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House Debt Ceiling Bill: Surrender or the Government Gets It

The House Republicans gave a copy of their proposed legislation for raising the debt ceiling and to call it laughable would be a rather significant understatement. They essentially demand that President Obama give them everything they want on every other issue and throw in a pony too. Ezra Klein’s got it nailed:

The House GOP’s debt limit bill — obtained by the National Review — isn’t a serious governing document. It’s not even a plausible opening bid. It’s a cry for help.

In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding a yearlong delay of Obamacare, Rep. Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan, the Keystone XL pipeline, more offshore oil drilling, more drilling on federally protected lands, rewriting of ash coal regulations, a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions, more power over the regulatory process in general, reform of the federal employee retirement program, an overhaul of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget, repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, more means-testing in Medicare, repeal of the Public Health trust fund, and more…

House Republicans are walking into the debt-ceiling negotiations with an opening bid that makes them look ridiculous. This looks like an Onion parody of what the House’s debt-ceiling demands might be. It’s a wonder it’s not written in comic sans.

They are also demanding that President Obama move out of the White House and stay in a Motel 6, that he wear clown shoes everywhere he goes and that all House Republicans get ice cream before their nap.

Comments

  1. raven says

    This is democracy failing.

    The GOP is trying to win with hostage taking, what they couldn’t win in elections.

    Obama won two elections by 9 million and 5 million votes. The Democrats control the US senate.

    And BTW, the hostage is the USA, its citizens, and our fragile economy.

  2. raven says

    I had lunch a week ago with an old friend, a successful entrepreneur-businesswoman.

    She has never shown the slightest internest in politics and never said one thing about them.

    So I was surprised when she brought up the upcoming shutdown and Obamacare. “Why isn’t this treason?”

    Well, I don’t know why it isn’t treason. In my entire life which spans Johnson’s horror in Vietnam, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, I’ve never seen this country’s government so dysfunctional. We are heading for Banana Republic status without the bananas.

  3. colnago80 says

    To paraphrase the Ayatollah Khomeini, the House Rethuglicans will negotiate when Obama and Reid surrender.

  4. ShowMetheData says

    **3…2…1… Start mustache twirling** – None of things asked for do ANYTHING for the average voter

    “an overhaul gutting of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations” – Republicans embrace the disaster and try to make it their own – again

  5. Jordan Genso says

    Imagine for a second what would happen if the President says ‘ok’ to their demands. That would mean we will have thrown out the entire legislative process as described in the Constitution, where bills are introduced in each chamber, debated, voted on, and reconciled, and instead replace it with legislation-by-ransom-note.

    You want Cap & Trade legislation? The Democrats just need to hold the country hostage and demand for it.

    You want campaign finance reform? Time to take the country hostage in order to get it.

    It would actually be preferable to be the party that controls only one chamber, while the other party has the White House and a majority in the other half of Congress. That way you could be the villain holding the country hostage, and the other party would be “responsible” if you shoot the hostage because they didn’t give in to your demands.

    The Republicans don’t care if a majority of the country recognize that what they are doing is horrific, since their plan doesn’t require that they win elections in the future. They can’t take the country hostage if they are in charge of Congress and the White House. They just need to hold on to the gerrymandered House, and every time there is a looming crisis, they can start cutting up magazines to get the letters for their ransom note.

  6. raven says

    This would all be amusing in a Stephen King horror show way except for one thing.

    I live here.

    The last time the GOP was in charge, my 401(K) plan died during the Great Recession. So did several millions of other 401(K) plans inasmuch as most of the money for those ends up in the stock markets.

    Wonder of wonders, it’s back from the dead. The economy has made a slow and fragile recovery and the stock markets are at record highs, except for the NASDAQ.

    If the government shuts down for a while, estimates are that it will cut 0.3% from the GDP, which is only growing around 2% anyway. If it shuts down for a long time, we could end up in another recession. Unemployment is still high, wages haven’t risen, and the economy is alive but not healthy. Another recession is going to negatively impact a lot of people. One of them, to a small but noticeable extent,…is going to be me.

  7. says

    raven “Obama won two elections by 9 million and 5 million votes.”
    To be fair, he only “won” the first one because of ACORN and the New Black Panthers, and of course the second one had millions of Missing White Voters because the GOP Establishment put forward a candidate who wasn’t conservative enough.

  8. Nick Gotts says

    Worth noting that the Republicans also lost the popular vote in the 2012 House elections.

    The Greek government has launched a long-overdue crackdown on the Nazi “Golden Dawn” Party, arresting several leading members on the charge of “belonging to a criminal organization”. Just thought I’d mention it.

  9. laurentweppe says

    The Greek government has launched a long-overdue crackdown on the Nazi “Golden Dawn” Party, arresting several leading members on the charge of “belonging to a criminal organization”. Just thought I’d mention it.

    Yeah: for years they’ve beaten with impunity immigrants in Athens’ poor neigbourhoods, and it took them murdering a white singer for the government to finally move its collective ass.

  10. Larry says

    Did these nitwits sit through the same classes on American government as the rest of us did? I’m pretty sure that hostage-taking wasn’t one the steps in the description of the process on how a bill becomes law. Neither was threatening to blow up the country if you don’t get your way.

    Bohner has completely lost control of the House and his GOP members, letting the insane asylum inmates hold the gavel. With a backbone and a pair of balls, he could have shut this down. He didn’t and, as a result, everybody is fucked. This is completely the fault of the GOP and its so-called leadership.

  11. Michael Heath says

    Larry writes:

    Did these nitwits sit through the same classes on American government as the rest of us did? I’m pretty sure that hostage-taking wasn’t one the steps in the description of the process on how a bill becomes law. Neither was threatening to blow up the country if you don’t get your way.

    Two lessons taught to all public school students falsify your perspective regarding the lessons we learn in school. On the former we have conservative obstructionism that allowed Jim Crow to rule for 75 years, and on the latter we can point to the Civil War.

    So there are precedents that encourage such bad behavior; where it’s not a coincidence that we now have even governors [rhetorically] threatening to lynch the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, eradicate that banking system, shut-down the government, default on our public debt, and arguing secession is a viable response to the country electing a moderate establishmentarian but more operatively, black man, to the office of U.S. president.

  12. laurentweppe says

    So there are precedents that encourage such bad behavior; where it’s not a coincidence that we now have even governors [rhetorically] threatening to lynch the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, eradicate that banking system, shut-down the government, default on our public debt, and arguing secession is a viable response to the country electing a moderate establishmentarian but more operatively, black man, to the office of U.S. president.

    Didn’t the precedent also ends up with the southern aristocrats thugocracy having its ass kicked so hard that its still hurts today?

  13. says

    Didn’t the precedent also ends up with the southern aristocrats thugocracy having its ass kicked so hard that its still hurts today?

    Well, that depends. The ass got kicked, but as soon as Reconstruction ended, the thugocracy reconstituted itself in the name of “redemption” through the use of terrorism and paramilitary organizations that literally overthrew elected governments.

    According to Rand Paul, this was all democracy’s fault.

  14. Michael Heath says

    laurentweppe writes:

    Didn’t the precedent also ends up with the southern aristocrats thugocracy having its ass kicked so hard that its still hurts today?

    “States rights” is a more popular policy objective in the GOP than it’s ever been in that party.

  15. Bob Dowling says

    As an outsider (Brit) looking on at this political clusterf**k, two things occur to me:

    * I’m staggered by how little attention this is getting in the UK media. If the Tea Party crashes the US economy the entire world suffers, not just the USA.

    * Why has the Affordable Care act brought such fury from the right? The UK NHS isn’t (anything like) perfect, but the USA’s attitude towards universal state-provided medicine astounds the rest of the world. What is in the act isn’t radical by world standards.

  16. felidae says

    You forgot golf–Obama must stop playing golf because he is tying up valuable tee times and discriminating against Congressmen and lobbyists

  17. magistramarla says

    We are going to suffer a lot from all of this. My hubby is one of those federal workers that the cons love to hate. We’ve just suffered through the loss of pay caused by the furloughs coming right after a 1900 mile move (for the job of course). Moving back into our old house after the renters lived here for nearly four years meant that we had to get a lot of painting and cleaning done before our furniture arrived – not cheap.
    The thing that still needs to be done is to repair the leaky roof before winter.
    We’ve been saving some money for that, but we’ll be using that money to live for the next few weeks, or however long the teatards manage to hold the government hostage.
    The active duty folks have been assured that they will recoup any lost pay.
    Since the GOTP loves to scapegoat the federal workers, we’ve been told that my husband’s pay may not be reimbursed. We may be living with lots of buckets catching drips this winter.
    As for me getting the MRIs that the doctor wants me to get – I can forget about that.

  18. raven says

    * Why has the Affordable Care act brought such fury from the right?

    1. Nothing really.

    It’s a minor tweak to our existing system. It’s mostly a private insurance exchange with rules to keep the companies from cherry picking and only offering insurance to young, healthy people who won’t use it.

    It just allows more but by no means all people to have…health insurance. It was designed by private insurance companies so they will make money off of it. The medical establishment will too as more people show up.

    2. It’s modeled after Romneycare, a successful program in Massachusetts devised by their very own pet Reptilian-human hybrid.

    3. They are afraid it will be too successful and too popular. Can’t have people buying into the ACA, Affordable Care Act and ending up with affordable health care.

    4. It’s happened before. Both Social Security and Medicare were invented by Democrats, not the GOP. They are highly successful and wildly popular programs.

    To summarize, the Tea Party/GOP are nihilists who want the worst for people, especially if they are female, nonwhite, and/or poor. To make it more absurd, the real culprit behind them are the voters that elected them. This is still a democracy and this is what enough people voted for.

  19. says

    The UK NHS isn’t (anything like) perfect, but the USA’s attitude towards universal state-provided medicine astounds the rest of the world.

    You probably know this, but the ACA is not universal, state-provided medicine. It’s not even universal, state-provided health insurance. It’s merely near-universal, state-mandated coverage by private health insurance, coupled with guaranteed issue and subsidies.

    Why the Right is so foaming-at-the-mouth about it is a good question, but it has little to do with the content of the legislation. (If it did, they wouldn’t have to constantly lie about it.) The American conservative movement is messianic, fundamentalist, and extremely arrogant. They regard themselves as the only true and legitimate rulers of America (which is greatest-est country in the world; your country is sneer-worthy), and they’ve adopted a Randian view of power and privilege.

    Any major legislative loss, especially one that uses the power of state for the benefit of the public, creates massive cognitive dissonance, because they’re the ones who are supposed to be in charge and their ideology is supposed to be infallible. So it’s impossible for them to compromise or accept defeat. Their self-image requires them to go to the mat with everything they’ve got. So here they are, demanding dictatorial powers in exchange for not destroying the country, behavior that they would never accept as legitimate from the other side. It’s a grotesque affront to democracy.

  20. raven says

    Economists estimate that were a short-term shutdown to occur next month, it “would do significant economic damage, reducing real GDP by 1.4 percentage points.” A two-month shutdown could “precipitate another recession.”

    Here is one estimate of what a shutdown would do. Reduce GDP by 1.4%. That is a lot considering the economy is barely growing, 6 years after the Bush Catastrophe.

    My Zombie 401(K) plan isn’t screaming yet but it is quietly moaning.

  21. gerryl says

    When I first saw the list of demands the GOP put forth as what they wanted in order to raise the debt ceiling, I too thought of the little boy screaming “I want a pony! And if I can’t have a pony, I don’t want anything!” In this case, they are demanding a stable full of ponies. And it looks like we’re all going to end up with a big steaming pile of manure.

  22. uzza says

    Why has the Affordable Care act brought such fury from the right?

    For a lot of people, it’s better to die than to depend on a _________. [paraphrasing a quote from Mississippi Burning]
    It’s no coincidence most of the resistance is coming from the former slave states. .

  23. DaveL says

    So I was surprised when she brought up the upcoming shutdown and Obamacare. “Why isn’t this treason?”

    You know why – because somewhere Tea Party strategists are fapping furiously at the thought of being able to prosecute Democrats and liberals for their votes cast in Congress.

  24. Doug Little says

    a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions

    If you didn’t see any other pieces of the proposal this one particular point should have you shaking in your boots.

  25. sharonb says

    Now imagine that the Democratic majority in the Senate was demanding an assault weapons ban in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, or as part of the budget.

    The Republican response and calls of treason and for trials and hangings (not necessarily in that order) would be predictable and loud!

    Why do they not perceive the irony?

  26. Doug Little says

    Why do they not perceive the irony

    That would create a positive feedback loop and they would spontaneously combust.

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