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John Boehner Rejected Obama’s Budget Offer Without Reading It - And we wonder how long until the sequester is over?

Politicians are wont to repeat, often excessively, a policy meme or buzzword in hopes it catches on and becomes part of the public’s lexicon as an identifying trait of a political party or particular candidate’s agenda. Whether it is to demonstrate consistency of intent, or just to drive a point home, offering the same policy recommendations as a be all, end all, fix for anything is why America is stuck in an austerity trance with little to no hope of recovering anytime soon. President Obama is a masterful tactician when it comes to reiterating propositions he knows Republicans will reject out of hand, and with news of his symbolic budget proposals due out next week, he is repeating the same plan he offered Republicans in the past and as sure as the Sun rises in the East, Speaker John Boehner rejected them immediately revealing he certainly did not have time to read them in their entirety.

In the President’s last plan to avert the fiscal cliff, he called for major health care cuts by reducing payments to drug companies and hospitals,  recommended changing COLA measures tied to inflation which raises taxes and slowly cuts Social Security benefits for some recipients, replaced Republicans’ sequestration cuts, and proposed additional spending focusing on infrastructure improvements. His new budget proposal, which is strictly symbolic, is a nearly identical reiteration of his last offering with some incorporation of his policies in his State of the Union address. Liberals are rightly upset over the shift to chained-CPI for Social Security cost of living adjustments, but they were equally incensed when he offered them during fiscal cliff negotiations and their tantrums were wasted because as expected, Republicans rejected his entire plan.

Republicans have reiterated their own rejection of the President’s plans because they include new revenue, spending on infrastructure to create jobs, and do not eliminate the New Deal programs they have lusted to demolish for 75 years. Critics of the President’s budget claimed that including cuts to Social Security would give Republicans a talking point that even Obama sees the necessity to reduce the deficit by slashing “entitlements,” and they have a point because Boehner said “it included only modest entitlement savings,” and that “if the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes.” Boehner is not interested in shoring up Social Security or he would be first in line to lift the cap on earnings and put the Trust on track to solvency for several generations. Republicans plainly want the program eliminated to create a permanent underclass of elderly Americans dependent on Wall Street for their retirement or die, and to seize the trillions in the Trust’s coffers to hand out as tax cuts for the rich.

There were other aspects of the President’s budget proposal that drove Boehner to reject it without reading it besides new revenue that are reiterations of Republican policies over the past four years. The Republicans hate the notion of spending to create jobs through infrastructure improvements, spending on education, and replacing their sequestration cuts with more measured reductions in other areas. Republicans worked too hard to get the sequester cuts that for nine years and nine months will slash education spending, kill jobs, decimate anti-poverty programs, and hurt the economy to settle for any replacement short of imposing an enhanced version of Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget that piles on debt due to massive tax cuts for the rich. They also have stated in no uncertain terms that infrastructure repairs are off the table to maintain America’s pathetic standing as one of the poorest infrastructures in the developed and developing world, and the idea of putting Americans to work goes against everything Republicans have stood for over the past four years.

The President knows offering a carrot to Republicans in the hopes of a so-called grand bargain is an exercise in futility, but with the American people watching, he is shining a spotlight on Republican intransigence and allegiance to the rich. By offering an olive branch in the form of chained-CPI for Social Security, Republicans can no longer say the President is afraid of his base, or unwilling to meet Republicans half way to solve the nation’s phony deficit crisis, and their immediate rejection to compromise further portrays them as the real problem in Washington. Social Security and Medicare are extremely popular programs, and Republican insistence that they be eviscerated to give more tax cuts to corporations and the rich far exceed the President’s offer to change the COLA methodology. It is also worth noting, again, that the Center for America Progress, no conservative belief tank, recommend chained-CPI as a revenue raising long term fix for Social Security, but with Republicans bound and determined to reject any proposal that fails to end Social Security and Medicare in their entirety, and rejection of any new revenue to create jobs and repair the decrepit infrastructure, or replace the job-killing sequestration cuts, it is doubtful there will be a grand bargain, or any bargain, between the President and Republicans. Besides, the President’s budget proposal is only symbolic because in America, Congress makes the budget and as long as Republicans run this country, any budget that does not kill jobs, kill safety nets, and end public education, is doomed to fail regardless who proposes it.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Replies (61-61):
by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:57 PM

If you are going to point at all the money spent during Obama's administration pointing out why it was spent is NOT a moot point. It is THE point. I think everyone agrees we should have a working budget. But the stimulus package/bailouts is where a lot of the money came from. The top of our country is doing exceedingly well. Showing record profits and asking to let the tax cuts expire on the top 2% would bring in a lot of revenue. So would closing certain tax loopholes that are abused. Our financial issues started long before Obama was a gleam in anyone's eye ~ so no, this is not about O or anything he's done (beyond hitting the accelerator on spending). No amount of taxation will fix this mess, or even help. The problem is not a lack of taxes, not even the half that are paying little or no taxes. The problem is spending, borrowing more, and having no ability to pay it back.

Let me try and explain this better. Right now we are borrowing almost half of every dollar that is spent (over and above the deficit itself). We are paying only the interest on what we do owe (barely). We have managed to scrape together the interest payment with extra loans and by printing more money.

The reason, the ONLY reason, we can print more money is because the US dollar is the standard world currency. We are going to lose that ~ and very soon. The US dollar will NOT be accepted everywhere. It's already being rejected in several countries. There are also a few that won't even accept credit cards from most US banks (China is one of those).

Because of all this, the US has been able to manipulate the interest rates on our loans. When we lose our dollar standing, we will also lose that ability. In the past ten years, that rate has been jimmied down from around 5% interest to 0.25% (and we can barely scrape together that payment). When the dollar goes, so will that rate. In fact, that rate will likely end up somewhere above 10%.

So, you can go on and on and on and on about how things once were, how much revenue we can rake in from taxing the rich by closing loopholes, etc. It. Means. Squat. I said it before in this post, and you either missed it or blew it off; even if we taxed EVERY person (including those on welfare) at 100% there is not enough money to fix this or stop it now.

If that is the route you are going to go with. The amount we are borrowing from other nations doesn't matter. The mere fact that the money in circulation (When we produce it through magic ourselves) is charged interest.

So that means regardless if we never borrowed money from anyone else we would not be able to pay back the money we owe.

And as I pointed out. You are using the logic of, "There is nothing we can do now" and then offering no follow up for it. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

 No one is asking anyone to pay 100%. Asking people to pay 3% more than they were is not exactly going from reasonable to 100%. If you agree that no amount of austerity measures is going to save them. And you are not happy with the opposite of austerity measures what do you think we should do? Just nothing and let it all fall apart and rebuild something better?

See above.

No one mentioned socialism, or theft, or scrapping the constitution. No one has mentioned taxing the rich at 90%. This is the second time you made up some far fetched imigary number to make your point. No one said that.

Look at Costco. Their employee's make a liveable wage. They have decent benefits. Their CEO still makes 38 times more than their average Employee. Their CEO is still a millionaire. Their CEO still makes a LOT of money. He is still wealthy. He is not taxed at 90%, or at 100%. He pays his taxes. But his employee's can make a liveable wage and don't need to rely on government assistance.

See how that works? No forced Socialism. I believe Senator Warren pointed out McDonalds could follow suite and it would end up having to charge people an extra 40 cents a visit. Walmart could follow suite and only charge people an extra 4cents a visit. These are all people who get government assistance in one form or another who could be self sufficient if they had liveable wages. This could be done without raising taxes to 90%, or 100%. This could be done without stealing from someone else.

It doesn't make sense to create a society where the wealthiest can employee people at a unliveable wage which forces those people to get assistance for food, rent, and health and then complain when people need assitance with food, rent, and health.

No one is saying everyone should be lazy and get everything they want. People are saying that people should be able to work for a livable wage. And right now our countries most profitable, and biggest employers are squeezing down at the bottom while doing extremely wealthy themselves.

Sigh. See this. Read it a few times.

This article would carry more weight if to the right of the text the words, "Sponsored by Invest in Gold" wasn't there. You don't see the bias problem in a site that is focusing on fear mongering about the value of money with its mouth well putting his hand out to you to sell gold with its hands?

No one said being wealthy is a crime. Notice the part where it says for CRIMES they committed? We are talking fraud. Money laundering. Tax Evasion and the like there. Talking about the banks that told investors they had a good bundle they should invest in when they knew that they were bad investments and bet against them to win profits after they fail. We are talking about all the times bankers should be arrested and charged with a crime but instead we give them a fine and tell them to move on.

So again. No one said being wealthy is a crime. No one said investing is a crime. And no one said we should sit around doing nothing either.

The plain truth is that there is nothing that any citizen can do at this point, up to and including handing Uncle Sammy their entire paycheck. The amount that is owed is beyond the comprehension of most individuals, and at this point makes those who work in finance shake in their shoes. The best any of 'us' will be able to do is to get yourself as prepared as possible for a very bad decade ... and expect it to get progressively (pun sort of intended) worse for most of those years before any easing up is noticed.

So again. Doing something to fix it is better than doing nothing. Even the Grand Old Party's austerity measure is better than nothing.

No one (Well very few) wants socialism. I am a Capitalist. But Capitalism needs a strong and build middle class to work well. Not an extremely small but extremely wealthy upper class. If you think Capitalism will work with .001% of our country being EXTREMELY wealthy and the rest barely staying afloat or getting worse you either don't know what Capitalism is. Or you don't want to know what Capitalism is. Wanting to have a strong middle class and wanting to have the lower class be able to afford a liveable wage is not socialism. That is NOT socialism. It's fundamentally what makes capitalism work. When we drain the bottom half a country and then start focusing on draining the middle class the system will come to a halt. When so few people can earn a liveable wage and more and more people started needing public assistance. Well it's going to get extremely expensive. Then when you add on that the people who do make the majority of the money can pay the same tax rate brackets at the people in the bottom of the brackets and corporations can effectively pay 0%. Well. Yeah the economy would definately crash at some point from that.

But even with a grim outlook. The choice to make isn't Just throw your hands up in the air and give up. Something should be done.

Iceland doesn't have a treasure trove of silver or Gold either.

As long as the US regulatory agencies are in charge ~ none of that is possible.

As long as the people at the top in Iceland were in charge none of what they did would be possible either. They made it possible. They were told they were going to have to do massive bailouts like we did. If they followed your logic and decided, "There is nothing we can do now. We owe too much money. There is nothing we can do now to change it.

They didn't. They made change possible.

You do realize that when our middle class was extremely successful that taxes were higher than they were now, right? And the economy was booming for everyone. Lower class. Middle Classe. Upper Class-Everyone profited.

In 1947 Capital Gains were taxed at 25%. The taxes were WAY higher than they are now by the way.

At that time, the economy wasn't fubar. There was actual gold in the treasury, most people were working, and we didn't have either the regulations OR the taxes on business that we do today. Again, if the regulatory agencies are not scrapped, nothing can be done.

They had taxes on business. Their taxes were WAY higher than they are now. I think they went all the way up 80%.

Mitt Romney agreed with President Obama's use of drones. That would most likely have happened regardless of what Political Party was in Office and will continue regardless of what Political Party is in office.

Drone strikes is one of those things that we as a people would have to get loud on both sides and put pressure on our representatives to get congress looking at it seriously.

There is one company already that has a device to disable them. Aside from that, our government has a military force of 2,280,875. You can probably add an additional 1,000,000 employees that are diehard government fans that 'might' work for nothing for a while. Of the military, subtract the oath takers.

The total US population is 315,637,896 and counting. Half are elderly, minors, handicapped, etc. So ... that leaves 154,538,073 + the oath keepers to take care of the drones (and keep in mind, all is fair in love and war). I'm not really worried about drones. What I'm worried about is the current admin taking history notes on how to control a population. Right now the US population is ONLY controlled because it chooses to obey the law. At the point where the dollar tanks and the US government becomes 'the past', rule of law goes out the window. Survival of the fittest WILL take over initially. Considering we live in a country where people will riot and trample each other over a toy, what exactly do you see happening when the coveted item is the last loaf of bread? Water? Medicine?

Initially I do see the government attempting to control that. I don't think drones are out of the realm of possibilities. Same goes for tear gas, puke rays, martial law, shootings, etc.

You are trying to find ways to tax people more instead of trying to avert all that. I don't get it. Socialism is NOT going to solve this problem. If anything, trying to enforce that will add a Civil war to the mess ~ if gun control attempts don't do so first.

I can live just fine without any government 'help' ~ including DH's military retirement check. I can live just fine without any funny money income. I've already got a nice little farm to feed us ~ and land elsewhere with NO neighbors for miles (in a state that I doubt will ever enforce any gun control). I have savings, but far more importantly I have goods, supplies, and raw materials. Most importantly both DH and I have the skills AND the mentallity to survive (and not by holing up and shooting at people lol). I don't think (and this is an honest assesment and a concerned opinion ... not a dig) that most 'socialist' fans have more than one of those things if that.

If ~ IF ~ the US government tanks and chaos takes over until another government does, what are you going to do? What solution do you propose that does NOT involve forced socialism?

I don't know where you come to the conclusion of socialism. I never suggested socialism in any remote way. What I do advocate is a successful Capitalistic system. Wanting a strong middle class and a lower class than can earn a liveable wage is NOT socialism.

As I pointed out earlier there was a time where taxes were much higher and everyone was more successful. Though if I had any say in how things were restructured I would take the money out of Politics. Companies shouldn't have the ability to throw millions of dollars at congress men so those congressmen will legislate in their favor. Our congressmen shouldn't be able to be bought and paid for.
I don't think you know what socialism is. Especially if you think I am a socialist.

There was a time this country flourished without ANY taxes. Government was small. Businesses could actually do business and make enough profit while paying people. That has changed. Unless you add that into the equation, which neither you nor that graph do, there is no way to 'fix' this. I do agree with you btw, but I also understand that fixing taxes is not going to fix everything else I've outlined.

As for the socialist comments ~ most of your solutions have already been tried, and failed, by socialists all over the world. If you support a Capitalist society, you can't use failed socialist methods to make things right.

Btw, I apologize for the lousy crop job. Posted all this, hit 'add reply' and went out to take care of the goats. Came back in and found a 'your post is too long please limit it to 30000' ARGH ... but I do enjoy discussing things with you so I tried to crop it lol

Again. There was a time our country flourished. People across the board so increases in money. Taxes were there. 25% on Capital Gains and the normal tax rate was way higher than it was now.

I am not so naive to think those changes would instantly fix everything. But I am pointing out that when they were like that things were going wondefully. Because many people say, "If you do that every business will leave and everything will go bad".

And you don't see the difference between a socialist country and a capitalist one? Having a strong middle class and a lower class that can make a liveable wage is not a trait of socialism. That's a trait of a moral society.

The way Capitalism works is there are winners. And for there to be winners there has to be losers. And a society that creates losers so there can be winners they ought to be responsible for those losers. Now in a successful Capitalistic economy those losers should be able to earn enough to live and shouldn't need much assistance at all.

It's been nice debating with you as well. I have been getting use to people who use arguments like, "Well you are stupid, and I don't like what you said" so it is alway nice to debate with someone who tries to make points, and gives counter arguments.

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The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

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