Friday, September 27, 2013

Ridiculous GOP debt ceiling "plan"

There hasn't been much news recently—at least on the national level. I think this is because everyone is waiting around to see just what the Republicans do to fuck everything up. The Republicans work as the equivalent of Iago in politics. Or perhaps a better analogy would be Worm fromRounders. He fucks everything up, but he doesn't have a reason for it. It is just how he rolls. That seems to be the case with the Republicans and the government shutdown and Debt Ceiling crisis.

This morning, Jonathan Strong at National Review provided us with the goods, Revealed: The House GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan. And it is quite a "plan." Basically, it is just a conservative wish list. The Debt Ceiling bill that the House Republicans are cooking up says, "We'll raise the Debt Ceiling, and all you have to give us is everything we've ever wanted." Well, that's not exactly true. They aren't asking for the death penalty for women using birth control and anyone caught having "unnatural" sex. But otherwise, it is all in there.

They want Obamacare delayed for the exact period of time they will limit the Debt Ceiling. But wait, there's more! They want the Keystone Pipeline green lighted, more oil drilling offshore, and an end to EPA carbon regulations. They want an end to net neutrality. They want tort reform. Not satisfied? There's more! They want to cut the child tax credit. They want to means test Medicare. They what the REINS Act which would politicizes all scientific judgments in regulations. But don't answer yet, because there is so much more! They want to gut Dodd-Frank. They want entitlement "reform" (i.e. cuts). They want the Ryan budget plan!

That's all just for raising the Debt Ceiling for one year. Actually, that's only about half of it. Click on over if you want to see the whole list. The main thing about it is that it isn't just a bargaining ploy. Although it is best to start a negotiation with high demands, this list goes way beyond that. It says, "We're not serious about this negotiation." Of course, that was clear from the start. In the 2011 Debt Ceiling fight, at least it was about the budget. The Republicans were saying, "We'll only allow the government to borrow more if they stop borrowing so much." It was bullshit even then, but it made a certain amount of sense. In this case, Boehner has been saying he will only allow more borrowing if Obamacare is killed, even though the program pays for itself.

So why not throw in net neutrality?! Why not force through the Keystone Pipeline? Why not lower taxes (which makes the budget shortfall even worse)? It doesn't have to make sense. In fact, it is not even supposed to make sense. It is a power play, pure and simple. The House Republicans are saying, "We don't care about the United States and so we are willing to destroy it if we don't get our way." This battle should have been fought a long time ago. The Republicans should have been called on their bullshit. Now there is going to be real damage, but giving into the Republicans now will only put off a much more damaging fight later on.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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