Thursday, January 6, 2011

Divided Government and Common Sense

From The New York Times' "Taking Control, G.O.P. Overhauls Rules in House," you can get an idea of Republicans' insanity on spending/taxes:
... To reverse what they say is a Congressional process tilted toward spending increases, the new Republican majority in the House — over strong Democratic objections — approved rules that would require spending increases to be directly offset with cuts elsewhere. But the rules would allow future tax cuts to be enacted without offsetting spending reductions, and would permit repeal of the health care legislation, which was estimated to save the government more than $140 billion over 10 years, without any requirement that those revenue losses be made up elsewhere. ...

... Democrats criticized the changes, saying Republicans were returning to the policies that had put the government on a path to deep deficits in the first place and would open the door to “Enron-style accounting” that covered up the costs of tax cuts and their other legislative efforts.

“House Republicans are like the fellow who bellies up to the bar, asking for just one more round of tax breaks for his buddies, while declaring, ‘Put it on my tab,’ “ said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas. “But it’s really our tab. By focusing on only half the budget equation, and avoiding revenue stewardship, they reject sound fiscal leadership.”
The rules would allow tax cuts to be enacted without spending reductions! That is like having your pay cut and continuing to spend as you did when your income was higher. It leads to more debt. Did the Republicans forget to bring their "common sense" to Washington? No. They never had any.

For some insight into how difficult it is going to be for Republicans to enact their agenda, the Times' Carl Hulse wrote, "As Boehner Ascends, His Power Comes With Caveats," yesterday:
... While he will preside over a substantial and energized Republican majority, Mr. Boehner must contend with a Democratic president with whom he has little personal history and a Democratic Senate leader who is disinclined to make Mr. Boehner’s life easier and who failed to consider hundreds of bills passed by the House even when his own party ran it.

“The problem is going to be the grass-roots movement out in the countryside,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican House member and Washington lobbyist who served with Mr. Boehner in the 1990s. “They have no sense of the limits on a party that controls only one of the three seats of power. Managing that relationship is going to be difficult.”...

... Mr. Boehner’s expanded rank-and-file is populated by more than 80 newcomers — some with no elective experience — who do not seem of a mind to make the compromises that can be required when power is shared in Washington. And he sits atop a leadership team full of young and ambitious lawmakers eager to step up should Mr. Boehner falter, as did the last Republican speaker who engineered a House takeover, Newt Gingrich. ...
Will the reading of the Constitution in the House be enough for Republicans to learn about the limits of their new power? It's doubtful: they're intent on increasing the debt like they did during the Bush years. They have demonstrated an inability to learn from their own experience. How would reading anything help them?

An AP article, "PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate," finds that Republicans have alreay broken their campaign promises on spending.

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