Since the recession and financial crisis started, Republicans have consistently voted against the stability and recovery efforts, dating back to the fall of 2008, when they still controlled the White House. John McCain broke off his campaign to blow up the first bailout bill. Once President Obama was elected, Washington Republicans went into opposition. Not a single Republican in the House voted for the stimulus bill, while only three Senate Republicans (including Arlen Specter) did so. Many of the Republicans who voted against the stimulus bill then rushed out to get earmarks for their districts and states. In the fall, only a single Republican voted for the health care bill. And in late December, only one Republican senator, George Voinovich, voted to increase the debt limit, a move needed to avoid default on government debt.This is pathetic. But what's worse is the fact that roughly 1/3 of the citizens of the US "belong" to this party and 50% vote for these baboons. What is wholly insane is the recent Senate election in Massachusetts of a Republican. (OK, I recognize that the Democrats were idiots to put forward a 'total incompetent' like Martha Coakley, but voters should have gone in and spoiled their ballot in outrage over the piss poor choices the two parties had given them! And the people of Massachusetts should be getting busy trying to found a new party that takes seriously the issues that affect people's lives and the need to put forward honest and effective candidates to represent the people!)
Throughout, there's been a consistent chorus: Deficits are too high, but we must cut taxes (a move that will increase the deficit), and we must not cut Medicare spending in any way, shape, or form (a move that will increase the deficit), and we must not raise taxes (a move that would narrow the deficit). The Bush-era Medicare prescription-drug benefit funded entirely by deficit spending is fine, but a broader package to expand health insurance coverage that generates long-term fiscal savings would be disastrous. The bailouts were wrong but so are proposals to recoup bailout funds through taxes on banks.
In fact, it's virtually impossible to find an elected Republican official who can speak intelligently and accurately about budget issues.
Irresponsibility is one of the perks of being in the minority. You don't have to pass anything or govern. But there are limits. If you're for tax cuts and you're against cutting spending on Medicare and defense, you shouldn't be able to call yourself a deficit hawk. And if your reaction to the biggest financial crisis and the deepest recession since the Great Depression was to refuse to assist the rescue efforts, you shouldn't be taken seriously as a policy thinker.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Ideological Republicans
Here is a bit from an article in Slate where Daniel Gross points out the incoherent and idiotic political stand taken by the Republicans: