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Michele Bachmann’s Views, Not Her Headaches, Make Her Unfit

There is no doubt that Michele Bachmann gives many of us a headache. But to attack her, as Tim  Pawlenty has done in such a sexist way, as unfit to be president because of  migraines is absurd.

Many of our presidents have had health problems much more  serious than headaches—Roosevelt,  Kennedy, Taft, to name a few.

The problem with Michele Bachmann is not her migraines, it’s  what is in her head. It’s her ideas that  matter.

Just as Republicans who pay attention to politics were  terrified of a possible Sarah Palin nomination, they are equally petrified that  Bachmann might catch on in Iowa, South Carolina, and among the Tea Party  wing. Could she, in fact, squeak by and  actually win the nomination? Most think  not, but they are nevertheless nervous when they watch her poll numbers rise,  her bank account fatten, and the attention she is getting from the “lame stream  media” increase.

There is no question about her misstatements and problems with facts (John Wayne’s birthplace, associating Jimmy Carter with swine flu,  Founding Fathers working “tirelessly” to end slavery, maintaining that Obama  issued “one oil drilling permit” when he issued 200, etc., etc.). Check out the Pulitzer Prize winning website Politifact for a disturbing list.

The real problems we should be focusing on are her  outlandish and dangerous views on the issues.

Some are becoming very well known. Her views on gay and lesbian rights, for  example. She believes gays and lesbians are “part of Satan.” She and her husband have mounted campaigns  against gays and lesbians, beginning in Minnesota and now on the campaign  trail.

She was against TARP and proudly proclaimed her opposition  in the New Hampshire debate. Most  economists believe that this saved the American economy from complete meltdown  and a severe depression. Plus, most of  the money is being paid back, and we have a strong American auto industry  because of the actions of President Bush and President Obama.

She believes we should not only abolish the entire tax code,  but we should abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education,  the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce. (Politico 4/18/2011, among numerous other  sites) This is irresponsible,  shortsighted, and destructive to the United States.

I find it extraordinary that Michele Bachmann should be  even considered for the office of the presidency. Her views, her lack of competence and  experience, and her minimal leadership skills all are much more worrisome than her  headaches. Actually, just watching her out there makes my head spin.

By: Peter Fenn, U. S. News and World Report, July 25, 2011

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Conservatives, Debt Ceiling, Democracy, Economic Recovery, Economy, Education, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Ideologues, Ideology, Iowa Caucuses, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Teaparty, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Quickly We Forget: Dick Cheney, “Deficits Don’t Matter”

Sure, it’s huge, but big deficits don’t always lead to bad economic health. As we found during The Great Depression, the opposite is also true.

For those worried about the future, huge federal deficits remain the gift that keeps on giving, or taking, depending on your point of view. They are always around, always huge, and seem to be an issue that neither party has immunity from.

If you care to bash Republicans over this issue you need look no further than former Vice President Dick Cheney who told former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill that “deficits don’t matter” when the latter voiced concerns about the size of the federal bill. Cheney later fired O’Neill, presumably for thinking deficits actually mattered.

Still, Cheney was true to his word, as the White House of George W. Bush raised the federal deficit every year it was in office. When Bush started his presidency, the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product hovered at 60%. By the time he exited, it was closer to 80%. Surely the first part of President Obama’s term will see that ratio only rise further, as the federal government fully deploys the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $200 billion Term Asset Backed Loan Securities Facility and the $500-$1 trillion Public-Private Investment Program, among other alphabet soup bailouts.

Of course, to critics of Obama, including conservatives, now deficits do matter a lot more than they did a year ago. Look no further than the well-covered “tea parties” to see an instance where partisanship has seemed to trump fiscal stewardship, or at least short-term memory.

By: David Serchuk: Article originally posted August 5, 2009, Forbes.com

April 16, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Congress, Conservatives, Debt Ceiling, Deficits, Democracy, Democrats, Dick Cheney, Economic Recovery, Economy, Elections, Federal Budget, GOP, Government, Ideology, Lawmakers, Politics, President Obama, Republicans, Right Wing, Teaparty | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Budget Crises And The New Language of Deceit

For most of history, we had undebatable definitions of words such as “bailout” and “bankruptcy.” We understood the former as an undeserved public grant, and the latter as an inability to pay existing bills. Whatever your particular beliefs about these concepts, their meanings were at least agreed upon.

Sadly, that’s not the case during a deficit crisis that is seeing language redefined on ideological terms.

“Bailout” was the first word thrown into the Orwellian fire. As some lawmakers recently proposed replenishing depleted state coffers with federal dollars, the American Conservative Union urged Congress to oppose states “seek(ing) a bailout” from the feds. Now, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says, “Should taxpayers in Indiana who have paid their bills on time, who have done their job fiscally be bailing out Californians who haven’t? No.”

Ryan, mind you, voted for 2008’s TARP program — a bank bailout in the purest sense of the term. But one lawmaker’s rank hypocrisy is less significant than how the word “bailout” is being used — and abused. Suddenly, the term suggests that federal aid would force taxpayers in allegedly “fiscally responsible” Republican states to underwrite taxpayers in supposedly irresponsible Democratic ones.

Aside from stoking a detestable interstate enmity, this thesis ignores the fact that state-to-state wealth transfers are already happening. According to the Tax Foundation, most Republican-voting states receive more in federal funding than they pay in federal taxes, while most Democratic-voting states receive less federal money than they pay in federal taxes.

That means traditionally blue states like California are now perpetually subsidizing — or in Ryan’s parlance, “bailing out” — traditionally red states like Indiana. Thus, federal aid to states could actually reduce the state-to-state subsidies conservatives say they oppose.

Congressional Republicans will undoubtedly ignore these facts. Their proposed solution to the budget emergency could instead be a Newt Gingrich-backed initiative letting states default on outstanding obligations by declaring bankruptcy. Again, the word is fraught with new connotations.

Whereas sick or laid-off individuals occasionally claim a genuine inability to repay debts and thus a need for bankruptcy protections, states can never legitimately claim such a need because they are never actually “bankrupt.” Why? Because they always posses the power to raise revenue. The power is called taxation — and destroying that authority is what the new bankruptcy idea is really about. It would let states avoid tax increases on the wealthy, renege on contractual promises to public employees and destroy the country’s creditworthiness.

Blocking state “bailouts” and letting states declare “bankruptcy” are radical notions, especially in a bad economy. One would result in recession-exacerbating public layoffs; the other would institutionalize an anti-tax zealotry that destroys tomorrow’s middle class in order to protect today’s rich. That’s why advocates of these ideas have resorted to manipulating language. They know the only way to make such extremism a reality is to distort the vernacular — and if we aren’t cognizant of their scheme, they will succeed.

By: David Sirota, Creators.com, Originally Published 3/4/11

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Conservatives, Democrats, Economy, GOP, Governors, Ideology, Lawmakers, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, States | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Crises Mean New Language Of Deceit

For most of history, we had undebatable definitions of words such as “bailout” and “bankruptcy.” We understood the former as an undeserved public grant, and the latter as an inability to pay existing bills. Whatever your particular beliefs about these concepts, their meanings were at least agreed upon.

Sadly, that’s not the case during a deficit crisis that is seeing language redefined on ideological terms.

“Bailout” was the first word thrown into the Orwellian fire. As some lawmakers recently proposed replenishing depleted state coffers with federal dollars, the American Conservative Union urged Congress to oppose states “seek(ing) a bailout” from the feds. Now, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says, “Should taxpayers in Indiana who have paid their bills on time, who have done their job fiscally be bailing out Californians who haven’t? No.”

Ryan, mind you, voted for 2008’s TARP program — a bank bailout in the purest sense of the term. But one lawmaker’s rank hypocrisy is less significant than how the word “bailout” is being used — and abused. Suddenly, the term suggests that federal aid would force taxpayers in allegedly “fiscally responsible” Republican states to underwrite taxpayers in supposedly irresponsible Democratic ones.

Aside from stoking a detestable interstate enmity, this thesis ignores the fact that state-to-state wealth transfers are already happening. According to the Tax Foundation, most Republican-voting states receive more in federal funding than they pay in federal taxes, while most Democratic-voting states receive less federal money than they pay in federal taxes.

That means traditionally blue states like California are now perpetually subsidizing — or in Ryan’s parlance, “bailing out” — traditionally red states like Indiana. Thus, federal aid to states could actually reduce the state-to-state subsidies conservatives say they oppose.

Congressional Republicans will undoubtedly ignore these facts. Their proposed solution to the budget emergency could instead be a Newt Gingrich-backed initiative letting states default on outstanding obligations by declaring bankruptcy. Again, the word is fraught with new connotations.

Whereas sick or laid-off individuals occasionally claim a genuine inability to repay debts and thus a need for bankruptcy protections, states can never legitimately claim such a need because they are never actually “bankrupt.” Why? Because they always posses the power to raise revenue. The power is called taxation — and destroying that authority is what the new bankruptcy idea is really about. It would let states avoid tax increases on the wealthy, renege on contractual promises to public employees and destroy the country’s creditworthiness.

Blocking state “bailouts” and letting states declare “bankruptcy” are radical notions, especially in a bad economy. One would result in recession-exacerbating public layoffs; the other would institutionalize an anti-tax zealotry that destroys tomorrow’s middle class in order to protect today’s rich. That’s why advocates of these ideas have resorted to manipulating language. They know the only way to make such extremism a reality is to distort the vernacular — and if we aren’t cognizant of their scheme, they will succeed.

By: David Sirota, Syndicated Columnist, Sun Journal-published March 8, 2011

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Bankruptcy, Budget, Deficits, Economy, Politics, State Legislatures | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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