Don't pay politicians if they don't do their jobs

Republicans have come up with a brilliant proposal. They will give President Obama the debt he wants but they want Harry Reid to finally pass a budget. The Democratically controlled Senate has been breaking the law for four years. They have stopped doing their jobs, so Republicans propose that we stop paying them.

The White House says this move is "encouraging." Of course, President Obama says lots of things but his actions often don't match his words.

The Senate is supposed to pass a budget by April 15. That is the same day we are supposed to pay our taxes. I imagine if we just didn't pay our taxes for four years, there would be some consequences. Ordinary Americans have to meet their deadlines. We should demand that same of Senate Democrats and President Obama.

BTW - speaking of not doing jobs, Obama has not met with his jobs council for a year now. Obama's job is to make it possible for ordinary Americans to get jobs and he has not been doing that very well. He is too busy to meet with the job council, but he can find time for almost everything else.

Posted by Christine & John at January 18, 2013 6:50 PM
Comments
Comment #360650

Nice.
What you’re NOT saying is that the Republicans in the House caved in today. They gave up on holding the US hostage with the debt ceiling authorization; as a result, the stock market set a five year high.

Keep trying.

Hey, look over there! I think I saw Obama try to take away an AR-15 from a patriotic American!

Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2013 9:47 PM
Comment #360651

phx8

On the contrary. I am praising Obama. Again Obama got exactly what he wanted. He has no reason to be unhappy and we all applaud his political skills.

On the other hand, it is indeed time for the Democrats in the Senate to obey the law and pass a budget.

Posted by: C&J at January 18, 2013 11:03 PM
Comment #360653

The Democrats, Republicans, and Obama have been obeying the law by passing continuing resolutions.

Surely you must know that.

Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2013 11:22 PM
Comment #360654

The CR is like an incomplete. You should not leave that on the books for four years. But they can get the jog done now.

Posted by: C&J at January 18, 2013 11:40 PM
Comment #360656

It’s about time that someone up there in DC came up with the idea of not paying Congress to do nothing. I’ve only been saying that for at least 40 Years.
So Obama gets his debt ceiling and now he can spend even more money. And the debt goes up and up and up and up. Meantime back at the ranch the Senate still won’t pass a budget.
Does any one up there in DC care if the country goes belly up?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 18, 2013 11:43 PM
Comment #360658

The continuing resolutions are only a symptom of a much larger problem in Washington, which is the fact that Congress is controlled by Tea Party conservatives who aren’t interested in compromise. Harry Reid attempted to pass a budget in December, 2010 only to have it filibustered. Nowadays, Senate Republicans threaten the filibuster any budget that doesn’t perfectly conform to their ideology.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 19, 2013 12:46 AM
Comment #360662

Warren

It’s called compromise. In order to get a budget through they will have to give in to the demand for some REAL spending cuts. To just throw up your hands and say we won’t do it, isn’t an option. A budget has to be passed.

Republicans just gave democrats a victory with the increase in the top income bracket. They now refuse to talk about spending cuts without more tax increases…..errr I mean “revenue inhancements” LOL. Democrats don’t have a filibuster proof majority in the senate, and they don’t control the house, therefore they must come to a compromise even if it means cutting things they don’t want to cut.

For the president to continue to say we won’t talk about a budget without first increasing the debt ceiling is childish. He also contunues to say we won’t talk about cuts without tax increases. He just got one. Now lets talk about matching cuts. I don’t belive he has any intention of cutting spending, especially since he told the house speaker that” we don’t have a spending problem, and I’m tired of hearing you keep saying that”. He needs a reality check, and it’s time for the house republicans to force the issue.

Posted by: dbs at January 19, 2013 8:09 AM
Comment #360665

The continuing resolutions are only a symptom of a much larger problem in Washington,

How right you are Warren. And the problem go across party lines.
Only in this case it’s not the Tea Party that’s not willing to compromise. It’s the Democrats that refuse to pass a budge, won’t even begin to consider spending cuts, wanting tax increases, and keep running up the debt with useless stimulus packages.
I know that your a loyal Democrat, but take an objective look at the last four years.
Are you proud of the incompetents you’ve seen in the White House?
Are you proud that Obama has doubles the debt in three years?
Are you proud that the Senate has refused to pass a budget for four years?
If you are then stay a Democrat. But if you aren’t, maybe it’s time to leave the party.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 19, 2013 9:02 AM
Comment #360669
It’s called compromise.

It takes two to tango and Republicans in Congress have demonstrated a completely uncompromising stance on these issues, so I’m not surprised that Democrats aren’t sticking their necks out unless they are absolutely sure that the Republicans won’t muddle the process.

In order to get a budget through they will have to give in to the demand for some REAL spending cuts. To just throw up your hands and say we won’t do it, isn’t an option. A budget has to be passed.
The reason this isn’t happening is because everyone knows that those spending cuts are unpopular and no one wants to take the blame for them.
Only in this case it’s not the Tea Party that’s not willing to compromise.
Which side is it that signs pledges not to raise taxes? Which side threatened sitting members of Congress with unemployment if they strayed from ideological purity?
It’s the Democrats that refuse to pass a budge, won’t even begin to consider spending cuts, wanting tax increases, and keep running up the debt with useless stimulus packages.
Surely you don’t believe the hyperbole that “Democrats won’t even begin to consider spending cuts”. It seems the only thing Democrats have done over the past two years is debate various proposals to cut spending. The only conditions the Democrats have placed are that the cuts must not disparately impact the lower classes and that the cuts must not be ones that damage our weak economy. I think those two conditions are reasonable. Some Democrats think spending cuts should be balanced with revenue increases, which I also think is reasonable.
Are you proud of the incompetents you’ve seen in the White House?
I haven’t experienced any incompetence emanating from the White House. Certainly things such as the ARRA or PPACA were far from perfect, but overall things are better than they were four years ago.
Are you proud that Obama has doubles the debt in three years?
I’m not concerned with the nominal level of debt. I am concerned that the debt to GDP ratio is above normal, but the fact that interest rates are low means that it isn’t a problem in the short term. In the medium term it could be a problem and debt will definitely be a problem in the long term if we don’t find a solution to our demographic challenges.
Are you proud that the Senate has refused to pass a budget for four years?
I feel that the continuing resolutions are preferable to the alternative, which would be the Senate rubber stamping Paul Ryan’s budget. Ryan’s budget would be a disaster for our country, which is why Ryan is not being sworn in as VP next week. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 19, 2013 12:03 PM
Comment #360670

I’m proud of America right now. What this column will not discuss or admit is that the Republican conservatives have for over a decade now tried achieve their unpopular agenda through intimidation and bullying. Backed by a hyperbolic and rabid media industry (I refuse to call it news), they have impeached, harassed, sullied, libeled, hounded, and strong armed the opposing leaders. They have painted liberals and even conservative Democrats as unpatriotic, criminal, treasonous, fascists, socialists, communists, thieves, etc. You name it they have used it. They met more than four years ago to plot a complete legislative opposition to President Obama and the Democrats. Even legislation and policies which they themselves proposed was blocked through every means in the book. This was not always done based on policy disagreements, but was in many cases politically driven to make President Obama appear ineffective and inept. Republican leaders have refused to attend WH events, even nonpolitical ones, then paint Obama as someone who will not reach across the aisle, even on a personal level. They tried to early on to demonize the First Lady… God, you know they wanted to desperately. It seemed to work with Hillary Clinton.

But you know what. America wasn’t buying it. Now the curtain is being pulled back to reveal what the Republicans are. Their strategy of total opposition and stonewalling did not work as intended. In many ways, their plan made a bad situation worse. They wanted Obama to take the blame for legislative inaction. For the faithful, they think this is the truth. But for most Americans, the Republicans are the ones taking the blame.

Why haven’t the Democrats been hurt for not submitting a budget? Because America knows that the Republicans only want the budget to use as a tool to attack the Democrats. Any reasonable budget is soon loaded with crap that the Republicans know no legislator could vote for.

Give it up. You’ve been exposed.

Posted by: LibRick at January 19, 2013 12:32 PM
Comment #360671

The Democrats, Republicans, and Obama have been obeying the law by passing continuing resolutions.

Surely you must know that.
Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2013 11:22 PM

We could employ robots to do that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2013 1:26 PM
Comment #360673

LibRick

I don’t see it as you do.

“Why haven’t the Democrats been hurt for not submitting a budget? Because America knows that the Republicans only want the budget to use as a tool to attack the Democrats.” - this is truly the point of view of tyranny. You are saying that Democrats need to hide the taxing and spending from the American people.

RE Obama - we should all be proud of America. I know you will quibble, but the fact that a black son of a non-American citizen who grew up far outside the centers of U.S. power can be elected president twice proves that the U.S. is an open, non-racist country.

Few people would have thought this possible twenty years ago and most people really thought it was not possible even in 2008.

In truth, we can say that we have indeed overcome. Even if you hate Obama’s opponents, the fact is that the American system of laws and opportunity created this result. Our system worked.

Posted by: C&J at January 19, 2013 2:22 PM
Comment #360677

Warren

“The reason this isn’t happening is because everyone knows that those spending cuts are unpopular and no one wants to take the blame for them.”

No but it was ok to hit everyone with a 2% tax increase. I wouldn’t have a problem with the end of the cut in the soc. sec.tax so long as the soc. sec. tax revenue was placed off limits so it could no longer be borrowed, and spent on other things. How many people actually know this? Seems the democrats hepled screw the very middle class they claim to champion without a breath from their buddies in the media. Oh well, anything to continue growing gov’t.


“Which side is it that signs pledges not to raise taxes? Which side threatened sitting members of Congress with unemployment if they strayed from ideological purity?”

Oh please ! Which party threw Joe Lieberman under the bus when he refused to tow the party line on the Iraq war? BTW, how’d that go for them? This is SOP in most political parties. The repulicans were given control of the house to oppose Obamas agenda, and that includes holding the line on more spending by opposing any tax increases. THe republicans have already allowed taxes to increase in 2 areas, now it’s time for the dems to get real about weaning their constituants public handouts. That includes endless extensions of unemployment food stamps, and other things they should be providing for themselves.

Posted by: dbs at January 19, 2013 3:41 PM
Comment #360680

“I wouldn’t have a problem with the end of the cut in the soc. sec.tax so long as the soc. sec. tax revenue was placed off limits so it could no longer be borrowed, and spent on other things.”

dbs,

What exactly would you propose that the SS Trust Funds do with the money? Since its inception, surplus SS funds have been required by law to be invested in instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the US (Treasury bonds). Why? because it is the safest investment in the world. The same conservative investment made by private pension funds, sovereign funds, etc. to protect principal and earn a return. Why have the Chinese invested so much in US Treasuries? Why is it the “go to” investment for the world in times of economic crisis?

You view the use of SS surplus funds only from one perspective. From an investor’s perspective, it is a conservative, low risk approach to assuring preservation of capital and returning a dependable and predictable return on that investment.

Posted by: Rich at January 19, 2013 5:49 PM
Comment #360681

Warren
There is none so blind as those with the partisan blinders on. As incompetent as Bush was he’s a master compared to the clown we have now.
Quit watching MSNBC son. It’s nothing but pure partisan lies. As liberal as CBS, NBC, and ABE are at least you’ll get a little truth out of them. The only thing the Democrats have done for the last four years is spend, borrow, spend, borrow and spend more. If they were open to spending cuts they’d be sitting down with Bohner and the the Republicans and discussing them. Even if what the Republicans are proposing ain’t popular with the general public at least it’s a starting point. Some kind of an agreement could be made. It might not be the best in the world, but something would be getting done to get spending under control.
Y’all might not like Ryan’s budgets but just refusing to pass them is a best childish. Again if the Democrats would just sit down with the Republicans I’m sure a compromise could be reached.
I’m beginning to believe that the Democrats, specially Obama, doesn’t want a budget. That way they don’t have to account for wasting taxpayer money on stupid stimulus packages for Obama’s cronies.
The actions of the Democrats tells me they don’t care about the deficit or the debt.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 19, 2013 6:12 PM
Comment #360695

LibRick,
I too am proud that the electorate has been able to see through the BS of the GOP and their Tea Party allies.

You are saying that Democrats need to hide the taxing and spending from the American people.

If this were the case, then how do you explain the budget passed in 2009 and budget that was filibustered in 2010? If Democrats were trying to hide things surely they would have been doing so from the very beginning.

No but it was ok to hit everyone with a 2% tax increase. I wouldn’t have a problem with the end of the cut in the soc. sec.tax so long as the soc. sec. tax revenue was placed off limits so it could no longer be borrowed, and spent on other things. How many people actually know this? Seems the democrats hepled screw the very middle class they claim to champion without a breath from their buddies in the media. Oh well, anything to continue growing gov’t.
At this point, I refuse to affiliate the payroll tax with Social Security or Medicare. I’m certainly never going to collect benefits from either of those programs. For me, payroll taxes are simply another way we fund our government. The payroll tax reduction from 2 years ago was always meant to be temporary stimulus and we have seen how the Republicans are allergic to even the notion of stimulating the economy.
Oh please ! Which party threw Joe Lieberman under the bus when he refused to tow the party line on the Iraq war? BTW, how’d that go for them? This is SOP in most political parties.
This is not SOP, which is why it was so newsworthy when Lieberman lost his primary election. This is the only instance of a phenomenon that has occurred dozens of times in the Republican party. Also, Lieberman faced his primary challenge because of a specific unpopular policy that he supported (the Iraq War). It was not a case where he was primaried due to a general ideological position (for example a position regarding US military power in general). Maybe you cannot see the nuance in my distinction between generalized ideology and specified positions on a particular policy, but I think it is sufficient to declare Ned Lamont and the Tea Party Movement as incomparable.
The repulicans were given control of the house to oppose Obamas agenda
No, they were given control of the House to fix the economy, which was recovering at a slower pace than demanded by the electorate. Polling indicates that Obama’s agenda has remained popular throughout his Presidency.
holding the line on more spending by opposing any tax increases.
You do realize that taxation levels and spending levels have been completely decoupled since at least the Reagan administration, which makes your sentence a non sequitur.
THe republicans have already allowed taxes to increase in 2 areas
Yes, the GOP abandoned their foolish adherence to the “Hastert Rule” and Congress actually accomplished something. If the Republicans continue to abandon the Hastert Rule, then we will have reason to be optimistic regarding our fiscal future. I am certain that Obama and his allies in Congress will reduce our deficit if Republicans stop their policy of obstruction.
Quit watching MSNBC son. It’s nothing but pure partisan lies. As liberal as CBS, NBC, and ABE are at least you’ll get a little truth out of them.
I don’t own a television, but I appreciate the suggestion.
The only thing the Democrats have done for the last four years is spend, borrow, spend, borrow and spend more.
This is hyperbole. The PPACA in particular will do much to decrease spending on health care, which is the greatest source of our projected deficits over the next 20 years. Also, Obama has consistently supported reducing defense spending in accordance with the winding down of the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.
If they were open to spending cuts they’d be sitting down with Bohner and the the Republicans and discussing them.

Obama has repeatedly sat down with Boehner to discuss cutting spending. Inevitably, Obama negotiates a deal that balances spending cuts with tax increases. Each time this compromise is reached, it has been the conservatives in Congress that have blown it up because of their strict adherence to pledges that declare “now new taxes”. I think the most telling moment occurred during a debate for the GOP Presidential nomination, the moderator asked if any of the Republicans would accept a deal that had $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases and not one of them raised a hand. This is the intransigence that has paralyzed Washington.

Y’all might not like Ryan’s budgets but just refusing to pass them is a best childish.
It isn’t my opinion or the opinions of Democrats in Washington that’s relevant here. It’s the opinion of the electorate that resoundingly rebuked Paul Ryan when he ran for Vice President last year.
I’m beginning to believe that the Democrats, specially Obama, doesn’t want a budget.
Obama has proposed budgets every year of his administration; C&J’s complaint is with the Senate. However, Reid had no problems passing budgets in 2007, 2008 and 2009. It’s only after the omnibus budget got filibustered in 2010 that we got in the situation we are in now. Methinks that we ought to look at what changed between 2009 and today to figure out why the Senate can’t pass a budget. Lo and behold, the thing that changed from 2009 to today wasn’t Reid or the Democrats, but it was the increased influence of extreme conservatism under the guise of the Tea Party Party movement and obstructionist Republicans in Congress. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 20, 2013 8:10 AM
Comment #360698

Warren

Reid hasn’t passed a budget for four years. http://thehill.com/homenews/house/278007-house-gop-aims-to-tie-senate-action-on-budget-to-debt-limit-increase

Republicans took over in the House only two years ago.

I don’t think we can trust Obama or Reid on this. They want to spend. Obama want to make government permanently bigger. I have concluded that he really wants to create a larger dependent class that will reliable vote their economic interests. He promised to change America and this is what he means by it.

I think that a great moderate proposal is to get government and taxes down to 1999 levels. This is now “extreme conservative” according to Obama folks.

Obamacare is looking like the expensive disaster lots of people predicted. Obama will double down on this. He told us that Obamacare would control costs. Now he will be asking more “fees”. We will end up with French levels of taxation, if Obama gets his way.

Posted by: C&J at January 20, 2013 9:39 AM
Comment #360700
Reid hasn’t passed a budget for four years.

Reid passed a budget in December 2009; this was 3 years ago, not 4. Reid proposed a budget in December 2010, but it was filibustered.

This leaves 2 years where Reid didn’t explicitly try to pass a budget. Coincidentally those are the two years that Republicans have controlled the House.

I don’t think we can trust Obama or Reid on this. They want to spend. Obama want to make government permanently bigger. I have concluded that he really wants to create a larger dependent class that will reliable vote their economic interests. He promised to change America and this is what he means by it.
And I have concluded otherwise. If Obama truly wanted to permanently grow government, he would have taken us over the fiscal cliff. He would probably have gotten away with it and been able to blame the GOP for it. The fact that he compromised his own policy positions revealed a lot of Obama’s character. He was willing to put the needs of the country first above that of himself or his party.
I think that a great moderate proposal is to get government and taxes down to 1999 levels.
Well, taxes would have to up if we want 1999 levels, but apart from that I’d like to agree except that demographics have changed the equation regarding Social Security & Medicare today versus 1999. However, when it comes to discretionary spending I’ll agree with what you propose.
This is now “extreme conservative” according to Obama folks.
Are you referring to “Obama folks” or a commenter on Watchblog?

Regarding Obamacare: I see no evidence that the PPACA is anything close to an “expensive disaster”. In fact, health care spending growth has slowed over the past few years.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 20, 2013 10:42 AM
Comment #360702

Warren

I hope you are right, but I really don’t think Obama has any desire to get government back to the manageable levels of 1999. He wants to raise revenues to support the larger levels we now “enjoy”.

Re 1999 - taxes at that time were sufficient to produce a surplus. I would support that level of taxes, although a bit lower. We do not really need or want to produce a long-term surplus. Taxes in “normal years” should equal spending. In hard times we would have small deficits and small surpluses in good years. The problem is that politicians always like to claim that there are emergencies. Think of the recent Sandy debacle. We have always had storms and hurricanes. We don’t know exactly where and when they will strike, but they should not come as surprises requiring emergency spending.

Re medicare etc - we should reform those systems using means testing and raising retirement ages. Given demographic changes we cannot continue as we have been. When I say “we” I mean “you”. I am old and will soon be living off your labor and those of my kids. I don’t want to rip you off. Most of your liberal colleagues will be happy to screw you young people in apparent retaliation for something George W Bush did.

Re Obama folks - mostly on Watchblog and some in the media.

Re Obamacare - wait for it. You will be paying more and getting less. Obama’s goal was to extend insurance to everybody in the U.S. Perhaps it was a laudable goal, but making it cheaper for those of us already insured was never a priority for him.

Posted by: C&J at January 20, 2013 11:01 AM
Comment #360711

Warren
I see you just chose to respond to what you want to. Is your not responding to my charges that the Democrats won’t negotiate with the Republicans over the budget and spending cuts are childish admitting you know they’re true.
Like I’ve said, at least something has been put on the table. Why ain’t the Democrats willing to sit down and negotiate?
I know you claim that the spending cuts will hurt SS, and Ryan’s budgets are all wrong. But at least there’s a starting point. If the Democrats care about deficit spending and the debt why ain’t they willing to negotiate? What’s so hard about say ‘OK here’s what you want. Now here’s what we want. Let’s work something out.’?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2013 1:20 AM
Comment #360719
I see you just chose to respond to what you want to. Is your not responding to my charges that the Democrats won’t negotiate with the Republicans over the budget and spending cuts are childish admitting you know they’re true.

I gave my reply to your unfounded accusation in my previous comment, but I will reiterate it here: Paul Ryan’s budget was prefaced upon a drastic reform to medicare for people born after 1957. The recent election was in part a referendum on that proposal and it was resoundingly rebuked by the electorate. Therefore, Paul Ryan’s budgets cannot serve as a template for any budget that claims to represent the will of the people. Simply because Democrats won’t accept Ryan’s unpopular ideas doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to negotiate on other things.

In private, Obama has repeatedly attempted to negotiate a “big deal” with Congressional Republicans. Each time, the GOP has blown up the negotiations because of their allergy to tax increases. However, Obama and every sane observer knows that revenue increases must be a part of any fiscal plan. So, GOP dreams of balancing a budget solely through cutting spending are completely unrealistic.

If the Hastert Rule has truly gone by the wayside, I am much more optimistic about the near future. Congressional Democrats and a handful of sane Republicans will now pass a budget and send it to Obama. However, Republicans will need to give Democrats private assurance that the budget will neither be filibustered nor will it die in the House due to the Hastert Rule.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 21, 2013 9:55 AM
Comment #360721

Yes, let’s quit ‘enjoying’ healthcare for the elderly and destitute. By every measure discretionary spending has been cut drastically already.

What is left is:

a: medicaid and medicare. 2 of the ‘Big 3’. The affordable healthcare act was a largely miserable attempt to address this huge and growing problem. Why a miserable attempt? Because the Democrats under pressure from the WH failed to push a much more efficient single-payer system. This was done because the Republicans had years ago offered up the current plan which is now the law of the land and Obama foolishly thought that some Republicans would support their own idea.

b: social security. This currently self supporting program can be easily tweeked to continue to provide a safety net for nearly all Americans. Therefore this should be ruled out of any deficit discussions. It does not currently contribute and can, without much fuss, be adjusted to continue to operate without contributing to the deficit.

c: defense. This is the second of the real monsters in the deficit creation. Despite Republicans’ foolish promotion of the myth that Reagan somehow intimidated the USSR into collapsing and tearing down the Iron Curtain, anyone who confronts facts and truth understands that bloated defense spending and unsustainable military expenditures is what destroyed the Soviet power in the 80’s. America spends outrageous amounts of its capital on defense. Much of it contributes to decreased unemployment and certainly America wants to remain the dominant superpower in the world. Despite often times defending unethical US corporations, America is without a doubt the greatest agent of good in modern history. However, the power of the huge industrial military complex that Eisenhower warned of is come of age and is a real threat to our nation.

Combined defense and medicaid/medicare solutions would quickly get us out of the trouble we are in. The problem is that reducing these expenditures foolishly or without a good plan can be more destructive than allowing them to continue to grow. Increased unemployment, reduced productivity, wasted resources on reactive instead of proactive healthcare treatments, and more can ensue. A good plan would follow the money to see where it is going. Much of it ends up in the hands of the already wealthy. Start there. Create service and provider contracting and procurement systems which reward recipients reasonable amounts of money and decrease overpayment, fraud and abuse, and waste in these two major expense areas.

This isn’t going to be as easy as either side thinks. Nor is it really as difficult either. Sacred cows are going to have to be offered up for inspection at the very least. Why no one is talking defense spending, I don’t quite understand.

Posted by: LibRick at January 21, 2013 1:24 PM
Comment #360724

Librick

Re SS - It was self supporting as long as there were five of us workers supporting one retiree. As a member of the baby boom, numbers were on my side.

Soon there will be fewer than two workers for each retiree. When FDR proposed SS life expectancy was 63. He made the retirement age 65. That meant that lots of people would never collect at all and those that did could be expected to soon shuffle off this mortal coil, on average. Beyond that, given the nature of work & medical care in 1935, most retirees were physically broken at 65. They could no longer do the work they used to.

Social Security does not have money in it except checks that our generation wrote and promised our kids would pay. Obama told us this, when he threatened that SS checks would be delayed if we didn’t raise the debt ceiling. In other words, we already need to borrow to pay SS, according to Obama.

I will say it plain. I think that those who want to maintain SS as it is are immoral and thieves. You want our kids - or people like Warren - to become indentured to our generation’s comfort in our old age. Good people like me are willing to take less so that the young people can keep more of what they earn. Liberals, who claim to love all mankind, are eager to rip off the younger generation and call it justice.

I just think some of them might need the money more than some of us. We lived our lives in some of the best economic circumstances in human history. I am not sure our kids will have the same good luck. We should have done better and we should not punish our children for our mistakes.

Posted by: C&J at January 21, 2013 2:14 PM
Comment #360727

OK, Warren, just what have the Democrats offered as an alternative to Ryan’s budgets? All they’ve done is to flat out reject them. Until I see them offering a plan of their own I have to believe that they have no intention of compromising. I have to believe they don’t want any kind of budget so they can keep their out of control spending.
Again, What is so wrong with taking Ryan’s budget and sitting down with the Republicans and saying ‘Here’s what you want. Here’s what we want. Let’s work out a deal.’? The Democrats ain’t even tried it. How can I believe they’re willing to compromise?
If the Democrats submitted a budget the Republicans didn’t like, wouldn’t you expect them to sit down with the Democrats and work out a deal? What’s wrong with the Democrats siting down with the Republicans and working out a deal?
Or are the Republicans the only ones that are supposed be willing to make deals?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2013 2:30 PM
Comment #360729

C&J,

First of all, regarding the life expectancy differences. Look at how that is calculated. Much of the gains have been made in childhood mortality and infant mortality. So you’re thinking there is not all correct. Many people do live longer, but difference is not as great as you imagine.

Second, the type of work and the age of retirement HAS changed and so, necessarily, will the age of eligibility.

Third, you discount all the loyal American companies who collect SS taxes from non-citizens who are in their employ but will not collect.

Look at the actual numbers, not what you project through faulty reasoning.

You can comment on how you might address medicare/medicaid and defense spending. Or you can disagree with my statements on discretionary spending cuts, but the numbers will not support your current fear/concern about SS. I am in a very fortunate place financially thanks to the unrealistic and somewhat unethical compensation rates to corporate officers. If it comes to means testing, I will not be upset. I certainly have benefitted from living in this country. In fact, I’d say the top 10-20% of Americans live like kings and princes compared to the average person on the planet. You won’t hear me whining about paying a bit more so others aren’t living in misery…. I mean, honest hardworking citizens, too!

To hear the moaning and groaning of wealthy financiers, some of whom have made their fortunes out manipulating hardworking citizens who happen to be less informed on the intentionally complicated financial instruments of the day, advising the poor and middle class to lower their expectations for retirement and healthcare, is sickening to me. The middle class and working poor are not cheating ANYONE out of their fortunes or futures. That job has been taken by those who run the financial systems (incl. Wall Street), corporate boardrooms (not all), and city, state, and federal legislatures.

Posted by: LibRick at January 21, 2013 3:13 PM
Comment #360730
Until I see them offering a plan of their own I have to believe that they have no intention of compromising
This makes no sense. Do you even know what it means to compromise? In this context, a compromise would be a policy proposal that requires both sides to violate ideological dogma. In our case, a compromise would comprise of some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Democrats have shown that they are not opposed to cutting entitlements, but Republicans have not shown similar interest in raising taxes.
I have to believe they don’t want any kind of budget so they can keep their out of control spending.
No, it’s because they don’t want to stick their necks out and cast controversial votes without Republican assurances. Call it a crisis of leadership if you want, but it isn’t a result of ideological rigidity.
The Democrats ain’t even tried it.
Obama negotiated the Budget Control Act of 2011 and we have the recent compromises that were made possible because the Republicans violated the Hastert Rule.

Democrats are certainly sitting down and trying to talk with the Republicans.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 21, 2013 3:16 PM
Comment #360734

Librick

Obama told us that w/o a rise in the debt ceiling that SS checks would be delayed. Was Obama lying?

The bottom line is that if we want to spend more in the future we will need to tax young people more. There is no way around it, no matter what we call the spending.

I remember hearing a story about a guy who kept his money in separate jars. He has a jar for food money, rent money, beer money etc. He made sure he had enough money in the beer jar, but sometimes had to borrow for rent or food. When questioned about this questionable practice, he would become indignant and point out that he had enough in the beer jar to pay for his entertainment. This guy must have been a liberal.


Re raising the retirement age and means testing - this is generational justice. If you are willing do your fair share, what is it that you oppose?

You talk about the moaning and groaning of rich financiers. Most of those who were making the big bucks in the 1990s and under Bush will be retired in 2020. You want to make sure you protect their SS payments at the expense of the young people. Can you really be so unjust?

All I am asking of myself and you is that people like us take a little less than we can and maybe work a little longer as our health is stronger. I ask this because I want to be fair to young people who had not part of running up our debts.

Excuse me if I am rude, but it is typical of liberals to demand sacrifice from others but balk at making it themselves. You hide behind “the poor” to make sure you get a bigger slice of the pie than justice would say you deserve. You demand that young people make good on programs our generation voted for ourselves at their expense.

Warren

Re the budget of 2011 - Reid, Pelosi, Boehner and McConnell had an agreement, but Obama threw it out in order protect his political interest. Seemed to have worked.

Obama of all the people in all the world has no right to be indignant. He is just play-acting.

BTW - how happy will you be to pay an extra slice from your paycheck so that guys like Librick and me can play golf in Sun City?

Posted by: C&J at January 21, 2013 3:44 PM
Comment #360747
Excuse me if I am rude, but it is typical of liberals to demand sacrifice from others but balk at making it themselves. You hide behind “the poor” to make sure you get a bigger slice of the pie than justice would say you deserve. You demand that young people make good on programs our generation voted for ourselves at their expense.

Where in the h—- does this come from? Your party is the one insisting on cutting medicare/medicaid and SS benefits for the poor and working class. Did I say I wanted to safeguard SS benefits for our wealthiest citizens? No. This is something you make up to oppose me, I suppose.

SS is indeed self sufficient at this point… and it is not beer money… it IS rent and food money for most elderly and retired citizens. Whatever the reason, whether by their own fault or not, the fact is that most Americans have little to no retirement other than Social Security. And frankly, since we would likely support indigent seniors, I don’t mind having a federal run program to demand that people pay into a system that prevents the rest of America for paying for ALL of their support. How you decided that I was defending SS for the wealthy is a leap that only you could explain.

And I don’t mean to be rude, but it is typical of conservatives to demand payment from working class stiffs who have paid and paid and paid to cover government programs that have been mismanaged and pilfered by the well to do.

Furthermore, I specifically stated that I expect and gladly will accept eligibility requirements for people of my means. Conservatives are the ones demanding that others make the sacrifice… not liberals. Liberals want those who have ALREADY benefitted to accept cuts. Conservatives want those who are still working to build wealth to accept cuts.

BTW, most Americans, by and large are beginning to see this. Hence your party’s shrinking voting bloc. We won’t have to wait too long to see changes in the political climate. It may be painful to many in this column.

Posted by: LibRick at January 21, 2013 6:13 PM
Comment #360749

The big problem here is that we have a Republican party trying to drag the country to the far right, when it’s been drifting more towards the left. It’s not sustainable. What the GOP’s going to find in the next few years is that all the marginal districts they drew to avoid all this are going to flip the other way. If they haven’t figured out a way to be compromising before then, it’s going to get ugly for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 21, 2013 6:49 PM
Comment #360752

librick

“My” party is proposing that SS etc be rationalized. Among the things proposed are raising the retirement age and means testing recipients. Those I things I support and those are things that I am willing to impose on myself as a good American.

Republicans have not proposed cutting benefits for the poor. In fact proposals from Bush on has concentrated on the two things I mention above.

If you support means testing and raising the ages, then you are doing the right things. If not, you are advocating avarice and generational piracy and trying to hide behind protecting the poor.

I also support keeping the Federal SS option. But we don’t need to support people like me who were smart/disciplined and luck enough to take care of ourselves. It is unfair that you and I saved and acted responsibly and now will be penalized. But I think it is more unfair to tax the young to make sure you and I get our fair share.

You can wiggle all you want, but you know that I hold the moral high ground on this issue. You guys are getting legalistic.

You are mistaken when you say ” Liberals want those who have ALREADY benefitted to accept cuts.” I have offered to accept cuts and I advocate that others in similar situations also accept them. We paid our share and now we will not get all the benefits because we are well off.

Liberal position is NOT what you say above. If it was, we would all push for means testing and retirement age increases.

Stephen

I have the moral high ground. I am willing to accept cuts even though I paid in. I am reasonably certain people like you will not save enough to support yourselves and so people like me will be pulling our own weight plus yours.

You guys find the truth offensive. I advocate that people like me NOT take all we are entitled to take. This makes you feel smaller. Beside that, what part of people like me paying more for people like you do you find unfair to YOU?

Posted by: C&J at January 21, 2013 9:24 PM
Comment #360753

Stephen

One more thing “drifting toward the left”?

In 2008 Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and President Obama won with 52.9% of the vote.

In 2012 Republicans control the House and President Obama won with 51.1%. Bush was reelected with almost the same %; he got only 0.4% less than Obama. Did you call that a landslide? Obama’s victory was nearly identical to Bush’s.

No other president won reelection with a smaller majority than he won the first time out. So it seems that we have drifted right, not left. It is not a big drift, but obviously 1.8% changed their mind about Obama after seeing what he was like.

When we had a good president, it was different. Ronald Reagan was reelected with 58.8% of the vote. Obama just squeaked by.

Posted by: C&J at January 21, 2013 9:39 PM
Comment #360755

Warren
You still ain’t told me what the Democrats have to offer in place of Ryan’s budgets. Is that because they don’t have anything?
The Senate has refused to pass a budget since 2009. But they have not come up with any plan of their own. And refuse to even try to discuss what has been offered. I’m well aware that you and the Democrats think Ryan’s budget is bad for the country. Now just what do they have to offer in place of it?
The Democrats have no intention of passing a budget of any kind. If they did they’d offer a counter proposal. And you know it. But your blind loyalty to the Democrats won’t let you admit it. So you blindly spew the party talking points so lame that anyone that has half a brian knows is nothing but BS.
I know what compromise is. It’s when folks that have different views of something sit down and talk them over and come up with something both parties can live with. Both sides have to give a little. Each gets some of what they want. And each give the other side some of what they want.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2013 11:23 PM
Comment #360759
You still ain’t told me what the Democrats have to offer in place of Ryan’s budgets. Is that because they don’t have anything? The Senate has refused to pass a budget since 2009.
Obama still proposes a budget every year. That budget is the Democratic alternative to Ryan’s budget. Also, the Senate did not refuse to pass a budget in 2010l; the budget was filibustered that year.
The Democrats have no intention of passing a budget of any kind.
If this is the case, why did they pass a budget in 2009? Why did Reid propose an omnibus bill in December 2010 only to have it filibustered?
If they did they’d offer a counter proposal.
Not true. Such a counter proposal would be foolish without first getting Republicans on board first. This is the lesson Harry Reid learned in 2010.
I know what compromise is. It’s when folks that have different views of something sit down and talk them over and come up with something both parties can live with. Both sides have to give a little. Each gets some of what they want. And each give the other side some of what they want.
What the hell does having Reid pass a budget have to do with getting folks to sit down to talk? It’s useless unless the budget is able to survive the Senate’s filibuster and the House of Representatives. Negotiation and compromise must come first; passing budgets comes second after a compromise has been reached.
BTW - how happy will you be to pay an extra slice from your paycheck so that guys like Librick and me can play golf in Sun City
If you aren’t playing golf in Sun City, you will probably still be working and crowding me out of a job. If an extra slice from my paycheck is what is needed in order for me to even have a paycheck in the first place then so be it. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 22, 2013 6:57 AM
Comment #360762

Warren, Warren, Warren
When will you ever take the blinders off my boy?
For you to say that the Democrats have to get the Republicans on board first before the Democrats give their proposal is naive. It implies that the Republicans have to say they’ll rubber stamp anything the Democrats propose. For the Republicans to get on board, the Democrats have to have a proposal. Where is it?
The idea of a counter proposal is to let the other side know what you want.
Here’s how it works. The Republicans have made their proposal. Now the Democrats give their proposal. Then the two side get together and work out a deal. The Republicans give give the Democrats some of what they want. The Democrats give the Republicans some of what they want. A deal is then made and we have a budget.
Just how hard is that to understand?

What the hell does having Reid pass a budget have to do with getting folks to sit down to talk?

When did I ever imply that Reid had to pass a budget in order to get both sides to sit down and talk?
But he does need a counter proposal before they can. Where is it?

The problem we have here is the Democrats want the Republicans to roll over and ply dead while they run the country into the ground with their borrow and spend policies. They think just because Obama won by 2% of the vote that it’s a mandate to continue the failed policies of his first term. Two percent of the vote is hardly a mandate.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 22, 2013 8:50 AM
Comment #360765
What the hell does having Reid pass a budget have to do with getting folks to sit down to talk?

When did I ever imply that Reid had to pass a budget in order to get both sides to sit down and talk?
But he does need a counter proposal before they can. Where is it?

I guess this is the source of our misunderstanding. If you agree with me that Reid doesn’t need to pass a budget in order for both sides to talk, then why are conservatives making such a big deal out of the absence of Senate Budget resolutions in the last two years?

For you to say that the Democrats have to get the Republicans on board first before the Democrats give their proposal is naive. It implies that the Republicans have to say they’ll rubber stamp anything the Democrats propose.

No it doesn’t. Republicans can still vote against the Democratic proposal; they just need to promise not to filibuster or enforce the Hastert rule.

the Democrats have to have a proposal. Where is it?

The White House produces a budget proposal every year with the President’s fiscal policy positions. Why can’t this serve as the Democrat’s proposal? In addition, Obama gives speeches on a regular basis where he outlines his ideas on fiscal issues.

The problem we have here is the Democrats want the Republicans to roll over and ply dead while they run the country into the ground with their borrow and spend policies. They think just because Obama won by 2% of the vote that it’s a mandate to continue the failed policies of his first term. Two percent of the vote is hardly a mandate.
The real problem is that neither side wants to take responsibility for reducing the deficit. Republicans want Democrats to capitulate to their “no new taxes” creed and enact Ryan’s Medicare cuts and Democrats don’t want to be seen as the ones cutting spending. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 22, 2013 10:47 AM
Comment #360768

The real problem is that neither side wants to take responsibility for reducing the deficit. Republicans want Democrats to capitulate to their “no new taxes” creed and enact Ryan’s Medicare cuts and Democrats don’t want to be seen as the ones cutting spending.

Now your starting to see the big picture Warren. No one up there in DC really cares about anything but their own personal and political gain.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 22, 2013 4:06 PM
Comment #360769

Warren

“the Senate did not refuse to pass a budget in 2010l; the budget was filibustered that year.”

That means they have to make enough concessions to get the 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor for a vote. That doesn’t mean they can just choose not to pass one because they don’t like some of the concessions they may have to make. Thats how compromise works when you need the other side on board to get the job done in the senate.

BTW, when you control the house you get to decide what makes it to the floor for a vote. That’s how the majority controls the agenda in the house. If the majority of the controlling party doesn’t like a bill it doesn’t get voted on. Not gonna change. Do you really believe Nancy Pelosi would have let the entire house vote on legislation she didn’t like just to be fair, knowing full well that there may be enough moderate democrats on board to pass it ?

Posted by: dbs at January 22, 2013 4:17 PM
Comment #360771
That means they have to make enough concessions to get the 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor for a vote.
The question is one of magnitude. A small of number of policy concessions is reasonable, but minority parties shouldn’t be calling all the shots. Namely, I think the Republicans wouldn’t cooperate on any budgets unless the PPACA was repealed.
BTW, when you control the house you get to decide what makes it to the floor for a vote. That’s how the majority controls the agenda in the house. If the majority of the controlling party doesn’t like a bill it doesn’t get voted on. Not gonna change. Do you really believe Nancy Pelosi would have let the entire house vote on legislation she didn’t like just to be fair, knowing full well that there may be enough moderate democrats on board to pass it ?
There’s a reason this is called the Hastert rule and not the Pelosi rule or even named after an earlier Speaker. This is really unprecedented. Also, when Pelosi served as Speaker, she was willing to pass legislation that did not garner the support of most Democratic Congressmen. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 22, 2013 4:35 PM
Comment #360816

Warren

“The question is one of magnitude. A small of number of policy concessions is reasonable, but minority parties shouldn’t be calling all the shots.”

They don’t but, the minority party uses what leverage they have to get as much to their liking as they possibly can. In the senate that means the majority party must lure enough votes from the minority party to get the 60 votes needed to end debate. That’s the way it is. If you control 60 seats you can pretty much write your own ticket. Otherwise you have to garner enough votes from the opposition. Both parties play that game. Not gonna change. If democrats change the rule it will render them powerless if they should lose control of the senate in the future.

“Also, when Pelosi served as Speaker, she was willing to pass legislation that did not garner the support of most Democratic Congressmen.”


She allowed it to come to a vote because not doing so would have made her responsible for not funding the troops. Her hand was forced. She didn’t do it because it was the right thing to do. She did it because not doing it would have been political suicide.

Posted by: dbs at January 23, 2013 4:48 PM
Comment #360881

Warren,
Sweetie, you are fighting a losing battle with Ron. He is excellent at twisting one’s words, and not actually paying attention to what you actually write. He is set in his ways, and I doubt anything will change that. C&J sometimes make some sense. Not often, but sometimes, and I don’t really know anything about dbs.

I applaud you for trying,and totally agree with you. Please keep up the good work. Your information is good, but it might be more effective if you sited sources… just a thought.

Posted by: Highlandangel1 at January 25, 2013 4:15 AM
Comment #360938
Both parties play that game.

No they haven’t. Mitch McConnell’s use of the filibuster is unprecedented. You cannot honestly claim that this is a bipartisan phenomenon. Democratic minorities gave deference to George W. Bush and his congressional allies from 2003 to 2007. For instance,Medicare Part D was passed with only 54 votes in the Senate.

She allowed it to come to a vote because not doing so would have made her responsible for not funding the troops. Her hand was forced. She didn’t do it because it was the right thing to do. She did it because not doing it would have been political suicide.

Exactly my point. If Boehner had continued adherence to the Hastert Rule, then he would have been responsible for the consequences of defaulting on our financial obligations. His hand was forced because not raising the debt ceiling would have been political suicide. I never said Pelosi was a virtuous woman; my claim is merely that she is a practical woman.

Highlandangel1,
Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 26, 2013 10:29 AM
Comment #360948

Warren

“If Boehner had continued adherence to the Hastert Rule, then he would have been responsible for the consequences of defaulting on our financial obligations.”

BS ! There Is more than enough revenue to pay the service one our debt. There is also enough to pay the troops and soc. sec. benenfits etc. It would have just required some tough choices. Claiming the the sky would fall with out the debt increase is BS.

Posted by: dbs at January 26, 2013 11:48 PM
Comment #360959

Last time I checked, revenues were less than government spending. All government spending is authorized by a law of some sort, which means the executive branch has been legally mandated by Congress to spend money on things Congress wants money spent on. Disrupting any of these payments would be considered a default by our creditors. The President may be able to prioritize interest payments or entitlement spending (such as SS), but he cannot honor all of the government’s obligations without borrowing money, which means the US government will have defaulted on its obligations.

In order to avoid default without raising the debt limit, Congress could pass a new budget that doesn’t require borrowing money, but so far even Paul Ryan’s budgets have deficit spending which continues for at least a decade.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 27, 2013 10:54 AM
Comment #360961

Warren

“All government spending is authorized by a law of some sort,”

Congress has the power to adjust or eliminate items from the budget. Tighten the belt if you will. This is not default.


“Disrupting any of these payments would be considered a default by our creditors.”

Only failing to pay the service on our debt would be considered default. If you have a budget and your income drops you have to cut back. Cutting back on non debt related items would not constitute default. What will reduce your credit worhtiness is continuing to aquire more debt while not increasing your revenue. IE debt to income ratio.

“President may be able to prioritize interest payments or entitlement spending (such as SS), but he cannot honor all of the government’s obligations without borrowing money,”

In life this is called making tough decisions, rather than to continue spending more than you take in. We cannot continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend.


“In order to avoid default without raising the debt limit, Congress could pass a new budget that doesn’t require borrowing money, but so far even Paul Ryan’s budgets have deficit spending which continues for at least a decade.”

I doubt that anyone believes it is realistic to cut the federal budget by 40% in a couple of years. On the other hand the debt trajectory needs to start heading in the other direction in a significant way, or eventually the house of cards will colapse. The debt ceiling has to be raised but the blank check days have to end, and now is the time rather than later.


Posted by: dbs at January 27, 2013 12:18 PM
Comment #360968
Congress has the power to adjust or eliminate items from the budget.

Exactly. Which is why I said: “Congress could pass a new budget that doesn’t require borrowing money”. But you replied:

I doubt that anyone believes it is realistic to cut the federal budget by 40% in a couple of years.

Without such an adjustment, Congress and the President will be in violation of their own laws, which our creditors will take very seriously. Those laws are contractual obligations to pay people for services or products that in many cases have already been provided. Not paying these people is considered a default unless we renegotiate the contract (pass a new budget).

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 27, 2013 11:26 PM
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