Where the Republican Budget Really Came From

I’m feeling cranky.  I’ll spare you the extended list.  If you’ve read a few of my more recent posts, you’ll remember that life in hospital land has been stressful.  It ain’t over yet, unfortunately.

Granted, the whole country is cranky.  And irritable or irritating, depending on your perspective.

Gail Collins, NY Times columnist, in her column today, makes a compelling case that the Republicans have become even more irritating than the French, a feat that would seem to defy the very laws of Nature herself:

While the G-20 was finishing its business, members of Congress were showing how they did theirs by passing a budget resolution. The spending plan was somewhat smaller than the president had requested. The Senate also added the Republican priority of reducing taxes on people who inherit estates of $7 million or more – a move that would increase the deficit while stimulating the economy approximately as much as eliminating a sales tax on square potato chips.

But even so, not a single Republican voted yes on the budget. In the House, the G.O.P. came up with an alternative that would cut more taxes for the wealthy while clamping down on nondefense spending. House Republicans think we invest way too much on these government programs and try to cut back on them every single year that their party is not actually in power.

In the Senate, Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire predicted that the budget plan “will absolutely put this country on an unsustainable path.” This would be the same Judd Gregg who agreed to join the Obama cabinet as commerce secretary before a last-minute discovery that the president is a Democrat.

Actually, it’s no contest when you think about it. The French aren’t even in the ballpark.

(I’ve made my irritation with the former Veep very clear in a previous post.)

The Republicans are really cranky, after that whole election thing.  And, when it comes to the financial crisis, the budget, trillions of dollars of deficits, and the fact they have to cover-up and evade the the fact their  policies are responsible for a humongous part of it, they are in a tizzy of biblical proportions.

So, to counter the budget they disdain, despise, and dysphagiate (figure it out), they have concocted their own version.  Ta-da!  For us mere mortals, they have released an 18 page summary of the absolute best, paramount, pinnacle of Republican fiscal theory and solutions.  I read it.  You can read it here: “Road to Recovery.”

At least look at it.  That way you’ll understand my following comments.

I give it very high marks for:

  1. Expansive use of white space in a policy document
  2. The incomprehensible use of bubble pictures connected by lines
  3. Text in a font and use of Italics (!!) popular at the time of Abraham Lincoln
  4. No numbers, well, sort of.  The ones that just happen to be included are for the most part those nasty Democratic ones
  5. Exhibiting a level of hubris and claiming a doctrine of infallibility that exceeds the wildest dreams of the Papacy.

I could stop there, but, in my crankiness I wrote a short piece a couple of weeks ago that I titled, “A Long Time Ago in a Beltway Far, Far Away.”  It tells the tale of where the ideas for the Republican budget really came from.

A word of forewarning. This piece is a very edgy satire and in a style in which I usually do not write.  You can access it here: “A Long Time Ago…” (I apologize in advance to George Lucas.)

David Brooks, NY Times Columnist, Gets It Right

If you read my previous post, I think I expressed my frustration well, but did not attempt to write critically or objectively about what has happened in Washington yesterday with the defeat of the Bailout Bill in the House of Representatives.

David Brooks, NY Times columnist, however, wrote that critical and objective essay, in this morning’s Times.  Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/opinion/30brooks.html?hp.  This is his most insightful and cogent remark:  I’ve spoken with several House Republicans over the past few days and most admirably believe in free-market principles. What’s sad is that they still think it’s 1984. They still think the biggest threat comes from socialism and Walter Mondale liberalism. They seem not to have noticed how global capital flows have transformed our political economy.

Not only do the “free-markets or death” politicians think it’s 1984, I fear that most economists and their theoretical models, think it’s 1954.  We cannot solve the 21st Century’s economic needs with Post-WWII economic models.

Read Brooks’ column.  It won’t necessarily make you feel better, but you’ll know that at least somebody gets it and maybe the light switch will turn on in enough minds in the House of Representatives to provide genuine leadership!

Forcefeeding the Mud Sandwich to the American Public

I can’t believe I’m saying this, for my disdain for the man knows no bounds, but if Tom DeLay was still whipping the Republican rank and file into line, the Bailout might have passed–easily.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the cost of this financial debacle, both in the financial apocalypse foisted on us by the robber barons in the financial markets and the fossilized bipartisonship petrifying the legislative branch (which ironically was raised to the status of Political Religion by Tom DeLay along with the “Contract with America” henchmen) has cost me, you, and all of us on “Main Street” billions more than Al Qaida ever dreamed they could with the “war on terror.”  American has been betrayed by those we trusted to protect us financially and politically.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, your rant against the Republican leadership today during the Bailout vote was the STUPIDEST statement made by a politician since George W. Bush said invading Iraq was based on WMD!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Congressman Boehner, your cowardice and incompetency  failing to rally YOUR party legislators JUST FED THE AMERICAN PUBLIC YOUR MUD SANDWICH!