Next six months may redefine Washington

Maybe I’m wrong — it has certainly been known to happen — but I’m thinking that these next six months could prove to be the most interesting and consequential six months of political theater seen in Washington in a long time. In fact, in terms of melodrama and conflict, it may rival or even exceed the 1995 standoff between President Bill Clinton and the Gingrich Republicans.

The recently concluded 112th Congress resolved nothing. As rough as it seemed at times, it proved to be two years of posturing between partners who weren’t quite confident enough to push things to conclusion. Members of both parties lacked both the courage to cut a big deal and the guts to have a knock-down, drag-out fight about it.

But the 113th Congress may be different. Explosive issues that have been put off time and time again — including immigration reform and entitlement spending — can’t be postponed much longer. Partisan and personal resentments that have long simmered seem ready to come to full boil. Confrontation is in the air — between Republicans and Democrats, between the House and Senate, between Congress and the president, between red state and blue state and even within the two political parties.

For example, I’d give House Speaker John Boehner a 50/50 chance of still holding that position come July, and that may be optimistic. His departure could come in any number of ways, from an internal caucus rebellion to a voluntary resignation in frustration. That’s because the man has been handed an impossible job, trapped between his constitutional obligation as speaker to make government work, at least at some basic level, and a Republican caucus that believes it has much to gain politically and in policy by ensuring that government falters.

As events play out, you may begin to see fractures emerge within the Democratic Party as well. For years, the antics and extremism of their Republican colleagues have united Democrats and allowed them to paper over divisions within their own ranks. They haven’t had to make any hard decisions as a party, and that may change in the months ahead, particularly if President Obama reaches some kind of deal with Republicans on the budget. Because as any student of political history knows, unity has always been a rare and temporary phenomenon with Democrats.

This all sounds a bit dangerous, and it is. Conventional wisdom holds that bitter confrontation is something best avoided in politics, and that compromise and bipartisanship are better models for good governance. Most of the time, that conventional wisdom is probably correct. But I’m not sure that’s the case under current circumstances.

At its most basic, politics is a process by which theories are tested and realities are sifted from illusions. It is disciplined by failure. Politics is also a crudely Darwinian process. At some point, you win or you lose. Decisions get made and problems get solved — one way or the other — when you have clear lines of authority and power. Once those things have been established, you have the ground rules that make bipartisanship and compromise possible.

Such lines do not exist within the rambunctious House Republican caucus. They do not exist in the relationship between House Republicans and the rest of the constitutional structure in Washington, and that explains a lot about the system’s dysfunction. But given the important battles that loom, and the apparently growing hunger for confrontation in some quarters, they may become a lot more clear.

– Jay Bookman

569 comments Add your comment

TMANIA

January 7th, 2013
8:15 am

DebbieDoRight - Cons can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.

January 7th, 2013
8:17 am

But the 113th Congress may be different. Explosive issues that have been put off time and time again — including immigration reform and entitlement spending — can’t be postponed much longer. Partisan and personal resentments that have long simmered seem ready to come to full boil. Confrontation is in the air — between Republicans and Democrats, between the House and Senate, between Congress and the president, between red state and blue state and even within the two political parties.

Well, as long as none of them are armed, it’ll only be a verbal blood bath — maybe a few punches, but I’d take Harry Reid and Pelosi over any of those “rich pretty boys”; any day.

barking frog

January 7th, 2013
8:17 am

Midyear maybe mayhem.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 7th, 2013
8:18 am

Confrontation is in the air.

fedup

January 7th, 2013
8:21 am

Theatrics is the key word. These morons like to be heard and in the process many get hurt and a few on the higher are laughing all the way to the bank.

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 7th, 2013
8:22 am

Jay, I agree with your statement but I fear for the country because of the willingness of the Tea Party to destroy the very fabric of government in this nation. Based on what I’ve seen and read it looks like they think we’re back in an agrarian society and that we can just get by in this 21st century world just fine without all of the things needed to be a 21st century nation.

barking frog

January 7th, 2013
8:24 am

The President seems to be leaping into the fray with
his SecDef pick.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:26 am

Revenue and taxes have been dealt with for now. Let’s focus on spending cuts!!!

stands for decibels

January 7th, 2013
8:27 am

Jay, I get your point, but I gotta ask–why are the words “Friedman Unit” missing from this post?

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 7th, 2013
8:28 am

Peadawy – agreed!

Mike Fitzgerald

January 7th, 2013
8:29 am

It seems that nothing gets done until it absolutely has to. I fear that an increasingly detached and disenchanted citizenry leads to less impetus on the part of legislators to actually feel the heat to get something done – especially when they get reflected in the high 90 th percentile every 2 years. If something groundbreaking isn’t done on gun control, I’ll really believe the system is broken at the federal level and look to see policy worked out at the state and local levels.

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 7th, 2013
8:29 am

Peadawg – sorry for the typo.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 7th, 2013
8:30 am

Spending cuts have also been addressed.

Nothing should be off the table.

Mick

January 7th, 2013
8:30 am

One thing I am vehemently going to disagree with is listing or calling social security an entitlement, it is not. Every paycheck that I have received for close to the last fifty years has money taken out for fica – entitlement my azz, I’ve paid for it!!!

Wilbur

January 7th, 2013
8:30 am

Well let’s see. Democrats have made it clear that they see endless spending and therefore endless taxation. They have made it clear that they would really like to repeal the second amendment so that they can have a free hand in regulating firearms. They are on record as supporting endless expansions in federal power.
But Bookman would have us believe that it’s somehow the house republicans who are far out. No, my friends, its the democrats who are striving to destroy this country and remake it in some other image.
The wild card of course is the economy. We just passed a punishing tax and spending bill. Business people are nervous about the uncertainty and the anti-business rhetoric in the democrat party. Jobs are not coming back. Incomes are not growing. Profits are coming from big companies’ oversees assets. With continuing anemic growth even the dumb and the stupid might conclude that Obama’s policies are a disaster.
As Jay says, we will see.

bob

January 7th, 2013
8:30 am

You can bet one thing will no change, spending will increase, so will the deficit, so will the debt.

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 7th, 2013
8:31 am

Next six months may redefine Washington?
.
I don’t think so.
.
Since 1860, ……….Washington, and the cretins and slugs who reside there, have been aptly defined.
A blood-thirsty, violent, corrupt,immoral Gang of Thieves writ large.
.
Forward Barney Frank!

Granny Godzilla

January 7th, 2013
8:32 am

Peadawg

The Obama administration has passed 1.5 trillion in spending cuts since the BCA.

I think it’s time for the GOP to SPEAK UP as to what they want in additional cuts.

They seem completely unable to be specific.

stands for decibels

January 7th, 2013
8:32 am

They haven’t had to make any hard decisions as a party, and that may change in the months ahead, particularly if President Obama reaches some kind of deal with Republicans on the budget.

Of course, I would hope that the “hard decision” they make consists of

a) noisily and publicly telling the President where he can stick his Grand Bargain. and

b) to primary-challenge any DINOs out there who tell us we have to make poor and old folks suffer so that the plutocracy can continue to live in a manner to which they have become accustomed.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:32 am

“Spending cuts have also been addressed.

You must have some super secret version of the fiscal cliff bill that nobody else has.

Jay

January 7th, 2013
8:33 am

Mick, it’s called an entitlement because you’re entitled to it, because you’ve earned it. Your response validates the conservative crusade to turn “entitlement” into a dirty word.

It is not.

JamVet

January 7th, 2013
8:33 am

They have made it clear that they would really like to repeal the second amendment…

Ah! Such immature sophistry and baldfaced lies leave that unmistakable neocon aroma doesn’t it?

Mick

January 7th, 2013
8:34 am

wilbur

Where were you and countless others while the repub president and congress were running up the tab on the national credit card in the first decade of this new milennium? Now that the bill is due, the best you’ve got is to….blame obama? Get real…

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
8:34 am

“For example, I’d give House Speaker John Boehner a 50/50 chance of still holding that position come July, and that may be optimistic. His departure could come in any number of ways, from an internal caucus rebellion to a voluntary resignation in frustration.”

my money is on this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwGDXp24uWo

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
8:35 am

(and before people start hyperventilating, I don’t mean LITERALLY, I mean figuratively)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 7th, 2013
8:36 am

Nope Peadawg. You have not been paying attention. Here’s one tip. What did the Republicans talk about when they said, for example, that Obama cut $700+ billion from Medicare? And in 2011, $1.5 trillion in cuts.

Mick

January 7th, 2013
8:36 am

jay
Ok, so I’ve earned it, but why are they now so insistent that it needs to be cut instead of strengthened???

DebbieDoRight - Cons can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.

January 7th, 2013
8:38 am

They do not exist in the relationship between House Republicans and the rest of the constitutional structure in Washington, and that explains a lot about the system’s dysfunction. But given the important battles that loom, and the apparently growing hunger for confrontation in some quarters, they may become a lot more clear.

Republicans don’t fight fair. When the Dems were ousted out of power after the rising star of Reagan, they came together and said, “Hey’ we’ve got to change”.

Republicans on the other hand, came together and said,”AMERICA has to change.” And now they’re going about the business of remaking America into Stalin’s image.

They’re trying to suppress voters — Stalinist tactics (as well as a few more dictators).

They’re ignoring the basic tenets of the Constitution where the majority has spoken and they’re appointed leaders must speak for them — Stalinist tactics again.

They’re changing America from a democracy into a Theocracy, not because they’re all that religious, but because they’re using religion as an opiate, an appeasement for the masses. They want to screw them over and then tell them to go and pray for a better tomorrow. They’re saying, “We’re MORAL, we’re doing the will of GOD”; but GOD didn’t vote them into office. They want to recite the Bible at all state/city functions, but won’t allow the Koran or the teachings of Budda. This is also another way they are trying to do a “work around” of the Constitution. They believe in Freedom of Religion, just as long as its’ THEIR religion — no one else’s. —-This tactic is NOT Stalinist!! I’d describe it more of a George V — ish.

Mike Fitzgerald

January 7th, 2013
8:38 am

If repealing the second amendment leads to more people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly under the first then I think our democracy would be much better for the change.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:39 am

“Nope Peadawg” – Well then do you have a link to the spending cuts in the fiscal cliff deal?

I was under the impression that the cuts were just postponed for another 2 months. That, along with the debt ceiling vote should provide for some good times comes March.

Cherokee

January 7th, 2013
8:42 am

I wonder if having ‘courage’ and ‘guts’ will include the President invoking the 14th Amendment to deal with the Repub terrorist threats to ruin our economy by forcing a default on our obligations?

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 7th, 2013
8:43 am

Well, all I know is if the Boner goes we’ll see the real Trail of Tears. He’s got a bunch of House Republicans just spoiling for a fight and they wouldn’t need more than a minute to put that little rat terrier Cantor in as House Speaker. Then we’d see guvmint shutdowns and all kind of hijinks.

But stupid is as stupid does. The Republicans are just dying to cut Social Security and there’s a bunch of seniors out there stupid enough to support them on it—long as it don’t reduce their checks. There ain’t much you can see about cutting spending that don’t involve Medicare and Social Security. Trouble is, we got a whole bunch of Depression babies that hate debt and till they die off the Republicans are going to have support from them. And the same bunch are dead set against cutting anything for Defense because they’re still living in WW II. Of course younger people don’t care much about what happens because they don’t think they’ll ever grow old. All they see is what’s took out of their paycheck and the more they can take home the better for them.

Anyhow, if it moved a little quicker this fight might be good for popcorn sales. There’s a whole bunch of people that had their hind ends rubbed raw with a corn cob over this last fight and they want revenge.

Have a good Monday everybody.

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
8:47 am

Mike Fitzgerald

January 7th, 2013
8:38 am

If repealing the second amendment leads to more people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly under the first then I think our democracy would be much better for the change.

Repealing the 2nd Amendment would curtail the People’s right to free speech and assembly. If the People have no means to address a tyrannical government, then those freedoms of the First Amendment would go away quickly…along with the rest of the Bill or Rights.

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 7th, 2013
8:49 am

DebbieDoRight – Cons can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.

January 7th, 2013
.
They’re ignoring the basic tenets of the Constitution where the majority has spoken and they’re appointed leaders must speak for them — Stalinist tactics again.
.
———————————————————————————–
.
put a fork in America.
We’re done.
.
sheeesh

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

January 7th, 2013
8:50 am

Let’s focus on spending cuts!!!

Peadawg – did we not just go through spending cuts when the republicans took the house in 2010/2011 and then again when the republicans held the country hostage and wouldn’t raise the debt limit without them? Republicans talk a good game, but history is NOT on their side. We’ve HAD spending cuts already — if they want more revenue, lets shore up the tax code.

Cherokee

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

ahh the ‘tryannical government’ canard.

Let’s see how your Bushmaster works against the resources of the US Military, let alone the local police.

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

Whatever happens to America as a result of the actions of the DC Jackass Club aka Congress is the responsibility of the people who elected them. You can’t keep sending the same people to DC and expect different results.

jethro

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

As Nobama continues his quest to redistribute income and shape us into Western Europe, I say BITE ME !

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

DebbieDoRight – Cons can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.

January 7th, 2013
.
They’re ignoring the basic tenets of the Constitution where the majority has spoken and they’re appointed leaders must speak for them — Stalinist tactics again.

Well, if we were a democracy I’d say you’re right. However, at the Federal level we are a Constitutional Republic. A lot different than a democracy.

BTW….it is a Stalinist tactic to disarm the people.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

JAY,

The paragraph beginning with “At its most basic, politics is a process by which theories are tested and realities are sifted from illusions” is the most insightful and concise description of all things political you have written.

Too many illusions to satisfy fringe cash, not enough realities to work with…this is why I see nothing changing anytime soon. The deficit will remain and likely mount to $20 tril by end of term. Because the illusion that we can’t find more revenue or find reasonable cuts will remain just that until the big money is neutered in some fashion..

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
8:53 am

“put a fork in America.
We’re done.”

so, where are you going? if America is so “done”, where do you plan to set up camp?

barking frog

January 7th, 2013
8:53 am

Thomas Heyward Jr
put a fork in America.
We’re done.
……………………………………………………….
Guess it’s better to go out as # 1.

Jay

January 7th, 2013
8:53 am

“jay
Ok, so I’ve earned it, but why are they now so insistent that it needs to be cut instead of strengthened???

Their ideological predecessors have opposed such programs from the beginning. Back in the early ’60s, Reagan was condemning Medicare as socialism and New Deal opponents said the same about Social Security back in the ’30s.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:54 am

Why is everyone bringing up something from 2/3 years ago?

Obama got his tax increases in this “deal”. Now let’s see if he follows through with the cuts. Plain and simple.

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
8:55 am

Mick

January 7th, 2013
8:30 am

One thing I am vehemently going to disagree with is listing or calling social security an entitlement, it is not. Every paycheck that I have received for close to the last fifty years has money taken out for fica – entitlement my azz, I’ve paid for it!!!

I agree with your statement to a point…like you I’ve “paid” into the system….or rather, be forced to pay into the system.

However, a lot of folks are receiving SSI payments and a whole bunch of other payments who haven’t paid into the system and now believe they are entitled to the money. I think that’s where the confusion of entitlements comes from.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:55 am

“put a fork in America.
We’re done.”

Where do you live? I’ll help you pack and drive your ars to the airport.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 7th, 2013
8:55 am

At some point, you win or you lose.

That’s right. And what has just “won” in Washington?

Austerity.

Which means that — paradoxically — we have now taken a big step towards actually becoming like Greece, as has been warned.

But since austerity is a devastating failure — always, there is no disputing that — what will happen when the social tensions multiply as a result? We will see that our political system has been utterly corrupted and that its failure was determined very early on.

What about Occupy Wall St Round Two?

What shock troops and Gestapo tactics will our good Democratic mayors deploy then to keep the lid on the cauldron?

indigo

January 7th, 2013
8:56 am

It is true that members of both parties lack both courage and guts.

It’s also true there is no reason whatsover to think that will change in the future.

So, just look for more of the same until the 2014 mid-term elections.

If Republicans get trashed in those elections, maybe there will be some change.

If not, then it’s more of the same.

stands for decibels

January 7th, 2013
8:57 am

Back in the early ’60s, Reagan was condemning Medicare as socialism

He was HIRED by the AMA to condemn Medicare. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s an important distinction.

hamiltonAZ

January 7th, 2013
8:57 am

Folks in places like Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas, Arizona may require a generation twisting recession to stop the insanity of voting against their own economic and social well-being, just because they consider hot-button issues more important.
Single day gun sales records three or four times in the last two months, a “church of what’s happening now” popping up in every vacant strip mall, and wages becoming perpetually stagnant. The evangelical con game will have to be exposed in some fashion. The dialogue is anything but Christian-like. My fear is that their fear may do us in.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 7th, 2013
8:58 am

Indigo: “If Republicans get trashed in those elections, maybe there will be some change.”

If Barack Obama, along with a large part of the Democratic party, get what he wants, which is a “Grand bargain” that makes huge cuts to “entitlements”, you will see a repeat of the disgust and tumult of the 2010 mid-terms, but worse.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
8:59 am

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

Money rules so options will remain slim. I’d agree with you but putting the blame on the people, who have little to no legitimate power to change the big money game and change the fact that most incumbents don’t face competition due to big cash, really don’t have options. What are we supposed to do? Find others we like to run?

You blame the people but I blame a system that keeps new options off the table. Who wants to raise 10’s of millions to run and be publicly exposed? Ergo, we are stuck with professional career politicians who are generally already wealthy or will be at some point during tenure..

Morality?

January 7th, 2013
9:00 am

SOCIALIST social big spending programs far beyond the means to pay for them over a period of decades created the Fed debt crisis…….quit the giveaway of our future.

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 7th, 2013
9:01 am

rightwingextreme – If you think that by not having guns available to the population at large those same people would not be able to throw off a ‘tyrannical government’ then please tell that to the people who threw off theirs in the Arab Spring.

Most every other major Western democracy has gun laws in place and they regularly, in a peaceful way change their governments via elections or the people take to the streets. Why do some people think that the 2nd amendment is the only thing that protects us from the government we freely elect? Talk about paranoid.

Mike Fitzgerald

January 7th, 2013
9:01 am

Regarding the idea that guns can protect you from the government. Would you rather have a gun or a live feed on CNN if some over zealous government oppressors have your house surrounded?

TaxPayer

January 7th, 2013
9:02 am

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
9:02 am

Welcome to the Occupation

January 7th, 2013
8:58 am

I disagree. The last thing the DEMs and President Trillions want is to cut anything. They made a mockery of proposals from GOP to do such and got elected under same illusions as in 2008.

It would be nice if we started to compare BO to Clinton’s tenure instead of the low bar Bush as is always the case here. BO keeps refering to Clintons great strategies that accomplished much but BO does nothing much similar to Clinton…

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

Stevie Ray

When Charles Darwin can get a significant vote total against a sitting Rep, the people already know how to remove trash from office. I understand and somewhat agree with your statement on money, but until it’s proven that someone is paying for votes, the people are still responsible for the votes they cast.

Morality?

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

TERM LIMITS for Congress and a BALANCED budget amendment to the Constitution since the voters are gutless and refuse to get rid of the garbage ruling Hollywood East – AKA – D.C.

The other half of your brain.

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

Well, as long as none of them are armed, it’ll only be a verbal blood bath — maybe a few punches, but I’d take Harry Reid and Pelosi over any of those “rich pretty boys”; any day.

Debbie, Those two are ” ugly rich boys ” just sayin.

vinny

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

Jay – Not all citizens have paid into SS, yet they receive benefits. They are not entitled to these benefits, yet they receive them.

The government and the moochers are the one that have turned “entitlement” into a dirty word. You are so quick on the draw to blam republicans for everything.

Grow up.

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 7th, 2013
9:06 am

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
8:55 am

“put a fork in America.
We’re done.”

Where do you live? I’ll help you pack and drive your ars to the airport.
—————————————————————————————————–
.
No.
No you will not.
.
I’ll take my stand in Georgia, where my father did and his father did before him …….against you collectivist propogandized federal-father craving ars-holes.
And I…and liberty………will win.
Eventually.
.
(on second thought……please do show up and “help” me pack.)
.
lol

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
9:06 am

indigo

January 7th, 2013
8:56 am

Agreed but the changes will not be favorable to our ability to live within our means. More taxes/redistribution, no cuts in spending, so even if your dream materializes, I wouldn’t expect economic change but the contrary. DEMS got the big prize in a small ball field by redistribution more income…a pitance really…Inequality is a problem and needs addressing but such paltry tactics and lack of bold, game changers won’t do a thing..

Steve

January 7th, 2013
9:09 am

Everyone wants “spending cuts.” But where? The military? GOP says nope. Entitlement? We all paid into those, so why should we cut there and hurt the middle class when the wealthy is the wealthiest they’ve been in decades? So what DO we cut? Do we take away food from poor children? Do we let our infrastructure decay further? Do we let our country slide into 2nd world status as others build high speed trains and better schools? Do we not fix our ridiculous health care system and continue to pay money there?

The other half of your brain.

January 7th, 2013
9:09 am

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

Stevie Ray

When Charles Darwin can get a significant vote total against a sitting Rep, the people already know how to remove trash from office. I understand and somewhat agree with your statement on money, but until it’s proven that someone is paying for votes, the people are still responsible for the votes they cast.

Bro, While this is mostly true, the average person doesn’t have the money or political machine behind them to get elected.
I don’t know of one ( 1 ) Congressman or Senator who isn’t a Millionaire when they leave office.

Peadawg

January 7th, 2013
9:10 am

“TERM LIMITS for Congress”

Amen! Elections aren’t doing the trick. Enough of these 12-term life long politicians.

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 7th, 2013
9:10 am

The tree of liberty must always be watered with the blood of collectivists………otherwise whining frightened PeaDawgs will constantly come along and pee on it.
Josh Holbrook

Welcome to the Occupation

January 7th, 2013
9:10 am

Stevie Ray: ” The last thing the DEMs and President Trillions want is to cut anything. ”

So you think he’s just been bluffing? I’m extremely doubtful of that myself. But even if he is, the thing about is that when you bluff, often you have to make good on it eventually.

Morality? “SOCIALIST social big spending programs far beyond the means to pay for them over a period of decades created the Fed debt crisis…….quit the giveaway of our future.”

Since the diametrical opposite is the truth, this once again proves just how outlandishly successful the ruling elites of this system have been in completely gulling the unsuspecting masses to give away their future to let the elite gamble with. A system that has literally handed over trillions of cash to bank and financier elites to continue paying out lavish bonuses, followed now by central bank money printing that goes right into the coffers of those same institutions so the same casino-like activities can continue unabated, and when the bill comes due for all of it, who do you think is asked to pay? The people, that’s who.

Oh if ONLY a true “socialist” alternative were on the table somewhere.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
9:11 am

“SOCIALIST social big spending programs far beyond the means to pay for them over a period of decades created the Fed debt crisis”

that’s not what socialism is … but nice try.

Morality?

January 7th, 2013
9:11 am

Time for a REVOLUTION……… rid Hollywood EAST (D.C.) of the PARTY LOYALISTS in both parties ….. for to long it has been Dem Party or Repub Party comes 1st and as the Ratful Rev Rat said “G.D. America”.. It’s time to put U.S.A. LOYALISTS in office – men and women that put the fiscal future of the U.S.A. first. It’s time for a 3rd PARTY.

hamiltonAZ

January 7th, 2013
9:11 am

It’s largely the freshmen Congressmen who are trying to collapse government. Term limits has a limited place in this discussion.

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:12 am

Cherokee

January 7th, 2013
8:52 am

ahh the ‘tryannical government’ canard.

Let’s see how your Bushmaster works against the resources of the US Military, let alone the local police.

Go ask the Syrian rebels we’re sending guns to how it’s working.

Jay

January 7th, 2013
9:13 am

“Well, if we were a democracy I’d say you’re right. However, at the Federal level we are a Constitutional Republic. A lot different than a democracy.

I am so tired of this BS.

All of the following from Ronald Reagan:

“Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”

“Democracy is a process, not an end point. Americans value democracy, because it is a dynamic system that changes as a nation changes.”

““Democracy is not a fragile flower. Still, it needs cultivating. If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom and democratic ideals, we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.”

“Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive; a system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in democracy.”

There are thousands and thousands of others, yet somehow I doubt that conservatives lectured St. Ronnie each time he used the word, and used it correctly.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
9:13 am

“The tree of liberty must always be watered with the blood of collectivists…”

really?

really??

that’s all you got?

The other half of your brain.

January 7th, 2013
9:14 am

Steve, The cuts can come in the form of eliminating tons of loopholes, such as, stop paying farmers to grow nothing, don’t subsidize big oil and many other companies, quit giving taxpayer money, by the BILLIONS to other countries.
These are just a few, why does our Govt keep hurting it’s citizens and give tons of money away tp countries that hate us?

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:14 am

Jay

January 7th, 2013
8:53 am

“jay
Ok, so I’ve earned it, but why are they now so insistent that it needs to be cut instead of strengthened???

Their ideological predecessors have opposed such programs from the beginning. Back in the early ’60s, Reagan was condemning Medicare as socialism and New Deal opponents said the same about Social Security back in the ’30s.

And they were correct in identifying those programs as socialist.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
9:14 am

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
9:04 am

Yeah well I don’t see the power. The money keeps any new, fresh competition from surfacing. Plus most folks know that whomever gets elected despite good intentions, will fall into the flow of DC…they will immediately realize that they need to spend 30% of time raising money..

You will get a kick out of the graphs attached..

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/cost.php

Drudge

January 7th, 2013
9:14 am

You had it right at the beginning – address spending, that is all I really care about. Do what you will with immigration, same sex marriage – frankly I just don’t really care. But let’s not lie to ourselves, Obama doesn’t have any intention of reducing entitlement spending. That would alienate the vast majority of the Dem voter base. Forward.

guy

January 7th, 2013
9:16 am

Nazi Pelosi is already talking more tax increases and the ink is not dry on the other bill. Either cut spending or forget it. Those that don’t want spending cuts(big ones) can’t say the other side won’t compromise.That should be the number one priority of both parties.

straitroad

January 7th, 2013
9:16 am

Jay, the issue a lot of us have with “entitlements”, myself included, is that many people receive these benefits who have not earned them. Fraud is a major problem particularly with social security disability. As one who has worked in government and has seen its inherit inefficiency, there is very little reason to trust that much will be done to address the problems that exist with entitlements.

hamiltonAZ

January 7th, 2013
9:17 am

Stop fighting wars, promote emerging markets for green technology, get people back to work and bring statisticians into the social security fold. Revenue goes up, deficit goes up more slowly, eventually starts going down.

Steve

January 7th, 2013
9:17 am

@brain – agreed. Corporate welfare is a huge problem, but hey – let’s point out the few that abuse social welfare and run with that instead…because it’s not racist/bigoted or anything…

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:17 am

Jay

January 7th, 2013
9:13 am

“Well, if we were a democracy I’d say you’re right. However, at the Federal level we are a Constitutional Republic. A lot different than a democracy.

I am so tired of this BS.

And i’m tired of your ignorance of our government and how it works.

The United States of America (USA or U.S.A.), commonly called the United States (US or U.S.) and America, is a federal constitutional republic consisting of fifty states and a federal district.

Fly-On-The-Wall

January 7th, 2013
9:17 am

morality – I think your coffee is a bit strong this morning. You might try decaf.

Maximum

January 7th, 2013
9:17 am

In the Bill of Rights, what part of “well-regulated militia” is intended to to fight back against a tyrannical government? And who gets to decide when government is being tyrannical, the losers in a national election? And is a small arsenal of semi-automatic weapons really going to enable angry election losers to overthrow a government with the most powerful military in the history of humankind? The second amendment is perverted by those who imagine themselves overthrowing an elected government. Your confusion of tyranny and freedom is remarkably ironic.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

“Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive; a system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in democracy.”

Seems like the objective your Liberals fear the most. Limiting government power, constraints, keep politics separate from important things in life…if you beleive that one, why did you vote for BO?

Road Scholar

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

Granny: Taking your idea further, both the Repubs and Dems need to prioritize their cuts. I bet there is an overlap! Also included in “cuts” is the redefining of some programs. Start with your most liked and continue to $5B in cuts.

But the biggest thing we as the voters can do is agree that these elected officials have 6 months to get it done. After that we will vote them all out of office. Earn your pay…maybe an embargo on Congresspersons and Senators pay and benefits. Will they then live off their “masters” coat tails? Master=lobbyists.

Steve

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

straitroad – how much does “fraud” really cost us? It’s real, yes, but in comparison to bailing out banks, 3 trillion dollar un-necessary failed wars, and corporate welfare, I don’t see it as the first thing to tackle.

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

Jay

January 7th, 2013
9:13 am

“Well, if we were a democracy I’d say you’re right. However, at the Federal level we are a Constitutional Republic. A lot different than a democracy.

I am so tired of this BS.

btw….Churchhill referred to us as the Great Republic.

ATL Tiger

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

George Will nailed it this past Sunday saying, “The problem in the country is a consensus that is broad…which is that we should have a large, generous welfare state and not pay for it.”

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 7th, 2013
9:19 am

USinUK – not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
9:13 am

“The tree of liberty must always be watered with the blood of collectivists…”

really?

really??

that’s all you got?
——————————————————
.
That’s what Josh Holbrook got.
I only repeated his quote.
.
Me?………..unlike you violent statists,progressives, and collectivists , I practice the more civilized principle of non-aggression.
Us decent people have ALWAYS been outnumbered by the mob.
.
But decency always wins in the end.

DannyX

January 7th, 2013
9:19 am

“Obama doesn’t have any intention of reducing entitlement spending.”

One of Obama’s very first spending cut proposals was to institute a chained CPI for SS. Most of the entitlement spending goes to senior citizens, a big big part of the GOP base.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

January 7th, 2013
9:20 am

” It’s time to put U.S.A. LOYALISTS in office”

excellent! eine volk! eine reich!!!

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:20 am

Got more “BS” for you Jay!

A distinct set of definitions for the word republic evolved in the United States. In common parlance a republic is a state that does not practice direct democracy but rather has a government indirectly controlled by the people. This understanding of the term was originally developed by James Madison, and notably employed in Federalist Paper No. 10. This meaning was widely adopted early in the history of the United States, including in Noah Webster’s dictionary of 1828. It was a novel meaning to the term; representative democracy was not an idea mentioned by Machiavelli and did not exist in the classical republics.[51]

The term republic does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, but does appear in Article IV of the Constitution which “guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government.” What exactly the writers of the constitution felt this should mean is uncertain. The Supreme Court, in Luther v. Borden (1849), declared that the definition of republic was a “political question” in which it would not intervene. In two later cases, it did establish a basic definition. In United States v. Cruikshank (1875), the court ruled that the “equal rights of citizens” were inherent to the idea of a republic.

However, the term republic is not synonymous with the republican form. The republican form is defined as one in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11 S.Ct. 573, 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162, 22 L.Ed. 627. [52]

Erwin's cat

January 7th, 2013
9:20 am

…including immigration reform and entitlement spending — can’t be postponed much longer.

well one of then can’t anyway

Morality?

January 7th, 2013
9:21 am

SOCIALISTS denying they are SOCIALIST…… nothing new. Obama’s mentors are SOCIALISTS. Obama’s proposals are SOCIALIST. If you voted OBAMA you voted for a SOCIALIST. When you say the ugly rich are you including HARRY Weed, NANNY PELOSI and OBAMA – members of the evil and dreaded 2%.? These guys aren’t like you – they are all multi millionaires. Let’s start confiscating from the 1%’ers on the left first since you are so much in favor of the socialist idea of redistributing the wealth.

Steve

January 7th, 2013
9:21 am

@ATL TIger – we are hardly a welfare state unless you include how much we pay into the industrial military complex that Ike warned us about, or corporate welfare – then yes, we do have a problem.

Brosephus™

January 7th, 2013
9:21 am

Bro, While this is mostly true, the average person doesn’t have the money or political machine behind them to get elected.

With the popularity of social media outlets, that can be all the political machine necessary to win an election. I think it is within the plausible to wage an effective campaign to defeat an incumbent. The challenger has to be able to capture the anger that people have with Congress. A true grassroots group could do that. It has already been proven by the Tea Party.

Williebkind

January 7th, 2013
9:22 am

“However, a lot of folks are receiving SSI payments and a whole bunch of other payments who haven’t paid into the system and now believe they are entitled to the money. I think that’s where the confusion of entitlements comes from.”

Ditto! Now those many who have college degrees got their college paid for by the taxpayer! Some have jobs but 50% do not. The interest grows and the entitlements are demanded as if they are earned. Social security is an investment by the taxpayer for their future. Although a poor investment it is their money. SSI is a gift to many!

rightwingextreme

January 7th, 2013
9:22 am

Jay….more “BS” in today’s government lesson!

Constitutional Republic – a republic form of government where powers are limited by law or a formal constitution, and chosen by a vote amongst at least some sections of the populace.