"Wasted Away in Margaritaville"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Congress Returns

JM Ashby
Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Artist – Dave Granlund

In other news, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann would like for you to know that her first priority is protecting Veterans even though sheproposed cutting veterans benefits by $4.5 billion in January.

Copyright 2011 Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Attack Perry With This Irrefutable Fact

Bob Cesca
Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

I really hope the Obama administration and the Democrats go after Rick Perry for this recent bit of history.
Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.
“Stimulus was very helpful in getting them through the last few years,” said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies for the National Association of State Budget Officers, said of Texas.
Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act money, he railed against it. On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titled “No Government Bailouts.”
“Join our fight and add your voice to a growing list of several thousand Americans who are fed up with this irresponsible spending that threatens our future,” Perry wrote on his blog on Feb. 18, 2009.
Seriously, bookmark this blog entry. Use it often. Post it on Facebook. Send it to your Republican friends. Rick Perry supports wealth redistribution and he supports bailouts. Period. Irrefutable fact.

Copyright 2011 Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tea party downgrade

Peter Koechley Civic Action

For the first time in history, the U.S. credit rating has been downgraded.
This "tea party downgrade" is a shameful blow to our nation's honor and risks throwing us right back into recession. Worst of all? It was completely avoidable.
But when given the choice between extremist posturing and responsible leadership, tea party Republicans chose wrong. And now, amazingly, they're blaming it all on Barack Obama.1
John Boehner and the rest of the Republicans hurt our economy and the whole country needs to know it.
We have to set the record straight. 

1. "GOP 2012 Candidates Agree Obama Deserves The Blame For S&P Downgrade... But Disagree Over Why," Talking Points Memo, August 6, 2011

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Balanced Approach Versus Hedge Fund Managers Getting Off Scot-Free

Winning Progressive
July 25th, 2011

The contrast between the competing approaches of President Obama and the House Republicans to the debt ceiling and deficit reduction was perfectly crystallized when both our President and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave speeches on these issues on Monday night.  On the Democratic side is the balanced approach that calls for everyone – including hedge fund managers, corporate jet owners, and other wealthy Americans who have made out like bandits over the past thirty years – to help reduce the deficit.  On the GOP side, Speaker Boehner continues to promote his “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan that lets the wealthy get off scot-free by requiring $0 in revenue increases while imposing $5.5 trillion in cuts on programs that benefit the middle class, working class, and poor.
Below are some highlights from President Obama’s speech.  After you read them, please heed President Obama’s call and contact Congress in favor of the balanced approach:
The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.
If you agree, call your Representative and Senators and let them know how you feel.  We’ve heard that the Congressional switchboard is overloaded with calls, so your best bet is to try the district office numbers, which can be found here.
Here are a few highlights from President Obama’s speech.
First, the President reminded us that how our budget surplus was wasted during the W. Bush Administration, a point that is also well illustrated by this chart:
In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card. As a result, the deficit was on track to top $1 trillion the year I took office.
Next, President Obama explains the balanced approach to deficit reduction:
The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out the waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare – and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.
This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much. It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt. And the cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right now.
This approach goes farther on spending cuts than we here at Winning Progressive would like, especially given that the key to reducing the short term deficit is getting the economy moving again, not cutting spending.   But with the GOP holding our entire economy hostage, it is clear that some cuts to government spending and deficit reduction will have to occur in order to avoid default, and this balanced approach is by far more reasonable than anything the GOP is proposing.   Note also that, contrary to the unsubstantiated rumors floating around various blogs, the President has reiterated that he wants to make Medicare more sustainable by rationalizing health care spending, not by cutting benefits.
The President then contrasted his balanced approach with the ask-nothing-of-the-wealthy approach taken by the Republicans:
The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a cuts-only approach – an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all. And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about – cuts that place a greater burden on working families.
So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?
That’s not right. It’s not fair. We all want a government that lives within its means, but there are still things we need to pay for as a country – things like new roads and bridges; weather satellites and food inspection; services to veterans and medical research.
Next, the President explains how the debt ceiling only became a problem when the crazies who run today’s Republican Party decided that taking our economy hostage is a reasonable way to try to achieve their ideological agenda:
In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it 7 times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.
Finally, President Obama reminded us all what will happen if the Republican hostage takers succeed in preventing an increase in the debt limit:
If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.
For the first time in history, our country’s Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis – one caused almost entirely by Washington.
Increasing the debt ceiling is absolutely imperative, but we also must not give in to the pathological intransigence of the GOP on this issue.  Therefore, contact your Congresspeople and let them know that you want a balance approach to raising the debt ceiling, rather than crashing our economy simply so hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners can get off scot-free.
Copyright 2011 Winning Progressive

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sarah Palin's Blockbuster

I think it needs a new title.

Broadway Carl
Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania
Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Undefeated, the much-hyped Palin documentary, bombed during its second week in theaters, bringing in just $24,000 in ticket sales across 14 screens. The movie’s per theater average, touted as a relative bright spot by promoters, plummeted from $6,513 to $1,713, according to estimates by the industry website Box Office Mojo.

Copyright 2011 Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The GOP’s New-Old Plan to Destroy Medicare & Social Security

ThinkProgress War Room
Progress Report/ThinkProgress
July 19, 2011

A Sneak Attack on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Everything Else

We are now frighteningly close to a default on our obligations with just two short weeks to go until Aug. 2. So what is the GOP doing? Offering up more pointless political stunts and wasting precious time by putting forward radical bills that have absolutely no chance of passing the Senate and which the president has already promised to veto.
The House of Representatives today considered and passed the so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan (more accurately described as the “Duck, Dodge, and Dismantle” plan), a plan that is just like the GOP’s disastrous budget plan passed earlier this year — except much, much worse. This new plan — the GOP budget plan on steroids — is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that would require almost immediate, deep spending cuts. And instead of merely doing this by legislation, this plan would impose the GOP’s budget on America by manipulating our Constitution. Under this plan, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security would come in for deep cuts in the years to come.
Another pernicious element of the plan worth noting is that it also includes re-writing the Constitution in such a way as to make it nearly impossible to raise taxes — ever. While Medicare and Social Security can get slashed by a mere majority vote, raising taxes would require a 2/3 vote in both the Senate and the House. (If that kind of arrangement sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how the badly broken budget process in California works.)
What It Means
The centerpiece of the plan is as devious as it is wonky — cap on total government spending at 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product, a level of spending so low it has not been seen since 1966. While this overall cap cleverly disguises the scope and scale of the plan’s cuts, here’s a chart from the Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger that illustrates what the GOP’s “dangerous and disingenuous plan” could mean in practice (hint: massive cuts):
Then Versus Now: Why We Can’t Run the Government Like It’s 1966
It would seem fairly obvious that we can’t go back to the level of government spending we had in 1966, given the numerous differences between then and now.  Here’s how today’s America stacks up against 1966 America (click here for full size):
Instead of radical bills and half-baked gimmicks, it’s time for the GOP to support a reasonable plan — including substantial new revenues — that will reduce the deficit and save us from the economic calamity that would result from a default on our obligations.
© 2005-2011 Center for American Progress Action Fund

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bad News For Republicans

JM Ashby
Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

According to a new CBS poll released today:
71% of respondents disapproved of Republicans’ handling of the debt talks, with only 21% approving.But beyond the lack of general buy-in to their legislative tactics, CBS reports that they even face a challenge in convincing their own base. [...]
Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks. Far fewer Democrats expressed disapproval of their own party’s handling (32 percent) or President Obama’s (22 percent) of the urgent quest to raise the nation’s debt limit ahead of a looming default on Aug. 2 if action isn’t taken.
Only 22% of Democrats disapprove of the president’s handling of debt-ceiling negotiations while 51% of Republicans disapprove of the their party’s handling of negotiations. So whose base is abandoning who here?
Just to add insult to injury — a Gallup poll released four days ago shows that74% of Republicans believe any deficit reduction legislation should also include new revenue.
In hindsight, it should be a no-brainer for Republicans to take the president’s “Big Deal” offer, but they won’t because tax cuts for the Super-Rich are sacrosanct.

Copyright 2011 Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!