Monday, March 28, 2011

Terrible Democratic strategy on the budget...

Think Progress reports - a "Tea Partyized" GOP win is likely in current budget "negotiations":
Unfortunately the administration backed away from its budget even before the negotiations started, and the Tea Party is calling the shots in the House. So instead of negotiation between the president’s original level and House leadership’s original level, we’re stuck negotiating between the Tea Party’s $100 billion, and the new status quo’s $50 billion. That means the likely compromise is right where the House Republican leadership always wanted it: around $74 billion.
That’s not much of a compromise if we end up with what the House Republican leadership wanted in the first place.
The full "Think Progress" analysis is HERE.  "The Tea Party is calling the shots in the House" - OMFG! But bending to the crazies seems to be working for the GOP, which is getting it's original offer as the "compromise" with weakened Democrats. This apparent failure is the fruit of the mid-term debacle, of Democratic timidity and - among the base that worked hard for Obama - of our having let the Tea Party activists take center stage at the grass-roots and in the media circus after our guy won the Presidency.      (via Ezra Klein, Wonkbook)

Update: Steve Benen has more on this at Political Animal, HERE.  Up-update: Can GOP over-reach give the Dems leverage?  Brian Beutler, HERE at TPM, has the latest on the potential for a government shutdown.

The unbearable hypocrisy of being a GOP "deficit hawk"

Exhibit A:
Sen. Richard Shelby, Republican, Alabama

At left we have Sen. Shelby expressing his concern over mounting deficits, by pointing his finger at the year before they began growing out of control - 1980. 1980 was, of course, the year the great anti-government fiscal conservative Ronald Reagan was elected President - and proceeded to initiate the Gospel of Tax Cuts, a scheme hatched by the economic elites and which got the federal  deficit ball rolling big-time. 

Thank you Senator Shelby, for reminding us of "the good old days" before the GOP's "Starve the Beast!" strategy to break government took hold.

Currently Shelby - when he's not attacking consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren or fighting regulation of the banking industry - is railing against the dangers of the deficit with public statements such as this:
“Washington must put its fiscal house in order. American taxpayers are rightly infuriated by the federal government’s disregard for the same economic principles that govern every household and business budget.”  
Aside from the nonsensical simplification that the federal government should adhere to identical budgeting principles as "every household," at least let's acknowledge that's a clearly expressed point of view.

But behind the hot air, we find "fiscal conservative" Shelby inserting the pork-barrel “Shelby provision” into the 2010 budget extension.  The "Shelby provision" forces NASA to spend $1.4 million daily on the Constellation moon program, which it already canceled and doesn’t even want:

3rd part of "Common Sense" Guide to the Great Deficit Debate at "Winning Progressive"

 Winning Progressive has the third segment of our "Common Sense" deficit primer up today.  This segment focuses on the drastic growth in income inequality over the last 30 years.  Thanks to WP for spreading the word!