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Archive for Saturday, July 30, 2011

Raw politics takes center stage in debt/budget drama

July 30, 2011

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The headlines read: “Political gridlock worries Wall Street,” “Budget stalemate drags stocks down most in almost 2 months,” “Impasse could be costly for states,” “Race on to get debt plans in form for vote,” “With the debt limit, no raise lasts forever,” “Magic things can happen in every Congress in a short period of time, under the right circumstances,” “What would Reagan do,” “How to end an idiotic game of chicken,” “Leaders crack down on their rank and file,” “U.S. downgrade may ‘be a big thing,’” “Washington has four days to raise debt ceiling,” “Treasury will default on some bills.”

Stories tell of threats about Social Security checks not being mailed, U.S. servicemen and servicewomen not being paid and many other similar actions where federal funds would be withheld because Uncle Sam would not be able to meet his obligations.

As one of President Barack Obama’s top advisers said several years ago, never let a good crisis go to waste.

It’s obvious this advice is in the forefront for Obama’s inner circle and also in the minds of many GOP strategists.

The national debt, uncontrolled spending, a balanced budget, our national security, unemployment and illegal immigration all will be major issues in the 2012 elections. Some are suggesting it will be a vicious and dirty campaign.

But now, raw politics is at center stage in this terribly serious theatrical drama being played out in Congress and the White House with the final curtain only hours or days away.

President Obama has been focused on his re-election in 2012 since he moved into the White House in January 2009. Most every action has been based on what is in his best interests and what gives him the best chance to win a second term.

He does not want any of the debt ceiling or uncontrolled spending debate carrying over into 2012, which would cloud his popularity and re-election efforts.

The same thinking is at center stage with Democratic senators and House members who face re-election next year. They and the president don’t want to anger the millions of potential voters receiving federal entitlement money by talking about cuts. At the same time, they know growing numbers of thinking Americans realize there must be cuts in these massive entitlement programs, which cannot be sustained if there is any hope of ever coming close to a balanced national budget.

Republicans also are well aware they have the opportunity to use 2012 as a means of calling for and getting action now because Democrats are so fearful of this mess being pushed into the election year.

Numerous Democrats have suggested making a temporary fix now but postponing more serious action on debt/borrowing/spending issues until after the November 2012 election when they hope Obama will be given another four years in the White House. He would use these additional years to further “change” in America, turning it into a far more socialist nation and making big government even bigger.

Republicans who were elected in the 2010 landslide were put into office to live up to their pledges of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. The public was sufficiently stirred up prior to the 2010 election to elect those candidates who pledged to fight for lower federal spending and more favorable tax rates to encourage business and reduce unemployment numbers.

It will be difficult for these new House and Senate members to go back to their districts and ask to be re-elected if they have not performed as they pledged.

Obama is fighting for political survival, and he will be using every possible ploy to win votes, including stirring fears by telling his supporters that if the GOP wins the White House, millions upon millions of entitlement dollars will dry up.

Only a few days remain before the Aug. 2 deadline set by Obama as the date when the United States will default on its obligations and lose the confidence and trust of the rest of the world — unless Congress agrees to raise the national debt ceiling by trillions of dollars.

Voters — more importantly, concerned citizens — should realize that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada would not even allow his fellow senators to vote on the House-approved measure calling for a limited rise in the national debt but a larger cut in national spending.

How does he justify not even allowing a debate on this approach to the issue?

When will the time come when those elected to serve in Congress and in the presidency will have the nation’s best interest as their main goal rather than raw politics and personal gain?

Both parties are guilty of playing this game, in the past and today, but Obama and his gang have brought it to a new, ugly and dangerous high. The public cannot allow itself to be comforted by thinking everything usually turns out OK and that, over the nation’s history, crises have come and gone but, in the end, we still are a strong, healthy country.

There is no guarantee this will always be the case. Obama’s plan and dreams of changing this country could easily turn into a nightmare, with serious and lasting consequences: a far different and weaker America with fewer freedoms and opportunities for its citizens, a nation that no longer is the world’s respected leader and superpower fighting for freedom and opportunity for individuals throughout the world.

Comments

Phillbert 3 years, 4 months ago

"Voters — more importantly, concerned citizens — should realize that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada would not even allow his fellow senators to vote on the House-approved measure calling for a limited rise in the national debt but a larger cut in national spending.

"How does he justify not even allowing a debate on this approach to the issue?"


Because 59 senators, including six Republicans, voted against debating the Boehner "Give us what we want or the country gets it" plan since it would put us back into this mess six months from now.

And the idea that it is President Obama who has been the one focused on 2012 since January 2009 is laughable given Mitch McConnell's statement that his top priority in the Senate was preventing Obama's reelection. True Republican statesmanship.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 4 months ago

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

'nuff said.

olddognewtrix 3 years, 4 months ago

Mr Simon has gushed forth with his usual right wing garbage. Can't the responsible people at theLJW get him to go on vacation in the Rockies?

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

It seems that Rupert Murdoch isn't the only doddering old newspaper fool.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 4 months ago

Kool Aide Kool Aide, Kool Aide, get your cool refreshing Republican Terrorist Kool Aide here!!!!!!!!

Dolphitics is available, free and for your refreshment to mount the attack on the lawfully-elected government of the USA. Do your part to get the black Kenyan dude out of the White House, dragged down a gravel road with a log chain and hung in a tree. White pointed robes optional. Red armbands available. Bring your pitchforks and be ready to set fire to the big cross with the effigy of the dude! Be sure to send your contributions to Rush Limbaugh and stay after the cross-buring to assist in erecting a momument to the lovable EIB facist!

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

"Republicans who were elected in the 2010 landslide were put into office to live up to their pledges of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington."

A. A slim majority of 24 seats in one-half of one-third of the national portion of the government isn't a position to dictate radical revolution. An even larger, and more representative, number of voters sent Democrats to Washington in 2008 to end a decade of failed Republican policies - not to readopt the same--with a vengeance--before their term in office even expired.

B. Put into office to bring fiscal sanity? Perhaps if they had run on a platform detailing what they wanted to do. As Mr. Simons remembers, you couldn't get a Republican on the ballot in Nov. 2010 to provide a clear answer to "So what would you cut?" There's no 'mandate' when the voters had no platform to endorse. You can run for office on Mom, apple pie, and providing humanitarian aid to other nations, but just because you get elected doesn't mean that voters endorsed your proposal to give $1,000,000,000,000 to Cambodia! Like so many GOP Governors, now reeling from backlash from their own citizens, maybe they should have mentioned some of their nutjob plans before trying to ram them down the American peoples' throats.

C. Again, put in office to bring fiscal sanity? In what insane monster's mind is defaulting on the nation's debts "sanity"? Enough with the Tea Party terrorism.

Mr. Simons, we don't need your help identifying the raw politics destroying this nation. You, sir, are at the heart of that problem.

thebigspoon 3 years, 4 months ago

Seems as if the editor might adhere to the tenets of journalism, even in an editorial piece. Some of the above posts have pointed out glaring inconsistencies in his thinking, rendering almost the entire piece a study in misstatement, lack of understanding of the "mandate" he so lovingly espouses, and the entire political process. Mr. Simons, you have a soapbox, and you're entitled to it, but it might be of interest to you that your rantings entirely miss the cogennt points of today's political reality. Too, your verbiage gives a thinly veiled picture of a man who has trouble hiding racist feelings.

If you have the wherewithal to point out specifics to back up your opinions, it would be welcomed by thinking people (and subscribers to your paper) to hear them. It is entirely possible that you have ideas that could be of help in others making their political decisions. Otherwise, you're barking up the wrong tree by alienating the very moderates who might be convinced, with evidence, to back another horse in the next race.

Obama is not God, or A god, but he has put his butt on the line in trying to make a better country for all. What have your kind done, other that carp and complain about the country's condition? Very nearly nothing, other than back and uphold the same "good ole boy" partisan politics that have been proven, over and over again, not to work in any way toward improving the lot of the people, and all of the people. You are fortunate that you have amassed a good income and future by your hard work, but you need to remember that your hard work and fortune are built upon the backs and by the good works of the very people who need, and are not receiving, guidance and good advice from you. Giving back to the community by attempting to understand the impasse at which the masses stand might make your words a little more palatable and be of help in the bettering of society's ills. Give it a try, if you're not too jaded: it just might make you feel a little better about yoursself, and make a difference in your little corner of the world.

camper 3 years, 4 months ago

My overall perception of the editorial is that it is merely an axe to grind with the President of the United States. It is false to say the President Obama is not trying to make our country better and improve the serious debt issues we face. It is false because Obama had a plan that was four-times better than what the House passed last night. 4 Trillion in fact. But it included tax increases on the wealthy.

I don't want to include a link. But you can read about the April plan by googling "obama 4 trillion cut".

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Voters Are Nuts

Pres Obama I've come to the conclusion that so damn many voters are simply nuts. Pres Obama YOU run for president and win without knowing that GW Bush and Dick Cheney have this swindle going on. A swindle quite similar to the Reagan/Bush home loan swindle.

Both cost taxpayers trillions of tax dollars and millions of jobs. I would call this a pattern of the greatest magnitude that began in 1980.

The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion) http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

The next thing we know the same people that created the financial chaos are blaming the new administration for their corrupt management of OUR economy. And the voters hear it so damn many times they begin to believe it! WAKE UP!

Then comes Koch and Wal-Mart money plus a few other sources such as Karl Rove spending millions upon millions as we speak on a mammoth campaign blaming the other side of the aisle for the neocons practice of running economies into the ground. VOTERS allow themselves to be swindled into believing these lies. WAKE UP!

In spite of the facts:

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Lack of hard evidence = another juicy tidbit that has raised a lot of eyebrows. There were only 3 major financial institutions in big trouble while the public and congress was being told many many were = duped again: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Since before Eisenhower the debt limit has been increased as a matter of protocol and principle as a reasonable method of doing business. Almost 70 years.

Hey the debt limit must be increased. There is no reason not to raise the debt limit. It repubs were in the white house they would shouting for it in unison.

IF the debt limit IS NOT increased there WILL BE a lot of very smart and very rich people plus many countries which have invested in the USA that WILL BE quite angry..... simple as that.

Not only that many many other important financial aspects would feel the impact in a huge way such as:

  • Wall Street investments up in smoke (better get out now until this matter is resolved)
  • Wall Street Banks gone
  • retirement plans gone
  • millions upon millions upon millions of jobs lost
  • medical insurance up in smoke
  • homes by the millions would be lost
  • soldiers could not be paid
  • military industrial complex down the tubes
  • millions of financial institutions up in smoke
  • what's left of USA industry gone
  • elected officials would not get paid
  • in essence the USA economy is history

Who in the hell would loan the USA money for recovery?

Tell repubs to get on with it and cut the absolute nonsense aka screwing with our jobs,our homes, our medical insurance, OUR SOCIAL SECURITY,OUR MEDICARE AND OUR ECONOMY! Stop being stupid!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

The repub party aka The RINO neocon Tea Party for the past 31 years have represented dumb economics which has resulted in wreckanomics. Damn this must be supply side economics that does nothing but borrows borrows spends spends spends then increases taxes and puts millions upon millions upon millions put of work.

Then Koch and Wal-Mart family money come along to support all sorts of campaigns that call for reducing wages for hard working americans. It seems to me without hard working americans foolish enough to spend their money with these billionaire families these families would not be billionaires.

I swear there is something wrong with this picture.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

For any new readers, the above post pretty much hits all of merrill's current hot buttons. You can expect to see this post repeated over and over and over on any thread that is remotely connected to any of the issues he rants about.

grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't realize (until now) that Dolph Simons,jr. is just another teahadist.BTW, we're not talking about raising taxes, just letting the Bush cuts expire. It amazes me that the very richest(Oprah, Bill Gates,Warren Buffet and even Obama himself) are okay with it,but many more millionaires are not.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 4 months ago

What a myopic view. I have read quotes from Boehner telling his party to stick together and they will win, and from McConnell saying that his maneuvers will help the party in the next election. I have not read similar quotes from Democrats. Anyone?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

The Tea Fragger Party

Take names. Remember them. The behavior of certain Republicans who call themselves Tea Party conservatives makes them the most destructive posse of misguided “patriots” we’ve seen in recent memory.

If the nation defaults on its financial obligations, the blame belongs to the Tea Party Republicans who fragged their own leader, John Boehner. They had victory in their hands and couldn’t bring themselves to support his debt-ceiling plan, which, if not perfect, was more than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago.

No new taxes, significant spending cuts, a temporary debt-ceiling solution with the possibility of more spending cuts down the line as well as action on their beloved balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

These people wouldn’t recognize a hot fudge sundae if the cherry started talking to them.

more on the matter: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-tea-fragger-party/2011/07/29/gIQA23pAiI_story.html

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Funny you should bring this matter up. Socialism = corporate subsidies and Sam Brownback,tax abatements,secret sales taxes,tax increment financing.......

More:

THIS IS ALL ABOUT LOCAL DEVELOPMENT and how it sticks we taxpayers with their bills by way of city and county hall.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

Cincinnatus 3 years, 4 months ago

This debt crisis started a decade ago with a combination of tax cuts for all, but the rich getting most from the cuts, and the war on terrorism as fought in Afghaniastan and Iraq. It got worse with the crisis of our capital markets set in motion by the explosion of the real estate "bubble" and the trauma of derivative speculation on "bundled securities." No teachers, no cops, no unions, no pensioners involved beyond being victums of the speculators. A decade of war paid for with paper has come due. Let us remember the words of that wise Scotsman.

" The ordinary expense of the greater part of modern governments in time of peace being equal or nearly equal to their ordinary revenue, when war comes they are both unwilling and unable to increase their revenue in proportion to the increase of their expense. They are unwilling for fear of offending the people, who, by so great and so sudden an increase of taxes, would soon be disgusted with the war; and they are unable from not well knowing what taxes would be sufficient to produce the revenue wanted. "

If you are prudent and want to disengage from the world and the global economy, by all means pass the balance budget amendment. If Lincoln had face dsuch a measure there would have been no civil war. Hitler or Stalin's heirs would be runing the world. But then again when we have our defualt, I am sure the Communist in China will give us a good lesson on ifscal responsibility.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

All Americans are socialists. We all agree there needs to be public education. We all agree there needs to be some form of Social Security for our elders. Granted some people have an irrational fear of universal health care which is nothing more than Medicare for everyone. Granted some bigoted Americans dislike for President Obama due to his ancestry. Mr. Simons is one of these people and is thus out of touch with the majority of people who purchase his newspaper.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

What's the matter with Mr. Simons and what's the matter with Kansas?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 4 months ago

"President Obama has been focused on his re-election in 2012 since he moved into the White House in January 2009. Most every action has been based on what is in his best interests and what gives him the best chance to win a second term"

Uh, name one president in recent memory (mine goes back to Eisenhower) that has NOT!!!!!!!!!!

Nice try, Dolpho. Got more anti Democratic pablum?????

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

Merrill: "Hey the debt limit must be increased. There is no reason not to raise the debt limit."

Actually, there's every reason not to raise the debt limit. As El Presidente said when he voted against raising the limit in 1996, "Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

He was right then, and he's wrong now.

The only question that needs to be asked is whether our generation is going to pay our own way. We want 'benefits' and a 'safety net.' Fine, we can have all we want: all we have to do is pay for it. We want to run the world and engage in military actions in half a dozen countries, fine, but we need to pay for it. We want to go to Mars and save the planet and run bullet trains, great. Raise the money. Not raising the debt will force us to face the consequences of the choices we are making. We can make whatever choices we want, but an honest people will weight the costs that come with the benefits.

Upping the debt is pushing the cost of our choices off on our children. Everyone knows it even as they deny it. Both parties are doing it even as they decry it. It's evil. It's theft of the worse kind, since we are charging our kids for our good life while simultaneously depriving them of the opportunity to live that life. May they forgive us when they choose our nursing homes.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Simons should stick to writing about KU.

Every time he ventures into national politics, all he can come up with is completely partisan and ill informed attacks on Obama and the democrats.

They certainly deserve their share of criticism, but to ignore and even celebrate the irresponsible political games of the TOP (tea old party) is just shear journalistic hackery.

Many in the GOP are not concerned with what is best for the country, rather how best to bring Obama down. Even when they are concerned about America, their views are so childish, selfish, and naive that they are outright dangerous.

The modern GOP are full of anti-government anarchists who would like nothing more than to see the US government undermined and even destroyed.

This is nothing to ignore or celebrate, Mr. Simons.

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