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.