Republicans, I have a suggestion that might make the debt ceiling negotiations go a little smoother: Pretend you’re still working under George W. Bush, and raise the debt ceiling like you did five – count ’em, five – times before. All I can say at this point is that your Cadillac health insurance plans probably cover some intensive in-patient mental health counseling.
On August 3rd, if the Republicans, devoid of anything resembling a moral center, continue to stall and posture and engage in destructive shenanigans around raising the debt ceiling, they’re going to have a lot to answer for. For starters, I wonder if Congressional Republicans’ parents and grandparents are aware that, if the debt ceiling is not raised on August 2nd, Social Security recipients might not receive their benefits on August 3rd? Oh, right, I remember now – the sociopathic Republicans and teabaggers told us (and they said it with conviction, so it must be true) that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn’t hurt anyone, it would be all grand and good and business as usual. Okay, Republicans – break the news to Grandma, but don’t forget to tell Granny that the GOP raised the debt ceiling seven times under George W., with nary a whimper from the right.
And there’s something else you need to tell Granny, Republicans, when she doesn’t get her Social Security check after August 2nd: That you won’t make a deal because you’re intent on preserving tax cuts for private jet owners and billionaires and corporate freeloaders, and even though Granny didn’t cause the crash in 2008, had nothing to do with it, Granny’s going to be paying for it, literally, because you right-wingers are having so much fun giving the rich b.j.s.
We know that Republicans like to pretend, now, that they’re fiscally conservative; and we know that Republicans like to pretend, now, that they’re outraged by all the spending; and we know Republicans like to pretend, now, that it’s a debt problem (caused solely by President Obama) and not a revenue problem. Well, when an average family goes into debt, they can solve it a few ways: They can reduce spending, or increase household income, or both. See, revenue increases can wipe out debt – it’s not rocket science. Even Bill O’Reilly says we need to raise more revenue. In fact, Congressional Democrats have already agreed to deep spending cuts, conceding way more in cuts than the Republicans are being required to concede in tax hikes for the wealthy – all the Dems want in return is to increase the tax rate for the uber-rich. No go, say Republicans: Our rich friends need more yachts and private planes, and if Granny has to go without food, well, everybody has to sacrifice in these trying
Who the hell is letting Republicans run this dialogue, and why are they being allowed to continue to lie to Americans? Their one and only interest is to make sure President Obama is a one-term President (something Mitch McConnell has confirmed more than once). Their one and only interest is to make sure that President Obama is tarred with the brush of another economic crash if the debt ceiling is not raised and the fragile economy once again plummets. Let’s be clear here: The one thing the Republicans have absolutely no interest in is improving the economy, creating jobs or making sure that average Americans don’t suffer. They couldn’t care less . . . in true Ayn Randian fashion, we, average Americans, just don’t matter.
The GOP just loves to tout itself as a party of fiscal conservatism – and yet, in 2003, “George W. Bush persuaded Congress to enact a second major tax cut, on top of the one from 2001. Also in 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and the GOP-led Congress expanded Medicare to cover prescription drugs, both of which were paid for with borrowed money.” Nary a whimper, Grandma – nary a whimper. A former comptroller general, David Walker, who campaigns actively for deficit reduction, described 2003 as “the most fiscally irresponsible year, possibly of all time.”
You’d think that the GOP would learn some lessons . . . but then again, taxaphobic Republicans have a base of idiotic teabaggers to pander to, who believe them when they say that we have a deficit problem, not a debt problem. Tax cut after tax cut after tax cut, combined with deregulation, combined with the Republicans under Bush spending like drunken sailors, caused the economy to nearly go off the cliff in 2008 – we were saved by the swift actions of President Obama.
But now – now that Republicans caused the debt crisis and economy crash, and after years of Republicans signing on for the very policies that made this economic crisis possible, they’ve suddenly seen the light. After all the instances that the debt ceiling was raised under Bush, Republicans have suddenly decided that now’s the time to try out that “fiscal conservatism” – it’ll be a first. After all the posturing about job creation, at least some of the GOP believe the solution to the debt problem is to lay off more government workers or, as House majority leader Eric Cantor proposes, make students start paying interest immediately on their student loans instead of deferring it.
To top it off, Senate Republicans are considering signing a Pledge (yes, yet another one, on top of the one that says black children during slavery were better off than black children are under this President, and on top of the anti-abortion pledge, and and anti-pornography pledge, and whatever other pledges the GOP is requiring these days) called a “Resolution of Disapproval” of President Obama’s negotiations around the debt ceiling – Mitch McConnell said that a solution to the debt problem is not possible while President Obama is in office. Mitch McConnell can purse his prissy lips all he wants, and all the Republican Congresspeople can frown all they want, but the one thing they can’t do is un-ring a bell . . . and in this case, the bell they can’t un-ring is that a flock of right-wing Congresspeople led by Obama-bashing teabaggers are hell bent on capsizing the ship that’s already sailing on a wild and wooly sea. We all know the teabagger mentality (which the House is chock full of, thanks to the mid-term elections) – it’s my way, or my other way. John Boehner may be committed to making a deal to raise the debt ceiling, but his teabagging compatriots may just thwart his attempts.
On August 3rd, folks, make sure you tell mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and the elderly lady sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons that cat food probably doesn’t taste that bad, and it’s no doubt nutritious too. And remind them that the “fiscal conservatism” of the Republicans in Congress have decided it’s better for Social Security recipients to take it up the backside, while the rich folks in America are laying back, having a smoke, after the best Republican-administered b.j. they’ve ever had.