Ace of Spades HQ:
If we JUST CAPPED SPENDING-- spent the same amount next FY as we did this FY,All the emphasis is theirs.
the CBO would score that as a $9.5 trillion dollar cut.
So before anyone can claim we're "cutting" anything, the number they are talking about has to exceed $9.5 trillion.
The Boehner plan, with all its actuarial tomfoolery, claims to cut something in the neighborhood of $850 billion.
And only $20 billion of that is this year.
So John Boehner is saying to you that spending $20 billion less than Obama's opening offer is worth giving him a blank check for a trillion and more.
As long as we're going to go on playing for the "long game" it's meaningless to even try to put together a plan. Just let the Democrats do what they want to, since the difference between what they're going to do and Republicans' counteroffer is less than a rounding error.
My point is, either we fight for this, or we die like dogs. What the House is doing is not fighting.
The elite Washington Republican insiders have a very tough tightrope to walk: They have to make you believe that they're fighting for your interests, while making damn sure that they're not fighting for your interests. Because your interests are directly opposed to their interests. Money is power. The power to tax is the power to rule. Not represent, but rule.
You can see why I said this In a comment at Og's place:
Negotiation means starting from your OPTIMAL position, and giving a little ground. it does NOT mean starting six inches from your OPPONENT’s position and then giving ground, you fuckmonkeys.We're not getting any fiscal responsibility out of the GOP any longer. They're running the numbers to make it look as if they are cutting spending, but next year's budget is bigger than this year's, and their plans to enact further "cuts" are nonbinding.
But the Republicans’ true optimal position is only six inches from the Democrats’.
The problem is, that’s not what they tell us their optimal position is. Because if they did, we’d vote their asses out, and they know it.
At least the Democrats are HONEST about being in favor of tax-tax-tax-spend-spend-spend-and-to-hel
l-with-responsibility. The GOP is composed of a bunch of lying sacks of shit.
This Congress can't make the next Congress do anything--not legally, not Constitutionally--and that includes cutting spending. This Congress can say whatever the hell it wants to, but if it passes a law telling the next Congress to cut spending by X, the next Congress doesn't even have to take the issue to court; it can just ignore it, or pass a new law repealing the old one.
The cuts they are promising to make in future years will never, never, ever happen.
The cuts they're making now are nothing--they are reductions in the rate of growth--and they are still spending $3 million per minute that we don't have.
Of course, the instant the government stops spending all that money, the economy tanks, and everyone knows it. GDP immediately drops 12% at best; that there's an instant recession, made to order for anyone who wants to have a go at an incumbent's seat. "Extend and pretend" cannot survive real cuts to the federal budget; the only reason GDP has remained slightly positive over the past two years comes from all the money that Washington, D.C. has been borrowing and spending.
Cap next year's spending at this year's level? Disastrous. A recession is defined as "two or more quarters with negative or zero economic growth." If next year's federal budget is the same as this year's, there'll be no growth in GDP; it'll be called a recession and next year is an election year.
The Boehner plan is kabuki theater; it's smoke, mirrors, and hand-waving designed to make us all think the GOP is doing something about the deficit. I'd rather have the federal government shut down than hold my nose and support a plan like that, even if the GOP all got the blame for it and got voted out next election. Something has to be done, inaction is not an option, and the Boehner plan is inaction in disguise.
If you're not interested in trying to mitigate the effects of the coming collapse because of the risk that you might lose your seat next year, if you can't stand up and say, "We've got to fix this, and it's worth the risk of losing the next election,"--if you don't have the guts to take a stand--then we might as well let the Democrats seize power again, and let them own the inevitable collapse.
"How can you say the collapse is 'inevitable'?" You may ask.
We will get downgraded, probably within days or weeks after this "short-term" blip passes Congress, however it does. And when we do, interest rates will ratchet, at least a bit. If the Congress refuses to respond to that downgrade with real budget cuts including the cost of the increased interest now, which means they have to be another $100 billion or so (that is, 10% more than if they did it now) we'll get downgraded after a period (probably six to twelve months) again.Emphasis removed because that guy uses it too much and I'm already worn out from the first blockquote in this post.
"If what I heard today in the so-called "debate" on the floor of the House is an honest indication of what we can expect from Congress we're just plain screwed."
(Hey, everyone in the know is saying "boned" now, just so you know....)
We are "just plain screwed", though. (Or "boned".) ("Having bones; deprived of bones.") The economy is just about to take a big, big, big, biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig hit, and it cannot possibly be avoided.
We have two choices of how we can deal with it:
1) Cut federal spending. Real cuts, not "Congress" cuts. GDP drops 12% and we enter a serious recession, and it really, really sucks to be us; but after a few years we can get our feet under us and get moving forward again.
2) Do nothing. (This is Washington, D.C.'s current plan.) This leads to hyperinflation, bank failures, double-digit interest (30%? 40%? 50%? 99%??) shortages of everything in the best case; in the worst it includes panic in the streets, riots, famine, open revolt, etcetera.
Either way, Congress is in heap big smoke.
(...of course, in the latter scenario, the feds can declare martial law. Any bets on how long before it's UN-declared? A year? Two? NEVER?)
What will not happen is a growing economy lifting us out of the shit we're in. The economy cannot grow; too much money is disappearing down the government rathole and there are too many regulations and too much uncertainty in how they'll be applied for anyone to feel comfortable hiring anyone they do not absolutely need to hire. Besides, energy is too expensive (see above, "government regulation").
Especially not when various parties are floating around ideas for new ways to tax us, and when the party which alleges that it's the party of "limited government" is one of the organizations talking about raising taxes.
* * *
I just hope the rioting doesn't get this far out, because I don't have my guns any longer. I have the muzzleloader, but you can't defend yourself against a bunch of rioters when it takes you two minutes to reload after firing.
Hopefully I'll hear them coming and will be able to go get my freakin' guns, and the legality be damned! I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six, damn it.
* * *
Is there any upside?
...we might, after all this is said and done, might get a return to some kind of sanity. It'd be nice if we could just go back to how things were before Johnson's "Great Society", but even better would be repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments.
(Income tax and general election of senators, respectively.)
We might learn from all this that our federal government must be limited in order to avoid this kind of bullshit. We might get our freedom back.
...but it's not the way to bet. Sorry, but it's not.
I wish there were a cheerful way to end this; but how can you put a smiley face on this?