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G.O.P. House Shenanigans Fruitless Effort; Real Goal is Leverage

January 4, 2011

ASHEHAM PRESS OP-ED ARTICLE

Cut, cut here – Cut, cut, there – and a couple of la-dee-das…. that’s how we trim away the things we do not like today, in the merry old land of OZ.

Yes, John Boehner is living in the la-la land of OZ. He will be the new House leader leading a fruitless effort to cut $100 billion from the new budget. As the NY Times said today, it is largely a symbolic effort as the Senate will likely reject the proposal. So, why do it? Why waste time on a fruitless effort when so many other very important issues need tending to? Answer: Politics and a good dose of narcissism, my friends. The House Republicans will be garnering all kinds of quality attention, and wave their principles high, blame Democrats for the deficit, and all that jazz. What a bunch of hooey. The real game here is to whine about how they are the majority and darn it, they are in charge now and want their way. Well, this is exactly why we have two legislative bodies so one does not get up on its high horse and insist on having their way.

All good legislation is about crafting a bill that serves the best interests of the vast majority of Americans. The process is about discussion and compromise and done with civility. But, that is not what we will be witnessing this year or next year. The onus will be on dismantling the Obama healthcare plan, attacking Social Security, and deficit reduction. Wait! Wasn’t it just last month the Republicans insisted on $2 trillion dollars in extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? That was them, right? John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, right? That tax cut is directly tacked onto the federal deficit folks. One day we had a $13 trillion dollar deficit, the next we had a $15 trillion. Now, to pay for the wealthy getting their tax cut, everyday Americans will suffer again by attempts to cut the newly legislated healthcare program, plus Social Security and likely Medicare — all programs that have direct benefit to us, the everyday American.

See, how this game works? They know what they are proposing will not fly. So, what is the real reason for proposing a budget that will not get through the Senate? Leverage. They are crafting leveraging points so down the road they can say to Democrats, we will give up pressing on this issue, if you give up on that issue, and vice-versa. And the stakes are high. Every good Democrat worth his or her salt will protect Social Security and Medicare. And Republicans know this. So, rather than being involved in crafting real legislation in a positive tone and goodwill effort, they are wasting time indulging once again in rotten power politics. They are wasting time NOT doing the people’s business, although you will hear them again and again state forcefully that this is what they were sent to Washington to do.

It is disgraceful when 26 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed that we have this immature behavior going on by elected officials. While Boehner is literally crying about how he spent his whole life pursuing the American Dream, millions of everyday Americans have lost their dream, their jobs, their houses, their savings, and now he is proposing taking the only retirement monies they will have and will need and also cutback healthcare! What kind of man is this guy? He is a Republican and this is an indictment against a party and one of its leaders for gross unethical and immoral behavior. The decisions made this year my friends will affect most of us for many years to come.

As the NY Times reported today….. But the effort is more than symbolic: in particular it could give House Republicans increased leverage in budget negotiations with the White House this winter and spring, when the administration must get Congress to raise the federal debt limit or risk a government financing crisis.

But if Republicans vote for the size and range of required cuts in education, law enforcement, medical and scientific research, transportation and much more, it would give Democrats political ammunition to use against them in swing districts.

Such reductions are sure to draw protests from governors and local officials, including Republicans, who are counting on federal money to help balance their budgets. Many business and farm groups likewise would oppose cuts in their subsidies. And many economists would argue that immediate federal spending cuts of this size, especially on top of cuts and layoffs in the cities and states, would threaten the economy’s recovery and offset any stimulus from the tax cut deal Republicans and Mr. Obama reached just weeks ago.

Entire article, click here

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