Tag Archives: Balanced Budget Amendment

8 Reasons Why Marco Rubio Is Not ‘The Republican Savior’

I completely agree with Think Progress…

Think Progress

Since Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) abandoned his opposition to providing undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship and embraced a bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration, political pundits and Republican leaders have anointed the Florida Congressman the future of the GOP.

Consequently, the likely 2016 presidential candidate has become a media darling, appearing on conservative talk shows and mainstream outlets to tout his reform principles and convince skeptics of the wisdom of reforming the nation’s broken immigration system. The media idolization reached its zenith on the cover of this week’s issue of TIME magazine. The publication prominently features a picture of a defiant Rubio under the headline, “The Republican Savior: How Marco Rubio became the new voice of the GOP.”

But dig beyond Rubio’s newfound embrace of immigration reform, and you’ll find that the GOP’s future appears stuck in the past, as the great hope of the party still espouses many of the extreme policies voters rejected in November:

1. Refused to raise the debt ceiling. Rubio voted against the GOP’s compromise measure to temporarily suspend the debt limit through May 19 in order avoid defaulting on the national debt. In a statement posted on his website, Rubio insisted that he would hold the debt ceiling increase hostage “unless it is tied with measures to actually solve our debt problem through spending reforms.”

2. Co-sponsored and voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment. “Now more than ever, we need a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Rubio proclaimed in 2011. A Balanced Budget Amendment would force the government to slash spending during an economic downturn, driving up unemployment and making the downturn worse, in a vicious cycle. If the amendment were in place during the last financial crisis, unemployment would have doubled.

3. Signed the Norquist pledge. Rubio pledged to never raise taxes under any circumstances and even voted against the last-minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff, since the deal included $600 billion in revenue. “Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax,” Rubio noted in a statement.

4. Backed Florida’s voter purge. Rubio defended Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) attempted purge Democratic voters from the rolls, brushing off its disproportionate targeting of Latino voters. He also defended Florida’s decision to shorten its early voting period from two weeks to eight days by pointing to “the cost-benefit analysis.” After Election Day, several prominent Florida Republicans admitted that the election law changes were geared toward suppressing minority and Democratic votes and researchers found that long voting lines drove away at least 201,000 Florida voters.

5. Doesn’t believe in climate change. During a recent BuzzFeed interview, Rubio claimed has “seen reasonable debate” over whether humans are causing climate change. Scientists have long agreed that the debate is now over.

6. Opposed federal action to help prevent violence against women. Rubio voted against the motion to proceed to debate the Violence Against Women Act, noting that he disagrees with portions of the bill. Rubio claims he supports a scaled-back version of the legislation.

7. Believes employers should be able to deny birth control to their employees. Rubio co-sponsored a bill — along with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) — that sought to nullify Obamacare’s requirement that employers provide contraception to their employees without additional co-pays by permitting businesses to voluntarily opt out of offering birth control.

8. Recorded robo calls for anti-gay hate group. Rubio has previously boasted the endorsement of anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council and during the election recorded robocalls for the National Organization of Marriage urging Americans to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians. He recently wouldn’t take a position on legislation that would prohibit employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identify and wouldn’t say “whether same-sex couples should receive protections under immigration law.”

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A STAGGERING FALSE EQUIVALENCY

I’ve been reading p m carpenter’s commentary for a couple of weeks now and I really enjoy his/her writing style and choice of political topics. About that balanced budget amendment that certain factions in Congress are touting…

p m carpenter 

Kudos to the NY Times’ Frank Bruni for having won, through a preposterousness that staggers, this week’s Asinine Equivalence Award:

We all have our religions…. And if yours isn’t a balanced-budget amendment and a [lean] government … it might well be a big fat binge of Keynesian stimulus spending. Liberals think magically, too, becoming so attached to a certain approach that they wind up advocating it less as option than as panacea.

So in Bruni’s Big Book of Journalistic Balance, the balanced budget amendment currently being touted by a frightfully mutant breed of economus ignoramus, such as Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Joe Walsh — an amendment described in running commentaries by a former Reagan/H.W. Bush official as “idiotic,” “dimwitted,” “insane,” “stupid,” “shameful,” “dopey,” “dumb,” “absurd,” “irresponsible,” “contemptible,” “silly,” “juvenile,” “ignorant” and “immature” — not only can but should be lumped with 80 years of empirical Keynesianism: just more “magical thinking.”

I submit that there is greater empirical evidence to support the plucky insurgents of the Flat Earth Society than there is to mitigate the wholesale imbecility of straitjacketing government in the crippling absence of aggregate demand; yet Bruni breazily asserts the latter as commensurate with an economic school of historically and impressively verifiable efficacy.

Continue reading here…

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CNN’s Don Lemon and Rand Paul Clash Over The Tea Party’s Role In The Debt Crisis- July 30, 2011

The Huffington Post

CNN’s Don Lemon had a very testy exchange with Sen. Rand Paul about the debt ceiling drama on Saturday night.

As the House and Senate again failed to reach an agreement on how to raise the debt ceiling, Paul appeared on CNN to explain the Tea Party position on the talks. Lemon started off the interview by asking him to chat “without talking points.” He also began aggressively trying to get Paul to answer his questions, asking him repeatedly how he had voted on the so-called “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill from the House.

Lemon then wondered whether Paul’s insistence on measures like a balanced budget amendment were isolating him.

“The Democrats have made many concessions when it comes to what’s going on here, and even the Tea Party position it appears to most people remains rigid,” Lemon said. “The question is, have you made your point? And by continuing to go on with this, do you feel like you’re overreaching and that you’re going to lose the clout?”

Paul started talking about how he didn’t want to add any more debt to the country’s finances. Lemon cut him off. “Hang on, hang on,” he said. “Can we just stick to that–we’re going to get to that–”

“Let me finish my thought,” Paul said.

“Hold on, please, be respectful here,” Lemon responded. “I’m trying to answer your question, you’ve interrupted my answer,” Paul said.”If you answer the question, I’ll give you plenty of time,” Lemon said.

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DeMint: Republicans Who Vote To Raise The Debt Limit Will Be ‘Gone’

Sen. Jim DeMint(ed) has spoken…

TPMDC

Underscoring the challenge Republican leaders in Congress will face when they have to round up votes to increase the debt limit — and they will have to increase the debt limit — the most influential conservative in their party is telling his colleagues, ‘if you vote for it, you’ll lose.’

“Based on what I can see around the country, not only are those individuals gone, but I would suspect the Republican Party would be set back many years,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told ABC when asked about the looming vote.

DeMint is whipping Republicans to support a highly controversial Constitutional amendment requiring the government to maintain a balanced budget, and making tax increases functionally impossible as the price of voting to raise the debt limit. If not?

Continue reading…

Watch:

http://t.co/XzuVN2e

 

 

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Filed under Sen. Jim DeMint, Washington, Washington is Broken

“Tell Us What To Say” – Tea Party Group Gives GOP Freshmen Medicare Talking Points

So, what sort of power does a group like the Tea Party have over members of the House and Senate?  Could it be Corporate and special interests who are looking for members of both houses in Congress to tow the free market line?  

The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process.   

It’s the same way with the Tea Party which is backed by the likes of Koch Industries and other corporate interests.

Huffington Post

FreedomWorks Gives Freshman Republicans Tips For Dealing With Medicare At Town Halls

The conservative group FreedomWorks has a message for freshman Republicans in Congress: Do not shy away from the Medicare fight.

On May 24, the group run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey convened one of its regular off-the-record meetings with “communicators from limited-government conservative offices in the House and Senate who have a close relationship with the grassroots,” according to an email from FreedomWorks’ Media Coordinator Jackie Bodnar obtained by The Huffington Post. The email was intended for attendees of the breakfast meeting.

The main topics of discussion, according to notes attached to the email that recapped the meeting, were the debt ceiling and Medicare. The special guest that day was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who argued, according to the recap, that the “debt ceiling has become a key bargaining chip that can be used to get the BBA [balanced budget amendment] passed.”

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, focused on Medicare and gave the congressional offices tips for dealing with the hot topic in their districts (emphasis added):

  • Get out there and talk to people. Hold town halls at senior centers and other areas where the population is especially concerned about their benefits being cut. Take the lessons of ’94 and ’95 and get out there and explain to people that their immediate benefits will not be affected. Explaining the plan will offset confusion and the Democrats’ negative messaging.
  • We need to dispel the myth that if we leave Medicare alone it will stay the same. It won’t. By reforming them we are saving and strengthening these programs for the current and future generations.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand. Republicans must not shy away from this issue. Expect Democrats to attack, but not fighting back will only makes it worse. BOLD action is needed.
  • Communicate that Democrats do not have a plan of their own. Hold up a blank piece of paper as a powerful image of their do-nothing approach.
  • Stick to your message.

Continue reading here…

 

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Filed under Freedom Works, Tea Party, Tea Party Agenda, Tea Party Caucus

Tea Party Favorites Rand Paul & Jim DeMint Struggle To Name Specific Budget Cuts

This is nothing new.  Tea Party favorites have always been either inarticulate in expressing their views on the budget (among other things) or silent for fear of appearing inarticulate on the issues…

Huffington Post

Signaling how difficult it will be for the Republican Party to live up to its campaign promises of cutting spending while preserving the Bush tax cuts and not cutting benefits for seniors, Tea Party favorites Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.) struggled on Sunday to actually name any specific cuts they plan on making.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Christiane Amanpour repeatedly pressed Paul to move beyond “slogans and platitudes” to “direct information” on how the Republican Party will balance the budget and cut the deficit.

Paul immediately reiterated that he was going to push for a balanced budget amendment and said that cuts needed to come from across the board — including defense spending. Whenever Amanpour asked whether a specific program — such as Medicare, Social Security and health care — would be cut, Paul simply kept reiterating that he was going to be looking “across the board.” He was unable, however, to actually name anything significant that would be on the chopping block:

AMANPOUR: Give me one specific cut, Senator-elect.

PAUL: All across the board.

AMANPOUR: One significant one. No, but you can’t just keep saying all across the board.

PAUL: Well, no, I can, because I’m going to look at every program, every program. But I would freeze federal hiring. I would maybe reduce federal employees by 10 percent. I’d probably reduce their wages by 10 percent. The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year. The average private employee makes $60,000 a year. Let’s get them more in line, and let’s find savings. Let’s hire no new federal workers.

AMANPOUR: Pay for soldiers? Would you cut that?

PAUL: I think that’s something that you can’t do. I don’t think –

AMANPOUR: You cannot do? [...]

AMANPOUR: So, again, to talk about the debt and to talk about taxes, there seems to be, again, just so much sort of generalities, for want of a better word. [...]

PAUL: Well, the thing is that you can call it a generality, but what if — what if I were president and I said to you, Tomorrow, we’re going to have a 5 percent cut across the board in everything? That’s not a generality, but there are thousands of programs. If you say, Well, what are all the specifics? There are books written on all the specifics. There’s a book by Christopher Edwards, downsizing government, goes through every program. That’s what it will take. It’s a very detailed analysis.

DeMint had a similar experience on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” When asked by host David Gregory where the American people should be prepared to sacrifice in order to cut the deficit, DeMint said, “I don’t think the American people are going to have to sacrifice as much as the government bureaucrats who get paid about twice what the American worker does. First of all, we just need to return to pre-Obama levels of spending in 2008. We need to cut earmarks so people can stop taking home the bacon, we need to defund Obamacare and then we need to look at the entitlement programs, such as the way Paul Ryan has done in the House with his Road to America’s Future.”

When Gregory pointed out that going back to 2008 spending levels won’t get anywhere close to balancing the budget, he asked whether everything would be on the table. DeMint said he opposed cutting Social Security. “If we can just cut the administrative waste, we can cut hundreds of billions of dollars a year at the federal level. We need to keep our promises to seniors, David, and cutting benefits to seniors is not on the table.” DeMint also said that cutting benefits for veterans is out.  Continue reading and watch video here

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Filed under GOP Agenda, GOP Cluelessness, GOP Lies, Rand Paul, Sen. Jim DeMint