Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Plain language to the GOP from David Firestone

with one comment

David Firestone writes in the NY Times:

Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.

But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.

It was never responsible for Republicans to spend years adamantly declaring total opposition to higher taxes as a back-door way of starving government. That’s precisely the intransigence that created the fiscal cliff in the first place. Now a few Republicans are saying they’ll agree to higher revenues, as if that obvious need is an enormous concession, but they’re still refusing to support increased tax rates.

It was never responsible to spend years on talk shows demanding “cuts in entitlements,” while running a presidential campaign that attacked Mr. Obama for cutting Medicare. The president has put $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other social insurance programs on the table. The Republicans, out of political fear, have proposed exactly nothing.

It was, above all, profoundly irresponsible for Republicans to govern by threatening to send the Treasury into default if they did not get their way on spending, a wholly new and ugly phenomenon in American politics. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spoke for the financial markets and anyone who cares about good government when he proposed yesterday a way to permanently defuse that threat by requiring a two-thirds vote of Congress to block an increase in the debt ceiling.

That was considered particularly uproarious in the offices of House and Senate Republican leaders. But once the laughter dies down, they will have to come to the table with a responsible offer of their own, rather than simply declaring a stalemate, as Speaker John Boehner did today, because he didn’t like the president’s opening bid. If they continue to refuse to do so, the public won’t find it very funny.

The GOP has become completely irresponsible. They are simply a destructive, irrational force now.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2012 at 8:41 pm

Posted in GOP

One Response

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  1. The Republican Party is dead. They just haven’t realized it yet. They’re dying a death by a thousand cuts, every single one self-inflicted. Good riddance.


    Michael D

    1 December 2012 at 8:53 am

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