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No-Brainer v. No Brains

Conservative David Brooks points out that the Republicans in Congress are being handed “The Mother of All No-Brainers” to reduce the deficit, but they are so beholden to their more radical fringe that they would rather destroy the US economy than do what is right, as long as what is right involves compromising with the president. His conclusion: If Republicans force the US government to default, they are unfit to govern.

The Economist has a similar view:

This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.

And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look. Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.

They call the Republicans “economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical”.

CNN says “Republicans have moved beyond politics and into theology: Offered an exchange of billions in taxes for trillions in deficit cuts, they could not see their way beyond their no-tax religion.”

And just to show you how much the Republicans are putting politics ahead of their country, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today “I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable.” The Republicans will not agree to solve the budget crisis as long as Obama is president, even if that causes an “economic catastrophe” as many economists have warned.



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    “We’re at the point where there would have to be some, you know, some serious disruptions in order not to raise [the debt ceiling],” he said. “I’m willing to do that.” – Jim DeMint (R-SC)

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink
  2. Arthanyel wrote:

    That is because DeMint and the rest of the Tea Partiers are out of their minds.

    Reading and commenting on all these stories has put me in a schizophrenic position. On the one side, I am angry and frustrated that the Republicans can be putting us all at so much risk, and that if they force the US to default we are all going to suffer terribly for a long time. I am appalled at the level of ignorance on the part of the conservative trolls that re-tweet conservative talking points that are illogical and mathematically impossible. And I am stunned that in the face of all of this coverage a majority of voters still don’t understand what the debt ceiling is and how it works, and they want us to not raise it at all.

    On the other side, I am thrilled that the façade has been torn away from the same Republicans and conservatives and is revealing what they truly believe – they want to kill Medicare, end Social Security as we know it, terminate all the social safety net programs and destroy all the consumer protection gains made in the last 50 years. And they want to do it while giving more money to the rich and stomping on the middle class and the poor.

    I hope that enough voters are seeing the same things and that in 2012 they respond appropriately. If a REAL third party emerged I think they could sweep the election. And while I don’t like a lot of the Democratic politicians and positions, the Republicans are worse, and as a country we can’t afford to let them have even the power they have now.

    So the 2012 choice is not about Obama v (Republican), or even about Democrat v Republican. It’s about what America is going to be in the future, and we have to choose between a democracy that has the world’s strongest middle class and works diligently to “promote the general welfare” of its citizens, or an oligarchy where the rich own everything and the rest of the peons had better tug their forelocks and stay quiet.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    In the words of Republican leadership “… we get it.”
    Unfortunately, not enough voters seem to.
    I’m not a prophet of doom, but we are screwed.
    Whatever happened to laws that required response time to editorials, made the word commentary or editorial appear when they were given?
    Why did we do away with open ballots and fusion voting wich were common 100 years ago, but are now only available in a hand full of states? Why don’t we have publicly funded elections? Yes, I know, I know, these are only rhetorical questions.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  4. Alan wrote:

    Corrupt goverment,lack of confidence in government, huge seperation of the classes, inability to protect borders, overextension of the military,out of control deficiet,unbalanced trade, loss of respect from other world powers, and the inability of the citizens to recognize the potential for collapse. I could be speaking about any and all great civilizations. The Aztec, the Maya, the Greek, even the Moor. Right now I am speaking of the American culture and the demise of that culture. Unless we as a people read the writting on the wall and take action. The question then is what action? What can an average citizen do? I feel that it is to late. When 10% of the poulation controls 80% of the wealth, that wealth controls government. There is little or nothing we can do except ride out the impending doom of the great culture of the United States and be content to become an also ran like France, England, The U.S.S.R., and watch China become the next and only Super Power.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  5. Alana wrote:

    I cannot believe that we our being held hostage by a group that is uneducated in the history of the United States. We owe the money to ourselves and owed more after WWII than we do now. What are you thinking, oh excuse me you aren’t.

    You are all going to send use down the road to the worse depression in history and the Debt will increase because none of us will have jobs!!

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink