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The Republican Plan For The Middle Class

The President says invest, or fail the middle class. What do Republicans say? We’ll ask.

House Speaker John Boehner (AP)

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, flanked by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., right, and Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

President Obama says spend to invest in the future or lose the middle class. Republicans say almost the opposite. Cut, they say. Cut and cut deep to create a growth economy.

And they are having at it. Pushing big cuts in research, in the EPA, in the Interior Department, in food stamps. Big cuts in federal spending all over — and especially, if they can do it — in Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act.

The president is out stumping for his view. Today, we’ll hear the GOP.

This hour, On Point: Republicans on the budget, the U.S. economy and the American middle class.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ginger Gibson, congressional reporter for Politico. (@GingerGibson)

Rep. Tom Cole, Republican Congressman for Oklahoma’s 4th congressional district (since 2003), member of the Committee of Appropriations and the Committee on the Budget, Deputy Majority Whip and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. (@tomcoleok04)

Romina Boccia, fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation. (@RominaBoccia)

Rep. Nita Lowey, Democratic Congresswoman for New York’s 17th congressional district (since 1988), ranking democratic member of the Committee of Appropriations, former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (@NitaLowey)

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  • JHWillson

    When will the Republicans finally stop blowing smoke and haul the Obama administration before Congress with the threatened subpoenas? Delphi Salaried Retirees have been waiting for answers since 2009….Obama’s FIRST SCANDAL. https://www.delphisalariedretirees.org/delphi/

    • northeaster17

      When will the Republicans finally stop blowing smoke? Never

      • JHWillson

        One of the unfortunate reasons the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association had had to spend $3M in donations to fight for our earned pensions. At last report the bureaucracy has spent over that amount in taxpayer dollars to outside law firms to stonewall our efforts.
        Is this Obama’s idea of retirement security in his grand bargain?

  • Michiganjf

    America has witnessed “The Republican Plan for the Middle Class” for some 30 years now, ever since Reagan and the subsequent “Republican Revolution!”… er, devolution.

    Haven’t we suffered enough?!!

  • sickofthechit

    When will the Republicans admit that it is only because of gerry-mandered districts that they have control of the House of Reps? Boehner thinking that he should only bring bills forward that the majority of Republican House members support is a perversion of how the House is supposed to operate, and is in direct conflict with the majority of Americans. With their stubbornness the Republicans in the House are systematically destroying America’s future. If only we had recall elections…. Charles A. Bowsher

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I would also like to see a “no confidence” ballot offered at the ballot box.

      • ProudPatr1ot

        It’s called the write-in slot.

    • Don_B1

      I strongly share your frustration, but the gerrymandered districts that elected these Tea/Republican ideologically driven ignorant bozos would just reelect them, and the costs of the recall election would be subtracted from middle class support programs.

  • LinRP

    “The Republican Plan for the Middle Class” — total annihilation. Thirty years of evidence is now impossible to refute.

    Name the program that helps the middle class that the Republicans support–Social Security? Health care for all? Education? Real job creation? Unemployment benefits? Education? Student loan help? Women’s rights? Infrastructure? Tax relief instead of corporate welfare?

    Nope. Not a one. And the list can go on and on.

    God help the poor. Their annihilation is already well underway.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    The two political parties photograph my mailings, they inspect what I read at the library, they tap my phone calls, they store my emails, they police who I talk to, they collect my internet passwords, they watch me with drones, they watch me with street cams, they tax what I own, they tax what I earn, they regulate what the banks will pay me, they allow my investments not to pay me, they allow my employers not to pay my pension benefits, they bail out billionaires, they manipulate inflation statistics, they manipulate employment statistics, they allow internationalist to take my jobs, they allow drug lords to roam free, they allow millions to cross my country’s border, they allow the Chinese to steal military secrets, they give themselves raises, they give themselves special perks …. .

    Now both parties have the nerve to tell me what they are going to do for me?

    Well track this phrase; I’m sending you the 6th letter of the English alphabet. I’m done with the both of you !

    • ProudPatr1ot

      Yes, obviously, it’s in the government’s interest to allow China to steal our military secrets, outstanding analysis.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        if we don’t allow them our military secrets how are they supposed to appear to be a legitimate threat for the military industrial complex to profit and expand from?

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Apparently you can’t comprehend that our government is too busy doing all the things that they shouldn’t be doing instead of concentrating on the things they should be doing ! If you think they are representing your interest, you’re blind.

        • ProudPatr1ot

          Gawrsh, they just can’t do nuthin’ right! All this inflation statistics manipulatin’ and lettin’ the durn Messicans cross YOUR COUNTRY’s border, and probably Benghazi too, while we’re at it?

    • Don_B1

      I have an equal (at least as far as I can tell) frustration with the path this country has taken, mostly due to the radical right given power under Reagan and working to make this country a plutocracy with the support of evangelicals who see no problem with turning the country into some form of theocracy.

      While I see some horrible tendencies among some Democrats, I see most of it as their perception of the realities of getting elected and the money required to effect that. That is the reason that I consider campaign finance reform a necessary, though definitely not sufficient, step to start putting this country back where rational discussion can set the country’s direction in a way that all citizens will prosper.

      I hope you can set aside what I see as cynicism that lets you withdraw from efforts to change the system in a way that benefits everyone. Maybe I am naïve, but I feel that all is not lost, yet. But it may be if strong action is not taken soon.

      I am encouraged by the strike actions being taken by McDonnell’s workers this week, and I hope it will lead to good results, in the near term, if not immediately.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Don, I have been voting for almost 40 years. During this 40 years our country has continued to unravel. These parties do not have the “stuff” to fix what is broken. We need to dump them, both. They have created a self-serving machine that serves a small minority. It has been one flim-flam after another. They are playing us Don ! They play on your emotions. They play on your needs.

  • Thinkfreeer

    As if it is the role of the government to do anything but protect the rights of the middle class.

    • Don_B1

      The role of the government is to protect all its citizens, in particular the rights of the minority who otherwise could easily be trampled under the hooves of the stampeding “majority.”

      • Thinkfreeer

        But we don’t (or we shouldn’t) define special rights that specific minorities suddenly have.

  • jefe68

    The Republican Plan For The Middle Class

    • pete18

      Yes, because the middle class have have done so well under Obama. Democrats seem to think as long as you talk about the middle class that counts as helping them. It doesn’t really matter what actually happens to them. This has been the Obama strategy for the economy as well. Talk about things, re-pivot and focus on the economy every four months, gin up some class warfare and then blame republicans for the bad results.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Hey Pete, I guess I’ll pick the party that at least pretends to care about me…

        • pete18

          Yeah, that’s pretty much the epitome of the democrat party mindset on economics. Ignore how well the economy did under Reagan and Bush and pick the party that pretends to care about you.

          • adks12020

            Yeah, the economy did great under Reagan until it crashed and burned in the late 80s and Mr. “no new taxes” Bush had to raise taxes several times and make other adjustments to try and fix the mess made under Reagan. The economy didn’t really get better until Clinton was in office, though Bush didn’t some good work getting it started, and then it crashed again after Bush II.

          • pete18

            So does that mean you also think Clinton’s economy was a failure when it collapsed much more dramatically at the end of Clinton’s last term?

          • jefe68

            So in your weird view, when a Democrat is in the White House it’s always a economic failure and when a Republican is lake Woebegone or the Teletubbies show.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ichQOqbewA

          • pete18

            I have no idea what your comment is supposed to mean. I’m sure it’s very clever. I’m just asking “12020″ for an equal measuring stick to compare administrations with. If his answer to my question was “yes” then I would find him consistent and his world view would be that no President has had any success with the economy for the last 37 years. If his answer was “no” then I would suggest that he find another measure to use, otherwise he’s just a partisan hack.

          • jefe68

            Partisan hack? That’s funny coming from someone who is the very definition of one.

            My comment is a parody on how the GOP seems to live in a fantasy world in terms of how their policies effect most Americans. A huge swath of Americans are suffering from stagnant wages and cuts in benefits.

            There are over 50 million living at or below the poverty line and what does the GOP want to do? Cut assistance to these families who need it the most.
            The GOP’s policies are draconian smack of social Darwinism. Ayn Rand would be proud. Even though she ended up SS.

          • pete18

            So Obama has nothing to do with those 50 million people that are living below the poverty line?

          • adks12020

            My point is that Republicans are constantly waxing poetic about the glory days of Reagan but they ignore the fact that while there was temporary prosperity his policies were extremely flawed and after less than a decade there was a terrible downturn and a necessary reversal of the majority of his economic policies, policies current Republicans want to re-institute. I don’t understand why Republicans look back at the 80s as such a great time. The entire decade was one big bubble, a bubble made worse by Reagan’s policies.
            Economies go up and down. They did during Clinton’s term as well; the tech bubble was a big problem for his term. I certainly don’t agree with everything Clinton did. His meddling in baking regulations resulted in huge problems down the road (granted he used those changes as a carrot to get conservatives to agree with other policies that I liked).
            No one, Republican or Democrat, has gotten things 100% right on the economy (not close) but it seems to me that Democrats are often more willing to look at the mistakes and revise their ideas. Republicans keep looking to the past as if it was utopia and completely ignore the huge problems that were caused by the policies of people like Reagan. Then they just keep barking out the same exact policies they always have, ones that didn’t work in the past either, except for the richest Americans.

          • pete18

            Well, I won’t re-argue the Reagan administration with you, I think the unemployment numbers, the dropping of inflation and the increased growth numbers speak for themselves and benefited both Bush1 and Clinton. We can agree to disagree on that. However, what in the world do you see as evidence of the Democrats being “more willing to look at the mistakes and revise their ideas?” Everything Obama has done is an old and traditional liberal idea.

          • Don_B1

            In the current economy, the good old ideas are the ones which will work if the Republicans would allow them to be enacted.

            Why would anyone want to pick a path that has not worked when there is a path which will if only the country was allowed to follow it. See my other response also.

          • pete18

            Exactly which “good old ideas” aren’t being allowed to work by the Republicans? As i recall, Obama had both the House and Senate for two years and was able to pass almost all of the policy initiatives he wanted during that time.

          • 2Gary2

            you forget that Obama is republican lite. He is NOT liberal.

          • TheDailyBuzzherd

            Pete, your point that Clinton’s White House allowed a long leash for the finance sector is spot on. Clinton deserves much of the blame for this.

          • Don_B1

            It is certainly true that the Clinton administration opened the doors for the financial crisis to come roaring through, but it took the Bush administration, as opposed to a Gore administration, to open them wider and neuter in the door keepers from doing their jobs (e.g., Christopher Cox at the S.E.C. and not asking Fed Chair Greenspan to use his regulatory power provided by Congressional Democrats during the Clinton administration to reel in the big banks which were buying subprime mortgages to slice and dice for derivatives to sell to pension funds and other suckers).

          • Don_B1

            “… when it collapsed much more dramatically …” than what?

            Than George W. Bush’s economy with its lax regulation and poorly designed stimulus which enabled the wealthy to profit while the middle and lower income workers struggled with next to no salary growth?

            You did not even adequately establish your strawman argument.

          • Don_B1

            The only reason that the economy “did so well” under Reagan was the recession at the beginning of his first term, caused by the Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in killing the inflationary expectations of the time. When success was determined, the Fed’s lowering of interest rates restored growth from a low level.

            Under the George W. Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy, the wealthy did do well, but the average worker’s wages barely grew and job growth was anemic to say the least.

            The best growth since the end of WW II occurred when tax increases in the George H.W. Bush and William Clinton administrations along with the productivity gains of the computer revolution enabled private sector growth, with 23 million new jobs in the Clinton years and good wage growth.

            The lack of strong growth during the Obama years has been mostly due to the Republican use of inflation fears to hamstring the economy. To be sure, President Obama has not stood up to the Republicans strongly enough, what with his overtures to Republicans in fruitless attempts to get bipartisan support for job creating laws.

      • brettearle

        Politics is perception.

        But if both parties are at fault, the one who is scapegoated is the one who is more at fault.

        I think we both know which Party that is–perception or not.

      • jefe68

        I never said they did well under Obama, but if the GOP had been in charge after the collapse of 2008 my bet is the economy would have contracted to even lower levels. Evidence of that is the extreme levels of austerity being dished out in Europe. GB is a very good example.

        In my opinion we have a plutocracy and our federal government is being run by special interest for the most part. But the Republicans represent a regressive ideology so repugnant to me that I can easily pick a Democrat over the extremist party the GOP has become.
        It’s as if the entire GOP has been taken over by the NRA, John Birch Society (AKA Tea Party) and the Koch brothers.

        Pay attention to the lede: The Republican Plan for the Middle Class.

        The show is about the GOP.

        • pete18

          Yes, the Tea Party has such regressive, repugnant ideas:

          Eliminate Excessive Taxes

          Eliminate the National Debt

          Eliminate Deficit Spending

          Protect Free Markets

          Abide by the Constitution of the United States

          Promote Civic Responsibility

          Reduce the Overall Size of Government

          Maintain Local Independence

          Oh the horror of it all!

          http://www.teaparty-platform.com/

          And if a wealthy investor like George Soros gives oodles of money to left -wing causes he believes in, he’s engaging in his Constitutionally backed right of free speech to promote ideas he feels are important to the country, but if the Koch brothers do the same thing with conservative ideas they are evil incarnate who are corrupting democracy. Yeah, I get it, no blinders on your glasses.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Funny, whien the shat hits the fan, all we got are triple-redefunding ACORN and cramming things up into womens’ uteri.

            You really voted for that?

          • pete18

            OK, so which reliable news site does this summation of Republican economic policy come from? Or is it the democratic fund raising letter that came in today’s mail?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Uh, I’m not your teacher. I’m just a better media crit than you. And a better media crit than Newsbusters.

            And I’m just a schlub behind a keyboard.

            You keep making stupid, predictable mistakes from dumbas sources, and I’ll point them out.

            Somehow there are folks here whose links are not laughable. Try being one of them.

          • pete18

            One word: BalloonJuice. OK, back to your Master session on media criticism and your insightful and unpredictable analysis on Republican economic policy.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Three words: Rightwing Beltway Inbreds.
            Two words: CNN screenshot.

            Jake (“Didn’t he used to be respectable?”) Tapper, CNN’s Finest, couldn’t find anyone better to have as a guest than a Fox pundit who called Obama a racist.

            When the Howie Kurtzes of the mainstream media starts calling our inbred hacks like this, I’ll start sourcing Howie Kurtz.

          • pete18

            Nice try with the Tapper distraction but that wasn’t what the discussion was about.
            You, the media expert, were trying to argue that an accurate display of a real Tweet on a right wing web site was illegitimate information but a screen shot from a left wing blog named “BalllonJuice” was journalism befitting of Edward R Murrow.

            Still waiting for the Columbia School of Journalism analysis that shows us the reasons, outside of your disdain for conservatives, that this is so.

          • notafeminista

            Physician, heal thyself.

          • jefe68

            And there you go with George Soros meme. Pathetic.

          • pete18

            H-m-m-m, Tea Party meme good, completely equivalent and accurate George Soros meme bad. Maybe it’s too painful to see the curtain pulled back from the Koch Brothers straw man, which shields democrats from what is really pathetic, the Obama record.

          • jefe68

            Except that Soro’s is not even in the same league as the Koch brothers. They are out to influence a lot of government regulations that are pretty bad for the common good of a lot of Americans.
            Such as air quality and work conditions and pay.

            You’re like a 10 year old child. Are you aware of that?

          • pete18

            I see see, it’s only bad if the money given out to influence policy is above a certain amount? So what exactly is the principle that you, the mature adult, are promoting here? Money to influence policy is only considered a form of healthy democratic participation when you agree with the issues it’s supporting and it’s under a certain dollar amount (conveniently set to match how much George Soros gives)?

          • notafeminista

            Well. It is horrible if your entire narrative is built upon people needing to stay poor and oppressed.
            Sort of like plantation owners forbidding their slaves to read or be educated.
            If people learn what you’re up to, they might not vote for you anymore.

        • Don_B1

          The following does not in any way exonerate the Republicans for the ideological hypocrites they are, and i think it makes their “policy” even more repugnant and hypocritical.

          In December of 2007, Rep. Paul Ryan and other Republicans were working on a $750 BILLION “stimulus” bill that they abandoned as they decided in January 2009 on a “scorched earth” approach to denying President Obama any policy victories. This abandonment would not have happened with a John McCain presidency which shows that beneath it all Republicans do understand and support Keynesianism, except when advocated by a Democrat.

          But that bill would not have been as effective as what the Democrats passed, even though it contained too much tax reduction and too little support to the states because those failings would have been even larger in any Republican bill.

    • brettearle

      Whether you or I like it or not, the GOP is going to make adjustments.

      They have no choice.

      They realize that if they don’t, even Christie will lose the White House in 2016.

      • Don_B1

        There are Republicans who support your thesis and are working to bring it about, but it may take at least one more presidential election failure to convince the “Party” of its necessity.

        In the meantime, immense damage will be done to both the U.S. and world economies and the world’s climate.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Not at all. They do have a plan for the middle class. Their plan is to take every penny they have and redistribute it to the top, and it’s working great. The key elements are low taxes, offshoring, outsourcing, plain greed, Ryan medicare vouchers, SS cuts….

  • Shag_Wevera

    Republican plan for the middle class? Ahhahhaha!! Hahaha!! I’m sorry, but I can’t even take the question seriously. The republicans protect the wealthy, and use wedge issues (gays, guns, god etc) and fear to get themselves close to half the electorate. If your average American could get a vaccine that would make them 1) more aware of history 2) a little more worldly 3) have 10-15 more points of IQ, the republicans would almost never win an election.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      if such a vaccine existed michell bachman would say it made you retarded

  • John Cedar

    The president says “invest or fail the middle class”?
    The GOP ought to respond with a similar platitude.

    “Invest” is libtard speak for “spend”, so…

    Quit spending money we don’t have, on entitlements that ruin the middle class.

    • Shag_Wevera

      “Libtard”. Clearly someone seeking a dialogue.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        OMG, did someone really say “libtard”? How embarrassing.

        • jefe68

          Is that not an item of clothing…

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Maybe it means “believes in Physics”?

            I think it’s a word from a dialect spoken in some particularly sick blogs.

      • John Cedar

        Who are you to deny greatness?
        if you would deny yourself you would deny the world.
        And we will not be denied…

        You are the greatest sanctimonious hypocrite.
        You are a special kind of libtard to point a finger after you make this comment:

        “If your average American could get a vaccine that would make them 1)
        more aware of history 2) a little more worldly 3) have 10-15 more
        points of IQ, the republicans would almost never win an election.”

  • RolloMartins

    The GOP plan for health care–defund ObamaCare; the GOP plan for jobs–defund gov’t; the GOP plan for the middle class–defund said middle class and make the wealthy wealthier.

  • RolloMartins

    Tom, why do we keep seeing people from the Heritage Foundation? They are nothing but a propaganda arm of the GOP and spout the most ridiculous lies couched in pretty conservative language. If it’s from the Heritage Foundation, it is a lie.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Yeah, organizations with the words heritage, growth, or prosperity probably will all say the same things.

      • Ray in VT

        I always look our for ones with family in the title. It’s a pretty good indication that they are some form of conservative Christian group (American Family Association, Focus on the Family).

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Exactly. Growth, prosperity, family all = screw the middle class. And the ultimate screwing is when they say “reform”, then you better check your bank account.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hey, can you whip up a Venn diagram showing “Family” in the title overlapping with “leaders are on the way to a certain kind of sex scandal”?

          • Ray in VT

            Possibly. There was that anti-gay psychology who took a kid from Rent Boy to Europe to “carry his luggage”, or, as the Daily Show (I think) put it, to “lift his bag”. I think that that guy was linked up with Focus on the Family.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Exactly. They’re not even pretending to be a “think tank” any more, just a bunch of partisan hacks. Please don’t lend them credence.

    • MrNutso

      In some instances such as their immigration reform reivew they have become even worse than GOP.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      like when the heritage foundation created obomacare

      • Don_B1

        That was their effort to offer an alternative to President Clinton’s healthcare bill, and one of their last fact-based proposals. That does not mean that it was anywhere near what would be a good system for final use.

        But as modified from Romneycare to Obamacare (small adjustments) it can be a road to further reform and a single payer system. Given the current system with its employer-based private sector system, a single-step would have been really traumatic than the hyped-up trauma that Republicans are trying to infer from the mild changes that are occurring now.

  • notafeminista

    So this is what pandering looks like…

  • HonestDebate1
    • ProudPatr1ot

      On what planet does Obama display an “extremist ideological devotion to Keynesian economic theory?”

      • TomK_in_Boston

        On the planet where talk counts more than action.

    • brettearle

      Policymic is a cabal of young media bloviators who haven’t even counted up their cumulative grade scores from Senior year.

      That’s what I call Credibility.

      What are ya gonna do, throw Condoleezza’s name in there? Pl-e-e-e-ase….

      C’mon HD, you can do better.

      [And I haven't forgotten the Bush economic policy response.]

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You run the ship on the reef, the Coast Guard arrives, and you say “The CG has been a disaster, that ship is on the reef”. That’s about the intellectual level of your DishonestDebate. Do you even remember the jobs disaster and panic around the bush crash, or has it been erased from the righty mind?

      It’s true that we’d have a much stronger recovery with more gvt spending and without the massive layoffs of gvt employees, but unfortunately Obama is a conservadem and we have a far right congress. Blame him and the TeaOP for slow progress, but not for the primary event caused by deregulation of the financial sector.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        that’s an interesting theory

        • Don_B1

          It is a theory based on and supported by empirical data, unlike anything the Republicans propose now.

      • HonestDebate1

        It should have been a blip, that was years ago. The middle class has suffered mightily under Obama’s policies.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Try to be honest. The deeper the crash, the longer the recovery. Couple that with austerity and deficit hysteria when gvt spending is needed to pump up the economy, and you get what we got.

    • jefe68

      Yawn.

  • ProudPatr1ot

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Rep. Cole and Ms. Boccia will suggest cutting both taxes and spending, and I’ll also guess that they’ll describe the spending as “wasteful” and the tax cuts as “relief for hard-working Americans.” I’ll bet that at some point in the conversation, either Rep. Cole or Ms. Boccia (or both!) will remind us all that we should be worried about the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcomes.

    Wake me if the conversation gets past these tropes.

    • hennorama

      Don’t forget “common sense reforms.”

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The Reagan Revolution followed by Newt’s Contract On America followed by the NeoCon’s W’enomics have demonstrated for three decades that wealth doesn’t trickle down. When are working folk going to wake up to the fact that food and shelter are more important than supporting a party that invokes guns, God, freedom, rights and moral family values when there is absolutley nothing moral in its commitment to doing everything in its power to deregulate corporations, reduce taxes on the wealthy, promote xenophobia, and weaken the federal government’s ability to protect us from amoral bussinessmen through regulation, and there is no commitment to guns, God, freedom, rights and moral family values when they stand in the way of their business interests.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      what do guns and shelter have to do with each other?

      • Don_B1

        Strawman!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Amen, 100% right. Real class warfare is raging and the romney types are winning. Meanwhile, according to the corporate media, class warfare is noticing it and mentioning it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    republicans and domocrats “plans” are just irrelevant distractions. the plutocrats plan is to eliminate the middle class because its not needed for plutocracy

  • Yar

    We no longer have class in this country, we have castes. Currently, class mobility is a thing of the past. Castes are the present and the peasant caste is close to revolution. Republicans are trying to keep the current system in place for as long as they can. No on immigration reform; no on tax reform; no on healthcare reform; no on environmental reform; No, just no! This will not end well.

  • vito33

    “The Republican Plan For The Middle Class”
    You’re kidding, right?
    The Republican Plan For Anyone Other Than The Top 1%: “Drop Dead.”

    • Don_B1

      Except for enough minimum-wage workers to do their bidding.

  • Michiganjf

    Loved that NPR story about State Health Care clinics in Montana saving the state millions by giving state employees FREE health care!!
    Thanks Democratic Governor Bullock, for insisting Republican State senators recognize savings by smudging it into their faces!

    How?

    By doing many of the same things Obamacare is doing, as well as by providing structure more similar to what would occur under a single payer system!

    Meanwhile, national Republicans and MOST state Republicans are doing the exact opposite, where they can push their weight around- closing down clinics everywhere to pursue their anti-choice base-rabble-rousing, and opposing Obamacare to further rile up their base.

    That is Republican’s answer to the American middle class… backwards, backwards, backwards!

  • MrNutso

    The Republican plan for the middle class is more abortion restrictions including TRAP laws, voter suppression, and elimination of health insurance. At least that seems to be the only legislation they are voting on a state and national level.

    • MrNutso

      I also forgot to mention shutting down the federal government, and destroying the world economy and full faith and credit of the USA.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        how about cutting SS and Ryan vouchers instead of medicare?

        • MrNutso

          Was there a vote on that or just bloviating?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, please ask the Politico reporter when the debt ceiling started being a crisis.

    From the historical background given, all I can figure is that it’s been a national issue for decades.

  • burroak

    Numbers, math, arithmetic, if America continues on this increasingly widening-economic disparity/gap between the 1% and the rest, it seems logical that American poverty will continue its epidemic growth; and with this all the societal negatives that are inherent with it.
    Why is there not a plan to have American manufacturing hubs that make everyday things: food, clothing, shelter, energy, transportation, and in the 21 century: technology.
    What is the Republican middle class master plan/ blueprint?
    America can easily dish out billions to other countries in foreign aid; but American aid via middle, lower class, oh, that’s just to incredibly, painstakingly, difficult.
    Does congress not want to see/witness American families, cities, towns, communities become and remain economically healthy? Or are there more Detroit’s, Stockton’s in the pipeline?

  • Prairie_W

    What makes the ongoing Republican damage to America somewhat easier to take these days is the concurrent spectacle: they’re tearing themselves apart as a political party. What they’re left with is their most destructive faction and that faction’s hangers-on — a kind of goon squad that actually beat people up during the 2010 campaigns and now are just a bunch of rowdies.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: It’s almost August. That means Town Hall meetings. Let’s remember what to expect from Tea Party sorts in upcoming when Congresscritters press the flesh.

      Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.

      Be Disruptive Early And Often: You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep?s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep?s statements early.

      Try To Rattle Him, Not Have An Intelligent Debate.

      • MrNutso
      • Prairie_W

        Cameras, audio recorders — all these and more are the best weapons against these hoods.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          But what if I don’t have James O’Keefe’s MadEditingSkillz?

          • Prairie_W

            When you’re filming the right, you don’t need editing skills. Just keep the camera on. They are wonderfully self-destructive. Need no outside help.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Okay, we’re listening to a new plan in a sound clip from Paul (Not The Math) Ryan and not laughing at it?

    Talk about “everyone gets a trophy”!

    Don’t ask a Beltway reporter about this. Ask a real goddamned econominst.

  • Michiganjf

    The CBO showed Paul Ryan’s “budget” would have cost America hundreds of billions, rather than saving a anything!

    The election showed American’s didn’t buy Ryan’s lies either!

  • AC

    anyone mention ‘tort reform’ yet……

    • Art Toegemann

      Pay the award?

  • StilllHere

    The sequester clearly demonstrates we can cut and have growth as well. Democrats seem to think the government should be the engine of economic growth, as if the dollars the government spends come like manna from heaven. And before you go to extremes creating some strawman, no one is talking about ending the government; just eliminating the incredible amount of waste, fraud and abuse that even Obama recognizes. The sequester shows that this is easy and mostly without pain unless you are a beneficiary of the waste, fraud and abuse.
    The only option for the middle class shouldn’t be working for the government, necessitating taxing the middle class even more to pay for these do-nothing jobs.
    It’s interesting that this panel includes a Democrat, why is it necessary to have Tom and a party stooge to create the image of balance. It wasn’t necessary last week on various shows full of liberal hand wringers.

    • jefe68

      Why are you such a troll?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Can we maybe stop the Team Red/Team Blue rah rah BS and try to figure out why government programs that now account for one quarter of the economy have done nothing to eliminate poverty or promote development of the middle class over the past 40 years, through Democratic and Republican administrations alike?

    Yes, Republicans are war-mongering thugs who think capitalism is big businesses receiving corporate welfare, and who want to tell women what to do with their bodies. Yes, Democrats are class-warring, limousine liberal hypocrites who are economically illiterate and hostile to individual rights that aren’t focused on minorities or identity politics. Both parties are the problem. Neither party cares about what will expand the middle class. The only thing politicians care about is number one: themselves, their reelection, their power, and their own wealth. Democrats and Republicans both.

    And so they play you against each other to distract you from the real problems that come hand-in-hand with big, intrusive government. Stop being their useful idiots and stalking horses, and most of all, stop choosing to give these parasites any more power.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      What nation are you talking about? In the USA we’ve spent 33 years cutting taxes and deregulating the corporations. That’s the problem. Yes, both parties have participated.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Calm your outrage for a moment and try to learn something. “Deregulation” is a misleading thing: the federal register in 1970 had around 20,000 pages, while the 2012 had over 77,000 pages, so clearly regulations are actually increasing.

        The problem is actually “regulatory capture”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture) Long story short, a government regulator and the industry it is tasked with overseeing have a revolving-door hiring dynamic, which leads the regulator to implement policies favorable to the biggest businesses in the industry, choking off competition and effective regulation.

        Small business owners understand that the “deregulation” talking point is disingenuousness because they have to live through the increasing burden of red tape that makes it so much more difficult to start a business now than it was 50 years ago.

        Fewer new businesses mean two main things: fewer jobs, and greater concentration of jobs and power in big, abusive corporations that receive favors from government. That concentration of power at the top, in the elites of big corporations and government, is responsible for almost every bad effect you now blame on the ebil, ebil Republicans.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Geez you are pompous. Come down off the podium. Yes, regulatory capture is a big problem. It’s a great way to deregulate without legislating and a favorite of the voodoo econ gang. Nevertheless, despite all those pages you are so proud of, we have massively deregulated the corporations by legislation also. Both forms of deregulation, along with tax cuts are our problem.

          Do you remember

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            I’ve learned from experience that I have to speak slowly with you.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            No doubt that’s your default, in the real world.

            Wake up and look at the actual deregulation instead of citing page counts.

    • thequietkid10

      why government programs that now account for one quarter of the economy have done nothing to eliminate poverty or promote development of the middle class over the past 40 years?

      Any follower of capitalism could answer that….

      Because poverty is the natural state of man, there have been rich and poor people since the establishment of the first city.

      Because touchy feely government programs are no match for the laws of economics.

      Because the redistribution of wealth to the privileged/entitled is not Keynesian economics.

      Because if you make poverty even slightly more bearable then people are going to be slightly less desperate to get out of poverty.

      Because the only way for a real capitalist to get rich is to provide a good or service that benefits people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I hope one day soon there will be a democrat on this program. It seems like we get more than our share of these republician clowns.

    • StilllHere

      Wow, do you hate all women or just Nita? Plus Tom is always there to do your bidding.

  • Scott B

    The Republicans problem is what Norm Ornstein pointed out – They deny fact, science, history, and experience.

    Spending got us out of the recession, ala QE 1 & 2. The deregulation they tout is what let the banks play fast and loose (and in many cases entirely break the law) with other people’s money and crash the economy.

    Cut food stamps? These people can’t afford much as it is, and cutting their food budget is supposed to inspire them to go find job that isn’t there; or, more so these days, make their employers that are keeping them underemployed and underpaid, pay them more?

    • StilllHere

      QE is not spending so try again.
      Deregulation did not make people take on loans they couldn’t afford.
      What laws were broken and by whom?
      There are millions of job openings.

      • adks12020

        “There are millions of job openings” – sure are, if you are a high level executive or willing to work for peanuts you can definitely find a job. If you’re anywhere in the middle you’re pretty much out of luck.

      • RolloMartins

        Millions, yeah, for flipping burgers. As to what laws broken…much of the corruption was begun with Congress’ unwrapping of the protective regulations that bound Wall St. But legal corruption is still corruption (the worst kind, actually). But laws were still broken, as in the banking industry’s fraud in robo-signing mortgages. Also see the appraisal fraud committed by banks on unsuspecting buyers. This was a bank-fueled mortgage crisis, not caused by people taking on loans they cannot afford: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/07/the-fraud-shotgun-the-overlapping-fields-of-fraudulent-fire-that-drove-the-crisis.html

      • Scott B

        QE IS spending as burdens were BOUGHT. Last I looked, to buy requires payment aka SPENDING.

        The banks and mortgage companies were intentionally going after, and giving loans to, people they knew couldn’t afford the mortgages. This was all exposed in many investigations, Congressional, media, et al, At BoA their “Due Diligence” dept workers were told to approve loans for people that were not qualified for the loans they were applying for.

        There’s are many jobs openings, but Big Biz wants, and is getting, immigration law changed, so they can hire foreign workers at a far lower wages than the qualified Americans that are applying for them.

        • StilllHere

          Wrong, it requires printing. Buying can be investing, which is not spending.
          So people are stupid. I have a higher opinion of my fellow Americans.
          Please, foreign visa worker permits are minimal.

          • Scott B

            No printing is required these days.

            They BOUGHT troubled assets. Various kinds of investments were made, but to ignore that various things were bought and paid for is deliberate ignorance of what happened and a dictionary definition of investing:

            in·vest

            /inˈvest/

            Verb

            Expend
            money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by
            putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or…: “getting
            workers to invest in private pension funds”; “the company is to invest
            $12 million in its new manufacturing site”

            Look in a mirror, or at the 3 fingers pointing back at you when you point at someone else.

            I didn’t say anything about numbers. I said that Big Biz, IT and Big Tech in particular, such as Microsoft, want work visa programs, such as the H1-B, to be expanded in number and requirements to qualify for them to be relaxed. There are around 700,000 H1-B visa workers in the US at any one time.

  • Michiganjf

    WOW!!!!!

    Just LISTEN to Tom Cole go on and on about how Republicans just agree and agree with President Obama on SOOO many things!

    Odd how they can’t turn a single one of those “agreements” into a single vote for anything Obama proposes or supports!

  • MrNutso

    Tom’s “umm hmmm” pretty much summed it up.

  • MrNutso

    Howard Dean has jumped the shark.

  • Michiganjf

    What?!!

    Obamacare, that REPUBLICAN, Heritage Foundation program is “ill-conceived??!!”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      False argument.

      The Heritage Foundation NEVER proposed a 2,200 page bill with Cornhusker kickbacks, etc. Romneycare was only 60 pages. The devil is always in the details with government overreach.

      • manganbr

        Sure, but the principal idea of mandated individual coverage was in the heritage plan (and Romneycare), and it was the main point that republicans cited as unconstitutional to justify voting against the bill. I’ll grant that there’s likely a lot of unnecessary crap in Obamacare, but republicans definitively gave the impression that they wouldn’t vote for even a three page bill so long as it was based on mandated coverage. So I guess I’m saying you’re making a bit of a false argument here. You have to acknowledge that republicans in congress turned their backs on the core concepts that came from heritage.

      • ProudPatr1ot

        Is the “Cornhusker Kickback” the law of the land?

        Oh, it’s not? Oh, my mistake, sorry, what was your point again?

  • Roberto1194

    Republicans on all levels of government are vandalizing or otherwise confusing and delaying the Lawfully enacted health care plan in order to make it look like a failure.
    Emotionally regressive Political thinking and actions of this kind is a sickness that will infect and defeat all progress, and the well-being of our citizens in the process.

    • StilllHere

      Obama delayed it by a year and then excluded big employers so your comment doesn’t hold water. He seems to be guilty of emotionally regressive political thinking according to your definition.

  • MrNutso

    It’s called sovereign currency. And China holds about 8% of US debt.

    • StilllHere

      So somebody else has the other 92%.

      • jefe68

        Indeed they do.

        Social Security Trust Funds
        U.S. debt holdings: $2.67 trillion

        U.S. Federal Reserve
        U.S. debt holdings: $1.659 trillion

        Japan
        U.S. debt holdings: $1.083 trillion

        Savings Bonds & Other Investors
        U.S. debt holdings $1.102 trillion

        Pension Funds
        U.S. debt holdings: $903.4 billion

        Mutual Funds
        U.S. debt holdings: $797.9 billion

        State and Local Governments
        U.S. debt holdings: $444.6 billion

        Medicare Trust Funds
        U.S. debt holdings: $324.57 billion

    • adks12020

      To be clear, they buy our debt because they are confident that it’s a good investment. If they weren’t confident in our ability to pay it back they wouldn’t buy it.

    • hennorama

      As of the end of May, 2013:

      Total foreign-owned US debt = $5,678.4 Billion, and of that total, $4,097.9 B is held by foreign official entities, meaning $1580.5 B is in non-governmental hands. (banks, individuals, financial service companies, businesses, etc.)

      Chinese entities hold 23.2% of foreign-owned US debt ($1,315.9 B)

      Japanese entities hold 19.6% of foreign-owned US debt ($1,111.0 B)

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt (MAJOR FOREIGN HOLDERS OF TREASURY SECURITIES)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Congressman, tell it like it is…”

    Tom, it’s already too late for that.

  • jefe68

    The caller Jean just contradicted herself. That aside when are people going to get the idea that governments are not households or that they are a business. Governments are not a business. Also I bet if Jean could borrow money at almost 0% interest she would.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

  • Duras

    FDR and the unions built the middle class: there were pensions, low college tuition, and public employment. During the FDR republic, taxes on the top were much, much higher than today, corporate profit-to-wage ratio was narrower as was the CEO-to-average earner wages.

    It all changed in 1980. Giant tax cuts for people who never needed them, free trade agreements with countries that allow their workers to be exploited, government no longer blocks unnecessary corporate mergers, banks are above the law, and massive corruption. Market competition is a joke, while human competition is skewed to benefit the rich kids. And the wage ratios are in the same place as right before the Great Depression.

    I’ve heard the conservative theory that the middle class was built by some sort of spontaneous energy. Obviously, a lack of education has something to do with that theory. Like always, conservatives need to get real. Quit the racial scapegoating, quit the anti-intellectualism, quit the neo-Feudal attitudes, and let’s develop the real meritocracy that existed before Reagan, instead of this Social Darwinian crap.

    I find it laughable that republican politicians try to say they aren’t the party of the rich. In reality, they, republicans and democrats are both parties of the rich. Before Reagan, it was better: both parties more or less were parties that represented the working class. Eisenhower’s conservativism was an approach to policy to achieve liberal ends. Eisenhower also raised taxes, and Kennedy lowered taxes. Why did this happen? Liberalism is the middle ground between left and right economic policies: there is no doubt that a wealth class can be cosmopolitan and a meritocracy is good for society. But is superfluous wealth good for the whole of society? I think the last 33 years has proven it to not be so.

    • StilllHere

      You’re kidding right? Talk about a lack of education.
      Europe and Japan had to be rebuilt and we were the only ones capable of doing it.
      We apparently need a good world war to get into this position again.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Don’t bother. This dude has Reagan Derangement syndrome and an uncanny way of rewriting FDRs many failures into success.

        • Duras

          You realize that Reagan did cause a Genocide. And Nicaragua sued the United States through the International Courts and won.
          At least I don’t lionize someone who caused a genocide.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            More evidence of YOUR Reagan derangement syndrome.

          • Ray in VT

            Reagan did fund governments in Central America that were systematically murdering their own people, while continually certifying that conditions were improving there. That is not derangement. That it just the way that it was, and that isn’t even touching on the Contras.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Don’t forget Reagan supported Saddam’s use of chem weapons against iran leading to a massive, horrible slaughter.

          • jefe68

            More evidence of you not dealing with the reality of our nations deplorable history and abuses in Central and South America. Why do you think the term Banana Republic was intoned?

          • Duras

            Get real. Reagan caused a genocide. For your argument, Reagan wasn’t the only president to do such a thing….

            http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5

      • Duras

        You realize that during the World War you are talking about, FDR initiated a Nationalized Manufacturing project with high paid public employees.
        Second, look what created Japan’s middle class: unions. Japan has the strongest unions in the world. They can fire CEOs. And their wage ratios are better than America’s has ever been: 10:1 CEO-to-average earner.
        But yes, there is a linear history of free trade agreements with countries that allow labor exploitation and the auto industry moving out of Detroit and to those vary countries.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      FDR believed public sector unions were wrong and dangerous. As we can see with the IRS abuse it is impossible to fire bad employees who won’t cooperate with investigations.

      • Duras

        FDR believed that public sector employees had the right to collectively negotiate wages! Which is not what current republicans believe.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Fighting BiggerGovernmentHigherTaxesMoreRegulation
    BiggerGovernmentHigherTaxesMoreRegulationBiggerGovernment
    HigherTaxesMoreRegulationBiggerGovernmentHigherTaxesMoreRegulation
    BiggerGovernmentHigherTaxesMoreRegulation
    BiggerGovernmentHigherTaxesMoreRegulation

    Wow. Tom Cole is over time? Who could have guessed?

    Rep Cole would “love to talk about a GOP congress working with a Dem president”. Hey, I remember when the GOP gave a crap about governance, too.

    Extra penalty points for saying “isolationist” (compared to “free trade”) and that China is “capitalistic” without a whisper of the, um, unpleasant side effects.

    What kind of money do I need to donate to WBUR so this guy is never invited again?

    • Duras

      Democrats are missing a real opportunity to turn that “big government” narrative on its head. Since when is supporting our universities, our firer fighters, our teachers, our police officers, “big government”?
      But the NSA, off-shore penal colonies, and our giant military is not “big government”? And liberals are the one for the Orwellian State…?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’d like to think as much, but narrative doesn’t exist without the media’s say-so.

        And that’s full of Beltway Inbreds, and Harold Ford Jr passes for a Democrat there.

  • Scott B

    Republicans want to slash programs, hurting the most those that can least afford to loose what little help they get, yet they want to massively fund a border defense system that would double the system and spend tens of billions, at a time when there’s negative illegal immigration.

  • RolloMartins

    Oklahoma seems to have the extremist, GOP propaganda locked up for the foreseeable future. “Less regulation”: we need more; “less gov’t”: we need better, more active gov’t protecting citizens from corporate malfeasance.

  • StilllHere

    Did we forget that the sequester was Obama’s idea?

  • MarkVII88

    Tom Cole said, at 10:37, that the US is the 8th most educated nation when we used to be #1. How does the GOP seek to fix this while at the same time dumbing-down their message to appeal to the lowest-common-denominator of the US population? Republicans and conservatives routinely use social issues that resonate with uneducated Americans. It’s easy for a rural high-school drop-out who faces losing his/her job at the local factory to comprehend that “Gays are bad” but it’s hard to sway the same person based on economic numbers, figures, projections, and actual fiscal policy. In my opinion, Republicans are counting on the ignorant, uneducated Americans to keep voting their way.

    • Ray in VT

      The sort of behaviors and attitudes described in this article sure aren’t going to help us compete in terms of science and technology with other advanced countries:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/next-generation-science-standards_n_3672418.html

      • MarkVII88

        Any political party whose representatives across the nation have supported teaching “intelligent design” in public schools, while purporting that evolution is merely a “theory” certainly aren’t doing our young a service. Additionally Republicans are showing a complete lack of vision by attempting to steal the rights of 51% of the US population (women) with their religiously motivated and outdated public health policies. How do you expect to stay in office if you alienate 51% of America???

      • MrNutso

        Love the slide show.

        • hennorama

          From the slide show:

          “Indiana

          “In July 2011, Indiana school officials announced that students would no longer be required to learn cursive writing, effective Fall 2011.”

          AND

          “Hawaii / North Carolina

          “Following Indiana, Hawaii dropped cursive writing from its mandatory school curriculum. Going into the 2011-12 school year, the state adopted the national Common Core State Standards, a set of education standards that omits cursive but includes keyboard proficiency. Now, principals decide whether their schools teach cursive.

          “Pitt County Schools in North Carolina recently followed suit, no longer requiring its students to learn cursive writing. According to Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Olmstead, a team of educators is working to figure out where to fit cursive writing into the curriculum so that students will have a recognizable signature. She says the district hopes to have a plan in place next year.”

          Anyone remember the furor over witness Rachel Jeantel, from the Zimmerman case, who indicated she couldn’t read cursive writing?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, let’s get ready to judge all of those Indiana kids as deficient for not knowing cursive. Plus they don’t know how to use an abacus or a spinning wheel.

          • hennorama

            Turns out Ms. Jeantel was actually a trend-setter.

          • Ray in VT

            Next thing you know they’ll stop teaching Morse Code.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Actually, oceangoing ships no longer need to have an operator and radio equipment dedicated to morse code. The “big switch” was pulled several years ago.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet another sign of the downfall of Western civilization. I bet Obama was behind it.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The Feds shouldn’t be involved in education. Keep it local for better service.

      Your ‘educated’ voter rant is precious when it is the Democrats who claim their voters aren’t capable of getting a photo ID to vote.

      • MarkVII88

        Well Gov. Bobby Jindal did say, after Romney’s election loss that the GOP has to step it up and make strides with more voters. He said the GOP has to stop being the “stupid” party. Seems even he thinks the GOP has an image problem and its “base” needs a makeover.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Jindal seems to be one of the good ones but he is talking politics — not policy — in that statement.

  • Scott B

    Rep Cole, like so many Republicans, invokes Reagan’s name, forgetting that Reagan thought that the wealthy should be taxed at a higher rate, and that his tax cuts didn’t work and he had to raise taxes in 7 of his 8 years in office.

    • Duras

      Reagan raised it for pragmatic reasons. But he believed that the rich should pay around 25%, which is what the effective tax rate end up being. (The effective tax rate under Bush jr. was around 27%.)
      Make no mistake about it: during the 1950s when no one cared about how much the rich got taxed, Reagan was the nut of the Republican party, him and Barry Goldwater. It’s just that today, this country has moved so far to the right, economically speaking, that today’s republicans are so ideologically pure that they make Reagan look like he was looking out for the middle class.

    • jimino

      Reagan advocated taxing capital gains at the same rate as wages and proposed that employer-provided health insurance (which is deductible for the employer) be taxed as income, both of which are views that would be considered so left as to be communist in our present political/ignorant climate.

  • Emily4HL

    I “line up” with the middle…wait, what middle? I feel underrepresented.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tom, please ask Ms. Lowey about the $17T debt and the $125T in unfunded liabilities in so called ‘entitlements’. What is her plan to get these in balance?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The debt per taxpayer sits at $148,000.

      The unfunded liability per taxpayer is north of $1,000,000.

      • Duras

        Income fell 11% for 99% of Americans since 2000, while income increased 11% for 1% of Americans.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          And with a duration of less than 5 years on this debt we will be in deep do-do when interest rates inevitably increase.

          • Duras

            That is why if we don’t tax people who can easily afford it, we will actually be spending more money on debt interest. How is that for an ideological conundrum?
            P.S. we can end the deficits right now if we taxed the top like we did before Reagan.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There are two problems with your response. The first is you assume that new revenues would be spent on debt/deficit reduction. Obama has already indicated that he wants INCREASED spending.

            The other fallacy in your argument is that the increased taxes will reduce economic growth. We will be much better off (and raise more revenue) if we reform taxes to spur 5% economic growth and then raise revenues (eventually — down the road) with a modest broad based tax so that everyone has skin in the game. A system with only 50% paying income tax is unsustainable.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Oh, that “skin in the game” crap again.

            I want to squeeze the last blood out of the turnip when you’re the poor slob who’s living what the right calls the “high life” by being so poor they’re not on the Federal income tax table.

            You really have a blind spot for all the fun it is to be poor and how every other tax hits them harder.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I have no interest in sticking it to the poor but isn’t it obvious that if we have a system that allows people to vote themselves other peoples stuff it is destined to fail. The solution to all our woes is robust economic growth and Obama just doesn’t get it.

            He is more interest in spreading around the crumbs left over and we see the results. It actually hurts the middle class and poor. Medium income is down $2,700 under Obama. So much for the ‘recovery’.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yeah, sod off. There’s just something pitiably unaware about how poor people “vote themselves other peoples’ stuff”. And there’s also something acutely naive about how righties are saying to the paycheck-to-pacheck class “You can’t be middle class–too many feet between the rungs in the ladder–but you can start paying fed income tax like you were middle class”.

            Cos being poor is such a fugging cushy ride in this country. No savings? No retirement account? Hey, that’s two fewer statements to worry about during tax-prep season!

            That right-wing media delusion of poverty is something you need to have knocked out of your brain.

            You shoulda stood in bed rather than start this losing gambit of yours. Every idiotic right-wing narrative you regurgitate is not your friend.

          • jefe68

            But the poor have refrigerators and microwaves and TV’s. How can they be poor if they have appliances?

            They should be living in cardboard boxes and look like the poor from the Great Depression era.

          • Duras

            Again, before Reagan, when taxes and discretionary spending were high, what did budgets look like?
            You see the problem with your argument is that it exist in a dreamland. Whereas my argument has history, which is the only empiricism that exists in political arguments. You’re doing metaphysics.
            Individual taxes has zero relation to business. Other than the fees, loss of private homeowner ship to endless bank mortgages, student debt payments, that are in a way working man’s taxes, that drive down consumerism and hurt businesses.
            Obviously, business is better with money in the costumers’ pockets than an after business, individual tax on the owner. If the business man cares about his business, he or she would make the employees lives their number one product instead of buying a summer home.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually a summer home adds to the economy. We need more of them to get the economy going again.

    • Duras

      Please ask Ms. Lowey why the FDR republic had balanced budgets, while the age of Reaganism is filled with deficits.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      We’ll worry about it when all the True Principled Conservatives who stamped their feet during Shrub’s reign get their act together and get in power.

  • Michael Abrams

    No matter what the various republican and democrats tell us, Congress has been in a failure mode for years. If these folks were really representing their constituents we would have had these issues addressed early on before the last several years of partisan infighting occurred. It is unfortunate that we have a non white president who the Congress appears to be willing to lay the blame on instead of doing what they should know is the correct course of action for us. Many of them have not read all of the “Obama care” yet have challenged it. It is the job of the Congress to read and alter these proposals as required instead of being media darlings.

    • StilllHere

      Please, the people who supported it haven’t read it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, couldn’t you have asked Tom Cole about how Speaker Boehner walked away from the deal Republicans asked of Obama two years ago (like Rep Lowey is saying now)?

    If you feel the need to play “bothsides” games, please do it better.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama blew it up by asking for more taxes after the deal was done.

      • Duras

        Why do republicans have such a religious opposition to tax increases on people who can easily afford them?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’m not a Republican but I favor tax policies that increase economic growth. I have no problem if a few people get richer in the process because many more will benefit.

          Why do you want to punish success?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            No, nobody here is a Republican.

            Amazing, that.

            And any increase on the wealthy is “punishing success”.

            Hope you’re rich enough for your words.

          • Duras

            Republicans are fascinating, they don’t want to identify themselves as republicans but use titles like “Worried for the country” is rich with implicit meaning. In so many ways, they are so ashamed of themselves yet so coded and overly cryptic they become transparent.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            As the saying goes, “60 million people voted for Bush in 2004, and not a single one of them is a Republican.”

            They’re all unaffilitated, independent-minded conservative libertarians.

            Amazing how the rewrites happened when Shrub’s approval got so low that not even our Beltway Inbreds could pretend he was still successful.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obama’s approval is lower than Bush at this point in his second term despite Obama spending 6 years and $Billions in an anti-Bush marketing campaign that continues to this day.

          • StilllHere

            Judging by their comments, you’d think Bush was still president.

          • Duras

            What has changed in this country besides a health care law that hasn’t been implemented yet, a defanged financial regulations law, and 3% tax hikes on people who make $400k.
            You really think that progressives think we have done something?

          • StilllHere

            The ACA taxes have been implemented.
            Payroll taxes went up for everyone.
            I don’t believe progressives exist.

          • Ray in VT

            Aren’t payroll taxes now at the same rates that they were at at the beginning of the Obama administration?

          • jefe68

            Yawn.

          • Ray in VT

            According to Gallup for the week of July 25-28 2005 Bush’s approval rating was 44%, whereas for July 26-28 2009 Obama’s is 46%, so that is not correct. I think that it is pretty pointless, though, to go week by week to compare approval ratings.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You’re right on the “week by week” thing.

            When a Democratic pres is popular, it’s never news.

            The right-wing advocacy press has a penchant for continually making up fake “unpopular Obama” headlines and memes. File enough of them often enough, and one day one of them will be correct.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yeah, your idea of which Pres spends money to market is hilarious (for us) and sad (for your gullibility).

            When a Democratic pres is popular, it’s never news.

            The right-wing advocacy press has a penchant for continually making up
            “unpopular Obama” headlines and memes. File enough of them often
            enough, and one day one of them will be correct.

          • jefe68

            I guess regressive conservatives and Ayn Rand social Darwinist would fit the bill. If that chap did not say he was not a Republican one would never had known.

          • Duras

            The rich can’t be rich without other people. The whole reason why human beings came out of the jungle was mutual food, mutual safety, mutual peace, then this regressive conservative attitude manifested and has tried to throw people back into the jungle ever since.
            I have no problem with meritocracy, but I think the meritocracy should reflect the reality that people can’t get rich without other people. I think poverty is unjust and morally wrong, and it causes cyclical effects that are hard to break. Moreover, I believe, like Adam Smith, that the rich have a responsibility to ensure equal opportunity and pay as much as possible back to society, while maintaining meritocracy.
            Resources matter, and it is real easy to become successful when you daddy sets his kid up with a stock portfolio during college, while other kids, who grew up on food stamps, have to join the military, risk their lives in order to pay for college.
            Like I said before, republicans are voting for the real entitlement society.

        • StilllHere

          Why do Democrats want to punish unduly those who succeed and allow slackers to avoid consequences of their inaction?

          • Duras

            Why do you think kids growing up on food stamps have the same opportunity as upper class kids?

          • Duras

            And I think your comment illuminates why liberals on this board sees an inherent awkwardness in the title of this program: “The Republican Plan for the middle class.” As articulated by you, you comment implicitly entails that there are winners and losers, and that the winners have the right to take as much of the resources and income as they can because the “worked for it,” which leaves what for everyone else? Now do you see why your ethic is dangerous to the existence of the middle class?

          • StilllHere

            In your language, I don’t believe winners take, I believe they make. The middle class is made up of winners who make. Losers take because they don’t make. You would have us all drop to the lowest common denominator, subsisting on state aid for multiple generations and punishing those who are willing to work for a better life.

          • Duras

            Supporting universities, and public employment is supporting the middle class. Higher wages in the public sector means that private sector has to compete for that talent with better wages. The destruction of unions in this country has corresponded with the destruction of wages and pensions as well.
            If Reagan had never transformed the way income was distributed in this country, the trajectory of average income from the 1970s to now means that it would be around 77K today.
            No one wants to tax middle class Americans! In fact, I would lower taxes on middle class American and tax the snot out of upper class Americans to support universities, health care, and public sector jobs, which are the institutions that keep the pursuit of happiness alive. Social mobility has narrowed under the Reagan political economy. I’m all about making sure the upper class makes sure there is opportunity.
            You seem to be hung up on food stamps and social welfare, which is to say that you are probably hung up on race. Let me tell you something rich republicans don’t talk about food stamps and welfare because they don’t care about it because it is not a budget issue. They talk about social security and medicare, which is their real object to destroy. Republicans love food stamps because it is a rhetorical device to get racist, middle class people to vote against their own economic interests.
            I believe that if unions weren’t virtually illegal in the South, Walmart employees would unionize and create a middle class life. Instead, four Walton grandchildren, who never worked a day in their life, are all making billions off the backs of impoverished people, and we the tax payers are subsidizing Walmart employees to the tune of $1000 per employee so working people can get by.
            That is what you defend. I fight for working people. You fight for the leisure class.

  • MrNutso

    Romina is too strident.

    • StilllHere

      Why are you challenged by strong, smart women? I hope it’s not sexism.

  • StilllHere

    I recently drove 2,000+ across the East coast and Midwest with many stops along the way. I witnessed busy tollways, mall parking lots full of cars even with gas at $4 and sitdown restaurants with 30 minute+ waits. Unless the 1% was following me around, I believe the middle class is healthier than they are made out to be. Sure, they’d like to be richer and feel complete security about every aspect of their lives, but they’re not sitting at home whining about their plight on NPR discussion boards. Well, some are.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      First, you come off as the misbegotten lovechild of George Will and David Brooks. Hope that’s what you were after.

      Second, you’re trying too hard to convince me of your manly wood chopping cowboy-hat Reaganesque virility. I’m not buying it.

    • Ray in VT

      Tell me about it. Your whining can get pretty boring.

      • jefe68

        Funny how one can’t help but think of that Forrest Gump quote: “Stupid is what stupid does.”

      • StilllHere

        I’m very happy, nothing to complain about that’s under my control at least and I’m nowhere near the 1%. But thanks for asking.

        • Ray in VT

          No probs.

  • ThirdWayForward

    We have yet to hear any plan.

    The title of this program is misleading because it implies that Republicans have a coherent plan. All they do is complain and obstruct. The conversation here keeps turning to their problems with Obama rather than any alternative plan because they simply do not have a plan. They are completely bereft of ideas.

    At every turn, the Republicans sell out the middle class –

    by facilitating shipping of jobs overseas

    by supporting raising of college loan rates

    by weakening unemployment insurance programs

    by dragging their heels on infrastructure spending and anti-cyclical spending of all sorts (they do not want the economy to recover on Obama’s watch)

    by taking tax burdens off the 1% and loading them onto the 99%

    It’s just so obvious who are the real clients of the Republican Party and their concerted efforts countrywide to suppress voting speak volumes about their sincerity.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, is this idea of Congress not funding a passed law something new?

    I don’t remember much about it in the past. What does your reporter from Politico say?

  • manganbr

    I can understand when republicans express their concerns in terms of deficits . . . but when they suggest a cause and effect relation between cutting government and growing the economy, I can’t come up with either a theoretical or empirical justification for that approach. In theory, there are positives and negatives: cutting government should leave more tax money in the marketplace, but it also defunds military industries and reduces monetary benefits mainly for the poor, middle class, and seniors. The idea that the extra tax money will outweigh these negative effects is a hope, but has it ever been born out empirically? Great Britain’s austerity program doesn’t appear to be producing growth. When has cutting budgets led to substantive growth in our history? My understanding is that deficits grew even during the Reagan administration. I ask this sincerely, when ever did an indisputable reduction in overall government spending correlate with economic growth?

    • thequietkid10

      It’s a simple concept, there are several problems with government spending as a method of stimulating the economy.

      1. Government dollars serve multiple masters, where a business spends with the hope that this spending will lead to more growth, government spends to appease a number of masters, that is people who donate, people who lobby for a special interest group want government to spend on their interest, regardless of whether it is effective or not.

      2. Government obtains the majority of it’s wealth through taxation (which takes from people who would spend it on something anyway) or the Fed (who causes inflation and makes the price of every bodies goods go up)

      3. Government has an “unlimited” supply of cash. There are no consequences if bureaucrats and politicians spend poorly, it’s not their money.

      • manganbr

        Why did you reply to my post? It doesn’t sound like you understood anything that I wrote! I don’t at any point mention that increased government spending can help improve an economy. And I already acknowledged one of your points. I asked for one historical example of a moment when cutting overall spending spurred growth (because that’s what the speaker on the show was asserting in theory). Can you give me an example?

        • thequietkid10

          You asked “I can’t come up with either a theoretical or empirical justification for that approach.”

          I gave you three.

          As for your historical examples, that is really hard to do because these things don’t happen in a vacuum, but the best I can come up with is the Kennedy cuts in the 60s, The Clinton capital gain cuts in the late 90s, and the Bush tax cuts in the 2003.

  • Art Toegemann

    I will take this opportunity to note that we have paid into Affordable Health Care for two years but we still don’t have it. I am for universal health care.
    These cuts are the final straw. We have suffered astronomic wealth disparity but as our needs were met. When those needs are not met, disaster is the next effect.
    The wealthy will cheat their Security too: the final straw.

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    The USA is the third largest (population) country in the world! It’s TBTM (Too Big To Manager) or TCTC (Too Complex To Comprehend) at this point. Other smaller countries are able to be more flexible, adaptable, and innovative. We are like the ocean liner that takes hours to steer in a new direction.
    In the long run, we are going to decentralize. The Federal Government’s power is dying. Focusing on how it doesn’t work may make good radio today, but it doesn’t really help to shine a light on where we’re headed and how to get there.

  • Ray in VT

    It is both difficult and problematic to compare policies and outcomes in countries with such disparate factors such as exist between the United States and Germany. Ms. Boccia espouses what is good about Germany in terms of their economic policies, and they certainly do seem to have a fairly good thing going, but Germany has very strong unions, national health care and a progressive tax rate that tops out at 45%.

    • jefe68

      Funny how she left all of that out.
      That’s how they roll over at the Heritage Foundation.
      Making a lot of stuff up to suite their agenda.

    • StilllHere

      France, Italy and Spain have all of that and more and they are circling the drain.

      • Ray in VT

        And how about the Scandinavian countries? They have all of that and more, and they are prospering.

        • thequietkid10

          You mean like Sweden?

          http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/05/22/186042744/riots-in-sweden-thats-right-sweden

          Yeah, they’re just happy as clams over there.

          From the article

          “Others cite a range of factors, particularly high youth unemployment levels among people of immigrant origin, a problem that blights large parts of Europe.

          “There’s an underlying problem of a lack of jobs, and a perceived lack of opportunity among people living in these areas,” says David Landes, editor of The Local newspaper in Sweden.”

          Even the occupy movement was never THAT despreate.

      • Duras

        Jimmy Carter modeled his energy plan after the Germans, but Reagan threw it out. Now, Germany is the most energy efficient country in the world, and look at us.
        There was nothing wrong with the macro-economic policies that existed between FDR and 1980. Yes, government was over-regulated, and it was Carter who first deregulated government judiciously. It is sad that Reagan won and transformed the country.
        Public employment never got to the levels they exist in Southern European countries, but historically America was strongest when public employment was around 25% of the economy instead of the 12 or 13 per cent it is today.

        • StilllHere

          By what measure?
          Reagan’s election was a reflection of the transformation that had already occurred no matter how much you apparently want to go back to the liberal nirvana of the late 70s.
          Government debt and unfunded liabilities have never been as high as a % of GDP as they are today, we’ve gone way way past the point of optimal. A normalization of the interest rate environment will doom us all.

          • Duras

            “liberal nirvana of the late 70s….” Learn how to read. I never said such thing.
            Second, when taxes on the rich and discretionary spending were high we had balanced budgets every year in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s. It is only when conservative idiots ran around screaming “commie this, commie that,” which goosestepped this nation into Vietnam is when are budgets started to go bad; right around 1970, five years into the Vietnam War. They were still better than Reagan’s budgets.
            Moreover, the regulations of the 1970s blew up during the Nixon administration. Again, it was Carter you judiciously deregulated government first. It was Reagan who took it to a new level and create the illusion of market competition and corruption that now exists.

          • StilllHere

            Recent government spending trumps every other period by any measure and looking at unfunded liabilities, it’s only going to get worse.

          • Duras

            But look where government is blotted! I.e., the military. Second, I wish democrats would talk about how the immigration bill is a Social Security and medicare bill. The fact is that we are an aging population and we must have enough young tax payers to support the retired, or it’s going to get pretty ugly in America.

  • burroak

    Any American could shop in any store across the nation and discover a greater percentage of products stamped:”Made in China or elsewhere. Why is that? The new Chevrolet Camaro is 100 percent in Canada. And how does that employ a Manufacturing-Midwestern-Man?

    • hennorama

      burroak – just be sure your passport is current.

  • Duras
    • thequietkid10

      And yet people keep leaving the most progressive part of the country for more conservative south and west.

      http://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/024/

      • Duras

        That’s because the baby boomer generation is retiring, idiot. Think, for Christ’s sake.
        The liberal states are still carrying this country’s GDP. But if you want poor health care, poor universities, poor schools, and poverty all around you, move to the South.

        • thequietkid10

          Try again….This population shift has been going on since 1950. The economy of upstate New York has been stuck in a malaise for decades. Only now is Buffalo showing any signs of life, and I am uncertain it will last long after Governor Cuomo’s billion dollar check dries up.

  • MrNutso

    Romina, is that like Bush ramping up deficits including increased spending and leaving it for the next guy?

  • margbi

    Not much will happen until Boehner values what happens to the United States more than he values his job as speaker.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, a Heritage hack you’re asking seriously?

    An economist would tell you:

    Means-testing Medicare is bad for Medicare.

    Raising the eligibility age for Medicare is bad for Medicare.

    And for mere rhetorical sake, let’s remember what “entitlement reform”, “out of control”, and such means with the GOP being the tantrum-throwing infants of this era.

  • walterwz

    Politics is about making the rich happy and everyone else afraid. The Rich and their Republican lap dogs will not rest until there is no social security, medicare or any other trace of the social safety net. The real bad news is the Democrats are looking for every possible way to compromise here.

  • jimino

    I wish that when someone like Rep. Cole or others calling for reductions in things like food stamps and Medicare are on a show like this, they would be asked to specify exactly how they would change eligibility requirements for those programs and exactly who they would kick off.

  • ThirdWayForward

    National defense is not being “squeezed out” — at $700 billion/year — this is a ridiculous statement. The best thing we could do for our national defense would be to get out of Afghanistan. Non-defense R & D, on the other hand, is currently being strangled by their obstructionism.

    This 7/1 tax increase/spending cut ratio figure in Obama’s budget sounds completely unreliable — the Republicans have so little credibility because they distort (and frequently make up) facts — one cannot take anything these people say at face value. It all needs to be corroborated before it can be discussed. It is sad that this is the case — the country could really use an intellectually honest, pragmatically-oriented center-right political party.

    We have to get ourselves out of the grip of Tea Party madness — the rabid right is maybe 25% of the electorate, but they have succeeded in blocking most government action — action that we sorely need to support economic recovery.

    How they managed to capture state legislatures in 2010 and gerrymander Federal districts so that they have control over the House of Representatives is a process that we still need to understand. All the radical conservative measures that ensued (voter suppression, health care reform nullification, abrogation of reproductive rights and sexual freedom, expansion of gun rights, union busting, anti-immigrant measures) all came out of that 2010 wave.

    Maybe it would make sense for On Point to consider a segment on the rise of the Tea Party and the radical right — how we got to this point nationally and how we might get beyond it. A grand bargain won’t work, given their priorities, but what will? Today’s program was unhelpful in terms of finding a way out — need to address the underlying structural drivers of our politics. Not clear how far to go back in the history (Gingrich, Reagan, Goldwater, John Birch Society? Know-Nothings?) to find the roots of this mass madness.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    One problem with the Heritage Hacks is that nobody ever calls them on their failed predictions. The media continue to take them seriously. No accountability for righty hacks. Here’s an amusing link. I love their prediction of all the job growth that would follow from the bush tax cuts.

    http://liberalbias.com/images/content/Heritage-Foundation-vs-Liberal-Data-500×409.jpg

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Let’s call Obama on all his failed predictions.

      How about promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term? Or how about his promise to cut unemployment to below 6%. Not even close — especially when you factor in the record number of part time workers which deflates the unemployment rate.

      • StilllHere

        Why does the media continue to take him seriously? Good question from TomK.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Indeed, they both suck.

        I can tell it hurts both of your brains to think so, but it *is* possible for both parties to be full of it.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          We agree but let’s add the media because they are major part of the problem in preventing real reform of the Federal government.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          “hurts your brains”? Are you having a bad day?

          FYI, I’ve said about 99,999 times that despite the liberal talk, Obama is a righty conservadem in bed with wall st. There are very few liberals in the picture, and there are very few traditional conservatives.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            TomK — you can say it a million more times but it doesn’t make it true. Obama may protect his Wall Street cronies but he is still a leftist and a Statist.

          • Duras

            No, Obama is spineless. He is ideologically a Roosevelt-liberal, but he is no Roosevelt.
            You remember Roosevelt? The guy who built the middle class and is the nightmare of republicanism….

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Roosevelt was no Calvin Coolidge and neither was Bush.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, few presidents have done as little as Coolidge, and I don’t think that that is something to hang one’s hat on. How did that whole roaring 20′s and lack of regulation work out starting in 1929?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Where is the VT pride? LOL.

            Don’t blame Coolidge for Hoover’s ineptitude.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s no need to have pride in that with which one disagrees. Stephen Douglass was a Vermonter, and one of my ancestors, but I have little positive to say regarding his positions as opposed to those of Lincoln.

            I think that Hoover’s gotten a bad rap. The market crashed 6 months after he came into office, and the factors that led up to the calamities of the late 1920s had roots that were years deep. Hoover did what he could, but his ideology and conception of government’s role prevented him from doing more to attempt to avert the worst of the depression.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There is a lot of revisionist history about Coolidge and it is mostly from the left.

            Hoover signed Smoot-Hawley. Yeah, he did what he could I guess.

            I also recommend “Coolidge” by Amity Schlaes that was published recently. It is a scholarly work that sets the record straight — the good and bad.

            Friedman
            and Schwartz theorized that the death in October 1928 of Benjamin
            Strong, governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and perhaps the
            most respected banker in the United States, set off a power struggle for
            control of U.S. monetary policy as Coolidge was preparing to leave
            office. This led to decisions by the Federal Reserve that catapulted
            America into the Great Depression. – ”

            http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/the-truth-about-coolidge-and-the-great-depression.html

          • Ray in VT

            The revisionism is being done by those who are attempting to “revise” the long track record in the historical literature by trashing FDR and promoting the laissez-faire policies that led to the collapse. I am familiar with Schlaes, and I am skeptical of her work. Having references does not make it scholarly. For instance, her book “The Forgotten Man”, which was also put out by Harper, recieved the following summary from a top reviewing resource: “Shlaes (editorial board, Wall Street Journal)
            fails to deliver on the promises of her subtitle: this book presents
            nothing new, nor can it be classified as historical scholarship. The
            work is a retread of common criticisms of the New Deal appearing
            recently, such as Jim Powell’s FDR’s Folly (2003). The author’s
            weak argument is that both Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
            extended the Depression by intervening in the economy.”

            If I was going to read a work about Coolidge’s presidency or the Great Depression, I’d rather read something written by a historian, like Robert Ferrell’s The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge or David M. Kennedy’s Freedom From Fear, and not something written by someone on the WJS’s opinion page.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK. Stay in your bubble if you’d like but I’ve read “Coolidge” and it doesn’t come across as partisan or a white-wash.

            The link I posted above is very interesting. Economics is always more precise with 20-20 hindsight. Notice that the influence of monetary policy is dominate as both a cause and extension of the depression. Milton Friedman, Christine Romer, Ben Bernacke. Isn’t Bernacke considered the foremost expert on the Great Depression?

          • Ray in VT

            I will gladly stay in the “bubble” where people who study history as a career write books about the topics that they study, as opposed to blatantly partisan and ideological writers. Quite frankly, have you not considered that it does not come across as partisan or a white-wash because it fits with your worldview? Consider me unimpressed with an organization dedicated to Calvin Coolidge, headed by a guy I’ve never heard of, offloading responsibility onto others.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK. But I stand by my opinion that “Coolidge” was a fair account of his life. In fact, much of the book was spent on the early years to provide a understanding of what made the man. If you are solely interested in policy of his political life then this isn’t the book for you (or you could skip the first half the book).

          • Ray in VT

            For my money, I’ll still stick to something like like Times’ American Presidents Series or the University of Kansas’ American Presidency series.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The Times Coolidge book is 159 pages plus notes. I haven’t read it but from the reviews it appears the author has personal biases against small government philosophy.

            Doesn’t seem like a serious work compared to the scholarly work Schlaes provided.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t trust customer reviews. Just take a look at the current reviews for something like Zealot or the Savage Continent. Everybody there things that they’re an expert. Again, sources and length don’t make something either good or scholarly. I’m just being cautious given Schlaes’ blatant biases towards what she presents as the positive benefits of Coolidge’s positions and policies.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “Jacob Heilbrunn of the The New York Times commends Shlaes’ thorough work, commenting, “(Shlaes) has assiduously
            researched Coolidge’s life, drawing both on his private papers (going so
            far as to photograph his appointment books) and on contemporary
            newspaper reports.”

            “The Economist
            gives Shlaes’ and her latest book high praise for revisiting an
            overlooked presidency. “American readers who believe intervention to be a
            good thing are likely to blanch at a controversial new biography of
            Coolidge … However, if they are brave enough to read on they will also
            discover a presidency of remarkable achievement that has received too
            little attention…. Ms. Shlaes’s biography provides a window onto an
            unfairly tarnished period. It deserves to be widely read.”

            ” Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review,
            praised Shlaes as “a brilliant journalist, who has a great feel for
            where the Republican party happens to be at any particular moment and
            instead of just echoing what’s being said, she’ll look ahead a bit …
            she’s saying there’s an older style of Republican politics that the
            party may be able to recapture.”

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. Saw those on Amazon. I would like to know what a historian with expertise in that particular era has to say about it. A lot can look good or convincing to a novice that falls apart when scrutinized by someone with very deep knowledge in a particular area.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Novice? Who is a novice? David Greenberg?

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, that guy only has history degrees from Yale and Columbia plus teaches at Rutgers. The Times series of books are meant to be short and readable, and if I recall correctly the one on George H.W. Bush was pretty good. Based upon the review of the Forgotten Man, unless Ms. Schlaes dramatically improved her technique, I would certainly weight the work of someone like Dr. Greenberg more heavily.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            It isn’t surprising that you are harsh about the “Forgotten Man” because she was quite critical regarding the numerous failed New Deal programs and the floundering economic policies of Hoover and FDR.

            No one is allowed to be critical of FDR, the liberal icon. I get it. Her criticism of FDRs policies weren’t as black and white as made out by the critics. Also, her critique was data based so her critics have to resort to personal attacks (eg, she used to work for the WSJ editorial board).

            http://reason.com/archives/2007/12/18/remembering-the-forgotten-man

            btw – it isn’t surprising that Krugman doesn’t like the “Forgotten Man” because he has also proposed similar make work programs (but this time unionized) to solve our current economic woes.

          • Ray in VT

            My issue is that historians seem to regard it as a piece of shoddy work that makes poor use of sources and selectively used those which supported her view. I have no problem with legitimate criticism, but sloppy, biased works by non-historians that stand opposed to highly regarded works by historians of significant repute and scholarship will not win a place in my reading pile. Also, using a Rand-fawning site as evidence or support isn’t going to win you much support from me either.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Amity Shlaes will continue to be a hack if you never existed.

          • notafeminista

            Seriously, does someone pay you if you use the word hack a given number of times?

          • jefe68

            Hack.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Or maybe the critics of the “Forgotten Man” don’t like the documentation of socialist and Marxist influence on the FDR administration. It is all their in their own writings (yes, they were prolific writers) for a historian like Schlaes to uncover and document.

          • Ray in VT

            NO, I think that it is because they think that it is poorly written and researched, and I think that a good number of historians would likely be insulted, professionally speaking, were they to have Ms. Schlaes included in their number, given how her work was received, based upon it’s merit.

          • Ray in VT

            Also from the review that I previously referenced:

            “The author provides no primary research–only anecdotal evidence from selectively chosen secondary sources.”

          • Ray in VT

            In that instance I was referring to the reader or the member of the general public who, not having deep knowledge in a subject area, may be lured down the road of poor or intentionally misleading work.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK. I get it. I am the novice.

            I am not an expert on Coolidge but I can recognize bias and scholarly work. In no way did Schlaes put Coolidge on a pedestal. If she did have biases, she did a very good job of hiding them in that particular work.

          • Ray in VT

            That was my implication, but I felt that it would be impolite to say so, and I’m not so sure about your ability to discern. If you can believe it, I don’t mean it as an attack, and I don’t think that you are stupid or anything.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No problem. I appreciate the clarification since I thought you were referring to Schlaes as the novice.

            I just finished “Bunker Hill” by Nathanial Philbrick. Maybe this one isn’t up to your standards but I found it also well researched and very interesting. And there are no political divides to evaluate the book (unless you are a closet Tory :) ).

          • Ray in VT

            Well, compared to someone like Greenberg in the field of history I think that she would or could be.

            I don’t have a problem with Philbrick. He won the National Book Award and Mayflower, which I have but have not yet read, received a very good review from the source that was not kind to the Forgotten Man. I was looking at Bunker Hill the other day, and I dislike his method of citing sources, which is a complaint that I also have with Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy books (which I would recommend). Bunker Hill has yet to be reviewed in the source that I was looking at, but it likely will, and if his track record is any indication, then I sure that it is a fine book. I think that Richard Ketchum’s book Decisive Day has long been considered the standard work on Bunker Hill, so I would like to see how they stack up next to each other. I thought that that one was good, as was his book Saratoga.

            No, I’m not a closet Tory ;), although I could probably argue their position. I had to read several patriot and tory works as part of a history seminar as an undergrad, and looking at how the viewed and described each other was very interesting. At that time, though, one of my ancestors was commanding a regiment of Connecticut militia, and I think that I spotted him once in a historical video game.

          • Duras

            Do you actually think there was a middle class before FDR? Do you actually think there was a lot of government around before the Great Depression?

          • jefe68

            At least Hoover realized his short comings and started government projects, such as the Hoover dam, to get people back to work. He was also an quite the humanitarian in his day. He helped save 6 million Russians from starvation in 1921. Was also in charge of what could be called the precursor of FEMA after the
            Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

            Coolidge, well he was not even close to the level of the political acumen of Herbert Hoover.

          • Duras

            The liberal-progressive presidents this country has had –Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt — are our greatest.

          • notafeminista

            You’re not talking about the same Roosevelt who tried to pack the Supreme Court and threw Japanese Americans into prison with no due process are you?

          • Duras

            No doubt, the interment camps were his black-eye.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How about putting a KKK member on the Supreme court? Another black eye?

          • Ray in VT

            That he did is certainly a dark spot upon his legacy (both FDR and Black), although Black ruled for the majority in Brown and some other important civil rights cases. It’s not like he was Thurmond or something.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. That one. The same one that led us through the Great Depression and led us to victory over the scourges of Nazism and Japanese militarism, while some of his domestic contemporary conservatives advocated doing nothing about the Depression and either staying out of Europe’s mess or being somewhat or openly sympathetic to the Nazi regime.

          • notafeminista

            The scourge of Japanese militarism that he goaded into war. Read some on Lillian Hellman. It wasn’t the conservatives who were sympathetic to the Nazis.

          • Ray in VT

            They would have gotten around to us sooner or later, along with the other European powers who were in what they claimed as their sphere of influence. Take a look at a book like Women of the Far Right:

            http://www.amazon.com/Women-Far-Right-Mothers-Movement/dp/0226395871/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375210806&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=women+of+the+far+righte

            It provides pretty good coverage of the sorts of people who, aided by a number of Michigan conservative Republicans who were sympathetic to fascism, managed to wiggle their way into Congressional hearings, where they promoted, among other things, collaboration with and/or to surrender the Nazis.

          • jefe68

            Oh you mean that same Japanese Imperial Army that committed the Nanking massacre and used human beings as experiments for pathogens. You mean that Japanese government. The one that had plans to invade the entire area of the Pacific including the the Hawaiian Islands.
            Not to mention our allies in New Zealand and Australia. You mean them, right?

          • notafeminista

            So you’re suggesting FDR’s actions were of a pre-emptive nature?

          • jefe68

            I’m not suggesting anything.
            Look, you’re going to poo-poo whatever I say. If you don’t understand the history of WW2 and how we went from a nation that was isolationist to being in a war footing that’s your problem, not mine.

            Did FDR use the power of his office to steer the US towards war in Europe, you bet he did and for some pretty damn good reasons. Was FDR’s administration perfect? Far from it. Even if FDR did nothing the US would have been at war with Germany and Italy by 1942 or 43.
            We would have been engaged in the Pacific against Imperial Japan eventually even if Pearl Harbor never happened.

            You sure do put the regressive back into Republican.You like to cherry pick events to suit ideology and to twist history to make it seem so simple. When it’s not.

            Where’s your wrath for the neocons in the Bush administration for how they manipulated the nation into a costly war that has basically been for nothing and is now the longest in our history.

          • jefe68

            And lets not forget he’s a socialist from Kenya and a fascist who wants to be a dictator.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You may believe that stuff but I don’t.

          • jefe68

            I was being sarcastic. Many on the right do believe that nonsense.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Don’t watch the talk, watch the walk. What leftist actions has he taken?

        • StilllHere

          I apologize on behalf of those who would rather insult you than discuss your interesting points.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        No comparison. I know you guys endlessly parrot about how the admin was too optimistic about what the ARRA wd do for unemployment. You ignore how it was too small and loaded down with tax cuts to get by the TeaOP, and in any event had an essential role in stabilizing the system after the deregulation crash. It worked, just not as well as one silly prediction. OTOH, the Heritage Hacks were completely wrong about the bush tax cuts. They predicted massive increases in jobs and economic activity, and we almost ended up with Great Depression II! Can you see the difference?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Tax cuts hurt unemployment?

          Your lack of logic is stunning.

          Also, remember Biden was tasked with tracking the jobs ‘created’ by the $900B stimulus program. How long did he do that? LOL

          Also, the financial recession had nothing to do with the Bush tax cuts. It had more to do with lack of oversight of FannieMAE and FreddieMAC (thanks Barnie Frank) which created the housing bubble and the repeal of Glass-Steagall which created the environment for ‘too big to fail’.

          Do you blame Clinton for the Tech bubble that ended his term?

          • Duras

            The housing bill was an attempt to make people pay mortgages to banks for the rest of their lives. It was written without one consumer protection, and it was made for the banks and not the people. It gave the banks lifetime costumers. It was the latest attempt by republicans to destroy private property. Reagan also had a hand in the recession when he deregulated the credit card industry, and let people go further in debt, creating a fake economy.
            Clinton was a corrupt politician in the age of corruption brought on by Reagan. Glass-Steagall was a law that was put in place by a real liberal. Clinton privatized the internet after decades of public funding. 90% of the funding that went to develop the internet was public, which started in the 60s. The internet should be free.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We’ve been through this before. FDR signed Glass-Steagall but it was passed before he was sworn in.

            Clinton’s Treas. Sec. (Robert Rubin) was actively working on its repeal.

          • Duras

            Senator Glass and Senator Steagall sponsored the bill but it was FDR who got it threw. Second, you assume that Clinton is a liberal when the policies he fought for were more conservative than Margret Thatcher’s.
            Clinton to me, is the non-racist version of a republican, and slightly more pragmatic. But his is the biggest traitor to the working class in American history.
            Second, I’m not a cheerleader for the democrat party like you are for the republican party. I see things in terms of liberal / conservative, progressive / regressive, structures of power / democracy; not republican / democrat.
            I hate Cllinton because he went along with the Reaganist republicanism.

          • thequietkid10

            “Clinton privatized the internet after decades of public funding. 90% of the funding that went to develop the internet was public, which started in the 60s. The internet should be free.”

            Wow, congratulations that’s the dumbest thing I’ve read this week.

            So instead of well run user friendly sites like Pandora, Facebook, Google, Amazon Huffington Post, Buzz Feed etc. we have something that is at best PBS and at worse Soviet Russia.

          • Duras

            Might what to rethink whose stupid and perhaps your entire life and ethical system because those companies would still exist and probably be doing better if the internet was free in this country.
            Only internet providers like ATT would be significantly hurt. All the companies you mentioned would benefit form the increase internet traffic!

          • StilllHere

            Incredible, he can’t lower the standard enough for Obama. Pathetic apologist.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You don’t know that tax cuts at the top heat up the financial casino? Stunning.

            The deregulated IB with their ultra-leveraged CDS, MBS, CDO etc caused the bush crash. You can’t bring down te whole USA if you lose just your own $. You need to owe 10x what you have via leverage. ps – the Bush SEC raised the allowable leverage on the big IB.

            I don’t care about your irrelevant distraction re whatever Biden did, just like I don’t care that they over-estimated the impact on employment. I care that it worked. If you look at the data, the Bush job destruction sharply turned around at that time. The CBO estimated a lot of jobs created by the ARRA.

            Clinton is a conservadem in bed with wall st, like Obama. He followed voodoo econ more devoutly than reagan. He installed the idiot greenspan. Of course I blame him.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Tom, we never had a super heated economy during Bush. We did have a housing bubble that was in place long enough for TV shows like “Flip this House” to be created.

            The recession was over in June of 2009 — before any of the stimulus was spent.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Not sure what nation you’re talking about – sure not the USA. And I don’t care about any technical definition of a recession. Use some common sense. It was NOT over in 2009. Look at the job loss/gain. Obama’s actions turned the crash around.

            http://www.bradblog.com/Images/JobLossGain_PrivateSector_Dec2007-Feb2011.jpg

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            The recession for the casinos was over in June 2009. The aftereffects were felt strongly by the rest of the country for another three years, and can still be felt today.

            Just because Bush, Bernanke and Paulson give $17.9T to the banks to clean their balance sheets of their own mess doesn’t mean the rest of the country will ever see any of that money.

    • thequietkid10

      uhhh the unemployment in the US was under 5% before the housing bubble (i.e. better then glory days we had at the end of the Clinton era)

      And no I didn’t get that from a right wing website, unless you call the US Dept of Labor a right wing website.

  • Bruce94

    Thanks, On Point, for featuring not one but two conservative hacks who so predictably demonstrate the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the conservative movement in general and the latest, extremist iteration of the GOP in particular. They were no match for Rep. Lowey who clearly and forcefully characterized their arguments for what they were: inane talking points and posturing, bogus economic doctrine, and the prattle of detached plutocrats that advance neither the country as a whole, nor the interests of the middle-class.

    Q: The Republican plan for the middle-class?
    A: Shrink it as much as possible.

    • notafeminista

      Who amongst conservatives actually meets your approval? Or is simply not falling in step with your worldview enough to earn the title “hack”?
      Does Guinness keep track of how many times the word “hack” is used in a single discussion?

    • thequietkid10

      Is there a point to that or do you just like calling people you disagree with names on the internet?

  • truegangsteroflove

    First, it should be clear that there is no such thing as a “Republican.” It is an assumed identity, easily shed when circumstances change. There is no such thing as a “Democrat” either, for the same reason.

    But they pretend the assumed identities are real, which means one thing to me: they are really in character, some of the best method actors around.

    The same goes for “think tanks.” The guest from the “Heritage” Foundation was right out of Central Casting. Perfect choreography in the dance of illusion. Hit all the marks, script delivered without error.

    The best performances come on Fox News, which has taken news as theater to a new level, mixing fakery with bombast. Politicians of both parties appear on Fox regularly. Even the President is on Fox on occasion.

    Given that the medium is the message, what truth can be gleaned from this? I think the main thing is that we are an escapist culture. We avoid facing things directly, and instead substitute with something that we can get excited about to build a barrier.

    This is why “Conservatism” is the prevailing political philosophy today. It is pure fantasy, mixed with bigotry and scapegoating, and is a much stronger drug than the portrayed “weakness” of “Liberalism.”

    Meanwhile, the Polar ice caps are melting. Our infinite-growth economic system heads towards collapse. Our social fabric is disintegrating. Our national security state is a blend of Keystone Cops and Monty Python, with money and malice lurking in the background. If the entertainment industry is any example, our response to these challenges will be even more extreme forms of escape.

  • 2Gary2

    this is easy–their plan is to continue to take from the middle class and give to the 1%. This is what they do.

    • StilllHere

      But the middle class has nothing to take and the 1% already has everything. Please coordinate your talking points with the party line.

      • notafeminista

        Ooh! And don’t forget the 1% will prevent anyone from ever having any too.

        • StilllHere

          Yes, because they spend every waking hour scheming how to get everything.

      • 2Gary2

        Just because the middle class has nothing to take means nothing to the republicans–they just took away food stamps which is literally taking food out of hungry peoples mouth. Conservatives are immoral.

        • thequietkid10

          On what planet is cutting food stamps “taking” from the middle class It was never there’s to being with.

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            So the plan is to get rid of the social contract? That worked pretty well for the French and Russian aristocracies too, if I recall. Then for the peasants afterwards, but it can be rather hard to think ahead if you’re watching your children starve to death.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You got it!

  • BostonDad

    “The Republican Plan For The Middle Class” A contradiction in terms !

  • Duras

    I think we are about to really help the middle class. All we have to do is make the rich in this country a little richer, and then it will rain upon everyone.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Now you get it. LOL.

      • Duras

        I guess Mitt Romney just needs to own a 5th mansion before he starts caring about other people.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You believe that Romney doesn’t care about other people?

          If so, you’ve been hoodwinked.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            I’d say you’re the one who’s been hoodwinked.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How so? Romney not only gives vast sums of money to charities to help out the poor but he also donates much of his personal time to those endeavors. I suspect very few of us live up to his personal standards. But if you want to be a hater — feel free — it is your right.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            Oh poor Mitt! If people would only see the halo he’s polishing!

            I suspect very few of us have engaged in the sorts of leveraged buyouts that he profited from at Bain, reaping millions while thousands of American employees were laid off. Ask people who lost their job jobs at Ampad, Dade international, and GS Industries and others as a result of Bain’s brand of vulture capitalism – i doubt they see Romney and his cohorts at Bain as angels.

            if disliking that form of vulture capitalism, makes me a hater – so be it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Romney never asked to be praised for his charity.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Romney’s whole business practice is destructive. Vulture capitalists are parasites. Bane is in the same league as drug dealers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hey Tom, have you been to Staples lately for a little destructive purchase.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Just like you ignore what the ARRA accomplished and focus on an irrelevant foolish prediction of its effect on employment, you ignore all romney’s destruction and focus on his one positive. Yes, he had one success, before he became a vulture. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to this entitled individual’s record, and we need to look at the complete balance sheet, if ideology will let us. Why not have a look at what Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich thought about that?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Now you are quoting Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich? I seem to recall they both ended up eating crow and apologizing for their comments.

            btw – I’ve worked for startups with VC investments and companies owned by private equity. They are different animals but both add value and can good for the economy in the long run. Most are not the Gordon Gekko stereotype that you portray because that is not a sustainable model.

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            … Romney gives vast sums of money to the Mormon Church. This then gets spent on missions trips to other countries promoting mormonism and the “church” of latter day saints, not on the poor.

          • Duras

            Romney hides his tax returns, while fire fighters show their ignorant republican neighbors their pay stubs to show them they aren’t government parasites. That’s the country we live in.

          • StilllHere

            Through charity and job creation, he’s done much personally for the American people. Obama, not so much.

          • Duras

            Every superfluous mansion he bought could have gone to feeding and housing the millions of hungry people around the world.
            Money that could have gone to cancer research, reduction of poverty, increased opportunity, etc., but apparently owning more than one can need is more important than helping people.

    • pete18

      Exactly, this the argument JFK used to reduce taxes on the wealthy.

      “Our true choice is not between tax
      reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget — just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records.

      In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out.
      This country’s own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out.
      And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now
      is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

      JFK Dec 14th 1962

      http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkeconomicclubaddress.html

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, when they were 91% marginal.

        Should they return to that, you may have a point.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        It’s incredibly stupid to argue that cutting taxes when they are high is the same as cutting them when they are low, but I expect no less from the righty ‘bots.

        • pete18

          So you admit that there are situations where cutting taxes on the rich is productive for an economy. This is my only point.

          All supply-siders agree there is a rate below which cutting taxes will not work. Whether we’ve reached that point or not on the marginal rates is unclear but certainly raising taxes (the Obama Keynesian solution) would be a drag on growth, which is what the economy and the middle class desperately needs now (growth not drag).

          I think it is clear that there is room for cuts on the capital gains rate, which would be quite helpful as well as tax simplification and reform.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Of course. We swing to extremes. When taxes are too high, cuts are good. When taxes are too low, increases are good. Unfortunately the voodoo econ mantra is that cuts are always good, and they like to refer to JFK, even tho he had a hi-tax starting point that is irrelevant today. Disingenuous.

            Since one of our primary problems is inequality, cutting the cap gains rate wd be insane. “Simpliifcation and reform” = tax cap gains as ordinary income.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The inability to index for inflation is a major fairness issue with long term cap gains. It is possible to realize a large tax bill on a loss in real terms. Keeping the rate low helps mitigate this unfairness.

          • pete18

            “Unfortunately the voodoo econ mantra is that cuts are always good”

            No, this is the liberal false narrative. Conservatives point to Kennedy to give open minded Democrats an opportunity to think about the issue without any of their boggie-man prejudices clouding their judgement. We also point to Reagan who cut a hi tax starting point of 70% (an equally unfair and ridiculous rate) with excellent results for jobs, inflation, growth and tax revenue collected.

            Cutting the cap gain rate would be fair, and would help the economy. http://accf.org/news/publication/capital-gains-taxes-and-the-economy

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            Why not have the capital gains rate and the income rate be the same?

            There will be investment regardless of the cap gain rate, changes merely affect how much there will be in the interim. Having the rate set to 0, something I’ve heard from some circles, would mean doing nothing for the actual problem of zero demand. If you expect no returns for the time being, why would you bother investing or building something?

            The “middle class” has been sucked nearly dry. The only ones with surplus wealth are currently sitting on it doing nothing.

          • Duras

            No one cared about taxing the rich before Ronald Reagan turned it into a religion. Reagan and Berry Goldwater were seen as the psycho republicans of the 1950s for such views.
            Also, the effective rate hovered around 50% before Reagan. And low and behold, the tax policy worked great. George Romney was still able to set Mitt Romney up with a stock portfolio in college, so what’s your problem?

          • pete18

            Most innovative people with new ideas that challenge the mainstream establishment are considered crazy until their ideas are adopted and become accepted, as Reagan’s tax policies were. The effective rate before Reagan certainly didn’t work in the 70s, that’s why Reagan got elected.

      • Duras

        You can actually look further down this tread and see that I talked about JFK reducing taxes on the rich.
        Liberalism, like I said, is the middle ground between left and right economics. I have no problem lowering taxes on the top when taxes were in the 90 percentile. But what JFK did not do is radically change America’s macro-economic policy to pit it against working people, like Ronald Reagan did.

        • pete18

          How did Reagan do that? By dramatically lowering the unemployment rate? Or was it by bringing down inflation?

    • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

      In rich golden showers….

    • hennorama

      Duras – as you know, “make the rich in this country a little richer, and then it will rain upon everyone.” = Trickle down economics.

      Trickle down = “Pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”

      An excellent example of Republispeak, as cynical as “rich person” = “job creator” and “estate tax” = “death tax”.

      All three are nonsense.

      The “trickle-down” or “supply side” economic theory is truly nonsense.

      Here’s how it’s supposed to work: cut taxes and regulations, which will make it easier for people to produce (“supply”) services and goods. The resulting economic growth and increased profits will increase overall tax revenue at lower rates. The “job creators” will rise up en masse and hire people left and right.

      This is pretty widely discounted as silliness and bunk. Bush II (and others before him) tried this nonsense, and we all know how well that worked out.

      Anyone who has owned a business knows this stuff is nonsense. The “job creator” is supposed to think “Wow! My taxes are lower now, so I’m going to hire someone today who I didn’t need and couldn’t profit from yesterday!”

      Yeah, right.

      • pete18

        It’s only discounted as bunk by Keynesians, It worked under Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 2. Your description of what supply side theory is is also inaccurate.

        Supply side posits that higher marginal tax rates reduces the payoffs for work and investments and that causes large number of people to work and invest less and also shelter more of their money. This has the effect of shrinking resources and output as well as shrinking the tax base.
        Therefore, lower marginal and capital gains rate (up to a point) will help increase the supply side of the economy and that will grow the economy and increase the tax base.

        • StilllHere

          You can tell these guys have never been responsible for an income statement or balance sheet beyond their own.

        • Duras

          Individual taxes on the top have nothing to do with business. Increase demand forces businesses to hire to produce enough to cover demand. Investors don’t invest unless there is demand.
          You know whose resources have been shrinking over the last 33 years? The middle class. Capital is a high in this country.
          Seriously, how bad does things have to get for 99% of this country and how good does it have to get for 1% of this country to where we say “enough, it time for the rich to pay a price.”
          Take your neo-Feudal attitude to a library and read a book.

          • pete18

            The top income tier already pay the bulk of the tax burden with the top 10% paying about 70% of the total federal revenue collected, the remaining 90% just under 30% of the tax burden and 47% of all Americans pay hardly anything at all. How much more should the top bracket pay? Taxing the top more will place an extra drag on the economy and will not solve any budget problems because there’s not enough money there.

            The depletion of the middle class’s earning power does not come from tax policy, but the changing dynamics in global competition and technology. Certainly a continued expansion of US spending, as you and others seem to be suggesting, will hurt the middle class
            because then they will have a higher tax burden and borrowing will become much more expensive, since there are not enough wealthy people to pick up the tab.

            My position doesn’t come from a lack of reading on the economy, I read a lot on economics and history, and my guess is that you do too, but we are convinced by different arguments and life experiences.

            I suggest you read the studies about income dynamics within different quintiles to understand the movement
            within them.

            I’ll repeat the post I left on the Fast Food thread:

            People move around within the income groups and always have. It is a
            myth, usually propagated by those who decry capitalism and wealth that
            there are static categories of income with one group “living off the
            misery of the other.”

            An ongoing University of Michigan study about income dynamics which
            found that, “most of the working people who were in the bottom 20 percent
            of income earners in 1975 were also in the top 40 percent at some point
            by 1991. Only 5 percent of those in the bottom quintile in 1975 were
            still there in 1991, while 29 percent of them were now in the top
            quintile.”

            http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/sowell-wealth-inequality-a-numbers-game/article_66caa4d6-0a5c-11e1-b171-001cc4c002e0.html

            http://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/Studies.aspx

            This data was echoed by a study by the US treasury covering the periods from 1996 to 2005, which found:

            • There was considerable income mobility of individuals
            in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period as over half of
            taxpayers moved to a different income quintile over this period.

            • Roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile in 1996 moved up to a higher income group by 2005.

            • Among those with the very highest
            incomes in 1996 – the top 1/100 of 1 percent – only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005. Moreover, the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period.

            •The degree of mobility among income
            groups is unchanged from the prior decade (1987 through 1996).”

            http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/Documents/incomemobilitystudy03-08revise.pdf

    • StilllHere

      Please, the middle class are being sucked dry to support the welfare state. Government spending has grown more quickly than any other portion of economic activity.

      • Duras

        The food stamp crap is just racist scapegoating. Look at the numbers, the welfare program is not even on the list of leading drivers of the deficits.
        Like I said earlier: over the last 10 years, income for 99% of this country fell 11%, while for 1% of this country income increased 11%.
        If Reagan had never radically changed how income was distributed in this country, that is, if we had stayed on the same trajectory as from the 1970s, average income would be 77k.
        You are wrong on every indicator. Money is being sucked up by the top! There is no way around that fact. Get off the racist food stamp argument because in budget terms, it is inconsequential. Also, if republicans had not made unions virtually illegal in the South, the tax payer wouldn’t be subsidizing Walmart employees to the tune of $1,000 per employee in medicad, food stamps, and welfare.
        You just don’t see how rich republicans and republican politicians love food stamps because it is a cheep charity for people to just get by, and it is a potent rhetorical device to get racist white people to vote against their own economic interests.
        Once again, wake up.

  • Duras

    First off, it is those good middle class jobs that are causing the job creators to move to Mexico. If only we had lower wages in this country, we wouldn’t have unemployment and there would be a strong middle class and no poverty.

    • hennorama

      Duras – the obvious solution – annex Mexico.

      You’re next Canada!

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Love it- sarcasm so thin I almost got cut before I realized what it was :P

  • Duras

    Remember when this republican memo came out, discussing that republicans should not use the word middle class.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/republicans-being-taught-talk-occupy-wall-street-133707949.html

    They just try to delude people that they are not in the middle class that is being eaten by the rich.
    Wake up people. Get off the racist food stamp crap, and see what is really hurting your pocket books.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    To me, a country that doesn’t allow the prospering of its most vulnerable citizens is not worth defending.

    I note that SNAP, SS and MediCare is on the chopping block. On MediCare, the respected Time article, “The Bitter Pill”, gives a convincing argument that expanding MediCare amongst all US citizens will reduce medical care costs across the board. On SNAP, well, how does one define those costs that reveal cheating? Ask Rep Cole how he came to that conclusion ( I know, late to the party ). SS we’ve discussed already: SS should not be connected with the debt in any way, unless the parties that be consider it a slush fund to plunder to balance the books. Hint: They do, that’s why it’s under fire. As an earlier “On Point” program investigated narrowly, due to time restraints, there’s plenty of fat to cut that’s apart from the social safety net. Neither party chooses to be honest here.

    So, ONCE AGAIN, it would be nice if a Jefferson Smith came out of the shadows and proposed the unthinkable to grow our economy without sacrificing the social safety net. STOP corporate welfare. REFORM the Farm Bill. STOP Asian nation welfare. Open federal funds to promising alternative fuel initiatives and startups. ( Fact: The Solyndra blunder was, by the numbers, a drop in the bucket. One failure does not mean that federal capital infusements can’t work, look at China. Banksters, take note: If we don’t do it, somebody else will. Sound familiar? Yes, I knew it would. )

    Finally, we ought to come full circle here and get real about the NSA and its mission: AGAIN, a country that walks over its most vulnerable and continues to kick its middle class to the curb, the class that powers this republic, IS NOT WORTH DEFENDING. I say here now, DEFUND the NSA. DEFUND the Dept of Defense. Stop this waste of tax dollars from sucking us dry and preventing us from rebuilding our infrastructure. Bring both of these entities back down to a reasonable size that we can manage and of which actually see the benefits. As it is, too many of these “defense programs” actually are making us weaker and vulnerable by diverting money from projects that need to be dedicated elsewhere NOW. We really can’t justify all that expenditure for events that MAY happen in deference to events that WILL happen, such as failing water systems, dams, bridges, and so on. As horrible as Boston, 9/11, Oklahoma were, we can’t continue to cave to the fear of probable events that while explosive, ugly and economically debilitating at the expense of all else. We have millions of people here starving and slowly going bankrupt – that is an economic 9/11 one hundred times over.

    If we want to really change our defense strategy for the better, our compartmentalized police and defense forces would do well to share information effectively. Ten-plus years down the road and we can see how this problem hasn’t been solved by throwing bags of money at it. I’m not Homeland Security is an outright failure, but its primary mission, uniting our police and defense teams, is unrealized. It is that fact that allowed Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to slip through the cracks.

    Two more appeals: Campaign Finance Reform, again.

    Legislation Reform, stop heaping pandering provisions into perfectly good bills.

    Rant out.

  • Bruce94

    I agree with the caller who expressed contempt for Rep. Cole’s lame attempt to employ the small business canard that raising revenues to fund public investments in health, education, research, infrastructure and safety-net hurts the economy by penalizing the preponderance of “job creators” who, according to Cole, are all small business owners.

    This point was litigated in last November’s election. Back then I asked:

    Do the wealthiest 2%, who would pay a little more in taxes under Obama (with either increasing rates or closing loopholes), consist of a lot of small business owners/job creators who according to the Rep. Coles of the world would be crushed by the Obama rates and reforms? I don’t think so. Here’s why the tale of small business woe as told by seasoned vulture capitalists, would-be Outsourcers-in-Chief and their apologists like Cole is disingenuous.

    Just how many small business owners would be impacted if rates go up or reform happens under the Obama or, say, the Congressional Progressive Caucus plan? Not as many as you might think. The nonpartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates only 3 percent of small businesses would
    be affected by the higher rates–less than 0.25 percent of the country. Republicans become apoplectic at the mere suggestion of even a modest tax hike on such a small sliver of the population because a whopping 50% of total small business income goes to this elite 3 percent.

    And just how many of these elite “small business” owners actually employ people? Not as many as you might think. Most do not employ anyone; they are individuals who are successful in their professions including two-earner professional couples, doctors, lawyers, engineers, Wall St. execs., etc. A Treasury Dept. report shows that in 2011 less than one-third of small business income was subject to the top two tax rates and that of the taxpayers subject to the top two rates, only 25% were small businesses with employees.

    • StilllHere

      I work for a small business and can tell you that you have no clue what you are talking about.

      • woodsrow

        Wow! What an excellent rebuttal “StilllHere”.

        • StilllHere

          Thanks, I always feel real-world experience trumps everything.

      • jimino

        Disqus must have eaten the portion of your post that contained any facts that rebutted those posted above. Please try again.

    • hennorama

      Bruce94 – good points. More on the topic:

      “About three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. Most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses, and may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income. Because nonemployers account for only about 3.4 percent of business receipts, they are not included in most business statistics, for example, most reports from the Economic Census.”

      Source:

      http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html (Statistics about Business Size (including Small Business) from the U.S. Census Bureau)

      • Bruce94

        Thanks. I’ll take a look at that when I have a chance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

    Germans. They never change.

  • tbphkm33

    There is a lot of truth to the reality that if you give the Nopublican’s enough rope they will hang themselves… only question, can the rest of the U.S. afford the hanging?

    Cut, cut, cut… hmm, we see for ourselves the effects of austerity in Europe. Imagine where the U.S. would be today if the response had been austerity instead of stimulus. Even with stimulus (hemmed in by Nopublicans) the U.S. is just threading water. If the Nopublican’s had their way, the Great Recession would have been the Second Great Depression.

    No, Nopublican’s have lost all credibility. Only the far lunatic wings of their own party still gather behind the mantra, but only because they are blinded by their own narrow ideological fervent.

    The U.S. will struggle on… looking forward to the day the Tea Party members are exiting this world in greater numbers and we can get on with making this a sustainable planet that benefits all… not only the rich or those with their heads buried in the sand.

    • StilllHere

      What austerity? Higher interest rates have had a significantly higher impact on spending than attempts to constrain budgets. Higher interest rates are a reality even you can’t ignore. You have no credibility as you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • tbphkm33

        ??? another rightwing attempt at a comeback – write something completely unrelated to try to deflect the original message. You could, perhaps have gone somewhere with the “inflation” message, but you fail to take it anywhere. Plus, fortunately, we have enjoyed low inflation. Even raising the specter of deflation.

        Seems in the game of “credibility” you inability to stay on topic and make a logical argument highlights your lack of credibility.

        • StilllHere

          I cannot fathom your ignorance. I didn’t address inflation, only interest rates. You do know what interest rates are don’t you? How about interest expense? Seriously, you have no business commenting on issues you don’t understand.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama owns this. He has failed the middle class.

      • leftylew

        It was Bush who first broke the trillion dollar deficit barrier. The recession began over a year before Obama took office. And he certainly did not encounter a cooperative Congress, unlike Reagan or Bush, who did get their economic policies passed in large part by Democratic congresses. Obama does not fairly deserve 100% blame as you suggest; failing the middle class has been bipartisan with a Republican tilt. Student loans need to get more expensive while poor starving Exxon should not be asked to give up its subsidies? That’s failing the middle class, and it’s got elephant tracks all over it.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Wrong again Lew. Bush’s last year was 2008 and he had a $400B deficit.

          Obama’s first year was 2009 and his deficit was $1.8T. Do you remember the stimulus or was that another Bush invention?

          http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

          • John Cedar

            You should mention that the reason Bush had that large deficit is that the party of know lost both houses to the party of freestuff. And it included the first half of TARP where Bush had to take extraordinary steps to clean up the Clinton Fannie Frank mess.

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            Bush also decided to print money for his friends on the Street like his life depended on it. Who knows, maybe it did. But it left us with $17.9T in interest free loans, technically not on the books, but half of which got plowed back into treasury bonds.

            Makes you think, doesn’t it.

          • John Cedar

            Yes it makes me think…
            makes me think you don’t understand our monetary system
            nor understand what roll the POTUS plays in it.

      • StilllHere

        He had control of both houses of Congress. He could have done anything. He diddled. He wasn’t ready to be president. He still isn’t.

    • notafeminista

      So really, what it sounds like is you wish the Republicans would just give the Democrats whatever the Democrats want because well..they know better, right?

  • marygrav

    Why do people suggest that the US government’s budget can be run like a household budget. My question is can any domestic household in the United States declare war on a foreign nation? Governments have always run on deficits because they have a fiduciary obligation to its people and to its own survival.

    The GOP wants to throw the weight of the Federal government onto the States and the state pass it onto the cities. Most cities are broke because federal government funds have dried up.

    Furthermore, we are in the Second Great Depression and are beginning to drag ourselves out. Quiet as it is kept, it took at least 20 years to come out of the First Great Depression in spite of the lie that WWII brought US out. It was not until the 1950s that the Great Depression could be truthfully declared over.

    On guest brags that the EU is using draconian methods, especially Germany to pull the EU finances together, mostly by putting pressure on Greece. She does not take into consideration at a different time, in a different place, this helped to bring on WWII. Foolish uneducated talk is just that.

    The problem with the GOP is that its members are more afraid of the T-Party then they are of the American voter. When the voters determine that like the Chinese government knows from experience, that to be afraid of the people is more important than to be afraid of the Koch Brothers and its T-Party.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Excellent points. The disinformation about the fed budget being like a family budget is a standard righty talking point. It makes no sense, but the corporate media never call them out on it.

      The federal gvt has taxing power, a family does not. We’re in an era of historically low taxes. The “USA family” could solve a lot of problems by simply returning to traditional pre-Regan tax rates on the rich and the corporations.

      The rates on 10 yr treasuries are near historic lows, even tho they came up some recently. to 2.6%. If a family needed major home repairs, like our infrastructure, and could borrow for 10 years for 2.6%, what do you think they would do?

      • notafeminista

        No, but a family does have power over the amount of income it does or does not bring in. Pesky choices to make.

        • hennorama

          notaneconomista – perhaps you’ve missed it, but government has “power over the amount of income it does or does not bring in.”

          “A family [also has] power over the amount of [money] it does or does not [spend].”

          “Pesky choices” indeed.

          Let’s use the “America Should Balance Its Budget Just Like American Families Do” argument again.

          Families in economic distress don’t just try to cut their spending, they also try to increase their income.

          Only fools believe they can get out of economic distress by only cutting spending, without addressing their revenue at the same time.

          • notafeminista

            Government doesn’t generate anything. It doesn’t earn anything. It can only tax.

          • jefe68

            What about all those WPA projects?
            Oh and all those jobs during WW2 building ships, airplanes, jeeps, ammunition, firearms, tanks, uniforms, helmets, and everything else that the millions of solders serving in that war needed.

            Then there was the interstate system that Dwight Eisenhower put into play during his administration.

            I guess you never heard of treasury bonds.

          • notafeminista

            Paid for by whom again? Treasury bonds finance government debt.
            Guess you never heard of the Revenue Act of 1942.

          • jefe68

            And investors make money off of the bonds, it’s called an investment. A safe one at that.

            I see you don’t have an answer for the WPA and all that work from the government coupled with the private sector (which would have done nothing for the war effort if not for the demands by FDR’s administration) that spawned one of the largest levels of growth this nation has ever seen.

          • Duras

            Do you have any idea what Budgets looked like from 1942 to Reagan? Budgets were a whole lot better during the period than since Reagan radically changed our macro-economics.

          • leftylew

            The internet, the interstate highway system, the world’s best military system, any and all consumer technology developed as by products of the space program, the transcontinental railroad, at the state level public universities, inspection systems to prevent food borne illness, air traffic control systems—these are worthless? These were not government created? I think you’re wrong, but correct me if I am.

          • Duras

            You realize that Silicon Valley exploded when NASA was looking to buy new technology. Not to mention, all the public universities that produce new products that enhance health care, communications, transportations, agriculture, etc.

        • leftylew

          Tell that to someone who’s been laid off or whose hours have been cut through no fault of theirs.

      • leftylew

        I’d also add that an average family takes out mortgages, car loans, and other personal loans in order to live the good life. Very few of us wait until we can pay cash for our houses, cars, educations, vital medical care, etc. The government is acting like a prudent private citizen when it runs a deficit in order to offer a better standard of living.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I would say the use of the term “the good life” here is not recommended, as that will get you attacked here for supporting lazy lowlifes and wastrels.

          But your point is very good.

        • pete18

          Except that when a family takes on a deficit that it cannot support, IE, excessive credit card debt, an expensive new car rather than a used one, a house with too big of a mortgage, it runs into big problems that often can destroy its overall financial stability. Families can be dumb or smart with how they spend and how much debt they acquire, so can governments. The idea that a government should not live within its means or that all debt is fine is a ludicrous idea.

    • jefe68

      Well some people do declare war on their neighbors.

    • hennorama

      marygrav – “people’ (AKA Republicans) use the simplistic and erroneous concept “America Should Balance Its Budget Just Like American Families Do” because they are appealing to “low information voters.”

      Let me understand this:

      1. Someone is happy to pay a large part of my bills.
      2. They will accept some paper that I put ink on, and that I can make whenever I want, as repayment.

      Why would I be unhappy again?

    • StilllHere

      Can the government get a nose job? Should it?
      Can a family print money? Should it?
      So all it took for the US to get out of the depression was the destruction of Europe and Japan. Your move maam.
      Why are you afraid of the Koch brothers? Are they going to take your vote away? Or only those of the weak and stupid? Really, won’t they always vote for Democrats. T-party is the people, people who pay taxes and are sick of seeing their hard-earned money wasted by a government that thinks its job is to wipe everybody’s butts. Sure, some people want the government to do this, but others have enough self-esteem to know they don’t need no stinking nanny. But that’s ok, you be soft and let the government blow your nose for you and you suckle at its teat while you watch toddler beauty contests, your life is full.

      • jefe68

        The tea party is the party of the people?
        That’s hilarious.

  • methos1999

    Did I here Rep. Tom Cole say he has a PhD in Victorian History?

    • jefe68

      From Scrooge university.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I think the TeaOP would call Scrooge a RINO.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, he got all squishy at the end.

          Way to demotivate Tiny Tim, you old softy Ebenezer!

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Exactly. What motivation will that loser family have to better themselves with Scrooge handing out goodies?

  • soundfriend

    The GOP of the past 9 years continues to paint itself right out of existence. Once again, I’m looking forward to the next presidential election.

  • NorthernNorthCarolina

    I just got through listening to the woman from the Heritage Foundation and Rep. Tom Cole. I can say they are very good actors, however with the Republican party the truth is the first casualty. If the Republicans had their way there would be no middle class, instead just the very rich and those making 8.00 an hour with no higher education. I am 61 years old. I am sure today that the Republicans would call the GI Bill (if it was introduced today) nothing but a socialist ploy by the president. I live in NC. The Republicans have passed law after law restricting the right of citizens of this state to vote. They use voter fraud as their reason. However since the passage of laws in NC such as early voting, voting on Sunday, not having to use your driver’s license for an ID to vote, there has been a total of 30 million votes cast in NC with only two cases of voter fraud and those cases turned about to be a mistake rather than fraud. This is what the Republicans really stand for (restricting the right of others to vote).

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      How do know there is no fraud if there is no verification system?

      eVerify for immigration AND voting and then we’ll have one mechanism to measure the fraud.

      • leftylew

        How do know there is no fraud if there is no verification system? Because people are on the lookout for fraud, and in general find very, very little. We have a system where 20,000 weird butterfly ballots in Florida get noticed. How do you know there is fraud? What even makes you suspect it? Do you really want to give no exceptions to 90+ year olds who can’t find or never had their birth certificates but who have voted consistently for decades? Should we start buying unicorn repellent? Unicorns are only a bit more scarce than fraudulent voters.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The UN vote monitors sent into Texas were shocked that we didn’t use photo IDs and a verification system like they use throughout Europe. We are laughing stocks.

          I live in on the NH/MA border. There were voting precincts in NH (where they just passed same day registration) where the parking lots were loaded with cars with MA registration plates on voting day in 2012. Don’t worry there is no fraud.

          There is no verification that someone who votes in MA doesn’t also vote in NH.

        • notafeminista

          Yeah, 20,000 butterfly ballots got noticed when Al Gore was losing. Then all of a sudden Rick Scott is disenfranchising or completely eliminating every 3rd Florida voter.
          You think people don’t pay attention don’t you.

        • StilllHere

          Butterfly ballots, fraudulent because Democrats were too dumb to be able to figure them out even though they created them.

  • thequietkid10

    I was looking to debate some liberals on economic policy, but what’s the point? You can’t debate someone who thinks the opposition is evil. Here’s hoping by 2017 President Paul is making fools of those who bash free market economic theory.

    • leftylew

      That’s a copout, quietkid. See above for a liberal viewpoint, and no I do not presume you are evil. So offer some evidence to support your views, if you can. That’s a big if, as I demonstrate above.

  • leftylew

    Getting advice from Republicans about the economy is like consulting a doctor who still believes that leeches are a wonderful cure for many illnesses. The GOP is the party that told us that the Clinton tax policies would both bring ruin and fail to balance the budget; wrong, dead wrong, on both points. Then the GOP told us that the Bush tax cuts would bring us even greater prosperity without unbalancing the federal budget; wrong by a long shot again. This is the party of deregulation that wanted to repeal Glass Steagall because events like the Crash of 2008 would not or even could not happen; dead wrong. When have they been correct? It’s over a quarter century since Pres. Reagan had a few good economic years; that’s not a strong base for economic credibility any more. Why do Republicans get to offer economic advice without defending or at least addressing this abysmal record of theirs?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Clinton signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall. What was his party affiliation?

      • leftylew

        Clinton’s third biggest mistake, opposed vigorously by the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and enthusiastically supported by Republicans. (Lewinsky and staying out of Rwanda were even bigger mistakes, NAFTA about the same size bungle in my opinion.)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Bonus points for saying “Democratic wing of the Democratic party”.

    • thequietkid10

      So where do I begin.

      You are taking two singular moments over the last 20 years and using it as the premise of your argument.

      Regarding the Clinton tax hikes, that is in 1993, this was before Newt Gingrich was speaker (after crushing the Democrats in 94), before Welfare reform, before the dot com boom/bubble, before NAFTA was in full swing, before Clinton CUT capital gain taxes in 97.

      Even after all of that, the budget was only balanced if you used an accounting method that would NEVER fly in the business world.

      The economy under Bush (rising deficit not withstanding) was doing fairly well (better then under Obama that’s for sure) before the housing bubble bust. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out how a tax cut in 03 lead directly to the housing bubble in 08?

      • leftylew

        You misunderstand or intentionally twist what I say; I never said the tax cut caused the housing bust. I agree that the tax cut did not create the bust of 2008; the deregulation so venerated by Republicans was the main culprit. The also venerated tax cuts gave us the worst job production by a presidential administration in recent times, not widespread prosperity as promised.

        The deficit was already at an annual rate of over a trillion before Obama was inaugurated; it ballooned late in the Bush Administration so that you can draw the time line to make Bush’s deficit look a lot smaller. If I get caught doing 100 mph, I cannot protest that my average speed ever since I obtained a license has been 20 mph. That’s what your 400 billion Bush deficit figure is like.

        Two singular moments from the past twenty years? More like the two big economic turning points of recent history. Clinton balanced a budget that nobody thought could be balanced while Republicans said it would bring economic ruin. Bush unbalanced that budget without creating the promised prosperity, instead bringing very poor job performance. The fact that Clinton made his good move before Gingrich only reinforces my point, does not contradict me at all.

        Saying that the Bush economy was good until the Crash of 2008 is like saying that Abe and Mary Lincoln enjoyed that play until the last few minutes. Except it’s even less accurate, because job creation was anemic even before 2008.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Have you heard of Barney Frank? He was one the who continually blocked reforms to FreddieMAE and FannieMAC. What is ole Barney’s party affiliation?

        • thequietkid10

          I think we’re just talking past each other at this point. The premise of the your first post was the GOP was wrong on the Clinton tax cuts and wrong on the Bush tax cuts, my intention was to correct on both those notions.

          “the deregulation so venerated by Republicans was the main culprit.”

          I disagree but I have enough to go over as is.

          While you didn’t directly link the Bush tax cuts to the housing bubble many liberals HAVE and I wanted to get out in front of that one.

          Further more you seem to want it both ways, you want to factor in the housing bubble meltdown into your assessment of how effective the Bush tax cuts are, while pretending you are not critical of how many jobs the tax cut create.

          I’m assuming you are assessing the Bush tax cuts based from the period of of the actually tax cut to the end of his term, which is ridiculous because the end of the Bush administration was one of the biggest meltdowns in this countries history!

          The unemployment rate in the US declined for several years after the Bush tax cuts and (unlike today) the labor participation rate stayed stable. I’m not sure where you are getting this anemic adjective from. From 2003 to 2006 unemployment dropped almost 30%.

          “Clinton balanced a budget that nobody thought could be balanced while Republicans said it would bring economic ruin. Bush unbalanced that budget without creating the promised prosperity,”

          Way to completely ignore my comment about accounting. The US budget under Clinton ran a surplus if you don’t consider Social Security, (i.e 25% of the federal budget.) Also Bush went to war twice, and past a brand spanking new entitlement program, so don’t blame it all on his tax cuts.

          is like saying that Abe and Mary Lincoln enjoyed that play until the last few minutes.

          Actually that is a very good metaphor because the quality of the play and the quality of the acting has nothing at all to do with Lincoln getting shot in the back of head!”

          • leftylew

            We are talking past each other, but I’ll keep trying a bit longer. The GOP was dead wrong on Clinton’s policies; they literally predicted economic ruin and no balanced budget, and they were wrong on both. It is an outlier view to deny that Clinton’s budget was balanced. Certainly you can agree that it was the most balanced budget since Eisenhower? Or can’t you even give me that one?

            By what fair yardstick does Bush43 get NO responsibility for the meltdown at the end of his term? It happened on his watch, as a result of his policies, and I mean deregulation not tax cuts for this part. Bush’s mistaken Iraq War is somehow a defense for the Great Recession? I honestly don’t follow your reasoning here. The Democrats shouldn’t have helped Bush pass that ridiculous Medicare giveaway to Big Pharma? I’m with you there, though I doubt that’s what you’re really saying.

            So the meltdown of 2008 has as little to do with Bush’s performance as the play had to do with Lincoln’s assassination? Nice try. Conservatives always say Obama owns the recession when he didn’t even make any policy moves until April 2009, but Bush who was in the White House in 12/2007 when the recession began and in 10/2008 when the feces hit the fan, he’s blameless and helpless and not at all involved. Oh please.

      • ExcellentNews

        The economy under Bush was NOT doing better. The increase in money people had was from bank lending, not from more wages. In fact, wages were declining, since Bush presided over the export of nearly 15,000,000 high-wage US jobs in manufacturing and IT, and their replacement by low-wage McJobs. In other words – the ship had a hole since 2000 (or 1994 if you like), and it finally started listing in 2008…

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    As gas prices increase, here is Obama’s plan for the middle class:
    mock the Keystone pipeline.

    Too bad Mr. Obama is now being panned by fact checkers on his phony jobs claims. Once again, he doesn’t get it.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/07/30/obama_keystone_pipeline_not_a_jobs_plan.html

    • ernestine_byrd@cox.net

      no you don’t get the thing the Keystone Pipeline is put more money into John Boehner and others like him that has a investment in it.

  • pete18

    A liberal who gets it:

    What If Obama Can’t Lead?

    Why the president’s defenders are wrong when they argue Obama is impotent.

    “1. Voter disillusionment is not caused by pundits who
    (quoting Klein again) “falsely promise that the glowing briefcase of president leadership can fix what ails us.” The greatest guilt lies with presidential candidates who overpromise. Obama explicitly vowed to change the culture of Washington. For two consecutive elections, he toted his glowing briefcase and waved his green lantern to give voters the audacity to hope. He knew the limits of his powers when he ran for the job. When his broken promises feed disillusionment, the president can’t shirk responsibility.

    2.The extreme sorting-out of the two parties in
    Congress is nothing new. It was mostly complete after the 1994 midterms, and posed challenges for both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Despite polarization, Obama’s two predecessors managed to find common
    ground with their obstinate opposing parties. Yes, politics is hard today—but no harder than, say, during the Civil War era or the turbulent 1960s.”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/what-if-obama-can-t-lead-20130731

    • ebonyy

      To your first point: What president hasn’t gone in and made promises that they were unable to deliver? What president has not faced disillusionment from his voters? You state this as if Obama was the first to disappoint his constituents. I will be the first to say that I am disappointed, and don’t feel the people are getting the leadership they deserve. However I weigh that with an understanding of how politics work. I believe this is a reason President Obama was able to overcome the peoples disillusion with him.
      Secondly, the Civil War was the direct result of our government not being able to agree. Are you honestly stating this as an example of government functioning better than today?? The turbulent 1960′s??? President Johnson had to sign an executive order to enforce affirmative action. Let’s not even speak of all violence, or the need to call in the military to enforce immigration in Alabama.

      • pete18

        The point is that Presidents have led the country and gotten more accomplished under much more difficult circumstances than today. Sure all Presidents disappoint and don’t fulfill all their campaign promises, but that doesn’t mean they have all done it to equal degrees. Obama holds an elite position in this competition. Obama and many who support him are trying to hold everyone else (meaning the Republicans) but Obama to blame for his poor performance, as if he was the first one to ever have an active opposition out to thwart him. He obviously misread Truman’s insightful truism as “The Buck Stops with Bush.” As the commentary points out both Bush and Clinton found ways to get more done and construct more compromises with an equally hostile and divided government as Obama faces today.

  • orwelllutz

    The Republican agenda is straightforward: take back from Americans what was “taken from the ruling class in America by the New Deal”. How else but by allowing the elimination of our jobs, Medicare and Social Security. How else but by allowing 35% interest rates and removing bankruptcy protection. How else but by buying American Public Opinion by owning media and all political commentary.

    But Obama supports globalization, which is at the root of our dismantling. So, we need a change in government, a re-write of the constitution to allow a fundamental change in the economic and political models.

    Consider America joining with western Europe and a few others in an economic cartel — a cartel that would ban from its markets any business that produces and hires off-shore; or simply by tariffs makes it impossible for globals to compete. Then we can re-build our industry, reinstate unions, and force a livable wage.

    We might even begin to explore the economic models that will be needed once robots and computers more seriously reduce the number of workers needed — and how we share that wealth rather than simply swelling the earth’s number of poor.

    Consider governance that creates a pie shaped legislative body — with 1/3 going to the Right, 1/3rd to the left, and 1/3 to the center; a process that will not allow inroads into those shares of the legislature; a process that allows almost immediate impeachment by the people; and a constitution that will prohibit economic or exploitation by definition of intent rather than rules to be circumvented. Then perhaps the kingmakers could no longer buy the legislatures.

    Consider the overturning of Supreme Court rulings that allow exploitation and policy that is anathema to the majority; that puts civilization ahead of individual rights … consider federal judges that do not have lifetime appointments.

    Consider what true democracy could bring, once Capitalism is bridled for good.

    The Tea Party and Republicans must be exposed for what they are and eliminated as a force from the House!

    • pete18

      Sounds like you’re suggesting a dismantling of the Constitution and a totalitarian Government. Nice. I guess anything is OK to get rid of the horrors of a free market and those evil Tea Party people who are using the force of argument and the ballot box to curtail the excesses of government.

    • ExcellentNews

      Amen. Trade only with countries that protect liberty, human rights, and provide labor and environmental standards that match ours.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Krauthammer nails it again.

    Ultimate Irony” Of Obama’s “Grand Bargain” Is That It “Prevents Real Tax Reform”

    For Obama, it is all about campaigning and elections; not governing.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/07/30/krauthammer_ultimate_irony_of_obamas_grand_bargain_is_that_it_prevents_real_tax_reform.html

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Canada will extract the oil and either ship it by train or build a pipeline to the west coast for direct sale to China. Therefore both of your concerns fall flat. Is shipping by rail or pipeline safer?

    Why not send the oil to the US refineries where US jobs are created and the US adds value and derives benefit including additional tax revenue?

    • CancerPhD

      @WorriedfortheCountry You bring up an excellent point. First off, if Canada extracts it, they will have to deal with the environmental fallout, not us. Tar sands oil is a lot nastier than normal oil. My concern is that we cannot build the pipeline safely. Research has shown that this oil is a lot more difficult to clean up and the extraction process is highly toxic, creating enormous public health concerns. Tar sans oil refinement has also been linked to a variety of cancers. Whats the point of creating new jobs, if it gives the workers cancer and the economic boom it would provide the country is offset by the cost in public health concerns and environmental clean-up.

      • Karen Third

        Ya but we have all this free health care … no problem… :P

    • ernestine_byrd@cox.net

      no one has given Canada permission to bring this to the USA

  • fun bobby

    plutocrats

  • fun bobby

    the worse problem with the pipeline is that it currently brings that oil here. the XL part of it would bring it to the coast where it would be exported to china. raising prices here

  • fun bobby

    if they cure cancer aren’t you out of the job anyways?

  • jefe68

    “There’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners, now. The REAL owners, the BIG WEALTHY business interests that control things and make all the important decisions — forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. YOU DON’T. You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN YOU. They own EVERYTHING. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They gotcha by the BALLS.
    They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They DON’T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking.”

    George Carlin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

  • myblusky

    The government is brilliant – have two opposing sides pushing against each other so nothing ever gets done.

    • CancerPhD

      That is how our government is setup to work. You want opposing sides and intelligent debate, so that all impacts of a law are considered before it is enacted. Our problem is that the debate has become so heated and controversial that it is no longer about what is right for the country but who is right and more importantly, who is wrong! Egos should not play a role in deciding policy!!!

      • myblusky

        My point isn’t that we shouldn’t have different points of view, my point is that we don’t have enough and that everyone hides within their team. I wonder if having politicians be independent and not affiliated with a party would be a better idea. Even those with good ideas within the party get strongly pressured to stick with the “party ideas” – that’s not good for the country – this team mentality that nobody can go up against because they will get pushed out. We need people who can think for themselves and not be punished for it.

        • CancerPhD

          I couldn’t agree with you more. We should do away with the parties and have individuals run on their own merits!! Not puppets who can recite party talking-points.

          • myblusky

            That would be an ideal world wouldn’t it!? Or at least a better one. I think many of the politicians currently in office would be out of a job and that wouldn’t make me too sad.

    • ExcellentNews

      Not true. The paralysis is funded by the corporate oligarchy and global banking. It suits large private corporations, hedge funds and other forms of concentrated wealth, precisely because it allows them to extract and concentrate even more wealth. When an activist government was suitable to its interests, the oligarchy voted itself a George W. Bush (tax cuts for job exporters and bankers, deregulation, wars wherein crony contractors follow in the step of our soldiers…etc.).

  • fun bobby

    what do you think about the governments patent on cannabis as the cure for cancer?

    • CancerPhD

      Genetic technology is growing exponentially, and hopefully its usefulness will soon be realized in clinical diagnosis treatment with the application of precision medicine. The issue is that in order to be able to act on the results of genomic sequencing, you need to know what are causative mutations and how to correct them, hence the need more basic scientific research. As for cannabis, research indicates that Cannabinoids do display some antioxidant properties and have shrunken tumors in rodents, however the carcinogenic affects of smoking cannabis (well anything really) likely far outweigh any benefit.

      • fun bobby

        medicine is the tip of the iceberg. genetic engineering will change our lives in ways we cant possibly imagine now.

        http://gnosticwarrior.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Glow-in-the-dark-sheep.png

        smoking is only one rudimentary form of ingestion and not really an effective delivery method for the dosages needed to kill aggressive cancers. as a cancer researcher are you aware of any plants that are carcinogenic?

        the problem with our research hegemony is myopia

  • ExcellentNews

    The Republicans have a proven and tried plan for the middle class. It’s called the GAS CHAMBER. Gold fillings and any remaining valuables shall be extracted and turned over to their patron oligarchs and bankers (inheritance-tax free, of course…).

ONPOINT
TODAY
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?

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.

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Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

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Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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