Will the U.S. federal government finally have a 2011 budget?

This has been the background noise at the house today. Constant bickering by the contemporary Republican Party–a true circus–about small bean issues. This bickering with President Obama is delaying a budget, and making America’s federal government look bad.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why the GOP has to keep giving the President a hard time. We’ve heard from the sore-loser Tea Party wing. We’ve heard from these nutty Birthers, who’ve tried to make like people born in Hawaii aren’t really Americans. (In essence, that Hawaii really isn’t a state that was admitted into the union in 1959.)

The Republicans have supported these extreme tax cuts that go to extraordinarily wealthy people. Where the middle class has picked up a much-appreciated $600 or $1,000, multimillionaires have been handed hundreds of thousands.

Now, one of the Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan, proposes to end Medicare. He says it would just be for those under 55; but practically, once you start privatizing certain people out of the system, there is no political constituency to keep paying for the elderly who are already in the system. The government shutdown fights of 2017 would be about whether we are going to have Medicare in 2018.

Who would want that?

The Republican Party of many years ago used to be something really good. You could take it seriously, and it did a number of brilliant things for our country.

I am not so sure where that party went, but it’s pretty clear that when it started hunting for votes Down South, it stopped being the party of people who live in the North.

Now, it seems like a party that wants to tax the Middle Class North, in order to do a lot of military spending in the South, to give big farm subsidy checks to the South and their soulmates in the midwestern and square states, to rack up a lot of debt with the Chinese so that we’re stuck paying interest to them, for tax cuts for the rich for the next 50 years.

You don’t have to go back to the 19th century to find a different sort of Republicanism. Even the 20th century had its icons of rational, progressive politics. People who made the right choices and sought to move America forward, not push it back.

That was the Republican Party. A party that sought to improve America, and make it better.

The folks in there now are something entirely different.

They want to turn back the clock on every social reform of the past 60 years. Pretend it’s 1957, when 2057 is closer to us.

They parade around these goofy loudmouths and dopes. People who pride themselves on how uneducated they are.

The two latest shark jumpers, among the assorted clowns who make up the modern Republican Party.

[Update: And I’m not sure if the point of those two isn’t how stupid are they, but how gullible are you if you take what they say seriously?]

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27 comments

  1. ken44 · April 9, 2011

    Face it Obama was never qualified to be the President of the USA and I for one will be happy to see him go.

    Sarah P? Not much different and one who had no business being on the ticket.

    Now until the Dem leadership begins to realize it isn`t so much that voters like what the Reps offer but the fact they dislike Dem policies more they will continue to get tossed out. Just look what happened in Wisconsin which is now a solidly purple state. It can be said that government workers now make up a large part of the Dem base and this won`t always bode well for the Democrats in future elections. I suspect even my home state of California which is one if not the bluest of states may well begin to favor Rep. candidates in the not too distant future.

    The Dems need to stop blaming the Rep and ask themselves WHY many voters have turned against them since 2008. For Christ sake Obama had rock star status at one time and could fill 40,000 seat when giving a speech. I don’t recall an election where one party took over power on such a positive note!!

    No doubt here are going to be books galore written about how the Obama admin. crashed in such high fashion should he lose in 2012.

    • hoofin · April 9, 2011

      This is such 2009 boilerplate that I’m not sure where or how I should begin responding.

      Barack Obama is in a league by himself, if the comparison is to Sarah Palin or the whole crowd of goofballs who are trying to get the GOP nod in 2012. I think insiders already concede the election to Obama, since there’s no way the current crop could win 270 electoral votes.

      What has happened in Wisconsin is that the Democrats have come roaring back. Mostly, this is due to identifying the extreme right-wingers (like the Koch Brothers and the ALEC gang) who have been behind the so-called “conservative” machinations of the last 30 years. The more that everyday people learn what is motivating this contemporary GOP, the less and less support it gets. That’s why Boehner just conceded on the game of Government Shutdown Chicken that they’ve been playing all day.

      The voters have not turned against the Democrats. What happened in 2008 is that you had a Presidential election, and the turnout in those is always larger, and more weighted to the many diverse groups in America. Off-year elections, you don’t get that kind of turnout. That’s what happened last fall. Already, the people are regretting that the GOP is in control.

      You say, “I don’t recall an election where one party took over power on such a positive note.” I do. Ronald Reagan in 1980. By 1982, many people were saying that he was going to be a one-term President.

  2. ken44 · April 9, 2011

    –What has happened in Wisconsin is that the Democrats have come roaring back.—-

    Wrong. The Dems tossed everything they had and were fully mobilized in an effort to unseat Prosser but still came up short.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      I am not sure that they came up short. The last I heard was that an elections worker who has a bit of a shady, partisan past “found” a 14,000 vote mistake that would give the election to Prosser. A number of people want this looked into.

      The idea that an incumbent Supreme Court justice would almost be voted out because of the public’s displeasure with Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is testament to the disgust that many voters have with this extreme right-wingerism going on in 2011.

  3. ken44 · April 9, 2011

    …But whether by design or necessity, Boehner managed to make the most of that limited leverage — both in forcing President Obama and the Democrats to come more than halfway on his party’s demand for spending cuts, and in making the absolutists in his own ranks accept the principle that compromise is part of governing.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/boehners-leadership-is-tested-in-the-budget-battle/2011/04/08/AFF0lP4C_story.html?hpid=z2

    —You say, “I don’t recall an election where one party took over power on such a positive note.” I do. Ronald Reagan in 1980. By 1982, many people were saying that he was going to be a one-term President.—-

    I don`t recall Reagan ever filling up 20,000-40,000 seat stadiums while campaigning for the presidency. He might have been popular but many deemed Obama a messiah.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Boehner is just lucky that its the early innings of this extremist nonsense. Eric Cantor of Virginia wants his gavel.

      Boehner has great leverage, since his party controls the House. The problem he has is that his party doesn’t control the Senate, and doesn’t control the Presidency. Bill Clinton flat-out told the Congress in 1995 that if they didn’t have 2/3rds of the vote to override his prerogative, then he better get something he could sign, or the government would shut down. Obama was not as blunt, but should have been, in public.

      Reagan probably did not fill 20,000 to 40,000 seat stadiums in 1980, because I don’t think that the format was used back in the day. You have to remember that the style of Presidential politicking is much different than thirty years ago. Back then, you pretty much had to wear a tie all the time, except on vacation . . .

      • hoofin · April 10, 2011

        According to Suzy Khimm in Mother Jones, The FY2012 Republican proposal is radioactive. Very few Republicans can stomach gutting Medicare, especially when the People’s focus is on JOBS.

        Remember Boehner last year? “Where are the jobs?” Well, Boehner, where are they?

        “With concern about shutdown in the air, there’s a huge focus on cutting spending,” said Kristen Soltis, director of policy research at the Winston Group, a GOP-leaning polling and consulting firm. “But Americans are still asking—where are the jobs? Americans want spending cuts, but they want job creation even more. Republicans may have a more challenging time messaging about how they think their 2012 budget can improve the economy if they’re also handling the immediate government shutdown threat.”

        [Emphasis added.]

        When the 2012 election rolls around, don’t think people aren’t going to be hammering the Republicans, too, if there aren’t jobs.

        The Republicans have no strategy for creating jobs.

  4. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    …Boehner is now the most powerful and effective leader in Congress, maybe in Washington. His power will increase immensely. We know who knows how to make a deal at the end (Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Tom Coburn and others supported Boehner publicly when it mattered.) Sen. Jim DeMint showed why he is a Tea Party favorite but is ineffective in the Senate (i.e., staking out the most extreme position and not knowing how to close a deal).
    I imagine the Democratic base will be enraged, and liberals should be. They control the Senate and the White House and gave away the store. It doesn’t augur well for them in 2012 budget negotiations, does it?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/boehner-gets-39b-harry-reid-gets-nothing/2011/03/29/AFOxPW4C_blog.html

  5. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —The idea that an incumbent Supreme Court justice would almost be voted out because of the public’s displeasure with Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is testament to the disgust that many voters have with this extreme right-wingerism going on in 2011.———

    …In truth, it was Wisconsin’s government employee unions, whose privileges are endangered by Gov. Walker’s reforms, that built the election up as a referendum, aided by their allies in the Democratic Party, the media and the liberal left. Assuming that Prosser has indeed won, this is a crushing defeat for them.
    There were two reasons to think they might succeed in defeating Prosser. First, they were organized and motivated, providing a big advantage in what is typically a low-turnout election. (In the Feb. 15 jungle primary, in which Prosser bested Kloppenburg by 55% to 25%, only 420,000 people voted. That was approximately 48 hours before the debate over the Walker reforms reached the boiling point.)
    Second, public opinion had supposedly shifted decisively against Walker and the GOP as the result of what even some conservatives feared was an ObamaCare-style overreach. “The recent fight has cost Republicans support, strengthened unions, polarized the issue, and swung critical independents, who were essential to the Republicans’ 2010 electoral victory, toward sympathizing with the unions,” wrote Heather Higgins of the Independent Women’s Forum two weeks ago, reporting on an IWF-commissioned Wisconsin poll. “As it stands now, Republicans could not only lose, but lose badly,” she warned, referring not only to the Prosser-Kloppenburg tilt but also recall efforts against GOP senators that aim to flip control of the chamber.
    It must be acknowledged that the pro-union left succeeded in making this campaign into a referendum on Walker. Had it not, it’s likely that turnout would have been much lower and Prosser’s margin of victory much wider, as in the primary. But they lost the referendum. With Prosser proffered as a proxy for Walker (we dare you to say that 10 times fast), the justice’s approximately 50.5% of the vote is a swing of less than 2% away from Walker, elected last November with 52.3%.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704503104576250822733679638.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

    [Hoofin’s note: copied from Ken’s other comment:

    The Waukesha Surprise: a closer look at whether the ‘missing’ Brookfield vote adds up:
    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/119476004.html

    …The vice-chair of the Waukesha Democratic Party acknowledged that she and Democrat election watchers were “satisfied that (the new count) is correct….
    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/04/08/turnabout-in-wisconsin

    It looks like Waterloo in Wisconsin for government unions.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704503104576250822733679638.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion ]

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      The Christian Science Monitor on the swirl of doubt around Kathy Nickolaus, the Wisconsin electoral worker who discovered the “error”. She used to work for Prosser, in fact.

      I think making a routine election competitive like that is a testimony to the strength of the union in Wisconsin.

      In New Jersey, you know, the 1947 State Constitution guarantees the right of collective bargaining for public workers. (N.J. Const., Art. 1, Sec. 19)

  6. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —–I think making a routine election competitive like that is a testimony to the strength of the union in Wisconsin.————————

    …One of the most important reforms is that union dues will become voluntary. State and local government will no longer take money out of their employees’ paychecks and hand it over to the unions. This is likely to be the last Wisconsin election in which the Democrats have the advantage of support from organizations with the power to raise campaign funds coercively.

    The unions’ show of muscle in this week’s election was not unimpressive, even though it was insufficient to the task at hand. Starved of the nourishment of forcibly collected dues, they may look like a 98-pound weakling by 2012.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704503104576250822733679638.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Union dues should always be mandatory, because it is collective bargaining. I think most people in our generation don’t understand what a union is. The people have the right of Free Association, guaranteed by the first amendment. This means people can bind together to agree to provide their services only on specific conditions.

      In the 19th century, this was painted by the property-owning classes as criminal conspiracy. In fact, it’s a fundamental right.

      What Scott Walker is doing is union bashing, pure and simple. This is a fight that was settled in the first half of the 20th century.

      More people should be unionized, like how it is in Europe.

  7. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —-In New Jersey, you know, the 1947 State Constitution guarantees the right of collective bargaining for public workers. (N.J. Const., Art. 1, Sec. 19)————–

    I`m sure is Chris Christie well aware of the laws and the best way to proceed regarding public unions.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Yeah, well the best way to proceed is only going to be trench warfare, because he ain’t gonna be able to do what Scott Walker did.

  8. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —-Yeah, well the best way to proceed is only going to be trench warfare—-

    Then so be it and Chris Christie does seem to be popular.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Ken, I’m from New Jersey, and I know that the unions he is taking on there (NJEA and to some extent CWA) have the wherewithal to outlast him.

      They are probably going to have to reform the pensions, and contribute to the medical–maybe even retirees–but they are going to be around when ex-Gov. Christie has his own show on Fox in January 2014.

  9. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    …New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is winning the hearts and minds of New Jersey voters who approve 51 – 36 percent of the job he is doing and say 51 – 39 percent that the Governor is more a “leader” than a “bully,” according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. But voters also say 46 – 43 percent that he is “confrontational” rather than “honest and refreshing.”
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1299.xml?ReleaseID=1489

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Fifty-one percent is “winning the hearts and minds?” Some of Obama’s numbers poll at 51% too, you know.

  10. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —-Ken, I’m from New Jersey, and I know that the unions he is taking on there (NJEA and to some extent CWA) have the wherewithal to outlast him.——-

    If anyone can take them on Christie can. The best of luck to him.

  11. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —–Fifty-one percent is “winning the hearts and minds?” ——————————

    Considering Chris C. is a Rep. in a blue state like NJ you`d better believe 51% is doing very well:
    …New Jersey remains a bright blue state that has only gotten bluer over the last decade. Statistics show that, in 2001, Democrats comprised 25 percent of total registered voters. Throughout the decade, that number has grown so that Democrats now make up 33 percent of registered voters. Republicans represented 19 percent of the total registered voters in 2001; today, they comprise 20 percent of the registered voters. There are 1,755,501 Democrats in New Jersey, compared to 1,074,364 Republicans.
    http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2011/03/redistricting_map_should_be_dr.html

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      So now we have finally come full circle, back to the point of my post. That is that the contemporary Republican is nothing like it used to be, as evidenced by the fact that a routinely Republican state, New Jersey, hasn’t elected very many Republicans to statewide office since 1973.

      I think the full list is:

      Tom Kean
      Christie Whitman
      Chris Christie
      Kim Guadagno

      No U.S. senators.

  12. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    —-So now we have finally come full circle, back to the point of my post. That is that the contemporary Republican is nothing like it used to be, as evidenced by the fact that a routinely Republican state, New Jersey, hasn’t elected very many Republicans to statewide office since 1973.—-

    Nevertheless this doesn`t change the fact that Chris C. IS quite popular in a blue state and if anyone can make substantial changes in the way NJ public unions are run he can.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Yes, it does change it, because it’s not a fact. Chris Christie is only marginally popular in a blue state, and mostly because the main unions overreached at a time when most of the rest of the brotherhood of workers has had to cut back. This is the formula for a flesh-in-the-pan phenomenon.

  13. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    Marginally or not he is a popular Rep. gov. and largely because of his polices which include taking on public unions.

    • hoofin · April 10, 2011

      Marginally, and inevitably he is going to screw up, and the unions are going to pound him.

  14. ken44 · April 10, 2011

    I`m sure public unions said the same thing in Wisconsin!!

  15. hoofin · April 13, 2011

    I have found, via the site Business Insider, that Chris Matthews has been expressing similar sentiments about the Republican Party this month:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-matthews-obama-god-video-2011-4

    Since this isn’t the first time that I’ve mentioned it, I consider that I beat Matthews to the punch.

    I know a woman back in Bridgewater who had been saying the same thing around 1990.

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