The Rockin Johnny B

Friday, January 4, 2013


The right (and wrong) way to deal with the fiscal cliff bill

Labrador should have been pragmatic enough to vote for tax-hike deal and save spending-cut battle for next two months.   When dealing with an issue as contentious as America’s soaring debt, there’s a way you can stand firm for fiscally conservative principles while also showing you can work with your colleagues in the nation’s interest. Three of Idaho’s four members of Congress did that on New Year’s Day. One didn’t.

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined Rep. Mike Simpson in voting for a last-minute deal to avoid sending the country over the “fiscal cliff.” Rep. Raul Labrador voted against it.

In essence, it raised taxes for individuals making more than $400,000 and couples making in excess of $450,000, but kept rates what they were for everyone else. If a deal had not been reached, taxes would have gone up for all of us.  Typical right-wing-nut thinking.  Let's go over the cliff, that'll show 'em.  What an A**hole.  Let's let the majority of Americans in a financial bind so you can play politics with our futures.  Let the stock market crash.  Let's go in a bigger recession.  What an idiot.

There were no spending cuts of any significance in the bill, and that’s why Labrador voted against it. He was right to be frustrated at Democrats’ lack of willingness to make any meaningful reductions in spending, but his “no” vote wasn’t the right way to address those frustrations, nor was it pragmatic in getting what he ultimately wants.  I try to explain economics to these fools, but they simply don't get it.  They truly believe in 'trickle down' economics which has been proven unworkable in the past.  Reagan began this fuzzy math.  Let's give tax breaks to the rich that way they'll build factories and put people back to work...OUT OF THEIR LARGESS.  Funny how it didn't work out.  They just didn't realize that if you give money to the rich, they do not spend it...let me repeat that, they do not spend it...they invest it.  That's why they are rich.  Hasn't anyone seen Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol?  Scrooge had money because he didn't spend it.  He had money because he screwed people out of it because he was a miserly ol' bastard.  That's the model the rich believe in.  What's mine is mine and what's thine is mine. Someday, maybe, Raul will get this simple idea.

Had his colleagues also voted against the bill, taxes on everyone would have soared. That would have hurt all Idahoans. Labrador should have understood that.  No, Labrador doesn't understand simple economics or how this country's economic system works.  He's probably never taken a Macro-economics class in college.  He's got a Bachelors degree from BYU and he went to the University of Washington to get his law degree.  Trust me, he has no idea what an accounting page looks like.  He couldn't read a profit/loss statement if his life depended on it.  He really, really believes in magic.  This grand ol' country will just magically rebound if we just 'leave it alone.'  He's an idiot.

Restoring fiscal sanity to our nation will require both tax increases on high earners and substantial reductions in spending. That won’t make anyone happy, liberal or conservative, but it’s the truth. If we continue on our present course, the country will go bankrupt and suffer a long, deep, severe depression.  Let me try this one more time.  You cannot "cut" to save or stimulate an economy.  I don't know why Republicans don't get this simple fact.  The believe by taking money away, there will BE MORE MONEY TO SPEND.  Now, I ask you, does that make a lick of sense?  You cannot cut programs, put people out of work, and expect the economy to boom.  What kind of logic is that.  If you take ten cents out of a dollar, you do not have a dollar-ten to spend.  But that's what Republicans believe.  They really do.  If we just cut some of those pesky programs, we'll have more money to put on the National Debt.  How?  If people are out of work, how can they pay taxes...they don't and they can't and taxes are the government's wages to spend on the National Debt.  If you truly want to get rid of a debt, you increase the money by putting MORE PEOPLE TO WORK WHO PAY TAXES.  God almighty, why can't they get that.  Obama want's to put people to work on the infrastructure...BUT NOOOOOO...that would ruin the economy.  What?  Do you see the idiocy in this logic?  Putting people to work would RUIN the economy.  Now, how could that possible happen?  More taxes, more money...right?  Not according the the Conservatives in that ratty Tea Party.

The bill passed Tuesday addresses Part A of the two-part solution: tax increases. Republicans gave Democrats what they wanted.

But remember, the GOP still controls the House, and Tuesday’s deal doesn’t raise the debt ceiling yet. We can’t run up any more debt until that is done. That leaves two more months for Republicans to argue for Part B — spending cuts.

That’s a valuable card to have up their sleeve. Crapo, Risch and Simpson wisely realized that, and Labrador should have, too.

The nation has been stuffing its face with candy bars far too long. It’s time to eat our vegetables. Now that we’ve eaten our broccoli — tax hikes — it’s time for the carrots — spending cuts. President Obama promised $2.50 in pending cuts for every dollar in tax increases. Time to ante up, Mr. President.  He will ante up.  Unlike your Repugnicans, Obama keeps his promises.  However, after the battle over the Cliff, I wouldn't blame him if he reneged.  The Reps deserve it.  Poor ol' Boehner has no idea how to control his party.  Just note his New Jersey debacle.

Idaho’s congressional delegation must insist on real, meaningful reductions in spending in the next two months. And they need to play their debt ceiling card for all it’s worth. Now that they’ve shown an ability to compromise on tax increases, the pressure should be on Democrats to hold up their end of the bargain.  Here we go again.  Let's hold the American public hostage to political wrangling.  Everybody knows the ceiling has to raise.  We have to pay our George W. Debt.  That's right, the Republicans rang up this debt and now they think they can stop us by refusing to pay our bills.  That's what it means to disallow the debt ceiling.  If we do, we will default on our loans.  If that happens, Obama will make it very plain who did it.  It would, in effect, destroy the Republican Party.  If they don't realize this, they are again living on Bullshit Mountain and praying to the god of Magic Land.  What a bunch of fools.  Sometimes I just have to hang my head in shame.  To think I was once a rabid Republican.  Thank God for Ronnie Reagan.  He killed the party's efficacy with his spending and increasing of the army and believing in TRICKLE DOWN economics.  He was the largest fool of all.

Our view is based on the majority opinions of the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board. Members of the board are Publisher Matt Davison, Managing Editor Vickie Holbrook, Opinion Editor Phil Bridges and community members Kim Keller, Carlos Soriano, Taylor Raney, Ken Pieksma and Nicole Gibbs.

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