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Cut, Cap and Balance or Duck, Dodge and Dismantle

July 20th, 2011

The Tea Party backed “Cut, Cap and Balance” fiscal plan has passed the House by  234 to 190, on a largely partisan vote, but has no chance of becoming law.   The bill will probably not pass the Senate and the President has promised to veto it.  According to Huffington Post:

Five Democrats, including Reps. Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Health Shuler (N.C.) and Dan Boren (Okla.), sided with Republicans in passing the measure. Nine Republicans opposed the bill, including Tea Party favorite and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). In a statement issued after the vote, Bachmann said the bill “does not go far enough” and should have included provisions to defund health care reform.

Other Republican defectors included Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Connie Mack (Fla.) and Ron Paul (Texas). Paul said he has never voted for a debt ceiling increase and never will. In addition, he took issue with Republicans for not including defense cuts in the mix of discretionary cuts.

“All spending must be deemed discretionary and reexamined by Congress each year,” Paul said in a statement. “To allow otherwise is pure cowardice.”

Tuesday’s vote comes after weeks of Republicans touting the bill as proof of their commitment to conservative principles. It includes three provisions: substantial spending cuts, statutory spending caps, and a constitutional amendment to require the government to balance its books each year.

“This bill panders, even grovels, to Tea Party extremists,” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) said. “Thank goodness this bill will never pass the United States Senate. Thank goodness this bill will never become law.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney described Cut, Cap and Balance as Duck, Dodge, and Dismantle.  Republicans and Democrats exchanged barbs:

“You guys are ruining this country’s fiscal future,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) said to Republicans. “Shame on you for playing with fire on the United States Constitution. Shame on your ‘Cut, Cap and Ruin the United States.'”

Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said the debt debate reminded him of a scene from the book Alice in Wonderland, when Alice told the Cheshire Cat she didn’t really care where she went in her travels.

“I get the sense my friends on the other side of the aisle don’t really much care where we go,” Young said.

So anyone really know the major components of CC&B or DD&D?  Somehow that is all lost in the rhetoric.  The debt ceiling needs to be raised.  The country needs to operate.  The R’s need to stand up to the Tea Party and look at the reality of things.  Finally, why is the House wasting time on legislation they know will go no where.  Just let the grown ups get the job done.

  1. Starryflights
    July 20th, 2011 at 06:36 | #1

    Post-ABC poll: GOP too dug in on debt talks; public fears default consequences

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, Published: July 19
    Majorities of Americans see both President Obama and congressional Republicans as not willing enough to compromise in their budget negotiations, but the public views the GOP leaders as particularly intransigent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    There is also growing dissatisfaction among Republicans with the hard-line stance of their congressional representatives: Fifty-eight percent say their leaders are not doing enough to strike a deal, up from 42 percent in March.

    While Republicans in Congress have remained united in their opposition to any tax increases, the poll finds GOP majorities favoring some of the specific changes advocated by the president, including higher income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/post-abc-news-poll-public-sees-dire-consequences-if-no-budget-deal/2011/07/19/gIQA4MQPOI_story.html

    According to this poll, the Republicans are going to pay a pretty steep political price if they remain so stubborn. A majority of Americans favor higher revenue in order to balance the budget, including eliminating tax breaks for big oil companies. So go ahead and ply games, Repugs, we’ll see how your games play out in the next election

  2. Pat.Herve
    July 20th, 2011 at 07:16 | #2

    Creating the BBA (Balanced Budget Amendment) sounds like a good idea, but is actually not a good idea. First, the vote is kinda symbolic, because, creating an Amendment is a multi year process. Secondly, what about the unknown – The US could be thrust into a situation (like the financial crisis), where it needs to blow out its budget for the year because of increase unemployment benefits, medicaid and military costs. One cannot predict the future, and tying our hands with an Amendment like this will do more harm than good. It would be prudent to have some loopholes in the Amendment so that they could get around it, but then what is the point?

    536 people have to agree to live within our means – and, they have failed to do it. It is such a farce when you see the same people who voted for the spending, who now do not want to pay for it – or posture that the spending and deficit is all Obama’s fault.

  3. July 20th, 2011 at 07:49 | #3

    Agreed, Pat. I never believe in painting one’s self in a corner. It is difficult to prepare for the unexpected but one of the best ways to do it is not cut off one’s options.

  4. Cargosquid
    July 20th, 2011 at 08:37 | #4

    Of course, this is only a proposal to send it to the states. Let the states decide. What’s the President afraid of?

    Also, not all of the people agreed to the spending. There are a lot of new congressmen that got elected because the PREVIOUS ones agreed to all the spending.

  5. July 20th, 2011 at 09:24 | #5

    Let the states decide what?

    Do you really think that is why new congressmen got elected? Could it be that people were frustrated over the state of their country after/during a recession?

    I hope you haven’t put that much stock in people being sick of spending. That has really become a political cliché–totally meaningless. What poll after poll has found is that people are all for ‘stopping spending’ as long as it isn’t their pet project or a service they like. All of us want to stop spending on the other guy.

    Many people are also fed up with providing services for people who won’t/can’t/are unwilling/refuse to take care of themselves. That is an entire issue that needs to be a separate conversation.

  6. Cato the Elder
    July 20th, 2011 at 10:01 | #6

    Moon-howler :

    I hope you haven’t put that much stock in people being sick of spending. That has really become a political cliché–totally meaningless. What poll after poll has found is that people are all for ‘stopping spending’ as long as it isn’t their pet project or a service they like. All of us want to stop spending on the other guy.
    Many people are also fed up with providing services for people who won’t/can’t/are unwilling/refuse to take care of themselves. That is an entire issue that needs to be a separate conversation.

    100% dead-bang right on the money.

    I’ve got a 5 minute solution to this – wanna hear it? Stop all withholding from checks. At the end of the month, make everyone cut a check to the IRS for the amount of taxes owed. We’ll find out pretty quickly what people are willing to pay for and what they aren’t.

  7. marinm
    July 20th, 2011 at 10:37 | #7

    @Cato the Elder

    100% agreed. When people feel the pain they’ll know what they’re being bilked for.

  8. Cargosquid
    July 20th, 2011 at 12:29 | #8

    The states decide if an amendment will pass. That’s what I mean. All this does is send it to the states, like any amendment.

  9. Starryflights
    July 20th, 2011 at 13:30 | #9

    Cargosquid :Of course, this is only a proposal to send it to the states. Let the states decide. What’s the President afraid of?

    Actually, according to Article 5 of the Constitution, the President is not required to sign Constitutional amendments. If the Repugs want their amendment, all they have to do is pass one that’s separate from the bill they send the President, and then send it to the states. I don’t know what the hell the Repugs are thinking.

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution

  10. Starryflights
    July 20th, 2011 at 13:38 | #10

    As a matter of fact, the Repugs owned both chambers of Congress from 2000 – 2006. They had six years to pass their Balanced Budget Amendment, or whatever the hell amendment they wanted to pass. What happened? Why is this suddenly a priority?

  11. Cargosquid
    July 20th, 2011 at 15:14 | #11

    There’s a priority because the spending has shot up and is predicted to get worse. Furthermore, the Republicans in control of the house are not the same ones. There was a large turnover. The GOP has learned that the base will not vote for those Republicans that refuse to fight for the GOP principles.

  12. Slowpoke Rodriguez
    July 20th, 2011 at 17:07 | #12

    Starryflights :
    As a matter of fact, the Repugs owned both chambers of Congress from 2000 – 2006. They had six years to pass their Balanced Budget Amendment, or whatever the hell amendment they wanted to pass. What happened? Why is this suddenly a priority?

    Maybe the same reason the Demoncrats didn’t pass amnesty for illegals when they had it all.

  13. Cargosquid
    July 21st, 2011 at 15:21 | #13

    By the way, Moon,

    what’s your reaction to the situation when we borrow and spend another 1.5 trillion, with nothing to show for it, and we have to raise the debt ceiling again to 18 trillion. I mean, since the President wants it raised by two trillion. That will cover this year. Don’t you have any concerns for the country if we have continual 1.5 + trillion dollar deficits? Where is all this money supposed to come from? You talk about worrying about defaulting, so what do we do when no one lends us any more money?

    Think about this…if we raise it, our debt will be larger than the GDP of the US. That means that we can use the entire output of the US and NOT pay it off. So…we’ll have that going for us…..

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