In WW II you heard the sirens go off then you knew to head for the designated bomb shelters or the cellar. The response became automatic after a while. Whenever there is a Republican scandal we can also rely on a conditioned response. The response it predicated on the deep moral flaw that runs through conservatism – never take responsibility for anything. First, clue the whining, coupled with much melodramatic outrage that the alleged felons and conservatism in general are poor victims of the vast liberal conspiracy. This reaction undermines the regularly scheduled assertion by the rabid Right that America is a basically rightwing country. But conservatives have never been the least humiliated by their bizarre behavior and inconsistent moral compass, Breitbart Claim: Jailed O’Keefe Couldn’t Access Attorney For Hours. Its thus Brietbart’s claim that O’Keefe was not allowed his one telephone call after being booked.What difference would it have made, if any. Would they have come up with a better cover story. As it is we have no proof, just the assertions of a serial liar. Part two of the conservative Pavlovian response is to yell a vast liberal conspiracy is out to frame them and on clue, Teabugger James O’Keefe Speaks, Defends Unique Brand of Fake Journalism. We should not call on conservatives to take a moment, reflect and turn over a new leaf. Conservatives in general are just not up to that kind of painful moral soul searching. Could they at least change the game plan a little to keep us all from getting bored.
Some worth while counter points to push back the inane conservative meme that somehow Super Obama ran into a telephone booth, changed into in Super Hero Mind Control outfit and wrestled the economy away from Bush, Cheney and Republicans in Congress, thus is responsible for the Great Recession, McCain’s Top Campaign Adviser: Record Deficits Would Have Happened Under McCain, Too
In actuality — as most sober-minded economists attest — many of the deficit problems the current administration faces today are traced directly back to the policies of its predecessors. This, indeed, seems to be implicit in Holtz-Eakin’s acknowledgment.
In December 2009, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that the then-$1.4 trillion annual deficit run by the government under Obama had much to do with the Bush administration’s package of tax cuts, the wars it launched in Iraq and Afghanistan and its response to the recession.
A forthcoming study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concludes that the $1.4 trillion annual deficit run by the government has little to do with current White House policies and much to do with George W. Bush’s actions.
“What we have looked at were several major contributors to the deficit: the tax cuts between 2001 and 2003 (on the assumption they get extended in 2010), the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the effects of the recession as well as the legislative response to the recession,” James Horney, director of federal fiscal policy at the Center, told the Huffington Post. “When you take those things into account — in other words, if we hadn’t enacted the tax cuts, had the wars, if we hadn’t had the recession and needed the legislation to deal with those problems — the deficits are much, much lower. And basically none of those represent Obama’s policies. He didn’t run saying he wanted to pass a stimulus to deal with the recession or that he wanted to continue the war in Iraq or escalate [to this extent] in Afghanistan. He inherited these issues once he took office.”
Considering all the claims about an “Obama spending spree” it is important to begin by looking at exactly how much money the government spent in FY09. It’s true that spending in 2009 was much higher than it was the previous fiscal year, by about $602 billion, excluding payments on the national debt (which actually declined in 2009 because of low interest rates). But it turns out that a huge chunk of that increase actually happened before President Obama took office. In fact, fully 41 percent, or $245 billion, came in the form of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the rescues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, actions taken in the fall of 2008 under President George W. Bush.
In other words, before President Obama had even taken office, federal spending was already up by about 9 percent over fiscal year 2008 levels. So the other $350 billion must be that spending spree we’ve been hearing so much about, right? Not exactly.
Another 18 percent of the spending increase came not from President Obama’s pen, but from growth in mandatory programs set in place many years prior to his presidency. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, for example, cost the government $110 billion more in 2009 than they did in 2008. These cost increases weren’t the result of policy changes made by President Obama—they stem from longstanding demographic trends and the ever-increasing costs of health care.
The tea bagger movement has been dealt one serious blow after another. Too bad liberals cannot take all the credit, Conservative Hit Man and Wall St Consultant Frank Luntz Pens Memo On How To Channel Economic Anxiety Into Protecting Wall St Abuses
True to form, Luntz has released a new memo — obtained by the Huffington Post — which lays out the arguments and language Republicans should use to kill financial reform. Luntz, who gained national recognition for his role in shaping the buzzword-heavy Contract for America with Newt Gingrich in 1994, has built a sizable business selling his messaging advice to both corporations and Republican campaigns.
Luntz, ever the publicity hound, leaks his memos out to the media to claim credit for the Republican charge against reforming Wall Street. While he is certainly a driving force behind much of the GOP misinformation, a closer look at his client list reveals that he is in fact being paid by the finance industry:
– Luntz client Ameriquest Mortgages: The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would eliminate predatory mortgages. Ameriquest, America’s “sub-prime leader,” has been prosecuted by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for inflating property values so borrowers could get bigger loans, imposing upfront fees without reducing interest rates as promised, and intentionally deceiving lenders with hidden penalties and interest rates on final loan documents.
– Luntz clients Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns: Under proposed financial reform, big banks, like Luntz clients Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns, would face a new structure designed to police financial products, prohibit predatory ones, and require clear forms and disclosures. The CFPA would also help regulate hidden bank fees and other bank abuses.
– Luntz client American Express: The CFPA would regulate the credit card industry, preventing predatory interest rates and fees.
Let’s not try to fix anything so we can enjoy this merry-go-round of financial hi-jinx generation after generation. A strange direction for a self proclaimed populist movement.