Jonathan Bernstein writing at the WaPo – Is GOP quietly negotiating a surrender in debt ceiling fight?
Where do things stand in the debt limit mess? My best guess: What we’re really seeing right now is Republicans attempting to implement an organized retreat and surrender.
Here’s why. Conservatives entered into the debt limit with entirely unrealistic expectations. Moreover, having already lost battles they apparently (and, again, unrealistically) expected to win on health care and the government shutdown showdown earlier in the year, many Republicans committed even more strongly to their unrealistic expectations on the debt limit.
[ ]…I think that’s also the best way to understand the Gang of Six revived package — it offers Republicans another way out of their mess. Of course, it’s almost entirely symbolic. Down the line it’s possible that some actual legislation can emerge from it, but there’s no chance that “down the line” will be before the debt limit is extended, and there’s no way to guarantee that “down the line” will ever happen. But this is nonetheless an escape hatch of sorts — Republicans could package a debt limit increase with a symbolic vow to implement the Gang of Six proposal later.
Jonathan might be right, but he is pasting together as much logic out of the sea of crazy to paint what appears to be some kind of face saving for conservatives. As most of us know, the tensions in play have little to do with logic. I know I’m repeating myself, but think about what the House did on the Ryan(R-WI) plan. That plan increased the deficit more than either Obama’s $4 trillion grand compromise or Biden’s smaller $2 trillion deficit reduction plan. An important point to remember as Republicans try to pin blame for the lack of progress in current budget talks on President Obama. Why vote for one plan to increase deficits yet vote against a plan that cuts spending even more. Could it possibly be that the logic involved it pure childish pettiness. Conservatives are against Obama’s plan, the plan to the far Right of Ryan, just because it is a Democratic plan ( Obama’s plan short those moronic Ryan Medicare vouchers that gut Medicare). Further proof the debate is not about debt reduction, but about being against anything Obama is for, It Begins: Top Republicans Push Away From Gang Of Six Plan
Relative to current policy, though, it’s supposed to draw in $1 trillion in new revenue — surely a sticking point for House Republicans. But where do those revenues come from if the plan lowers top tax rates (or at least the top rates), eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax (at a cost to the deficit of $1.7 trillion), and doesn’t eliminate the most expensive loopholes and benefits in the tax code? That’s left to Congress to decide
It’s not just Ryan, though. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) says he opposes the Gang of Six plan because it cuts too deeply into military spending.
And, perhaps most telling of all, a Senate GOP Leadership Aide told Politico, “Background guidance: The President killed any chance of its success by 1) Embracing it. 2) Hailing the fact that it increases taxes. 3) Saying it mirrors his own plan.”
One imagines that if Obama’d said nothing, GOP aides would be complain just as loudly that the President hasn’t publicly embraced any proposal coming out of Congress. Now that he has, Republicans will run away — and that’s just what we’re seeing.
Yes, a lot of the spending cuts are in broad strokes. The specific cuts to be made would be up to committees in the House to decide. Who controls the House. Republicans. These deficit peacocks are so cowardly they are afraid to trust themselves with making specific cuts. They’re even afraid they might cut the defense budget, that ballooned after 9-11. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Ryan would be forced to have some backbone along with Congress’s double talking nut jobs like Allen West (R-FL). West would have to go further on record than he already is, for cutting Medicare ( which he says is a “socialist” plan), Social Security and Medicaid ( West is easy to pick on. He seems to suffer from paranoia and has deeply confused thoughts about how a military officer and a gentleman should conduct himself. He has said, like Herman Cain that liberals hate him because he has left the “plantation”. West made a career in a military desegregated by liberals. He was assured fair treatment and equal opportunity in the military because of liberal policies. Even though he should have been Court Marshaled for torture and abuse, he was given leniency and allowed to keep his liberal military benefits. Yet another modern wing-nut who’s opportunities and career were made possible by liberalism who sees himself as the poor victim of liberals.) You can read the Gang of Six executive summary here. And as Draconian as the GOS is, the silly McConnell/Reid stop-gap also is not enough for the tea smokers in Congress, House GOP Suicide Squad gets bigger
On Monday, Rep. Joe Walsh, a radical GOP freshman, began circulating a letter among his House Republican colleagues drawing a line in the sand: they won’t accept the McConnell/Reid plan. Period. Full stop.
Which is probably why it has occurred to Wall Street, the hostage takers might really shoot the hostage, Wall St. Makes Fallback Plans for Debt Crisis
Lawmakers in Washington are racing to reach a deal to save the country from defaulting on its debt, but on Wall Street, financial players are devising doomsday plans in case the clock runs out.
These companies are taking steps to reduce the risk of holding Treasury bonds or angling for ways to make profits from any possible upheaval. And even if a deal is reached in Washington, some in the industry fear that the dickering has already harmed the country’s market credibility.
On Wall Street, Treasuries function like a currency, and investors often use these bonds, which are supposed to be virtually fail-proof, as security deposits in their trading in the markets. Now, banks are sifting through their holdings and their customers’ holdings to determine if these security deposits will retain their value. In addition, mutual funds — which own billions of dollars in Treasuries — are working on presentations to persuade their boards that they can hold the bonds even if the government debt is downgraded. And hedge funds are stockpiling cash so they can buy up United States debt if other investors flee.
Just two years ago, Wall Street was pissed because President Obama said some mean things about them. Seriously, that is not a joke. So they poured money into the plastic roots teahadist movement. Now Wall Street may lose billions because of the people they put in office. The good news is ( read being facetious) that just the threat of a debt ceiling collapse may have permanently hurt the value of Treasury bonds and the value of the dollar. One of the things that was keeping some average family heads above water was the ability to buy cheap imported products. Kiss that goodby as the costs foreign-made products in every price range creep up.
In other news:
Late Monday night, Tucker Carlson’s pseudo-journalism rag, the Daily Caller, published a piece on Republican president hopeful Michele Bachmann that strongly alleged she popped pills whenever she came under any kind of stress. From the sensationalist headline, “Stress-related condition ‘incapacitates’ Bachmann; heavy pill use alleged,” to a last paragraph that highlighted her “debilitating headache episodes,” the article tried very hard to make readers understand that because of this “incapacitating” condition, she is unfit to be president.
I think is it common knowledge that Carlson is just as afraid of women as Allen West. While I find her politics morally repulsive, Bachmann has been given a mud bath she doesn’t deserve. I suffer from severe head aches – I have one right now and so I’m in a hurry to finish this post. I usually only have a few migraines a year. Like Bachmann I do not take any opiate based pain killers. She is taking sumatriptan and odanestron as she needs to. They are drugs that reduce vascular inflammation. History buffs will remember that President John F. Kennedy had a degenerative back ailment and used strong pain killers while in office. I’ve listened to recordings of him in the Oval office during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the guy was incredibly sharp and focused. The late uber conservative Supreme Court Cheif Justice William Rehnquist, on the other hand, had a problem with heavy drug use during his tenure that may well have affected his judgement. Bachmann is not nearly into Rehnquist drug territory, or JFK for that matter.
Despite O’Keefe’s Claims, New Video Doesn’t Show “Widespread Medicaid Fraud”. In future dictionaries under propaganda we will see to be O’Keefeified . Video editing done to maliciously misrepresent actual events will be called O’Keefe editing. Former practitioners of this kind of messaging include Joseph Goebbels, Pol Pot and Mao.
Some Tennessee tea partiers are in hot water with a Las Vegas gambling resort that’s accusing them of skipping out on a big hotel bill.
On Monday Venetian Casino Resort, LLC., filed suit against Tea Party Nation Corporation of Franklin, Tenn., alleging the group owes $642,144 for canceling a conservative conclave last year.
Venetian Casino Resort, LLC/Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is a major Republican political donor. What’s that called when conservatives form a circle and give each other the shaft.