What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 22, 2011

Tea-Party Democracy

From an editorial in today's P-G:
For lack of congressional compromise, payroll taxes are going to rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent and long-term unemployment benefits are going to run out -- this in the worst economic times since the Great Depression. As a result, some 160 million Americans are going to have to pay the price of freshmen Republicans who don't give a damn unless they get their own way.

The Senate did its part, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing on a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. The Republicans succeeded in including language requiring President Barack Obama to make up his mind within 60 days on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which environmentalists oppose. The bill passed 89-10, with 39 of 46 Republicans voting for it.
Including, we must add, Senator Toomey.

He even explained his vote on his website, saying that, while flawed, the legislation was "worthy of support."

The P-G goes on:
Then it came to the House of Representatives, with holdouts giving the excuse that they wanted a one-year tax cut extension or none at all. Would one year be better? Of course. Are the Democrats also playing politics, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refusing to negotiate further? Of course.

But can the blame be shared equally? Of course not. The House Democrats unanimously voted against rejecting the compromise bill. So in approving the rejection bill 229-193 and repudiating the efforts of adults in their own party, the House Republican majority owns this Christmas tax hike.

Even The Wall Street Journal editorial page, the daily bible of conservatives, was aghast at how badly Republican leaders such as House Speaker John Boehner had handled this "fiasco." It wrote, "At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly."

Yes, but how? Republican leaders now find themselves in the same position that Dr. Frankenstein was in -- unable to control the monster of his own creation. After all, the tea-party types who now inhabit Congress did what their electorates voted them in to do -- reject compromise and bipartisanship. All other Americans should note how this is working out.
That WSJ editorial is brutal in its assessment of the state of the House GOP.  Go read it.  But the P-G got it right.  How many years did the far right wing of the far right wing GOP complain about RINOs?  Those "Republicans In Name Only"?  They gain some control over the GOP, get some tea partiers elected to the House this is what happens.

This is what happens:

From Thinkprogress:
During a quick pro-forma session of the House this morning, Republicans rebuffed a Democratic attempt to force an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed payroll tax holiday extension, which Republicans have thus far refused to allow. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who was serving as the speaker pro-temp, ignored shouts of “Mr. Speaker!” from Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), quickly adjourning the House.

Hoyer continued talking undeterred, saying, “You’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers [and] the unemployed.” “We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing this issue of critical importance to this country,” Hoyer added.

Moments later, the mic appeared to cut out. A few seconds after that, the video feed switched away from the House floor to a still image of the Capitol Dome. It appears someone in House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) office cut the feed, as C-SPAN tweeted afterwards: “C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras – the Speaker of the House does.”
Doncha Just LOVE Tea Party Democracy?


EdHeath said...

Anybody remember the summer before the midterms, when conservatives wre complaining the President was not doing enough to address unemployment? They had enough of a point for a bunch of self-identified Tea Party Republicans to get elected.

Someone tell me how ending unemployment benefits and ending a tax break (which is what Republicans claim to favor over government spending) for the poor and middle class helps the unemployed?

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Unemployment benefits must be stopped at some point. Otherwise, those on unemployment have no incentive to better themselves.

At what point should people realize the steel mills ain't coming back? The typewriter sales/repair business is gone? The need for toll takers is gone? [Insert any job supplanted by technology or market changes.]

Tell me, Ed. How long should unemployment benefits be provided? Give me a number.. no platitudes, etc.

I'll be honest. I don't really know. I do know, however, I wouldn't expect or wait 99 weeks (a/k/a TWO YEARS). I'd move, take anything, etc. before that.

EdHeath said...

Wow, CM, how lucky we all are to have you dispense this fabulous wisdom to the unemployed. "Take anything" - sure, two hundred guys can apply for one job at McDonalds, and next week one hundred ninety nine can apply for the one job at Wendys. Or they can move, which is to say try and sell their house in a depressed neighborhood, or if they are renters they can pick up and move after having been out of work for how long, go to a strange town, try to find a place to rent, all while trying to find a job.

So the steel mills closed 99 weeks ago? Office Depot switched from selling typewriters to selling computer just 99 weeks ago? EZ pass came into existence and replaced all the toll takers exactly 99 weeks ago? And the particular recession we are in was caused by technology shift, exactly 99 weeks ago? The financial markets had nothing to do with it, The Bush and then Obama administrations gave out TARP funds for no reason.

Having no money improves poor people with no jobs? So you are going to give up your job and all your possessions, so that you can begin to better yourself?

Isn't it funny the the House Republicans have now reversed themselves, and apparently plan to vote Friday (later today) to extend the payroll tax and unemployment benefits short term. I guess you should be asking them how long unemployment benefits should be provided. Unemployment benefits are described the best way for the government to inject money into the economy, since they tend to be spent right away. So naturally in a recession they should be ended right now.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Once again, no proposed answer from you to a question.. only attacks.

WTF do *you* propose? Unemployment payments FOREVER? Or, only until some *feel* like getting off their fat asses?

I'm not talking about everyone, btw.. but, you'll find a way to make it that.

My question remains - WHAT do YOU propose?

I actually heard an idea that (on it's surface) is interesting - Keep unemplyment payments the same (the 99 weeks?) until the unemployment rate hits, say, 7%. Then start reducing the length as the rate decreases. Requires some thought, but at least it's an idea and may take the 'politics' out of the equation.

EdHeath said...

CM, you are still both incredibly insulting and incredibly condescending. What does that even mean "I'm not talking about everyone, btw.. but, you'll find a way to make it that."? That unemployed educated white people who can't get a job should have their unemployment extended, but persons of color and/or uneducated persons have "fat asses" that they don't get off of to accept jobs (that don't exist) should have their unemployment cut off.

Funny that you demand a policy proposal from me, when I know you will snort in indignation at anything I say (after all, you Republicans slam even tax cuts unless they are for the super rich). Meanwhile, you constantly tell us how educated and experienced you are, yet you do not regale us with your wisdom.

No, I'm sorry, that's right, you (report on someone else's suggestion to) propose cutting off benefits from the people who have been off work the longest and kind of need them the most. You think that will bring the unemployment rate, because people aren't taking jobs being handed to them on silver platters, as opposed to the jobs not actually existing.

At least, not until there is some money being spent in the system, for consumer goods and buildings. Which means another stimulus, preferably working on our crumbling highways and bridges, and on green energy projects such as solar farms in the South West, wind farms all over, solar panels on homes.

Which you will mock, because according to you fossil fuels will last forever and there is no climate change (regardless of what all the National Academies of Science around the world, NOAA, NASA, etc, etc).

Your suggestion is the opposite of taking the "politics" out of the situation. Unemployment compensation payments are generally spent right away, and thus are one of the best government stimulus programs for the economy right now. And you would cut it, so that taxes for the rich will be cut.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

@Ed.. Once again, no proposal or ideas from you other than "WE CAN'T STOP IT!! IT'S STIMULUS!!"

Typical academic.

EdHeath said...

"Typical academic"

You mean somebody who studies issues based on time tested theories, and uses data to back up their ideas.

Thank you.

Actually I am not an academic by career, although perhaps by inclination.