Friday, July 29, 2011
The debt ceiling crisis in 3D: Deceit, Dishonesty and Dysfunction.
One of the reasons, if not the single biggest reason for the stalemate on the debt ceiling and deficit reduction is that the two forces at the center of the negotiations, Republicans and Barrack Obama, are the two most dishonest, duplicitous politically underhanded, deceitful and inept forces in the history of American politics.
The history of their dishonesty is long, well documented and there for all to see. And with the full faith and credit of the United States in the balance, it is these two thoroughly decietful and incompetent forces who are squaring off and are in the center the debt ceiling negotiations.
With Obama, he has been nothing short of a snake oil salesman his whole political life, selling empty promises he knew he'd never keep and bamboozling people into believing the water with the food coloring was good for what ailed them. Whether it was his bald faced lying to the people of Ohio on NAFTA during the primaries and then lying to the media about it for days after getting caught, ( lies the media chose to turn a blind eye to) lying to Jim Leher on PBS that he never campaigned for a public option, not to mention selling it out to health industry lobbyists behind everyone's back, or twice reneging on ending the Bush tax cuts, Obama's dishonesty and deceit as well as his lack of ability or convictions has been for him a political way of life.
The Republicans for their role, have demonstrated irrefutably for the last 20 years that they are not only unfit and unqualified to deal with any economic issues at all, they will lie, distort, even commit fraud as they did during the 2008 presidential election in New Hampshire resulting in a prison sentence for the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican committee in order to force their agenda which has consistently failed miserably every time they get the chance to implement it, down the throats of everyone else.
And their supporters in congress and the Tea Party, consisting of the biggest collection of incompetents and partisan hypocrites on both policy and politics have become the Republicans biggest obstacle while moderate Republicans look on in horror. To these Tea Baggers, the U.S. defaulting is what they want, if they dont get their way.
This is why there is a crisis on the debt ceiling, why its close to going over a cliff, why both Obama and the Republicans have already caused immesurable damage to the stability of the American economy, and why nothing has budged in weeks.
So here are some facts: Republicans quite simply are solely totally and completely responsible for the economic disaster we are now in though you'd never know it by listening to journalistic sycophants like Wolf Blitzer or Andrea Mitchell who set world records every day for using the words " both parties".Both parties are not to blame. Republicans are solely responsible for the mess. They inherited a balanced budget, they inherited a $0 deficit, they inherited a $5 1/2 trillion budget surplus and they blew it all. A Republican president and a Republican controlled congress, on their own, implementing their own policies and their own economic ideology and their own beliefs about what was good for the country, with no Democratic input, destroyed the balanced budget, destroyed the $0 deficit, sent the country back to the worst deficits in our history and in less than 3 years dissipated a $5 trillion surplus, enough money to have paid off our debt, all our bills and still have $ 1 trillion left over. And just for good measure they enacted policies that led to the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The fact that Obama is so inept and spineless that he doesn't have the political backbone or wherewithal or even grasp of the issues to make that case to the country and use it to solve the crisis, instead capitulating constantly to Republicans, is another chapter in the legacy of the most unfit, dishonest, duplicitous and useless president in the history of the Democratic party.
That the Republicans with their track record of unmitigated failure and economic disaster are the ones who dont want to "give in" and are insisting its their way or default, and that Obama cant beat them back is a pathetic thing to watch.
For their part, Repulicans dont want to budge because they have seen Obama fold on every issue of contention since taking office from the public option to the Bush tax cuts and they are counting on Obama caving in again.
What is even more amusing is seeing the Tea Party, those ignorant crazies who dress up in colonial America Halloween costumes, pretend to be "patriots" and insist that the Republicans hold out and advocate default. Had these "patriots" been alive in 1776 and held the same positions and views on the things they do now George Washington would have had them all hung.
The Democrats have big problems of their own. Obama is a political narcissist who cares only about himself and his own political standing and not much else and so can never be trusted. Pelosi, the one who laughably said Obama had the judgement to be president from day one is in no position to lead having led the Democrats in the House off a cliff in the last election.
As for Republicans, like Obama, they cant be trusted either. Like Obama they are politically and intellectually dishonest and like Obama will lie about anything at any time to get whatever political advantage they can. And as far as policy results, they both have been miserable failures.
The systematic deceit of Republicans was most recently on display with John Boehner's decision to go back and revamp his deficit reduction plan, delaying the scheduled House vote because the CBO said his plan would only cut $850 billion not the $950 billion Boehner said it would.
Boehner's decision to revamp his plan based on the CBO scoring, exposed Republican deceit for what it is since during the healthcare debate, when the CBO scored the public option as something that would reduce the deficit by $160 billion, Boehner and the Republicans trashed the CBO and their scoring, calling their number bogus, denigrated the CBO in general, and denigrated their accounting methods calling it smoke and mirrors and said that it couldn't be trusted.
Now, with the debt ceiling and deficit crisis growing more acute every day, Republicans are not willing to play games with the CBO so their scoring was taken seriously but it exposed their tactics and how dishonest they are willing to get.
It's important to bring this up because the only way out of this mess and to know where to go is to know how we got here. And it was through incompetence, dishonesty, deceit, and political and policy ineptitude by Obama and Republicans and their supporters that got us here. With a competent president, and Democratic leadership these issues would have been taken care of a year ago when Democrats had large majorities in congress. Instead Obama folded. And in knowing how we got here and what to do about it, its simply a matter of physics. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. A Republican congress and a Republican president took the country to war and cut taxes at the same time for the first time in American history. The result was that the $ 1 trillion the Iraq war cost the U.S. treasury was not paid for because the Republicans reduced the revenue the government brought in with their tax cuts. The $1 trillion for the Iraq war is $1 trillion of the $1.7 trillion deficit. All you do is end Bush's war AND Bush;s tax cuts and the American economy starts to make its way back to where it was before the war and before the Bush tax cuts. Obama is incapable of making that case. He doesnt have what it takes.
So now its time for the grown ups, if there are any, to take over. Obama has already given away the store on cuts and the Republicans are holding up the deal over their indefensible tax cuts for upper income earners and corporations that caused much of the problem in the first place.
Since Obama cant make a case for anything, he either has to do what Bill Clinton said he'd do, which is invoke the 14th amendment and by executive order raise the debt ceiling without congress, ( something Obama has been too spineless to do and could have done months ago), or Republicans are going to have to fumigate the room of the Tea Party and agree to the tax increases which by the way, is what Bill Clinton used to bring the deficit down to $0.
Either that or pass the Reid McConnell compromise which at least takes the issue out of the hands of Obama and Boehner and settles the issue through 2013. Then each caucus can deal with their own problems, the Republicans the intransigent Tea Party who border on treason, and Democrats having to take the agenda out of Obama's hands and then find a credible Democratic challenger to Obama in the 2012 primaries since he has no hope ( justifiably) of getting re-elected.
Either way, this should be a teachable moment, a time when both sides realize its long past time to cut the crap and balance, and agree that from now on, dishonesty and partisan politics will be taken out of the process especially when a crisis faces the country and that the only thing that will matter is what is best for United States and the majority of its people.