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Friday, January 05, 2007

100 Hours

PrePost news! Sometime yesterday, my hit counter reached 20,000! Hooray! Now on with the show.

It is all over the TV. There is a new Congress in town, and they have laid out their battle plan for the first hundred hours.

Yawn. Excuse me for not being very impressed. I mean it is great that the power is more balanced and all - but the House is only half (or less) of the story. The Senate has to pass the 100 hour agenda, and then Mr. "hey I just discovered I can veto stuff" has to not veto it.

Whatever the President vetoes is pretty much dead in the water, the new majority is not 2/3 strong. So yea, go on and pass that minimum wage hike - but unless it is tied to some other sort of tax break for those who would consider having to live on a mere $250,000 a year living in poverty it will not pass. An that stem cell thing? Think Bush will not veto that? Yea right.

The "pay as you go" agenda item will also fail. Why? Because what it says is that the government should tax enough to cover all spending. From a normal consumer point of view, this seems reasonable. After all - how do YOU plan your spending? Probably based on your income right? Well the government's income is taxes.

To spend more, then the government needs more income. If the government spends less, then some of that income source can be lost. So if the government decides it needs to increase spending for say National Parks - then they would either have to lower spending somewhere else OR ask for more income. But no deficit spending.

Of course we all know what this is targeted at. Way before I started my blog I laid out how to stop the war in Iraq in its tracks (or for that matter from even starting in the first place). Force the Republicans to pay for their war up front. That would have prevented the war from starting.
Oh yea, the war in Iraq was all important and shit. Fight them over there so we do not have to fight them here. And that bullshit.

However, what if the Republicans had to give up all their tax cuts and even RAISE TAXES to pay for the war? How important would it be then? And because the rich have more to loose should America collapse the war ought to be more important to them right? So what is another 10% or even 20% personal income tax increase?

Look at it this way. Say someone holds a gun to your head and demands your wallet. Do you give them the wallet or argue? So if you REALLY BELIEVE that the terrorist threat is that real, do you argue about how much it is going to cost you to make that threat go away or pay up and be happy to get away with your life?

So what is it? Are there any Republicans reading this? If so which do you want, a war over there so you do not have one here - or your tax cuts? Can't have both this war is costing 8 - 10 billion a month. Pick one. If you pick your tax cuts then you must also support cutting out of Iraq. If you think it is important to stay, then you must also think paying for it is important.

I think that making Bush pay for the entire war in Iraq up front in cash without borrowing any of it by RAISING taxes would have prevented troops from going into Iraq. It is not THAT important to be there that the rich should give up their tax cuts.

But as those who took economics classes know - when then government goes into debt it is not like when you or I go into debt. The government uses debt as an economic tool. Deficit spending can stimulate a stagnant economy. Stuff that is not planned can happen, prompting emergency spending. And so on. Getting rid of all deficit spending is not really possible - at best it can just be managed.

Now do not get me wrong. I wish all the best for the first 100 hours agenda. But I am not going to get too excited about it - as I expect most of it to flop.

It all supports my theory from yesterday. The Democrats will force the Republicans to block measures popular with the left and the center, but not at all popular with the Republican base. The House will be able to say "Democrats took the lead and passed all these wonderful things, but Bush vetoed it and Republicans blocked it". Or something like that.

And in 2008 they can take more Republican seats in the Senate and House - while running Hillary or Obama for President. This will probably place another Republican in the White House. And when the new President can not fix any of the Bush mess, the Democrats win even more seats in the 2010 election. Then they are set up to take it all in 2012. And then of course they will royally fuck everything up, as the party with no opposition always does.

The only thing that can screw this up is the Democrats winning the White House in 08. Then THEY will be expected to fix the mess. If they do it will be a miracle. More than likely they will not be able to fix the mess - which will set the Republicans up for huge gains in the 2010 mid term elections.

Good luck to the new Congress in the first 100 hours. A lot of what you guys have on the plate would be a good change, but I am not holding my breath. Most of it stands little chance of going anywhere.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Enhance Life said...

Hi,
Congrat on reaching 20000!

I came across your site for the first time and I am impressed. I will be back for more!

Wish you all the best for the new year.
Sham
Enhance Life

03:07  
Anonymous Elizabethbranford said...

I think that the "pay as you go" concept will never fly. But what IS catching steam in alot of places are these taxpayer bill of rights rules, like they have in Colorado I believe. To increase spending, the government has to have a referendum, same for deficit spending. They must show where new revenue is coming from-taxes, fees, whatever. I have not looked at the numbers on how this plan is working though.

Getting into the role of the deficit would be pretty lengthy here, but the thing is there is a difference between some debt and a debt hole like this. We are not just talking about typical debt, debt can even be useful, this is record breaking, unprecedented. Even the repubs GAO experts are concerned about a major depression. Why? Its not just the war. Consider that the baby boomers are all retiring. COnsider that some estimates predict 25% of current spending would be needed just to support retirees-medicare, etc. Thats a huge chunk. Then consider the interest on the debt alone is estimated to grow to over a quarter of the current spending. People dont even know who OWNS our debt. And its not britain.

So we are already in the hole, and add those kinds of numbers, plus a war? Plus our neglected infrastructure, accidents waiting to happen? A few disasters? How can we get out from under that?

The repubs will just pass it off on the next administration, like Reagan did, and they will raise taxes, and the cycle will repeat. Again and again.

Congrats on your traffic. I write in so many places I dont even look at that shit anymore, but it must feel good.

08:02  
Blogger Ed Abbey said...

The best I've been hoping for is just deadlock. But with bill signing statements like the recent one authorizing mail searches without warrants, I don't think even a deadlock in Congress would prevent Bush from doing even more damage.

08:51  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Yeah, I'm with you all the way. Congrats on the new boudoir design! I am impressed! Apparently Sr. Caiman is too... darn. You got the coveted award this year (or is it this month?)

Incidentally, you have also impressed a spammer. Now that is hard to do. :D I'm sure he's genuine in his comments.

I think you need some pictures of your cats, however. Just a thought.

As for your topic here, I'm in agreement with Ed. As we just saw, we've now lost the right to privacy with our mail, and they can tamper with it to their heart's content, according to Bush. And as YOU pointed out in my blog, the American public is apathetic as a whole and will do little to nothing in order to stop it.

14:09  
Blogger Dusty said...

The general populous might not do squat but activists will not lie down on anything the Shrub and his minions do. Thank god for the ACLU..at least they attempt to keep many of his fuckwitted attempts to circumvent our rights and freedoms front and center...not that it does any good. Its up to the Dem's to start up the hearings and supoenas..lets go gents..time is a'waisting.

17:24  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Elizabeth - the deficit Bush has run up is a concern. I have an idea who holds a lot of that debt, which causes even more concern if I am correct. What if we are in debt to China? And what if the next "war" is cold, but not blue. Green. If we are China's best customer AND they hold all our debt - and the next war is economic - what would that look like for us?

Ed - there is no reason to think that Bush will let up on his statements. And your deadlock is still possible, should Bush veto anything there is not an automatic 2/3 majority to overturn the veto.

Saur - apathy will be our downfall. Thankfully as Dusty pointed out not everyone shares in that apathy.

Dusty - the general population has no idea what they owe the activists. Someone is paying attention, and that is doing some good. The ACLU has not exactly been loosing - bringing things to the light of day is a major accomplishment. Living in Florida I learned something - roaches scatter for cover when you turn on the lights. Our government has to maintain some level of secrecy - but the WORKINGS of our government are not supposed to be hidden from us.

17:47  
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Love Thursday's post. Very good.

Well, on to today: nothing will ever change unless we get campaign finance reform. Once any of them get into office, their main goal is to get re-elected.

19:22  
Blogger Senor Caiman said...

The Lazy,

Congrats on the 20,000 hits. Very impressive.

The tax system in the US has made me more money than any investment I could have made. A Jewish CPA is the way to go.

Excellent post.

19:47  
Blogger Fuzz said...

The way the government finances things seems unreal to me. I don't understand why it hasn't already imploded.

18:29  
Anonymous Al Swearengen said...

A veto is usefull to Democrats because it forces Republicans to vote either for or against certain things that they'll be punnished for in 2008. In the house especially, you'll find that Republicans vote to override a veto based more on their poll numbers back home than the actual bill itself.

The veto can turn into a political 2x4 with a rusty nail sticking through it...

I can't wait for the 'government being allowed to bargain for lower drug prices' veto, because CoS Bolton has already said on TV that (paraphrasing) "Drugs are already cheap enough"...and the Republican who votes against an override will be hard pressed to explain away THAT one!

Florida and Arizona turning blue over the price of pills...write it down, make up a song about it, use it to help cure your insomnia (that's if your recordings of Joe Lieberman speaking on the Senate floor aren't working for you anymore...still does the trick for me)...

Let's turn this reality of the veto into a civics lesson for all those Republicans out there who still think the game hasn't changed.

Peace - Al

12:12  

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