Many many years ago (before TV and when telephones were only black) I was a most reluctant and recalcitrant student of Latin.

I was in awe of (and loathed) those few classmates who could translate Latin gobbledygook with effortless ease.

I would surreptitiously buy a ‘trot’ (English translation) without which I would have never known that ‘Caesar divided Gaul into three parts.’

Heather is our own marvelous almost nightly ‘trot’ to the gobbledygook that we encounter daily on social media, the press, and TV.

Her translation of the current budget babel permits us facilely to understand the difference between President Biden and the boisterous Republican backlash.

Heather provides a handy antidote to the false facts of Tucker Carlson and his Foxy foo foo dust.

Heather has us ‘trotting’ down the track of relevant history to permit us to better understand today’s topical shenanigans.

Thanks to Heather, when I follow the daily news I can say

VENI, VIDI, VICI [I came, I saw, I conquered]

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Mar 10, 2023·edited Mar 10, 2023

Guys... today was a good day. For people who care about social and economic progress, at least. I'm one of those people and I'm feeling good. You should too. 

I feel good - and you should too - because in President Biden we have a leader who isn't backing down and isn't pulling punches. No, he is not a showboat. He never has been. He doesn't need to be. We've been so starved of consistent, careful, patient, shrewd leadership that we've forgotten what it looks like. This man has stood for pretty much the same things for half a century in public life. Most of that half century was spent having our potential wasted and undermined by neoliberal trickle-down nonsense and retrogressive pandering, the opposite of everything he stood for, yet he has clearly never lost his optimism for our potential. He's wanted to be President since he was in high school. He has run several times, the first time before I was born. None of those tries came even close to being successful. Even as Vice President, no one ever really took him seriously enough as a leader. "Respectable," sure. "Likeable," definitely. "Conseqential," no. "Inspiring," you jest. 

Yeah, well, look who actually ending up being President after all. When the chips were really, really down, look who actually had the secret sauce to pull us back from fascist takeover. Look who has actually strung together two of the most consequential years of policy of that last half-century, and right after a plague too. Look who stands poised to be the one to define the next half-century in stark opposition to the last. Look who stands to be the linchpin turning the entire globe back towards democracy, and on the way to a sustainable planet.  Joe. And he did it all without raising his voice too much, or waving his arms around gratuitously. 

So... yeah. The old guy has waited this long for his dream job, and is *this* close to literally shifting the nature and trajectory of global democracy. He's not retiring, he's not reconsidering, he's not going to go along to get along, and he's certainly not going to give any of these bozos another damn budget cut just because they keep finding new ways to preen and whine. At least not without a fight. Please.

If I was Quevin, I'd be getting ready to Quiss my Quorporate-owned Queester buh-bye. 

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“Show me your budget,” President Joe Biden is fond of saying, “[and] I’ll tell you what you value.”

A GREAT line.

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See, Heather, you laid out a very good reason why I have a hard time feeling sorry for Mitch McConnell’s fall. I have said it before...the man is evil. He’s a clever chess master but he is the devil incarnate.

Biden beat Qevin to the punch by releasing his budget. Qevin has nothing but disdain for Biden and the Dems. That’s because he has nothing to share. The R’s haven’t bothered to do a budget because they are too busy dodging bullets on the so-called weaponization committee. Jordan was brilliantly called out by Plaskett and Swalwell today. He looked like the fool he is. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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"I'm ready to meet with the Speaker anytime—tomorrow, if he has his budget. Lay it down. Tell me what you want to do. I'll show you what I want to do. See what we can agree on. What we don’t agree on, let’s see what we—we vote on.”


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This morning’s Letter highlighted Biden’s 2024 budget, ‘…which advances a vision of the United States based on the idea that the government should invest in workers, families, and infrastructure to increase the purchasing power of those on the “demand side” ‘…over a stark contrast to the theory of the Republicans since the 1980s, that the government should cut taxes and slash government spending to free up capital for those at the top of the economy…’. The Republicans strongly favor the “supply side”—…with the idea they will use that money to invest in new business that will then hire more workers’. (Letter)

This morning, Paul Krugman, an Op-Ed columnist, distinguished professor in the Graduate Center Economics Ph.D. program and distinguished scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center at the City University of New York covered the same ground as HCR’s Letter.

‘So, about President Biden’s budget: The starting point for this budget is that Biden’s people evidently view deficits as a source of concern, but not a crisis. Overall, Biden’s budget proposes increasing social benefits on a number of fronts even in the face of rising debt. It nonetheless proposes to reduce the budget deficit, but only modestly — yes, it claims to shrink the deficit over the next decade by almost $3 trillion, but that’s less than 1 percent of G.D.P.’

‘How can Biden reduce deficits while expanding social programs? Mainly by raising taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, with an assist from cost-cutting measures in health care, especially using Medicare’s bargaining power to reduce spending on prescription drugs.’

‘Are Biden’s numbers plausible? Yes. Notably, the economic projections underlying the budget are reasonable, not very different from those of the Congressional Budget Office. The projections even assume a substantial but temporary rise in unemployment over the next year or so.’

‘Now, even economists like yours truly, who have been fairly relaxed about budget deficits, generally believe that at some point we’ll have to do more than this. We’ll need a much broader effort to bring down health care costs, and we’re also going to need more revenue than you can raise solely by taxing Americans with very high incomes. But Biden’s plan is a step in the right direction.’

‘What about the Republicans? They claim to believe that rising federal debt is a major crisis. But if they really believed that, they’d be willing to accept at least some pain — accept some policies they dislike, take on popular spending programs — in the name of deficit reduction. They aren’t. The Vought proposal calls for preserving the Trump tax cuts in full, while also avoiding any politically risky cuts in defense, Social Security or Medicare.’

‘Yet it also claims to balance the budget, which is basically impossible under these constraints. In fact, even with savage cuts to Medicaid and drastically reduced funding for the basic functions of government, Vought is able to claim an eventually balanced budget only by promising that tax cuts and deregulation will cause a big rise in the economy’s growth rate. Tax cutters often make such claims; they never, and I mean never, deliver on their promises.’

‘What I find a bit puzzling is why Republicans are still rallying around this stuff. The modern G.O.P. gets its energy from culture war and racial hostility, not faith in the miraculous power of tax cuts and small government. So why not give up on the ghost of Reaganomics? Why not come out for a strong social safety net, but only for straight white people?’

‘Part of the answer may be that the party still needs money from billionaires who want to keep their taxes low. But it also seems to me that the peddlers of right-wing economics have done an extremely good job of marketing their wares to politicians who don’t know or care much about policy substance. That Vought proposal, as I said, looks a lot like Paul Ryan’s plans a decade ago — but it’s titled “A Commitment to End Woke and Weaponized Government,” and somehow manages to mention critical race theory — which is not exactly a line item in the budget — not once, not twice, but 16 times.’

‘In any case, where we are now is that Biden is offering a basically reasonable fiscal plan, while Republicans are talking meanspirited nonsense.’ (NYTimes) Gifted link to this Opinion is below.


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I hope at least half of what President Biden proposed in his budget becomes law. Once again though our Constitution is an obstacle. The framers of the Constitution were brilliant men who wrote an excellent document that withstood the test of time for more than two hundred years. But never, in their wildest nightmares could they have imagined the illegal, dishonorable, dishonest men and women who have taken over the former republican party and dumped it in the filthiest swamp available. All financial legislation MUST originate in the House of Representatives. Before 2017 it was difficult to pass an honest, fair budget, but since then it is next to impossible. There is no republican leadership in the House today. I don't know how or when they managed to fry their brains, or maybe they really are as stupid as they appear. I'm sorry for Mitch McConnell as a human being for the concussion he suffered Wednesday, but as the Senate Leader for too many years he was worse than useless. He would not even allow bills to be debated, even those he knew his party would defeat.

At least we know what President Biden values - we the 99% of Americans, I will be proud to cast my vote for Biden for President next year.

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"So-called supply-side economics was championed as a plan that would enable everyone, from workers to financiers, to thrive together as the economy boomed, "

More Orwellian Geopese. Real supply side is the demand side's day job. Nobody hires just because you give them money, unless it's to cater the party, or trim the shrubs; they hire because there is market of people with money to spend. With an overabundance of cash, the wealthy just buy everything in sight, agglomerate companies, downsize the staff, and raise the prices. Maybe some winds up in Panama, or your Congressperson's pocket.

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When the whole approach is to point fingers and not offer alternatives, it is imperative to, as Biden has, always offer to discuss alternatives, but not give in. The bad kids have nothing, they haven't done their homework, never study, never prepare, they have just pointed fingers. Now with the yoke of leadership, they have no alternatives but ill conceived, unsupported, worn out and worthless concepts. I was going to say ideas but that gives them too much credit.

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Thank you Heather Cox Richardson! You really are that guiding light that points us in the right direction.

There are so many things going on that really make me sad and a bit frightened about the real soul of America. One of the craziest (in my opinion) is that it seems that collectively the American people have lost the will and ability to critically think. They are more than happy to swallow the vomit coming out of Fox News (I call them Faux Views) and to actually believe that the former president (I call him Voldemort) and the people at Fox care about them and are telling them the truth. When faced with facts, they dig in their heals swearing that they know the truth and that Fox is a reliable source. Many of these same people are happy with the crumbs that the GOP sprinkles around. I must admit, I don't understand it. As Fox News, Trump and many of his sycophants are facing indictments and/or being sued perhaps some people will start to question their support.

President Biden has been fighting an uphill battle and it will continue to be uphill. The GOP narrative has been building for a long time. I hope it is a battle that he has time to win.

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The NYTimes also reported last night that the prosecutor is ready to indict TFG in one of the corruption cases they have been pursuing--which started as the Stormy Daniels affair. I have always said (to my dog since no one else listens to me) that RICO or tax evasion would be the only ways to get him. It's also known as the Al Capone strategy. Since the Times dropped this info late last night--and it's in this morning's paper--I presume it's going to be one of those Friday Surprises.

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Sadly, many dupes are still looking for the PizzaGate child-eaters. BTW, the owner of that DC family pizza restaurant was a classmate at Georgetown Day School with my daughters. Humanitarian values galore. No kid-eating allowed...

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Republicans shouldn't worry so much about higher taxes. Taxes are anti-inflationary and reduce the need for government borrowing, so they help keep interest rates down. And for some reason Republicans pretend that government spending only helps poor Democratic voters at the expense of hard-working Republicans. The money always drains right through the pockets of people who live paycheck-to-paycheck and eventually sticks to the brokerage accounts of people who can afford to save. Also, taxes are the very source of money. Before the U.S. had its own money, colonial governments established taxes in order to create a demand for the paper currency they printed and with which they paid for the first bridges and turnpikes. They periodically collected taxes and burned the paper, then issued new rounds of currency. That mechanism still exists. In a sense, money is taxes that haven't been collected yet, and/or bank loans that haven't yet been repaid. The Republicans still think that money is (or should still be) gold coins. That's very 19th century of them... if they actually believe what they say.

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I think the only thing that will get movement on the budget and debt ceiling is if indictments related to January 6 start being issued against members of Congress, the Fox News abettors of insurrection and Trump family members in the next few weeks. The hammer has to come down now or we are going to be facing a world economic crisis of enormous proportions. It is the only way all vestiges of legitimacy of the chaos coalition can be removed and enough Republicans realize they have to shake loose of MAGA if they want any hope of a future political career and get legislation passed in Congress. Especially true if Mitch is out of commission and not able to push for some level of Republican self preservation.

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Thank you Heather ❣️

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President Biden is doing an excellent job of making the Republicans bring their budget document to the table to negotiate around. They can't just bluster, tweet and Fox their way out of this. Right now we are seeing the value of an experienced older politician dealing with someone who has sold his soul to have a gavel for awhile...and then let the devil in high heels actually hold it for a day. This stuff is worthy of Goethe or Shakespeare...at the very least House of Cards.

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