The problem is using the words “Republicans” and “honor” together in a sentence or an idea

Remember when the GOP held our federal government hostage and the Democrats worked out a deal with them to avoid a shutdown? A deal that involved a “Super Committee” and that, if the Committee failed, there would be automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending?

[...] Democrats proposed the threat of automatic tax increases to push GOP officials to be responsible, but Republicans refused and offered an alternative: if the committee failed, the GOP would accept $600 billion in defense cuts and Dems would accept $600 billion in non-defense domestic cuts.

Remember, the point was to create an incentive that the parties would be desperate to avoid. Pentagon cuts were Republicans’ contribution to the process. The cuts were their idea.

Six months later, the GOP has decided it doesn’t like its idea anymore.

Republican leaders in Congress have all but reneged on a key agreement they reached with the White House last summer rather than reconsider their unwavering stance against new tax revenue. [...]

“I’ve got concerns about the sequester,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Thursday. “I’ve made that pretty clear. And replacing the sequester certainly has value. The defense portion of the sequester, in my view, would clearly hollow our military. The Secretary of Defense has said that, members of Congress have said it. But the question I would pose is, where’s the White House? Where’s the leadership that should be there to ensure that this sequester does not go into effect.”

“Sequester” is budget-speak for across-the-board cuts. But the cuts he’s talking about were part of a deal he recently claimed he’d honor.

Republicans still want the debt reduction; they just don’t want to live up to their end of the bargain. As recently as November, the House Speaker was asked about the agreement he helped strike and he told reporters he would “feel bound” to honor it. That no longer appears to be the case.

Bottomline: not only do those in the GOP not like anyone else’s ideas — they don’t even like THEIR OWN ideas (or they made the deal 6 months ago, knowing they wouldn’t honor it). The simple fact is that Republicans are only able to “honor” major spending cuts to programs / benefits for the poor, working, and middle classes, no new revenue for the government, and more tax cuts for the wealthy.

Deadline day: meanwhile in the SuperCommittee and the GOP-led Congress

The official deadline for action by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. The real deadline is Monday night, since any plan has to be posted for 48 hours before it’s voted on.Mike Allen, Politico

The reality is that Democrats will not be getting Republicans to agree to let Bush’s tax cuts for the rich to expire. There are only two reasons for the deadlock (and failure):

1) Republicans believe that the better policy outcome would be for the wealthy to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.

2) Democrats believe that the better policy outcome would be for the wealthy to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction.

“There is one sticking divide, and that is the issue of what I call shared sacrifice, where everybody contributes in a very challenging time for our country. That’s the Bush tax cuts. In making sure that any kind of package includes everybody coming to the table and the wealthiest of Americans, those who earn over a million dollars every year, have to share, too. And that line in the sand, we haven’t seen any Republicans willing to cross yet.”Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The current (and escalating) income inequality that our nation is currently living with is caused, entirely, by tax policies that favor the wealthiest Americans:

I think I’d just like to make the point that we tend to think of income inequality in this country as though it were a force of nature, that people really don’t have any control over. And certainly there are some underlying structural trends – the decline of unions, the increase of globalization and global trade – that are driving inequality to a certain degree.

But on top of that, and pushed by the Republican party, you have a tax policy that is favoring people who are getting more and more wealthy as a result of these structural trends and rewarding them with tax cuts that are allowing them to get richer still. And that is a new story in America and it’s not the one that we like to tell ourselves.

Last week the Republicans pretended to negotiate — and then blamed the Democrats for not agreeing to their proposal: They offered the Democrats $600 billion in program cuts and only $3 billion in revenue. 600 to 3! Very balanced, right? The GOP mantra (via the Norquist pledge) is simply: tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts for the rest of us.

Kerry: “This is the most important thing of all: The Toomey plan still results in the biggest tax cut since the Great Depression. It would be the biggest tax cut since Calvin Coolidge, and we all know how that turned out. Now, we didn’t come here to do another tax cut for the wealthiest people while we’re (asking) fixed-income seniors to ante up more, people on Medicaid, who are poor, to ante up more.”


There is no way the Republicans on the supercommittee will agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent. Clearly. And, in fact, there is no way that Republicans in general have any desire to help the rest of the American people at all:

“I’ve made it pretty clear that those savings that are coming to us as a result of the wind down of the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan should be banked, should not be used to offset other spending.” — Speaker Boehner says GOP won’t allow savings from war drawdowns to go to jobs program

This sentence from an editorial back on Oct. 31 in the NYTimes says it all:

The only real compromise [Republican leadership] was interested in was one in which it dictated all of the terms.

It’s just the GOP’s make-everything-terrible-then-blame-Obama-and-elect-a-Republican-in-2012 election strategy. While they fiddle, Rome burns.

Sen. Tom Coburn on “welfare for the well-off” or “subsidies of the rich and famous”

As the congressional “super committee” works to overcome divisions on a deficit reduction deal, a leading conservative lawmaker is blasting billions wasted on “welfare for the well-off.”

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who served on the president’s bipartisan fiscal commission and has been a member of the so-called Gang of Six, released a report Monday detailing the kinds of subsidies and loopholes that he says benefit those least in need of a government safety net.

Coburn calls his 37-page report, which features a number of charts along with clip art of the Monopoly man, “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous.”

“We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs,” Coburn writes.

LATimes via: DemocraticUnderground


HeckofajobTeaparty: the ‘supercommittee’ is gridlocked before it even meets

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has appointed:

  1. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.),
  2. Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
  3. House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed:

  1. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.),
  2. former Bush budget director Rob Portman (R-Ohio),
  3. Tea Party favorite Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.)

In case you didn’t know:

Beutler tweet

@brianbeutler via dailykos

Here’s some thoughts on the Grover Norquist pledge vs. the pledge Congress takes to the United States and its Constitution:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”

[...] Now along comes Grover Norquist and his pledge to require members of Congress and state legislators abrogate their oath to this great document and proclaim allegiance to his doctrine. And what would his self proclaimed “pledge” be?

 I ,____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the State of _________ and to the American People that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

I find this inconsistent in spirit, if not in fact, with each legislator’s sworn pledge to protect our nation and “support and defend the Constitution.” It is absolutely antithetical to that promise. In a sense it supersedes the very first power offered in the Constitution: Article I Section 1:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

 I do not see Grover Norquist’s name mentioned here.

Neither do I. Unconstitutional? I think so. Heckofajob, Teaparty!