Archive for buzzflash – Page 2

Despite Pres. Obama Beating Back Barbarians at the Gate, #Sequestration Is Still Harming Many Americans


cancel the sequester

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Yes indeed, with "The Tea Party and the Economy: It's Like Putting an Arsonist in Charge of the Fire Department."  Paul Krugman also opined on the ruinous impact of the rabid Right Wing in a column, "The Damage Done":

Elections have consequences, and one consequence of Republican victories in the 2010 midterms has been a still-weak economy when we could and should have been well on the way to full recovery.

But why have Republican demands so consistently had a depressing effect on the economy?

Part of the answer is that the party remains determined to wage top-down class warfare in an economy where such warfare is particularly destructive.

Think of Obama's sudden emergence of spine as having kept the dam of the American economy from bursting, wreaking havoc throughout the nation -- with a devastating global impact had the nation defaulted.  Yet, due to the Tea Party (financed largely by the likes of the Koch Brothers) and Republican Ayn Randians such as Paul Ryan and the opportunistic Ted Cruz (along with the less fanatic, but, nonetheless, austerity-driven Mitch McConnell) the dam is still leaking like a sieve.  It hasn't burst, but the jury is still out on whether or not the dam will break open from all the holes blasted open by the alliance of libertarian oligarchs with neo-Confederate populists.

Let's look at just one example: sequestration.  The Republicans in Congress insisted on potential sequestration (automatic cuts in the domestic and military budgets) as a condition of raising the debt in 2011. [...]

This summer, the AFL-CIO blog listed "25 Ways the Sequester Causes Real Harm to Real People." These include: "kids kicked out of Head Start"; "increased homelessness"; "elderly adults not being able to eat"; "loss of unemployment benefits"; and much more damage to a large swath of US citizens, not to mention the economy. [...]

Given that the Republicans in Congress continue to oppose new sources of revenue (higher taxes on the rich and the closing of corporate and financial institution loopholes, along with perhaps some financial transaction taxes), the likelihood of the austerity juggernaut continuing is high.

Basically, the federal budget and debt have been negotiated since Reagan largely on Republican terms...

Please read the entire post here.


The Tea Party and the Economy: It's Like Putting an Arsonist in Charge of the Fire Department


gop tea party

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

[B]y virtually every account the GOP Tea Party tactics have cost jobs and seriously dented the gross domestic product over the past few years, and certainly in the past few weeks.  Even the very conservative pro-austerity Peter G. Peterson Foundation, as noted by Think Progress, issued a report about the devastating toll of the Republican "pay us a ransom" government by crisis:

The report ... finds that cuts to discretionary spending from 2011 to the present have cost the country 1.2 million jobs and 0.7 percentage points of GDP growth. About three-quarters of the $2.4 trillion in total deficit reduction enacted since the fall of 2010 was in the form of spending cuts. The Peterson-commissioned estimate of what that steep reduction in government expenditures has cost is a bit more conservative than previous estimates by other economists, but only slightly less negative.

An October 17 article in The Atlantic states that "the budget wars since 2010 have cost us 12 months in job creation."  The article covers the likely economic and job costs of the Tea Party war on the US economy, including the toll from the latest attack and overall effect since the radical luddites swept to power in the House in 2010:

Macroeconomic Advisers put the figure at $12 billion. S&P estimate the cost was twice as high, at $24 billion. Split the difference, and you're talking about $18 billion in lost work...

But that's just a nibble compared to the total cost of the budget showdowns stretching back to 2010. According to Macroeconomic Advisers, the total cost of Congress's assault on the economy going back to 2010—including the budget cuts, including sequestration, and fights around the budget cuts—was about 3 percent of our entire economy. That's $700 billion. That's not just NASA. It's one year's entire defense budget. ...

So let's do some math here -- something that the Tea Party has extreme difficulty with: if the economic speculation is correct, the "don't tread on me" crowd has cost the nation 2.1 million jobs in less than four years!

The New York Times pegs the loss of domestic output due to the rolling Tea Party bellicose actions as $300 billion [...]

The uncertainty of never knowing when an economic hostage taker is going to hold a gun to the head of the United States takes its toll.

There is much additional evidence of how the Tea Party has torpedoed a struggling recovery, but suffice it to say putting Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and John Boehner in charge of job and economic stimulation would be like putting three arsonists in charge of the fire department.

Please read the entire post here.


A Modest Proposal: Voters Must Pass a Sanity Test Before Casting a Ballot


Gone Crazy

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Okay, we are being sardonic, but wouldn't the fate of the United States be vastly improved if voters had to pass a sanity test to vote?

That would pretty much keep most of the Tea Party and current House GOP obstructionists from casting ballots, given their paranoid delusional and possibly psychotic state of mind.

After all, the Right Wing has been trying to keep minorities, the young, the poor and the non-white elderly from voting through completely unnecessary voter restriction laws, given that there is virtually no statistically significant voter fraud by individuals at the polls.  [...]

Now, even the federal judge -- Richard Posner of the Chicago federal court -- who set in motion the eventual Supreme Court approval for restricting voter rights through arbitrary state-passed "burdens of proof" admits that he was wrong in approving such tactics.

Please read the entire post here.


New Mom With Stage IV Cancer Denied Promising Treatment Due to #GOPShutdown: "This Is a Matter of Life or Death"


life death

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Michelle Langbehn, 30, has a one-year-old daughter.  She also has stage IV sarcoma, with a life expectancy of one year.  That is unless she is able to beat the odds as a result of promising new treatment undergoing clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

But Langbehn, according to the Washington Post (WP), won't be receiving the treatment that she was scheduled for due to the House GOP not passing a new federal budget.  The resultant cutbacks at NIH (for what are deemed non-essential services) have stopped clinical trials dead in their tracks. [...]

She has a message for Congress as she told the WP:

I want to tell them that lives are at stake. This isn't just a matter of inconvenience. This is a matter of life or death. I’m not just doing this for myself. There are 200 people that are trying to get into clinical trials each week. I want to speak for all of us.


RT online reports that some of the cancer patients denied clinical trial treatment are children [...]

There is no guarantee that the clinical trial Langbehn is being denied because of the House GOP government shutdown will prolong her life indefinitely, but it does provide a great deal of promise and hope -- to her young daughter and family.

"Lives are at stake," she told the WP -- and indeed they are.

Please read the entire post here.