It’s really easy to destroy the government when you hate it. Apparently that’s what the Tea Party Republicans in Congress are out to do. The GOP’s insistence that they are not going to raise the debt ceiling before getting more than the nearly $2 trillion in savings the White House has found via new tax rates for the wealthy, spending cuts and savings from not blowing up Iraq and Afghanistan. NeoConservatives clearly have no regard for the government, as they see every dollar it spends as being a dollar ripped from an American’s pocket, forgetting that the dollars we spend on taxes help pay to keep the very system that generated that dollar within our economy.
Who gives a shit about old people and veterans when you’re trying to make an ideological point, right?
Just stop and think about this for a second. The president and his staff have already sliced off a massive chunk of the budget and it’s still not good enough for the Republicans. This is clearly because they are hell-bent on their ultimate goal, total government shutdown. They’re talking about that as their trump card in the debt ceiling negotiations. Essentially this is what the Republicans are saying to America, “We don’t want to pay the bills we helped rack up and we’re willing to tank our economy and likely the world economy to prove it.” All the while after Obama’s already made big steps to reduce spending. The true finish line for the Tea Party is breaking the government’s back, starving the beast as it were.
But what they seem to be completely oblivious to is that they don’t live in a vacuum. The majority of Americans looked at the Republican economic agenda juxtaposed against Obama’s and they chose Obama. The President, while taking flak from the left about giving “too much” has been acting as if he knows the biggest ace in the hole, the American people, are more in his corner than the Republicans’, and he’s continually painting them into a corner so that their only options are to either do something incredibly drastic and stupid over an ideological point that most people reject, or to play ball. That’s what happened over the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, and the president wound up getting more than eighty Republican-as-fuck representatives to vote for tax hikes. This is something that they’ve sworn an oath to never do. And they did it.
Sure, they’ll all tell you that since the Bush Tax Cuts had already expired, they were just voting to lower taxes on 98% of the country, but that’s semantic bullshit. They voted to raise taxes on the rich. Obama broke them. Did he get everything he wanted in terms of what level to raise the rates? Of course he didn’t. But he set himself up to put them right back in the same corner over the Debt Ceiling, and it will work out the same way in the end for the Republicans.
When the Social Security checks and payments to our veterans and active duty military start bouncing, how long until people get out the pitchforks and head the GOP’s way? Five minutes? Ten?
The Republicans are eating themselves alive and Obama is very astutely using their own blunders to pin them down. It’s obvious that they have no intention of actually resolving any of the fiscal challenges facing our country. The first bill that was introduced by the 113th Congress by way of Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann was yet another purely symbolic gesture to repeal Obamacare. Then Paul Ryan introduced a personhood bill that would define the origins of life as a “one-cell embryo” so you could conceivably bring up a woman who has a miscarriage on murder charges. They don’t care about the economy. They helped tank it with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and they are completely content for Obama to do all the heavy lifting rather than look like they’re helping the Kenyan-Socialist-Commie-Usurper.
The problem is that helping the Kenyan-Socialist-Commie-Usurper also means helping The United States of America.
While I fully advocate the president invoking the Fourteenth Amendment and ordering the Treasury department to continue to pay our bills, for the good of the country, I do see the tactical advantage that Obama would be playing by letting the extremists in the Republican party drive us into the ditch. Maybe in order for the country to truly move forward, to truly fix the myriad problems that face us, we need to break the back of the Tea Party first, or perhaps, as I’ll argue in a piece to come, that we should simply ignore them as being the irrelevant fringe group that they truly are. Regardless, they are proving themselves an impediment to progress and a danger to economic stability, so dealing with them somehow has to be political priority.
And what do you think Ronnie Reagan would think about them just flat-out choosing to not pay their bills?