If the Democrats or Barrack Obama had any backbone they would counter the Republican deficit plan of "Cut Cap and Balance" with a plan that would actually work -- Cut the Crap and Balance.
The Crap of course comes from conservative Republicans and those ignorant partisan charlatans called the Tea Party, those wonderful patriotic folks who stood by and said nothing while Bush and the Republicans blew a $5 1/2 trillion budget surplus left by Clinton, blew the balanced budget left by Clinton, destroyed a $0 deficit left by Clinton, and sent the country back into the worst deficits in its history. Miraculously they did all of that in Bush's first term. The Tea Party was so upset they re-elected Bush along with a Republican congress who then continued with economic policies that drove the country into the worst economic crisis since the Depression.
That is the crap the Republicans and the Tea Party brings to the table, that and a willingness on the part of many conservative Republicans and those in the Tea Party to commit treason against the United States by letting the country default on its debt violating the 14th amendment which states " the debt of the United States shall not be questioned". Only a rank idiot would say that America defaulting on its debt would not cause the debt of the United States to be questioned. Its already being questioned by Moody's and Standard and Poors. So along with the worst economic policies in American history, the Republicans and the Tea Party have also put treason on the table. That is a lot of crap that needs to be cut.
Obama, who has the negotiating skills of a drunken sailor on a Saturday night in Bali and the integrity of a snake oil salesman, refuses to hold Republicans accountable for their devastating and wrong headed past economic policies. Policies that produced results that prove their ideology doesn't work. It's long past time that Democrats held them accountable and turned public opinion against them and the Tea Party. The fact that they have shown they haven't had the backbone to do just that is Democratic crap that needs to be cut..
This is how an article on the CNN web site has described the negotiations:
"Republicans are staunchly opposed to any tax cuts, Democrats are desperately trying to protect...."
There is the core of the problem. Republicans are staunch, Democrats desperate. That describes the approach and position of the two parties and how Democrats have let the Republicans get away with their crap the last 11 years.
If Democrats want to Cut the Crap and Balance, they can start with the Bush tax cuts for the upper 5% income earners and make it NON NEGOTIABLE. Ending those tax cuts is something Obama has reneged on twice and is one of the reasons his lack of leadership has put the country in this position. And just as a reminder, when some Democrats complained about Obama's capitulation to Republicans on the Bush tax cuts he called them " sanctimonious purists":. Now we see what happens when you have a sanctimonious capitulator and appeaser as president. Ending the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year would reduce the deficit by almost $1 trillion over ten years. Of the $4 trillion they are looking for in deficit reductions that now brings the figure down to $3 trillion. Bring back the public option which the CBO said would reduce the deficit by almost $200 billion and we are down to $2.8 trillion needed in deficit reduction ( not to mention the huge positive economic impact that public option would have)
A reduction in pentagon waste, and withdrawing our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan would result in at least another $1 trillion over ten years bringing down the need for cuts to $1.8 trillion. Since the Biden Commission identified $3 trillion in cuts that means there are $1.2 trillion in cuts that can be returned, probably in Medicare and Social Security and still reach the $4 trillion deficit reduction package.
As for a balanced budget amendment, its fine as long as it only targets those who have been guilty of destroying the balanced budget to begin with -- Republicans. So an amendment that prohibits Republicans from initiating any economic policy that would unbalance the budget, like taking the country to war ( in Iraq) and cutting taxes at the same time for the first time in American history is fine with me. That is more Republican crap the country doesn't need.
Cut the Crap and Balance works. Clinton made the Republicans cut the crap in 1993 after they said his budget would explode the deficit, drive up unemployment and deepen the recession. That is the crap Republicans and the Tea Party bring to the table and the sooner Democrats cut the Republican crap the sooner a deal will be reached and the country can get back on its fiscal feet and have the kind of balanced budget that Bill Clinton left the country in 2000 and George W Bush and the Republicans promptly destroyed.
UPDATE: In the wake of John Boehner walking out of the debt ceiling talks with Obama and refusing to return Obama's phone call ( something Howard Dean should have done in 2008) Obama's admitted response to Boehner, in his own words at his 6 pm press conference was " what can the GOP say 'yes' to"?
Aside from Obama's humiliating bowing and scraping to Republicans, proving once again he has no convictions, beliefs or principles to begin with, much less to stand up for, he might as well have asked Boehner , "can I show you something in a sling back"? because Obama has now gone from snake oil salesman to shoe salesman.
NOTE: I couldnt help but mention an article I was sent, written by Time magazine political reporter Joe Klein written July 28, six days after this blog peice appeared. In it Klein writes:
"And so I have a proposal: the Cut the Crap Act.....The Cut the Crap Act isn’t actually my invention".
No it isnt your invention Joe. Klein goes in to say, "It is the White House’s best case scenario for the next five days."
At least I can say you heard it here first.