sure you will continue to play your violin for the poor rich guy and stomp on those greedy poor people who are stealing your childrens future.  Good luck with that, I have work to do.

          • Gregg

            “Sorry I don’t have the time to educate you Gregg, perhaps you could take the time to educate yourself.”

            Clearly I was wrong to think you an elitist.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Just how is wealth accumulated? I suspect you refuse to acknowledge the role of the public sector in the process. So I ask this question AGAIN:
             

            What’s a killer idea for a product or service worth in an impoverished 3ed or 4th world nation without the infrastructure to exploit it?

            Probably nothing.

            The Right fails, or pretends not to, understand that good ideas, free choice, and markets alone do NOT make people wealthy.
             In reality for an inventor to exploit an idea requires the infrastructure built up by previous generations. It requires a stable currency, a legal infrastructure of contract and patent law, a functional court system to enforce those laws. It requires an educational infrastructure that can produce an educated workforce with the skills needed in the inventor’s area. To exploit an idea there has to be a public health infrastructure for clean water, air, a vaccinated public to prevent pandemics. It requires a scientific and technological base of research that can be built upon. Often someone gets rich for only providing one last piece in a puzzle worked on by others for years. It requires a nation secure behind its defense infrastructure, and domestic tranquility provided by law enforcement infrastructure. It requires physical investments be safe behind a fire fighting infrastructure. It requires an infrastructure of highways, sea ports, and airports for transportation of raw goods and parts to a factory and to bring finished goods to market.
             A good idea in an impoverished 3ed world nation won’t make someone rich, but it will here in the US because previous generations have paid taxes and built up this nation’s infrastructure. Yet Libertarians and the far Right seem to believe no one should feel there is much of a debt to society for that opportunity even if it’s the rich who arguably most exploit those public resources.
             If there is a MORAL BASIS for progressive taxation it’s the above. That’s one reason I’ve long believed the income tax should be renamed the Opportunity Tax.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Sorry T, the response above was for Gregg.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I don’t consider an income gap to be bad. While I have some caveats, I believe it benefits us all if economic incentives promote innovation. And perhaps the tax code should also promote innovation. It should remove incentives for speculation and reward productive activities. Gregg’s desire to eliminate all capital gains taxes is an invitation to pull investments from productive activities to speculation. I think capital gains should be taxed at a higher rate than wages. It’s immoral for those who make money off of money to get breaks working people do not. I might favor exceptions to encourage research and investment in areas of national interest like science, health and energy.
            All that being said, I believe a huge wealth gap is unhealthy.
             

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Gregg wrote about the income gap: “It would be if the rich got rich at the expense of the poor but that’s not the case.”
            Really?
            I know, Gregg you believe that we can grow some magic wealth pie and it raises all boats. Yet if true we’d see income gains spread more evenly. In reality the bulk of the gains are going to the top 1%.
            http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2006prel.pdf  and after being stable between the early 40′s and the early 80′s we see their percentage of the income pie go from it’s that 40 years baseline of 9-12% and now double reaching about 23%.
            Yup, no evidence the rich are getting richer at anyone’s expense. What are you suggesting Gregg… that the income pie no longer totals 100% but 112%?  If not, then someone’s lost out for that 12% of the income pie to go to the top 1% and we SHOULD know it has to come from lower income people. And we see it’s not from the top 10% of income earners since their share of the income pie has remained stable since the 40s.

          • Terrybrewster

            Without a Minimum Wage, the poor only get poorer.  That’s why a minimum wage was established!  Many GREEDY rich would pay a LOT less, if they can find ways to do so, like hiring illegals, through a ‘contractor’, paying less, for all the illegal workers, than minimum wage, which is a rather common practice.

  • Dexter37

    Glenn had a great post yesterday at 10:00 PM: I agree there are so many powerful forces keeping so many truly concerned and
    caring people fighting each other in the name of political parties,
    which is just one of many obstacles laid down to distract us from true
    nature of our situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Alden/100000962790506 Daniel Alden

    I think it’s time to play hardball patronage politics.  If the Tea party freshman refuse to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances due to their position that the federal government is the problem, let them know there will be immediate repercussions.  After August 2nd, the federal governement should ensure that their districts receive NO federal monies. 

  • Walker

    This everyone to blame stuff is a bunch of crap.  Republicans don’t run the country and they have to give somewhere, and they are not.  That is why the markets are being spooked.  And republicans want a short term deal, which will spook the markets again. 

    These totalitarian republicans in congress are the result of the Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, redneck America era of politics.  And this stupid hubbub is the result.   

    • GLH

      Republicans don’t run the country, but their Oligarch funders apparently do.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    It’s about time! The nation cannot can’t be blackmailed into making rash decisions by radical extremists in the GOP.
     
    DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS URGES OBAMA TO USE 14th AMENDMENT POWERS
     
    WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders emerged from a Wednesday Caucus meeting with a message for President Barack Obama: Invoke the Constitution to resolve the debt standoff.
    If Congress can’t reach a deal on a long-term debt limit increase by August 2, Obama should “sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment,” said Assistant Minority Leader James Cyburn (D-S.C.).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/house-democratic-leaders-urge-obama-to-use-14th-amendment_n_910878.html
    Sadly, I don’t believe Obama has the spine to take on these nuts in a Constitutional showdown.

    • GLH

      ‘Bama needs to read up on Andrew Jackson. He closed the Bank of the United States and overrode a Supreme Court decision to relocate 5 Amerindian nations to Oklahoma on foot in the dead of winter. That is the Democratic Party tradition. But today Obama is the Rhinestone collar on the corporate lapdog party. A brave patriot would slap ‘em with the 14th Amendment even if he were forced to withdraw from re-election as a consequence. Bending the rules is better than letting fascism win.

    • Gregg

      Oh great, a manufactured Constitutional crisis. It’ll never happen, even Obama has more shame than that, which ain’t much.

      • Anonymous

        So you don’t see this as a potential Constitutional crisis? Personally I think we are already in one judging by what’s been happening Washington.

        • Gregg

          Possibly but the 14th amendment argument is bogus and manufactured. It won’t fly nor will it be attempted. You will only read about it from extreme ideologues.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed, it would be a bad move on Obama’s part. He’s playing politics just as much as the Republicans. However they are taking this way to far and if interest rates go up due to the downgrading of rating it’s really on their heads. The thing that gets me is how is it that the very rating companies such as Standard & Poor’s, who helped cause this problem in the first place by being in the pockets of Wall Street get are now threatening us. They have also gone a step further: It’s warned it might
            lower the nation’s credit rating even if Democrats and Republicans make a
            deal to raise the debt ceiling.

            I pulled that last tidbit from Robert Reich’ blog. Interesting reading.

            http://robertreich.org/post/8099560686

          • Gregg

            Thanks for the link and it is interesting but as you might guess I’m not a Reich fan. Interest rates are indeed the gorilla in the room.

            I believe it was Moody’s that said we would be downgraded if we did not raise the debt ceiling. That seems backwards to me. What is the consequence of continuing unsustainable debt and when will we have a better chance than now to truly address it? Those seem to me to be the important questions.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Thanks Gregg for another example of the fiscal schizophrenia on the Right.
            You express concern for unsustainable debt, yet you supported the irresponsible Bush tax cuts which sabotaged debt paydown. If Bush had been fiscally responsible and did has he PROMISED in 2000… to pay down debt, then perhaps that debt now would NOT be so “unsustainable”. And if you gave a rat’s ass about the deficit now, you’d be in favor of a common sense approach to reducing the deficit… revenues AND spending cuts. But your blind fixation on spending cuts alone proves you place ideology above all.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Here’s the language from the 14th Amendment.

            Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
            Unlike the claims about the 2ed Amendment which DO seem bogus since the militia clause is clearly a statement of intent for the following right, the 14th’s language is pretty clear more like that of the First Amendment… Congress shall make no law. The debt of the US spoken of is all inclusive not modified, restricted, or qualified.
            If you consider THAT  bogus, then your ability to project your own meaning into the Constitution has no limits.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            The problem with the wording is it doesn’t say WHO has the power to guarantee the debt will be paid. So if Congress refuses, the amendment demand SOMEONE do it.  I don’t think the Supreme Court could act on its own to order the Treasury to pay the debt. So who’s left? The President!

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            It’s an fascinating situation. Under the Constitution “The Congress shall have Power…. to pay the Debts and to “To borrow money on the credit of the United States..”

            But the 14th Amendment cements in stone that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…. shall not be questioned.”

            Therefore Congress MUST authorize more borrowing to pay for what it already authorized to spend.

            The problem seems to be with the questionable legality of the debt ceiling itself.

            The GOP is trying to leverage power it only has because of a law of questionable constitutionality. It hopes to use that power to gut programs when it knows it doesn’t have actual votes in Congress rescind these programs. Allowing the GOP to get away THAT would be the worst sort of precedent to set. The Democrats MUST prevent a seemingly spineless Obama from succumbing to blackmail… and let the courts settle it.

  • David

    John, as you closed out the show, you said that you were “scared.”  Really?  This matter concerns me, but it hardly SCARES me.  I’ll save getting “scared” for things like an earthquake, tsunami, fallout from Fukushima, an actual terrorist attack, a parent or child getting seriously sick, being in a tornado, and the like.  I’m not going to let myself be played like a violin by politicians regarding the latest nebulous fiscal contrivance.

  • GLH

    Might this budget sabotage be the prelude to a coup by a Christian Identity officer corps at the behest of the Oligarchy? (Fox could smooth things over.) Rings back to the Smedley Butler conspiracy by Hitler financier Grandpa Prescott Bush and his clique doesn’t it? I would not be surprised after false-flagged 9/11 and the 3-page Meltdown ultimatum. Remember the “Handmaid’s Tale”? Is scared the word we’re looking for?

  • Ooglyboobly

    WE should just do it with Canada. The tension’s been building up for too long.

    • Thinknaboutit

      Do what with Canada?  How many countries can you name that we don’t have tension building up with?

      • Pamela Courtot

        I am canadian and I will tell you that if the tyranny of the moronic uneducated boobs known as the tea party sends the world economy into a tailspin I will be pretty damn mad about it.  this is what happens when you allow unlimited campaing financing that allows selecy wealthy interest groups to pervert, manipulate and hood-wink the public into voting for idiots – aka the tea party

        • Walker

          As a liberal, I hope Michelle Bachmann wins the primary because I still think this country is reasonable enough to elect Obama over the mouth of darkness. 

          However, if she wins the primary, the old lady and I are going to start looking for jobs in Canada.  

          • Thinknaboutit

            I keep expecting the Canadians to put up a border fence to keep us crazies out.

          • Gregg

            Canada went conservative and is reaping the rewards.

          • Anonymous

            Funny how even the conservative Canadians believe in national health care. As well as good tough banking regulations.

          • Thinknaboutit

            Conservative in Canada is more like center left here.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Oops, take away a “like” for Gregg’s inane comment. I should not be so careless.  Conservative is a meaningless label for two reasons. One is context. Radio host Thom Hartmann interviewed some “conservatives” I believe in Denmark and they were for the high taxes, the social services, and the national health care. What made them conservatives? They were against immigration.  Second, here in the US there are no real fiscal conservatives left in the GOP. They still use the same language but since the 80′s when they adopted the starve the beast strategy they chose a deliberate path of fiscal irresponsibility to damage sabotage the federal treasury. I may be a Progressive but I consider myself a fiscal conservative. I want our generation to pay down debt we created, and have balanced budgets. If we have to run a deficit, then we better correct that soon.

            I see NO sign of anyone in the GOP supporting reasonable budget measures to do the above. Bush and the GOP did everything they could to sabotage debt paydown and create more debt. True fiscal conservatives would know that deficits caused by irresponsible tax cuts ARE THE SAME as deficits caused by spending. True fiscal conservatives would KNOW a budget has TWO variables… revenue and spending. Given our debt is in large part due to the irresponsible tax cuts of Reagan and Bush would know revenue was an obvious part of the solution.

            The true fiscal conservatives are gone replaced by irrational if not rabid Starve The Beast ideologues. They don’t care about deficits or debt… if they were they want to pay debt down but all they want are more tax cuts. They are just crazed because they resent any deficit spending on something other than what the GOP wants to heap on their own constituency. They are dangerous and toxic and I wish for once Obama would tell it like it is.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            CORRECTION… I meant to write:

            Given our debt is in large part due to the irresponsible tax cuts of Reagan and Bush, TRUE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES would know revenue was an obvious part of the solution.

          • Anonymous

            Be careful for what you wish for.

        • jo

          Wow, you are so intellectual.

        • Anonymous

          For those who (and there are many of us!) wish we could flee, I’d like to add that if you’ve lived in Canada, Europe, or in most other places in the world, you already know the sad truth:  it’s very hard to get away from the US, its culture, its politics, its pretensions. 

          A real and concerted effort — one as serious and dedicated as (for instance) the efforts of those who finally overturned the system of slavery in this country — is needed to clean up the corruption here first.  The flawed and corrupt election system, for a start.  Only then can the rest of the world, not to mention Americans, breathe a sigh of relief.

      • Fredlinskip

        I suspect oogly might suggest we just do it with everyone then.

      • Fredlinskip

        I suspect oogly might suggest we just do it with everyone then.

  • Asd

    asdadsasd

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

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