Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Obama: GOP leaders will eventually get serious about cooperating with me: Obama, returning to D.C. on Air Force One, brushed off the GOP's plans to repeal health reform with a surprisingly optimistic prediction of what's to come, per the pool report:

"They are going to play to their base for a certain period of time. But I'm pretty confident that they're going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people and that we are creating a competitive economy for the 21st Century. Not just for this generation but for the next one. And so my expectation, my hope is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012."

This is of a piece with the emerging Dem line on the GOP's repeal push and other non-economy related maneuvers: Accuse Republicans of engaging in frivolous political antics to please the base that don't do a thing to create jobs and get the economy moving again.

The question is whether Dems will couple this with an effective and proactive case for all the popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act itself. Joan McCarter urges Dems to ditch civility and bipartisanship and use procedural maneuvers to try to force actual votes on the Act's provisions. As Eugene Robinson aptly puts it today, Dems should respond to the repeal push by saying: "Make my day."

* Dems sharpen attack on GOP over repeal? Look for Dems today to try and turn the tables on Republicans by pointing out that they are rushing through the repeal bill despite their months of attacks on Dems for allegedly rushing the original legislation. DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse emails:

Barely a week after they take the oath of office, Republicans are going to ram through a bill over the objections of millions of Americans to deny people access to affordable health care -- a bill impacting one sixth of the American economy -- without a hearing, a committee markup or testimony from a single witness. This from a party that complained bitterly that Democrats rushed through health care reform after a year of debate and dozens of Congressional hearings.

Somehow I don't think Republicans will be as moved by this criticism as Dems were when Republicans accused them of "ramming through" health reform. In retrospect, you think maybe it was a mistake for Dems to slow the legislation in response to those original GOP attacks?

* Relatedly, Igor Volsky tallies up the months and months of hearings and amendments Dems went through in response to GOP criticism.

* Dems to GOP: Don't you care about the deficit? Also, Dems will argue today that the repeal push proves the GOP's lack of seriousness about the deficit. "Repealing the Affordable Care Act will explode the deficit by one trillion dollars over the next twenty years," Woodhouse continues, adding that this "shows just how hollow their promises of fiscal discipline really are."

* How many Dems will vote for repeal? As Carrie Budoff-Brown notes, even if the GOP repeal bill is a non-starter, "Republicans could embarrass the White House if they persuade a number of Democrats to vote with them and, over the long term, plan to try to chip away at pieces of the law."

* Will the Blue Dogs bark? It will be interesting to see if Heath Shuler and his merry band of Blue Dog brothers, who continue to criticize Nancy Pelosi in a transparent bid for media attention, will vote Yes on repeal in order to protest Pelosi's leadership.

* Filibuster reformers pushing forward: Senator Tom Udall is vowing reformers will move forward as early as tomorrow. In an Op ed piece spelling out his case for reform, Udall says he and colleagues will introduce a measure tomorrow to force Senators to actually filibuster, utilizing the so-called "Constitutional option" that allows each Congress to set its own rules.

* Harry Reid delaying reform? But Harry Reid seems to be trying to slow the process by a few weeks in the quest for some sort of reform "deal" with Mitch McConnell.

* Comically misleading argument of the day: Senator Lamar Alexander is pushing back on the drive to reform the filibuster by -- no joke -- arguing that it would "cut off the right of the people they elected to make their voices heard on the floor of the U.S. Senate."

Actually, Senator, the whole point is to force those who are stalling legislation to stand up and defend their actions in full public view. Expect a lot more of this kind of nonsense.

* Filibuster reform is not easy: Here's a quick and useful history of efforts at reform.

* A filibuster reform roadmap: Jonathan Bernstein has a good one.

* Bill Daley as White House chief of staff? There's been some chatter that the left will be furious with a Daley pick because he's a "centrist," but in reality, as Ezra Klein notes today, the real problem with this pick is that it creates "the spectacle of a banker taking the top administrative job at the White House."

* Really? Also: Marc Ambinder reports that this is the White House rationale on Daley: "Obama figures that because adding jobs to the economy is his top priority, he needs someone with close ties to the American business community and recognizes that no one advising him now really commands the respect that Daley would."

* And get ready for the latest liberal nightmare: Some on the left are worried that Obama will give into Lindsey Graham's blackmail by agreeing to cuts in Social Security in exchange for support for raising the debt ceiling.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Lamar Alexander: Confused or wily?

Comments

"And get ready for the latest liberal nightmare"

That's "national" nightmare. What Obama is doing is wrecking the country, not just the Democratic Party. Appointing a Republicrat Wall Street Banker as COS. Adding nearly a trillion dollars in debt to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Caving-in and permitting deepwater drilling to resume off LA. And now the assault on the New Deal begins in earnest. How long will Democrats stand for it? And why do they?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 4, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Greg (quoting Obama):

"our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people..."

Uh, no, it is not your job to "deliver" jobs to the American people. Perhaps Obama should attend that controversial reading of the Constitution and familiarize himself with what the job of the Chief Executive actually is.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 4, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

DELAY?! I thought that today was the big day that Reid and the rest of you Democrats get rid of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, lets relitigate Obamacare. I think that is exactly what the American people voted for in November. The problem for the Democrats is that they are now on the defensive.

Should be fun to watch.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 4, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

LOL, ScottC3!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, why doesn't Pelosi submit Articles of Impeachment against Obama and Biden tomorrow?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out exactly when Washington will start listening to the American people. I'm not sure how this plays into the meme that we're a center right country, sounds like a bunch of progressives are circulating out there amongst the masses, they're everywhere, they're everywhere.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday.

President Barack Obama last month signed into law a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millions of Americans, including the wealthiest, in a compromise with Republicans.

Republicans, who this week take control of the House of Representatives, want to extend all Bush-era tax cuts "permanently" for the middle class and wealthier Americans. They are also demanding spending cuts to curb the $1.3 trillion deficit.

Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed.

The next most popular way -- chosen by 20 percent -- was to cut defense spending.

Four percent would cut the Medicare government health insurance program for the elderly, and 3 percent would cut the Social Security retirement program, the poll showed.

Asked which part of the world they would fix first, the largest proportion of respondents -- 36 percent -- chose Washington, compared with 23 percent who picked the Middle East and 14 percent who chose Haiti.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Support for the full repeal of Obamacare is up over 60%. It's time to dump that bureaucratic nightmare. The American people demand it.

Republicans allowed Obama to pass the hated repeal of DADT so now it is time for Obamacrats to reciprocate and help Republicans repeal the hated Obamacare.

We must be bipartisan and work for the American people here.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 4, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the war in Afghanistan is becoming less popular every minute of everyday also. This poll was prior to the review when we found out we're going to be there until 2014 or forever if Lindsay Graham gets his way. Bet support dwindles even more in the next polling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A record 60 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment -- and a politically hazardous one -- in advance of the Obama administration's one-year review of its revised strategy.

Public dissatisfaction with the war, now the nation's longest, has spiked by 7 points just since July. Given its costs vs. its benefits, only 34 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the war's been worth fighting, down by 9 points to a new low, by a sizable margin.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Of course the Afghanistan war isn't worth it. The only reason Bush went there was to boost his self-esteem an' call hisself a war persident.

And of course the Caspian pipeline dint have nuttin' t'do wiffit.

But he got away wiffit 'cause American thirst for blood needed to be slaked. After that alleged terrorist attack

Posted by: caothien9 | January 4, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

I saw that poll. So 81% of Americans want to cut the deficit by either taxing the rich or cutting defense. And these are two things Obama has no intention of doing. So-called liberal are not out of touch with mainstream Americans, the Democrats in DC are living in the past, and Obama is the most egregious offender. It's like we are reliving the public option over and over and Obama and the DC Dems never learn a thing. Oh, but Obama's polling at 50% so it's all good for him. Never mind the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 4, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Capitulting to Republicans again? Say it ain't so.

Sounds like a good time to find another country to live in.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 4, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The Clone Party has a 'debate.'

"Instead, the debate turned into a series of litmus tests of Republican loyalty - and in the process, the participants documented something much more interesting than Steele's checkered tenure. They demonstrated how ideologically homogeneous the party has become.

There were two white women, two white men and the African American incumbent on the dais, but not a shade of ideological diversity.

As a debate, it was about as successful as Carlson's time on "Dancing With the Stars." As a cultural indicator, it was extraordinary.

Norquist and Carlson, serving as cardinals of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, administered a long series of loyalty checks, and the candidates were nearly dissent-free. Abortion? All opposed. Lower taxes? All in favor. Gay marriage? All opposed. Cutting spending? All in favor.

Norquist asked if each would support adding a "party unity pledge" to the Republican Party rules - as if even more unanimity were necessary. Five "yes" replies were called out in rapid succession.

They likewise tripped over one another to answer in the affirmative when asked whether Sarah Palin could win a general election. Same thing when the candidates were asked who should vote in Republican primaries; all five said independents and Democrats should be shown the door.

The Republicans had, in this debate, reached the logical extreme of litmus politics: Everybody on the stage agreed on everything. The Republican leadership had been thoroughly scrubbed, cleansed and sanitized by the Tea Party movement - and the candidates took turns expressing their gratitude. "

Stalin would have been proud.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 4, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

I began searching last week for a legitimate anti-war group to work with and came up with nada so far. All the protesters are hiding under their beds because we have a Dem president and they're afraid to undermine his presidency I guess. I've been to several progressive websites and old stand-bys and there's all sorts of political action going on except anti-war. More people need to read this and deal with the reality of what we're doing over there, Dem president or not.

http://www.alternet.org/world/149393/wikileaks%27_most_terrifying_revelation:_just_how_much_our_government_lies_to_us?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Vietnam wasn't Commie enough for you?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Wiping the spittle off the inside of my screen (magically speaking) from the nightly yo mama joke competition...I see this,

"Will the Blue Dogs bark?" I like that Greg, did you make that up?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

fiona5, you mean Stalin the COMMIE?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed."

Or, in other words, 61% of Americans would rather see the deficit paid for with Other People's Money. Shocker, that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 4, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Tom Udall makes a good case, I heard him make it last night on some radio program. If Republicans are so sure there is a train coming and that the Ds aren't on board etc., they should get all over the Senate rule reform effort. But of course, they know better. They understand gridlock as a conservative position.

But more important, like Citizens United, opacity keeps corruption better hidden; not having to say who gave you that money in that suitcase is a lot easier on the eyes (optics, its all about the optics) than say, Jefferson's frozen cash hoard, or the milk fund Nixon used to pay off the Watergate hacks. At least the anonymous holds have to go. Can anyone defend that practice?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

On cooperation:

There is a significant amount of uncontroversial legislation in every Congress. Boehner voted with Pelosi 70% of the time [you could look it up] but the bills were of no particular newsworthiness.

The question I raised last night about posturing on big stuff was responded to by shrink who suggested that parliamentary government worked better. It may, but I am unclear why, if it indeed does.

BHO suggests that after the posturing some big stuff will get done. If it does, neither wbg nor b51 will be pleased. While the Prez was hyperbolic in his job creation language, if DC is perceived as blind to unemployment, incumbents will again be slaughtered. I suspect BHO is counting on self preservation as the mechanism for "cooperation".

Just suggesting motive, here, not making any predictions.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 4, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Or, in other words, 61% of Americans would rather see the deficit paid for with Other People's Money. Shocker, that."

Scott

Or maybe 61% believe it was the tax cuts that created the deficit in the first place and think it's time they paid some of it back, shared sacrifice and all.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

lms,

You also realize that polling consistently shows ,when asked about tax rates that "the rich" should pay and actually pay, large majorities actually think they pay their "fair share" or more? And that the public has an exaggerated belief about how much of the budget is spent on defense?

Credit clearly goes to the constant drumbeat of left-wing propaganda for the public's confusion. Bernie should be proud. Stoking the fevered populist mythologies about taxes on "the rich" and defense spending have worked quite well.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, I will defend anonymous holds AND gridlock (at least for two more years ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"fiona5, you mean Stalin the COMMIE?!"

I mean Stalin the ideological purist -- same difference.

"The purge was motivated by the desire on the part of the leadership to remove dissenters from the Party"

"Asked what viewpoints should lead somebody to be evicted from the Republican Party, Wagner offered several, including pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and anti-gun rights. Anuzis said a Republican official should be excommunicated if he or she votes against the platform more than 20 percent of the time."

Posted by: fiona5 | January 4, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

1. The reps claimed earlier : Are you listening to people ?

The biggest concern about the economy is a job market, (according to CNN polling, voters said that unemployment is roughly twice as important as all other top issues combined.)

(a) The reps do not know how to create jobs, they just have a bunch of general vague ideas that are good for TV spots and adds, but no detailed plans except to go back to business as usual. So all they can do is grandstand and complain and moan. That is a lot easer that actually coming up with ideas that work.

(b) So even though the reps KNOW they can't overturn the new healthcare law, they are going to waste time and money making more NOISE about it just to stir up their base for the 2012 election. It's not like there's anything else for them to do.

And the reps are the first to point and cry about government waste while at the same time they are wasting tax payer money doing it.

2. The reps claimed earlier : Are you listening to people ?

(a) The vast majority of the PEOPLE wanted the public option that the House passed and a majority of the Senate favored, but it couldn't get past the Republican filibuster.

Many voters who oppose the law actually want stronger provisions, not weaker. There remains strong majority support for the public option and stronger laws against industry price-fixing.

(b) The healthcare law will not be repealed. Attempts to repeal healthcare reform will be a big loser for Republicans. Some of the most vehement Republicans pushing for repeal will find their seats endangered in 2012 because of it.

3. The reps are chanting the deficit cut.

(a) Inaction cost, $9trillion over the next decade. Without ACA, health costs will skyrocket, leading to more personal, corporate, and governmental bankruptcy.

(b) The insurers set up a monopoly via consolidation violating an anti-trust law.

(c) The biggest 10 healthcare providers are driven mostly to please Wall Street and must show growing profits every three months in their reports to wall Street or their stocks values go down. So healthcare prices climb at an unreasonable rate at the expense of everyone involved.

Posted by: hsr06011 | January 4, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Or maybe 61% believe it was the tax cuts that created the deficit in the first place and think it's time they paid some of it back, shared sacrifice and all."

It never ceases to amaze me how your side can conceive of making people "pay back" their own money, as if it always belonged to the government, and as if there were some a priori debt of X% owed to the government, i.e., other people who demand it. Either way, it doesn't affect Scott's point.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"And that the public has an exaggerated belief about how much of the budget is spent on defense?"

LOL. The US spends more on 'defense' i.e. bloated boondoggle dead-end projects that bleed us for decades -- than the rest of the world combined -- every other country and territory included. There is billions upon billions lost in fraud, waste, double-billing, theft, mismanagement, embezzlement and everyother kind of chicanery, and it's all hidden from public view.

It's the biggest secret slush fund in the world. The taxpayer-funded bales of $100 bills just dropped randomly in Iraq to 'jumpstart the economy' were a good symbol of the rampant, wanton and bottomless spending spree that is our defense 'budget.'

Posted by: fiona5 | January 4, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"...parliamentary government worked better. It may, but I am unclear why, if it indeed does..."

Those who get paid to opine in this regard suggest that although it is messier in general to have lots of political parties, the process of their needing to get together to be part of the government forces more compromise than the winner take all politics of a two party system, which as the Presidency has become ever more powerful, looks more like a one party system veering back and forth.

Some say the post war, multi-party Western countries are better able to handle pluralism and incorporate the interests of the minority, better than say, anonymous holds, filibusters and so on. Still it is (almost) funny that Assange declared Sweden to be a feminist Saudia Arabia. Reminds me of Married with Children when Al and his buddies form No Ma'am.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"shrink ... suggested that parliamentary government worked better. It may, but I am unclear why, if it indeed does."

Depends on how you measure effectiveness, I think. If your metric is economic growth, our system kicked ass for about 150 years. But that would mean that India & China currently have 'better' governments. If your metric is median standard of living, again, we led the world for a long, long time; and again, we're now slipping (i.e. many parts of Europe have a comparable median standard of living; if we add a variable for class mobility, parts of Europe are currently outscoring us). But do any of those measures accurately reflect the 'effectiveness' of a particular style of government?

Shrink, what do you mean when you say parliamentary 'works' better?

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 4, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

qb

Maybe the 50 million Americans who make less than $20k per year realize they'll have $150-$200 less to spend in the economy over the next two years so they answered the poll with their own pocket book and not some propaganda message.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"LOL. The US spends more on 'defense' i.e. bloated boondoggle dead-end projects that bleed us for decades -- than the rest of the world combined -- every other country and territory included."

Why be a piker in your fabulism? Why not just claim we spend more on defense than the rest of the world spends on everything? You'd have just as much factual basis. I've notice that this is one of those left-wing fabrications that keeps growing -- it used to be "more than the next X countries" combined. Now it's the whole world.

But, in any event, it doesn't even address the point. And, btw, if you actualy have solid figures for the military spending of China, Russia and a few other countries, you should probably provide that information to our intelligence agencies. I'm sure they'd like to know.

"There is billions upon billions lost in fraud, waste, double-billing, theft, mismanagement, embezzlement and everyother kind of chicanery, and it's all hidden from public view."

All hidden except that you have the goods. Again, you should get your info right over to Obama, cuz I'm pretty sure he's against all that waste fraud and abuse type stuff.

Btw, when the DNC appoints a chairman or welcomes candidates who oppose abortion and gay rights and favor cutting spending and taxes, let us know. Then, I guess we'll know your party has outgrown its Stalinist stage.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

lms,

I don't think anyone disputes the polling reflects self-interest, which your side decries except when it is recast this way as "we are all in this together." You can speculate that it isn't influenced by the 24/7 propaganda that the "rich" don't pay taxes, and that the "budget is being balanced on the backs of the poor," but I doubt it.

Btw, it's a little misleading, too, because there isn't nearly enough money in taxing the rich to balance the budget. Not even close.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "But he got away wiffit 'cause American thirst for blood needed to be slaked. After that alleged terrorist attack."

Alleged? You a troofer, cao?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 4, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

All, a longer take on Lamar Alexander's comically misleading pushback on filibuster reform:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/lamar_alexander_confused_or_wi.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, I realize that your point was focused on leftist propaganda about defense spending, but SIPRI actually does a pretty good job of tracking it:

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

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Of course the Afghanistan war isn't worth it. The only reason Bush went there was to boost his self-esteem an' call hisself a war persident."

I suppose the Dems all supported it so they could call him that. Or did they want to be a War Congris?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Our 2009 defense spending (of course we are in two wars) accounted for approximately 43 percent of all defense spending. As a percentage of GDP, however, at least nine countries spend more than we do on defense. I doubt that many protesters are complaining in Saudi Arabia though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday.

"A 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll (Reuters)"

Is there anyone who believes such a poll is not biased towards the Obamacrats??

Not bloody likely!

You may as well have a poll done by "Rolling Stone" magazine. What a laugh!

Those organizations are all Obama, loafer-lickers, 100%. They are MSM, Democrat propagandists. They are NYTs wannabes.

The two best polls are Gallup and Rasmussen. Liberals hate 'em because the truth mostly hurts liberals and their pink-cloud delusions.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 4, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

clawrence,

I don't put a lot of stock in the accuracy of compilations like that. There's no chance that any of these peace groups actually know what many countries spend on defense -- on budget, off budget, dollar/yuan, etc. It's not possible. Our own intelligence agencies have not done well historically knowing this kind of thing, and they are a lot more capable than Stockholm peaceniks.

Indeed, just look at the internal contradictions in fiona's position. She just knows that US defense spending is a massive, secret slush fund hidden from public view. Yet claims to know what the entire rest of the world actually spends.

It's patent nonsense.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

clarence,

Is the 43% from SIPRI?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "All hidden except that you have the goods"

I expect accusations of waste and fraud are at least somewhat accurate, as they are in any large scale administrative bureaucracy. If such difficulties are a reason to pare the defense budget, than they should also be a good reason to cut all other government expenditures. Because there are opportunities for fraud and waste in Medicare, Social Security, and all forms of federal assistance.

But, let's say we make a few draconian cuts to our outrageous defense budget. First to go is probably the money spent on medical research (such as cancer research), drug panels, technology research development, etc. Then, of course, we need to cut that pricey healthcare budget. Then we should probably cut training: talk about wasting money! Investments in new equipment, like, say, armored Humvees and new body armor of troops--I think that's a good idea, but, alas, it's part of our bloated military budget.

Of course, the biggest expense is personnel, uniformed and civilian, so we'd need to firing huge chunks of those guys. Not that that constitutes an attack on the public sector, or anything. Or trying to balance the budget on the backs of men and women who have devoted their lives to public service.

Then we can cut military construction and family housing budgets, and, of course, cut the procurement budgets. They can use old weapons and ration bullets and patch planes and submarines. And who needs drones to keep our military men and women out of harms way? Those things are expensive.

In 2010, DoD budget counted for about 19% of federally budgeted expenditures. Including non DoD stuff, it was more.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

i just loooove this one:
=========
Or maybe 61% believe it was the tax cuts that created the deficit in the first place and think it's time they paid some of it back, shared sacrifice and all.

======================

I had to look up "shared sacrifice" in my handy dandy Liberal to English: English to Liberal translation dictionary.

Here's what it means: the liberals "share" some one else's sacrifice.

the simple fact is that the government doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Liberals will never admit this because the amount the government spends is a proxy measure for its size and scope. Spending less by the government means doing less by the government and liberals can't tolerate that. Even if, as the welfare system clearly proves, the spending is deleterious to society.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 4, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"BHO suggests that after the posturing some big stuff will get done."

I pray to god that Obama does do any "big stuff" because it will come at the expense of the Middle Class and the Poor. Obama is a Republicrat through and through. Maybe he's inept politically as well or maybe he's just pretending and actually getting exactly what he wants. It doesn't make any difference. It is actions that count. By voluntarily adding 850B to the debt Obama has set the country up for an assault on the New Deal. That is clear. The only question is whether Democratic Regulars will stand for a Dem Pres doing what they would never permit a Repub to do. The question for real Democrats (not Republicrats) is: what's more important, Pres Obama or the country. The first few rounds have clearly gone to Obama but I'm hopeful that Obama's attack on the Welfare State may actually wake real Dems from their stupor.

Same goes for the wars, Ims. If Obama doesn't get us out of Afghanistan next year I hope that Dems will remember what they stand for, and it isn't lockstep support of anything a president of their party decides; that is, or should be, the province of the GOP. Dems can think for themselves. I hope they do. And please dear god no "big things" from Obama. The time for "big things" was right after the election but Obama squandered all his political capital doing Republicrat things the country didn't want. The time for "big things" is gone. Now it's hold on and hope Obama doesn't dismantle the New Deal.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 4, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

skipsailing,

Exactly. They want to share what others sacrifice. Always and without exception.

And the person who is to make all the sacrifices is called "greedy" and "selfish," while those "sharing" are said to bear all the burdens. It's beyond Orwellian.

The national income tax along with the New Deal has fundamentally compromised the integrity of our system.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"But I'm pretty confident that they're going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people and that we are creating a competitive economy for the 21st century," the president said.

Sheesh, everyone's a comedian.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 4, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, yes (which is why I said "approximately"). Note however that even 43% defeats fiona5's points.

Kevin_Willis, wasn't our 2009 defense spending $663 billion?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

clawrence,

Yes, I did notice. Even data from a Swedish peace institute doesn't support poor fiona. But sneers and lies are what she does.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 4, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I see you guys missed my snarkiness in the "shared sacrifice" comment. Uh, isn't that what people are begging for when they bring up cuts to SS? So far the only ones being asked to sacrifice are public employees, and I'm not talking waste, I'm talking wages, those making below $20k per year, and of course seniors. I wouldn't worry though, you got your tax cuts for at least another two years.

Anyway, I'm back to work this week so have a good one.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 4, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Obama figures that because adding jobs to the economy is his top priority, he needs someone with close ties to the American business community ..."

Because he doesn't have enough people in his administration with close ties to the business community already, right? Wouldn't want to get someone who represented workers in that position. So far labor's represented by Hilda Solis and ... ummm... did I mention Hilda Solis?

Posted by: stonedone | January 4, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama got DADT repealed. BTW - http://OutMilitary.com is adding hundreds of new members everyday. Thank you gays and lesbians in uniform for your service.

Posted by: joined | January 4, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

poor babies:
======================
I see you guys missed my snarkiness in the "shared sacrifice" comment. Uh, isn't that what people are begging for when they bring up cuts to SS? So far the only ones being asked to sacrifice are public employees, and I'm not talking waste, I'm talking wages, those making below $20k per year, and of course seniors. I wouldn't worry though, you got your tax cuts for at least another two years.

=========================

Many of the states are bankrupt. The teachers are grossly overcompensated and producing a very mediocre product. AFSCME spent millions on the last election trying to stave off the inevitable. there are rumors that the sanitation department in NYC slowed down to send a message to their boss. and the list goes on. Bell, California anyone?

It is hard to have a lot of pity for the government's employees. It is the only sector of the economy that has grown since MR Obama took office. We can't afford them, we certainly don't need them and why shouldn't they face the same economic turmoil as the people who work to pay thier vast salaries?

Meanwhile the envy goes on. the liberals are appalled that rich people can keep some of the money they worked hard for. It is, to their perverse thinking anyway both a crime and a gift. It is a crime, these perverts hold, to allow anyone making more than X to keep any of that money. It is only through the good graces of Obama himself that this happens at all. Letting people keep their money is now a gift from the government.

Yo, liberals can you spell serfdom? I didn't think so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 4, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

At least all of those federal lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of ObamaCare would be immediately dismissed if this were enacted:

http://rules-republicans.house.gov/Media/PDF/HR__-Repeal.pdf

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 4, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company