Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Cocky House Dems' Bravado During 2022 Lame Duck Is Partly Responsible for the Debt 'Pickle' We're In


"No one should be surprised that the resolution of our most moronic fiscal policy, the federal debt ceiling, involved our stupidest social policy: work requirements for assistance programs.

Republicans showed they were willing to crash the U.S. economy to make some bog-standard complaints about the federal deficit, most of which they created themselves.  This through the 2017 tax cuts they created for the wealthy.   If Republicans were really serious about restraining federal spending they'd not have voted for those $1.7 trillion tax cuts." - Michael Hiltzik, LA Times yesterday, 'Debt Ceiling Tussle Was Supreme Waste Of Time', p. A2

Democrats, to put it very bluntly, lost the debt ceiling battle once they assumed - back in the lame duck session of 2022 - they could roll over Kevin McCarthy and his extremist 'Freedom Caucus' in any debt ceiling battle. So these daft twits even seemed to relish the oncoming 2023  confrontation, apparently believing it could be “won.

First, they assumed McCarthy might never get the votes needed to become Speaker and he'd need their help.  WRONG! McCarthy willingly became the forever 'bitch' of the MAGA extremists - promising them anything - even plum committee memberships, if only they'd elect him Speaker of the House.  By the 15th round it worked, and McCarthy got the position, but only after literally giving away the 'store'.  The "Taliban 20", including high school dropout Lauren Boebert e.g.

extracted almost every concession - large and small -  they could from the GOP's most notorious wuss.  Boebert, for her part,  announced in a tweet  back in January she had been appointed to the influential House Oversight and Accountability Committee.  The appointment gave the firebrand Trumper bimbo-  and Glock 9mm toter - an outsized influence on looming investigations, including: Fauci and the vaccines, Hunter Biden's taxes and his laptop, and investigations into "weaponization of government" by the CIA and FBI .

The balless wonder McCarthy wasn't done, also awarding Marjorie Taylor-Greene an appointment to the House Homeland Security Committee—which oversees the Department of Homeland Security.  Not to mention awarding Chairmanship of the Armed Services subcommittee to once accused sex trafficker and MAGA mutt Matt Gaetz .   This latter gift actually created a ruckus with Rep. Mike Rogers being restrained from punching out Gaetz on the House floor, e.g.

This was after Rogers learned the worm McCarthy surrendered his promised post to Gaetz.  

But even before that sordid scene erupted the House Democrats must have been sick to their core, by now realizing the depths McCarthy would go to in order to have power - and worse- that he basically ceded it all to the "Taliban 20" GOP terrorists. Who, at any time, could hold a vote to boot him out if he didn't give them what they want.

Second, the Dems assumed that despite such a shocking and implausible turnaround, they could still count on the "moderate" Reeps - i.e. such as the 4 who won seats in congressional NY districts won by Biden in 2020.  (This included the fraud George Santos.) Thus they banked on these moderates (minus Santos)  voting with them to defeat McCarthy's looneytunes in any debt ceiling vote. That also did not happen. The mushy moderates stuck with the MAGA rabble to vote for the horrific bill that basically gutted the poorest and most vulnerable.   This was through their voting for the horrific 'Limit Spend and Grow' act, e.g.

Which includes provisions - just voted on Saturday night - that have all single beneficiaries up to age 55 working to secure food stamps, Medicaid or both.  The idiot GOP terrorists believe they can carve out of people's hides up to $11 b in savings, but they are dreaming.   43 percent of those likely to be affected are already working - some at two jobs - and many of the others are either caretakers or partially disabled themselves.   This is why LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik pointed out yesterday ('Debt Ceiling Tussle Was Supreme Waste Of Time', p. A2):  "By my calculations that savings comes to 17 thousands of a percent of the federal budget, which comes to about $6.4 trillion."

So there you have it. A colossal waste of time that merely enabled the Reeps to do more of their tacky performance art, posturing and bluster.  And which may lead to a debt default anyway because too many remain committed to play the role of financial terrorists.  But a lot of blame has to go to the House Dems who overplayed their hand - and overestimated their confidence - in getting the better of the Goops last fall.

See Also:

The full legislative text of the debt ceiling deal



No comments: