Welp…looks like we’re moving dangerously close to another government shutdown.
House Republican leaders — bowing to the demands of their conservative wing — will put to a vote on Friday a stopgap spending measure that would strip all funding from President Obama’s signature health care law, increasing the likelihood that the government will shut down in two weeks.
The fact that Tea Party members have chosen Obamacare as their so called “red line” is further evidence that House Republicans are far more interested in ideology and elections than governing. If conservatives were rallying their government shutdown threats around social security reform, job creation, or preparing for the inevitable zombocalypse (IE something important) instead of their self indulging masterbatory jihad to defund Obamacare, they would have a lot more credibility with the American people. Instead we’re left to watch as the once proud American democratic system is hijacked by people who refuse to believe that the President is an American citizen but insist that the world is only 2,000 years old.
With some government insiders saying there’s about a 40% likelihood that federal employees are going to get at least a few unscheduled days off from work, it’s important to note how we got here. As much as I would love spending hours writing about the oh so interesting intricacies of government budgetary regulations, Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post has (sadly) beat me to it. In all seriousness, Matthews’ “Everything you need to know about why the government might shut down” is both a well written and accessible explanation about the countdown to Sept 30th.
Wish I could say this was surprising:
After pushing the government to brink of shutdown last week, Republican Congressional leaders are now preparing to push America to the edge of default by refusing to increase the nation’s debt limit without first getting Democrats to concede to large spending cuts.
But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.
Can any Republicans out there seriously say with a straight face that the House GOP has the country’s best interest in mind? If John Boehner and Eric Cantor were real public officials with a real grownup sense of responsibility that usually accompanies those in office, then the debt ceiling would be raised without negotiations. After all protecting the economy from economic collapse is…really important.
But of course, Cantor and Boehner aren’t grownups and have no grownup sense of responsibility. They ask for a ridiculously high amount of tax cuts, while agreeing to a disproportionally low amount of revenue increases. And then when the President finally agrees to that…NOPE! Not good enough!
My heart really goes out to the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Try as they might, they’re just not good at this whole budget thing. After releasing last week’s budget budget “preview”, a 19 page document that contained more pictures of windmills than it did numbers (1-0), republicans tried again by releasing a new and “improved” budget today…Yes today…April 1st.
You know, political opinions aside, you’d have to think that someone might have realized that releasing a budget on april fools day, was probably…not a good idea.
But what’s worse, is that the budget could easily be confused with an April fool’s joke. Yeah, its that bad. How bad you ask? I think the best description probably was : “This is just embarrassing. It’s like watching a Pauly Shore movie.”
As far as anyone can tell, the House budget is basically a fairy tale of what would happen if the rules of common sense didn’t apply. For example, a person who wants to lose weight wouldn’t cut off their leg. Ah, but the person would lose weight, according to the GOP and their budget. And losing weight is the goal here right?
Imagine if I wrote up a budget proposal for a small business and asserted that revenues will grow next year after Warren Buffett dumps several large bags of money on my doorstep. It would probably be true that if Warren Buffett dumped several large bags of money on my doorstep, revenues would increase. But he’s not going to do that.
And we’re not going to do this. We’re not going to echo Hoover and radically slash spending amidst a demand slump. We’re not going to voucherize Medicare and then tie the worth of the vouchers to a “premium payment” that grows more slowly than health costs and so is worth less every single year. We’re not going to repeal the stimulus bill and let Pell Grants fall below inflation and let unemployment benefits expire and let Social Security benefits cease growing with the economy. We’re not going to freeze funding for food stamps and home heating assistance and road repair and law enforcement. A five-year spending freeze is far beyond anything George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan ever contemplated. It’s not what you do when you’re responsible for running the government. It’s what you propose when you’re responsible for running the messaging.
Yep, you read that right.
Unsurprisingly the House just passed their bill to rescind AIG’s bonuses by taxing them at 90%. Here’s the vote breakdown:
Yes, you read that right. There were 87 Republicans, including minority leader John Boehner, who believe AIG executives should keep their bonuses. Or in more blunt terms, the majority of house republicans believe that taxpayers should give a handout to wealthy executives who essentially committed fraud.
I don’t think I need to spell out the implications of this vote for anyone. Let’s just remember this the next time republican’s rally against , wasteful government spending, burdening taxpayers, or opposing “handouts” to the poor.
I’m glad the House GOP is keeping anopen mind about the stimulus bill.
President Barack Obama is coming to the Capitol this afternoon to curry favor with congressional Republicans. But it appears GOP leaders have already made up their minds to oppose his $825 billion stimulus plan. House Republican Leader John A. Boehner and his No. 2, Whip Eric Cantor, told their rank-and-file members Tuesday morning during a closed-door meeting to oppose the bill when it comes to the floor Wednesday, according to an aide familiar with the discussion.
I’m sorry, what’s the Republican plan again?