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07-19-2011, 05:46 AM   #1
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Some more of the Blame Game:

Blame game never helps anybody but it is sometimes useful for perspective purposes?


Debt Ceiling Crisis: GOP Has Double Amnesia on Deficits, Regulation - The Daily Beast

QuoteQuote:
The GOP Has Double Amnesia:

As Republicans obstruct Obama on a debt deal, they seem to have forgotten they and Bush ran up huge deficits, and that they helped spur a crisis by not properly regulating big business and financial markets, writes Peter Beinart.
Jul 18, 2011 1:11 AM EDT

If the debt-ceiling negotiations reveal anything about America in 2011, it is this: we live in an age of political amnesia. From the day the Twin Towers fell until the day Barack Obama was elected president, Washington Republicans did virtually everything in their power to increase the deficit.

George W. Bush and his congressional allies pushed through tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, added more than $2 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. In 2002, when National Economic Council director Lawrence Lindsey suggested the Iraq War might cost $100 billion to $200 billion, he was rebuked by Office of Management and Budget director Mitch Daniels and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then fired. According to the CBO, the war has now cost more than $1 trillion.

In 2003, the Republican Congress passed the Medicare prescription-drug bill, which former U.S. comptroller general David Walker has called "the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s." When Medicare’s chief actuary calculated that the legislation would likely cost more than $500 billion, a Bush appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services threatened to fire him if he released the information.

Had Republicans wanted to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget, as they’re demanding now, they could certainly have tried during the Bush years, when they pretty much ran Washington. But they didn’t. Given their remarkable success at unbalancing the budget, such an effort would have been absurd.

Republicans have every right, of course, to admit their error and work to undo the deficit they helped create. But instead, today’s GOP leaders act as if the Bush years are irrelevant to America’s debt problem, and largely defend the tax cuts and wartime spending that helped cause it. It’s the same ideological double flip the GOP did in the Gingrich years, when Washington Republicans reinvented themselves as deficit hawks and pretended the Reagan administration had never happened.
President Barack Obama press conference, Washington, D.C, America - 15 Jul 2011

But at least six years elapsed between Reagan’s departure from the White House and Gingrich’s ascent to the speaker’s chair. This time, the gap between President Bush and Speaker John Boehner was a mere two years. I guess everything happens faster these days.

Even more remarkable than the GOP’s deficit amnesia is its regulatory amnesia. Less than three years ago, the American financial system virtually collapsed, leaving an economic disaster that still blights the lives of tens of millions of Americans. That collapse may be partly the result of federal efforts that pushed too hard to make Americans with lousy credit become homeowners.

But it was also undoubtedly a result of the fact that under Presidents Clinton and Bush, the U.S. government egged on Wall Street as it created new and largely unregulated financial markets. Then, in 2010, after a BP oil spill almost destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, reporters discovered that the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service, which supposedly regulates offshore drilling, was as toothless as the agencies that supposedly regulated derivatives trading.

That was last summer, and yet, amazingly, the GOP is more adamant today in its support of deregulation than it was during the Bush years. Every single Republican in the House opposed Dodd-Frank, the 2010 bill aimed at modestly strengthening America’s financial regulatory system—and Mitt Romney has said he would consider repealing it. Not to be outdone, Tim Pawlenty has proposed repealing all government regulations except for those Congress expressly votes to retain.

Today’s GOP leaders act as if the Bush years are irrelevant to America’s debt problem.


07-19-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
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We should have this amendment someday, but not until we get out from under our current economic, war, energy and infrastructure issues, etc.
Before it should be allowed to be written, we also need to remove ALL constitutional rights from non-living entities.
Moreover it should not be written by the bickering b*****s up there now.
07-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by shooz Quote
We should have this amendment someday, but not until we get out from under our current economic, war, energy and infrastructure issues, etc.
Before it should be allowed to be written, we also need to remove ALL constitutional rights from non-living entities.
Moreover it should not be written by the bickering b*****s up there now.
If you read the text of the proposed amendment, it would not require them to balance the budget immediately. It provides that after the amendment is approved by 3/4 of the states, the balanced budget requirement will go into effect after 2 years pass.

It takes years for the states to approve amendments like this and everyone from governors to state legislators can throw up roadblocks to approval. The earliest conceivable fiscal year to be constrained by this would be 2015 but more than likely it would take until 2016-2020 before it takes effect.

The primary reason democrats oppose it is purely political because one route states could take for consideration of the amendment would be to put it on the ballot in November 2012. If this gets on the ballot in a couple of swing states, Obama's reelection goes from an uphill battle to a summit attempt on Everest.
07-20-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
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The amendment is impractical and has a ton of unforseen consequences to the economy.

Why not reinstitute the 'pay as you go' discipline that the Republicans abandoned in the Bush era? No unfunded spending or tax cutting. You cut taxes, you cut spending or you close enough loopholes to make up the revenue. You increase spending, and you cut something else etc.

At issue is quasi Keynsean theory - but more so, practical governing by the executive branch. In an economic downturn it usually does not make sense - and is in fact harmful - to cut spending (much of that is private sector contracts) and lay off workers immediately and directly in line with falling revenues. Conversely, the time to restrain growth of federal spending is during good times (to build the economic cushion to deal with the downturn when it comes). The failure in government during the 2000's has to do with the unprecented levels of defecit spending during 'good' economic times. This to a good degree has constrained us now and is a big background factor in the budget/tax/debt fight.

07-20-2011, 12:23 PM   #5
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The fact that the official record of the President's 2010 state of the union shows that the audience can't keep a straight face when he explains how budgeting works should tell you why we can't trust congress to police themselves.

QuoteQuote:
Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can't address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. And I agree -- which is why this freeze won't take effect until next year -- (laughter) -- when the economy is stronger. That's how budgeting works. (Laughter and applause.) But understand –- understand if we don't take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery -– all of which would have an even worse effect on our job growth and family incomes.
Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address | The White House

It is next year...
Where are your cuts, Mr. President?
Where is your stronger economy, Mr. President?
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