Thursday, January 23, 2014

Manufacture This!

And we're back. No really, we're going back. We're going all the way back to last October. Remember when we were approaching the brink of Armageddon?

Apparently, Congressional Republicans have either forgotten their own manufactured crisis... Or they remember, and they already want a sequel. Oh, yes. That's right. They're going there (again).

The GOP's apparent desire for another debt ceiling fight is confounding after the party forced one last fall and surrendered one day before the deadline without extracting any concessions. President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders insist they won't negotiate or give up anything to raise the debt ceiling, and Republicans raised (or suspended) the borrowing limit twice last year without extracting any policy concessions -- after initially threatening not to both times.

It's also notable because Republicans and Democrats wrapped up a $1.012 trillion spending bill last week, which passed on an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The debt limit has to be raised in order to finance that spending.

The remarks from Boehner's office and other top Republicans suggest that leaders will have a hard time persuading their members not to pick another battle, even if it is futile. The Speaker said last year on Oct. 6 that the House was "not going to pass a clean debt limit increase" because there weren't enough votes to pass one. Ten days later, he brought up a clean debt limit hike and it easily passed the House, with mostly Democratic votes. Democrats don't take GOP threats of default seriously after they've proven they aren't willing to shoot the hostage.

But wait, there's more! Not only are Republican "leaders" caving into G-O-TEA Culture Warriors' demand for another manufactured crisis, but they're also launching yet another attempt to sabotage Obamacare (aka the ACA/Affordable Care Act). This time, they're demanding the repeal of a key provision of the ACA that stabilizes the insurance market and prevents health insurance premiums from skyrocketing. Oh, and this very risk corridor provision that G-O-TEA politicians now (falsely) decry as a "bailout" was actually originated by Republicans when they proposed Medicare Part D 11 years ago!

But wait, there's even more! In case this latest anti-Obamacare political stunt isn't enough hypocrisy for you, there's also this. Remember that Ryan-Murray Budget Deal that attracted plenty of Republican votes? And remember how "Ryan-Murray 2.0" had to include earmarks in order to pass (for real, this time!) earlier this month? So now, those very same Republicans who (twice) passed a budget, then added a little "pork" to make the second passage easier, now don't want to pay for their own spending? They don't even want to pay for their own beloved/hated earmarks?

How does any of this make any sense? Here's a clue: It doesn't. Congress can't pass a new budget and order new federal investment, then deny the very mechanism needed to pay for the investment. This would be like me going to the grocery store, filling my cart with all sorts of yummy goodies, then refusing to provide my credit/debit card at checkout because "I just can't afford all this." That wouldn't make sense, and neither would Congress refusing to pay for its own damned budget.

And that's why this latest & greatest G-O-TEA manufactured crisis is destined to end like the previous ones did. And we all remember those. Why is the G-O-TEA so hell-bent on losing more elections? And is this why House Speaker John Boehner (R-Sautéed to Golden) & Rep. Joe Heck (R-Known for His Constituent Service) refused to take questions from the constituents outside Las Vegas Country Club last Friday?

No comments:

Post a Comment