Archive for debt deal

"Never vote for politicians claiming government is evil, because- if elected- they can prove it."


cruz bill for 24 billion via Nicole SandlerImage via Nicole Sandler

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Did Congress learn anything?,” Editorial, Oct. 17, and “Economic hit from impasse could endure,” Oct. 18

According to your front-page article, “Standard & Poor's U.S. chief economist estimated that the shutdown and debt-limit standoff cost the economy $24 billion in reduced activity in the final three months of the year.”

So, I submit this invoice:

From: The U.S. economy;

To: Sen. Ted Cruz and the tea party;

$24,000,000,000 (and counting).

Please call for information on our easy repayment plan.

Norman Palley
Culver City


The ultimate blame for the bad behavior of elected officials lies with those who elected them.

The lesson to be learned from the recent political fiasco should be abundantly clear by now: Never vote for politicians claiming government is evil, because — if elected — they can prove it.

Until we change our voting habits, we can only expect more of the same.

Angus Andrews
Westlake Village


The willingness of the Republicans to throw the country under the bus had nothing whatsoever to do with the budget or the deficit; it was driven solely by their hatred of the Affordable Care Act and its architect, President Obama.

They want to gut the act before tens of millions of voters are able to avail themselves of health coverage previously denied them.

Their worst nightmare is that the act may actually do some good and that the Democrats accrue political capital as a result.

Herb L. Weinberg
Los Angeles


Of all the decisions I've made in my life, three turned out to have been particularly important: my move to California, my remarriage to a wonderful second wife and my leaving the Republican Party two years ago.

Considering the recent actions of the Republican members of Congress to try to repeal or defund Obamacare, I would be embarrassed to call myself a Republican today.

Wally Grayson
Santa Monica


It makes no difference whether it's called the tea party or the coffee party or the vodka party or the gin party: It's still the Republican Party.

George Shahinian
Huntington Beach


How to avoid another #GOPshutdown


maddow gop shutdown because they can

How so we avoid another shutdown? Well, for starters, be pro-active, stay on the offense, elect Progressives (starting at the local level on up), get off your collective hineys and vote in every single election and help others to do the same, give tea partiers and other irrational conservatives the boot, demand that Democrats stay strong and unified, challenge the media when they misinform voters, and make it even more obvious to America which Republicans are responsible (and irresponsible) for the hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions and billions of dollars lost because of their self-interests and consuming concerns about re-election.

Other than all that, in today's Los Angeles Times, David Gamage and David Louk presented another idea.

David Gamage is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. David Louk is a law student at Yale Law School and a doctoral student in the Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program at UC Berkeley School of Law. Their L.A. Times op-ed is based on their forthcoming research paper.

Here are the bare bones of their idea. Please read the entire op-ed for more details:

It doesn't have to be that way. State and federal legislators should follow the lead of Wisconsin and Rhode Island and enact provisions for automatic continuing appropriations. Under such rules, if lawmakers fail to negotiate a new budget on time, the previous year's budget automatically carries over until a new spending plan is passed. This gives legislators the opportunity to negotiate without the threat of a looming and costly shutdown. [...]

If the federal government had adopted a default budget mechanism, House Republicans and Democrats might still be bickering over the passage of a timely new budget. But the government would continue running while lawmakers negotiated.

So what do you think? It sounds reasonable, but what are the arguments against their "default budget policy"?


After #GOPshutdown, Republican since 1952 changes registration "away from" party


dear gop you are woefully out of touch

First things first: Please Help Support the Political Carnival- Autumnal Fundraiser

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Crisis averted — for now,” Oct. 17

Although it's tempting to feel relief that our government is restarting, we must recognize the irreparable damage that's occurred in the last 16 days.

A small, extremist faction of Republicans put people out of work, bruised our international reputation, desensitized us toward the ploy of brinkmanship and made us a more cynical nation.

California voters are fortunate to have congressional representatives who are, in general, balanced and represent us well. But we can't be complacent any longer. We can't accept another such crisis in a mere matter of months; we must all be more involved in the political process.

We need to join grass-roots organizations, communicate with our elected officials and make our voices heard. Activism is not just an option to a nation at risk.

Rebecca Beatty
Sherman Oaks


I've watched several GOP members of Congress on TV recently. Their language is, in many cases, a distortion of the facts, a mythical view of the economy and often plain nonsense.

They have a totally different set of figures for the GDP, the national debt and the economic loss incurred in the most recent shutdown. They refer to President Obama as “stubborn” and “refusing to negotiate” and other perspectives not in sync with reality.

They make it sound as if the national debt was created in the last four years and was not the result of decades of taxation and spending approved by Congress.

Their constant referral to “the American people” sounds as if the GOP won the last national election. They claim “victory” by saying they “stood up to the president.”

But they didn't fool or convince the voters in 2012 and probably won't in 2016.

Sol Taylor
Sherman Oaks


Having voted as a Republican in every election since 1952, I have decided to express my opinion of the GOP's recent surrender to the tea party by changing my registration away from the Republican Party. Perhaps if a sufficient number of other pragmatic folks do the same, we can get some sanity back in Washington.

Dean Stinson


Can the people of the United States sue Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and the Republicans for the billions of dollars lost due to their shutdown?

Gary Holland
Van Nuys


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.


VIDEO: All those stunts, GOP comes up empty. Former GOP Rep: "'But we stood up to Obama.' That's crap."


gop shutdown got nothing

senators voting NO on GOP shutdown deal

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tea party unpopular

tea party unpopular graph

David beat me to it with one of these videos, but that's okay. It's worth a second look, and I added one more to the mix.

Rachel Maddow's analyses included the very public collapse of the GOP, the tea party 's plunging poll numbers, the repeated failed attempts by Republicans to make ridiculous, unmet demands, their irrational strategy, and their persistent delusions of success while being pushed by conservative groups into fiasco after fiasco and humiliation, all without a single victory.


The total collapse of the Republican party's effort here to try to end Obamacare, to try to get their way on policy by threatening and then causing a government shutdown, and then by coming right up to the edge of hitting the debt ceiling. The failure to achieve anything by that strategy, other than harm to the economy, and to their own standing with the American people, that failure does not mean that everybody on the right thinks that what they just did was a bad idea.

...The American public's view of the tea party has never been more negative.

That said, look at the title on the poll as they put it out. The overall plunging of popularity with the tea party, basically saying that nobody identifies with the tea party anymore, Americans are starting to hate them more and more.

But that said, the last few people that remain in the tea party, well, Ted Cruz' popularity is soaring with them.

Nobody in American politics wanted a shutdown, except for the right. Nobody in American politics thought a debt ceiling standoff was a good idea, except for the right. Nobody thought maybe a debt ceiling crash might even be a good thing, except for a very narrow sliver of the right.

Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH):

The thing that kills me. They're going to go home and say -- "Well, it is a rhinos and the squishes, joined with the Democrats, reopened the government. And did this thing. But we stood up to Barack Obama." That's crap.


ENTIRE VIDEO- Obama remarks on budget deal, blasts GOP: "Turns out we rely on government in a whole lot of ways."


Obama budget deal

Here is a video of President Obama's entire speech, during which he pretty much kicked ass. WaPo provides the transcript. Here are some excerpts:

At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we've got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back. And for what? There was no economic rationale for all of this. Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been in half. We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy. But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.

And you don't have to take my word for it. The agency that put America's credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy remains more dynamic and resilient than other advanced economies and that the only thing putting us at risk is -- and I'm quoting here -- "repeated brinksmanship." That's what the credit rating agency said.

That wasn't a political statement. That was an analysis of what's hurting our economy by people whose job it is to analyze these things.

That also happens to be the view of our diplomats, who have been hearing from their counterparts internationally.

Some of the same folks who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claim their actions were needed to get America back on the right track, to make sure we're strong.

But probably nothing has done more damage to America's credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we've seen these past several weeks. It's encouraged our enemies, it's emboldened our competitors, and it's depressed our friends, who look to us for steady leadership....

And when we disagree, we don't have to suggest that the other side doesn't love this country or believe in free enterprise or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single year. If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on and get some stuff done....

First, in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, a budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further....

And we shouldn't approach this process of creating a budget as an ideological exercise, just cutting for the sake of cutting. The issue's not growth versus fiscal responsibility. We need both. We need a budget that deals with the issues that most Americans are focused on, creating more good jobs that pay better wages....

Our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago. The debt problems we have now are long term...

Number two. We should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system... That bill's already passed the Senate. And economists estimate that if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5 percent larger two decades from now. That's $1.4 trillion in new economic growth....

Number three. We should pass a farm bill... It's sitting in the House waiting for passage. If House Republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let's see them. Let's negotiate. What are we waiting for? Let's get this done....

We shouldn't fail to act on areas that we do agree or could agree just because we don't think it's good politics, just because the extremes in our party don't like the word "compromise." I will look for willing partners wherever I can to get important work done. And there's no good reason why we can't govern responsibly, despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.

In fact, one of the things that I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important. It matters. I think the American people, during the shutdown, had a chance to get some idea of all the things large and small that government does that make a difference in people's lives.

And we hear all the time about how government is the problem. Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways...

I've got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who've either worked without pay or have been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters...

We come from different parties, but we are Americans first. That's why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction. It can't degenerate into hatred.


President Obama: No more deficit deals without higher tax revenues from wealthiest Americans


A picture's worth...

Meanwhile, Grover Norquist is all over the Tee Vee machine lately:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Could this be why? Via the New York Times:

On Tuesday, the speaker reiterated what has become known as the Boehner Rule: House Republicans will not increase the debt ceiling again without spending cuts of a greater amount. Mr. Obama, on Wednesday, told him Congress must pass a “clean” debt-limit increase to cover the nation’s obligations; there will be no more deficit deals, he said, without higher tax revenues from the wealthiest Americans... [T]his time the Obama administration believes it has the greater leverage. [...]

Tax increases were part of nearly every significant deficit-reduction measure of the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1982, 1984 and 1987 packages signed by Ronald Reagan, the 1990 accord under George H.W. Bush and Mr. Clinton’s 1993 measure... Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Mr. Lew, participated in most of those deals, as an aide to House Democratic leaders and then as Mr. Clinton’s budget director.

Let's hope the president gets his way. It's hard to imagine, though.

Norquist is neither an elected official, an authority on anything, nor even a credible person. He is so full of misinformation, lies, and bull pucky, why legitimize him by inviting him to be on any cable news shows, especially ones that refuse to challenge him?

And no, I don't count Fox shows as news.