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Posted at 6:46 AM ET, 02/11/2011

Wonkbook: Tea Party wins their first budget fight

By Ezra Klein

pewpollspending.jpg

That went fast. Yesterday's Wonkbook lede was about the $32 billion in cuts that the House Republican leadership had previewed for the rest of 2011. Today lede is about the $100 billion of cuts they're now searching to find for 2011. Why $100 billion? Because the campaign promise was to cut $100 billion in their first budget, and House conservatives revolted against efforts to cut even a dime less.

The argument the House leadership made was that it wasn't cutting less, and this wasn't really their first budget. These cuts were for the part of fiscal year 2011 which didn't get included in December's continuing resolution -- namely, March to September. Because that's much less than a full year, smaller cuts were equal, in terms of how much they slashed government services, than bigger cuts. The $32 billion was more like $74 billion, at least if you compared it to the full-year budget request Obama had made back in February of 2010. You had to annualize the cuts.

But "when I say 'ANNU,' you say 'LIZE,'" doesn't really get the crowd going at CPAC, or anywhere else. So now House leadership is stuck in a place it really didn't want to be: Making $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending that have to be carried out in the next seven months. Boehner and his team came in determined to avoid the mistakes that newt Gingrich made. They were going to be humble, they wouldn't overread their mandate, they wouldn't go for draconian cuts in services that weren't defensible once they had to be explained. They lost. They're going to need to propose three times as many cuts now. And this comes alongside a new Pew poll (pdf) showing that the only category of federal spending that a majority of Republicans support cutting is foreign aid. On everything from Social Security to education to crime prevention to scientific research, more spending is preferred.

This loss, much more than the failed votes on the extension of the PATRIOT Act or funds for the United Nations (both of which were brought to the floor under a rule requiring a 2/3rd majority for passage) shows that the House GOP leadership has little sway and less control over the rank-and-file. The Republican Study Committee seems more powerful than the Republican leadership at this point. The budget proposal produced by Rep. Jim Jordan won out over the one favored by Rep. Paul Ryan. If I were a betting man, I'd say the odds of a government shutdown -- either over cuts or the debt ceiling -- just went up dramatically.

Top Stories

House Republican leadership bowed to conservative members' calls for more cuts, reports Lori Montgomery: "An already wobbly week for House Republicans turned chaotic Thursday as their unruly new majority flatly rejected a spending plan crafted by House leaders, saying its cuts fell far short of fulfilling a campaign pledge to slice $100 billion from federal programs. House leaders offered to redo the package but were struggling to identify the massive and unprecedented cuts that will be required to meet their goal. Dissatisfied conservatives, meanwhile, were pressing for even sharper reductions that could prove difficult to push through the House, much less the Democratic-controlled Senate. The uprising exposed serious divisions among Republicans bent on reducing the size of government."

A new Pew poll shows that the appetite for specific budget cuts is low, even among Republicans, writes Jon Cohen: "Across 18 areas of federal spending, a majority of Republicans support decreasing spending in just one: aid to the world's needy. In one other area, unemployment assistance, 50 percent of Republicans polled said they would decrease spending (far higher than the 11 percent who said they would increase it), but in all others the number saying funds should be cut is under the 50 percent mark. When it comes to three big ticket items - Social Security, Medicare and defense spending - more Republicans want increases than decreases in federal outlays. Support for budget cuts is, unsurprisingly, lower still among Democrats and independents.

Obama is promoting a plan to provide wireless internet to 98 percent of the US, reports Cecilia Kang: "President Obama outlined a plan Thursday to create similar economic stories through the expansion of super-fast wireless Internet connections. Speaking at Northern Michigan University, Obama said he would use $18 billion in federal funds to get 98 percent of the nation connected to the Internet on smartphones and tablet computers in five years. To get there, the federal government will try to bring more radio waves into the hands of wireless carriers to bolster the nation's networks and prevent a jam of Internet traffic. He said he hoped to raise about $27.8 billion by auctioning airwaves now in the hands of television stations and government agencies. And with that auction money, the government would fund new rural 4G wireless networks."

The administration's report on dismantling Fannie and Freddie will be released today, reports Zachary Goldfarb: The Obama administration is pushing ahead with a vast rewrite of the rules of the nation's mortgage market separately from the delicate task of devising options to abolish mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a long-awaited report Friday on the future of home loans, the administration will address both efforts. Much of the focus is expected to be on determining the future of Fannie and Freddie, which rely on a massive taxpayer bailout to prop up the mortgage market. But perhaps equally important will be measures to protect borrowers against taking on loans they can't afford, draw private firms back into the mortgage finance business and prevent excessive risk-taking by financial companies."

The White House considered, and rejected, raising the payroll tax cap and slowing Social Security benefit increases in this year's budget, reports Laura Meckler: "The White House last month considered offering specific benefit cuts and tax increases to shore up Social Security's finances, but ultimately decided to back off. Officials weighed suggesting that Congress raise the ceiling on wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax and allow benefits to rise more slowly than under current law, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. The hope was to engage Republicans in talks. But aides decided against putting forward the ideas, sure to be unpopular, without a clear signal from Republicans that they were ready to talk."

Plastic figurine post-punk interlude: A Playmobil version of Joy Division plays "Transmission".

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

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Still to come: Fed governor Kevin Warsh is resigning; enrollment in health care reform's high-risk pools is lagging; Arizona is suing the federal government over immigration policy; Democrats are targeting oil subsidies for cuts; and a campaign to erect a statue of RoboCop in Detroit.

Economy

Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh is resigning, reports Neil Irwin: "Kevin Warsh, a Federal Reserve governor and key lieutenant to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke during the financial crisis, is leaving the central bank at the end of March, giving President Obama a chance to continue reshaping the Fed. Warsh's departure will leave the governing board of the powerful central bank almost entirely in the hands of Obama appointees. Obama will have named six of seven governors once the Senate confirms nominee Peter Diamond to a vacant slot and Warsh is replaced. Warsh has been a skeptic of Bernanke's policy to try to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Treasury bonds, and Fed watchers think it likely that a new Obama appointee would be more supportive of the strategy."

Voters are lukewarm on spending cuts: http://politi.co/ekKBTM

Higher pay gains are expected this year, reports Mark Whitehouse: "U.S. workers have reason to hope for slightly better pay raises this year, a shift that could add momentum to the economic recovery. With corporate America sitting on large piles of cash and manufacturers seeing a surge in exports to fast-growing emerging markets, signs are mounting that some of the benefits will start trickling down to employees. This could mean average wage gains of as much as 3% in 2011, compared with 1.7% in 2010--enough to boost consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, but not so much that it would stoke concerns of an inflationary spiral."

The SEC's watchdog is pleading for more cash: http://on.wsj.com/eP3yxg

The housing debate includes more than Fannie and Freddie, writes Bethany McLean: "Behind the scenes, there's another huge debate taking place, one that has every bit as much potential—maybe more—to shape the housing market. It involves a provision in last summer's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, one that was inserted partly due to Lou Ranieri, the former Salomon Brothers bond trader and executive who helped create the modern mortgage market back in the 1980s. The provision is called the qualifying residential mortgage, or QRM. What is a QRM? Well, that's precisely the cause of the debate. The answer will play a big role in determining who can get a mortgage at what cost."

The House GOP isn't serious about currency policy, writes Paul Krugman: "'There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its people than to debase its currency,' declared Representative Paul Ryan in one of two hearings Congress held on Wednesday on monetary policy...Start with that bit about debasing our currency. Where did that come from? The dollar’s value in terms of other major currencies is about the same now as it was three years ago. And as Mr. Bernanke pointed out, consumer prices rose only 1.2 percent in 2010, an inflation rate that, for the record, is well below the rate under the sainted Ronald Reagan. The Fed’s preferred measure, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up only 0.7 percent, well below the target of around 2 percent."

The key to saving good domestic programs is entitlement reform, writes David Brooks: "If people who care about this or that domestic program fight alone, hoping that their own program will be spared, then they will all perish alone. If they have any chance of continuing their work, they will have to band together and fight their common enemy, the inexorable growth of entitlement spending. The foreign aid people, the scientific research people, the education people, the antipoverty people and many others have to form a humane alliance. They have to go on offense. They have to embrace plans to slow the growth of Medicare, to reform Social Security and to reform the tax code to foster growth and produce more revenue."

Adorable animals rocking out interlude: A puppy air-drums to a metalcore song.

Health Care

Enrollment in high risk pools is lagging, reports Amy Goldstein: "More Americans have been signing up for special health plans designed for people with medical problems that caused them to be spurned by the insurance industry, according to new government figures. But enrollment continues to lag significantly behind original predictions. The number of people who have bought the plans, known as high-risk pools, has increased from slightly fewer than 8,000 nationwide as of early November to nearly 12,500 as of the beginning of this month, according to figures released Thursday by federal health officials. Several months ago, the special insurance pools became one of the earliest facets of the new health-care law to take effect. They are intended as a temporary coping mechanism for people with medical conditions that traditional insurance companies do not want to cover."

Medicare administrator Donald Berwick faced a hostile House hearing: http://politi.co/i8vNFG

Domestic Policy

Arizona is suing the Obama administration over immigration, report Marc Lacey and Salvador Rodriguez: "Striking back at the Obama administration, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona said Thursday that she will raise private funds to counter-sue the federal government for failing to enforce immigration laws. The claim will be filed in the Justice Department’s challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, the most controversial portions of which have been struck down by a federal judge. At a news conference outside federal court, Ms. Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne said the Obama administration had failed to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border in huge numbers and had stuck the state with the cost of dealing with its failed policies. 'Arizona did not ask for this fight with the federal government,' Ms. Brewer said."

States are preparing for federal assistance to decline, reports Sara Murray: "Both President Barack Obama and House Republicans are moving to rein in federal spending by reducing aid to states and cities, which would deepen their fiscal woes just as economic-stimulus funds from Washington are drying up. Mr. Obama's proposed cuts would take effect during the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. House Republicans are likely to accept the president's requested reductions and cut further. They are already seeking big reductions in state aid programs during the current year, as state and local governments are struggling to close record budget deficits. Together, the plans may herald a severe retrenchment in Washington's assistance to states and cities."

The US should avoid Britain's example on highly skilled workers, writes Edward Schumacher-Matos: "Last summer, the Conservative government of David Cameron imposed a temporary cap on immigration of high-skilled workers from outside the European Union. Indian and Chinese workers with the latest computer programming skills, for example, were turned away... Economists will say that high-skilled workers are the primary source of growth in a nation's per capita income. Immigrants with such skills have been central to the rise of almost every major empire in history, including the British Empire and America. Germany, Canada, Australia and others now compete for these immigrants, while India and China are trying to attract them back."

Great moments in online organizing interlude: The campaign to get Detroit a statue of RoboCop.

Energy

Democrats are proposing billions in cuts in oil subsidies, reports Darryl Fears: "House Republicans this week proposed to cut $40 billion from the EPA and social programs, hitting Democrats where it hurts. Not surprisingly, Democrats swung back Thursday, targeting a Republican soft spot: Big Oil. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill that would drain oil companies of $40 billion in federal tax breaks over the next five years. At least six other Democrats joined him, including Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Lois Capps of California, John Conyers of Michigan and Peter Welch of Vermont. 'I think this is something consistent with what you're hearing in both parties,' said Blumenauer, who has no GOP co-sponsors."

"Public health" arguments for EPA regulations may be more effective than economic or climate-related ones: http://bit.ly/fuLvuh

Rep. Darrell Issa continued his attack on environmental regulations at a hearing yesterday, reports Peter Schroeder: "House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) continued his hunt for burdensome government regulations at a hearing Thursday, inviting business officials to discuss the hoops they must jump through to meet government rules. Leaders of several large business lobbies, as well as the heads of some small businesses, were invited to testify as to how government regulations make their professional lives more difficult...Harry Alford, chief executive officer of the Black Chamber of Commerce, described the administration's moratorium on deepwater oil drilling as punishing the entire oil industry for the mistakes of one bad actor. That ban was put in place in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."

Republican attempts to gut the EPA could lead to more action on the environment in Congress, writes Peter Appel: http://slate.me/hfjNWJ

Biofuels are adding to the world's food crisis, writes Tim Searchinger: "Each year, the world demands more grain, and this year the world's farms will not produce it. World food prices have surged above the food crisis levels of 2008. Millions more people will be malnourished, and hundreds of millions who are already hungry will eat less or give up other necessities. Food riots have started again. Nearly all assessments of the 2008 food crisis assigned biofuels a meaningful role, but much of academia and the media ultimately agreed that the scale of the crisis resulted from a 'perfect storm' of causes. Yet this 'perfect storm' has re-formed not three years later. We should recognize the ways in which biofuels are driving it. Demand for biofuels is almost doubling the challenge of producing more food."

Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews and Michelle Williams.

By Ezra Klein  | February 11, 2011; 6:46 AM ET
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Next: It's all about Dodd-Frank

Comments

Republicans cut the deficit? Ahahahahahahaha! Aaaahahahahahahahahahaha!

Ronald Regan, Father of America’s Deficit spending doubled the National Debt.
George H W Bush, would have doubled the Debt if given 8 years.
William Jefferson Clinton, did NOT double the Debt and ended with a SURPLUS.
Baby Bush, squandered Clinton’s surplus and doubled the Debt. Oh yes, and destroyed the world economy creating massive unemployment.

Republicans cut the deficit? Ahahahahahahaha! Aaaahahahahahahahahahaha!
They can’t even agree on a $100 billion in cuts.
Aaaahahahahahahahahahaha!

Posted by: chucky-el | February 11, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

The Teabaggers win, and America loses!

Go figure!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | February 11, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Congress could Save a Million by Eliminating their Healthcare insurance and shutting down their Private Clinic Upstairs. Those Drs and Nurses at the beck and call of Congress and their Staffs daily are Expensive to Tax Payers.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | February 11, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,

Did you just miss this or was this an omission on purpose?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/29/us-dollar-reserves-un-idUSTRE65S40620100629


In reviewing the details about the reserve currency you find the below statement from Wikipedia:


In the event that non-United States holders of dollar-denominated assets decided to shift holdings to assets denominated in other currencies, there could be serious consequences for the U.S. economy


So maybe the tea partiers aren't the only ones that don't think the government isn't concerned enough about the debt both short term and long term. Maybe the IMF and others around the world are too.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Republicans wanted these tea partiers elected, even at the downfall of long time Republicans. Repubs. thought they would fall in line and would be a thorn in the side of Democrats and Pres. Obama. Oh so wrong and the tea partiers are just starting to feel power. It will be interesting to see how the "establishment" Republicans react.

Posted by: rlj611 | February 11, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Why are the Democrats messing with Bill Clinton's oil tax breaks?

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"The number of people who have bought the plans, known as high-risk pools, has increased from slightly fewer than 8,000 nationwide as of early November to nearly 12,500 as of the beginning of this month... Last spring, the Medicaid program's chief actuary forecast that 375,000 Americans would have joined new high-risk pools by the end of 2010."

But the ACA's cost and revenue projections for the next two decades are going to come in exactly as expected, right?

Posted by: justin84 | February 11, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The author's premise is such BS. You could cut $100 billion by simply eliminating anything funded through an earmark but neither party has the intestinal fortitude to do so.

Posted by: slainte1 | February 11, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Why are the Democrats messing with Bill Clinton's oil tax breaks?"
When Clinton was President, oil was selling at $20 a barrel. Gasoline sometimes went for less than $1.00 a gallon during 1999. Some sort of subsidy might have made sense then. At $90.00 a barrel, tax breaks aren't necessary.

Posted by: marvyT | February 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"The US should avoid Britain's example on highly skilled workers, writes Edward Schumacher-Mat"

Anyone who wants to live and work in the America is fine by me - regardless of skills or any alleged usefulness to the economy. My only condition is that they respect the rights of others.

Posted by: justin84 | February 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@justin,

that continuing failure of the high risk pools goes to show that they were a farce to begin with (and that includes while republicans were in favor of them). If you can't afford healthcare on the open market when you're subject to pre-ex then you can't afford it at the price that the pools were offering. People in high risk pools generally are SICK. Its not like they're out there making a ton of money that they can afford what the pools charge. Its like people assuming they can buy into medicare at age 55 and it'd be affordable. IT WON'T BE. They'd be forced to pay around $500-$600 per month per person and it'd have the same effectiveness of the high risk pools.

You need to attack costs if you want to get at this problem.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Why should we just get rid of the Clinton oil subsidies?

Why not the Bush, Bush, Reagan oil subsidies and their policy of royalty forgiveness?

And why not all the other oil subsidies dating back nearly a century?

And while we're at it, let's cut the DoD budget in half, to the 2000 levels, the last time the budget was balanced, because that's the biggest oil subsidy of all.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

A question for the “Tea Party”!
What benefit that you receive from the Federal Government, are you willing to give up?

Posted by: swtobill | February 11, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

While one can admire the Republicans' efforts to fix the problem that they themselves mostly created, you have to wonder what will happen when the old people don't get their next welfare check. They tried this in 1994, and it didn't work out very well politically for them. However, starving the rest of the world is, I think, a goal we can all agree on.

Posted by: DaveHarris | February 11, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"that continuing failure of the high risk pools goes to show that they were a farce to begin with"

I agree visionbrkr. My point remains is that if we couldn't even get the number of high risk pool participants right within a factor of 30 less than a year after the bill is enacted, why on Earth should we take the cost and revenue projections related to massive fundamental changes in the health care sector seriously? Especially out to 2020 or 2030?

"People in high risk pools generally are SICK. Its not like they're out there making a ton of money that they can afford what the pools charge."

Out of genuine curiosity, if these people don't have the money to pay the high risk pool premiums, why aren't they already on Medicaid?

Posted by: justin84 | February 11, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"When Clinton was President, oil was selling at $20 a barrel. Gasoline sometimes went for less than $1.00 a gallon during 1999. Some sort of subsidy might have made sense then. At $90.00 a barrel, tax breaks aren't necessary."


That argument would make sense if Bill Clinton conditioned his oil subsidies on the price of oil. He did not.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I have to hand it to Republicans. I never knew it was possible to be heartlessly parsimonious and fiscally reckless at the same time. That's quite an amazing feat, to overspend and yet undermine popular and important programs at the same time.

Posted by: AxelDC | February 11, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Generous tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and increased wasteful spending for the military, yet massive cuts in reducing poverty, hunger and suffering in the world...

"Forgive them Father, for they not know what they do"

Posted by: pcarlson1 | February 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@justin,

I agree. The projections should be considered speculative at best. Both the positive ones and negative ones.

And they should be on medicaid but the government to my understanding doesn't make it all that easy to get onto medicaid. And the reason we should give the same government that makes it so impossible to get onto medicaid and adminster it well access to the run the entire healthcare system under some versions of single payer is . . .???

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Why should we just get rid of the Clinton oil subsidies?

Why not the Bush, Bush, Reagan oil subsidies and their policy of royalty forgiveness?"

Easily factchecked for lies.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/what_kind_of_tax_breaks_does_the.html


oth candidates are referring to H.R. 6, the 2005 energy bill that contained $14.3 billion in subsidies for energy companies. However, as we’ve reported numerous times, a vast majority of those subsidies (all but $2.8 billion) were for nuclear power, energy-efficient cars and buildings, and renewable fuels research. In addition, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the tax changes in the 2005 energy bill produced a net tax increase for the oil and gas companies, as we’ve reported time and time and time again. They did get some breaks, but they had more taken away.


Meanwhile, this is Bill Clinton's legislation.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/16/11138/3996

The United States Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA) implemented a royalty-relief program that relieves eligible leases from paying royalties on defined amounts of deep-water petroleum production over Federal Outer Continental Shelf lands.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Obama is promoting a plan to provide wireless internet to 98 percent of the US, reports Cecilia Kang:"

Showing that no government program, once started, can ever be ended. Most of the money is going to be transferred from the Universal Service Fund, the fee for which you see on your phone bill each month. This was originally set up to subsidize the cost of rural phone service. Now that is an anachronism but the money simply CAN'T be allowed to go back to us. It has to be put to yet another useless program.

The really ridiculous irony for the President is that most of the money goes to areas that generally speaking support GOP candidates!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"The administration's report on dismantling Fannie and Freddie will be released today, reports Zachary Goldfarb"

" . . . and ignored tomorrow, just like all the 2010 deficit reduction reports. Implementing their recommendations within the next two years would throw us right back into recession. That isn't to say the current administration won't try to commit suicide once again, but more rational minds will most likely stop them.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

With Warsh leaving, it's hard to imagine that we don't get hit by severe inflation second half of this year forward, unless Obama appoints someone that Paul Krugman would hate.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

lauren:

"Biofuels are adding to the world's food crisis, writes Tim Searchinger: "Each year, the world demands more grain, and this year the world's farms will not produce it. World food prices have surged above the food crisis levels of 2008."

This is not the first time I've written something which Ezra confirmed days, weeks or months later. Do you believe me now that you see it from somebody else?

I know I'm just a homeless guy at a public library computer, but it's a pretty good library! LOL

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The cuts are unstoppable. Nothing The Obumbler & libs can do about it.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 11, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

WOW.. $100billion cut on important infrastrucure agencies..

WHich Lays off about 300,000 people.


WOw that is productive..
Now they have to get Unemployment
and
We cannot get our countries business done.

WHERE ARE THE JOB TEABAGGERS??

Posted by: RepublicanRedRash1 | February 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

GOP leadership understands there is no such thing as failure with these $100 billion in budget cuts if they want to keep their jobs. This isn't an option their jobs are literally on the line if they fail to deliver. They also need to remember that this is only the first of many things to be cut. That bloated defense budget is next. Oh yes indeed GOP that war machine is going to be turned off. Lots to do so little time.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | February 11, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Although I am diametrically opposed to the Tea Baggers, it is good to see that they are sticking to their insane promises. Now, we just need to see the results of their fanatasies about spending being the problem for the U.S. and our government. In fact, the problem is undertaxation of the rich based on the fantasy of Supply Side Economics. If you want a strong military that protects American interests around the world, then the people who own 95% of those American interests need to pay for that protection.

Posted by: Fiscal-Conservative | February 11, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, as a Democrat, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy (well enjoy watching the Republicans squirm) the show. I'm guessing I'll be hurt as bad as all Americans by these cuts, and that I won't enjoy, but all of us, liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, get our wants and needs serviced by government programs, so let the cuts begin. We'll see who gets hurt by $100 million in cuts the worst, the R's or the D's. And we definitely will let the independents decide the next election after all of these Draconian cuts. Tea-partiers and ultra-conservatives, you didn't listen to the adults in the Republican Party, and you're about to get your wish. Hope you enjoy the mess you just made.

Posted by: rtinindiana | February 11, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Oops! That's $100 BILLION, not million. Wrong key.

Posted by: rtinindiana | February 11, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Bush also increased subsidies

Dems tried to end subsidies and royalties under bush but the GOP blocked it

Dems today want to end subsidies and royalties

That means the GOP now owns all oil subsidies

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

John

Don't talk in a way that implies you and I had a discussion about biofuels, and that Ezra somehow vindicated your side of an argument that NEVER HAPPENED

You have no idea what I think about biofuels

You mistake me for some leftwing prius driving nut who thinks we should end oil imports right away.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Bush also increased subsidies

Dems tried to end subsidies and royalties under bush but the GOP blocked it

Dems today want to end subsidies and royalties

That means the GOP now owns all oil subsidies"

This doesn't follow with the ridiculous logic that you've previously used, and of course factcheck shows this to be wrong.


The subsidies are a Clinton policy. But you're a dishonest liar, or else you would categorize the recent tax deal passed by a Democratic President, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate as a Democratic policy.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jun/16/edward-markey/markey-says-oil-companies-pay-nothing-gulf-drillin/


But when we took a closer look at Markey's words, we realized that he was referring to a dispute over oil lease contracts from the Clinton era. These involve two related issues. One concerns drilling leases signed in 1998 and 1999. The other concerns drilling leases signed in 1996, 1997 and 2000. It gets complicated, so bear with us.

In order to promote the extraction of certain kinds of natural resources, the Interior Secretary may exercise powers under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 to grant royalty relief to drillers. In the mid 1990s, when the latter law was passed, fossil fuel prices were low, so certain types of drilling projects seemed uneconomical without government assistance. The subsidies took the form of relieving companies from having to pay federal royalties on the resources they extracted.

For 1996, 1997 and 2000, the lease contracts were written in such a way that the royalty relief disappeared once the market price of oil rose above a certain level. When the price reached that level, the companies would have to start paying a royalty. But the contracts for leases agreed to in 1998 and 1999 did not include any provisions for price triggers. So regardless of how high the market price rose, no company holding a lease that was signed in one of those two years would ever owe the government a dime in royalties.

During the George W. Bush administration, MMS belatedly tried to persuade leaseholders to agree to pay royalties once a price trigger was reached, and the department had some success renegotiating the contracts. But many oil companies rejected MMS' proposals to insert a price trigger.

So yep, Bush did not offer any 'increased' subsidies. This is as usual pure fiction. They were in fact already legally there under a 25 year contract.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

In 2008, the Government Accountability Office -- the nonpartisan, investigative arm of Congress -- estimated that upwards of $1 billion in revenues had already been foregone from the 1998 and 1999 leases. It also cited a variety of scenarios that would suggest that the loss over 25 years from the 1998 and 1999 leases could total between $4.3 billion and $14.7 billion.


Yep, the Democrats simply flat out lie about oil subsides.

First they create them.

Then they come into office in 2009 and let them be.

Then in 2011 after getting thrown out of office, they try to pretend that they didn't create them in the first place, after ignoring them for the last 2 years.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

These are words taken from krazen's earlier post about some Bush oil policies: "They did get some breaks, but they had more taken away."

In other words, the report Krazen quoted from admitted Bush gave the oil companies tax breaks.

And now he calls me a liar for just pointing out what he himself wrote just a few posts earlier.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"In other words, the report Krazen quoted from admitted Bush gave the oil companies tax breaks.

And now he calls me a liar for just pointing out what he himself wrote just a few posts earlier"


Your claim was that Bush 'increased subsidies'

What you quoted is a DECREASE.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As we see below, Bush not only didn't try to end any subsidies or royalties that may have existed from prior admins, whether or not they originated by Clinton or previous Presidents, but he added to them.

http://zfacts.com/p/348.html

zPoint: There are subsides and excess profits, but even if we stopped all of those, gas prices would not come down much. Basically oil is expensive and it will stay expensive, though it may get cheaper again for a while. Gasoline will follow oil.
For example, the newspapers report a possible $28 billion subsidy over the next five years and an $2.6 billion in new tax breaks--suppose that's 2.6 billion per year. The total then is $8.2 billion per year. While zFacts resents those subsidies as much as the next guy and wants them ended, it's only $8.2 billion out of nearly $600 billion spent per year on oil. Finished gasoline costs even more.
The bottom line is that, if we are concerned about price or CO2 emissions, the most promising option by far is to conserve. This does not mean turn the heat down. That's one way, but most conservation involves buying better and somewhat more expensive products that use less energy.


Oil Company Subisdies: $7 billion + 2.6 billion + ...
Vague Law and Hard Lobbying Add Up to Billions for Big Oil
By Edmund L. Andrews, NY Times, March 27, 2006

But last month, the Bush administration confirmed that it expected the government to waive about $7 billion in royalties over the next five years, even though the industry incentive was expressly conceived of for times when energy prices were low. And that number could quadruple to more than $28 billion if a lawsuit filed last week challenging one of the program's remaining restrictions proves successful.
''The big lie about this whole program is that it doesn't cost anything,'' said Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who tried to block its expansion last July. ''Taxpayers are being asked to provide huge subsidies to oil companies to produce oil -- it's like subsidizing a fish to swim.''

But on Aug. 8, Mr. Bush signed a sweeping energy bill that contained $2.6 billion in new tax breaks for oil and gas drillers and a modest expansion of the 10-year-old ''royalty relief'' program.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

http://environment.about.com/od/environmentallawpolicy/a/end_oil_subsidy.htm

January 19, 2007 – The U.S. House of Representatives, under new Democratic leadership, yesterday passed legislation that would end more than $14 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies and earmark that money to help develop renewable energy, alternative fuels and conservation technologies.
Despite strong opposition from the oil industry and the Bush administration, which argued the measure could increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the bill passed by a vote of 264 to 163, with many Republicans joining Democrats to ensure an easy victory.
....
The bill would end $7.6 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, which Congress passed in 2004 and 2005, and impose $6.3 billion in royalties on companies that drill for oil and gas offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and near Alaska.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"The bill would end $7.6 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, which Congress passed in 2004 and 2005, and impose $6.3 billion in royalties on companies that drill for oil and gas offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and near Alaska"


More misleading!


We know that:

1. Democrats did not bring this bill up while they were creating the problem during the Clinton administration.

2. Democrats did not bring this bill up during the 111th Congress.

3. The $7.6 billion in subsidies here are half as much as the $14.6 billion under the Clinton administration.

4. 'Royalty relief' as it was put, is not a Bush, Bush, Reagan policy. None of their signatures appear on the 1995 bill.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"As we see below, Bush not only didn't try to end any subsidies or royalties that may have existed from prior admins, whether or not they originated by Clinton or previous Presidents, but he added to them"

Your own article shows that you are yet again lying.

The Bush administration went to court to try to reduce oil subsidies. But they were defeated by Clinton and Clinton's legislation.


Walter Cruickshank, a senior official in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, told lawmakers last month that officials writing the lease contracts thought the price thresholds were spelled out in the new regulations, which were completed in 1998. But officials writing the regulations left those details out, preferring to set the precise rules at each new lease sale.

''It seems to have been a massive screw-up,'' said Mr. Northington, who was then in the Energy Department. No one noticed the error for two years, and no one informed Congress about it until last month.

Five years later, the costs of that lapse were compounded. A group of oil companies, led by Shell, defeated the Bush administration in court. The decision more than doubled the amount of oil and gas that companies could produce without paying royalties.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Bush added royalties and subsidies in his 2005 Bill.

And yes, the Dems passed that bill in 2007 to end subsidies and royalties.

And at the recent state of the union, Obama asked Congress to end all subsidies and royalties.

So, which Republicans TODAY want to end subsidies an royalties?

Then there are the hidden subsidies. Like how Reagan allowed US refineries to halve in number (from around 300 to around 150) during his eight years in office. The US today still has about the same number of refineries.

Also, the DoD budget is largely about protecting oil. Bush doubled that subsidy in 8 years.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/business/04bptax.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Despite the public anger at the gulf spill, it is far from certain that Congress will eliminate the tax breaks. As recently as 2005, when windfall profits for energy companies prompted even President George W. Bush — a former Texas oilman himself — to publicly call for an end to incentives, the energy bill he and Congress enacted still included $2.6 billion in oil subsidies. In 2007, after Democrats took control of Congress, a move to end the tax breaks failed.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Bush added royalties and subsidies in his 2005 Bill.

And yes, the Dems passed that bill in 2007 to end subsidies and royalties.

And at the recent state of the union, Obama asked Congress to end all subsidies and royalties.

So, which Republicans TODAY want to end subsidies an royalties?"

What have these Democrats been doing for the last 2 years, other than dumping oil in the gulf? Obama and you are lying when you claim you want to end all subsidies and royalties, else, they would have done it.


Still no acknowledgement that Clinton signed the 1995 bill, or the 1998/1999 leases or that the 2005 bill was nothing more than a continuation of 1995 policy, bound by those 1996-2000 leases!

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Fiscal-Conservative: "Although I am diametrically opposed to the Tea Baggers"
---------------------------
The article isn't about your homophobia.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 11, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's review:

Krazen said only Clinton created oil subsidies and royalties. And his overall theme seems to imply only Dems want subsidies and royalties.

Yet I have posted several articles showing that Bush also added to the problem.

And I have shown that the House Dems passed a 2007 bill to end the subsidies, and effort blocked by the GOP.

And I have shown that Obama wants to end the subsidies. The GOP did not applaud this proposal during the state of the union, though the Dems did.

The following CRS Report For Congress alludes to additional various tax breaks included in a 2004 act:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:ujfQt_bN1iMJ:ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/07March/RL33763.pdf+oil+subsidies+2004+manufacturing+tax+cut&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShAkR2yahn4DCLlHFihwLNJbu7D4-bf3cQ4tWQMxvQC3mRvuTUnfdMtxQT11YaRBOKPxRuKZq8EKUVXmsBx-ZjJ82Zw2JIMiNNREX75_2ZDyyEF0I_1PM3sqvoxkJhoDNGWZwiP&sig=AHIEtbRY63tef4Gqs4Zpjae90f6Z5rI7dw

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Also, the DoD budget is largely about protecting oil. Bush doubled that subsidy in 8 years."


http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1995_2015&view=1&expand=&units=k&fy=fy11&chart=30-total&bar=1&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s#usgs302

Not really, no. Defense spending grew about 66% in 8 years, which is much slower than the 19% over 2 years during the Obama administration.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Also, the DoD budget is largely about protecting oil. Bush doubled that subsidy in 8 years."


http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1995_2015&view=1&expand=&units=k&fy=fy11&chart=30-total&bar=1&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s#usgs302

Not really, no. Defense spending grew about 66% in 8 years, which is much slower than the 19% over 2 years during the Obama administration.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Again, from the 2007 CRS Report to Congress:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShAkR2yahn4DCLlHFihwLNJbu7D4-bf3cQ4tWQMxvQC3mRvuTUnfdMtxQT11YaRBOKPxRuKZq8EKUVXmsBx-ZjJ82Zw2JIMiNNREX75_2ZDyyEF0I_1PM3sqvoxkJhoDNGWZwiP&q=cache%3AujfQt_bN1iMJ%3Ancseonline.org%2FNLE%2FCRSreports%2F07March%2FRL33763.pdf%20oil%20subsidies%202004%20manufacturing%20tax%20cut&docid=c23e3100513c559a26065dc8aa744468&a=bi&pagenumber=18&w=800

"The Energy Policy Act of 2005 expanded some (but not all) of the preexisting tax subsidies for oil and gas and introduced several new ones."

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Krazen said only Clinton created oil subsidies and royalties. And his overall theme seems to imply only Dems want subsidies and royalties.

Yet I have posted several articles showing that Bush also added to the problem.

And I have shown that the House Dems passed a 2007 bill to end the subsidies, and effort blocked by the GOP.

And I have shown that Obama wants to end the subsidies. The GOP did not applaud this proposal during the state of the union, though the Dems did"


Nope! Let's properly review.

I did not say anything about *only* Clinton. I correctly pointed out that:

1. Clinton signed the oil relief program into law.
2. Clinton offered $14 billion in oil subidies.
3. The Bush administration went to court over these oil subsidies and lost.
4. The very small addition by President Bush in 2005 was in fact compensated by bigger subtraction elsewhere, for a net REDUCTION in subsidies.

You have yet to explain why Democrats did not reduce the Clinton oil subsidies in 2009.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Krazen said only Clinton created oil subsidies and royalties. And his overall theme seems to imply only Dems want subsidies and royalties.

Yet I have posted several articles showing that Bush also added to the problem.

And I have shown that the House Dems passed a 2007 bill to end the subsidies, and effort blocked by the GOP.

And I have shown that Obama wants to end the subsidies. The GOP did not applaud this proposal during the state of the union, though the Dems did"


Nope! Let's properly review.

I did not say anything about *only* Clinton. I correctly pointed out that:

1. Clinton signed the oil relief program into law.
2. Clinton offered $14 billion in oil subidies.
3. The Bush administration went to court over these oil subsidies and lost.
4. The very small addition by President Bush in 2005 was in fact compensated by bigger subtraction elsewhere, for a net REDUCTION in subsidies.

You have yet to explain why Democrats did not reduce the Clinton oil subsidies in 2009.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

""The Energy Policy Act of 2005 expanded some (but not all) of the preexisting tax subsidies for oil and gas and introduced several new ones.""

That link doesn't work, but whatever. Factcheck already explained to you that President Bush,in that act, eliminated other oil subsidies for a net DECREASE in subsidies. You just refuse to listen.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Yet I have posted several articles showing that Bush also added to the problem.

And I have shown that the House Dems passed a 2007 bill to end the subsidies, and effort blocked by the GOP.

And I have shown that Obama wants to end the subsidies. The GOP did not applaud this proposal during the state of the union, though the Dems did"


Even further proof that you and Obama are lying:

Senator Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Did that 66% include the hidden cost of the Iraq War that Bush kept off the books? Or the staggering cost of war-related veteran health care in the future? I think not.

Anyway, 66% or 100%. Who's quibbling over a few bucks. EIther figure makes my point.

And the fact I nowadays agree with the GOP to balance the budget is because I don't agree with Obama on continuing these wars and all this DoD spending. I believe a balanced budget is the quickest way to stop those wars and pull back from many of our overseas bases.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The TEA PARTY has already SOLD OUT:
Cross-referencing the list at MSNBC and the outcome of the vote, the following is a list of Tea Party-backed candidates voting for the bill (Patriot Act reauthorization):
Tim Griffin (AR-2), Paul Gosar (AZ-1), Steve Southerland (FL-2), Allen West (FL-22), Sandy Adams (FL-24), Bob Dold (IL-10), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), Marlin Stutzman (IN-3), Todd Young (IN-9), Jeff Landry (LA-3), Dan Benishek (MI-1), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Michelle Bachmann (MN-6), Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Frank Guinta (NH-1), Joe Heck (NV-3), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Steven Chabot (OH-1), Bill Johnson (OH-6), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Jim Renacci (OH-16), Tim Scott (SC-1), Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Scott DesJarlais (TN-4), Bill Flores (TX-17), H. Morgan Griffith (VA-9), Sean Duffy (WI-7), Reid Ribble (WI-8), David McKinley (WV-1)
That's thirty-one out of forty voting for the bill (77.5%), eight voting against, and one no-vote. Despite the eight nay votes, Tea Party-backed candidates overwhelmingly supported an extension of the PATRIOT Act.
Note that the list include the "beloved" Alan West and Michelle Bachmanm.

Posted by: zaxyyyyy | February 11, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Even further proof that you and Obama are lying:

Senator Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005."

Well, I haven't fibbed at all. I proved my case that Bush added on the oil subsidies.

You are the one who seems to worship certain politicians.

I can not attest to whether Obama is lying about the stated desire to end subsidies. When you stop trying to fool yourself that the oilmen Bush/Cheney are somehow innocent in all this, then maybe you will stop lying to yourself.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Well, I haven't fibbed at all. I proved my case that Bush added on the oil subsidies."


Nope, already debunked by factcheck.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

So to really review: I'm going to recap all of Lauren2010's lies and show the facts:

1. "Why not the Bush, Bush, Reagan oil subsidies and their policy of royalty forgiveness?"

Fact: None of these 3 men are responsible for the policy of royalty forgiveness signed in 1995.

2. "And while we're at it, let's cut the DoD budget in half, to the 2000 levels, the last time the budget was balanced, because that's the biggest oil subsidy of all"

Fact: The defense budget hasn't doubled, unless you fail to adjust for inflation.

3. "Bush also increased subsidies"

Fact: Bush increased some subsidies and decreased others for an overall decrease.

4. "As we see below, Bush not only didn't try to end any subsidies or royalties that may have existed from prior admins, whether or not they originated by Clinton or previous Presidents, but he added to them."

Fact: He didn't add to them. See 3. More importantly, the Bush administration sued over the Clinton policy and lost in federal court.

5. "And I have shown that Obama wants to end the subsidies. The GOP did not applaud this proposal during the state of the union, though the Dems did"

Fact: Obama has voted in favor of what Lauren describes to be oil subsidies.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Want to cut the budget? all you have to do is a search on "PENTAGON CORRUPTION", or "2 trillion missing pentagon" that will give you loads of cutting possibilities. Then look at the CIA and our "intelligence" agencies that DID NOT HAVE A CLUE about Egypt, and NO IDEA where it is going. The CIA NEVER HAS A CLUE, they could not even tell that the USSR was dead-on-it's-feet.
America is being BLACKMILED by the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. I guarantee we would be SAFER without them. The MIC is cowardly WAR PROFITEERS who should be on trial.

Posted by: zaxyyyyy | February 11, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Bush added royalties and subsidies in his 2005 Bill."


Just for the sake of doing so, I'll post all the factchecks on this bill so others can get the entire truth. John McCain also pulled this same lie that Lauren2010 is doing.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/what_kind_of_tax_breaks_does_the.html

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/maverick_misleads.html

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/dems_face_youtube_interrogators.html

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2006/when_democrats_attack.html

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Congressional Research Service: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 109-58) included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry. In addition, EPACT05 provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years.

Thus, of course, the House bill to repeal this tax increase never made sense.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

lauren wrote:

"Don't talk in a way that implies you and I had a discussion about biofuels, and that Ezra somehow vindicated your side of an argument that NEVER HAPPENED"

Reference our discussion of this week where Krugman blamed ag inflation on bad weather, and I said biofuels had taken the slack out of the system. You sided with Krugman specifically citing reports of Chinese drought and Australian floods.

I didn't make it up. I'm just too lazy to go back and cut and paste.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party is blowing up the Republican Party, yet the Mad Hatters have no idea for a replacement party.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | February 11, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

lauren and krazen:

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it because you're both trying to be factual and not name calling. (hardly at all LOL)

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

krazen

I'm looking at the horses mouth (CRS report) and don't see them state that the 2004 AND 2005 (and possibly other tax breaks) amount to less taxes.

Indeed, the excerpts I provided say there was a total "COST" and increased subsidies.

So look at an official report (like the one I linked to), instead of factcheck, and find a quote that says Bush reduced the overall tax burden. (not just the 2005 bill, but a bills signed by Bush).

I mean, I suppose factcheck and youtube COULD be correct, and the CRS Congress report and nytimes and everyone else is wrong, but I'd like to see real proof.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

BTW, if the 2005 act, which Obama voted for, in fact reduced subsidies as you claim, then you have no ground to also claim Obama is lying about his desire to cut subsidies.

Your ideological bias clearly shows in that twisted logic.

I mean, you're attacking Obama for voting for the same act imply Bush in your mind is a hero for.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. $100 billion in spending cuts. How many jobs will this produce? What we needed was an end to tax cuts for the superwealthy. Please show me one millionaire or billionaire who has added one person to his payroll since December.

We need Medicare for all. Insurance companies are still making a fortune by selling supplemental health insurance. We also need a medical system based on a preventive medicine model.

Posted by: EarlC | February 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"Reference our discussion of this week where Krugman blamed ag inflation on bad weather, and I said biofuels had taken the slack out of the system. You sided with Krugman specifically citing reports of Chinese drought and Australian floods."

Don't recall the issue of biofuels coming up there. Perhaps you did mention them, but I wasn't focused on them. Maybe even I mentioned them. So maybe I'm senile. :-)

As I tried explaining to you then, Krugman did NOT ONLY blame AG prices on weather. He clearly stated there were several variables for this YEAR'S GRAIN shortage, which included a significant weather year. And he suggested this could be a hint of what awaits us in future decades if climate models are accurate.

There is absolutely nothing incorrect in what he said. Indeed, the only one (between you and Krugman) who was over generalizing was you when you made it seem like Krugman was blaming everything on weather and climate change.

BTW, I have no doubt biofuels cause higher ag prices, as I've debated that with several right-wingers who deny it.

I posted another analysis a day later about other grain issues that helped corroborate that THIS YEAR's grain shortages (and prices) are indeed affected by weather.

Biofuels may indeed affect annual prices, but other events can make them even more chaotic, which is what happened this year.

I need a straight answer from you: Do you or do you not believe the scientific consensus on climate change? I want to know if I am dealing with a nutjob pretending to be rational. (Careful readers will note there is a difference between scientific consensus and what is typically passed off in he media as global wamring). If you don't know the difference, google "climate change scientific consensus" for an explanation.

Oh heck, here it is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:bCUlfm2Q3BUJ:www.foe.org/pdf/FoE_Oil_Giveaway_Analysis_2008.pdf+oil+subsidies+2004&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiDot8Wm_2bVaF_L8yEqvfuH3Q_o9suDU2Q5Q2A1uT84BUwp5QEOXO66XY3MdBhus1azgmhiQbpi6Tf6UhSTROJ97-7SRzOe6wJu9qOXwZ2ZacQpl_GjziOZO174kd1grpQP2G1&sig=AHIEtbRRHXuvdQvZ6nxkCbW1Whyy7ESbGw

More info about the oil subsidies.

The Bush 2005 bill was not the only bill he signed.

There was another in 2004, and maybe others.

Note that oil related tax revenue increases DOES NOT equate to meaning they were given fewer tax subsidies. That simply means the oil companies profits rose and they paid more taxes than in prior years. And without subsidies, they would have paid EVEN MORE taxes.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

i've gotta say Lauren you would have called me an IDIOT long ago. I (like johnmarshall5446) am enjoying this as well).


EarlC though is an abundance of Dem talking points. Olbermann would be proud of you!!

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

That's because you are an idiot.

You pretend not to include veiled insults in your posts, then react offended when someone else gets offended and reacts.

John is likeable and won't pretend only he is qualified to comment on something. Well, actually, today he made the stupid comment that no one here understands finance (imlpying at the same time that any ordinary person should, when in fact, few do). Still, he does it in a more disarming way.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@lauren,

now you can read my mind. I've got "veiled insults" in my posts? Well if you ever think i've personally insulted you I'm sorry. It certainly is not my intent.

I only get offended when you resort to name calling like, well calling me an idiot. there's no room or need for that. We can agree to disagree on a lot of points (and agree on some ie the end of the wars) but there's no need to make it personal. I've tried not to do that.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

lauren:

I've never denied climate change or global warming. I'm in no way in a position to judge, so I accept that there is a scientific consensus in favor of the theory.

Climate change is part of the folklore of our own history as well as present. The Dust Bowl of the 30's was caused not just by poor farming techniques, but by many preceeding years of what was extremely unusually wet weather, which was an unknown fact to the post Civil War settlers.

Who knows whether Theodore Roosevelt would have ever been president if not for blizzards in the 1880's that wiped out his ranching operation in SD. (the theory is that the conditions were caused by the explosion of Krakatoa)

In the modern markets weather related shortages SHOULD lie within the realm of losses capable of absorption by the market. However our investment in bio fuels is like an insurance company which invests it's revenues in areas most likely to be hit by hurricanes. When the inevitable happens, they not only have the loss, but the lack of reserves to cover the loss because of foolish investments.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

john

I do like your style. You give me a little slack instead of throwing the heartfelt insults.

If I ever call you an idiot, please note it is out of a moment of uncontrolled politically motivated passion. You are clearly not an idiot. I even call myself an idiot sometimes. You can even call me an idiot sometimes and I won't get offended. I tend to be over the top, maybe just trying to be dramatic, when in real life I am quiet and shy and sweet.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

A government shutdown would be a disaster, not just just for the Republican Party but for the nation as well. These guys are playing with fire -- shutting down Social Security, shutting down Medicare, these aren't acceptable scenarios for the country, but that's exactly where these guys are heading.

Everybody knows that if House Republicans hand the Teahadists the keys to the House Republican castle, they will end up producing a spending bill that is DOA, forcing a shutdown. That's the game the Teabags want to play. So now is a real leadership moment for the House GOP. They know the only kind of budget that the Teabagger whack-a-doodles will support is the kind of budget that will force a government shutdown.

To avoid that, they'll need to ditch the teahadists and work with House Democrats to pass a bipartisan budget that can pass the Senate and get President Obama's signature. Obviously, the chances of that happening are roughly zero. And that means in all likelihood House Republicans have settled on a path of government shutdown. And they know it.


.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 11, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"'m looking at the horses mouth (CRS report) and don't see them state that the 2004 AND 2005 (and possibly other tax breaks) amount to less taxes.

Indeed, the excerpts I provided say there was a total "COST" and increased subsidies.

So look at an official report (like the one I linked to), instead of factcheck, and find a quote that says Bush reduced the overall tax burden. (not just the 2005 bill, but a bills signed by Bush).

I mean, I suppose factcheck and youtube COULD be correct, and the CRS Congress report and nytimes and everyone else is wrong, but I'd like to see real proof."


You didn't wait for proof before falsely accusing Bush, Bush, and Reagan of signing an oil royalty relief bill. Shrug.


But since you repeatedly bring up the $2.6 billion in subsidies and repeatedly intentionally omit the $2.9 billion in increased taxes, I have no reason to believe that you'll be honest anytime soon.


But that's your ideology showing, I guess. You blame Bush even though both Clinton and Obama have been much friendlier to oil companies.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"So look at an official report (like the one I linked to), instead of factcheck, and find a quote that says Bush reduced the overall tax burden. (not just the 2005 bill, but a bills signed by Bush)"

It says exactly the opposite of what you claim, in your own CRS link, again, on page 17.


Anyway, I'm out after this.


The total oil and gas industry tax increases are roughly $2.8 billion over 11
years, for a net increase in taxes on the industry of about $200 million, according to
the JCT estimates. However, because the oil spill liability tax and the Leaking
Underground Storage Tank financing taxes are excise taxes on oil and petroleum
products, and are imposed on oil refineries, the net effect of the 2005 act on the oil
and gas refinery sector was a tax increase of about $1.3 billion over 11 years.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 11, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"I need a straight answer from you: Do you or do you not believe the scientific consensus on climate change?"

I'll jump into the fray here. Climate change is a topic full of uncertainties, so I'll give a series of statements and a value indicating my agreement (1.0 = full agreement with claim, no uncertainty, 0.0 = complete disagreement with claim, no uncertainty).

Climate change (warming trend) is occurring.

p = 0.995

Caused primarily by human activity.

p= 0.99

Future generations will be better off than us (due to economic growth and tech progress) despite global climate change, even if nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions.

p = 0.975

The benefits of preventing significant climate change are greater than the costs.

p = 0.925

Individuals and businesses (e.g. angel investors, VCs, nonprofits, corporations, entrepreneurs, concerned citizen donors etc) will fund sufficient research to slow carbon emissions to a sustainable pace within the next several decades, if they were allowed to keep their own money (no taxes no subsidies)?

p = 0.30

Governments - particularly of countries that are the largest current and future emitters - will be successful in imposing large costs on present citizens for decades to the benefit of only future generations, all the while the issue is a political football (USA) or when growth is deemed highly important to political stability (China). In addition, the government efforts would successfully pass a cost benefit test.

p = 0.10

Most of my reading in this area has been from Tamino and Eli Rabett.

http://tamino.wordpress.com/

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/01/earths-energy-budget-slow-motion.html

Posted by: justin84 | February 11, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"now you can read my mind. I've got "veiled insults" in my posts?"

A veiled insult is detectable but slightly hidden, and has nothing to do with reading minds.

You have several times implied I was lying about various things; for example, you said I could never have been a Republican, or my mother could never have had medicaid if I myself was financially independant. Other things as well. When you lose an argument or come up againts hardcore experience, you tend to say things like that instead of considerihg you are wrong.

In the midst of a debate, you say things like "You're not worth my arguments..." even when no personal insults are present before hand. You inject those TYPEs of little digs quite frequently.

You also display the lack of courage to debate an issue on your own. You tend to gang up on people. Or gang with people against someone. You think if two voices agree, then that is proof of your correctness.

I've tried being nice to you many times, only to be rewarded with some quip that implies stupidness or inferiority or weakness.

This is an example: "I (like johnmarshall5446) am enjoying this as well)."

Are you and John on the phone enjoying something at my expense? I doubt it. You simply see someone debating your ideological enemy (me) and you without thinking gang with him. Sorry, not impressed. And to be honest, I don't think John is enjoying being wrong about Krugman.

I call you and idiot when I get mad at you for specific reasons. You use insults even when things are not out of hand.

And then you promise not to ever respond to me again, and still here you are.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lauren,


in regards to the "being a Republican" I honestly can't see it but sure anything's possible and again that's just my opinion.


as far as the "medicaid" issue, someone else brought it up, not me and when they questioned me on it my first response was 'who am i to know'. and it had nothing to do with "financial independence" I believe it had to be with a comment you made about being wealthy and wealthy and medicaid clearly don't mix. But again someone else brought it up first, i brushed it aside at first and then mentioned it later but you attack me and not whoever that was. whatever.

As far as the "you're not worth my arguments" comment its relating to the fact that whatever the point was about its not worth continuing to argue about it because I'm not changing my mind and you're not changing yours (similar I'd expect to your discussion with krazen now).

I've never met John but I find it honestly tellling that his comment was:

lauren and krazen:

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it because you're both trying to be factual and not name calling. (hardly at all LOL)


and mine was:

i've gotta say Lauren you would have called me an IDIOT long ago. I (like johnmarshall5446) am enjoying this as well).

Mine was meant as a joke. If you didn't take it as that then I didnt' express it right I guess.

you then chose to attack me and call me an idiot and continue with it while you chose to praise John to an extent which is fine but shows your bias towards me I guess.

I'm also fine debating an issue on my own but if its not getting anywhere I'm likely to move on.

its just honestly telling that you choose to make personal attacks at me. I'm going to do my best not to do that to you from now on. I'd appreciate you doing the same.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 11, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The opening bid: $34 billion.

Raised to $74 billion.

Raised again to $100 billion.

Going once, going twice...any takers....this is your chance......

Posted by: kishorgala | February 11, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

krazen

The excerpts I took are directly from the CRS report. Don't claim THEY are saying the exact opposite of what they themselves are saying.

Everywhere I look in that report it's talking about the costs (loss of revenues) of the oil subsidies to the US gvmt.

I can not find on page 17 that quote you provided about net increases in taxes.

And again, whether their overall taxes went up or not has nothing to do with whether their tax obligations would have been larger had they no oil subsidies. It is a dishonest to claim that, because oil company taxes went up in the Bush years, that that means their subsidies went down. WRONG Their taxes went up because they enjoyed the greatest profits in their history. And because of subsidies, they were able to pay less taxes than they would have otherwise.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

vision

You were quite clear in earlier posts that I lied about basic things, even my own background. You used the word "lie", or forms of that same word.

It is ridiculous to think it is somehow impossible for a young Republican (me, when I was younger) to somehow come to a different take on the world.

It happens all the time.

Even Reagan switched parties.

For some reason, it bothers you that someone else woke up and shrugged off majority dogma. That nagging feeling you have is telling you to wake up too, though many people don't have the courage to admit they've been fooled and lied to in big ways.

I only wish there was a credible third party to vote for (the Dems are only moderately better than he Repubs) , but there isn't, and so I believe the Dem party is easier to "fix" than the GOP. The fact the GOP is going further right, vindicates my choice.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 11, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Okaaaaaay, well this was a fun day here! I have offered my opinion to Ezra that he should put Wonkbook at the end of the column on Friday rather than the beginning, because it has the best chance of changing the dead zone that his space is on weekends. Maybe the respite is good however!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I TRULY become incensed when I hear some blowhard Politician state that Universal Healthcare would be "SOCIALIST". Michigan legislators get FREE, LIFETIME, healthcare after just SIX years...... members of Congress enjoy "cradle to grave" SOCIALIST medical and retirement benefits that outstrip those of the old Soviet Central Committee members. Michigan is paying Retiree health care benefits that account for 13 percent of total payroll. WHY!? That is SOCIALISM. If the Tax-PAYERS don't get it, why should the public SERVANTS?
Further, why is it OKAY that American Tax Payers subsidize Universal Healthcare for ISRAEL, but Americans are "undeserving". Want to cut the budget? Quit sending money to the MidEast. America needs that money HERE.

Posted by: zaxyyyyy | February 11, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

lauren,

I don't recall using the word "lie" but if you said I did I probably can't convince you otherwise. If I did, I was wrong and I'm sorry.

I'm sure its very possible for people to change from either party to the other.


I myself wish there was a credible third party as well. I view myself currently as a fiscally conservative, social moderate. I don't think that fits into either party's rigid guidlines very well.

Again my only goal with bringing this up to you is to get you to stop attacking me. if that works great. if not then there's nothing much more I can do.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 12, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Most of America is left or right of the GOP and Dems. Neither will touch sacred cows of medicare and social security. Today on Fox Ryan was asked about entitlements, even getting called upon to acknowledge he is waiting for the Dem proposals first, not a word about his pamphlet with a lame no CBO scoring excuse. Boehner was just as bad on NBC skating around his lack of job programs and dancing away from birthers in his caucus. We'll get around to it is just as bad as the Dems not doubling the medicare tax to pay our obligations. We need a third party in our country that will take the old man Bush position of raising taxes along with cutting the budget. Both parties don't have the spine to do it.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 13, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. This article and others claim that tea partiers are winning in their battle to reduce the federal budget. Yet the poll cited in your article show that most Americans favor iscreasing rather than decreasing most federal probrams other than foreign aid. To me that seems to suggest that most americans are against most of the cuts the teapartiers propose to cut. The amican people need to hear about the specific cuts rather than being swayed by catchall phrases such as "reducing the size of government."

Posted by: browneri | February 13, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

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