Category Archives: Tea Party

Shutdown 2013: The Deal That Will End It

There is a lot of press about the Government shutdown brought upon us by the out of control Tea Party Loonies in Congress.  However, this is the best single write up I have seen….

This excellent article, by Noam Scheiber in the “New Republic”, summarizes where we are and how we got there with the Government shutdown- and just how desperate the GOP is becoming to find a way to end it.

It also very well points out the fractures in the GOP between the few pragmatic Republicans left in Congress and the Tea Party that, protected by heavily gerrymandered districts, is running rampantly crazy in Washington.

The best thing to come out of this is that the GOP Establishment has seen that they have created a monster with the Tea Party and that they are going to have to deal with it- or let it destroy the GOP.

I’m fine, either way….

Here is an excerpt from and a link to the full article.  It’s fascinating reading….

The problem for the GOP is that, as insulated as the House jihadis are from national trends, Senate Republicans and House pragmatists emphatically are not. When the approval rating for Republicans drops nationally, these people are badly exposed. They begin to fear for their jobs. They become desperate to cut a deal—any deal—that will end their political pain. And once they do—once there is a deal that a large chunk of Republicans either explicitly sign onto or tacitly endorse—then it is game over for the House. There is simply no House Republican leader who can resist a bill that many if not most Republicans want to see pass, a bill that has passed the Senate, and to which the only alternative is the complete annihilation of both the Republican Party and the global economy.

As we enter the home stretch, the dynamic is only reinforcing itself. The Tea Partiers have become steadily more delusional, reminding the pragmatists how insane it was to lock arms with them in the first place. “When I was home, I talked with people in our office that called in, I don’t get the sense that 70 percent [of people blame us],” House conservative Jim Jordan told Politico last week. (Good point!) On Sunday, the loonies in the House seized on a report that a mob of patriots overran the World War II Memorial and reclaimed it for … well, for whom isn’t entirely clear. But the loons in the House promptly labeled it a “game changer,” according to National Review’s Robert Costa. To them, it was the latest sign that the country sees things their way.

The pragmatists are, in turn, only becoming more anxious. Costa reports that aides to Mitch McConnell now worry they’ll have to make concessions on the sequester just to end the current crisis, whereas they’d previously assumed they could leave the sequester in place and trade it for entitlement cuts in a future grand bargain.

What Costa doesn’t discuss is the Republican leadership’s incentives, which is the final, poetic wrinkle in all of this. McConnell and Boehner, in addition to understanding how badly the Tea Partiers have hurt their party, have yet another reason to sue for peace. McConnell is facing a Tea Party primary challenge in his re-election campaign. Boehner has been repeatedly embarrassed by the Tea Partiers in his caucus, who have actively sabotaged his leadership (egged on/manipulated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz). Both men know their side has lost. Both men also know their party’s fanatics are to blame. Do you think they don’t want to see the Tea Party humiliated before all is said and done? Do you think they might want to see the Tea Partiers stuck with all the blame?

At the very least, it’s hard to believe they’ll fight too hard against any deal that accomplishes those goals. As I say, those intra-party rifts are a bummer.

via Shutdown 2013: The Deal that will end it | New Republic.

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Make 2014 a Referendum on Republican Tea Party Radicalism

I could not agree more with the sentiments expressed in this article from Ian Reifowitz at “Daily Kos.”

I encourage you to click the link and read the entire article:

These guys are toxic. In 2014 Democrats need to put all Republican candidates on the defensive by emphasizing their role in supporting the radicalism of the Tea Party, John Boehner and Ted Cruz. We need to make sure these candidates are unable to distance themselves from Republican radicalism. They need to own it. And if they double down on that radicalism, all the better. You’ll know we’ve succeeded when Republicans start saying, “Well, I’m not that kind of Republican. I’m not Tea Party.”

And within the Republican Party, these kinds of cracks are beginning to show. Relatively reasonable Republicans are ready to isolate Tea Party radicals. Elections in 2014 offer an opportunity not only to retake the House of Representatives, but to break the stranglehold the radicals have exercised over congressional Republicans for too long.

This country cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis because one radical faction refuses to accept the results of an election. We need two parties that compete for votes at the ballot box and then, after the elections are over, act responsibly and get down to the business of governing. The only way that\’s going to happen is if voters punish Tea Party Republican radicalism by booting a good number of Republicans out of office. Teach them a lesson they won\’t soon forget.

MORE:   Daily Kos: Make 2014 a referendum on Republican radicalism.

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The Only Crisis Here Is The One The Republicans Are Making

Perfect Summary of the situation in Washington by Mark Sumner at DailyKos:

 

There is no fiscal crisis. Everyone should be clear on that.

The United States is not bankrupt. Social Security is not about to founder. Wall Street is not on a precipice, the IMF is not standing by demanding massive shifts in our government, and U.S. bonds are not trading 1:1 with Charmin. There is nothing wrong.

Nothing except that the Republican Party is prepared to slice the nation’s throat to get its way.

Real crises do exist. There are moments in a nation’s history where the government must take abrupt action, either military or fiscal, to prevent disaster. In the collapse of 2008, some might disagree with the exact nature of the action the Bush administration took in bailing out banks that had recklessly overextended themselves, but there’s little doubt that there was a real problem and without action there was a chance that it could grow from disaster to catastrophe.

That’s not the case this time. Not only does solving the issue at hand not require the launching of a single ship, it doesn’t require the expenditure of a single dime. Raising the debt limit does not commit the United States to any debt it has not already incurred. Refusing to raise that limit is no more an act of fiscal prudence than refusing to pay the restaurant for a meal already eaten.

Not only is the money already spent, the Republicans are the ones who spent it. It’s not Social Security that drove up the debt over the last decade. Social Security is responsible for 0% of the deficit. Make that 0.00%, to be exact. The deficit that the Republicans are railing against is driven by the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the cost of the recently extended Bush tax cuts. You know what’ll happen if we cut Social Security? We’ll get less Social Security, not less deficit.

It’s funny that politicians on both sides of the aisle keep demanding that “everything be on the table,” when what they really mean is that “everything not responsible for the problem be on the table.” Not that it matters. The truth is that Republicans aren’t interested in solving the problem. They’re making the problem. They invented it from thin, hot air and they’re entirely invested in seeing that the problem gets worse.

Don’t think the Republicans would put the nation at risk on purpose? Consider this: the only thing they won’t even think about, the only option so odious they’ll walk out of the room rather than talk about it, is precisely the only thing that would actually help. If we allow the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled—all of the cuts—the deficit will dry up and the nation will return to sound fiscal standing in short order. If we don’t allow those unsustainable rates to expire … then we will. If we go down after making cuts in Social Security and health care, then we’ll we’ll only succeed in making a lot of people miserable to no purpose. Only returning taxes to viable levels will help.

If Republicans were actually concerned about the fiscal health of the nation, they would sign onto raising the debt ceiling without hesitation or condition. Because there’s nothing wrong, and because raising the limit would cost nothing. Instead they’ve created a completely artificial problem as nothing more than an excuse to extend the damage they’ve already caused. It’s really a wonderful little game they’ve created: drive the nation so far into debt that there’s no choice but to raise the limit, then use raising the limit as an excuse to create more debt. No wonder they call it red ink.

The only crisis we’re facing is that one of our nation’s political parties has decided to hold its breath until the nation turns red. And the media, the public, and the opposing party are treating this massive tantrum with far more respect than it deserves.

via Daily Kos: The only crisis here is the one the Republicans are making.

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FLASHBACK: Ronald Reagan Raised Corporate Taxes To Force Tax Dodgers To ‘Pay Their Fair Share’

As Tax Day draws to a close, I would like to leave us with this one last item…

It will be interesting to see how the GOP explains away these actions by their patron saint, St Ronnie of Beverly Hills…

From ThinkProgress.org…

Click the link and you can see the video- if you can stomach watching Ronnie in action….

This isn’t the first time Americans have had to deal with a tax code that lets the nation’s richest firms get away with shirking their tax responsibilities. In the middle of his presidency, then-president Ronald Reagan learned that a number of big corporations, including his former employer, General Electric, were completely escaping paying federal corporate income taxes. “I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Reagan told his Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to his 1988 memoir.

So Reagan undertook a comprehensive tax reform effort that actually raised the corporate taxes and closed numerous loopholes that allowed big firms to dodge their tax responsibilities. As part of these reforms, Reagan passed the 1986 Tax Reform Act. This law “raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period.”

During the signing ceremony for the speech, Reagan explained that his goal in pursuing these reforms was to make sure “that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share”:

REAGAN: We’re going to make it economical to raise children again. Flatter rates will mean more reward for that extra effort, and vanishing loopholes and a minimum tax will mean that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share.

via ThinkProgress » FLASHBACK: Ronald Reagan Raised Corporate Taxes To Force Tax Dodgers To ‘Pay Their Fair Share’.

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Taxes reach historic low

Something to ponder at Tax Time….

From the Orange County Register:

For the past two years, a family of four earning the median income has paid less in federal income taxes than at any time since at least 1955, according to the Tax Policy Center. All federal, state and local taxes combined are a lower percentage of per-capita income than at any time since the 1960s, according to the Tax Foundation. The highest income-tax bracket is its lowest since 1992. At 35 percent, it’s well below the 50 percent mark of much of the 1980s and the 70 percent bracket of the 1970

via Taxes reach historic low – News – The Orange County Register.

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Budget Deal Only Actually Cut $14.7, Not $40 Billion. Does Boehner Realize This Yet?

Looks like the President pulled a fast one on Speaker Boehner…

And good for him!

Actual budget cuts were “only” $14.7 billion, as opposed to the GOP’s bragging about almost $40 Billion.

I haven’t had time to dig into today’s speech yet, but I’m hoping he’s on his way to taking control of the debate and protecting the middle class, seniors and other from the hatchet wielding GOP.

It should be a piece of cake.  President Obama is a very smart man.  Boehner is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Paul Ryan is delusional.  ‘

This could be fun….

Or it could be a disaster.

It all depends on President Obama….

From the National Journal:

The meat of the spending deal struck between the two parties late Friday night was revealed in a legislative omnibus released early Tuesday morning. The specifics show that finding nearly $40 billion in cuts during the 2011 fiscal year required clever accounting and, for the White House, a willingness to concede on rhetoric to find gains on substance.

For example, the final cuts in the deal are advertised as $38.5 billion less than was appropriated in 2010, but after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds, and reductions in mandatory spending programs, discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion.

White House officials said throughout the process that the composition of the cuts was more important than the top-line number, and that including mandatory cuts allowed that top line to grow while limiting the immediate impact of the cuts.

The move also keeps the 2011 discretionary baseline slightly higher, a terrain advantage for the Democrats heading into the 2012 spending process.

via NationalJournal.com – Budget Cutting Ain’t Easy – Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

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Tax Cuts for the Rich on the Backs of the Middle Class; or, Paul Ryan Has Balls: Matt Taibbi

Great article in Rolling Stone from Matt Taibbi.

I love is snarky tone and accurate facts…

Here is a brief excerpt and I encourage you to click the link to read the rest of it…..

Never mind that each time the Republicans actually come into power, federal deficit spending explodes and these whippersnappers somehow never get around to touching Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The key is that for the many years before that moment of truth, before these buffoons actually get a chance to put their money where their lipless little mouths are, they will stomp their feet and scream about how entitlements are bringing us to the edge of apocalypse.

The reason for this is always the same: the Republicans, quite smartly, recognize that there is great political hay to be made in the appearance of deficit reduction, and that white middle class voters will respond with overwhelming enthusiasm to any call for reductions in the “welfare state,” a term which said voters will instantly associate with black welfare moms and Mexicans sneaking over the border to visit American emergency rooms.

The problem, of course, is that to actually make significant cuts in what is left of the “welfare state,” one has to cut Medicare and Medicaid, programs overwhelmingly patronized by white people, and particularly white seniors. So when the time comes to actually pull the trigger on the proposed reductions, the whippersnappers are quietly removed from the stage and life goes on as usual, i.e. with massive deficit spending on defense, upper-class tax cuts, bailouts, corporate subsidies, and big handouts to Pharma and the insurance industries.

via Tax Cuts for the Rich on the Backs of the Middle Class; or, Paul Ryan Has Balls | Rolling Stone Politics | Taibblog | Matt Taibbi on Politics and the Economy.

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Trump For President? No Longer A Joke

I think he would be the perfect Republican Presidential Nominee:

  1. You can’t believe a word he says
  2. He’s a rich man out of touch with most people’s lives
  3. He changes positions to whatever is currently popular with the Tea Party
  4. He’s driven his companies into bankruptcy twice

Sounds like a modern Republican to me…

From the National Examiner:

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey has New York real estate mogul Donald Trump second (tied) to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among Republicans for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination. Romney’s support at 21% among nine candidate is not surprising given that he has been an undeclared candidate since 2008 and other polls indict similar rising support for him, but Trump’s standing at 17% (tied with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee) among national Republicans adds credence to the viability of a Trump candidacy heretofore dismissed as a public relations gimmick and far-fetched. A CNN polls published in late March had Trump with 10% support. A Trump candidacy may be gaining momentum as Trump himself has been ubiquitous on news shows immersing himself in political debates (he has doubts, for instance, about whether President Barack Obama is U.S.-born) and promoting the idea of a President Trump.

via Trump For President? No Longer A Joke – Washington DC RNC | Examiner.com.

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The Glenn Beck Show is Going, Going, Gone…

Finally, some good news from Faux News….

Glenn Beck really has become toxic if Fox is getting rid of him…

CNN already fired him before he went to Fox….

He’s running out of networks, so he has to go out on his own…

From the Los Angeles Times:

Completing a swift rise and fall from TV stardom, controversial host Glenn Beck will lose his once-popular Fox News show later this year, the network announced Wednesday.

Beck’s 5 p.m. program, which earned scorn from liberals for its attacks on President Obama as well as its devotion to sometimes-obscure right-wing thinkers, was a top cable draw in 2009 and a signpost for the populist “tea party” movement in last year’s midterm elections, which dealt a ballot-box rebuke to the White House.

But ratings plummeted and advertisers bailed as Beck — a cherubic, salt-and-pepper-haired longtime radio host who has compared himself to a rodeo clown — increasingly pursued a hard-to-follow agenda that many found too conspiracy-minded. He also chafed his bosses at Fox News, who faulted him for spending too much time on his far-flung business operations and not enough on honing his TV presentation.

Both sides cobbled together a diplomatically worded statement Wednesday that noted Beck would “transition off” his daily program but stressed that the host and Fox News had reached a new deal for future, as-yet-unspecified projects. Joel Cheatwood, a senior Fox News executive, was hired away to help run Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts.

Fox News and Beck both declined to comment beyond the statement.

Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and chief executive who until recently had overridden doubts about Beck among his subordinates, said in the statement: “Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards.”

But there was little mistaking the upshot of the move: Less than three years after joining Fox News from CNN’s Headline News amid a burst of publicity, Beck is being booted off the air. His sinking ratings certainly didn’t help — they fell 32% for the first three months of this year, to 1.9 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

And after months of reported friction between the host and Fox News as well as an aggressive advertiser boycott after Beck dubbed President Obama a racist, analysts professed little surprise.

via Fox News to end Glenn Beck’s show – latimes.com.

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Robert Reich: Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Rich

As usual, Robert Reich is the voice of reason calling from the wilderness…

It’s tax time. It’s also a time when right-wing Republicans are setting the agenda for massive spending cuts that will hurt most Americans.

Here’s the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich.

Even if we got rid of corporate welfare subsidies for big oil, big agriculture, and big Pharma — even if we cut back on our bloated defense budget — it wouldn’t be nearly enough.

The vast majority of Americans can’t afford to pay more. Despite an economy that’s twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent are still stuck in the mud. If they’re employed they’re earning on average only about $280 more a year than thirty years ago, adjusted for inflation. That’s less than a 1 percent gain over more than a third of a century. (Families are doing somewhat better but that’s only because so many families now have to rely on two incomes.)

Yet even as their share of the nation’s total income has withered, the tax burden on the middle has grown. Today’s working and middle-class taxpayers are shelling out a bigger chunk of income in payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes than thirty years ago.

It’s just the opposite for super rich.

The top 1 percent’s share of national income has doubled over the past three decades (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now). The richest one-tenth of 1 percent’s share has tripled. And they’re doing better than ever. According to a new analysis by the Wall Street Journal, total compensation and benefits at publicly-traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record in 2010 — $135 billion. That’s up 5.7 percent from 2009.

Yet, remarkably, taxes on the top have plummeted. From the 1940s until 1980, the top tax income tax rate on the highest earners in America was at least 70 percent. In the 1950s, it was 91 percent. Now it’s 35 percent. Even if you include deductions and credits, the rich are now paying a far lower share of their incomes in taxes than at any time since World War II.

More:  Robert Reich: Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Rich.

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