What Happened to Conservative Money Management

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What Happened to Conservative Money Management

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:37 pm

The conservative management of money is imperative to run the government. It is essential to manage the money in the best interests of the people of the nation. The biggest error possible is to manage the money in the interests of the wealthy in preference to the working class. The job is to take care of the people and not those few who wield wealth and power. Reckless politics has no place in America. Yet, it is most welcome, in the Republican Party today. Conservatives are desirable but radicals are not!


Another manufactured crisis.


“Obamacare” passed both houses of Congress, was enacted by the president, signed into law by the president, certified as constitutional by the Supreme Court. But instead of going through a normal legislative process of amending a piece of legislation to delay it or change it or even repeal it, the Republicans simply say: "We are going to hold the entire government of the United States ransom unless we get our way." You can't negotiate with extortionists. Manufactured crisis is damaging to all Americans.

Today, we have many more Republican members of Congress in safe districts, so they're not worried about the voters being angry with them. This is changing, even though many of them are bankrolled by some of the richest Americans. These billionaires have the resources to support the demand to shrink the government. Consequently, America has become the most unequal society among advanced countries in the world. These very wealthy people are now free to spend as much money on political campaigns as they wish and now Corporate America largely owned by these same persons can fund candidates to whatever extent they wish, and that decision is typically in the hands of the Corporations CEO. Citizens United significantly alters the power structure of our nation by extending unprecedented rights to Corporate America to shape our government with it’s money and to further reduce the choices of candidates for American voters to embrace.


Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama and a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, has just changed his tune. He now says: “My primary focus is on minimizing risk of insolvency and bankruptcy. There are many paths you can take to get there. Socialized medicine is just one of the component parts of our debt and deficits that put us at financial risk.” Thanks to the shutdown, many Americans aren't getting paid -- but members of Congress are.

Translated: House Republicans are under intense pressure. A new Gallup poll shows the Republican Party now viewed favorably by only 28% of Americans, down from 38% in September. That’s the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question in 1992. The Democratic Party is viewed favorably by 43%, down four percentage points from last month. The Republican Party's approval rating has fallen to its lowest level in 21 years, according to the new Gallup survey. The Gallup poll of 1,028 adults, was conducted Oct. 3-6, found that Republicans were viewed favorably by just 28 percent.


The United States Treasury says that On the 17th of October 2013, it won't have enough money to pay the government's bills. We're not in this position because President Obama or the Secretary of the Treasury spent more than they were supposed to. And we're not in this position because investors refuse to buy our bonds. We're in this position for one reason, and one reason only: because Congress told the government to spend more money than we have, and now Congress is threatening to run out on the bill. This isn't about new spending. This is about paying for the bills we've already run up.

The members of the Tea Party are much more radical and extreme than they have ever been. Some of them really have contempt for the entire process of government. They're followers of people who say that we ought to shrink government down to the size that it can be drowned in a bathtub. They are serious about that. They hate government viscerally. They're not in Washington to govern; they're in Washington to tear it down. When that is accomplished then a few very wealthy people will have permanent control of our government.

It's beginning to look as if the Republican effort to hold the rest of the government hostage to achieve the destruction of the Affordable Care Act just might backfire, in a really BIG way. For starters, the effort has elicited something long missing on the part of this president , the essential toughness to take control.

Consider what happened in 2011, the last time the government came to the edge of a voluntary default.


Even the possibility that the government would not make good on its debts spooked investors and pushed up interest rates. According to experts, even talking about default cost the government $19 billion over ten years.

Consumers and businesses got spooked too. The S&P index dropped by 17 percent. $800 billion dollars in retirement assets vanished. Mortgage rates went up nearly three-quarters of a point. The result was less consumer spending, fewer business investments, lower home ownership rates, and slower job growth.

That's what happened the last time Congress came to the edge of a voluntary default. What happens if we actually default?


Some economists estimate that the rise in interest rates will cost us $75 billion a year. Social Security checks and Medicare reimbursements will be delayed. People won't be able to pay their mortgages or small business loans. Interest rates will spike, and the credit market could freeze.

If we default on our debt, we could bring on a worldwide recession – a recession that would pummel hard-working middle class people, people who lost homes and jobs and retirement savings and who are barely getting back on their feet.

I don't always see eye-to-eye with Wall Street CEOs, but on this one we agree: We can't run out on the bill and cause financial calamity for working families.

This fight is about financial responsibility. I can think of a lot of things we could do with $75 billion dollars. We could ramp up Meals on Wheels and Head Start. We could give students some relief on their loans. We could invest in more medical and scientific research. We could pay down the debt.

But if we default on our loans, we've just flushed money down the drain. That's about as irresponsible as it gets.For many things that we do in Congress, we can make a mistake, and then back up and fix it. A default on our national debt is not one of those things. If we default, this country will pay.We are the United States of America. We always pay our debts – in full and on time. That's who we are.

On 10/08/2013, eight days into the Republican government shutdown, President Obama spoke from the White House about the need for Republicans in Congress to stop threatening another recession just to sabotage “Obamacare”, stop demanding ransom just for doing their jobs, and just vote to reopen the government. He talked about the toll this shutdown is already taking on our country and the economy, and warned against the dire consequences of a default if Congress doesn’t act to prevent an economic shutdown.

Keeping the government running and paying the nation’s bills aren’t bargaining chips or a matter of negotiation – they’re a fundamental part of Congress’s job. Here’s how the President put it yesterday:

"If you're in negotiations around buying somebody's house, you don't get to say, 'Well, let's talk about the price I'm going to pay, and if you don't give the price then I'm going to burn down your house.' That's not how negotiations work.... In the same way, members of Congress -- and the House Republicans in particular -- don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs. And two of their very basic jobs are passing a budget and making sure that America is paying its bills."


The economic divide between the working class and the wealthy, has rarely been as pronounced. The typical male worker in the US was making $48,078 (€35,400) a year in 1978; now this average annual salary is down to $39,000. This is deliberate and the Republican Party has made this it’s number one objective, while at the same time the net worth of the 400 richest Americans is higher than that of 150 million Americans combined (150,000,000).

As the nation is dragged toward a debt-ceiling crisis by a band of radical Republicans determined to invalidate laws they don’t like but don’t have the power to repeal, party elders got together for a light-hearted roast of accused war criminal Dick Cheney in New York Tuesday night. Dick Cheney is largely responsible for the Iraq war.


Apparently guests shared details of the off-the-record gala, which featured humor from Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Mukasey and spoiled nepotista (and party wrecker) Liz Cheney, who wants to be the first Wyoming senator who’s actually from Virginia. There were lighthearted waterboarding jokes, and someone – reportedly Sen. Joe Lieberman — rocked the house by saying “something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” one of Smith’s sources told him.


At least a couple of people have a conscience buried under all their money, because they told Smith they thought some of the jokes were inappropriate. “There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” one said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”

But judging from the uproarious laughter reported, most attendees didn’t have a problem with it.

I found my blood boiling after reading Smith’s piece. Our tax dollars keep Cheney alive, on the best healthcare government money can buy, while his political inheritors shut down the government to stop the uninsured from getting help. Doctors keep trying, and failing, to give Cheney a working heart; instead, he seems to be kept alive by spite.

The former vice president and his neocon buddies couldn’t get together to reminisce about their war service, because they all ducked the military — Cheney most famously with five deferments during the Vietnam War (which of course he supported). In fact, that’s their hallmark: You might be a neocon if … you never met a war you didn’t like, and never met one you would fight in, either. Instead, at the roast, they mocked a man who did serve, Gen. Colin Powell.

And while right-wing nut bags rail against President Obama for running up the deficit, let’s remember it was Cheney who drove that deficit with tax cuts for his wealthy friends and two wars of choice, famously telling his minion, George W. Bush, that “Reagan showed us deficits don’t matter.”

In fact, Reagan showed Cheney something else: that a president could break the law, as in Iran-Contra, and get away with it. My friend Charlie Pierce at Esquire has long argued that our current political hostage situation goes back to the Democrats’ failure to do more to punish Iran-Contra lawbreakers. And in fact, the guy “who functioned as lookout and getaway driver for the Iran-Contra crooks,” in Pierce’s words, former Attorney General Ed Meese, is apparently still a key player in the right-wing ignore-the-law thug syndicate, helping craft the Tea Party strategy to shut down the government to abolish Obamacare. The Reagan undead are still with us.

Having backed down on Iran-Contra, let’s remember, Democrats saw their next president impeached after a sexual witch hunt. Then they saw Al Gore denied the White House by the right-leaning Supreme Court (Reagan appointee Scalia wrote the decision), after a vote recount in Miami was shut down by preppy GOP thugs in the famous “Brooks Brothers riot.” After that, Democrats compromised with Bush on tax cuts for the rich, an education reform bill that promised but didn’t deliver adequate funding. Most famously, a majority authorized the use of military force in Iraq.

When America had turned against the war, and the people who lied us into it, and Democrats took back the House of Representatives in 2006, Nancy Pelosi immediately took impeachment off the table. Likewise Barack Obama said “we need to look forward, as opposed to looking backwards,” when asked after the 2008 election whether he planned to investigate – not do anything about it, just investigate — possible criminal acts of the Bush administration. (To be fair I should note that Obama has continued many Bush-Cheney national security policies.) Taking impeachment off the table may well have been the “right” thing to do for the country, but looking back, don’t you wish Democrats occasionally put the fear of God into their Republican opponents? Because they don’t have any.

People are down on Canada lately for giving us Ted Cruz, but let’s be fair to Canada and remember Cheney doesn’t feel welcome there. Last year he had to back out of an event in Toronto because of fears it was too “dangerous” for him, the National Post reported. “He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,” said the event promoter who had booked Cheney. The year before, the former vice president wound up trapped in a fancy club in Vancouver for seven hours after allegedly violent protesters amassed outside.

Not in New York. At the Plaza, the men who mired us in endless war while giving tax breaks to themselves and their plutocrat cronies drank wine and laughed about the good times.

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/09/war_cri ... ica_burns/

Here is some o0f the evil things that the Republicans are doing that is simply not fair:
As you probably already know, the US Postal Service isn’t doing so well when it comes to money. Because the Republican Congress put restrictions on the postal service that prevents them from covering their own expenses. So first they inflict the damage on the postal Service. So now the government has decided to sell a bunch of their Post Office buildings. These commercial buildings are worth millions and millions of dollars. Supposedly they put up the services to sell these properties for bid, and low and behold a company that Diane Feinstein’s husband is a major owner of won the bid! Wow! What a coincidence!

What are the odds of that! That a Senator’s husbands company would win a bid for a national multi-million dollar government real estate contract? The odds must be a million to one. We have to question this and of course she’s saying he won the bid fair and square. How much inside influence is being concealed, these very long term congress men and women must think that we are all stupid and that we can’t see through this kind of thing. The whole thing stinks of foul play.

Most people did not know there was the opportunity to bid on the contract. People who are in the Real Estate business like Architects and Real Estate Brokers did not hear that there was a huge opportunity to score a juicy government national contract. Which brings us to another point which is actually unbelievable…. Why is one company handling it all? Why wasn’t there a public announcement for bidding on each property at a local level? We checked if there was a public listing it was extremely obscure! Well I guess we know someone got huge commissions of this. It is not possible to believe this kind of stuff happens every day and is thrown in our face. Like the old saying goes, I guess it’s who you know…

The idea of getting rich used to be a basic element of the "American Dream." Whoever succeeded in becoming a millionaire was admired rather than reviled. We used to be so proud that our country offered far more economic opportunities than the feudal system in Great Britain, with its royal family, princesses and dukes. But today, social mobility in the UK is higher than in the US. Our social rift is as big as it was in the 1920s.

This didn't happen overnight; it has been decades in the making. Why was the protest against it muted for so long? The answer to that is simply that it happened gradually and it was accomplished by largely inflation that the working class was forced to absorb while the wealthy remained immune.

Most Americans stopped looking at what was happening through a variety of coping mechanisms -- starting with women entering paid work and then everyone working longer hours and using their homes for raising equity and generating more money through debt. The typical household basically staved off the day of reckoning. There was no other choice. But all those coping mechanisms are now gone, and we have an economy where the median household has got to face the reality that wages are actually declining in real terms adjusted for inflation. The crisis is now critical. The Republican Party is largely responsible for the destruction of the middle class. It is not an accident, this is deliberate. The second reason has to do with the direct consequences of wealth in politics. The super-rich not only poured their money into politics directly but poured money into think tanks and public relations campaigns as well.

To what purpose are these institutions applied? Largely, to tell the public big lies, for example, that if you lower taxes on the wealthy and allow them to become even wealthier, the gains will trickle down to everybody else. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED!

President Kennedy said "A rising tide lifts all boats"? This is true when rewards and burdens are shared, it worked and America’s working class got bigger and stronger. Ronald Regan suggested the trickle down theory, and the idea has a nice sound to it; but it never actually happened, it is statistically invisible, rather than the promised improvement, the working class began to shrink and has been shrinking for more than thirty years. Now, we have an emergent crisis, the people are beginning to catch on to the fact that it is a big fat lie. The super-rich also insisted that income from investments should be taxed less than wages. That is why Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Warren exposed the fact that this ridiculous situation had been created. But worse than this, there were related lies largely created by the Republican Party, like the message that you have to reduce taxes on corporations and the super-rich for them to create jobs. The American people are being gamed right out of their right to drive the process of government themselves, and now saddled with the Citizens United Decision.

Elections have become a commodity.


The top earners are also responsible for the largest share of tax receipts. We typically believe that when wealthy people spend more, the whole economy benefits.

In reality this does not happen because they do not spend more. A super-rich person featured in the Robert Reich movie puts it this way: "Even the richest person sleeps on only one or two pillows." The reality is that the major job creators in any economy are the people who buy, the vast middle class and the poor; if you reduce their share of the economy and yet productivity gains continue, they simply are not going to be able to buy enough to keep the economy going at or near full employment unless you have a huge net export market. The truth is we simply do not have such a market and there is no indication that we are even trying to create one.

My suggestion is to dramatically increase taxes on the wealthy. The response typically is that this would curb demand. In the United States and Germany, that is one of the strong arguments against government plans to raise taxes on wealthy citizens. In reality however, it is a myth that higher taxes lead to less demand and slower growth. In the first three decades after World War II, in the United States the top tax rates on the wealthy were never below 70 percent. Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, it rose to 91 percent. We do not advocate taxes this high at this time, but at that time in the 1950’s, the economy grew faster in those years than it has grown after President Reagan radically lowered taxes on the wealthy. This happened in part because we heavily invested in infrastructure and education back then, which is essential to economic growth. It is essential to economic growth right now as well.

These days, the top tax rates are drastically lower but the average earners have sinking incomes and the middle class has more and more burdens. No wonder the middle class is shrinking. Why hasn't a group of fed-up Americans taken to the streets to express their outrage?

They did! . It was called the Occupy movement, but it petered out quickly, while the Tea Party is still a political factor. The Tea Party movement was bankrolled by some very wealthy people. That funding enabled it to do what the spontaneous poorly organized Occupy movement could never do. The Occupy movement had no leadership and no funding and consequently it could not develop a political strategy and build an organization. One of the goals of the right in America is to make the American public so cynical about government that they give up caring and that strategy appears to be working.

But it only works to a point. Social change occurs when the gap between the ideals that people hold and the reality that they see every day gets too large. So even though people may be cynical about government, there will soon be an upsurge of demand for change. We will see this happen very soon and it may have already begun.

Walker Architects does not believe that we can solve this huge problem alone. We do believe that the movement is taking root. We see Design Intelligence at work. The movie by Robert Reich may catalyze something that's just below the surface. If you look at the mayoral campaign of Bill de Blasio in New York, you'll see social inequality is front and center ...
We see spontaneous movement and political discourse expanding. In New York, the financial capital of the worldde Blasio is likely to win! If you look at the strikes of Wal-Mart and fast-food workers around the country, there are a lot of indications that people are fed up with where things are and want fundamental change. We recognize that Design Intelligence is at work but this is still far from meaning that these sentiments will also lead to political outcomes. Directly after the financial crisis erupted, there was an enormous amount of rage at the complex of Wall Street, corporations and Congress. Obama had a unique opportunity to exploit that but he failed to do so. Obama should have put far more conditions on the banks that received the bailouts. He should have told them: "You've got to agree to some severe regulations like resurrecting the Glass-Steagall Act" -- which separated investment from commercial banking -- "and you've got to refrain from providing big bonuses for your executives."
The problem was that the problem was not properly defined and understood by a green Whitehouse staff. His administration was and had been, too close to Wall Street. Simply said there were too many Obama administration officials who were drawn from Wall Street. Wall Street is simply not attuned to the needs of average working Americans. They simply are estranged from the working class. This is an enduring problem that infects the Republican’s and Democrat’s alike. We might assert that Wall Street is no longer the dominant industry and that the US. Silicon Valley and brands like Google, Apple and Facebook have become the backbone of the American economy.

But if we look more closely where the jobs are created and the profits flow.we discover that a hugely profitable company like Apple does not employ hundreds of thousands of people in the US, it's not even 50,000. You would think that software giant Microsoft would pay taxes on its profits in the US. But Microsoft just bought - abuse alert -. Microsoft has a huge amount of money offshore because it doesn't want to bring that money hom. It does not want to pay taxes. The stock position has to be protected and buying another company is a better way to spend that money. It is smart and a very well managed company, it protects it’s stock holders but,… that doesn't help American middle class families, and it aggravates the inequality here.

Innovation drives the future, Design Intelligence is the core capacity of progress and profit the incentive of great wealth should foster risk-taking and creativity and it is difficult to rekindle following an economic setback such as that created by the Bush administration.

Compared with how things are today, the years when Bill Clinton was president seem downright heavenly. The economy was growing; the budget was balanced. Although the economy did really well in these years, we didn't fundamentally change the trend toward wider income inequality.

One of the biggest problems in this country is that we are losing the intermediary organizations, such as strong labor unions. They were the backbone of our economic and democratic system, and now just 11 percent of our workforce is still unionized. It is imperative to expand unionism in America. Instead, we have national parties that are nothing more than fundraising devices -- and officeholders who are constantly out there trying to sell themselves.


It is always about money, why is that?

Right Now, there are about 800,000 furloughed federal employees all over the country. National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and other land management experts are at home instead of tending to trails, eliminating invasive species and protecting our wild lands from pollution. While they wait for the shutdown to end, mining, drilling and logging are going ahead.


While Republicans have made high-profile attempts to defund President Obama’s signature health care law, that’s not their only target. 50 House Republicans, led by Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, this week sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to make cuts to Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and our government re-opened. And now, Paul Ryan has published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal asking for the same thing: Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in exchange for an increase to the debt ceiling. Cutting benefits for those most in need is outrageous enough. Demanding them as a precondition for funding the government and ensuring we don’t default on our national debt obligations is both reckless and irresponsible. Our Social Security system needs to be expanded, not cut. Cost of living adjustments already struggle to keep up with the rising costs that seniors face every day. If these “Ribble Republicans” get their way, everyone who receives Social Security now, or who will receive it in the future, will see less and less in return for what they paid in over their lives. The following exposes the ideology of the GOP:

Rep. Ribble’s ideas about Social Security reads like a wish list straight out of Romney/Ryan’s play book;…. here is what he wants to do:
• Raising the retirement age (without any requirement that workers can keep their jobs until they reach that designated age. Age discrimination is already outrageous and out of control in America)
• Slashing annual cost of living adjustments through a new formula known as “Chained CPI” (Chanined CPI inflicts massive damage on those retired with medical costs by cutting them off short of the money they need.)
• Means testing for Social Security recipients (it is money they earned while they were working no conditions of this nature are reasonable.)
Cutting benefits for those most in need is outrageous enough. Demanding them as a precondition for funding the government and ensuring we don’t default on our national debt obligations is both reckless and irresponsible. Our Social Security system needs to be expanded, not cut. Cost of living adjustments already struggle to keep up with the rising costs that seniors face every day. If these “Ribble Republicans” get their way, everyone who receives Social Security now, or who will receive it in the future, will see less and less in return for what they paid in over their lives. Stop the insanity, no employer ever paid any employee more than he had to pay them, there was never in their lives the extra money for a saving account scaled to meet the post retirement burden. Leave Social Security alone, for most Americans, Social Security is imperative.


Ever since he stepped into the Rose Garden on October 1 to warn the Republicans that he simply wasn't prepared to negotiate while the government was shut down and default on the debt was threatened, we've seen a much tougher Obama. Finally we see the leadership emergent that we always knew was there, finally we see the resolve and the dynamic personality that compels compliance, finally at last president Obama wields power as the leader of the free world. The split in the Republicans, meanwhile, continues to widen, with an ever-increasing backlash among party professionals against the nihilism of Ted Cruz and company.

"I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt," says Sen.Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "We won't. We'll continue to pay our interest."

This is crazy talk. While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments after October 17 -- the day the Treasury Department says it no longer has legal authority to pay the nation's debts -- and not pay Social Security and Medicare, this would buy a few days at most.

Meanwhile, interest rates will soar, stock prices will plummet, the global economy will begin spiraling downward, and millions of Americans wouldn't receive their Social Security and Medicare.

We need to seriously consider how reckless the Republican Party has become.

John Boehner tacks back and forth between frantically trying to hold his coalition together and signaling that he'd be willing to suspend the Hastert Rule and allow pragmatic Republicans vote with Democrats to keep the government open. The reality is that the Hastert rule has no Constitutional legitimacy, it is not even a paper tiger it is vapor and the illusion of power.

Public opinion seems to be moving against the Republicans. The question is no longer whether they will continue their suicidal gambit but when they will cave and on what terms. There is no victory to be attained the law has been enacted under law. The force of law applies.

So why are Republicans talking like this? Because they want to sound as if they're willing to blow up the economy if they don't get their way. A crazy person with a bomb is much scarier than someone holding a bomb who looks and acts reasonable. Sounding crazy is part of the Republican bargaining strategy.

But the president and the Democrats must not give in. If we get to October 17 and the Republicans are still holding the nation hostage, the president has only one option: He must ignore the debt ceiling and order the Treasury to continue to pay all the nation's bills.

By threatening to shut the government unless Obama killed the Affordable Care act, they got the opposite of what they wanted. The rest of the government is closed, and “Obamacare” is open for business. The rush to get healthcare is an unprecedented success. Although there exists considerable work to be done to smooth out the rough patches, to perfect the processes, and close the gaps in the delivery chain, the Affordable care act is a smash hit with the people, and that kind of success has not been seen in the USA for twenty years.

While Republicans and movement conservatives have spent the better part of a year demonizing Obama's health reform, the more people become familiar with it, the more people will appreciate it -- leaving the Republican alarmism as naked as the emperor of the enduring fable. In that regard, the president and his strategists would do well to change one core piece of their rhetoric. In his Rose Garden remarks, the president said this:

“Now, of course, if you're one of the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, you don't need to do a thing. You're already benefiting from new benefits and protections that have been in place for some time under this law. But for the 15 percent of Americans who don't have health insurance, this opportunity is life-changing.”

In fact, that's profoundly wrong, and weakens the president's case. The statistically accurate contention that 85 percent of people will have no change in their insurance is a throwback to the early days of the health reform debate. Insurance benefits have declined since then. However focus groups suggest that people who have employer-provided insurance and like it needed to be reassured.

A lot has changed since then. Employer coverage is eroding largely driven by the Bush administration economic disaster and the long and drawn out recovery. People today who lose jobs or change jobs typically lose their insurance. COBRA protection paid entirely by the former worker is only a temporary and largely unaffordable stopgap. Healthcare is rapidly becoming a rare perk, where it was a part of the normal deal prior to 2007. Healthcare provided by employer is increasingly rare.

The fact is that the Affordable Care Act helps a lot more than 15 percent of the population. Young adults with no employer-provided insurance (and their parents) already know how valuable “Obamacare” is, for allowing people under age 26 to stay on their parents' insurance. People without jobs and at risk of losing jobs are also coming to value the Affordable Care Act. Architects are among those who will benefit.

As more and more people sign up for affordable insurance thanks to Obama Care, many Americans who have insurance (and many who are worried about losing it) will hear heart-rending firsthand stories about friends, colleagues and relatives with medical worries, who finally get insurance. That coalition is a lot more than 15 percent. It is huge!

Many of these people, incidentally, are in red states, where the percentage of the uninsured tends to be far higher than the national average. Fair access to health Care will change America. In several such states, Republican governors have broken ranks and signed their states up for the provision of the Affordable Care Act that has the Federal government finance nearly all the costs of expanded Medicaid. Wisdom is difficult to obfuscate when the votes are counted.

No wonder the Republicans are so desperate to kill “Obamacare” in utero. The more it takes effect, the more their hysteria will be proven to be a phony. By 2014, when the Republican House majority will present itself for re-election, the Affordable Care Act could be extremely popular. President Obama, increasingly, finds himself in the chips, on the way up and increasingly popular among working class Republicans. This time he holds a winning hand, and most of the chips.

He should rely on Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says the "validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned." The debt itself is clearly "authorized by law" because it's the direct result of laws authorizing the U.S. to spend and to tax. The showdown over the debt ceiling is over payment of the debt, not the legality of the debt itself. Arguably, what the Constitution requires trumps any law governing the debt-ceiling.

If Republicans disagree, let them try to impeach the president. Their polls are already dropping. The latest Washington Post-ABC poll shows 70 percent of the public disapproving of their tactics (65 percent disapproved before the shutdown), while the President's disapproval remains at 51 percent. An attempted impeachment would reveal to the public just how crazy Republicans have become.



It is not acceptable that a handful of right-wing extremists in the House have shut down the government and are now pushing for the United States, for the first time in our history, to not pay its bills -- precipitating a likely international financial crisis. It is widely believed that there now exists in the House a majority of members (virtually all Democrats and some moderate Republicans) who are prepared to vote for a clean continuing budget resolution which would immediately re-open the government. House Speaker Boehner must allow the House to have that vote.

It is also important that people understand that the real issue here is not just the desire of Republicans to defund Obamacare. At a time when the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing, these right-wing ideologues want to repeal virtually every piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years which protects the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor and the environment.

The truth is that ending Obamacare is just a small part of the right-wing extremist agenda, which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers and other very wealthy and powerful special interests. Their full agenda includes privatizing Social Security, ending Medicare as we know it, slashing Medicaid funding, eliminating the EPA and the Department of Energy and abolishing the concept of the minimum wage. Needless to say, they also want more tax breaks for the rich and large corporations. It should be clear to everyone that their long-term goal is to move this country into an oligarchic form of society in which billionaires completely control the economic and political life of this nation. Citizens United is Designed to that purpose!

So Republicans are desperately looking for a way of getting out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves — and the President has given them one. He told them that if they agree to temporarily fund the government and raise the debt ceiling without holding as ransom the Affordable Care Act or anything else, negotiations can begin on reducing the overall budget deficit.


What’s the lesson here? The radicals who tried to hijack America didn’t understand one very basic thing. While most Americans don’t like big government, Americans revere our system of government. That’s why even though a majority disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, a majority also disapprove of Republican tactics for repealing or delaying it.

This last week, the Treasury Secretary testified before the Senate Finance Committee -- I serve on this committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health. Here are the remarks I plan to deliver during the hearing:

“Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that you called this hearing to highlight a critically important topic. I also want to thank Secretary Lew for appearing before the Committee, during what I know is a very busy time.”

“I regret that we have to be here today to talk about the consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling. I am sorry that we have to even think about the consequences of inaction. Failing to raise the debt ceiling will hurt all West Virginians and all Americans. Defaulting on our debt could lead to interruptions in Social Security payments and veterans benefits. It could lead to increased interest rates when families buy a home or car. Pension funds and retirement accounts could see their values plummet. “

Earlier this week the president said that America should not have to pay a ransom in exchange for the authority to pay its bills. I agree. What's happening here in Congress is reckless behavior. The very fabric of our economy that we've worked so hard to fix after the recession is being threatened in a selfish effort to push unrelated policies and political agendas.

I cannot fathom how we reached this place, where elected men and women are willfully putting the economic security of their own constituents at serious risk. Last week, those who are blocking government funding said it was because of Obamacare. This week, that rationale has fallen apart, so they're flailing around for other excuses. We need to focus on passing a clean CR now, and in the coming week we have to focus on passing a clean debt limit increase. The CR passed by the Senate has the votes to pass, but Speaker Boehner has to allow it to come for a vote before the full body. The clean debt limit I suspect could also pass, but I fear it will be subject to the same efforts of obstruction.

It is technically true that we can't say for sure what the consequences will be if we do not raise the debt limit. But that is because we have never been foolish enough to consider default. Today, the expert predictions of nearly every leading economist dictate that failure to raise the debt ceiling will weaken the economy, hurt American jobs and retirement savings, and raise interest rates on loans and credit cards. Further, the U.S. Treasury says default could plunge our economy back into a recession as dire as the recession caused by the collapse of the financial markets in 2008. That is frightening. We all remember vividly the very personal impacts of the recession. Some people are still dealing with the economic fallout. Some may deal with it for the rest of their lives.

We heard countless stories of people who had been employed their entire lives, who lost their jobs and what they went through psychologically when they had to apply for unemployment. We all knew people in our communities who sacrificed so much of their savings just so their children could eat and have health care. We watched as people lost their lifelong homes, businesses they built from scratch, and their hard-earned retirement savings. And we heard heartbreaking stories about parents who had to tell their college students they could no longer pay for the education they dreamed of. I can't imagine anyone wanting to relive that. So I find it unconscionable that some here in Congress see no problem with taking more unnecessary risks that could again devastate our economy as a whole.

Congress has raised the debt ceiling ten times since 2001 under both Democratic and Republican Presidents. It is a routine matter for the Congress because it simply ensures the United States pays for the debts that we have already incurred under laws previously approved by the Congress. The time for great debate is when we are enacting the laws that spend taxpayer money, not after the debt comes due for the money already lawfully spent.

None of us sitting up here would advise our family, our friends, or our constituents to stop paying their debts. We know that is ludicrous advice. But today there are some Members of Congress who are so obsessed with repealing the Affordable Care Act, and crippling government and the countless services it provides to the American people, that they are pushing a dangerous misinformation campaign and making light of the implications of default. I believe that these people have no regard for our economy's health. I also believe they have no regard for the long-term economic security of their constituents. These reckless efforts, which they try to veil as attempts to curb government spending, are deeply misguided and put our country, and the global economy, in jeopardy.

We have already enacted major spending cuts. The fiscal cliff deal enacted on January 1 of this year took strong steps to reduce the deficit and restore our fiscal solvency, in part by making more than $2 trillion in budget cuts. Many of these cuts were truly hard on West Virginians. Essential services, including housing and nutrition that so many West Virginia families need, were cut back. So I do not want to hear from anyone that the sequester happened and no one got hurt. That is not true.

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats accepted budget cuts requested by House Republicans. The continuing resolution we passed, and that Speaker Boehner refuses to bring to a vote in the House, locks in these painful cuts for another year. House Republicans say they want more, but they cannot articulate what more they want.

At the beginning of this Congress, then-Treasury Secretary Geithner wrote to Congressional leadership. He shared the following quote from Ronald Reagan, with the hope that my Republican colleagues would especially take heed.

In 1987, President Reagan said, "Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings us to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket. Instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility - two things that set us apart in much of the world."

Government itself has never been popular in America except during palpable crises such as war or deep depression. The nation was founded in a revolution against an abusive government — that was what the original Tea Party was all about — and that distrust is in our genes. The Constitution reflects it. Which is why it’s hard for government to do anything very easily. (I’ve never been as frustrated as when I was secretary of labor — continuously running into the realities of separation of power, checks and balances, and the endless complications of federal, state, and local levels of authority. But frustration goes with the job.)

So one likes big government. If you’re on the left, you worry about the military-industrial-congressional complex that’s spending zillions of dollars creating new weapons of mass destruction, spying on Americans, and killing innocents abroad. And you don’t like government interfering in your sex life, telling you how and when you can have an abortion, whom you can marry. If you’re on the right, you worry about taxes and regulations stifling innovation, out-of-control bureaucrats infringing on your freedom, and government deficits as far as the eye can see.

So when Tea Party Republicans, bankrolled by a handful of billionaires, began calling the Affordable Care Act a “wholesale takeover of American health care,” many Americans were inclined to believe them. Health care is such a huge and complicated system, affecting us and our families so intimately, that our inherent distrust of government makes us instinctively wary. It’s no accident we’re still the only advanced nation not to have universal health care. FDR decided against adding it to his plan for Social Security because he didn’t want to jeopardize the rest of the program; subsequent presidents never got close, at least until Obama.

The best argument for the Affordable Care Act is that our current healthcare system is so dysfunctional — the most expensive in the world with the least healthy outcomes (highest infant mortality, shortest life spans, worst rates of chronic disease) of any advanced nation — that we had no choice but to try to fix it. Even so, it’s a typical American fix: It’s still based on private health providers and private insurers. All government does is subsidize the poor, require insurers to take in people with pre-existing health problems, and pay for it by requiring everyone to be insured.


Last edited by WalkerARCHITECTS on Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:12 am

Re: What Happened to Conservative Money Management

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:42 pm

The video Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen’s recent “parliamentary inquiry” on the floor of the House of the Representatives is making the rounds, and will likely be seen by millions by the end of the week. I include this video at the bottom of the page.

The video puts to rest any argument that the GOP wants to end the shutdown and get government working again. Perhaps they are having too much fun waving confederate flags in front of the White House. The bill, H.R. 368, forbids anyone except “the Majority Leader or his designate” from bringing a clean continuing resolution to the floor for vote.

Now it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Republicans would do this. It doesn’t outrage me that the use of backhanded, undemocratic measures are being employed by the party controlled by Tea Party loons.

What does infuriate me is the fact the seven Democrats crossed party lines to vote for a resolution that gives Eric Cantor, and only Eric Cantor the ability to bring fourth a vote a clear CR to get the government working aging…and yes, open the monuments.

And now several of the seven House Democrats that voted for HR 368, are Tweeting and saying that they want a clean CR and are supporting the discharge petition. But I’m not falling for it. These seven members willfully voted against democracy, and supported the GOP’s effort to create yet another manufactured crisis.

The seven back-stabbing, turncoat, worthless Democrats are:

Ron Barber AZ-2
John Barrow GA-12
Dan Maffei NY-24
Sean Patrick Maloney NY-18
Jim Matheson UT-4
Mike McIntyre NC-7
Collin Peterson MN-7

The video Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen’s recent “parliamentary inquiry” on the floor of the House of the Representatives is making the rounds, and will likely be seen by millions by the end of the week. I include this video at the bottom of the page.

The video puts to rest any argument that the GOP wants to end the shutdown and get government working again. Perhaps they are having too much fun waving confederate flags in front of the White House. The bill, H.R. 368, forbids anyone except “the Majority Leader or his designate” from bringing a clean continuing resolution to the floor for vote.

Now it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Republicans would do this. It doesn’t outrage me that the use of backhanded, undemocratic measures are being employed by the party controlled by Tea Party loons.

What does infuriate me is the fact the seven Democrats crossed party lines to vote for a resolution that gives Eric Cantor, and only Eric Cantor the ability to bring fourth a vote a clear CR to get the government working aging…and yes, open the monuments.

And now several of the seven House Democrats that voted for HR 368, are Tweeting and saying that they want a clean CR and are supporting the discharge petition. But I’m not falling for it. These seven members willfully voted against democracy, and supported the GOP’s effort to create yet another manufactured crisis.

The seven back-stabbing, turncoat, worthless Democrats are:

Ron Barber AZ-2
John Barrow GA-12
Dan Maffei NY-24
Sean Patrick Maloney NY-18
Jim Matheson UT-4
Mike McIntyre NC-7
Collin Peterson MN-7


The privilege motion by any member of the House has been blocked. Giving only the majority leader the right to move to open the government or a designated other. The rules are rigged to keep the government shut down!
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:12 am

Re: What Happened to Conservative Money Management

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:58 pm

More than half of Americans believe it's bad for the country that the Republican Party controls the House of Representatives, according to a new poll.

The survey of 841 adults also found that more than 60 percent of Americans think House Speaker John Boehner, the Ohio Republican, should be replaced.

"John Boehner fares just as badly as the GOP," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Sixty-three percent of all Americans think that Boehner should be replaced as speaker of the House, a view shared by roughly half of all Republicans."


The sad reality is that the Right wing has lost all credibility among the intelligentsia of this nation, Western Europe and China! What else could they do but fail?
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:12 am

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