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The impending Government Shutdown

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 11:53 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

What 'flow of information,' Gunga? The Republicans have been cheerleading for a showdown for year or more, and the Dems haven't. Do you think that people somehow didn't notice this? Or that they aren't going to get pissed by the shutdown?

You're deluding yourself, as badly as you do on pretty much every other political topic here.

Cycloptichorn


I think a very good case can be made for the opposite proposition, that many Democrats calculated that a shutdown would again work to their advantage (as it did in 1995/6), and that it is they, not the Republicans, who have been talking up a sutdown.

The Repiblicans, as you have repeatedly noted, are caught between Democrat opposition to trimming or eliminating government programs and the avid support of widespread cuts by their teaparty base.

It is simply a fact that the Democrat controlled Congress failed utterly to meet its legislative obligations in addressing and passing either the various department appropriations bills or a budget for the current fiscal year, before October 2010 - as it was their responsibility to do. Confronted with massive resistance to tax increases, and fearful of the political consequences if they voted them (as they could easily have done) they simply walked out on thir public responsibilities - metaphorically at least much as did the Wisconsin Democrat legislators. That failure is at the core of the current legislative impasse.
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 12:03 pm
The Dems did not pass a budget. That you are correct about. There's no excuse. It's not like the GOP repeatedly filibustered and used "move to adjourn" to prevent them.

A
R
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0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 12:10 pm
@georgeob1,
if either party was actually interested in reducing government spending the debate would be about REAL government spending and NOT about socio-politico-policy spending. Very much like "ear-marks" which don't amount to a hill of beans while trillions are spent; kill the ear-marks but keep the trillions rolling. Bizarre.
Ceili
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 12:57 pm
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:01 pm
@dyslexia,
Agree here, though you may not agree back with the thrust of my view -

I'm routinely nonplussed by all the wimpering about social/political financial aids that would actually help our population live and potentially thrive in an active community, while whirling billions upon billions at world peace policing (read war) efforts, a kind of welfare for the military industrial sector... all the while letting our infrastructure weaken considerably.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:29 pm
@dyslexia,
Earmarks are not a significant portion of the budget as you point out. However, they are a corrupting factor in the process favoring elective patronage at the public expense. Worse their adverse consequences often go unreported.

After hurricane Katrina there was little coverage of the fact that the levees protecting New Orleans are the property and responsibility of the State of Louisiana. Even more pointed was the fact that federal appropriations to the Corps of Engineers destined, among other things, for the upgrade of state owned Mississippi levees were diverted for the earmarked construction of the J. Bennet Johnston ship channel near New Orleans. This ship channel was a key factor in the hydraulic short circuit between the storm surge in the Gulf and Lake Ponchatrain - where the levees failed. You may ask who was "J. Bennet Johnston"? - he was the Democrat senator from Louisiana who wrote the earmark directing the funding of the ship channel named after him.

I do agree that the big dollars in the Federal budget involve entitlements and social welfare spending. That, of course is an increasingly common phenomenon in the western world and is also the common factor behing the various budget crises in Europe, including those in Portugual, Greece, Hungary, and even France & the UK. There appears to be no option other than making some reductions in this area, and every commission or appointed group that has studied the matter has reached this conclusion as well. The Republicans in the House have proposed doing that and are preparing specific measures for doing it in the 2012 budget - which is due by October. Unfortunately we are entangled in a struggle for the 2011 budget - a government fiscal year that is now more than half behind us. That budget was the responsibility of the last Congress, and they didn't even bother to attempt it.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:37 pm
@georgeob1,
like I said georgeob
Quote:
if either party was actually interested in reducing government spending the debate would be about REAL government spending and NOT about socio-politico-policy spending.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 01:42 pm
@dyslexia,
But the Republicans have indeed proposed entitlement reform for the 2012 budget. I'll agree that both parties have helped us get where we are, but there is indeed a stark difference in their current positions.
realjohnboy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:06 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

But the Republicans have indeed proposed entitlement reform for the 2012 budget.

I am a card carrying social liberal and only slightly more moderate in all things fiscal, I concede. You know that. There is not much I can stomach in Rep Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan for the 2012 budget. But I do give him a bit of a nod for having the gonad to think about thinking about expanding the scope of what portions of the budget could be under review in order to reduce our deficits.
But Congress and the President, if they are serious about this, need to look at the entire budget; including things like defense and possible tax increases. As we enter the next election cycle, I am not sure that that will happen.
Perhaps after the dust settles here, we can catch our breath and talk about Ryan's plan in more detail.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:22 pm
@realjohnboy,
The impasse is the result of the intersection of (1) the Democrat fiction that tax increases on the "wealthy" and unnamed cuts in Defense spending (even as they commit our forces to more military actions) can solve our perverse combination of state & federal budget crises and poor economic performance - all while increasing the regulatory scope (and cost) of government; and (2) The Republican fiction that these things can be contained merely by reducing the cost and scope of government without the addition of more taxes. Both sides want their thing first and that has created the impasse.

I believe the Republicans are much closer to the truth in that the projection of the growth in entitlement costs dwarfs anything that is economically sustainable without putting the economy into a downward spiral. Moreover the things they propose to "bend the (various) cost curves" alll involve the creation of a bureaucratic state that will crush our freedom and innovation. You, of course, may have a different opinion about that. However, this is the situation as I see it.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:32 pm
@georgeob1,
Could we (as a group) make a list, George, of what types of programs are included in the category of "entitlement costs?"
Thanks.
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:49 pm
@georgeob1,
But even in three wars/conflicts, the military spending needs to be cut by huge amounts. It's stupid. We are in asymmetrical warfare. So I may agree that an F-22 is total air superiority, but who cares? F-22s aren't relevant in the fights we keep getting in. I don't know that we could even burn money at the speed we buy more planes for the giant air war we aren't in. Projects like these, and there are plenty, are just spending money on **** we don't need nor use. We could cut the defense in half and still have absurd military dominance and give troops a raise in pay. Given the discretionary budget, it is indefensible to cut social programs in light of this.

A
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:56 pm
@realjohnboy,
The main culprits are Medicare and Medicaid, followed by Social Security. There are also a host of other less important essential government programs, ranging from support of NPR to other like programs that individually aren't significant but which together involve high cost and low national importance. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

The unfolding crisis in Portugual is instructive. They voted out a government that was attempting to reduce expenditures in corresponding areas to stave off a bond/public finance crisis, and as a result threw themselves on the mercy of the EU for a bail out. The EU is now imposing more draconian cuts on Portugual than they had the will to decide for themselves. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it ?
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 02:57 pm
@failures art,
I'm not arguing against cuts in Defense spending, but they alone won't do the job.
failures art
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Apr, 2011 09:05 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

I'm not arguing against cuts in Defense spending, but they alone won't do the job.

Alone they won't. We agree. I'm just saying that I'm not going to take anyone serious about budget that won't go there. The same goes with tax cuts.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 09:51 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

What 'flow of information,' Gunga? The Republicans have been cheerleading for a showdown for year or more, and the Dems haven't. Do you think that people somehow didn't notice this? Or that they aren't going to get pissed by the shutdown?

You're deluding yourself, as badly as you do on pretty much every other political topic here.

Cycloptichorn


I think a very good case can be made for the opposite proposition, that many Democrats calculated that a shutdown would again work to their advantage (as it did in 1995/6), and that it is they, not the Republicans, who have been talking up a sutdown.


I'm sorry, but this is bullshit. Republicans in both the media and in Congress have been explicitly calling for a shutdown for months, while Democrats have not. You're just making **** up here.

Or perhaps you could provide an example? No?

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 01:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

I'm sorry, but this is bullshit. Republicans in both the media and in Congress have been explicitly calling for a shutdown for months, while Democrats have not. You're just making **** up here.

Or perhaps you could provide an example? No?

Cycloptichorn


Do you perceive the extent to which you have become the very thing of which you so tiresomely accuse others?
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 04:56 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:

realjohnboy wrote:

Remember that this is all about the 2011 fiscal year ending in Oct. I think that all parties (the Dems, the Repubs and the Teaparty folks) will decide to punt and move on to the 2012 budget.

That's true - this compromise refers to the budget submitted by Obama last year. It should have been voted on back when Democrats held majorities, not now; typically it wasn't. The 2011 budget compromise involves cuts of $79 billion from the original submission - so now it's time to move on the the main issue, the debt ceiling. The plan, as far as I can tell, is taken from the Russian playbook after Borodino - retreat, retreat, and wait for winter.

The debt ceiling deadline isn't the one Geithner mentions, btw - it's 6 to 8 weeks after that. The Treasury can stop issuing securities for a while, tap the Exchange Stabilization Fund, get the Fed to mobilize the half-trillion in gold sitting in Fort Knox. Only then does winter set in - aka national bankruptcy.

Re-posting this as page turned in the meantime. It's my sincere belief that Obama will only focus on his reelection for the next couple of years and continue to retreat on the budget front and elsewhere. It's up to the Republicans to decide how far to follow him into the depths of Siberia at 40 below zero.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 11 Apr, 2011 08:50 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

I'm sorry, but this is bullshit. Republicans in both the media and in Congress have been explicitly calling for a shutdown for months, while Democrats have not. You're just making **** up here.

Or perhaps you could provide an example? No?

Cycloptichorn


Do you perceive the extent to which you have become the very thing of which you so tiresomely accuse others?


Oh, piss off. You say that an argument could be made that the Dems were cheering for a shutdown; but you don't actually MAKE that argument. You don't ever make ANY arguments.

Do I really need to link to Pence, and Cantor, and Limbaugh, and other top Republicans recently discussing a shutdown and how the country needs it? How it wouldn't be bad for us? Should I like to news reports of Republicans standing and cheering when told to prepare for a shutdown in their caucus meetings, of Tea Partiers cheering and chanting 'shut it down!' just last week?

You're full of it on this one, George, and you know it. A challenge for you: name the public Democratic senator or congressman who has been repeatedly and publicly arguing for a shutdown. Name just one of them. Let alone the previous 'good argument' you said could be made, but don't intend to make.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Apr, 2011 09:58 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Just to add a little more fuel to my argument, here's Boehner claiming that if Dems don't make big concessions, the Republicans will not vote for the Debt Limit increase:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/10/ftn/main20052567.shtml

Not only WERE they threatening to shut the gov't down, they are doing it AGAIN and intend to keep threatening to do so. In short, you're completely wrong.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
 

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