Flailing and Failing

October 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Isn’t there some scientific principle where the stability of one object leads to greater instability in another object?

The more President Obama and Harry Reid assert their simple strategy–we won’t negotiate under these conditions; pass a clean budget patch and debt ceiling bill and then we’ll talk–the wilder the House R’s are getting.

I just read this Politico piece suggesting that now a bunch of the Republican leaders want to revert to a “grand bargain”–a big budget deal wherein R’s get entitlement cuts and D’s and the WH get new tax revenues.

Say what?

They (the R’s) couldn’t close a grand bargain for years, but now they can somehow pull it off in a few days?  With revenues?  Having nothing to do with Obamacare?

And what are they saying here–that they’d accept clean budget patch and debt ceiling bills on the condition that there’s then a grand bargain?  Maybe they’d like a supercommittee??

Or are they saying that only after a grand bargain will they accept clean bills?  Because if that’s where they are, it’s deeply inconsistent with WH/Reid position.

See for yourself, but that Politico piece read like Mandarin Chinese to me.  The ad hockery among the R’s right now is, if not remarkable, then alarming.  They’re flailing about.

Tea Partier Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) sums their position up nicely, I think: “We’re not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Word to that.

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8 comments in reply to "Flailing and Failing"

  1. Stephen says:

    Actually, a grand bargain could be feasible if the republicans are willing to give (a lot) on revenues. They need a face saving out, which means they have to get something, but they have to give something up too; the WH can’t count a clean CR or a debt ceiling bill as concessions

  2. R. Nemo says:

    Hostage negotiators know that when ever you negotiate with a hostage taker(GOP) you have to give them a face saving out. Otherwise they commit suicide. In this case it is political.
    I say let them destroy themselves.

  3. foosion says:

    There are two versions of the grand bargain.

    One is Obama’s preferred version, which now seems to be eliminate some loopholes and cut Social Security and Medicare (in yesterday’s interview with Harwood he seemed to disavow raising rates). I fear cuts to Social Security and Medicare would be longer lasting than anything relating to revenue or other spending.

    The other is the current GOP version, which is not entirely clear. Most stories I’ve seen say a grand bargain means give them everything they want and they’ll fund the government and raise the debt limit. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner is good source of current info on the Rs.

  4. foosion says:

    Does this sound like a group willing to increase taxes:

    “Rank-and-file members want Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to return to the so-called “Boehner Rule,” which they say means any debt limit hike must be matched by an equal amount of spending cuts. …

    “Now, as it looks increasingly like the government shutdown fight will be paired with raising the debt ceiling, Republicans are pushing hard for a strong opening bid and are adamant that changes to entitlement programs be included in any final deal. …

    “Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). “I want three dollars’ worth of cuts for any dollar [of debt limit increase.]””


  5. Steve Bannister says:

    Grand Bargain:
    1. Restore sequester cuts
    2. Pass Senate Democratic budget
    3. Axe the Social Security cap

  6. Walt French says:

    Time for Boehner to resign, if he cannot actually represent the interests of his caucus.

    I don’t think he’s as much the problem as the fact of his position provides the fig leaf for this sort of nonsense.

    Yes, normally resignations follow elections where your party loses. But the Tea Party doesn’t seem very interested in time-tested ways of conducting business.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    From Politico article:

    “I want to get a budget agreement,” Ryan told POLITICO…and from the get-go, we wanted to get a budget agreement to grow this economy and get this debt under control, especially before the Federal Reserve starts raising interest rates….

    Paul Ryan sounds like he listens to too much CNBC. I happened to see Larry Kudlow on Chris Hayes’ msnbc.com show last night, and around the 4 minute mark in the segment, Kudlow claims that “business investment” is **the** magical key to economic growth. A la Paul Ryan, Kudlow appears convinced that “shrinking the government” will inevitably lead to ‘more business investment’, which will in turn lead to greater wealth creation. http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/53171277#53171277

    I’d offer one example to counter this nonsensical claim: if ‘business investing’ were the major factor in growth, then a business like Webvan – which had over $1 bn in ‘business investment’ – should have been a huge success. It wasn’t.

    “…In the summer of 1999, Webvan announced it was making a $1 billion investment in warehouses and would expand to 26 more cities by 2001…At its November 1999 IPO, Webvan raised $375 million….By the time the company announced it would close up shop in July 2001, Webvan’s stock fell to just 6 cents a share. Webvan laid off 2,000 employees when it failed.”


    Webvan had plenty of ‘business investment’, but it lacked enough paying customers.
    And Webvan is only Exhibit A; there are laundry lists of companies that had plenty of investment capital, but not enough paying customers to stay afloat.

    Anyone who went through, or observed, the dot.com boom-bust should recognize the fallacy of the ‘investment = business = growth’ mantra. It does not hold up in the real world, where many of us have to figure out how to provide what customers need, at a reasonable cost and convenience.

    Investment is relatively simple; getting and keeping paying customers is the challenging part.

    If we have learned nothing else over the past 20 years, we should have figured out by now that the key to ‘growth’ is having enough consumers with enough money to buy many things, so that the economy functions well. Ergo, continuing to pursue the now-anachronistic strategy of low-taxes, less-government is economic malpractice at the least, and economically suicidal at worst. When you consider that 70% of the US economy is attributed to consumer spending, the importance of making sure there are enough consumers with money to spend becomes quite urgent.

    The innaccurate economic assumptions that underlie the GOP strategy really need to be exposed as fallacious — and the sooner, the better. Maybe this stalemate is a (very disguised) opportunity to engage in the deeper argument about what actually contributes to growth.

    If you want more business activity, you need more paying customers.
    Government policies need to focus on how to create a lot of customers with money to spend. The GOP fails to grasp this elemental reality.

  8. purple says:

    The canceled trip to Asia is a pretty big deal. The Philippines (the country I’m most familiar with) is always unstable and Aquino has stuck his neck out over alot of opposition. There’s no way to spin this in Asia, it looks like the U.S. can’t be relied on.