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Democrats - The Party of No

cpwill

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:D too delicious not to post.

By offering up their joint recommendation last week for balancing the budget, the co-chairmen of Barack Obama’s fiscal commission didn’t solve our deficit problem once and for all, or clear a path through the political thickets facing would-be budget cutters. But Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson performed a valuable public service nonetheless: the reaction to their proposals demonstrated that when it comes to addressing the long-term challenges facing this country, the Democrats, too, can play the Party of No.

Last week’s media coverage sometimes made it sound as if Bowles and Simpson were taking the same amount of fire from left and right. But the reaction from Republican lawmakers and the conservative intelligentsia was muted, respectful and often favorable; the right-wing griping mostly came from single-issue activists and know-nothing television entertainers. The liberal attacks, on the other hand, came fast and furious, from pundits and leading Democratic politicians alike — starting with the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who pronounced the recommendations “simply unacceptable” almost immediately after their release.

Liberals defended this knee-jerk response on the grounds that the commissioners’ vision, ostensibly bipartisan, was actually tilted toward Republican priorities. And it’s true that Bowles and Simpson proposed more spending cuts than tax increases over all. But most of the programs and tax breaks that they suggested trimming — from farm subsidies to Defense Department bloat and the home-mortgage tax deduction — represent the American welfare state at its absolute worst. And the duo went out of their way to avoid balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. (Social Security, for instance, would be strengthened through a mix of tax increases and benefit cuts for wealthier seniors; retirees close to the poverty line would see their benefits increase.)..

it’s illuminating, and very depressing, that Democrats were so immediately outraged by a plan that reduces corporate welfare, makes Social Security more progressive, slashes the defense budget, raises the tax rate on millionaires’ summer homes — and does all of this while capping the government’s share of gross domestic product, not at some Scrooge-like minimum but at the highest level in modern American history.

Needless to say, none of the liberal lawmakers attacking the Simpson-Bowles proposals offered alternative blueprints for restoring America’s solvency. The Democratic Party has plans for many things, but a balanced budget isn’t one of them...

Liberals sometimes justify this vision by arguing that government has to permanently subsidize the middle class and affluent in order to maintain public support for any safety net at all. (Most voters won’t support a system of basic social insurance for the poor, the theory goes, unless they’re getting something out of it as well.) And they defend the ever-rising tax rates required to finance these ever-expanding entitlements by noting that America thrived economically in the wake of World War II, when income-tax rates were much higher than they are today.

The first argument ignores the lessons of liberalism’s usual teacher, Western Europe, where governments have successfully reduced spending on their pension and entitlement systems without compromising their commitment to their neediest citizens. The second argument ignores the fact that the postwar United States didn’t have any serious economic competitors (the rest of the globe having been brought to its knees by total war), whereas today, an overtaxed America would struggle to compete with China and India and Brazil.

But the deeper problem is that the entire approach treats Americans as moral midgets, incapable of providing for the elderly and indigent without being bribed with giveaways and propped up with subsidies. The alternative sketched by Bowles and Simpson last week has its weaknesses, but it has this great virtue: It treats Americans not as clients but as citizens, and not as children but as adults.
 

liblady

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:D too delicious not to post.

By offering up their joint recommendation last week for balancing the budget, the co-chairmen of Barack Obama’s fiscal commission didn’t solve our deficit problem once and for all, or clear a path through the political thickets facing would-be budget cutters. But Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson performed a valuable public service nonetheless: the reaction to their proposals demonstrated that when it comes to addressing the long-term challenges facing this country, the Democrats, too, can play the Party of No.

Last week’s media coverage sometimes made it sound as if Bowles and Simpson were taking the same amount of fire from left and right. But the reaction from Republican lawmakers and the conservative intelligentsia was muted, respectful and often favorable; the right-wing griping mostly came from single-issue activists and know-nothing television entertainers. The liberal attacks, on the other hand, came fast and furious, from pundits and leading Democratic politicians alike — starting with the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who pronounced the recommendations “simply unacceptable” almost immediately after their release.

Liberals defended this knee-jerk response on the grounds that the commissioners’ vision, ostensibly bipartisan, was actually tilted toward Republican priorities. And it’s true that Bowles and Simpson proposed more spending cuts than tax increases over all. But most of the programs and tax breaks that they suggested trimming — from farm subsidies to Defense Department bloat and the home-mortgage tax deduction — represent the American welfare state at its absolute worst. And the duo went out of their way to avoid balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. (Social Security, for instance, would be strengthened through a mix of tax increases and benefit cuts for wealthier seniors; retirees close to the poverty line would see their benefits increase.)..

it’s illuminating, and very depressing, that Democrats were so immediately outraged by a plan that reduces corporate welfare, makes Social Security more progressive, slashes the defense budget, raises the tax rate on millionaires’ summer homes — and does all of this while capping the government’s share of gross domestic product, not at some Scrooge-like minimum but at the highest level in modern American history.

Needless to say, none of the liberal lawmakers attacking the Simpson-Bowles proposals offered alternative blueprints for restoring America’s solvency. The Democratic Party has plans for many things, but a balanced budget isn’t one of them...

Liberals sometimes justify this vision by arguing that government has to permanently subsidize the middle class and affluent in order to maintain public support for any safety net at all. (Most voters won’t support a system of basic social insurance for the poor, the theory goes, unless they’re getting something out of it as well.) And they defend the ever-rising tax rates required to finance these ever-expanding entitlements by noting that America thrived economically in the wake of World War II, when income-tax rates were much higher than they are today.

The first argument ignores the lessons of liberalism’s usual teacher, Western Europe, where governments have successfully reduced spending on their pension and entitlement systems without compromising their commitment to their neediest citizens. The second argument ignores the fact that the postwar United States didn’t have any serious economic competitors (the rest of the globe having been brought to its knees by total war), whereas today, an overtaxed America would struggle to compete with China and India and Brazil.

But the deeper problem is that the entire approach treats Americans as moral midgets, incapable of providing for the elderly and indigent without being bribed with giveaways and propped up with subsidies. The alternative sketched by Bowles and Simpson last week has its weaknesses, but it has this great virtue: It treats Americans not as clients but as citizens, and not as children but as adults.

i fail to see how a home mortgage deduction represents an american welfare state. that aside, i do think it's a mistake to automatically take anything off the table. this is quite a partisan little piece, however, not unexpected from you.
 

MaggieD

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i fail to see how a home mortgage deduction represents an american welfare state. that aside, i do think it's a mistake to automatically take anything off the table. this is quite a partisan little piece, however, not unexpected from you.

LibLady, I agree with you. The home mortgage deduction is no more representative of an American welfare state than is the deduction for personal exemptions. Further, to tinker with the home mortgage deduction, when real estate is still circling the drain, is a reckless thought.
 

cpwill

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i fail to see how a home mortgage deduction represents an american welfare state. that aside, i do think it's a mistake to automatically take anything off the table. this is quite a partisan little piece, however, not unexpected from you.

:lol: yeah, i got it from that hyper-right-wing rag: the New York Times :D
 

Wiseone

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:lol: yeah, i got it from that hyper-right-wing rag: the New York Times :D

Its an op-ed piece, and if you believe its a partisan source why does it suddently make it more accurate of a story?
 

cpwill

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Its an op-ed piece, and if you believe its a partisan source why does it suddently make it more accurate of a story?

do you think that the quotes it is citing are inaccurate?
 

Wiseone

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do you think that the quotes it is citing are inaccurate?

You mean the one quote? That's singular not plural. Its also a quote of just two words, "Simply unacceptable" in reference to a deficit reduction plan issued by a committee created by Barack Obama. So its one Democrat, Nancy Polesi, telling Barack Obama, another democrat, that his committee's report is unacceptable.

No I don't doubt Nancy Pelosi said those words. However I don't believe one democrat telling another democrat they disagree with the findings of a committee they created, findings that the other democrat(Barack Obama), or his office, hasn't even issued a statement on, means the ENTIRE democratic party is now "The party of No."

In other words I'm gonna have to hear more than one Dem saying the same thing Pelosi is saying, heck it doesn't even have to be for the same reasons, before I judge political party of millions based off one member.
 
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cpwill

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You mean the one quote? That's singular not plural. Its also a quote of just two words, "Simply unacceptable" in reference to a deficit reduction plan issued by a committee created by Barack Obama. So its one Democrat, Nancy Polesi, telling Barack Obama, another democrat, that his committee's report is unacceptable.

and she wasn't alone.

but the entire Democrat Party isn't standing there yelling "no" on this issue; the 'plan' to use this to 'split' the Republican Party seems to have backfired rather beautifully :)

“The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,’” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO

it's also rather hilarious to watch ya'll try to twist away from his label.
 
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Wiseone

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and she wasn't alone.

but the entire Democrat Party isn't standing there yelling "no" on this issue; the 'plan' to use this to 'split' the Republican Party seems to have backfired rather beautifully :)

“The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,’” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO

it's also rather hilarious to watch ya'll try to twist away from his label.

So we agree.

Also I'm not aware of any plan and I don't really care, the topic is whether the Dems are now the new "Party of No." It's got nothing to do with any plan to win elections, its about how they feel about policy, bills, and laws in general. As the debt commission is not policy, its suggestions are not a bill in Congress, they aren't being pushed by the President, and of course they aren't law, I don't consider it suggestive Dems are now a party of "No" because Pelosi, and now some other guy, don't like.

Personally I haven't read much of the Commission's suggestions because frankly these kind of committee pop up all the time for hot-button issues but until their suggestions, or even their topic(in this case debt), are actually addressed by Congress in a real way they really don't matter. One can look at the 9/11 committee for example and read the entire commission report, and then look at the actual laws that "came from" its findings and see there's hardly a similarity between the two.

But what the committee says doesn't matter, because the question is are the Dems the Party of No. And I say no to that because firstly its a label which has no definite meaning, so no one actually knows exactly what it means or they just use it to mean whatever they want, so its application is almost meaningless to begin with. And secondly I don't believe in painting huge groups of people with a thing label simply because of what one, and now two, members of that group say.

Heck if one person is the 'standard' for judging a party I could call the democratic party the "Party of indecision" because Obama hasn't made an official committee on the committee's findings.

Or I could say the Democrats are the party of "tough choices" because the committee was bi-partisan to begin with and contained democrats who wrote its recommendations.

Or I could say that the Dems are indeed the Party of No, but its a good thing. After all I heard many Republicans taking pride in being called the Party of No, I believe you were one of them as well. Their pride came from the fact that they felt ,in the face of such 'insane' democratic policies, that being the Party of No was the best thing for America. See what I mean when I say the label can mean whatever you want it to.

So how is it now that the term that was for some the pride of being a Republican or conservative now being used to try and discredit the other party? Because its a meaningless political buzzword.
 

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LibLady, I agree with you. The home mortgage deduction is no more representative of an American welfare state than is the deduction for personal exemptions. Further, to tinker with the home mortgage deduction, when real estate is still circling the drain, is a reckless thought.
As I understand the mortgage idea, it will not affect most of us.
If your home mortgage is over half a million, you will lose that part of your interest deduction related to the overage. Second homes, tho, won't get the half million exemption....I suppose if you can afford to buy 2 homes on credit at once, you can afford to buy one of them without a govt subsidy. IF that second home is a rental property, mortgage interest is a deductible expense. Once your home is paid for, no worries, if you don't have a mortgage, you aren't paying interest. AND, believe it or not, you don't save money having a mortgage with tax decuctible interest. What you get back by having the deduction is only a fraction of the interest you pay. So take your pick, you pay the govt more taxes, or pay the mortgage company a lot more in interest...I prefer paying the taxes, leaves more cash in my pocket.

We have a second home, not that it was planned. We just couldn't sell our AZ home after we got the Utah home built.. So, we'll keep it until home sales are up again....hoping I live that long.:lol:
 
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