In 50 years of being on this planet, I have seen some really dumb ideas. I have seen actual footage of some idiot strapping themselves into a rocket car only to be smeared all over the countryside. I have seen someone try to pet a bear cub only to be mauled pretty seriously by the cub’s mother. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Now Congress wants to top all that with the dumbest idea ever. You really should read the link. I will try to lay out the most important particulars, but if you really want the full effect, read the article.
Unless you have been living under a rock since May of this year, you know that the US Economy (and by extension, the World’s Economy) is in deep shit because the US has reached it’s Debt Ceiling. I won’t attempt to explain the entire situation (I have already done that here). To make matters worse, our Government (both Congress and the President) can’t seem to come together in any meaningful way to resolve the situation. The solution is very simple – JUST RAISE THE DAMN LIMIT AND GET BACK TO WORK FIXING THE BUDGET – but these mentally challenged people can’t seem to figure that out. They play political game after political game without coming any closer to a solution. In the meantime, people worry about whether they will be receiving their federal paycheck, their military pay, their Social Security, their military disability or retirement pay, their Medicaid benefits… the list goes on. Further, because the investors have no idea what the hell the government is up to, they aren’t investing, meaning that jobs are not being made, federal revenue is even farther down, and the US Economy teeters on the brink of sliding back into a recession that makes the one we are trying to pull out of look mild.
More below the fold -
The Boneheaded Idea -
If you have already read the two links I have provided, you already know what the issues are.
1) The Republicans do not want to raise Taxes – any taxes. By this they mean they do not want to see their Corporate Sponsors pay any taxes at all. Further, they do not want to see what the majority of Americans want to see – an increase in the taxes of those making $250,000 or more (making the self destructive tax cuts passed by King Bush go away). The Majority of Republican Senators and House members have even gone so far as to sign a Traitorous pledge to Grover Norquist promising to refuse to raise any taxes. This is monumentally stupid, but these traitors don’t give a good God damn about the people of the US… They only care about political appearances.
2) The Republicans will not negotiate. They demand. This issue is a no-brainer. The Republican Party is not called “the Party of NO” for nothing. They earned that title and they are continuing to earn that title. They fail to see that it is their unyeilding stance which has led us to the brink of collapse. They also fail to see that their stance is not playing well with the American People.
3) The Democrats want to save entitlement programs and are pledging to fight any changes to those programs. Once again, the hard line in the sand stance is accomplishing nothing and failing to play well with the American Public. More importantly, it is failing to lead to a solution to the problem.
4) Everyone – The Republicans, The Democrats, and the President – seems more worried about the political fallout of doing something than they are about the problem itself. This single statement is at the very heart of the matter. It is crippling any attempt to mediate the differences, it is strangling any conversations about the issue and it is NOT what these idiots were elected to do.
Enter, McConnell -
House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been a player in this whole mess from the beginning. Like Boner – er House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell has been a constant brick wall to any negotiations on raising the Debt Ceiling. At times, he has even indicated that he doesn’t think the Debt Ceiling should be raised – an idiot philosophy if there ever was one – and he has seemed to actively work against coming to an agreement since the very beginning.
Now he has offered up his own “solution” to the problem. He wants to enact a short term measure that would allow the President to “request” an increase in the Debt Ceiling from Congress (the amount of the increase to be set by McConnell’s short term measure). This would begin a very complicated evolution of events – events that include a congressional vote intended to be vetoed by the President – that results in a small increase in the Debt Ceiling. Worse, it appears that the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is going along with this lunacy.
As described by McConnell at a news conference last week, his legislation would authorize the president to request of Congress debt ceiling increases in three increments between now and the end of next year. The first would boost the debt limit by $700 billion and the next two by $900 billion each.
Along with each request, the president would be required to submit a list of recommended spending cuts — in an amount higher than the ceiling increase request — but those cuts would not need to be enacted for the debt limit to go up.
Congress would then vote on — and probably pass — “resolutions of disapproval” of those requests. The president probably then would veto those resolutions. Unless Congress overrode those vetoes, which is unlikely, the debt ceiling would increase.
The purpose of this convoluted plan is to allow most Republicans and some Democrats to vote against the politically unpopular debt ceiling increase while simultaneously clearing it.
There is more insanity to this idea but you get the picture. This entire proposal hinges on the idea that Congress will pass an Resolution specifically designed to be vetoed by the President – thereby allowing the President to raise the Debt Ceiling. All this political manuvering is suppose to “fool” the American People into believing that these idiot Congress Critters are actually keeping their promises.
So Who Wins?
First and foremost, the Republicans will have once again protected their Corporate Sponsors and the wealthy. Since this is what this whole Kabuki theatre is all about, they gain at least a partial win. By enacting this proposal, they get cuts to the Budget without giving up any tax increases or closing any tax loopholes. They don’t have to deal with the issue of Corporate Welfare at all.
The Democrats don’t really see any winning side to this proposal other than avoiding a default. Since everyone loses if the Government defaults, it is hardly a win. Second, it sort of avoids the chance that the Republicans would be successful in doing deep cuts to entitlement programs and social spending. Again, this is hardly a win since one of the largest problems with the US Economy is Medicare/Medicaid and this MUST be addressed. Worse, there is no guarentee that the Republicans won’t push the issue of entitlement cuts outside of the Debt Ceiling talks – probably before elections so they can seem to be fiscally “responcible”.
On the surface, the President seems to be the loser. If this proposal passes, the President first has to decide if he will veto it. It certainly deserves to be vetoed, but if he does, there is no guarentee that a better deal will surface, and even if one does, there is no time to get it passed. This is certainly not the “Big Deal” that the President wanted and it will require him to raise the debt ceiling three times before the elections (something that would have to be done anyway, but this way, the President has to do it).
Now understand that this “loss” is dependant on the American People being too stupid to see what is going on. McConnell is banking on the US voters not seeing the smoke and mirrors here (even though the situation is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. In essense, McConnell (and every other Congress Critter getting behind this abortion) is calling the American People stupid – not unusual with politicians, but it usually isn’t this blatant.
In my not so humble opinion, we, the American People lose the most. We are faced with the irrefutable reality that we are represented by idiots that have absolutely no idea of what they are doing. Worse, they think we are too stupid to know just how dumb they are acting. We can easily turn this “loss” into a win, though. Next year we can make all these idiots go away.
The bottom line is that something has to give. This situation with the Debt Ceiling cannot be allowed to continue and it certainly can’t be allowed to come to default on Aug 2nd. The repurcussions of that are too horrible to even consider. Someway or another, the Debt Ceiling has to be addressed. This plan seems to have the most support at this point.
This is what I predict – that these idiot Congress Critters actually pass this abomination and President Obama signs it. As soon as it is signed, Obama explains to the American People just how silly this legislation is (so much for the Kabuki Theatre). He does his first request for an increase and Congress plays to script. At that point, Obama once again explains to the American People just how silly this legislation is. In the end, McConnell and every other moron that supported this legislation is made out to be the idiots they really are and the Republicans take a beating in the elections next year. Once this dead weight is out of office (and I am not just talking about the Republicans), maybe some semblence of sanity will return to American Politics.