The Cost of “Compromise”

By JC

Well, I enjoyed the discussion so much on my last post the other day, “Senator Tester Abdicates Role of U.S. Government to GOP in Budget Fight”–about Tester’s avoidance of framing the ongoing budget debate in any other terms than the following:

“Congress has an important decision to make this week: Either work together to responsibly cut spending and keep our government working, or refuse and let our government shut down.”

— that I decided to do another. And surprise, surprise, some folks aren’t interested in talking about how our politicians are–or are not–responding to the ongoing battle. People want to discuss how we need to cut the budget, and how austerity is an appropriate response at this time. And that everything is hunky-dory in our junior Senator’s office (can’t criticize the incumbent during a reelection campaign, now can we). Oh, yeah, and they wanted to throw insults. But I digress.

So today, the OMB released a list of policy riders to H.R. 1, which is the House bill that is being debated in Congress. I assume that those who want to “responsibly cut” either are going along with this list, or feel that they can gain some concessions from Republicans and their conservative/teabagger loony fringe.

it is easy to pretend to be the grownup in the room, doing what you think is right and necessary. But these folks are calling the shots. And the only tools the Democrats have right now are not ones they seem to want to use, or are uncomfortable with: 1) make the case that austerity economics is not the right thing to do now (which I agree with) and offer an alternative to cutting which is tax reform that lowers rates, reduces complexity, and raises revenue; 2) keep making concessions until the Republicans agree to pass their bill; 3) allow the government shutdown to occur, and let public pressure define who wins, and who has to concede the most.

Sure, there are some other avenues, some doable, some not. And I remind commenters that at this point in time politics is the art of the doable. So you austerians and “responsibly cut” folks should pony on up and let us know just how you can justify your position knowing that the Republicans are stuffing a very bitter pill down your throat along with your all growed up budget cuts.

So here is a short list from the OMB’s report on policy riders in H.R.1.

  • Restrict funding of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and defund the “consumer products complaints database.
  • Bans funding for the Department of Education regulations on Gainful Employment, as-yet-unpublished rules that would restrict federal student aid to for-profit colleges
  • Prohibits funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, the Weatherization Assistance Program or the State Energy Program, EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases
  • Defines specifically what greenhouse gases are and prohibits the EPA from imposing regulations on those gasses emitted by a stationary source for seven months
  • Prohibits funds for the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from moving forward with a proposed rule that would effectively eliminate the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, a rule that presently allows surface mining operations with qualified permits to work within 100 feet of a stream
  • Prohibits funds for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Prohibits funds for the EPA to implement regulations to designate coal ash residue as hazardous waste
  • Prohibits funds for EPA to modify the national primary ambient air quality standards applicable to coarse particulate matter (dust)
  • Prohibits funding for the IRS to implement health care reform
  • Prohibits funding for sections of the Public Health Service Act
  • Prohibits funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates
  • Strips funding for any provision of the health care reform law, and associated agency actions
  • Prohibits funding for the Sustainable Communities Initiative
  • Prohibits funding for capital advances or rental assistance contracts for HUD Housing for the Elderly projects
  • Blocks funds for the Federal Communications Commission to institute Net Neutrality rules
  • Prohibits funds for the Community Connect broadband grant program administered by the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture
  • Prohibits funding for carrying out section 19 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act
  • Prohibits funds to pay the salaries and expenses of “czars,” or special presidential advisers who are not required to go through the Senate confirmation process

And there you have your short list. And these are the guys with whom you are willing to compromise to get your “responsible budget cuts”? This is like negotiating with terrorists, or kidnappers. Ready to make strange bedfellows with the right?

Jon Tester seems ready, judging by the op-ed he put out the other day. Or was that just a bunch of pre-election hot air meant to cast him in the grownup category?

Advertisements

  1. There is no way to respond to your post given your basic assumption –

    ” I assume that those who want to “responsibly cut” either are going along with this list, or feel that they can gain some concessions from Republicans and their conservative/teabagger loony fringe.”

    As such, I will not post further on this post. You can reside in your little bubble of self rightiousness and we will debate what has to be debated elsewhere.

    • JC

      Challenge my assumptions. Please. I’d like to hear this.

      • The logical fallacy of your assumption is self evident. It is the equivelent of saying “The sun rises, therefore it isn’t snowing”. There is no logical connection. If you are so wrapped up in your delusion that you can’t see that, there is no reason to debate with you. Remember my statement on your last post?

  2. Turner

    The riders are poison pills that should make the House bill unsupportable, even if it means the government shuts down. Democrats have to stand for something.

    Of the two evils, a shut-down and an assault on the lower and middle classes, the shut-down is preferable.

    • When he wrote the post, he knew it was unsupportable. The Senate Majority leader has already said it is a non-starter and the President has already said he would veto it. This bill has nothing to do with the Government Shutdown and anyone that is at least marginally aware of what is going on, knows this. As I said before, this is a logical fallacy, foisted to massage the ego of the author and therefore does not require a thoughtful responce. When the author actually wants to debate the idea of Ausperity Economics vs his own brand of economics, I would be happy to do so, but I will not play into his game on this one. He creates a strawman and wants me to defend it. Not going to happen.

      • JC

        The veto is for the one week stop-gap. Not H.R. 1

        And “Ausperity”? is that a combination of austerity and prosperity, or a typo?

        And I did not create a strawman. I laid out my assumptions, which you are free to challenge–which it seems that you have. Now show me another path, or your accusations of me creating a strawman are just a way to get around not putting your cards on the table.

        • yes, he has said he would veto the stopgap. He also said he would veto any house budget bill that includes those riders – as did the Reid.

          I will not argue this post with you. Your assumptions are flawed and without those assumptions, the rest of your post is unintellegable. There is “no other path” because the one you propose is fictional with no starting point in reality. That is the very nature of a strawman.

          When you want to float back down to reality, let me know and we can discuss an issue that really exists.l

        • Yes, it is a typo. I have disgraphia and do that a lot, though there are …. possibilities in my unintended typo.

  3. Cutting the budget in the middle of a recession to pay for tax cuts for the rich and two (or three) wars. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. Turner

    I have a sincere question: If there is a shut-down and the country’s security is seriously compromised, could the president declare a state of emergency? Would the terms of this declaration allow him to continue funding critical areas (military, transportation, social services, education, law enforcement, environmental protections) without congressional participation?

    • Yes he could. It is that simple. If you read the right wingnut blogs, some are already suggesting that that was the plan all along.

    • Given the Executive Orders put in place over the last two decades and the over-reach allowed the president in those same two decades, the answer is “Yes” – from a strictly black and white standpoint. In fact, under the standing Executive Orders, he could control a lot more than what you asked without congressional input. It is one of the reasons many people (like me) are uncomfortable with the presidencial over-reach attained by Bush and Obama.

      • obama paying bills with emergency executive orders sounds ok to me as long as congress continues to be dysfunctional,corrupt and obtuse about doing anything remotely logical or helpful to working people of this country.

        i am sick of watching corporate lobbyists line up outside our representatives offices like big winners at the casino cashout cage.

        • While I do understand your sentiment, Problembear, I cannot disagree strongly enough with the idea of a Presidencial dictator (that is essencially the situation you are describing) – even a benevelant one.

          • Turner

            A reluctant, temporary dictator-president, when congress abdicates and in effect dissolves itself, is preferable to chaos and anarchy.

            Obama has shown no autocratic tendencies — on the contrary, he has been a hands off executive — so I trust him not to be tyrannical.

            An abstract argument about the powers of the presidency, in a time of real crisis (if one comes about), is not very interesting to me.

            • agreed. there is a time and place to worry about policy. i am a nuts and bolts guy and personally hate dealing with policy. that is why i have little patience for threads dealing mostly with process.

              when the sub is springing leaks and the pressure is mounting, i don’t care much for rule by committee.

              i trust obama to do the right things here.

        • Lynn

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/08/964987/-We-Need-The-Peoples-Budget-in-2012

  5. I think the possibility of a government shut down over these riders shows exactly why presidents have been allowed to overreach – congress has been essentially worthless.

    Sorry JC, I don’t have you strength of principle. Republicans can shut down government as long as they want and they will have accomplished exactly what they want to do – strip everything non-essential out of government. And as long as the media expresses ‘both sides of the issue’, I don’t expect the GOP to suffer at the polls for it, either. The economy will fall flat on its face without any government spending. Democrats, because they actually care about people, will eventually have to compromise anyway, radical progressives like JC still won’t vote for Democrats, and radical conservatives will we be galvanized.

    And while we’re being spiteful, I don’t know if I can national Democrat that votes to allow the government to shut down, either, because at that point they are impeding my personal life rather than admit that they in fact lost the 2010 election.

  6. Ingemar Johansson

    Hey, is this thread dead?

    Cause I’d like to breathe some life into it.

  7. And surprise, surprise, some folks aren’t interested in talking about how our politicians are–or are not–responding to the ongoing battle.

    Gosh oh gee. I wonder if that was written as a challenge? I don’t know what corner of the dark cave you’re living in, JC, but everybody else has been talking about our politician’s response to ‘the ongoing battle’. One phase of that battle is about to come to a very abrupt end about 9 hours from now. The reason that’s going to happen is precisely because of the riders the like you mention here. It has been discussed basically everywhere that if our government shuts down, it won’t be because Democrats sought a degree of austerity. It will be because they defended Planned Parenthood and women’s right to health care with action (or inaction, as it were.)

    I assume that those who want to “responsibly cut” either are going along with this list, or feel that they can gain some concessions from Republicans and their conservative/teabagger loony fringe.

    No. You ignore a third alternative, with both Ryan’s budget nightmare and the stop-gap spending measure. Let them die. I don’t know where you got this idea that the Teapublicans control government. Probably the same place that Polish Wolf found out that the Democrats ‘lost the election of 2010’. Neither of those is true. Yes, there will be compromise. The Republicans control the House. Given the President’s spinal condition, they have some influence in the White House. But they don’t control the Senate, the place where legislation (good and bad) goes to die. Even Paul Ryan admits that his bill will never *never* pass the Senate. Harry Reid is currently challenging the House GOoPers with this simple fact: Do they want to keep government running more than they want to hurt 50% of the voting population? So far, their answer is no. We’ll see how that works out for them.

    When Dumbya tried to privatize Social Security, I listened to all of progressive blather about how “our Democratic leaders” needed to take a strong stand and make us feel good about what we were inevitably going to lose. The strongest stand was actually taken by Max Baucus, one of the most craven people in the Senate, who simply said we’re not going to do this. But more important by far was the response from minority leader Pelosi in the House. As everyone, right and left, caterwauled for a strong Democratic plan to respond to the President, Pelosi was asked by twitchy a twitchy Democrat when we would see such a great response. Her response was a thing of beauty:

    “Never. Does that work for you?”

    As the House has approached the Senate with bullying and bickering and bullshit that they actually care about the deficit (they don’t but many Americans do), they’ve essentially been asking the same question in both long and short term: When are you going to let us plunder the country? The response from the Senate, including Jon Tester, has been very simple: Never, does that work for you?

    There will be compromise. There will be budget cuts that are truly meaningless for the deficit. There will be campaigns, and campaign rhetoric. Jon Tester will suggest rational cuts and you will castigate him for not breathing fire against the TeaPublican behemoth. I think he’s doing a good job for Montana and the country. And as you demand, JC, that I satisfy in timely fashion your somewhat petulant request ‘when are you going to hold Tester’s feet to the fire’, for things he shows no sign of actually doing, my response is similarly simple.

    Never. Does that work for you?

  8. JC

    I don’t know what corner of the dark cave you’re living. in, JC, but everybody else has been talking about our politician’s response to ‘the ongoing battle’.

    I was talking about my last post, where people were avoiding the question. But you knew that, right?

    It will be because they defended Planned Parenthood and women’s right to health care with action

    Or, as someone in the WH alluded to, the Planned PArenthood issue was just put front and center as a lightning rod, so that the dems could say they gave up such a large spending cut in order to save PP. Politics. I would have thought you’d see through that.

    You ignore a third alternative

    No, I didn’t. If you would have read a bit further, you would have noticed I said:

    there are some other avenues, some doable, some not. And I remind commenters that at this point in time politics is the art of the doable.

    That was a challenge to ya’ll to either accept my assumptions (which moorcat, among others rightly challenged), or talk about how you’d work a compromise. Simple, but again, you knew that, right?

    Jon Tester will suggest rational cuts and you will castigate him for not breathing fire against the TeaPublican behemoth.

    You have no crystal ball as to either my future actions, or my motivations for what I say. But I challenge your statement as to whether or not JOn’s cuts are “rational”. What exactly are the cuts Jon proposes, or would accept? And which will he not? Good question,as he has not revealed that information. ONce again we are left with nebulous rhetoric on which we can paint our own wishes. Kinda like Obama’s “hope and change.” It is whatever you want it to be. Such be Tester’s “rational cuts” to you.

    I think he’s doing a good job

    I’ve never said he’s doing a bad job. But I’m willing to criticize some of his actions because I think he can do a better job. I’m not a black and white sort of guy. I’ll complement even the worst politician if he does the right thing. I’m not a dem party loyalist. I’m an independent. And Tester will have to work as hard to get my, and many other thousands like me, vote as he would a moderate swing indy.

    ‘when are you going to hold Tester’s feet to the fire’, for things he shows no sign of actually doing, my response is similarly simple.

    Never. Does that work for you?

    That’s fine with me, Rob. You can do whatever you want, as if you needed my permission.

    But we can revisit this topic once we see what the final bill looks like, and how our senators voted. And then you can ask yourself the same thing: does my senator’s actions need a response? Or am I good with it? That’s a personal question only you can answer.

    But who am I, a petulant little blogger, to suggest that anybody search their conscience? Eh? They might find some principles. Or they might not. Works for me.

    • I was talking about my last post, where people were avoiding the question. But you knew that, right?

      JC, I didn’t avoid the Straw man questions in your last post. But you did avoid my very direct one. [because, as I told you, you were just insulting me, and I don’t encourage that sort of behavior by playing along]

      Or, as someone in the WH alluded to, the Planned PArenthood issue was just put front and center as a lightning rod, so that the dems could say they gave up such a large spending cut in order to save PP. Politics. I would have thought you’d see through that.

      And I would have thought you might actually pay attention to what actually happens. [and I have been] Have the Dems given up anything? [just another 4 billion in cuts] No. 5 hours and counting. Tick tick tick … Republican politics have been meant to leave you debilitatingly disappointed. [um, no] You serve that well.

      You have no crystal ball as to either my future actions, or my motivations for what I say.

      JC, this whole fracas began because you pompously assumed [first you chastise me for making assumptions that were incorrect, and now you do the same… just saying] that you do have a crystal ball into what I think and what I will do. Quit being a hypocrite so late in the game. [just poking you to get a reaction… looks like it worked]

      But I challenge your statement as to whether or not JOn’s cuts are “rational”. What exactly are the cuts Jon proposes, or would accept? And which will he not? Good question,as he has not revealed that information.

      No, he posted it rather plainly in the very op-ed you flipped your wig over. Did you actually bother to read the damned thing? [yeah, I read it–and the things he mentioned were mostly symbolic and inconsequential] Even Lizard found some favorable stuff in it. Where the hell was your head? [just because there’s may be some favorable stuff doesn’t mean I can disagree with his main premise]

      I’ve never said he’s doing a bad job.

      Liar. Yeah you really did. [prove it]

      But I’m willing to criticize some of his actions because I think he can do a better job.

      Bullshit. You criticized him for writing an op-ed that didn’t appeal to your sensibilities of ‘the good fight’. Apparently, to you, his job is to be a rhetorical leader for the progressive left. [that’s not what I said–i said I wante my senator to stand and and defend the things that democrats have fought fo for 80 years, which includes, but not is exclusive to the progressive left (actually, I’ve been labeled a “radical progressive” here, and I obviously would never think that Tester could be a spokesman for those he’s already labeled “extremists”)] Do I need to quote you? You mentioned not one thing about what he does or has done. [it’s not my job to be a Jon Tester cheering squad as much as you might like me to be] All you flipped out about was him not writing what you wanted to read, and your assumptions that he would do something in the future that would upset you. [sorry if my “flipping out” got you all twisted in a knot]

      I’m not a black and white sort of guy. I’ll complement even the worst politician if he does the right thing.

      You don’t see any ironic contradiction in that statement? Seriously? LOL! [yeah, I guess that’s pretty humorous if you neglect to see the irony in it]

      But we can revisit this topic once we see what the final bill looks like, and how our senators voted. And then you can ask yourself the same thing: does my senator’s actions need a response? Or am I good with it? That’s a personal question only you can answer.

      But who am I, a petulant little blogger, to suggest that anybody search their conscience?

      You’ve made up your mind, JC, not me. You’re the one who’s made up a fantasy of what will happen, not me. Your the one who tells me what I must do, or should do for the future me, while remaining pig ignorant about your own assumptions. [this is kinda like the pot calling the kettle black here, if’n you ask me]

      Don’t tell me about searching conscience, JC. Those who challenge others to ‘search their conscience’ have rarely done that very thing. Small wonder. They don’t have much a conscience to begin with. [what made you think I was telling you to conscience-search? I asked you directly to reflect on your senator’s actions after the fact. And then I simply used a rhetorical trope to point fun at the whole thing. You can take that personally if you want… but that’s your problem, not mine.]

  1. 1 The Road Less Traveled » Blog Archive » Can we stop Pretending?

    […] I have been a few arguments on a number of progressive sites that boil down to this.. The author/authors of the posts claim that we need to spend more money to recover from this depression and that reasonable spending cuts are not going to fix anything. Further, they are taking Democrats to task for even considering spending cuts. The simple failure of any kind of logic (or understanding of the fact that the majority of Americans agree that spending needs to be addressed) astounds me. […]




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,668,979 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,738 other followers

  • April 2011
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar   May »
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
  • Categories


%d bloggers like this: