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Category Archive: Budget and Taxes

Oct 17 2013

Republicans Cave Completely

Wednesday began with President Obama praising Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Mitch McConnell for reaching a “compromise” on the budget and the debt ceiling that really isn’t a compromise at all. In fact, it does nothing but kick the can down the road. Here’s what it does:

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Oct 17 2013

The Convenient Fiscal Restraint of Conservatism

Steger - balanced budget

A study from Depaul University political science professor Wayne Steger shows what has been obvious to anyone paying attention all along, that conservative Republicans only seem interested in fiscal responsibility when a Democrat is in office.

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Oct 13 2013

Ornstein’s Futile Suggestion for Ending the Standoff

Norm Ornstein is a very, very smart man, one of the smartest policy wonks in Washington. But I’m afraid his suggestion for a way out of the budget and debt ceiling impasse, as reasonable as it may seem to reasonable people, is destined for failure even if President Obama were to offer it.

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Oct 11 2013

Can Obama Unilaterally Lift the Debt Ceiling?

With the government still shut down and the debt ceiling limit about to be reached, some have argued that President Obama could invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment and order the Treasury Department to continue borrowing despite the statutory debt limit having been reached. Section 4 says:

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Oct 07 2013

Obamacare, Gold Plans and Demagoguery

If you want an absolutely perfect example of demagoguery, look no further than the wingnut outrage over Congress and their staff getting subsidized access to the Affordable Care Act’s Gold Metal plan. The Worldnetdaily put up half an article linking to the full article at The Hill about this on the regulations issued on this …

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Oct 01 2013

Frum on the Republican Kamikaze Plan

With a government shutdown here and the internecine battles in the Republican party reaching a fever pitch, David Frum tries, as so many others have, to be a voice of reason in the GOP. But as he correctly notes, this has little hope of succeeding because the extreme right tail is now wagging the Republican …

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Sep 29 2013

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:

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Sep 27 2013

Financial Executives Victims of Lynch Mob

There aren’t enough faces, palms, heads or desks to handle this statement from AIG CEO Bob Benmosche. After taxpayers had to spend $85 billion to keep his company from bankruptcy, people were understandably upset when they then paid out $165 million in executive bonuses before paying back that money. Benmosche says that was a lynch …

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Sep 26 2013

Food Stamps vs Crop Insurance

Here’s a surprisingly rational column by Henry Olsen in the conservative magazine National Review about the House Republicans and their obsession with cutting food stamps. He points out that those same Republicans ignore more expensive programs in the same bill (food stamps are part of the annual farm bill) that primarily benefit those who don’t …

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Sep 25 2013

Blackwell: ‘Nothing More Christian’ Than Food Stamp Cuts

Ken Blackwell, the far-right former secretary of state from Ohio and now a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, gleefully endorsed the House Republican bill to cut $40 billion out of food stamps over ten years, saying there is “nothing more Christian” than those cuts.

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Sep 24 2013

Food Stamps and the Power of the Anecdote

Fox News has produced a documentary called The Great Food Stamp Binge that focuses a great deal of attention on a California surfer dude who says on camera that he gets food stamps and he doesn’t want a job because he likes his happy-go-lucky lifestyle. And they’re also pushing polling data that shows a majority …

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Sep 20 2013

Treasury Dept. Sells Off More GM Stock

When the Obama administration extended tens of billions of dollars in loans to General Motors and Chrysler to get them through a managed bankruptcy in exchange for stock in the newly reorganized company, conservatives screamed “COMMUNISM! Obama is taking over the auto industry!” It was nonsense from the start; the arrangement was for the government …

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Sep 19 2013

Would a Govt. Shutdown Sway the Tea Party Types?

With a showdown over the budget looming in the House and a government shutdown looking all but inevitable, many people are arguing that this is exactly what we need, that the blowback against the Republicans will be so powerful that it will bring the Tea Party Republicans in the House back to their senses and …

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Sep 17 2013

Koch Brothers Against Corporate Welfare. Well, Not Theirs.

Politico has an article about a virtually unknown group called Freedom Partners, which spent $250 million in 2012 supporting conservative causes with massive grants. A lot of those funds evidently came from the Koch brothers, which is hardly a surprise.

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Sep 05 2013

Rafael Cruz’ Disconnect With Reality

Has there ever been a major political figure whose father was as outspoken as Rafael Cruz? Even the first President Bush pretty much kept quiet when his son was involved in politics. But Ted Cruz may well want his dad to shut up before long as he continues to make statements that are completely disconnected …

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