Trim With A Clever

I took a wait and see attitude to Mr. Ryan’s new plan……wanted to see what was said in defense or opposition…….

We have had the prez budget and now Mr. Ryan has yet another one for us to worry about…..his idea is to cur $5.1 trillion from the budget in ten years……and of course it will fall on the backs of the poor and middle class to do all the sacrifice while corporations get an almost free ride on everything…….

Paul Ryan unveiled a Republican budget plan today that would slash $5.1 trillion in federal spending over the coming decade and balance the government’s books with wide-ranging cuts in programs like food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class. About 40% of Ryan’s projected savings would come from the repeal of ObamaCare, reports the Wall Street Journal. Ryan’s budget claims balance by 2024, but relies on $74 billion in savings in that year from the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits, which CBO says would have a long-term positive effect because it would free up savings and investment capital. Democrats are sure to seize on the maneuver as phony math; without these projections, however, Ryan’s budget plan would fall almost $70 billion short of balance.

The New York Times writes that Ryan’s plan “will serve more as a 2014 Republican campaign manifesto than a legislative agenda.” And the Washington Post says it “amounts to personal manifesto on government austerity from a man who has emerged as the GOP’s leading light on fiscal policy.” The Post also notes that Ryan wants to replace the outgoing Dave Camp as the next chair of the Ways and Means panel while still keeping his options open for a 2016 run for the White House. His complete budget blueprint is here via the Hill.

In his 2014 budget proposal, Ryan backed cuts to Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – the program colloquially known as food stamps – and called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s benefits. According to the CBPP, these cuts, which accounted for 72 percent of the budget’s total program cuts, would have “resulted in large increases in poverty and deprived many millions of affordable health insurance.”

Read the proposal and tell me if you think it is more for political campaigns than reality……..yes, this will be a manifesto for elections in November and most likely will also be used for the 2016 ones also……..

Does it sound like Trickle Down 2.0?

You think it sucks now….just wait for the results in 2014 and see how quick they start trying to implement these cuts……the election results will dictate their actions……..


The Next Media Circus

Just when you thought it was safe to follow the news again…..BLAM!  Here we go again with a ginned up story to capture our hearts and minds……well you know what they say about hearts and minds, right?  NO?  “when you have them by the balls they follow willingly”……and that my friends sums it up very nicely……

But all seriousness aside……..the next “big” story for the media to drive will be the “super committee” to solve all our debt problems with one group of people….(pause here for side splitting laughter)……..remember that can that everyone was so concerned about go down the road?  This committee is just that sort of can…..need we say any more?

While it’s a relief to many in Congress that the debt ceiling bill is on its way to becoming law, Jill Lawrence reminds us of the next phase — “the one with the holiday deadlines — in which a 12-member bipartisan committee of senators and House members is supposed to come up with $1.5 trillion in further deficit reduction.”

“A word to future supercommittee members as you ponder how to proceed: You’re starting out in a deep hole. The public has been focused to an unusual degree on Congress for the last several weeks. The result is rock-bottom approval ratings and an image nobody wants

But who these saviors be?  I can tell you who they will not be……any of the Gang of Six, while I did not agree with them on much, at least they had a plan….and then there are those Dems and Repubs that were on the Simpson-Bowles committee, they will not be on there either for there was a plan that came out of those meetings….so who will it be that will be tapped to lead away from the road to ruin?

Senate GOP sources tell the Weekly Standard that senators who vote against the debt ceiling legislation today will be ineligible to serve on the so-called “supercommittee” for deficit reduction that the legislation creates.

“Excluding those who vote against the debt deal will ensure that some of the most fiscally conservative members of the Senate Republican caucus, including most of its freshmen, will be reading about the committee’s activities in the newspaper rather than guiding its decisions.”

(Sorry…I had to pause for more raucous laughter…..sorry)….like I said….it will be a joke and at worse a media circus…..

There will be the extremes of all three sides of the political triangle…..Dem/Repub/Tea Party….and for that reason there is NO one serious on solving the problems……and then in the end will go the way of Simpson-Bowles and the Gang of Six….dismissed and all this crap will start over again……NO one in Washington is serious about finding solutions…..and in the end….we Americans will have a good laugh at those that we elect…..but will we learn anything?  Doubtful, very doubtful!  And in the end we will still be on that road that we hope to avoid trying to catch up with the can we kept kicking……

Governance as usual!

P.S.  If you do not like this, then wait….the Repubs will use the unemployed to finish the screwing of the American people  (post to come)………

The Cut, Cap And Balance Two-Step (Part 3)

My last day of non-existent Zen…no deal out of Washington……and the beat goes on…..tick….TOCK!

The third and last part of the wonder that is ‘cut, cap and balance’……..the Balance part of the equation and here is where this whole thing falls apart, in my opinion…….FleetAdmiralJ of Blue Wave News has done a fine job at describing the act and if you want to read the whole thing go to Parts 1&2….or go to blogroll and click on Blue Wave News and if that is too slow for your liking then this should help……

Title III: Balance

This section extends the debt limit to $16.7 trillion (an increase of $2.3 trillion), but only unless and until a balanced budget amendment as introduced in H. J. Res. 1, S. J. Res. 10, or H. J. Res. 56 (or any comparable amendment) is passed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress and sent to the states.

And then 2/3 of the states must vote to put this in the Constitution……NOT gonna happening, sports fans…..why?  Think about the ERA or as us old farts called it the Equal Rights Amendment….which would truly have made everyone equal……if the states could NOT pass an equal rights amendment, which by the way is something that the Constitution already says we have….what chance would a balanced budget amendment have?

Let’s be honest….if you have read parts 1,2 & 3 you have seen what they want to do to the budget and to the country………but if this were to actually pass…..what would it do?  Let us be clear!

  • Make it near impossible to implement stimulus spending in a recession. In fact, it would almost certainly require severe budget cuts in the very programs that help people the most during a recession.
  • It would create a disincentive to implement possible stimulative tax cuts as it would take a 2/3 vote to repeal them (assuming one couldn’t just sunset them)
  • It would make it difficult for the government to provide disaster relief in the case of a major hurricane, earthquake, flood, drought, or other natural disaster as it would require a 2/3 vote to do so
  • It would make some common sense fixes to Social Security difficult, by making any vote to raise or eliminate the payroll tax cap subject to a 2/3 vote, putting the sustainability of Social Security into even further question
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would almost certainly have to be repealed. This would actually make it harder to balance the budget, as the PPACA has the net effect of lowering the deficit, but it would violate the 18% of GDP provision.
  • It would almost certainly require that any steps to be taken to lower the national debt would have to be taken by spending cuts only.
  • If the GOP cut taxes with the argument that it would increase revenue – and were wrong – it would be nearly impossible to reverse as it would take a 2/3 vote to do so.
  • However, it would make it (relatively) easy for a party who controls Washington to do something such as Invading Iraq again, as it would only take a 3/5 vote of both Houses to declare doing so a “imminent and serious military threat to national security.” – but would make it difficult to pay for such action by raising taxes as 2 of the 3 amendments wouldn’t waive the 2/3 vote to raise taxes provision, even in a time of war.
  • It would make the US much like California in that it would take a 2/3 vote to do any sort of real budget reforms. This situation was a large reason why California faced one of the biggest budget deficits in the nation
  • It would encourage Congress to balance the budget using budgeting tricks, similar to what is happening in many states with balanced budget amendments right now, making the nation’s financial situation less stable, not more stable…….

Many have that it was a pretty good plan…..but once again it would fall on the shoulders of the middle class to solve ALL the country’s economic woes…….personally, I am weary of all the these programs that have me and people like me having to shallow the austerity pill……It is about time that we ALL…..and that means just what I said…..ALL…….to be part of the solution…..if they cannot do that then…..LET IT RIP!

Another Plan From Washington

Ok, we have heard from the GOP with the Ryan plan…..we heard from the gang of 6……we have heard from damn near every politician that can sprint to a mic after a negotiation session….here a plan and there a plan….plans are everywhere…..and with all that planning…there is NOT a damn solution in the bunch…..SNAFU….or maybe a better description would be….FUBAR!

But wait there is time for one more deficit plan…..yes….one more….this one comes from the Senate and it comes from the majority leader, Harry Reid……his is very simple……

$2.7 trillion package, including $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts, $100 billion in mandatory savings, $1 trillion savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $400 billion in interest savings, while establishing ‘Joint Congressional Committee to Find Future Savings’.

Can anyone say……”VAGUE”?

But it does include one of my favorite things about Washington……..establish a “Commission”…….now that is what is needed…for sure…….look how well the Simpson-Bowles Commission worked (all that is sarcasm, in case you missed it)… know how every politician, yes those same politicians, that sprint to a mic to get the first talking point in, likes to use the analogy of….”kick the can down the road”…..a term that is almost as popular as “boots on the ground” or “24/7″……..well sports fans…..a commission is nothing more than kicking that damn can down the road…….a commission is something used to make it appear that progress is being made…….but all we get is that can rolling into traffic…..

Oh goody…the Prez has signed on…..and what would you think the GOP response will be?  You got it!  To the Repubs it is a non-starter….go figure!

Sorry people….but this plan is no damn better than nay of the others….the middle class is still pulling everybody’s weight in the deficit debate…….now that is fair….we would not want all those jobs that the corporations are creating to be effected b y an increase in taxes…….(yep!  Sarcasm again!)

The cowards in Washington have 7 days………

And just when you thought it was safe from another plan… were WRONG!  It seems that House Speaker, John Boehner has a two step plan….oh goody….more fun……

In the first phase, there would be $1.1 trillion in non-defense cuts with an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling by $1 trillion which should last until April.

In the second phase, there would be a vote on a balanced budget amendment, which is designed to secure the votes of 59 House Republicans who have already pledged not to vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances.  And he also wants a commission….cool, huh?

I see Boehner has the same vision as everyone in Washington…..F*ck the Middle Class and collect your dividends from the special interests………business as usual…….not much new!  All this is just so damn silly that it begs to be ridiculed!

There is an election in 2012….maybe we as voters should look elsewhere for representatives….the ones we keep electing are cowards and as worthless as tits on a boar…….period!

7 days and counting……tick….tick!

Cracks In The Nordquist Wall?

In case there are still those who do not know who Grover Nordquist is let me assist……he is the guy that has the Tax Pledge that almost all Repubs sign promising to NEVER raise taxes….and there is where the rub is in the debt debate…..Repubs want nothing but cuts and Dems are calling for cuts and revenue sections to any bill…..up until about a year ago…cracks are starting to form in his wall of tax cuts only…….

One of the leaders of the hammer brigade is Sen. Coburn, a Repub, but it is more in the form of a technicality than an outright dismissal of the Pledge he signed when he came to Washington……

This from the Fiscal Times……

The Wall Street Journal reportedthat Coburn was among the members of a small bipartisan group of senators who are willing to consider taxes as part of a deficit reduction package. Norquist immediately went after the three Republicans named in the article: Coburn, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Mike Crapo of Idaho. (The Democrats are Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Mark Warner of Virginia.)The same day the Journal article appeared, Norquist fired off a letter to Chambliss, Coburn and Crapo, threatening them with retaliation for their apostasy:

I was disappointed this morning to read an article … in which you were implicated as parties to a bipartisan budget deal containing a net tax increase…. Needless to say, support for such a deal would most likely be a violation of your Taxpayer Protection Pledge. That pledge which you made to your constituents and the American people obligates you to “…oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar-for-dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

I urge you to reject this so-called “deal” which is little more than a transparent attempt to hike taxes and put off the spending restraint the country clearly called for in the 2010 elections.

Chambliss, Coburn and Crapo immediately wrote back to Norquist, rejecting his threat and the logic of his argument. They said there is a huge difference between a legislated tax increase and the natural rise in revenue that would accompany faster growth resulting from tax reform.

To Nordquist, the deficit is NOT important at all…….

Norquist is backed into a corner and forced to admit that he doesn’t really care about the deficit. He told the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein on March 9, “The goal is to reduce the size and scope of government spending, not to focus on the deficit.”When asked to explain how the size and scope of government is reduced by the tax pledge, Norquist fell back on a discredited doctrine called “starve the beast,” which says that tax cuts somehow or other automatically reduce spending and that the only thing to talk about is spending.

There must be revenue increases if there is to be a true recovery……cuts alone will do little to nothing….hopefully there are those that can do the math…….it is basic math not some exaggerated formula…….

So I ask again, is there cracks appearing in the Nordquist wall?

But wait!  There is an addendum……..this from yesterday’s Think Progress……

The Washington Post editorial board reported this morning that Norquist himself stated that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2012 would not technically violate his pledgeas “not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase”:

Would allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in 2012 violate this vow? We posed this question to Grover Norquist, its author and enforcer, and his answer was both surprising and encouraging: No.

In other words, according to Mr. Norquist’s interpretation of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, lawmakers have the technical leeway to bring in as much as $4 trillion in new tax revenue — the cost of extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for another decade — without being accused of breaking their promise. “Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase,” Mr. Norquist told us. So it doesn’t violate the pledge? “We wouldn’t hold it that way,” he said.

Norquist is quickly trying to walk back that statement, declaring that “any failure to extend or make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, in whole or in part, would clearly increase taxes on the American people.” However, even while reaffirming this principle on MSNBC this morning, Norquist stated again that there are technical ways to allow the tax cuts to expire that “and not violate the pledge.”

Cracks are forming……’Mr. Nordquist…tear down this wall’………(sorry could not resist)………

Everybody Has A Plan

Daily we hear of the plans for the correcting of the economic problems we have here in the US….there are tax cuts…..there stims….there are infrastructure….there are …..on and on……everybody has a plan….Repubs, Dems, Greens, Libertarians, etc etc….and now the Fed chief has a plan for deficit reduction….

Bernanke speaks and his plan is…….

“Clear metrics are important, together with triggers or other mechanisms to establish the credibility of the plan. For example, policymakers could commit to enacting in the near term a clear and specific plan for stabilizing the ratio of debt to GDP within the next few years and then subsequently setting that ratio on a downward path. Indeed, such a trajectory for the ratio of debt to GDP is comparable to the one proposed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.To make the framework more explicit, the President and congressional leadership could agree on a definite timetable for reaching decisions about both shorter-term budget adjustments and longer-term changes. Fiscal policymakers could look now to find substantial savings in the 10-year budget window, enforced by well-designed budget rules, while simultaneously undertaking additional reforms to address the long-term sustainability of entitlement programs. Such a framework could include a commitment to make a down payment on fiscal consolidation by enacting legislation to reduce the structural deficit over the next several years.”

Spoken like a true intellectual……..all that geek speak means…..the debt ceiling should be raised…..a bi-partisan approach to spending and a long term plan…period.

Screw The Deficit!

This is a piece that I was reading on and thought that it would be a good post on my blog…..this person Richard Stitt is saying basically the same thing as I have been saying since January of 2011……I urge those who do not see the pressing necessity for a debt debate or a deficit debate to read Mr. Stitt commentary……an excellent piece……

Personally, I don’t see our country’s deficit as the most pressing priority. Although it didn’t take watching the History Channel’s startling revelation, The Crumbling of America, to convince me that rebuilding our infrastructure is an imminent priority, it did magnify the pending calamity which we have confined ourselves if we do nothing.

But, saying No to everything and doing nothing except tax cuts for their wealthiest election campaign contributors is exactly what Republicans want. Maybe they will wake up if we have a tsunami, a major earthquake and a Fukushima-like nuclear plant meltdown. But that would require preparation and attention to our collapsing infrastructure which would require siphoning tax dollars away from their benefactors like the billionaire Koch brothers.

Read the entire piece by Stitt…good read and good points………..

Like I have said…these are the things that average Americans are concerned with….BTW…GOP….Where are the jobs!