Vice President Joe Biden's debt ceiling talks stopped when the opposition party representatives, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), walked out in a dispute over the idea of raising taxes. Cantor left first. Somehow he told his colleagues what he was going to do but did not tell the Speaker of the House, if we are to believe that. Kyl couldn’t do much else but recite the GOP “job killing” mantra and participate in the display. It is much easier to strike a pose than to negotiate a deal, anyway.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Those are the facts. Here are more. For the last 20 years Congressional Republicans have tried to limit Medicare spending on doctors’ services. However, the proposed limits have always proved to be so unrealistic, like their current demands, that each time new limits have been proposed, Congress has had to intervene to increase them. Republicans inaccurately call it uncontrolled spending when they lose.
Only half of American's 65 and older had any health insurance at the time LBJ signed the bill that created Medicare. Medicaid, established by Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965, is administered by the states. The public health insurance program covers over 60 million people, including one in three children, eight million people with disabilities and nearly six million low-income seniors. Each state administers its own Medicaid program. In addition to Medicare, LBJ’s “Great Society” legislation included laws to uphold Civil Rights, to create Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, and to establish a host other social legislation programs to improve the American way of life. It seems as if Republicans are determined to repeal the Great Society.
Bear in mind that there is no Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget. The United States federal government has pretty much always been in debt since its inception. Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants to the United States Congress the power “To borrow money on the credit of the United States.” As you may also know from recent accounts, Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
Congressional Republicans seem to be thinking about something other than fiscal responsibility, business, or the social fabric of the country. Advocacy of its position to negotiate the budget with default puts its representatives in the position of breaching their oath of office which could subject them to recall if not impeachment. The GOP position seeks to repeal the Great Society. They are doing a good job of that, so far.
Article first published as Repealing the Great Society on Technorati.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The GOP rhetoric is pernicious. It advocates the financial destruction of the United States. It is ignorant and stupid because it is based solely on emotional appeal as the dominant factor of GOP/teaparty cheerleading. It reminds me of the Miller Light ads “Tastes Great/Less Filling,” except those ads were not dangerous. What the Republicans are advocating is.
House Representatives Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann suffer delusions of grandeur brought on by having to believe their own pernicious nonsense. Cantor seems to believe that he will succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Bachmann seems to believe that she will succeed Barack Obama as President of the United States. They advocate that the United States should default on its worldwide obligations. That alone should be sufficient to disqualify them from achieving higher office. In fact it should qualify them for recall if not impeachment.
The financial destruction of the nation that these Republicans seek is beyond what any terrorist could hope to achieve.
It is a very serious statement. I do not make it lightly, either. The consequence of not raising the debt ceiling is default on obligations the US has in the world market. Look at Bachmann's website. Never mind the fact that such a plan cannot be done. Even her most ardent of supporters Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, says it’s “irresponsible.” He is being understandably kind and wrong. It’s not irresponsible, it’s negligent and dangerous.
Keep in mind that she has also claimed that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery, but facts don’t interest her. That conjecture is stupidity. Politicizing a function of government to make a headline is something the GOP/teaparty regularly does with flagrant disregard for consequences. It is not alright. It is bad for business and bad for the country. If that is a "negotiating tactic," it is a treacherous one.
What is worse is that the Republican Party leadership is enabling such treachery. Its recent Budget Resolution is an example because to go into effect requires raising the debt ceiling. By the way, the rest of the world is watching and so are world markets. They could not care less about Medicare. They care about the United States making good on its obligations. But the GOP does not care about anything except trashing the economy so they can blame it on the administration.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that if the ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2, the government could begin defaulting on some of its obligations, triggering a financial crisis.
Republicans floated the idea of rewriting the 14th Amendment last year when they were waving the flag over Arizona’s immigration lies. Top Republicans Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), Senator Jon Kyl (AZ), and Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) advocated eliminating the “birthright clause” and demonstrated their antithesis to the Amendment. Senator Graham argued that the 14th Amendment no longer serves the purpose it was designed to address. Senate Minority Whip Kyl supported hearings on repealing the 14th Amendment. Senator McConnell said Congress should “reconsider the Fourteenth Amendment.”
But there isn’t anything to interpret in Section 4: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law . . . shall not be questioned.” These Republicans took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution whether they like it or not. To prevail in their hypocrisy imperils the country and should be sufficient grounds for their impeachment and removal from office for breaching their oath of office.
Article first published as GOP Leaders Breach Oath of Office on Technorati.