SHOULD THE U.S. GOVERNMENT BE SHUT DOWN?

Unless there is an agreement between the Republicans and the Democrats, the U.S. government will be shut down at midnight tonight.

What is holding up the agreement?   Not the  size of the cuts.  There is news this Friday morning that there is only a five billion difference betweeen the two sides.  That can easily be negotiated.

No, it’s not money that his holding up the deal.  It’s ideology.

Can you believe that the major sticking point is abortion?.  What  in  the world has abortion got to do with deficit reduction?  Zilch.  Nothing.  Yet the Republicans (mainly the Tea Party) are insisting that funds be cut to Planned Parenthood.   Funds that go for breast screening and sex education.

Are the Republicans serious about debt reduction when they are willing to wreck the whole thing by inserting abortion into the mix?

And there’s more.  There will be no deficit deal unless the Obama government relaxes its regulation on climate change.  Can you believe this nonsense.?

What in the world is going on here?  I’ll tell you what is going on?  The Republicans are more interested in ideology than they are in deficit reduction. And let’s be real.  The extremists in the Tea Party have a veto   on these negotiation.

These outlandish Tea Party tactics have put Republican Speaker John Boehner in an impossible dilemma.  Stay loyal to the Tea Party freshmen who helped the GOP reclaim control of the House in last fall’s midterm elections, paralyzing much of the federal government in the process.  Or reach a reasonable with Democrats that wou ld enrage part of his  caucus, but help Republicans curry favour with centrist voters in 2012.

The fact is if Boehner makes a deal with the  Democrats, the Tea Party will try to oust him from the Speakership.

Should the U.S. government be  be  shut down over the issue of abortion?

What do you think?

20 Comments »

  1. Our Tories caused an election, for the sake of secrecy, over the cost of some airplanes. Conservatives of any stripes anywhere are out of control. Duck for cover.

  2. 2

    Neil writes:

    The fact is if Boehner makes a deal with the Democrats, the Tea Party will try to oust him from the Speakership.

    I certainly hope so.

    A few weeks ago I was sitting in a Manhattan Subway and stared over the shoulder of the person next to me who was reading the New York Times and the headline of one of the articles was something like “Republicans and Democrats separated by $6 billion on the budget”. And I said to myself: with a deficit of $1.6 trillion, $ 6 billion is spent on the deficit in about a day and a half.

    You folks, especially Neil, simply have no clue. Obama, the Democrats, and the non-Tea Party Republicans (including Boehner) are spending America into oblivion.

    Thanks God for the Tea Party. They are our only hope.

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Tony,

    There is one quick sure way to clean up the deficit. Americans are among the lowest-taxed people in the world. Put on a sales tax or add to it and you will clean up the deficit in no time. Also stop giving the rich more tax breaks.

  4. 4
    peter Le Blanc Says:

    I agree with Neil, tax, tax, tax. Many people have to much mony they don’t know what to do with anyway. Give them a purpose to creat a just society and the response will be overwhelming.

  5. 5
    Vin Smith Says:

    I truly believed the American people would “Get Smart,” after the Birthers and the Death Panel people bleated their idiotic nonsense. But no… They retook the House. The reason is, the American people have allowed themselves to be swept along, and promptly dispatched down the proverbial rabbit hole.

    Now, the GOP thinks they can nimbly sidestep blame by shutting down the Federal Government. Well, they probably can; because if the Republicans are right about anything at all (and that is a mind boggling concept–since when have they?) it is that the Democratic leadership are weak, namby pamby people. Where is the True Grit, to borrow the Charles Portis title to his classic western. Why can’t the Dems conjure up enough backbone to stand up and tell it straight? And what is the “straight?” That today’s GOP are un-American, virtually traitorous, nincompoops, incompetent, weasel heads!

    Proof? They send our soldiers into harms way, and then threaten that our military will not get paid, unless the Republicans get everything they want in the budget negotiations. That does not speak patriotism, from the party that claims ownership of the concept. That speaks of un-American sentiments, in the same way that tawdry conditions in some military hospitals speak of a lack of concern for the people in the trenches…

    Traitorous? You do not shout the word liar to your president–even if you are with the “loyal Opposition” during a State-of-the-Union address.

    Nincompoops? The good folks in Hawaii would have had to be combinations of Jeane Dixon and Criswell Predicts to successfully dummy up Obama’s birth cert back in ’61, so he would be elibigle to run for president.

    Incompetent? Only Napoleon was stupid enough in his war tactics to perhaps be hookwinked into abandoning Afghanistan and fighting a stupid war in Iraq, for no other reason than father issues that little George has with George H. W. Bush. Outdo the old man in Iraq by slaughtering the country, instead of refusing to be an occupying force as Daddy did; smart on the part of Daddy Bush. Dumb to the ‘nth degree on the part of the former Oval Office Oaf–George W. Bush.

    Weasel Heads? Sarah Palin is one of the few governors who have ever resigned, which certainly shows a lack of sand… Yet, Sarah (one of those “rough tough” Republicans–”take this bullet from my helicopter you awful, awful moose!” Sarah uses that failed platform to portray herself as presidential timber.

    If ever a branch of an American political party needed to decertify itself and go back to civilian life, it is Tea Party Republicans. Mental Midgets Personified!!!

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Great to hear from you, Peter,

    I agree with you. Washington does not have a spending problem; Washington has a revenue problem.

  7. 7

    Neil writes:

    Also stop giving the rich more tax breaks.

    Actually, the rich need more tax breaks.

    Did you know that the top 1% of taxpayers pay more than 40% of all income taxes? How much more do you want them to pay?

    How about cutting expenditures, especially entitlement programs?

  8. 8
    Neil McKenty Says:

    That’s right, Tony,

    Slash enitilement programs so we can slay the deficit on the backs of the middle class and the poor. And give the savings as tax breaks for the rich.

  9. 9

    As usual, Neil, you are long on rhetoric and short on actual facts.

    If you truly cared about the poor — which I strongly doubt — you’d know that when a financial crisis occurs it is the poorest of the poor that get hit hardest. We are on the doorstep of one such financial crisis that will make the one in ’08 look like a trip to Disneyland by comparison.

    If there is no money for entitlement programs, which is what will happen if a financial crisis is visited upon us, the backs of both the middle class and poor will break. We are on the cusp of that now. Unless we get some real policies working – instead of the wholesale spending spree you want to continue — we will enter the problem whole hog.

    I’ve given you some figures regarding the rich and their payment of taxes. If you don’t believe them, challenge me to either produce some evidence to back it up or produce some yourself to counteract them.

    But stop with the 15 second sound bites. It is beneath your dignity.

  10. 10
    Barbara Says:

    Tony, let’s assume your figures are correct and the rich do pay 40% of the revenue the US government collects. But what percentage of the earned income in the United States do they pocket? How does the average per capita income of the wealthy compare to that of the middle class, for example? There is a growing disparity between the rich and the poor in the USA and that is usually a harbinger of great social unrest in a society.

    Then there are the corporations like GE that pay no income tax. They grow wealthy on the backs of the middle and lower classes and yet show no solidarity when it comes to sharing some of that wealth with the communities that made it for them. Instead, they pocket at least some of the money that would otherwise go into improving society in bonuses distributed to already well-remunerated executives. Sad that you find virtue in this, Tony.

  11. 11
    Vin Smith Says:

    …Barbara is absolutely correct. Great social unrest is just around the corner in America. This time it won’t be, “…buddy can you spare a dime?” It will be “…give me your wallet.” The streets will be chaos. The rich, of course, think they will dance away from the bad stuff, protected as they are by everything from gated communities to armored limos. I doubt the haves will escape the chaos.

    The lower middle class (some of them card-carrying Republicans), always thinking they will join the rich one day (be it lottery or winning American Idol, or some other low percentage scheme) will be outweighed by the invisible poor who will turn the streets into war zones. It’s now happening in other parts of the world. The rich in America simply see themselves as immune.

    Here is a slightly different angle to this situation. Henry Ford was anything but a bleeding heart. Nothing at all liberal about the man. Yet, he paid his workers more money than his competitors paid theirs, so that his workers might be able to purchase a Ford–and make himself richer still. Some of today’s moguls do not think that way. They are relying on selling to foreign countries. They outsource the production to some of those countries. (See Neil’s blog on outsourcing). Such titans of industry are the ones (along with their apologists) who do not care a whit about the poor; not Neil and other progressives.

  12. 12
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Some years ago, Jean Vanier, who has done so much for the intellectually challenged, warned that unless the rich were willing to shaRE MORE of their wealth, the poor would rise up and take it.
    It seems to me we are moving in that direction.

  13. 13
    Vin Smith Says:

    Neil’s citing of Jean Vanier’s warning was basically what Victor Hugo was trying to get across in his seminal work, Les Miserables. His character, Jean Valjean, had to fight his personal demons, caused by the injustice of the French system. Valjean’s fight for personal redemption is heart wrenching. Moral philosophy is at the crux of the novel. The antimonarchism that Valjean lived under; his greatly oppressed life, was quite parallel to the current reality being fostered by the GOP.

    Instead of monarchism, today it is pure class structure between the haves and the have nots. No amount of statistical corruption delivered by the true believer conservative, or polemics they might mount changes the reality that the rich make their fortunes on the backs of the working poor.

    Who is taxed to death? Not the rich. The working poor… Paying all manner of sales, excise, and social security taxes; use taxes, license fees–ad infinitum– drags the budgets of the people who make the products and deliver the services that the rich depend on down to unconscionably low levels.

    Why do I harp on this? Because the GOP continually works to destroy labor unions; kill collective bargaining; stiffle minimum wage increases, while they practice every other form of escalation in their war with working stiffs.

  14. 14

    Barbara asks me:

    Tony, let’s assume your figures are correct and the rich do pay 40% of the revenue the US government collects. But what percentage of the earned income in the United States do they pocket?

    The top 5% of taxpayers paid 59% of all income taxes in 2008 but had only 35% of all income. See the figures for 2008 in Tables 5 & 6 at:
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

    Barbara further states:

    There is a growing disparity between the rich and the poor in the USA and that is usually a harbinger of great social unrest in a society.

    No, there isn’t.

    Indeed, the gap between the richest of America and the poorest of America is only slight.

    Let me explain what I mean. If you look only at either net income or net worth then, yes, there is a wide gap and it’s growing. But who cares about either income or wealth if the poorest have access to the basic necessities of life, meaning health care, food, shelter, education, etc. I would argue that the poorest of America has all the basic necessities which puts them almost on par with the rich.

    Who cares what Bill Gates makes and what the disparity is between him and the poorest if the latter has access to the basic necessities?

    However, I totally agree with Vin when he says that “Great social unrest is just around the corner in America”. And, yes, it will be because of the lack of basic necessities that the poor will be missing out on.

    But this will occur not because of the disparity between rich and poor but because government has spent us into oblivion. I believe that the government will consciously choose to self-inflict hyper-inflation through the mega-printing of money. This will render the now $14 trillion debt meaningless but, sadly, impoverish 10s of millions at the same time.

  15. 15

    Vin writes:

    Who is taxed to death? Not the rich. The working poor… Paying all manner of sales, excise, and social security taxes

    You are badly misinformed, Vin.

    See my post, above, for citations.

    Can you cite anything to back up what you (and the always misinformed Neil) claim?

    I await your documentation.

  16. 16
    Vin Smith Says:

    …I covered that question in great detail some weeks ago. I know a lot of people who practically go broke every year around tax time in California. Property taxes, combined with income taxes because they are not the “poverty poor,” the unemployable, they are the working poor.

    They make too much money to get significant government help, but not enough to keep their heads above water. And I do agree with the last paragraph and the one sentence before that, of this post you made, Tony: “…yes, it will be because of the lack of basic necessities that the poor will be missing out on.

    “But this will occur not because of the disparity between rich and poor but because government has spent us into oblivion. I believe that the government will consciously choose to self-inflict hyper-inflation through the mega-printing of money. This will render the now $14 trillion debt meaningless but, sadly, impoverish 10s of millions at the same time.”

    While entitlement programs for the sector of society sometimes known as the “deep poverty pocket” has certainly had an impact on government budgets, so has the impact on corporate welfare (General Electric paying zero taxes), and the run amock nature of the industrial/military complex (which Eisenhower warned against). We see the latter factor in a wholly worthless war in Iraq; that beleagured country has drained our treasury. It’s funny… The “tax and spend” administration of Bill Clinton handed Bush 43 a budget surplus; the Bush 43 administration frittered it away on misspent war initiatives–while spending untold millions (much of it on black ops) on private military organizations. Bush 43 left us in an economic mess that will not get unraveled for generations. So much for balanced budget Republican administrative policy.

    But don’t worry folks; a Democratic administration (LBJ) also drained our coffers with the Vietnam fiasco. This country (U.S.) needs to get its priorities straight. Let’s rebuild our infrastructure, develope a reasonable energy policy, retake the lead in technology, repair our failing schools, and stop the ridiculous partisanship that comes from both Republicans and Democrats. Nothing short of our survival depends on it!

  17. 17
    Josephina Says:

    Where exactly is the facebook like link ?

  18. 18

    Vin:

    Well, I totally agree with you regarding Clinton who will go down in history as a great “conservative” president who presided over a surplus budget, as you pointed out, as well as other “conservative” policies being implemented.

    I also agree with you regarding Bush 43 and his propensity to deficit spend. But the blame now is shifting — big time! — to the community organizer who can no longer lay the blame at the feet of Bush. Obama campaigned on a promise of “change you can believe in”. He did not tell us that his hands would be tied and that he would not only continue Bush’s policies but make them three times worse. His campaign slogan should have read: “Not only no change but more of Bush 43′s policies.”

    And I for one am sick and tired of the Obama administration still blaming Bush for everything. I mean, come on! When exactly does Obama’s administration begin?

    The current $1.6 trillion deficit is Obama’s legacy and his alone. His war — and the killing and suffering of innocents — in Libya is his and his alone.

    As far as your California post where you claim to have dealt with the issue of the rich not being taxed enough, I have not read but will gladly do so if you link to it. I’ll then comment upon it once I see it.

  19. 19
    Vin Smith Says:

    …I’m not in favor of raising taxes on any one particular group. In fact, Americans are taxed into the dirt. However, I am in favor of fiscal responsibility, which we have not seen since the Clinton administration. Your post points to that, without straight out saying it, Tony.

    On the other hand, Clinton did not weild the kind of sharp and killing tax ax that the Tea Party midgets are advocating. Nor did he set out to wage adventurous wars because of “Daddy Issues.” Good marks to ol’ Bill, devastating evaluation of the Oval Office Oaf–Bush 43!

  20. 20

    This is a good subject to talk about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. This article probably won’t do well with that crowd. I’ll take a look around your site though and submit something else.


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