Thursday, July 14, 2011

Debt Debate Debacle

What to day about this one. When will the adults show up so this can be resolved. I guess I should clarify that slightly and say when will the adults from the Republican party show up.

I had a huge laugh the other day when John McCain was on CNN. He said no one in either party wants a default. Really Senator. Where have you been? A few months back there was a group of Republican House members chanting as if at a frat party: Shut it down , shut it down. There are the great intellectual luminaries of the Republican Party like Michele Bachmann say:

“We cannot go on scaring the American people; we need to be truthful. And I call on the president and the Treasury Secretary to tell the truth to the American people,” Bachmann said today. And on the question of whether economic catastrophe would befall the United States, as has been warned by everyone from President Obama on down to a slew of Wall Street leaders, she said, “We don’t believe that for a moment.”

She seems to think the August 2 deadline can pass and the government won’t default because it can just pay the interest on the debt until this is all worked out.

The Democrats, the president in particular, have gone out of their way to try and compromise. The Republicans not at all. They still have as their mantra if every millionaire becomes a billionaire that is somehow good for the country. The tired old line of you can’t raise taxes in such a huge economic downturn. But you can cut trillions in government spending and that won’t impact the economy at all.

As to raising taxes, you’d only be raising taxes on the rich. The people who can most afford the increase. Yes according to the Republicans every one else must take a hit, make a sacrifice but oh no no no not the rich. Eric Cantor is the spokesman for this latest tactic from the Republicans. Also from Cantor the motion that Republicans have made plenty of concessions.

Dana Milbank from the Post had a great piece on Cantor the title of which is: Eric Cantor’s slick upper lip. I think this sums it up nicely:

The search for a Cantor concession continued. “In terms of shared sacrifice across the country, do you see that one as necessary?”

Cantor swung his arm over his chair back and raised his upper lip. “I think behind this notion of ‘We want shared sacrifice’ that they continue to say means, ‘We want to raise taxes,’ ” he said.

Claiming that there have been “concessions made already” by his side, Cantor was pressed to name some of them. “I don’t want to get into specifics now,” he said.

Leaving a House Republican caucus meeting Tuesday morning, Cantor approached the microphones, flashed the cameras a good-morning sneer and demanded to know “why in the world” Obama wants to increase taxes.

NBC’s Luke Russert asked what “sacred cows” Cantor would be willing to sacrifice. Cantor repeated his denunciation of Obama’s tax policy.

“Where do the Republicans feel pain here, though?” Russert persisted.

Guess there wasn’t an answer on that question.

To me the actions of the Republicans show once again they are only interested in advancing their party. There only concern is getting Obama out of office as was voiced yet again by Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor the other day. If the country is economically destroyed in the process that is a small price to pay to regain the White House. And after all at least the rich won’t be paying higher taxes.


Inspector Clouseau said...

During the last Presidential election, CSpan2 Book TV aired a program where the author discussed the results of his or her research, which suggested that something like 5-10% of Democrats , and 5-10% of Republicans, essentially debated and defined the ideological constructs of each party. The point was that the vast, vast, vast majority of the citizens of this country have their lives dictated by the most active and vocal members of society, who also happen to be more privileged .

I strongly suspect that the same thing is occurring with the debt ceiling debate. The debate is not really about the debt ceiling per se, but rather a very deep, long-standing debate about the role and size of government. It’s never been resolved, and never will be resolved in our representative democracy. However, in the mean time, the regular folks in our society run the risk of being irreparably damaged. The elites (the upper and upper middle socio-economic classes) on each side of the fence have theirs, their corporate contributions, decent jobs and income, and will fare just fine economically. It’s the ordinary citizens (lower middle socio-economic class) who will most likely get screwed, no matter which side ultimately prevails in the short term.

Jason in DC said...

Very good point one which I agree with completely.

It seems the people that yell the loudest are the ones who make the most impact or least get the most coverage which is just about the same thing.

As you say the vast middle those are the people that have to deal with what's decided and essentially clean up the mess.