Monday, July 25, 2011

Dewey: Open Letter To the Most Arrogant and Petulant President in History

Dewey from Detroit... on the president's recent press conference.

[-- snippets -- click the above link for the whole thing -- it's, sadly, true, yet, funny, too...]

I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that we've been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package. (See? Right out of the box, derisive. Most presidents would have said something like " the talks broke down over disagreement regarding the size and scope of the tax increase." What you said, if I may paraphrase, was "that arrogant little prick had the unmitigated gall to walk away!? From ME?!" See the difference?) 

Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. (I  think it's fair to say that nearly all of the "discretionary" spending was in defense. That might be considered by some to be disingenuous.) 

We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.  We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, (As I understand it, you intend to preserve them in every way, just pretending to cut them by using the usual Congressional  accounting standards  comprised primarily of smoke and mirrors. Again, disingenuous. And  derisive, in that you think we'll all swallow another mouthful of that hogwash.) 

made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way. (Certainly not before you plan on leaving office, sometime around 2034? I think you see my point, above. More hogwash.)

So you had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans (always good to in include the R-words in a "bipartisan group" but again, a little derisive) 

 What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base. (Three problems: 1st, and here's that disingenuous thing again, eliminating "loopholes," and deductions is the same as raising taxes. And besides, blanket terms like "loopholes"  don't set well with "the folks" after the debacle of  Obamacare. We want specifics, details. How about a little more of that transparency we heard so much about? we don't feel good about deals cut behind closed doors, why don't you go to the floor of the House and Congress and have C-span cover the "negotiations" in like you (disingenuously) promised.  2ndly, it's a bit derisive to expect us to fall for the old "trust us, we'll reform the tax code later and you'll love it:" it's the oldest trick in the book, and we aren't that stupid. How about specifics? Honest, we don't need our betters to process this for us.  3rd: read our lips, NO NEW TAXES –aka, "revenues." There you go again, with the dismissiveness.)

And we were calling for modifications (as opposed to "reductions" – do you see where I'm going here?) to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window (the window that doesn't open until 2034; are you following me here? That's totally disingenuous).  In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair (almost an oxymoron) deal. [totally unfair deal as there are little if no real cuts, especially in the next fiscal year, which is all that counts because everything will be redone next year anyway.] 

If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. (You really don't get it do you? We're spending too much: and BTW nobody before your administration referred to taxes as "revenue". Generally you have to do something in order to generate revenue. Collecting taxes does not qualify as "doing something." And here's an interesting little bit of trivia for you:  tax "revenues" are currently the same % of GDP as they've  been historically. Government spending doesn't increase GDP, that's why it's so damn hard to spend your way out of a recession. You do know that, right? As The Big Dawg's loveable band of crazed Democratic operatives used to say: It's the economy, Stupid! Say - you might want to see if Carville and Begala are available.)

It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal.  And, frankly, if you look at the commentary, there are a lot of Republicans  that are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done.  In fact, there are a lot of Republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done. Because the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the American people believe we should have a balanced approach. (Would that be the 2/3 of Americans in CNN's poll who favor the Cut, Cap and Balance Bill? Or the 65% who are opposed to the Gang of Six plan? Or the other 80% that agree with you?) [Balanced budget, not balanced approach. Balanced budget means spending reductions. Cut the spending.]

Now, if you do not have any revenues, as the most recent Republican plan that's been put forward both in the House and the Senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is more of a burden on seniors, more drastic cuts to education, more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on services that are going to middle-class families all across the country. (Well no, that's just disingenuous. There's trillions of dollars to pick and choose from. Leave the seniors out of it, but feel free to eliminate the Department of Education – a misnomer if ever there was one. I also offer up the EPA , and then we could build hydro-electric plants too. And as far as "research" goes: any government funded function that invented the religion of global warming ought to have it's heart cut out. Before the golden age of federal grants, college professors used to teach, conduct research - with grad students - and publish their results, all for the salary that the college could afford. Now they earn a princes income, they don't teach, barely talk to students and spend most of their time "overseeing" the writing of "their" grant requests and research projects while  flying all over the world to "present" their "findings." All of  which will be refuted by new research, equally non-scientific, in less than the span of a computer's useful life. So I vote to ax federal research grants too. So far they've  just made people dumber. And don't even get me started on "arts" grants. Pretty sure they're not in the Constitution.)  

And it essentially asks nothing of corporate jet owners, it asks nothing of oil and gas companies, it asks nothing from folks like me who've done extremely well and can afford to do a little bit more.(Dude, you've run that one up and down the flag pole so often it's getting threadbare. STFU.)

In other words, if you don't have revenues, the entire thing ends up being tilted on the backs of the poor and middle-class families.[Clue me in Mr. President, how can spending cuts hurt poor and middle class families?  They need jobs, and those jobs will come from the private sector when you lower the business tax rate]

  And the majority of Americans don't agree on that approach. [Patently untrue!] (See above for discussion on which "majority" we're talking about.)

And they are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default.  (Yeah, see, that petulant crap? Not so much. It's like the grand slam: arrogant, derisive, dismissive and disingenuous.) And they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here and we will work on them.  The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013. (Seriously? Did you really say that? Your petulance is beginning to sound like hysteria, boss.)

And the reason for it is we've now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done.  The economy is already weakened. (Well, thanks for setting that straight. And for noticing.) [nd thanks for making a recession much worse with your policies] And the notion that five or six or eight months from now we'll be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense.[Exactly, so do the cutting now!]

The American people expect action.  (Hey Bozo, the American people expect a President that knows a tax from a revenue, and can at least buy a damn clue in the leadership department. But to paraphrase a great man  "we go to battle with the President we have, not the President we wish we had." And again, knock off the imperial BS, we're getting tired of it.) I continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. (Duh) And the American people I think are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as opposed to dodge their responsibilities. (We undoubtedly disagree on what the meaning of "responsible" is, but at least we agree on the concept.)


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