Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put forward a plan which includes $2.7 trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years, half of which comes from defense spending and ending our tiresome adventures in the middle east. Harry Reid’s plan does not include any immediate revenues, but it is accompanied by a vow, under threat of veto, to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of next year.

One might think such a proposal, which does not include immediate tax hikes, would be something the Republicans could actually say yes to especially after Grover Norquist admitted that allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire would not be considered raising taxes. But it turns out, they won’t.

And not only that — Boehner’s problem with Reid’s proposal is that it doesn’t rip apart Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security even though Boehner’s plan doesn’t rip apart Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security either.

The White House had already signed on to Reid’s conservative plan, making it the best hope of averting a crisis since Boehner walked out of negotiations Friday. “This is an offer that Republicans can’t refuse,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Apparently not. The Reid plan “makes no changes to the biggest drivers of our deficit and our debt and that would be entitlement programs,” Boehner said at a late afternoon press conference, flanked by other GOP leaders. This demand seemed to be a brazen moving of the goal posts, as entitlement cuts never appeared to be red-line demand for Republicans for raising the debt ceiling.

Boehner put forward his own debt plan this afternoon, which would presumably would address his newly discovered demand. But Boehner’s office told staff members of his own caucus that his plan wouldn’t touch Social Security, Medicare, or the Affordable Care Act.

Boehner is demanding that the Democrats put forth a bill which cuts entitlements, even though his own proposal doesn’t cut entitlements.

The Republicans are already on record several times for having voted in favor of gutting Medicare and Medicaid, so they need the Democrats to do the same before election season. They are attempting to use the debt ceiling as a wedge issue to accomplish this.

The countdown to August 1st continues.

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  • red_pills

    My first reaction to Reid’s plan was to cry “SELLOUT!” Then I realized the shrewd political game he was playing—give everything the Republicans claim they want, knowing they will still balk, thereby publicly exposing their true intentions, which have little or nothing to do with the debt ceiling. Now the whole country can see in sharp relief the GOP’s plans to dismantle the New Deal, and they’re liable to be right pissed.

    Perhaps Reid had already lined up the votes to torpedo the plan in the event that Boehner somehow tried to call his bluff. These are indeed interesting times.

    • http://twitter.com/SugaRazor Razor

      I doubt Harry Reid is that competent. Furthermore, it doesn’t really matter. The Republicans have already gone far beyond the bounds of reality and they still remain politically relevant due to the “very serious” media. I really don’t think there’s any beating them, at least not while Democrats have any control… and when the Dems regain power, the cycle will repeat.

      At this point, the nihilist in me wants to see the country default. Sure, we’d be royally screwed, but we’re already royally screwed, so let’s just go the full nine and perhaps end the Republican Party in the process…. but they’ll probably still escape the blame.

      • red_pills

        A fair point, to be sure—there’s no love lost here for the Human Jellyfish that is Harry Reid. He may not be pulling the strings here—he may just be the mouthpiece, which would be far more consistent with his past activity as SML.

        I’m with you on the “Fuck it!” philosophy as well. It’s hard to connect with an entire contingent of Americans for whom facts and empirical reality have no meaning. These people are citizens of a society that is a direct product of the Enlightenment, and they appear determined to resist every hint of its influence, come hell or high water. Maybe we’ll get both.

      • Scopedog

        “At this point, the nihilist in me wants to see the country default. Sure, we’d be royally screwed, but we’re already royally screwed, so let’s just go the full nine and perhaps end the Republican Party in the process…. but they’ll probably still escape the blame. ”

        Hmmm…pardon me for sounding crass, but I guess the nihilist in you doesn’t give a fig about the fact that if the whole bloody thing crashes and burns that people will suffer–people who do not deserve to suffer?

        Look, I’m all for the Republican Party in its current form being banished to the dustbin of history. But I’d like that to happen in a way that makes sure that the country isn’t a smoking ruin when that happens.

        But that’s just me, I guess.

  • Vaughndacity

    This is starting to actually worry me. In Humboldt County we are relatively insulated from the insanity of the majority of the country and the economic/political times. The default issue is a different story. As Pennywise says “The world is a smoking gun and it’s loaded.” The crazed right is content to pull the trigger.

  • mrbrink

    John Boehner and company are threatening to crush the U.S. economy.

    An act of terrorism.

    I think it’s well past time he lose any shred of credibility– and unsupervised freedom.

    I’d hate to have to be forced to deal with these crazy lying bastards and be expected to save the world.

    • JMAshby

      Which is exactly what the president has to do right now. I wouldn’t want the job either.

  • jjasonham

    Well, we have an hour until the President addresses the nation about all this. He needs to say that the deficit was created because of the wars and tax cuts, plain and simple.

    • Scopedog

      Hmmm….I believe he’s been saying that for the longest time. It’s just that the MSM seems to have ignored this (and sadly, it seems, some progressives).

  • dildenusa

    The post turtle joke is on Boehner and the republicans now.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_turtle

    Boehner didn’t get in the predicament he’s in all by himself. Cantor and the tea party put him there.

    • Scopedog

      Yep.

  • Brutlyhonest

    “makes no changes to the biggest drivers of our deficit and our debt and that would be entitlement programs,”

    The WH correspondent on cbs tonight made the same statement as if it was vact. She did NOT attribute it to boner, but made it as a comment. Yep the liberal bias is blinding.

  • POLITICALPARTYPOOPER

    “The Reid plan “makes no changes to the biggest drivers of our deficit and our debt and that would be entitlement programs,” Boehner said at a late afternoon press conference,”

    Nice.

    He’s wrong, and, at the risk of setting Jm Ashby off, I’ll say it anyway; the biggest driver of our debt, and of our trust deficit is the two parties. And unlike most of you here, I do not think we can continue to borrow at this pace.

    Maybe you guys will convince me that your side is different when you finally stop parroting Republican talking points about entitlements. For example, by the time I retire, I’ll have paid well over $400k (possibly over $500k, economy dependent) into Social Security. Somehow, this is defined as an entitlement…by BOTH parties. Try again. Maybe it’s just that you have no grasp of what words mean, but you should have learned long ago by the conservative hack named Frank Luntz that WORDS MATTER, and how you use them in perspective matters even more. It’s ALL about how your message is perceived, and independents are having a hard time distinguishing your words and actions from Republicans. An example of an entitlement is a Congressional or Presidential pension. In the private sector, temporary employees don’t get benefits. Why do our elected officials treat themselves differently?

    Reid’s proposal to cut spending and kick the can down the road on tax hikes is another example. Of course, you all believe that ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is a slam dunk AFTER Obama is re-elected, and the Dems hold serve in the Senate. Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, I heard that three years ago, when it was a slam dunk that those tax cuts would be allowed to expire naturally after Obama was elected, and the Dems OWNED a super-majority. Only, wait…that didn’t happen.

    Tell me, please, why do you believe that your party will suddenly get some balls after the 2012 elections when they refused to use their balls while they had a super majority in BOTH houses? A SUPER M A J O R I T Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The whining cry then was…but, but, but, the Republicans own a super minority! There’s no way we can get this done! And, you just don’t raise taxes on corporate America and the wealthy in the midst of the greatest financial crisis since 1982…ahem…1933.

    Mind you, the idea that raising taxes on Corporate America and the wealthy in the midst of this depression is a bad idea was not ONLY being bandied about by Republicans. Obama himself has said it repeatedly, and recently. Throughout these negotiations, Obama has repeated words that Reagan used, but has refused to mimic Reagan’s actions. Reagan, as ALL of you are well aware, raised taxes on Corporate America in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Some of you know why it worked. I’ll explain it as briefly as I can, from the perspective of a business owner, for those of you who don’t. When Federal corporate taxes are high, I REPORT LESS PROFIT. Yes, I actually control that. It’s called making use of the deductions for Capital expenditures, spending my “profit” on my business and my employees rather than reporting it as net profit. The end result is that instead of keeping more profit, I’m actually putting it back into the economy. When Wall Street is involved, net profits tend to circulate amongst the hands of a very few elite, wealthy individuals. You don’t need me to tell you that…Warren Buffet has said it so many times that it’s hard to believe ANYONE would trust Republicans or Democrats when they repeat that raising taxes on corporate America is a bad idea in a recession.

    A CORPORATION HAS NO NEED WHATSOEVER FOR A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Is that plain enough? From 1945 until 1970, America thrived on high corporate tax rates, and if you are willing to understand why, it’s because assholes like me won’t give Uncle Sam one red penny more in taxes that is absolutely necessary. Where does my profit go when I spend it instead of reporting it?

    If you need me to tell you that, you are beyond hope. Downward tax pressure on business in a recession is NECESSARY! The private sector is the the anti-solution to any recession. In order to get the private sector to spend the money it is hoarding during times like this, you have to make tax consequences so heinous that the only alternative left to the private sector is to spend profit before 70% of it is wasted in Washington on the two political parties who spend money like teenage girls in a candy store.

    Now, I’ll bet you’ve NEVER heard a Democrat say something like that.

    It’s the truth, but Democrats, like Republicans, won’t tell you you the truth, or they’d have to hand 90% of their campaign donations back to their sugar mama’s.

    You don’t have representatives in Washington. You have two people in Washington making ALL of the policy; a Democrat, and a Republican, nameless as they may be, they are both wholly owned by special interests.

    Democrats are different? Only in name. In actual policy, they cater to their special interests JUST LIKE REPUBLICANS. They even parrot Republican talking points. “Raising taxes on Corporate America in a recession is bad economic policy”. Never mind that this is a bald faced lie, or just plain ignorance. If you wanted to be different, to distinguish yourselves from Republicans, wouldn’t you make every effort to be so obviously?

    I’ll give you Democrats this: In words, you ARE different. But words are wind. I have watched since 1989 as both republicans and Democrats have handed American jobs and wealth to foreigners time after time, through their idiotic Free Trade agreements, telling us that these agreements will be good for American workers. We have three Free Trade agreements coming up for a vote this year, and the mantra from BOTH parties, including our saintly President is that these agreements will be good for the American worker.

    As if twenty-two years of evidence completely to the contrary isn’t enough to convince these geniuses that, hey, maybe we ought to re-think our stance on these free trade agreements.

    Democrats are different? Maybe when your party stops giving away American jobs and American wealth to FOREIGNERS, I’ll stop calling them what they have PROVEN themselves to be the equivalent of Republicans in every way; TRAITORS. That’s what you call people who give American ingenuity, wealth, and jobs away to nations not called the United States of America, while stealing jobs from TAXPAYERS.

    Sorry for the long rant, but this may be the last chance I get to do so before the morons in Washington incite the rest of America to march on them and lynch anyone with an R or a D after their name. This is what happens when ideology reigns. What you are seeing in Washington is not an aberration. It’s the natural tendency of political parties. As long as any of you have known me, you have known me to believe this, and I have not been silent about it.