Tea Party 2011: Oh, Like You Expected Us To Govern?

Beginning a new year with a new thread of the Tea Party just bein’ themselves, blowin’ up government just 'coz.

Bruce Bartlett with how they may set a new record by demolishing the global economy in their first month.

The important thing for readers to realize is that the prospect of default is not theoretical; it is real. The Tea Party people really are crazy enough to do it and may have the votes to make it happen. It simply cannot be assumed that there are enough adults left in the Republican Party to take responsibility and do what is necessary on this issue. It’s best to assume the worst, in my opinion.

And it’s not just the Congress. Lindsay Graham, apparently terrified that someone might out him (psst, we all know, dude) has turned from a moderate Republican into a full-bore loon in the blink of an eye.

Remember: before 2008? GOOD SPENDING. After 2008? BAD SPENDING.

As many others have noted, the demand of going back to 2008 spending levels is radical and, not coincidentally, highly unrealistic: According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it’d amount to a one-fifth cut in discretionary spending–forcing cuts that could damage the fragile recovery and starve programs like Pell Grants that most Americans value.

Strange days coming.

You know what’s going to really piss me off? When these fucktards start taking credit for all the good conservative things Obama and the Democrats have done. Turned the economy around, tax cuts (although I don’t actually think those were a good thing), cut spending, etc. Hell, they just announced 100B in military cuts. Military! And they’re going to readdress Guantanamo! Obama is swinging for the fences right now, if he can suddenly do an about-face on human rights issues, then I’d say he’s a perfect president. Unfortunately he’s a shitty politician.


Some days I really hate this fucking country. Too bad the alternatives are unattainable to me and really not that much better to begin with.

We’ll see if this is anything more than the usual opposition party harrumphing about the debt (spending is bad when I can’t decide where it goes!) before reluctantly voting for raising the debt ceiling because those darned people in the other party just don’t want to make massively unpopular decisions for some crazy reason.

We should give Graham some credit for actually listing specific unpopular changes that in fact may actually help social security (raising retirement age, means testing), as opposed to limiting himself to the usual approach, which is going on about eliminating discretionary spending without giving any specifics (well, he did that too, but it is a start).

Meanwhile, the House’s plan is to simply defund everything not social security, medicare/medicaid, military or DHS and hope for the best.

No, really.

House Republican leaders are so far not specifying which programs would bear the brunt of budget cutting, only what would escape it: spending for the military, domestic security and veterans.

The reductions that would be required in the remaining federal programs, including education and transportation, would be so deep — roughly 20 percent on average — that Senate Republicans have not joined the $100 billion pledge that House Republicans, led by the incoming speaker, Representative John A. Boehner, made to voters before November’s midterm elections.

If the Republicans apply their promise literally, some programs would have to be scaled back even more because the government is already well into its fiscal year, so the cuts would have to be concentrated in a shorter period. The reductions would be about 30.6 percent, said James R. Horney, a former Congressional budget analyst who is now at the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“That would require very large layoffs or furloughs of federal employees,” Mr. Horney said, “as well as big reductions in grants to state and local governments and government purchases of goods and services — all of which would offset a good portion of the stimulus achieved in the tax compromise and threaten the recovery."

It worked so well for California!

From article:

This morning, CEA chairman Austan Goolsbee warned Republicans against playing games with the nation’s credit rating by refusing to raise the debt limit and creating a technical default.

Couldn’t you avoid a default by cutting spending below the level of your revenue intake? (plus interest on debt, etc.)

So between now and March you think you can cut a trillion for spending for this year? Because if you can’t and don’t raise the ceiling you still default.

You have exactly zero perspective on the US economy, don’t you? Start here:

Come on back when you’re done, we’ll chew the fat.


Ya, turns out it’s hard. But it’s still possible, right? I mean, in one year they RAISED the spending by around 600 billion.

There’s not really any hard basis for the position that all current spending is absolutely required.

You’ve got three options to prevent a default… raise the debt ceiling, lower spending, or increase revenues. It’s somewhat mistaken to pretend like the only option is to just go further and further into debt.

Note, I’m obviously not presenting any plan for how such cuts would take place, and in all honesty I would be surprised if those in power would be willing to piss off the masses of voters that would undoubtedly be affected by such deep cuts, but are things really so far gone that such a plan is considered literally impossible?

Balancing the budget with the current level of taxation (remember, we just continued a huge tax cut!) would require huge cuts gutting almost every program. Our total revenue is $2.3 trillion. The 2010 budget (which has no TARP/stimulus spending left) is $3.5 trillion. An instantly balanced budget would, thus, require cuts of a third in spending across the board. For an example of the impact that would have, see the Ryan plan that Paul Ryan mooted trying to get to a balanced budget with the Bush tax cuts in place - it required significant cuts to the military, medicare and social security. This would, by the way, like any crazy austerity measure, cause the economy to nosedive into another recession.

Balancing the budget while pledging not to touch the traditional conservative sacred cows of social security, medicare and defense is literally impossible. Interest on the debt, social security, defense, and medicare/medicaid total $2.7 trillion in the current budget. Tax revenue, again, is $2.3 trillion.

No, it’s LITERALLY impossible.

Politicians (like… the entire Tea Party movement) that promise to balance the budget using only discretionary spending cuts with no new tax revenue are telling you one thing: they can’t read.

The CutGo thing is particularly funny.

he first is a change in the pay-as-you-go rules that will no longer require proposed tax cuts to include offsets so that there’s no increase in the deficit. Under the new GOP rules, that would only apply to proposed increased in mandatory spending. In addition, proposed mandatory spending increases could only be offset with reductions in other mandatory spending. The previous PAYGO rule that allowed the offset to be either spending cuts or revenue increases would be eliminated.

The second change is that the reconciliation procedures in the congressional budget process would be changed so that they could be used to increase the deficit if the increase was the result of a tax cut (The House democratic leadership several years ago revised the reconciliation rules so that it could be used only to reduce the deficit).

Balancing the budget while pledging not to touch the traditional conservative sacred cows of social security, medicare and defense is literally impossible. Interest on the debt, social security, defense, and medicare/medicaid total $2.7 trillion in the current budget. Tax revenue, again, is $2.3 trillion.

But you’re injecting a requirement that certain things not be cut. Obviously that’s unreasonable, and those programs would need to be cut as well.

Without that requirement, you could cut the budget by a trillion.

The fact that those cuts would likely be unpopular does not mean that they are impossible. It likely means that they won’t happen, but it if looking at options moving forward it’s kind of silly to just ignore that idea of making large spending cuts.

No really, read the link. It’s right up there. At least click it and look at the two graphs on the right, they’ll tell you 95% of the story.


If those f*ckers pull anything like this the economy will get crushed (due to reduced aggregate demand) which will obliterate financial markets. Not to mention what would happen if the US actually defaulted on some debt … I’m actually shocked by the irresponsibility of it all … were they not awake when lehman when down? And the US gubbermint is slightly larger than lehman.

And here I am fully invested in the stock market. Good times.

I’m not, the Republicans are. If you’re going to comment on a news story, maybe you should read it.

Good luck with that.


Everyone knows the only way to balance a budget is to FIND MORE REVENUE. It’s the only way.

Like, when a happy, friendly man and wife realize that they are spending more money than they are making… you know, eating out too much, buying too many blu-rays, gettin’ too many pedicures, the only solution is to GET MORE MONEY. So, they get night jobs or they start robbing banks. Cause there is NO FREAKIN’ WAY you are taking away those pedicures.

The happy couple is now running ragged, at their sanity limit, working non-stop to afford blu-rays and pedicures. They never see each other. The tension runs high. One day the wife shoots the husband out of stress.

But wait… there’s another, more logical solution? We could cut back on getting pedicures? We could not buy 8 blu-rays a month? We could not have to work non-stop jobs to pay for all this?


Oh but true, I forget you guys think that research on how much cow burps contribute CO2 to the atmosphere is a MUST.

Carry on geniuses.

I was commenting more on the overall idea of avoiding default while not increasing debt rather than the specific comments of politicians. However, even in the sections you mention they seem to be discussing, specifically, making cuts to social security.

Taking a little break from writing that essay, Bob?

I was going to suggest that maybe that spew was part of his essay and we’re getting a preview. Is that it, Bob?