Holy shit we are so fucked

Well, some stimulus bill we got there. We're going to get a $780 billion bill put up, and $350 billion of that is strictly tax cuts.

So, let me get this straight. The $900 billion dollar bill with mostly spending that would stimulate the economy was pared down to $780 billion (though some reports are estimating it now at $827 billion), with a greater percentage of the package going to tax cuts that don't stimulate the economy. Or as Josh Marshall put it, "[s]o Senate Republicans invoked the threat of a filibuster. And the 'centrist' group has leveraged that threat to add more tax cuts that won't accomplish anything and cut out a lot of spending that would."

Is there any chance we could get Hillary back from the State Department and install her as Senate majority leader? Seriously, what the fuck is Harry Reid actually doing for this party anyways? Do you honestly think that, if we had a more effectual leader, we would have even gotten to this point?

I think it's much more likely that if she was in there, she'd have a pair big enough to say "listen fucknuts, we gave you a seat at the table, we gave you a few concessions, you got a few tax cuts, but there's a reason why we've slaughtered you the past two elections, and that's because people want us running the country, and you're barely a national party anymore, so this is the bill we're voting on, and if you don't like it, go right ahead and filibuster it, and then you can go explain to your constituents why you don't think it's worth passing this thing to help them out."

Oh, but no, that's the wrong way to go about it. Because as Pat Buchanan so eloquently pointed out on his regular segment on MSNBC's weekend news program (thanks a bunch MSNBC for not putting news clips online), the American people want the parties to work together on this solution. This statement, however, came a minute after he mentioned that he stayed the previous night at The Phoenician, a swanky resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the average room costs more than $400/night. And who better to speak for regular Americans than a guy who stayed at a hotel that charges more per night than the weekly gross earnings of a minimum wage worker.

Call me crazy, but I don't think people give a shit whether this stimulus gets passed by a bipartisan group, Democrats, republicans, or green fucking Martians. As Oscar Rogers regularly says on SNL, they want someone to FIX IT, and FIX IT NOW (2:20 in)! Who fixes it is of no concern to them. Do you think that the father who just lost his job and has a sick kid that he can't take to the doctor because he has no health insurance anymore cares who get this bill passed if that bill is going to help him out? If you're a fucking idiot (or a Washington insider or pundit), apparently you think he does.

And what's bi-partisan going to do in this climate anyways? As John Cole at Balloon Juice put it, "I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years." Negotiating with a crazy person makes no sense, unless your goal is to become somewhat crazy but not go all the way.

So the bottom line is that we bent over to get a few more votes from "centrist" republicans that seemed to ask for cuts, as publius put it, "just because the Senators had an ideological aversion to 'bigness.' Or something.... From what I can gather, they wanted to cut some stuff just to say that they had cut some stuff."

And again, these votes were not for the actual passage of the bill, these were votes to break a filibuster/cloture vote, which the MSM never seems to grasp. They also don't bother to report that 90% of the republican senators voted to scrap the entire plan and replace it with one comprised entirely of tax cuts, something that Paul Krugman called "completely crazy".

I know that Obama ran on the platform of working with the other party, but at some point he's going to have to make the case to the country that "yeah I said I would do that, but I didn't anticipate what unbelieveable tools these guys were, and they don't seem to grasp that working with them does not mean that we have to give them everything they want, so if they're going to work this way, fuck 'em."

Remind me again what we won this damned election for anyways?


Jeff said...

Why do you say tax cuts don't stimulate the economy?

Anonymous said...

I am wondering the same thing as you Jeff. Reagan cut taxes and we were in a much worse position and it worked. Bush, passed a big spending bill and what has it done? I am sure he did it wrong, but Obama will get it right, right?!

Zack Morris said...

Jeff, as a stimulus instrument tax cuts are far less effective than spending. Spending is going to create jobs immediately. As for the Reagan years, a) it's at least as bad now as it was back then, b) Reagan did raise taxes, he just did them through payroll taxes, but no one counts those because they don't affect the rich and they're the only ones that count in Reaganomic-analysis apparently, and c) the Fed was able to get the credit market moving by reducing the interest rate from 13% to 7%. When the rate is 0%, there's nothing the Fed can do to help.

jk said...

To reinforce what Zack said with actual numbers, tax cuts for the rich (which are the only kind the Republicans seem to be in favor of) have a fraction of stimulative effect of spending increases. In one case--accelerated depreciation--we actually get less back than we spend on them.

I know it's a handicap to have actual facts in a philosophical argument, but here's the data from Moody's:


Yes, I know, this is not the faith-based economics we've all grown used to.

Change is hard work.