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Beyond the brink

Mark Mardell | 19:13 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

President Obama said he wanted an answer on a budget deal by the morning. That deadline has passed. The talking goes on but the blame game is on in earnest. If there is a shutdown it will do deep damage to the image of one or both parties. The two sides can't even agree what it is they disagree about.

The Democrats are doing a better job of setting the narrative. John Boehner made a mistake allowing the president to speak for him last night and issuing a joint statement with Harry Reid. He is not doing a good job of setting the narrative.

The Republicans insist the argument is about the size of cuts. The Democrats say it is about ideology. Harry Reid's case is that the remaining issue is a Republican demand to take funds away from Planned Parenthood. Although this is a group that funds abortions he says it is illegal for federal money to go towards this. As far as I can see he is factually correct.

So Mr Reid argues the Republicans are holding up the budget because they want to attack cancer screening for women. He says if that sounds ridiculous, it is because it is ridiculous.

By contrast John Boehner, tense and strained before the microphones says it is about the size of the cuts. He says few policy issues remain. But he won't answer the question whether Planned Parenthood is one of them. He is not trying hard to set out his side of the story. I am not arguing that the Republicans don't have a case. But they are not making it with any verve or enthusiasm. Mr Boehner's lack of fighting spirit suggests that he accepts he will get the blame for a shut down.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Federal worker here...oh what a lark! Loserville here comes the GOP..

    Not that I'm happy because longish term they are correct about our US debt.

  • Comment number 2.

    I actually feel sorry for Speaker Boehner: I believe he's trying to advance the country's business -- while dealing with the collection of damned fools the GOP has given him to work with. Not exactly a win/win situation for him OR the country.

    Assuming that this isn't all just Kabuki theater staged to keep vox populi entertained (a big assumption, I'll grant you) -- it's the American voter that's responsible for this mess at the end of the day. Blaming it on either party misses the point completely, IMHO.

  • Comment number 3.

    3% of Planned Parenthood's funding goes towards abortions. Most of their funding comes from donations which donations alone cover the cost of abortions. The Majority of their funding provides preventive health screening for women mainly concerning Cancer and STDs.

    Planned Parenthood is a GOP boogeyman, they want to stab it in the eye to save this country. What they don't realize is they're fighting against the MAJORITY of Americans who believe abortion should be legal or give a rat's behind about it. I like how they tried to hold me and other Soldier's hostage by loading up a bill to guarantee military pay with a bunch of riders. Sorry I'm a grown man I don't like it when people try to use me for political gain.

    You have essentially 4 negotiating parties in this, (the extra crazy Tea party) (Conservative Republicans/Democrats) (Moderate Democrats) and (President Obama.) Any deal needs the President to sign it and Moderate Democrats who control the Senate to pass it. So Conservatives need to decide will they side with the Tea Party and pass a bill that will fail to get passed in the Senate or signed by the President shutting down Government. Or they can take the deal that is essentially 97% of what they asked for keep the Government running and fight their fight later.

  • Comment number 4.

    Curt: it's the American voter that's responsible for this mess at the end of the day.
    ---------
    Americans like myself voted for Obama because he said he would not renew tax cuts for wealthy and corporations...this would help decrease our deficit by billions and billions- over ten years, it would reduce our deficit by trillions...

    Just recently, Obama, Dems and Repubs all AGREED on one thing: to renew tax cuts for corporations and wealthy...

    This law is what made it possible for billionaire company GE to not pay a cent for taxes in 2010 whilst millions of Americans barely getting by together had to pay billions in taxpayer dollars...

    The truth is Curt, Americans vote in politicians who say they will do the right thing, then once in power, they go back on the word...

  • Comment number 5.

    Planned parenthood is an organization that can help support the young mothers and fathers, but its basically health care with specialization in that particular field...

    As for the abortion issue, that is something that will likely never be agreed upon in USA, as people feel very passionate on both sides...

    Usually, it ends in stalemate...

  • Comment number 6.

    Here is a link to the Continuing Appropriations Act, H.R. 1 and H.R. 1255. The controversial riders are at the end of H.R. 1. You decide.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 7.

    Mr. Mardell is correct--right-on once again, so to speak, based on my own investigations, that one US national party's ideological position on abortion, and that party's apparent "misinterpretation" of what one recipient of funds is doing legally (Planned Parenthood) is being used as a cover to shut down the federal government tonight here in the USA. Mr. Boehner, if he indeed is ashamed of himself, in my opinion should be deeply ashamed for acceding to that idiocy. I have been a registered Republican since the 1960's; the senior Campaign Manager for three different (successful) Republican state incumbents, a Republican election judge, etc, in three different States. I joined the party of Abraham Lincoln, for God's sake, not the party of "we-will-sell-out-to-whomever-gives-us-the-most-re -election campaign 'contributions' ." May God help us and our Country here in the States... I am just about to resign from our present Republican Party for the leadership's repeatedly betraying the most important, longest lasting principles. --- ---Larry Wick, Florida, USA.

  • Comment number 8.

    While I am always happy to see the Republicans look bad I must confess, that neither side is really doing any good in all this. They look ridiculous bickering this much about discretionary spending which makes up only a small, small fraction of the budget. I hate to admit this, but the only person I have heard of so far, who is prepared to even mention the elephant in the room, namely Entitlements and Defence, is the Republican Paul Ryan - even if I do not entirely agree with his proposals, it is at least a start!

  • Comment number 9.

    It seems my link didn't work properly, or there was some other objection to it. To describe it here, you can go to Thomas.loc.gov to see current bills in Congress. You can find the Continuing Appropriations Act by searching for H. R. 1 (and 1255). The controversial riders are at the end of H. R. 1.

  • Comment number 10.

    ltraunst (8), it is not about spending. It is about the policy riders attached to the Continuing Appropriations Act, which see.

  • Comment number 11.

    2. At 19:48pm 8th Apr 2011, Curt Carpenter wrote:
    “Assuming that this isn't all just Kabuki theater staged to keep vox populi entertained (a big assumption, I'll grant you) -- it's the American voter that's responsible for this mess at the end of the day. Blaming it on either party misses the point completely, IMHO.”

    I tend to agree with everything here. I am leaning toward the Kabuki theater designation, because both parties are in the pockets of the corporations [agribusiness, oil, insurance and pharmaceuticals-to name just the biggest].
    Which also leads me to agree that both parties are at fault, they may miss our “point” but they never miss a handout from the lobbyists.

    Let us smell the boiling pitch and hear the feathers rustling, for the good of the nation.

  • Comment number 12.

    Of course Obama and Reid look good: two Democratic leaders vs a Republican leader. At least the GOP is wanting cuts. Reid is a liar (hey, he made deals that got more business for China while getting a pittance for the US--look it up), and Obama is too conceited to look like he doesn't know what's going on. In the end, it's going to end in a showdown like the wild west, with the guns being the voters. No way to predict which way it will end.

  • Comment number 13.

    This impass is what the majority of Americans don't want. If the shutdown does occur, the majority of Americans will hardly notice. The one huge exception is the military. They will not be paid. This is the real travisty if the shut down occurs

  • Comment number 14.

    re. #10.GH1618 wrote:
    ltraunst (8), it is not about spending. It is about the policy riders attached to the Continuing Appropriations Act, which see.

    That's what I've heard too. The actual difference in money between their proposals is trivial compared to the size of the budget.

    I'm one of the lucky essential Federal workers who's expected to continue coming in and working for free while the Republicans and Democrats in Congress point their fingers at each other and act like a bunch of five year olds.

    If they were five year olds at least we could give them a time out!

  • Comment number 15.

    4. At 20:31pm 8th Apr 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    "The truth is Curt, Americans vote in politicians who say they will do the right thing, then once in power, they go back on the word..."

    It seems to me that the vast majority of politicians do the best they can to represent their constituencies "as promised" Lucy -- but it's the nature of the game that compromise will be called for and some battles will be lost. Your idea of "the right thing" and mine are bound to collide from time to time, even when we share the same representative.

    The difficulty arises when voters like us elect someone for his or her hidebound stubborn jackassedness, rather than for the belief that he or she will do the best they can for both us -and- the country.

    Or so it seems to me.

  • Comment number 16.

    baircash (13), other exceptions are everyone applying for Social Security or Medicare benefits, passports, farm loans, and so forth, and those planning to visit National Parks and Monuments.

  • Comment number 17.

    Your own bias is showing. the Republicans have the trump card they have presented a plan, the Democrats have not.

  • Comment number 18.

    Others affected may be the many federal workers who will be sent home, depending on the length of the shutdown. These are mostly just ordinary Americans doing their job. They have budgets, too, and loss of income will be difficult for many of them.

    In 1995, federal workers were paid for their furlough when the shutdown ended, but it was discretionary. This year they may not be.

    There are those, I suppose, who think that because they are federal employees they are part of the problem, so don't matter. I am not one of these.

  • Comment number 19.

    "The Democrats have not" (presented a plan). From MagicKirin at 17.

    Not true. Besides proposed amendments in the House, and opposition to certain Republican amendments, the (Democratic) Senate put up a substitute Continuing Appropriation Act (S. A. 149). The entire history of the bill can be found in Thomas for those who will take the time to look it up.

  • Comment number 20.

    MM

    "Although this is a group that funds abortions he says it is illegal for federal money to go towards this".

    If you will forgive a foreigner sticking his nose in, if something is illegal surely the right and proper way to deal with this is through law enforcement agencies and the courts. How can bringing the country to a grinding halt help?

  • Comment number 21.

    This discussion totally misses the point. Mr. Obama has the US on the fast track to bankruptcy. He is adding 1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt every year. The budget that congress passes this year needs to be no more than what was brought in through last year's tax receipts. The deficit spending needs to stop now.

  • Comment number 22.

    What a sad twist to mark 150 years of the American Civil War! Then, the Republicans went to the limit to hold the union together and to abolish slavery. Today, the GOP sits in the hands of a wealthy few is splitting the nation between those that have amassed billions and those that have a hard time meeting ends meet. And everyone knows which side they are on. It would be amusing if it were not so pathetic.

  • Comment number 23.

    20. At 22:26pm 8th Apr 2011, threnodio_II wrote:
    "How can bringing the country to a grinding halt help?"

    It will show the American voters that the TEA Party Republicans they elected have hair on their chests and are "real men:" in control, mad as hell (in the "angry" sense!) and not going to take it any more. (Except for the handful of TEA Party women, of course -- and who knows what they're up to.)

  • Comment number 24.

    20. threnodio_II:

    "If you will forgive a foreigner sticking his nose in, if something is illegal surely the right and proper way to deal with this is through law enforcement agencies and the courts. How can bringing the country to a grinding halt help?"

    Always delighted to have another perspective. That's the joy of the internet. MM's wording was a little confusing here. What he means is that although Planned Parenthood performs abortions, no part of the federal funding it receives may legally be used to pay for them. Abortions are funded from private donations. Federal money goes to health care services such as cancer screening.

  • Comment number 25.

    15. Curt Carpenter:

    I agree it's the ideologues who are making a mess and that things won't get better until we stop electing them. The problem though, is that even sensible, well-meaning politicians have never seemed to be able to bring themselves to make the really tough choices - no doubt because they fear they'd never be reelected.

  • Comment number 26.

    Another federal worker here. I agree that something needs to be done long term about the federal debt burden, but the dollar amounts and the programs they are squabbling about won't make one iota of difference to the debt burden. It's politics, pure and simple, and we're the ones who are paying for it. The only way to decrease the long-term debt burden is to either raise taxes or reduce the big entitlement programs (such as social security or medicare), or both. The current bickering is a ridiculous side show and federal workers (most of whom took the job because they valued public service over better private sector wages) will pay the price.

  • Comment number 27.

    ref #18
    GH1618 wrote:
    Others affected may be the many federal workers who will be sent home, depending on the length of the shutdown. These are mostly just ordinary Americans doing their job. They have budgets, too, and loss of income will be difficult for many of them.

    In 1995, federal workers were paid for their furlough when the shutdown ended, but it was discretionary. This year they may not be.

    ____________

    No should they when private sectors workers are furloughed they aren't paid.

    It's time to get rid of the public worker overhead.

    Starting with over paid relative on federal and local payrolls.

    No one should make more than 75 K in the public sector untill the deficit is gone

  • Comment number 28.

    A few points here:
    1. The massive debt we in the US have, was started and growing by immense proportions daily before Obama ever got into office (remember 'TARP' and Iraq?)
    2. The voters who voted all of our current politicians into office are responsible-they chose thier leaders.
    (thank goodness I didn't vote for any of them-I actually wrote in names)
    3. Trying to manage our massive debt by culling through the smallest portion of the entire amount of government spending by attacking already inadequately funded and limited social programs is a most illogical solution for a problem that is really created by dirty men with deep pockets.
    4. If things continue this way, it will not be long before the Koch bros, Big Oil, and Walmart have thier way- the US will become a third world country, and the sheeple here will just stand by and be thankful they still have thier jobs and watch it happen.

    It is not the ideals and priciples of our government that are the problem, it is the greedy, uncompromising people running it. Those founding Ideals and principles have been raped to line the pockets of those who already had enough, but wated more, because if there is one thing history has taught me, it is that for some people, too much is never enough.

  • Comment number 29.

    #26 Phil wrote:
    "The current bickering is a ridiculous side show and federal workers (most of whom took the job because they valued public service over better private sector wages) will pay the price".
    ADMIRABLE!!! Will you be willing to switch your medical to OBAMA CARE, accept layoff conditions when excess manpower to change a light bulb.... one holding the bulb, two turning the ladder and a supervisor to make sure its being done right.....is dreamed necessary. (Only in our dreams) How bout sick time, personal time and vacation time.
    Yeah, "they valued public service" but not the benefits!

  • Comment number 30.

    Fear of not being reelected. This is the malaise of politicians without exceptions.

    It is a lot more simpler, we humans complicate everything. The ego is our worst enemy.

    Until we are not conscious about it , thing are repeating again only with variations.

    Even though I believe there are subtle positive changes , we are learning not to blame "the other" , we are becoming more conscius.

  • Comment number 31.

    Well said Vivek.
    The US Christain Coalition or Conservative Republicans agenda is to ban any and all abortions, even in cases of rape. Planned Parenthood provides an excuse for the Republican party to shut down the system. It's all about power. They want a bible on every child's desk and all the money. Believe and obey or suffer.
    It's still "We the People" Right?

  • Comment number 32.

    #27.

    You could not be more ignorant. For a start, the only justified reason not to pay a furloughed worker is if the furlough is for financial reasons. Nobody is claiming (except the extreme loonies) that federal worker pay is the cause, or even a small fraction, of the federal debt problem. This is pure politics. Was there an outcry from Republicans when George W Bush started running up the federal debt to fund the Iraq War and TARP?

    I would like to see the federal government try to hire white collar workers like lawyers, doctors, and top level scientists at $75,000 per year. If your goal is to run the federal government into the ground because you think the government is too big, just say so instead of making hard-working government workers the scapegoat.

    If you want to calibrate federal worker pay with that in the private sector, be my guest. My salary would increase 30-60%. I chose a government position because I valued the stability for my family and wanted to work for the public good. Instead I get a kick in the teeth and villification from those with ulterior motives and the gullible that believe them without bothering to check the facts.

  • Comment number 33.

    Legal, Safe and Rare

    A fourteen-trillion deficit
    Is nothing at to sneer,
    But in these times of hope and change
    We think we’ve been austere.
    Another one-point-five-trillion
    And then we’ll start to pare:
    We want to keep our budget cuts
    All legal, safe and rare.

    We know the voters turned us out
    The last election day,
    And gave the House to radicals,
    Hell-bent on foul play.
    But voters took a different tack
    And did the Senate spare,
    So we just treat Republicans
    As legal, safe and rare.

    Though consequences are to flow
    Beyond the ballot box,
    In truth we don’t much give a damn
    For populi’s clear vox.
    So let those new House members
    Pass all the bills they dare;
    Their chances in the Upper House
    Are legal, safe and rare.

    And if the House’s budget cuts
    Are aimed at NPR,
    We’ll brand the cuts extremist hate;
    We’ll paint the cuts bizarre.
    And if Planned Parenthood should fall
    Into the budget snare,
    Abortion’s kept, we’ll say, by us
    As legal, safe and rare.

    Here’s hoping never comes the day
    The public starts to seek,
    The truth behind our fresh facade
    And media technique.
    For if they do we run the risk
    They may become aware:
    Few words can mask the truth as well
    As legal, safe and rare.

    thebardofmurdock.com

  • Comment number 34.

    #24 - Theowyn

    Thanks for the enlightenment - but is that not an exercise in creative accounting?

    If federal funding goes to health care services, that simply frees up donated funds for the abortion program. As a European, I am the last one to get sniffy about abortion which is generally seen here as on a par with having a tooth pulled but - if there really are moral objections, it is nothing an accountant with a laptop and some decent software could not sort out in a couple of hours.

  • Comment number 35.

    USSilentMajority:

    I was going to respond to you, but what's the point. The scapegoating is just too pathetic for words. Everybody should sacrifice to make this country great and return us to a more solvent and hopeful future, but I'm not interested in being punished and villified as a scapegoat to achieve an ends that will do nothing to further that goal. We need another great generation, not the bunch of bitter, partisan, self-interested, fingerpointing, snide reactionaries that seem to populate this once-great country today. I still have hope, but it's ebbing fast.

  • Comment number 36.

    #31 r0nan42 wrote:

    "It's still "We the People" Right?"

    Not if you're a Democrat...... It's work hard and give up the fruits of your labor for those others and a little for the kitty.

  • Comment number 37.

    re.#18. At 22:10pm 8th Apr 2011, GH1618 wrote:
    Others affected may be the many federal workers who will be sent home, depending on the length of the shutdown. These are mostly just ordinary Americans doing their job. They have budgets, too, and loss of income will be difficult for many of them.

    ---------------

    And not just them, every business that counts Federal employees among it's clientele will be affected and in some communities they make up a substantial portion of the population. The makers of private planes, luxury cars and yachts won't be affected but grocers, car dealers, banks, barbers, hardware stores, sports teams, any kid coming to the door looking to sell something for their school fund raiser, the list goes on and on. The states will be affected too because if they're furloughed long enough they'll be eligible to file for unemployment benefits like anone else who's been laid off.

  • Comment number 38.

    #35 Phil wrote:
    "We need another great generation, not the bunch of bitter, partisan, self-interested, fingerpointing, snide reactionaries that seem to populate this once-great country today. I still have hope, but it's ebbing fast."

    Funny Phil, I guess when you are on one side of the table you call it "bitter, partisan, self-interested, fingerpointing, snide reactionaries" and the other side is called what?
    I doubt if you would be able to step back and look at the "whole" debate on the budget, without your self interests getting involved. The same bitterness happened in Wisconsin, but it was the Unions who didn't want to loose out on the piece of pie.

    "Everybody should sacrifice to make this country great and return us to a more solvent and hopeful future, but I'm not interested in being punished and villified as a scapegoat to achieve an ends that will do nothing to further that goal."

    Ok...now are you willing to to switch your medical to OBAMA CARE, accept layoff conditions when excess manpower to change a light bulb.... one holding the bulb, two turning the ladder and a supervisor to make sure its being done right.....is dreamed necessary. (Only in our dreams) How bout sick time, personal time, vacation time and the other perks you where so willing to take. (cut and paste is great!!)

  • Comment number 39.

    The Republicans are liars. Theirs is a game of ideology. The cuts they want were necessary when the Republicans were in change 2000-2006. But no. Republicans let Pay-Go spending controls expire and then passed the largest Medicare spending bill for prescriptions ever. And all UNFUNDED. And lowered taxes just as they started two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now Republicans say teachers and janitors are to blame for state budget problems. Unions are the next bogeyman. Before that it was ACORN, a community service organization not affiliated with the right wing wackos, nor their churches.

    Republicans are liars, and will stop at nothing to seek their goal. And that is to dismantle America's government backed social networks like Social Security. Most likely because ignorant white conservatives can't stomach that some of their tax dollars might actually go to help a poor black woman and her children.

  • Comment number 40.

    Can't wait for the next thing Harry Reid tells us it's "really about". Soon he'll be describing gynecological procedures in fine detail. Hard for him to actually use the word, "abortion."

    A shutdown cannot be good for Obama. Even if he doesn't see it as his responsibility, a lot of Americans think he should get this problem straightened out.

  • Comment number 41.

    35. Phil:

    "... I'm not interested in being punished and villified as a scapegoat to achieve an ends that will do nothing to further that goal. "

    ***********

    Like teachers whose reputations have taken a serious hit because of their association with unpopular unions, government workers are subject to criticism because of their association with big spending democrats.

    How do you feel about shutting down the government for Planned Parenthood?

  • Comment number 42.

    #37. Scott0962 wrote:
    re.#18. At 22:10pm 8th Apr 2011, GH1618 wrote:
    Others affected may be the many federal workers who will be sent home, depending on the length of the shutdown. These are mostly just ordinary Americans doing their job. They have budgets, too, and loss of income will be difficult for many of them.

    ---------------

    And not just them, every business that counts Federal employees among it's clientele will be affected and in some communities they make up a substantial portion of the population. The makers of private planes, luxury cars and yachts won't be affected but grocers, car dealers, banks, barbers, hardware stores, sports teams, any kid coming to the door looking to sell something for their school fund raiser, the list goes on and on. The states will be affected too because if they're furloughed long enough they'll be eligible to file for unemployment benefits like anone else who's been laid off.

    Hey Scott0962... Phil says "Everybody should sacrifice to make this country great and return us to a more solvent and hopeful future"

    Those of us who no longer have jobs or funds to spend on most anything, and can only expect this to continue with this current administrations performance of spending that which we don't have, don't have anything to loose.

    Many supporters of this administration will still be able to buy from the makers of private planes, luxury cars and yachts. You may just have to rely on the airlines, car dealers and boat dealers. We already have to look to Ebay or Craigslist.

  • Comment number 43.

    #39. DThompson wrote:

    "Now Republicans say teachers and janitors are to blame for state budget problems. Unions are the next bogeyman. Before that it was ACORN, a community service organization not affiliated with the right wing wackos, nor their churches.

    Republicans are liars, and will stop at nothing to seek their goal. And that is to dismantle America's government backed social networks like Social Security. Most likely because ignorant white conservatives can't stomach that some of their tax dollars might actually go to help a poor black woman and her children."

    Hey now, lets not go racist and ill informed.

    The Obamanites would love to continue spending money thats not there and whatever is left over in Social Security!

  • Comment number 44.

    This could be all solved in no time if Obama would just take a walk to the Hill.

    (Hasn't he watched The West Wing?)

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    #46 KTubbys wrote:

    "Look at the riches of America
    To the Poverty of Africa

    Too much money spent on war and space
    When we could build a better human race

    UNITY IS POWER"
    **********************************

    Take care of ones own house first before trying to clean up someone else's.

  • Comment number 48.

    baircash wrote:

    "This impass is what the majority of Americans don't want. If the shutdown does occur, the majority of Americans will hardly notice."

    This statement from a prior post is ridiculous and is the kind of ignorance on the part of some voters that is contributing to the problem.

    Just a few examples:

    1. You are laying off close to a Million people, who won't be able to pay their bills, mortgages, etc., which will tsunami through the rest of the economy.
    2. You're shutting down 1/10 of the economy, 1/10 of the GDP
    3. The government will stop ordering supplies and materials from thousands of businesses around the country, who will feel the pain.
    4. I'm a real estate agent in CA. Since the housing meltdown, the FHA has been a huge source of residential loans, currently it supplies 33% of home purchase loans in the US. I just got an email from HUD saying that will come to a screeching halt - so a bunch of my clients are also coming to a screeching halt in the home buying process, and so is a chunk of my income, which means I won't pay you, and you won't pay someone else and perhaps "baircash" gets laid off.

    Sheesh! "If the shutdown does occur, the majority of Americans will hardly notice." An idiotic statement.

  • Comment number 49.

    "Top Democratic leader Harry Reid said both sides had agreed to $38bn (£23bn) in cuts but were unable to agree on federal funding for abortion."

    Right!! That only accounts for $1bn, what is the other $60bn going for besides Reids funding for a cowboy poems concert in Nevada. Maybe even educational funding for all senators and congressmen childrens including a free college education. Or how about funding for non-profit organizations, unions, pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc etc.
    All he wants to talk about is federal funding for abortion.

    DAAA!!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    I take back my comment that federal government spending is 10% of the US economy, it's more like 20%.

  • Comment number 51.

    What if the Government Closes & nobody notices or cared? The Dems had both houses & the Executive branch for 2yrs and they didn't have Balls enough to pass a budget, so now here we are. Do we really need this much government, all these programs,Foreign Aid, All the Military Bases (US & abroad) surely the European's, Japanese,& Koreans can defend themselves?, Planned Parenthood, NPR, Dept of Education (that sure hasn't helped improve are schools?), Dept of AG(more people work there than there are farmers), Farm Subsidies(Farmer Welfare), All the new czar's, Corporate Welfare, The 89th Airlift wing @ Andrews(the Presidents Private Airline) & on & on we go! It seems as if as soon as people get inside the Beltway they lose all touch with reality? (Maybe it's cause it's not their MONEY!) We need to have a National Referendum on Government Spending, a line by line budget review to eliminate all the B.S.

  • Comment number 52.

    Once again, must thank the BBC for providing coverage, and, when you stand back far enough and look at it, reasonably balanced coverage:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13021359


    For the uninitiated, you can start from the premise "Don't believe a word of it."

    The Conservatives have been running the largest nominal deficit in Canadian history (but, in real terms, not larger than the Mulroney deficits in the late 1980's and early 1990's) and their solution is to cut taxes ...

    Sound familiar?
    Well, it should.

    Last week they were promising to eliminate the deficit by 2015
    This week they are promising to do it by 2014.

    These people are so desperate for a majority, they'd promise anything to anyone.
    Like alcoholics trying to beg another drink.

    As for the Liberals, they're making a big fuss about the cost of buying F-35 Fighters.
    As if they're going to cancel the order, or make it less expensive ...
    That isn't going to happen either, but they're having fun pretending.


    The real issue in the election is whether we are going to have the rule of law in this country, or not, but explaining that issue to voters, at all, let alone getting them to understand why it is critically important, ...

    So instead we are going to elect a majority government that has voted in the House of Commons in favour of lying to Parliament, and in favour of withholding evidence. As far as they are concerned, they aren't accountable to Parliament. So, the Stuarts have returned to power after all these years.

    You'd think that would be a pretty difficult platform on which to campaign, but it doesn't seem to bother them - or the voters.

  • Comment number 53.

    There's that nonsense about the budget again (51). For an understanding of how the budget process works, see my post 50 in the previos thread for a link.

  • Comment number 54.

    27. At 23:18pm 8th Apr 2011, MagicKirin wrote
    RE ref #18 GH1618:

    “No one should make more than 75 K in the public sector untill the deficit is gone”

    How about no banker, Wall Streeter or CEO can have a bonus of more than $75K until everyone who lost out in their disaster has recouped, and everyone who lost a job because of it finds employment?

    34. At 23:54pm 8th Apr 2011, threnodio_II wrote:
    #24 - Theowyn

    “Thanks for the enlightenment - but is that not an exercise in creative accounting?

    If federal funding goes to health care services, that simply frees up donated funds for the abortion program.”

    Doesn’t your suggestion lead to an infinite regression? Leave the government or the pregnant poor with any money and it might allow them to get an abortion. Basically they are making any possibility of abortion [and even prophylaxis] an absolute disqualifier.

    If they get their way we will get a “Christian Taleban” government.

    41. At 01:08am 9th Apr 2011, AndreaNY wrote:

    “How do you feel about shutting down the government for Planned Parenthood?”

    I am mad about it, which is why I dislike the “Christian-Taleban” GOP. That is why I will shift to the left and support the Democrats [until a really independent of special interests party comes along]. Half a loaf being better than none, a half corrupt democrat party is preferable to a mean, wholly corrupt GOP.

  • Comment number 55.

    Here's a link to a detailed article on the subject of federal spending as 21% of GDP and what can be done about it:

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3246

    (for wonks only)

  • Comment number 56.

    #53 GH1618 wrote:
    There's that nonsense about the budget again (51). For an understanding of how the budget process works, see my post 50 in the previos thread for a link.
    *****************************************
    Hey Fed...Just another smoke screen on the topic...... Not much different than the one that Reid, Palosie and Obama are stretching.

  • Comment number 57.

    54. At 03:17am 9th Apr 2011, JMM wrote:
    “How do you feel about shutting down the government for Planned Parenthood?”

    I am mad about it, which is why I dislike the “Christian-Taleban” GOP. That is why I will shift to the left and support the Democrats [until a really independent of special interests party comes along]. Half a loaf being better than none, a half corrupt democrat party is preferable to a mean, wholly corrupt GOP.
    ********************************************

    As I said before:
    Right!! That only accounts for $1bn, what is the other $60bn going for besides Reids funding for a cowboy poems concert in Nevada. Maybe even educational funding for all senators and congressmen childrens including a free college education. Or how about funding for non-profit organizations, unions, pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc etc.
    All he wants to talk about is federal funding for abortion.

    DAAA!!!!

    “Christian-Taleban” cute phrase I try and remember it. Meanwhile try and remember "Chicken Littles" Phrase, it's a great one for the Democrats today..."The Sky is Falling", "The Sky is Falling", "The Sky is Falling", :-)

  • Comment number 58.

    My post 55 was merely a link to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which contains a wealth of information on the subject of the federal budget.

  • Comment number 59.

    GOP voters are known for being uneducated (sorry..) and ignorant but this is the most IGNORANT action in some time....Throw the Tea Partiers into the harbor:)

    Federal worker here...more news later--bout the shutdown from "us."

    Please? Pleeeease?

  • Comment number 60.

    (53) They take our hard earned money in taxes (Social Security, Medicare, Payroll, fuel, & excise) + Borrow Another 30 to 40% more & spend it like Drunken Sailors on Liberty. Sounds like their really following (50). If the Dollar is replaced as the world's reserve currency, & I think were getting close to a tipping point, this whole party in DC & America will to a sudden stop! So far China, Japan, & the rest of the world aren't willing to say the Emporia has no clothes on. If we don't control our deficit, print more money & keep inflating the dollar we're cooked. (GH1618) Question, how much more money does your household spend every year than it brings in? Neither a lender or a borrower be!

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    51. latka:

    "We need to have a National Referendum on Government Spending, a line by line budget review to eliminate all the B.S."

    ********

    Then candidate Obama: "And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."

    (First presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2008)

    Someone should have asked him what he meant by "unwisely". There's a lot of wisdom in spending for him.

  • Comment number 63.

    Can anyone site credible reports when Republicans are equally 'worried" about government spending and debt when Republicans were in charge, when GW Bush or some recent Republicans were US president?

  • Comment number 64.

    Can anyone tell me how many government shut-downs happened under Republican governments? The last one was under Democrat Bill Clinton's era, as I can recall.
    I will be interested to know a comparison on who (Dem and Rep) spent more and on what and what was the benefit for US out of those massive spending?
    Iraq war, bank and other corporate bail outs - all should feature in that comparison. is there an such comparison available now?

  • Comment number 65.

    latka (60), I agree that the National Debt problem needs to be fixed, but it has been developing since 1981. No one president or political party is to blame for it, and no one president or party can fix it. Where I disagree is that I believe that skipping the budget resolution for a year is no big deal.

    The household model does not work for a nation. Nations are not mortal in the way that people are. They are continually renewed as the population grows and the wealth increases. The national debt always goes up in absolute dollars, but in inflation-adjusted dollars, it was approximately constant from just after WWII through 1980. At the same time, the population was growing and the economy was growing. Most of those years were prosperous times.

    Here is a link to a chart which I have posted before, which illustrates when the debt got out of control: http://zfacts.com/p/55.html

  • Comment number 66.


    In the final minutes before midnight, with no budget resolution yet...

    They said, "Shut It Down!" But will any Tea Partiers compromise?

  • Comment number 67.

    For a while, I was wondering about Obama. Now I realize, the man is really good. He was sent into a fight to renovate (not innovate, please...) it after it was manhandled during eight disastrous years of quasi-dictatorship, illegal war included. Our standing in the world was at an all-time low, the economy had just crashed massively, mainly because Americans were sold really weird mortgages that they lapped up without thinking, because some snakeoil salesman was peddling them. Still, Obama was gracious enough to try to work togther. Two years and some later, he is still being gracious and the Republicans are the Brake Dancers, doing nothing but blocking all the time. Blocking,blocking, blocking. Mostly for no reason whatsoever.

    Where were the deficit conscious Republicans when Reagan's deficits were exploding? Or the Bush the Lesser's? Why are the super rich off the books when it comes to paying a fair share? Why are all programs to help families always being cut back, but programs to kill families (new weapons systems) inevitably off the cutting block?

    I just hope that the Democrats don't forget to mention this during the coming presidential campaign. It will be the dirtiest one ever. Mark my words.

  • Comment number 68.

    59. Stevenson:

    "GOP voters are known for being uneducated (sorry..) "

    ***********
    Democratic voters are known for their false sense of superiority.

  • Comment number 69.

    News flash! I just heard there will be no shutdown. The Republicans dropped their demands on the women's health items.

  • Comment number 70.

    #59. Stevenson wrote:
    "GOP voters are known for being uneducated (sorry..) and ignorant but this is the most IGNORANT action in some time....Throw the Tea Partiers into the harbor:)

    Federal worker here...more news later--bout the shutdown from "us."

    Please? Pleeeease?"

    ****************************************

    The Tea Partiers can be an unruly lot. I went to one of their rallys and the repetition kind of got to me, so I went out and had a cigarette in the parking lot....ok more than one. But this rally was not much different then what I've seen with Democratic & Republican rallys, a lot of sheep and followers. However that aside, the message which I already knew was "BIG" government is going to ruin this country. Big government means "BIG" spending for subsidizing more Federal government jobs, which don't generate revenue. Unless of course you want to count fines imposed on individuals and companies. Then the lawyers will at least have an income, eventually the money runs out


  • Comment number 71.

    So the government stays open. The best thing to come from this may be a more sober approach from the US public when it comes not only to needed spending curbs, but also needed tax revenue from the unprecedentedly wealthiest among us. As this scenario of 'government shutdown' is likely to be played out repeatedly in the months- if not years- to come, the appeal and influence of media shills for the interests of great wealth may come to be seen by their middling audience as buffoonish practitioners of deceit and, hopefully, will hold less sway over the direction of our nation's voting patterns and public debate.

  • Comment number 72.

    Just a fact about the GOP holding up the budget about planned parenthood, which by the way why does it need fed money if it recives so much in donations, also if 3% of of the budget is for abortions then why doesnt planned parenthood just offer not to recive the 3%. Fact is the majortiy of planned parent hood is just like all left groups they rely on the fed for money because their support base is too small and stingy to donate enough. And as a tea partier quit blaming the tea party for doing what we were elected to to unlike obama we are doing what our voters asked us to do how about get the president to do what his voters asked him to do for once. ON the abortion issue many democrats are also holding up the budget to make sure the fed doesnt pay for abortions like they promised their voters! quite blaming parties fact is it is RIGHT VS LEFT AND AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN THEIR CAN BE NO COMPROMISE!!! the left belives in what they belive in Socialism, unfortunaly the vast majority of americans are anti-socialist on the federal level! ONce again to give a better understanding of why the budget is not that big of a deal is to remember that the US is a Fedaration of 50 small nations, our states will keep going on. the main people affected are of course govt employees about 1or 2% of the work force, and special intrest groups, people at the trough so to speak, unlike in the the UK when a lot larger group is working directly and indirectly for the central goverment. as for the military by law the military in the us will get paid 1st, and this fed law goes back to the early 1800s, so no worry there, and its not just about planned parenthood it is about a host of special intrest who are screming right and left to get some free money for doing work that dosent need to be done both on the right and left if one gets the chance check the US govt website and look at all the junk in the budget that both sides want and want to get rid of the congress is require by the constutition to pass a budget they will and it will be full of pork like always!

  • Comment number 73.

    Why is it when you hear the left speak it is always to call some one ignorent or stupid because they disagree with you, this is in reponse to USSilentMajority comment, fact is the democrats and the left always claim that they represent the undereducated and so called majority, if so how can the republicans be uneducated and ignortant, and the tea party unruly, the democrats guy your bigotry is showing, please check it, the democratic voter on average is a minority or upper class rich and white. The republicans since 1954 have been from the middle class and upper working class, that make the majortiy of repubs better educated school wise at least thats what the left keeps saying all the time. No the tea party doesnt like Elitist or radical millionares kids who have too much money not enough work and too much time on their hands, and as for unruly good hevens do you remember the 1970s and 60s it was the democrats on the street rioting not the repubs! they had to go to work! under educated indeed if so then why is the left needing all the social programs for us tea partiers? no for democratic voters, your the ones who want planned parenthood. With respect less venom and more facts or you want have a chance in 2012!

  • Comment number 74.

    to jay regarding 64, yes during the Regan term was one of the first of the budget shutdowns, Regan wouldnt approve it and threaten a veto and the democratic congress lacked the two thirds for a override, because of the democrats who were right wing, they didnt want a lot of social programs so encourged Regan to threaten a veto and yes liberal Repubs like JOhn mcain supported liberal democrats. The problem today is what GEorge Washington always warned about, was people voting on party lines only which is what the democrats have started to do, gone are the days of Sam Nunn from georgia a Democrat against liberals, the democratic party has lost it way in the 90s and has become the party of minoritys instead of the majority, but it still acts as if it speaks for the majority and fact is it dosent, it is the party of the ultra rich and the elite and is in no way progressive (which is a term made by the news for the republicans who supported T. Roosevelt which were liberal and socialist for the time)

  • Comment number 75.

    Deadlock in the panic room when the sign outside reads open for business as usual.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm very glad to see that common-sense has prevailed. Our British news warns however of endless inter-party - that is , inter-chamber - feuding over the months ahead.

    Is this really the best way to run a super-power?

  • Comment number 77.

    Ad, (#76. At 10:29am 9th Apr 2011)

    ”... Our British news warns however of endless inter-party - that is , inter-chamber - feuding over the months ahead.
    Is this really the best way to run a super-power?

    Permit me to refer here to MP Churchill's well known comment from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

  • Comment number 78.

    #76. Ad. You are right, it is not the best way to run a super-power. If you can think of a better way, please let us all know. Democracy, or the form of government we call democracy has been developing for 1500 years and more starting in England on the basis of even earlier history. And that form, we in the western world, or more specifically the Anglo-Saxon part of the western world, continue to develop. It could be said with some justice, that it happens like evolution, more or less by accident, not by some form of intelligent design, but if you can come up with one, intelligent design that is, please do so Ad.

  • Comment number 79.

    GH1618, (#58. At 03:31am 9th Apr 2011)

    My post 55 was merely a link to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which contains a wealth of information on the subject of the federal budget.
    The Mods move in mysterious ways ...

    Don't take it personally, Sooner or later, it happens to all active posters.

  • Comment number 80.

    GH1618, (#69. At 04:28am 9th Apr 2011)

    ”News flash! I just heard there will be no shutdown. The Republicans dropped their demands on the women's health items.”
    The form of your post implies that was the ONLY hold up. Is that what you really mean, or was that one of many? I suspect the latter.

  • Comment number 81.

    78. TeaPartyBrit:

    Watching democrats resist spending cuts so mightily, I have new appreciation for the Tea Party.

    Its members have been called "extremist", "nasty" and "radical", but now I realize that's just how democrats view anyone who tries to prevent them from spending.

  • Comment number 82.

    48. At 02:02am 9th Apr 2011, JayHub wrote:

    Just a few examples:

    1. You are laying off close to a Million people, who won't be able to pay their bills, mortgages, etc., which will tsunami through the rest of the economy.
    2. You're shutting down 1/10 of the economy, 1/10 of the GDP
    3. The government will stop ordering supplies and materials from thousands of businesses around the country, who will feel the pain.
    4. I'm a real estate agent in CA. Since the housing meltdown, the FHA has been a huge source of residential loans, currently it supplies 33% of home purchase loans in the US. I just got an email from HUD saying that will come to a screeching halt - so a bunch of my clients are also coming to a screeching halt in the home buying process, and so is a chunk of my income, which means I won't pay you, and you won't pay someone else and perhaps "baircash" gets laid off.

    Sheesh! "If the shutdown does occur, the majority of Americans will hardly notice." An idiotic statement.
    =====================================
    1) you are not laying anyone off - they are at worst not getting paid for a couple of days, something those of us in the private sector and many state employees have to go through on a regular basis. Boo hoo.
    2) No, you are not "shutting down 1/10th of the economy" - name one thing that will not get bought or sold after this is all done. The government will still spend the money before the year is fiscal year is our. In fact, all the employees will get their "missing" money back, and probably more, because they will have to work and get paid overtime for catching up.
    3) Like I said - WHAT WILL NOT GET ORDERED AND MANUFACTURED? Are you telling me that if the GOVERNMENT shuts down for a day YOU WILL NEVER BE PAID AGAIN?!?!?!?!? Yeah, right,
    4) Oh, so you are one of those people who sucked up to Fannie and Freddie that caused this meltdown in the first place? How many homes did you sell with 0% down? How many did you sell to people assuming they would spend 40% or 50% of their income on the mortgage?

    This is more of an annoyance - the budget really needs to get gutted.

  • Comment number 83.

    69. At 04:28am 9th Apr 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    News flash! I just heard there will be no shutdown. The Republicans dropped their demands on the women's health items.

    ----------

    Somebody (or maybe bodies) on the Republican side with some sanity must have threatened to break ranks. There is a limit.

  • Comment number 84.

    Interestedforeigner, (#83. At 13:32pm 9th Apr 2011)

    ... Somebody (or maybe bodies) on the Republican side with some sanity must have threatened to break ranks. There is a limit.”
    Correction: President Obama disagrees with you. “... Both sides had to give ground on important issues ...”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13022663

  • Comment number 85.

    escapedfromny, (#82. At 13:26pm 9th Apr 2011)

    ”... This is more of an annoyance - the budget really needs to get gutted.”
    I think “gutted,” which to me suggests an event that is brief, is inappropriate. Given the ratio of Federal Budget to U.S. GNP, a rapid and very large reduction of the Federal Budget would likely have a serious negative impact on the U.S. economy.

    Were you to advocate that the Federal Budget be brought into balance over the next five to seven years, I think almost everyone would agree with you. The Devil is, alas, often found in the details, so that seemingly (at least to me) reasonable goal will be very, very difficult to achieve.

  • Comment number 86.

    82. At 13:26pm 9th Apr 2011, escapedfromny wrote:
    "the budget really needs to get gutted."

    Now, when the party that did get us into these ******, which pursues an out of ******* spending program, who never met a military ******* that it didn’t want more of, that is in the pockets of the c**********s, and wants to hurt the poor while *******ing more cash to those who don’t need it tries to put the ***** for our present situation on President Obama, I say ****!

    Yes the Democrats are *******, but less so than the GOP. Yes the Democrats tell ****, but the GOP tells much bigger ones. Yes the Democrats are *******ing their own nests, but the GOP is *******ing their own *******s and the *******s of their **** friends and corporate *****s.

    Yes there is a small, and not cheap, military action undertaken by the Obama administration, and yes he has failed to put an end to the Much to the nth degree more expensive Bush wars overnight; but I remember who started those much bigger wars, and whose ***** friends and corporations have benefited from them, and whose *****s keep trying to blame President Obama for the Bush ****.

    So why, after considering this, would any *********** person vote for the FGTP Party? Why would any **** person believe their crocodile tears? I certainly won’t. And considering how bad the lesser of two e***s [referred to herein as the Democrats] is, which voter in his or her right **** would not vote for a new, truly fiscally responsible and un*****t party if one became available? I most certainly would. Unfortunately, I am left with no choice but, once again, to vote for the lesser of two e***s.

    Is this the new model, fully moderated, BBC journalistic reply format that you ____ moderators want? I will try to live up to these ____ standards in future posts.

  • Comment number 87.

    Tea-party Brit, You asked "If you can come up with one, intelligent design that is, please do so Ad." (ref. is there a better way than democracy).

    I can't come up with a better way than democracy to run a country. Churchill was right. But democracy can be worked on and needs to be in the USA in my opinion.

    I might be able to come up with one better way to run American democracy. As follows:

    One really big problem with the American system is that they are electioneering on a 365/365 day year-in-year-out process because no sooner has the President been elected, than the Mid-terms loom, and vice versa. What a nation needs is political stability once in a while; this is difficult to obtain in the USA. The independent voters in the electorate, buffeted by financial and budgetary (etc) crises, turn from one party to the other and back again every two years.

    They could therefore think about changing mid-term to full- term so that Congress is elected at the same time as the President. The chances are better for president and party to coincide. This is not original thinking. Some American commentators lament the instability brought by the existing system.

    For what it's worth, other countries with a presidential system can find the same thing cropping-up if their elections are staggered. France for instance has had several episodes where the President has had to co-habit with an Assemblée Nationale of opposing views.

    In America the two old parties seem hell-bent on a bitter, blinkered, logger-headed battle; there is a diminished consensus compared to that of earlier times. This magnifies the differences between the President and the majority in Congress and these differences have been heightened further by the presence of Tea-party-supported Congressmen and women. Democratically elected of course.

    So that's why in tones of some despair I asked 'Is this the way to run a super-power?'

  • Comment number 88.

    Chryses (80), it was the one I had heard about at the time. I have since heard that the environmental rider was dropped, as well. I have not yet looked up the final Continuing Appropriation, so don't know if they were all dropped or merely trimmed back.

    Yes, that was the only hold up. Once they got past that, resolving the rest of the differences (amount to be cut) was trivial.

  • Comment number 89.

    75. At 10:12am 9th Apr 2011, Sean_Tunctan wrote:
    "Deadlock in the panic room when the sign outside reads open for business as usual."

    Correct, the lobby and K Street are undoubtedly open for business and are busy proferring ***** of ****** to their wholly owned representatives on Capitol Hill.

  • Comment number 90.

    JMM, (#86. At 14:38pm 9th Apr 2011)

    ”... Is this the new model, fully moderated, BBC journalistic reply format that you ____ moderators want? I will try to live up to these ____ standards in future posts.
    Too Cool! Pre redacted posts! JMM, you are soooooo leading edge! (with a little help from the Mods) Actually, they do seem to be working at a fevered pace today. I wonder what is up with that?

  • Comment number 91.

    Rep. Kildee of Michigan has recently introduced a bill (H. R. 1471) which would provide for automatic continuing appropriations when the regular appropriation ends. I wonder if that will fly.

  • Comment number 92.

    GH1618, (#88. At 14:45pm 9th Apr 2011)

    ”... Yes, that was the only hold up. Once they got past that, resolving the rest of the differences (amount to be cut) was trivial.”
    Let me see if I understand. The first sentence reads, “Yes, that was the only hold up.” Now as I understand that sentence, if it were true, then once that issue was resolved, there would be no additional hold ups. Fair enough. Your next sentence is, “Once they got past that, resolving the rest of the differences (amount to be cut) was trivial.” Now as I understand that sentence, “the rest of the differences” followed the resolution of the previous issue. OK, but your previous sentence stated that “it” was “the only hold up.”

    Alas, both sentences cannot be true as you presented them.

  • Comment number 93.

    GH1618, (#91. At 15:04pm 9th Apr 2011)

    "Rep. Kildee of Michigan has recently introduced a bill (H. R. 1471) which would provide for automatic continuing appropriations when the regular appropriation ends. I wonder if that will fly"
    Like a lead baloon.

  • Comment number 94.

    84. At 14:02pm 9th Apr 2011, Chryses wrote:

    "Correction: President Obama disagrees with you. “... Both sides had to give ground on important issues ...”"

    ----------

    The Democrats already had.

    The wild-eyed wing of the Republicans had been holding out for things that were a long way outside reasonable. There is no moderation or sense of balance with these people.

  • Comment number 95.

    94. Interestedforeigner:

    "The wild-eyed wing of the Republicans had been holding out for things that were a long way outside reasonable. There is no moderation or sense of balance with these people."

    **********
    Balance disappeared a long time ago (remember those wide-eyed, giddy democrats announcing the stimulus?). The pendulum is merely swinging back.

  • Comment number 96.

    Interestedforeigner, (#94. At 15:31pm 9th Apr 2011)

    "... The Democrats already had ..."
    In order to substantiate THAT claim, you will need to present the iterations over time, through last night, of the negotiations that resulted in a deal. That you will be unable to do. Further, if you actually take the time to listen to the rather brief speech the President made, he in no way indicates that your interpretation of the events is as you contend. Hmmm. Who shall I believe? An active party to the negotiations or someone who just reads what is on the news ... That's a toughie. Let me get back to you on that.

    "... The wild-eyed wing of the Republicans had been holding out for things that were a long way outside reasonable. There is no moderation or sense of balance with these people."
    The wild-eyed wing of any political group is usually immoderate. Save the tautologies for those who do not recognize them.

  • Comment number 97.

    Curt: but it's the nature of the game that compromise will be called for and some battles will be lost.
    ------
    Its the nature of the game to give up your number one campaign promise?

    Or isn't it really a sign of President Obama's weakness and disloyalty toward voters who elected him for certain issues?

    The fact that President Obama has any supporters at all is pretty sad on their behalf, as President Obama sold his voters issues out, yet they still follow him like lemmings, oblivious to the truth that he is using them...
    ------
    Curt: The difficulty arises when voters like us elect someone for his or her hidebound stubborn jackassedness, rather than for the belief that he or she will do the best they can for both us -and- the country.
    -------
    I voted for President Obama because I believed he would do the best for our country, but I was completely and totally wrong...

    Usually, gut instinct is right, but President Obama fooled me, I believed the lies and now Americans are suffering due to voters like me who made the wrong decision...

    I am sorry for voting for Obama, thought it was the right thing to do, now I know I made wrong decision and its too late to change my vote, only thing can do is hope our next President is better...

  • Comment number 98.

    for a whole generation, Americans grew up under the fear of Nuclear Disaster and war with Communists. The kids of the 60s and 70s are now in the government and what we have now is the least optimistic generation of US politicians n history. The only thing coming from this government is cut cut cut. No plans of building anything , innovating anything, nothing. No expansions. Just reduce the government , reduce everything because the sky is falling. When all else fails, just revert back to the 19th century because apparently everything was perfect then. They were there they should know. When all else fails, just destroy everything and go to war. Figuratively or Literal.


    They need to get rid of their tin foil hats already. Real leaders don't wear them and you can't build a country with one.

  • Comment number 99.

    Fighting over mere millions that supposedly go towards abortions while America spends over twice the NATO average on "defense" (as a percentage of GDP of course, it should be obvious that's the figure I meant but there's always some idiot who doesn't get that and starts lecturing about how big a country America is). And while Americans (are forced to by greedy, unchecked insurance companies) spend 60% more on healthcare and still are less healthy than Europeans. It all just seems so stupid and pointless and basically comes down to the fact that Americans, even the politicians who should know better, think they can have their cake (social security oversized military) and eat it too (pay low taxes, not have the government regulate large corporations).

  • Comment number 100.

    P.S. If these politicians are so concerned about a few symbolic millions then why don't they cut their own salaries?

 

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