I’ve been wanting to write about all the hyperbole and hand-wringing about the Debt Ceiling falling down around our heads for some time now, but held off until deadlines had passed and the smoke began to clear out a bit. Well, that time has come, and i’m going to put in my two-cents worth. First off, like it or not, and I don’t, President Obama has to take some of the blame for this, mostly because he is the President, and ultimately the buck stops with him, but he should have seen this coming down the road since the last election, when the far-right lunatic fringe was able to frighten just enough of the gullible, mis-informed and angry voting public to send these completely clueless, un-moveable, ultra-conservative morons to Washington. These graduates of the Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and Grover Norquist school of thinking originally ran on a platform of telling their equally asleep at the switch constituents that they would be going to Washington to get the economy moving and create jobs, jobs, jobs. Yet, not so surpringly, since they came into office nearly 7 months ago, they have not offered a single piece of Legislation aimed at what they claimed to be their top priority. But what they did do almost immediately was try and get their Kool-Aid laden punch-bowl filled with their skewered ideals and twisted morality pawned off onto the rest of us. Legislation to kill off Planned Parenthood, reduce womans access to health care, Gut the EPA, eliminate any semblance of fair play by trying to force a Marriage policy amendment into the Constitution that recognizes Marriage as only a union between a man and a woman, Religious intolerance, snipes at the Presidents racial make-up, the Birther-Conspiracy that actually gained some traction for a brief period, thanks mostly to that blathering gas-bag Donald Trump, and Continuing to attack Unions and their rights to collective barganing held sway instead. As the song says, M-N-O-P, I could go on all day…. I’m sure that with about 15 minutes of research, I could fill the entire blog with nothing but these ridiculous, expensive, time-consuming and utterly backwards wastes of the public and congress’ time by a small number of rigid imbeciles who really have no place in the public forum. What happened to all their blather about jobs? I can give you that answer instantly. To all of you clueless, Homer Simpson voters out there who fell headlong for these liars, I say, “You naive morons, it was NEVER about jobs! They knew that you Fox-News watching fools were gullible and stupid enough to be fooled into voting for them! You left the Barn Door wide open, and they marched right in, and did exactly what they had in mind from the very beginning, and that is to try and force their ultra-strict, far-right radical agendas upon as many people as possible.” Some of you who unwittingly drank the Kool-Aid enjoyed it, and have, unfortunately become addicted to their brown-shirted, nonsensicle rantings. To those folks, I would have to say that you are a lost cause. Given the chance at being able to wean yourself from the Kool-Aid or a crack-addict kicking the habit, I’ll go with the crack-addict, i’m so convinced that you simply lack the intelligence for understanding, and have become nothing more than Lemmings. But you are still a small minority, and your ideals are certainly not what the majority of Americans believe in. But you have been able to create a lot of discourse and trouble for the rest of us. In order to overcome your ridiculous philosophies and move the Country forward, the rest of the public had better wake up and get informed and involved. But unless or until that happens, these far-right idealogues will continue to have much more sway over policies that affect the rest of us than they should. So, the rest of us share in the blame as well for being too damn apathetic.
And now, having said that, I’m ready to move on to the heart of the matter, which is where we, as a country, find ourselves today.
Simply put, the Republican Party has been, for all intensive purposes, hijacked by the far-right faction known as the Tea-Party, which in my previous blogs, have stated that todays Tea-Party has absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the one created in Boston, in 1773. Todays Tea-Baggers are so far removed from anything our Founding Fathers and it’s citizenry held dear as to be laughable. But as I just mentioned, enough moderate, reasonable voters sat out the last election, which emboldened and allowed this destructive political force to gain a foothold in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, which also lost it’s Democratic Majority as well. This set the stage for nothing short of all out war against anything that remotely resembled compromise or being reasonable. Their philosophy echoed the Republican Moniker of “HELL NO!” so eloquently spoken by John Boehner, except that their boot-heels are planted much deeper into the ground than almost any previous Congressional faction. Their unwillingness for compromise and penchant for dirty tricks and mudslinging have been well documented. Their Politics of refusing to negiotiate no matter what the potential cost, have, up until now, created more of a nuisense than anything else. But all that changed when, as expected, they held the Debt Ceiling hostage to their far-right demands for draconian cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, other social programs that are the lifeblood for millions of Americans. These so-called champions of debt-reduction under the false guise of job creation created a weeks-long crisis that took us right to the edge of the cliff. The President did everything he could to try and get them to be reasonable and compromise, but how can you negotiate with a political faction who for weeks flatly stated there would be no compromise? They stated publicly that allowing the Debt Ceiling limit to be hit, and allowing the Government to begin a massive shutdown and default of our countries Credit was not a big deal. People like Michelle Bachmann went on TV and proclaimed that she would never, ever negotiate to raise the Debt Ceiling, which up until now was considered a routine act for Congress going back to at least John Kennedy. As the clock ticked, and days went by and then turned to weeks, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor were also chiming in on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis, literally goading the President and the Democrats, daring them to try and do something about it. As the deadline got closer, World Financial Markets got spooked. The Republicans knew we were getting closer to crashing head first into the Debt Ceiling, and passed one ridiculous piece of garbage Legislation after another, trying to fool the gullible American public that they weren’t the ones to blame. What they really wanted, of course, was to gut the Social programs, and use those huge cuts to offset some of the Deficit, that was largely created for the benefit of Millionaires and Corporations. You know, the deficit that was largely created by Republicans, and some Democrats as well, from the George Bush 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts? That same deficit that good ol’ Dick the War-Criminal-Cheney proudly proclaimed didn’t matter? The deficit George-also-a-War-Criminal Bush created when he gave us the gift of fighting 2 Wars and a Prescription Medicine Plan that went completely unfunded, along with those Tax-Cuts for the wealthy and Corporations. Yes, that deficit, that those very same Republicans now try and blame President Obama for. Always trying to rise above the fray, President Obama repeatedly went on TV, even holding a nationally televised speech on how important it was to try and be reasonable and compromise. He went on to explain the importance of having a balanced approach to deficit reduction and the Debt ceiling, which the Republicans linked together and were holding hostage to their ridiculous and dangerous game of non-compromise. To seriously consider a plan to reduce the deficit over the long-term, you have to have increases in revenues, as well as some cuts. A balanced approach. Being neither compromisers nor balanced, Republicans countered with the same stupid, Alfred E. Neumann, what-me-worry ? lines of bullshit. Holding what should have been a routine matter for Congrees, raising the Debt Ceiling hostage, created a self-made crisis that Credit Markets and Financial Groups that monitor and impose credit ratings for countries around the world, like Standard & Poor, said that the USA should not be holding the Debt Ceiling hostage, and that it could create a downgrade of our AAA+ Credit Rating, the World’s highest. Republicans again said, basically, tough shit. Kind of like what Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky said, when he held up passage of unemployment extension benefits for millions some months back. Nothing new for them.
So, after we were dragged to the edge of the cliff, a “compromise”, if you can call it that was reached. It creates some 22 Billion Dollars in cuts this year, and goes up the next few years after that. A commission of 6 Dems and 6 Repubs, with 3 of each from the House and Senate are supposed to come up with a “compromise” of reccommendations of further cuts and possible revenues for a vote by Thanksgiving. If a “compromise” isn’t reached, automatic cuts are supposed to kick in. Given the Republicans track record, I’d say were in deep shit. Then, after the smoke began to clear and the President signed the agreement which also raised the Debt Ceiling throught January 2013, it hit. The United States’ Credit Rating was downgraded from AAA+ to AA+by Standard & Poor. This is the first time in history this had ever happened to us. What do you think happened next? Of course, the Republican promptly blamed President Obama. His administration has appealed the desicion and says it is based on faulty figures. But S & P countered, saying the Political Brinksmanship and posturing, and using the debt ceiling as a hostage (by the Tea-Party faction) is more to blame than anything else. Here are some excepts from the report:
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.
[…]It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.
[…]The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.
[…]Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.
Additionally, Standard & Poors indicates that they could improve their rating for the U.S. if “the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating.”
For me, the analogies of how do you compromise with someone who takes a hostage and is willing to kill them comes to mind. How do you reason with a drunk? How can you expect to have an intelligent conversation with a box of rocks?
Taking all this into account, anyone with any intelligence at all should be able to recognize that it is clearly the Republican Party, and their Tea-Party faction that is solely responsible for the downgrade in our stellar credit rating. They have clearly given all of us a Black Eye, which will take a long time, and prove difficult to heal. Had they not been voted into office, then this entire scenario would most likely have never happened. Given the fragile state of our Economy, this is the wrong time to be dealing with this self-made mess. It has taken the countries focus off of the most important thing of all, namely the staggering rate of unemployment or under-employment. We should have long-ago passed a Jobs Bill, Extended Unemployment insurance, especially for folks who have hit their own ceiling, the 99-ers. The Government, in my opinion, did not pass a strong enough Stimulus Bill. More spending during a bad economy by the Government is the only way to get out of this quagmire. Infrastructure and transportation projects should be sprouting up like weeds all over the country. But what did we get instead? Devisive, angry in-fighting, crazy, lunatic and nonsensical legislation about every crazy social moral ideal held by a faction of congress who would just as soon commit hari-kari then compromise and move the country forward. This has led to a total straight-jacketing of our elected officials, who would just as soon piss on your leg and try and convince you that it was raining.
At this point, i’m ready to rename the USA the State of Moronica, and let Moe, Larry, and Curly run things for a while. They couldn’t possibly do any worse.
We must hold these brutes accountable for their atrocious activities. Americans have seen clearly what happens when you don’t pay attention to your elected officials, and allow them to run roughshod all over the rest of us. President Obama did the best that he could under very difficult circumstances, but I still believe he has been too weak in the past, and given in too much to the Republicans. He should not be ashamed to be a Democrat, and to trumpet Democratic ideals and principles, and be willing to go the mat for the rest of us. This has been seen as a problem for Democrats for quite some time, that they are not strong enough when it comes to upholding their ideals.
America, you better wake up and vote these far-right imbeciles out of office, or else, just like when we elected that other buffoon, George Bush, you will get exactly what you voted for, and will continue to cause your own pain and misery. This is why we are exactly where we are today, because enough smart people did nothing, and the manipulators and liars have moved in.