Tonight, the House of Representatives passed a funding bill that would both keep the government from shutting down and prevent a default on the U.S. debt. The vote was 220 to 211, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against.
The average American has no clue how dangerous McConnell and his army of anarchists have become. They think a government shutdown means a few lazy bureaucrats will become unemployed and their days won't change much. Just more "breaking news".
Until they look at their retirement accounts. The sick irony of all this is that being poor, the pain is quite normal. But for the affluent who have enjoyed the recent stock bubble, it will hurt - a lot. But who will they blame? Will they examine the facts and realize that the GOP is a group of vindictive power lusting bigots? Or will they blame the Democrats who are actually attempting financial responsibility? The Democrats who would actually like to pay for the cost of the bills they have introduced.
McConnell has declared legislative civil war. As with most wars, the innocent are collateral damage - all in the name of "owning the libs". This is no longer a two party nation. There is only one legitimate political party. The Democrats.
Republicans are now engaged in the destruction of our democracy on multiple levels - to include suppressing the right to vote, encouraging deaths due to a pandemic, an attempted violent overthrow of the government and now....an obvious ploy to destroy the financial integrity of the US. Because all they want is power - not the welfare of Americans, not democracy, just raw power.
When one repeats the same behavior over and over again and expect a different result, there is name for that. Attempts at bi-partisanship with Republicans is now officially insane.
Well, most Republican financial supporters can afford the loss of household wealth. The Republican voters who can’t will likely react the same way they’ve been to all the sickness and death they’ve been generating in their own communities and homes. They’ll scream not to give in despite what good sense dictates just to ‘Own the Libs’. Then when they lose the food on their tables, their jobs, and medical benefits, and then their cars and homes, they’ll make up outlandish excuses and blame the Democrats. They’ll ignore that their own Party, the Do Nothing Republican Trolls, caused it.
Dan Rather is very upset. Here is his latest post, called Hypocrisy. I urge you to subscribe to his Substack as well.
“” I've been covering politics since the time of Cicero (well maybe not exactly), and let's put it this way - if you could make hay out of hypocrisy, I've seen enough to feed all the herds of American livestock. But what is happening now in our nation's capital, and radiating throughout the country, is enough to put even the most cynical of politicians of past eras to shame.
I fear that we don't have an adequate framework to make complete sense of the depravity and disingenuousness of what is taking place. Basically, we have one political party at the national level, the Republicans, who have long since ceded any pretense of actually doing the work of government, namely making policies to solve problems. Instead, it is raw power for power's sake, and that has turned Congress into what is in essence largely a troll farm on their side of the aisle. You stand out by “owning the libs” on Fox News (or an even more troll-inducing platform). You don’t stand out, or maybe better put you stand out in the wrong way, if you actually try to work on the major issues of the day. It’s all Dr. Seuss and not nearly enough supporting the doctors fighting the pandemic.
To say this brings me no pleasure. Our government was designed for passionate debates over principles (or at least prerogatives) that then were meant to resolve, whenever possible, in compromise. We don’t need one-party rule. We need a marketplace of ideas. But the only marketplace open for business right now in Washington is WITHIN the Democratic Party. What we should have is the will of the majority, with significant concessions for the minority. Now, with the abuse of the filibuster, the denial of basic democratic norms, and the utter bad faith of both the leaders and the followers in the Republican caucus, we have a spectacle of the absurd that is downright dangerous.
Of course none of this is new, but what set me off this evening is following the descent towards a shutdown of the government and the chilling possibility of a default on the nation’s debt. For many in the Beltway “In Crowd,” this is being covered as sport, a fight on the line of scrimmage between opposing political forces. But this is not a game. This is not a case of winners and losers, but a situation where the entire nation is in danger of losing. This isn’t a showdown. This isn’t a question of tactics. It’s extortion. After running up debt with tax cuts and pandemic spending, the Republicans now see the opportunity to stick it to the Democrats. Now, politics is a tough business, it can be bare knuckles. But this is again not a fight over anything other than holding our government and economy hostage.
To write all of this is not to give Democrats a free pass. Their proposals must be analyzed and questioned. Their internal debates deserve to be covered. As the governing party, they need to be scrutinized. But in doing so, we can’t lose sight of the larger context. Republicans only worry about the debt when they are out of power. They see nothing wrong with pouring trillions of dollars into mismanaged foreign wars, but heaven forbid we spend a fraction of that trying to protect our planet against climate change.
It takes no courage to be a cynic. It’s much easier to throw barbs from the sidelines than to try to execute on the field of play. Shamelessness and hypocrisy are bosom buddies and they are living rent-free in the GOP. All serious people know we can’t default on our debt, that we have to work hard to solve difficult problems, that to do so will require bridging our differences. Sadly, to be a serious person as an elected Republican in today’s environment is to be a pariah. It’s all memes, media hits, and mendacity. “”
Here’s the link. You can subscribe from it too.
As a former Executive Vice President of Moody’s Investors Service responsible for rating sovereign and corporate debt worldwide, I am familiar with debt defaults. In recent years there have been six Republican-initiated shutdowns from failure to approve a timely increase in the federal national debt limit. Republicans now threaten not to approve a once-routine increase in the existing debt limit.
INCREASING THE DEBT LIMIT WOULD PERMIT THE U. S. GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR EXPENDITURES ALREADY APPROVED BY CONGRESSIONAL APPROPRIATIONS. Without such approval, the government soon would lack the funds to pay interest on its national debt. This would result in formal ‘debt default,’ which could have a profound impact on the ‘full faith and credit’ of the U. S. Government.
Then Congressman Newt Gingrich initiated this game of political chicken in the 1990s and lost. (The TV series West Wing had an episode on this chicken game.) Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have also tried debt limit blackmail without success.
I fear that McConnell’s latest threat of debt-limit blackmail, in addition to shutting down government, could damage the long-term credit of the United States. When borrowers, domestic and foreign, are stiffed on their timely legal payments, their confidence in a debtor diminishes.
"That Republicans are willing to risk yet another step that will make America look like a failed state is stunning.
But even if that’s not their ultimate goal, posturing and negotiations over finances are running out the congressional clock while the Democrats’ very popular signature issues—infrastructure and voting rights—languish."
That any US Congressional leader, much less an entire party, would play Russian Roulette with its citizens during a pandemic goes beyond cruel and unusual punishment. In lieu of plenitude, the eradication of childhood poverty, support for the middle and lower classes, hope to counter the grief, an increase in the happiness factor, and joy in abundance, the GOP and its immoral, decaying and depraved leadership want to hold our nation hostage and reinforce the power and wealth of the 1%? They have risen to a level beyond unethical and indecent -- they have arrived at the heights of utter nefariousness and obscenity.
What a fake fight with astounding consequences, outrageous, on the race of it, irresponsible and without rationale, the idjts cabal threatens. Truly out of the realm of imagination, mcturtle undermines the financial health of the country. How, one wonders, does he and his consort, Elaine Chao, benefit?
Massive infusions of dollars to the military industrial complex, while a relative pittance, over ten years, is allocated to the needs of the American people.
There is deep injustice here.
Remedial Economics 101 for Republicans
While I do not claim to know as much about Economics as Janet Yellin, I do have at least a moderate academic background in the subject thanks to an education that included studies in Economics and Finance. This does, however, leave me with the view that my knowledge in Economics and Finance far surpasses that of every Congressional Republican who collectively appears to know zip all. Here are a few points that even a relative economic dunce like me gets.
1. A raise in the debt ceiling is to cover spending already approved by Congress in the form of past budgets and already Congressional mandated spending. In fact, it is silly that we even have to go through the charade of approving a raise in the debt ceiling since objections to the spending should be over once budget bills are approved by Congress and the spending is then Congressionally mandated. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is like denying responsibility for your credit card bill when received after already having incurred charges on the card. The real answer to this is that we should stop taking sham votes on raising the debt ceiling and just suspend it. The time to object to spending is before you actually make it, not when the bill comes due.
2. Let's briefly discuss the idea that spending $3.5 trillion on human infrastructure and social spending is "too much." So let's start with the fact that yes, $3.5 trillion is a lot of money. But ... compared to what? Compared to the $8 trillion added to the federal debt during the Tя☭mp administration? Hmmm, less than half of that and that was added in only 4 years, not over the 10 year spending period proposed in the Biden/Democratic proposal. In fact, retrospectively we now understand the Tя☭mp / Republican tax cut will wind up costing the U.S. $10 trillion (in lost revenue) over a similar 10 year period. About three times the amount proposed now by Democrats over 10 years.
OK, let's put politics aside for a moment and stick to economics. The annual size of the U.S. economy at present is approximately $23 trillion. Over the coming 10 years, the total size of the U.S. economy (remember to account for anticipated growth, just based on trend lines now) is estimated at a total of $300 trillion. This means a 10 year spend of $3.5 trillion is just a little over 1% of the total anticipated size of the U.S. economy. Are we as a country willing to spend an additional 1% of our economy over the coming 10 years on improving conditions for working families, dealing with climate change perils, improving healthcare, and all the other components of the Democratic proposal?
Now let us also remember this is not only spending. The bill also raises revenues by an estimated $2.9 trillion. So the net additional spend is really only about $600 billion. This is even a much smaller proportion of our overall economy.
Now if we account for the fact that investments are expected to generate actual returns and apply the multiplier effect of social spending (by the way, social spending has a higher multiplier effect than any other government spending, unlike tax cuts which actually have a negative multiplier effect), it is possible we may actually see the investments generate more returns than their costs.
By any measure, as a country, we can certainly afford the $3.5 trillion over a 10 year period.
So, when you hear others say $3.5 trillion is too much or try to justify not raising the debt ceiling because we "have to live within our means," now you will know just how ignorant they are on economics, finance, and government spending. Remember that when you decide who to vote for in 2022 and 2024.
I struggle to find insight into the mentality of modern Republicans. I get that they want power. I get that they don’t want to pay taxes. I get that they want the wealthy to freeload off the real workers. I get that they’re racist, bigoted and misogynistic and therefore are compelled to resist equality and fair play.
What I dont get, is why their goal seems to be the top dogs of a failed state. What is in it for them to be the overseers of a nation they have brought to ruin? Because they will if they’re not stopped. Their whole and sole purpose is to destroy, to disrupt, to endanger, to threaten, to promote hate. In the end, they will destroy the things every individual depends on for success. Trust. Mutualism. Friendship. Cooperation. They are sowing the seeds of their own destruction, and the destruction of the American experiment.
What really makes this a battle over the ridiculous is the beginning of the modern debt limit vote was a "gimme" by Woodrow Wilson to get the isolationists to vote in favor of going to war in 1917 - they could vote to limit military spending (which of course didn't happen) and get to go home and tell their isolationist voters they had "voted against all this." Then FDR gave the first modern debt limit bill as another gimme in the lead-up to World War II, again to let the Republican isolationists go home and tell the dummies they'd voted against the war. Everybody knew it was just a "gimme" and a fake. Until one of the 5 worst politicians in American history managed to convince his party to make him their leader - Newton Leroy Gingrich, proof you can take the boy out of the trailer park he was raised in, but you can't take the trailer park out of the boy.
Further proof Truman was right back in 1948 with his definition of a "good Republican" - one that is "pushing up daisies."
The answer is to eliminate the filibuster and ram it down the GOP's collective throat.
Good morning all. "That Republicans are willing to risk yet another step that will make America look like a failed state is stunning. " I'm not stunned. Are you? Why does anyone persist in thinking that anyone with an R in brackets next to his or her name is an honest broker or concerned about anyone other than him-/herself?
It is as if we/I are/am living in two separate worlds. The game of "gotcha" being played by Republicans clearly labels them as the enemy. Country be damned is their motto. McConnell is one of the most evil persons (is he really human?) ever to sit in a seat of power. Any one person who proudly defines themself as "The Grim Reaper" should not be in our Congress. He should be in an institution under 24/7 watch. McConnell and his cabal of America-haters (yes!) are set upon destroying the Republic. We are becoming a failed state,
Thanks, Doc. My heart breaks at the loss our world continues to endure due to constant republican obstinacy, hypocrisy, and ignorance.
When will Americans finally understand that today's Republicans are no damn good? They are dedicated to the proposition that government of the people, by the people and for the people is some sort of socialist plot. Those in Congress and in State houses have been bought by their wealthy donors and only survive because of the votes of the ignorant and gullible. It's that simple.
“ That Republicans are willing to risk yet another step that will make America look like a failed state is stunning.”
A fair number of Republicans were well educated and successful in their careers before being elected and sent to Washington. The notable exceptions <cough>MTG<cough> really do seem eager to plunge into the abyss. The perplexing question is how far the presumably rational Rs will have to go to satisfy the baying mobs who elected them. It’s a PR battle that is not going well for Democrats or for America. Between Bannon style appeals to desperate people’s worst instincts and the vast pool of dark money to disseminate such misinformation, Democratic messaging isn’t reaching red state voters.
What a relief to learn one of my ancestors, Hayes, did something right. Ever since one of my cousins did a family search in order to join the DAR and found out she was descended from Billy The Kid, I've hesitated to snoop around in the skeleton closet.
Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who’s behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites
Researchers say it will allow them to gain important new insights into how extremists operate online