John Boehner and fellow Republicans want to play another game of “government shutdown” over the debt limit – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants Congress to raise the debt limit again later this year “without drama, pain and damage.” House Speaker John Boehner has other ideas. […] “When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance. If that means we have to do a series of stop-gap measures, so be it – but that’s not the ideal. Let’s start solving the problem. We can make the bold cuts and reforms necessary to meet this principle, and we must.” — Brian Beutler | TPM
There will be no compromise: any tax increases to the wealthy or cuts to the DoD are completely off the table.
Why are Republicans flirting with Debt Limit Debacle 2.0? — Protecting The Bush Tax Cuts: This is a generational imperative for the GOP. The 2001 and 2003 Bush cuts are key to the decades-long conservative goal of redistributing wealth further up the income ladder and rolling back the federal government’s role in providing social services. All of the cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year, and if President Obama wins in November, he’ll have a lot of leverage to demand that the Republicans own up to the results and allow the cuts for high-income earners to expire. – Brian Beutler | TPM
Under the current baseline agreed to in the Budget Control Act, the debt-ceiling deal wherein Boehner claims he received “98 percent of what he wanted,” every bracket of the Bush Tax Cuts will expire at the end of fiscal 2012. The only way any bracket, whether at the low-end or high-end, will be extended beyond fiscal 2012 is through an act of congress. If congress and the president simply do nothing, they will automatically expire. — Bob Cesca
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY – ”It is pretty galling for Speaker Boehner to be laying down demands for another debt-ceiling agreement when he won’t even abide by the last one. The last thing the country needs is a rerun of last summer’s debacle that nearly brought down our economy.”
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-MD – ”The dollar for dollar limit, of course, led to the sequester, which none of us like. While it sounds good, the execution of that principle does not seem to be very disciplined. The Speaker, in my view, believes [in a broad, balanced approach] as well, [but] the Speaker’s party does not believe in balance. Mr. Boehner is responding to the same people who didn’t want the Export-Import Bank to pass. The Republicans are good at buying and lousy at paying. They borrowed a lot of money, as a result we owe a lot of money. They don’t believe that tax cuts need to be paid for so they give away revenues, they continue to spend money and inevitably deficits occur.”
The last GOP-led hostage crisis over the debt — It was, to my mind, the worst thing an American major party has done, at least in domestic politics, since the Civil War. It was a move without parallel. The entirety of a party threatened to deliberately hurt the country unless their rivals paid a hefty ransom — in this case, debt reduction. It didn’t matter that Republicans were largely responsible for the debt in the first place, and it didn’t matter that Republicans routinely raised the debt ceiling dozens of times over the last several decades. This wasn’t just another partisan dispute; it was a scandal for the ages. This one radical scheme helped lead to the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt; it riled financial markets and generated widespread uncertainty about the stability of the American system; and it severely undermined American credibility on the global stage. Indeed, in many parts of the world, observers didn’t just lose respect for us, they were actually laughing at us. It’s the kind of thing that should have scarred the Republican Party for a generation. Not only did that never happen, the Republican hostage takers are already vowing to create this identical crisis all over again, on purpose.– Steve Benen
— Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, speaking to her constituents at a town hall event over the weekend.
THANK YOU, Rep. Waters! Someone had to say it. Here’s why:
Via Joe Romm | Think Progress: If you’re anti-science (like the Tea Party), you’re anti-jobs. “I think this is an important message to deliver. I would have said it’s important message for progressives to deliver, but the fact is it is an important message for everybody not in the extreme anti-science crowd to repeat. Indeed, “moderate” conservative GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said this weekend that being anti-science is as counterproductive for the nation as it and self-destructive it is for his party.”
If you’re anti-eduction (like the Tea Party), you’re anti-future, anti-reality, anti-science, and anti-jobs: As a state senator in 2002, [Michele] Bachmann produced a bizarre film called Guinea Pigs II, which compared Minnesota’s Profile of Learning curriculum standards—instituted in 1998 by Republican Gov. Arne Carlson—to Nazism and communism. As Tim Murphy of Mother Jones wrote of Bachmann last week, “She was Tea Party before the Tea party was cool. In 2002, with a Republican president in the White House and the Tea Party a full seven years away, she cited the 9th and 10th amendments while railing against No Child Left Behind as an unconstitutional abuse of power.” […] These Christian right organizations lobbied against curriculum standards and state and federal regulation of home-schoolers, and recruited thousands of school board candidates—many of them churchgoing moms like Bachmann—in an attempt to wield influence over curricula and textbooks. The movement paid special attention to how public schools dealt with issues such as homosexuality, contraception, and abortion, but also sought to promote an uber-nationalist view of American history, in which the evils of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans were downplayed or sometimes totally whitewashed.
Only in the Tea Party could famegoblins like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin be venerated for making ignorant statements on a regular basis and for their divisive, fundamentalist ideology — which at times is in direct opposition to the Constitution — and be seriously considered as candidates for President of the United States.
Do we even know for sure how much money the Pentagon and Department of Defense lost during the Bush years? This lost money has contributed in a big way to our deficit… where was the Repulican/Teaparty outcry over this news?
Fed News Radio | July 2010: The Defense Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Development Fund for Iraq monies in received for reconstruction in Iraq. This according to a study published today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
More amusing, given this information, the Republican/Teaparty House members are bringing another continuing resolution to the floor for a vote today (a bill written to be rejected by the Democrats) with one of the requirements being that the Department of Defense will be funded through the remainder of the year!
There wasn’t a threat of a government shutdown back then or threats to not raise the Debt Limit until someone “found” the money. Why not?