2008 Dems: Feingold and Bayh Vote For Fiscal Responsibility

I'm supposed to be on vacation, away from the daily grind of politics (shh... don't tell my wife), but this is worthy of discussion.

Kos and the Club For Growth teamed up earlier (a phrase I never thought I'd write) to monitor the progress of an amendment offered by Republican Senator Tom Coburn which would have stripped $125 million of pork out of the federal highways bill. The money would have been used to pay for repairs to the Katrina damaged Twin Spans Bridge crossing Lake Pontchartrain. When all was said and done (two versions of the amendment were voted on), it failed by a margin of 15 to 82.

Kos chided our side, saying that "there's no reason for any Democrat to vote against this amendment." On the surface of things, that sounds about right. Apparently, the concern was that passage of this amendment would put every earmarked project in the highway bill (and there were quite a few of them) in jeopardy. Personally, I take the view that one Senator's pork is another Senator's economic development. However, the earmarks specifically targeted by Coburn -- two bridges to nowhere in Alaska -- were pretty indefensible.

However, only four Democratic Senators voted in favor of the amendment -- Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Russ Feingold, and Mary Landrieu. Landrieu, representing Louisiana, has an obvious interest in seeing the repairs to infrastructure damaged by Katrina funded. Bayh and Feingold are the interesting votes, as they were both clearly looking to 2008. Being willing to put their state's pet projects on the line gives each some hard proof of his commitment to fiscal responsibility and willingness to reject the Beltway status quo.

The other Senate Democrats who are considered probable candidates for 2008 all voted against the amendment. This group includes Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry. But Republicans, who still like pretending that they are the party of fiscal responsibility, also voted overwhelmingly to reject the Coburn amendment. The 2008 likelies voting to save Alaskan pork were Sam Brownback, Bill Frist, Chuck Hagel, and Rick Santorum. Virginia Republican Senator George Allen, also considered a safe bet to run in 2008, voted in favor, which I'm sure he'll be reminding GOP primary voters.

Interestingly, John McCain, another likely 2008 contender who's built a career in the Senate slamming pork barrel spending, did not vote on the amendment, depriving him of an obvious chance to bolster his fiscal responsibility bona fides. It's even more interesting to note that McCain had been present for earlier votes. Two Democrats -- Jon Corzine, who's campaigning for the Governor's race in New Jersey, and Chuck Schumer -- also did not vote on the amendment.

Tags: General 2008 (all tags)

Comments

61 Comments

Feingold
Feingold is looking better and better for 2008. Hillary, the supposed front runner, is not.
by Alvord 2005-10-20 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Feingold
He killed his chances with his opportunistic vote for Roberts... we will have to live with this shit for the next 30 years.
by Parker 2005-10-21 01:40AM | 0 recs
Then who is perfect?
All you do is attack Dems, well, please, tell us who you would support in 2008.  And not a broad set of principles and check-offs, but a real person, a Governor, General, or Senator, who can really win the nomination and the presidency, and who passes all of your litmus tests, rather than continuing to just go negative on our own guys.
by LaX WI 2005-10-21 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Then who is perfect?
THESE ARE NOT MY GUYS

Frankly I don't know who the hell these people are ... but Lieberman, Salazar, Reid, Nelson, Bayh, Clinton, Biden... are freaking pod people who took over the bodies of Democrats

All you do is attack Dems

Tell me what is there to praise?

  • A SCOTUS Chief Justice that no ones anything about
  • CAFTA
  • IRAQ
  • Bankruptcy Bill
  • Harry Ried kissing Miers butt
  • Neutering the filibuster
  • Abandoning the the voters of Ohio and Florida
  • Abandoning protecting abortion rights
  • Selling out to the Christo fascist (abstinence-only, activists pharmacists etc.)

ohhhh.... the list is endless...

Pray tell what are you so happy about???

by Parker 2005-10-21 06:49AM | 0 recs
if you disqualify every Democrat and stay home...
You will help guarantee a continuance of right-wing rule. But hold firm and require 100% agreement in order to support a candidate. Those of us who stayed home or voted Nader in 2000 sure can feel proud that we didn't sacrifice our precious principles. That worked out so well for us progressives.
by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 08:23AM | 0 recs
So there are no "good" Dems?
You will help guarantee a continuance of right-wing rule.

NO I WILL NOT... it is the idiots who keep touting so called partisanship and non-ideological issueless-ness and ELECTING RIGHT WINGNUTS under the guise of the Democratic "Big Tent" will are the ones who HAVE and will guarantee a continuance of right-wing rule... which is why the Dems are out of rule this day.

I have enough of this crap with John "Do nothing wrong" Kerry and Harry "Keep your powder dry" Ried.

by Parker 2005-10-21 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: So there are no "good" Dems?
I see your point on Clinton, Biden, Bayh, etc but we differ on Feingold. For me I don't see the Roberts vote as a deal breaker when you look at Feingold's principled voting record, including opposing the Iraq War and standing alone in opposition to the PATRIOT Act. Hard to lump him in with the DLC right-leaning Democrats crowd.

Who do you propose as the alternative for President in 2008?

Kucinich? McKinney?

by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 10:26AM | 0 recs
Not Cynthia McKinney?
The anti-semite?
by JRyan 2005-10-21 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Then who is perfect?
You did not answer his question, he was asking which person, not issues you would support for example. I can name you current Democratic US Senator's that have a 100% lifetime record from the ADA-(American's for Democratic Action) Their ACU-American Conservative Union rating is below 5%
1)Barbara Boxer-CA
2)Ted Kennedy-MA

If your not satisfied with Barbara Boxer-CA or a Ted Kennedy-CA. Than sir a man you must be an extreme Communist.  

by CMBurns 2005-10-21 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Then who is perfect?
Yeah...that's it an extreme communists... where do you get this crap from?

Burn any straw men lately...

by Parker 2005-10-21 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Then who is perfect?
US Senators like John Kerry(MA),Hillary Clinton(NY),Joe Biden,Chris Dodd(CT),Russ Fiengold(WI)and Jon Corzine(NJ) have a 100% rating from the ADA, their probally the most liberal members of the US Senate, but because they vote against your interest on one or two issues, You would spoil the Democratic Parties chances of winning the Presidency or the Congress. an vote for a fringed Political Party that does not stand a chance of winning.
by CMBurns 2005-10-21 08:49AM | 0 recs
One or two issues
A SCOTUS Chief Justice that no ones anything about

CAFTA

IRAQ

Bankruptcy Bill

Harry Ried kissing Miers butt

Neutering the filibuster

Abandoning the the voters of Ohio and Florida

Abandoning protecting abortion rights

Selling out to the Christo fascist (abstinence-only, activists pharmacists etc.)

.... and that is just in the last 8 months...

by Parker 2005-10-21 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: One or two issues
Barbara Boxer voted against Roberts, she protested the Presidential results in Ohio, She opposed the Iraq War, The Bolton nomination,Rice Nomination,Gonzalez nomination. Voted Against the Bankruptcy Bill,and is extremely pro choice, yet you can not say that you support her. Fiengold's only voted for Roberts but Roberts was replacing a Conservative on a bench so their was not going to be change in direction of the court. Roe v Wade was not going to be overturned.
by CMBurns 2005-10-21 09:09AM | 0 recs
Opportunistic how?
Reasonable people may differ n whether it was the eight vote, but where do you get that it was opportunistic? What do you think was the payoff?
by benmasel 2005-10-21 12:29PM | 0 recs
"Opportunistic"?
You are right, he hurt his chances in 08 with that vote.  However, that means it's the exact opposite of "opportunistic".  He did what he believed was right.  The fact that Roberts clearly had the experience, and, more importantly, Feingold believes he repsects precendence and was the best of all possible Bush nominees are the reasons he voted for him.  I believe these are good reasons.
by Geotpf 2005-10-21 04:47PM | 0 recs
Feingold vote not that interesting
he always votes this way on these kind of things, doesn't he?
by colorless green ideas 2005-10-20 09:37PM | 0 recs
All the way back
Russ has voted against Pork from legislators of both Parties, all the way back to his terms in the State Senate in the '80s.
by benmasel 2005-10-21 12:19PM | 0 recs
That doesn't mean we shouldn't still praise him
Just because he has always been an A+ student, doesn't mean we still shouldn't take him out for ice cream after we get his perfect report card.
by Geotpf 2005-10-21 04:55PM | 0 recs
I've long framed McCain
as a Passive-Aggressive wishy washy senator.  Out of step with his alse image as a maverick.  This just proves my point again.

McCain has lots of fence-sitting examples like this.  I hope someone is collecting them all, and will be ready to load them into the barrell in three years.

by Sam Loomis 2005-10-20 09:37PM | 0 recs
Don Young is a shameless King of Pork
But there is always more to any story.

The "Bridge to Nowhere" is a bridge from Ketchikan, the "Gateway to Alaska" to Gravina Island, Ketchikan is essentially maxed out, jammed up against forest and mountain it has nowhere to grow. Gravina Island is essentially flat and also home to the airport and so ripe for growth.

MyDD readers might be relexively anti-sprawl but the "Bridge to Nowhere" by its very existence will become the "Bridge to Somewhere". Is a soaring $273 million dollar bridge the ideal investment? Couldn't we have gotten away with a lower more conventional bridge? Well you would have to look at the ship traffic in and out of Ketchikan, which is a lot heavier than you might think.

"Bridge to Nowhere" suggests little to no economic utility, and certainly we could use some more analysis on this one, but like much pork it may look a lot fatter than it really is.

by Bruce Webb 2005-10-20 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Don Young is a shameless King of Pork
I would say go for the bridge and support it if there wasn't already a fairy that goes back and forth that is never full as is the current case.

Also, the bridge is more of a causeway based on artist renderings.

Thus a bridge would be nice, just not needed here.

And to the person who said Feingold blew it on Roberts, "GRIPE! GRIPE! GRIPE!"  Roberts was going to get confirmed anyways and was replacing a neo-con as it was, I'm a liberal guy and I would have voted no if he was voting to replace O'Connor but not rehnquist.  Isn't the main job to check a person's qualifications and not ideology anyways?  Scalia was approved 99-0.

Just my thoughts, I've kinda zeroed in for 2008 between Feingold and Warner.

by Trowaman 2005-10-21 03:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Don Young is a shameless King of Pork
Right you are Trowaman...Fingold and Warner clearly have the strongest records among Dems for fiscal responsibility...this votes reveals once again why we have so much difficulty convincing >1/3 of the country (ie voters in the middle)to seriously consider Democrats - Democrats don't act seriously - when is the last time you saw a Democratic politician on a national level actually take a risk on a vote or position, even if if were manifestly the "right thing" ? Its not just Iraq that voters see little differende between the parties on..what about campiagn finance reform, social security solvency, health insurance, student loans pork barrel for banks , etc...?
by DoctorDoug 2005-10-21 06:32AM | 0 recs
"if there wasn't already a fairy"
Don Young is going to want to get to the bottom of this. Or given the existence of a ferry maybe that wasn't the right choice of spelling. But just because you don't support the expansion of Ketchikan into a major population center and maybe I don't either, that doesn't mean this is simply a "bridge to nowhere". The airport is over there, there is plenty of ground for development and a small ferry or fairy is not going to be enough to support that.

Triangulate global warming (not that Don gives a shit) with where we will be extracting resources over the next 60 years with Ketchikan's position on the globe. Hmm, still a waste maybe, but perhaps just a smart bet on the Come.

by Bruce Webb 2005-10-21 05:37PM | 0 recs
There must be more behind this story
I fail to accept the notion that 85 Senators would cast a vote in favor of a 125 million dollar 'bridge to nowhere' in Alaska.  The 'bridge to nowhere' must have some significance, be it economic or environmental.  Moreover Alaska Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski must have done plenty of interpersonal political dealing to get the bill passed.  I should read up about this some more, but I really think that the bridge had to lead to SOMEWHERE...right??  Or am I too naive to think that our government actually tries to spend money efficiently?

Adam

Check out this blog:

http://agendagap.blogspot.com

by AShpeen 2005-10-21 03:03AM | 0 recs
Basically, Stevens is powerful
He is head of the transportation commitee, and basically told everybody, "Vote for this and I cancel all of your pork".  The senators mostly like thier own pork, so they voted against it.
by Geotpf 2005-10-21 04:52PM | 0 recs
Geez...
this is interesting...

From the myriad of issues out there...it is curious to say the least that.... so called "librul" PARTISAN blogs are now punting for the Club For Growth on their front pages... surely  the DLC/NDN has nothing at all to do with this... and if you believe that there is this bridge in Alaska ... I wanna sell. The true agenda of the DLC/NDN partnership is becoming clearer.

Has anyone picked up on the hypocrisy that these are the same people who proclaim PARTISANSHIP over all ... who are jumping into bed with the most right wing regressive policy pushers because they made a minor "compassionate conservative" gesture which even a blind man could see that it was going to fail.

These are the Club for Growth Policy Goals:

  • Making the Bush tax cuts permanent
  • Death tax repeal
  • Cutting and limiting government spending
  • Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts
  • Expanding free trade
  • Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
  • Replacing the current tax code
  • School choice
  • Regulatory reform and deregulation

Oh yeah... true partisans that praise right wing wacko christo-fascist Coburn and savage NARAL...

Net-ruts are moving from the sublime to the absolute absurd.

by Parker 2005-10-21 03:21AM | 0 recs
Politics and strange bedfellows....
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And so it goes with Club for Growth and Tom Coburn.

Doesn't mean I will ever vote for Pat Toomey, Tom Coburn or Steve Laffey anymore than I would ever vote for Pat Buchanan or David Duke for being anti-Iraq War.

But on this particular vote I would have sided with Club for Growth and Feingold, Bayh and Kent Conrad.

by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics and strange bedfellows....
Yunno, I do not call myself a political operative like most around these parts... but it is clear to me that this did not have a hope in hell of passing and it was just a cover to take the "edge" off of the dispicable Club for Growth and the most revolting Coburn.

There is so much horsetrading for these kind of pork that to undo what was already agreed upon would cause a seismic domino effect... that is why it was not voted on.

Because Dems have their pork too and if the backed out of this previous agreement then that would leave them open to have their agreed upon pork taken.

Like I said... a blind man could see that this was not going to work... the real question is why librul blogs are punting for Club for Growth and the dispicable Coburn on their front pages... then in the next breath tout "PARTISANSHIP"...

This is the DLC/NDN definition of PARTISANSHIP is something your pummel your base with to get rid of "special interests" other wise they are more that happy to jump in to bed with the most revolting wingnuts in the name of BI-PARTISANSHIP... that is why the DLC/NDN are a load of rubbish.

by Parker 2005-10-21 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics and strange bedfellows....
I disagree.  Coburn was one of the ones who came out about spending on Katrina right at the start.  He is still righteous scum, but he wanted to cut pork from the transportation bill rather than go farther in debt.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-10-21 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics and strange bedfellows....
The point is all of this bruhaha praising the Club for Growth and Coburn is a smokescreen...

NO WAY WAS THIS GOING TO PASS UNLESS THOSE WHO VOTED FOR IT WOULD ALSO GIVE UP THEIR PORK...therefore, the only reason for this exercise to to improve the reputation of the most vile GOPers... and to take the stigma off of "BI-PARTISANSHIP" manuevers Lieberman's favorite pastime... of course there is nothing wrong in this bill... that is not the point... everyone new it was a dead issue.

by Parker 2005-10-21 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics and strange bedfellows....
there's something called, at least with SOME people, "principles". But I'm not sure if you grasp that concept.
by KainIIIC 2005-10-21 02:12PM | 0 recs
Blowing Their Chance, Again
What a perfect opportunity, now wasted, to show the people of this country an important difference between the Repubs and the Demos. And fiscal responsibility is an issue that would have played well in 2006 and beyond. I'm beginning to think that Demo is an abbreviation for demolition.
by blogus 2005-10-21 04:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Blowing Their Chance, Again
It's not a "Republican" or "Democratic" problem, it's a Washington problem.

Unfortunately, while the blame may be equally spread between the two parties, this reinforces conservative ideology while it damages liberal ideology. Way to go Senate Democrats - another "own goal" for the Democratic Party.

Bayh, Feingold, Conrad, and Landrieu did the right thing. So did my two Senators, DeMint and Graham. (I think this is the first time I've had anything good to say about DeMint since he's been elected.)

As for Coburn, a broken clock is still right twice a day.

by wayward 2005-10-22 05:01AM | 0 recs
Fiscal Responsibility
This is an area that Democrats could lock up and really make their own.  We could paint the Republicans in a bad way for a long time based on the spending habits of Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. We could build on Clinton's success.  But only if we remember that Clinton had to make some hard choices and some brutal cuts.  I fear that many Democrats in Washington just don't have that courage.
by dpANDREWS 2005-10-21 04:28AM | 0 recs
I'm sure
That Russ's constituents don't mind at all that whatever project -- and thus jobs -- he had acquired could have also been cancelled.  

I'm sure they find solace in the fact that their lives were affected -- possibly negatively -- so that Russ could look good for 2008. That's a Senator's job...not his/her consituents/state, nope...it's running for president.

by PHDinNYC4Kerry 2005-10-21 05:49AM | 0 recs
Russ was voting anti-pork, long before
he was running for President. Some Senators see there role as being parochial representatives of there state. Other Senators see there role as more broadly representing the American people, albeit giving special recognition to their own constituents. Russ is in the latter camp.

I have more respect for a Senator who will cut a bridge or highway in his own state to rebuild lives in a hurricane ravaged city, than I do for a Senator who clings desperately to a local turnpike and says "screw you" to the victims of Katrina. Representing ones own constituents doesn't mean that you ignore the plight of Americans in other states, or for that matter residents of Iraq.

by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Russ was voting anti-pork, long before
If he's been doing it for years...why are we congratulating him like he did something out of the ordinary?

I know very little about Senator Feingold, but I do know that I will put every effort forward when I have downtime at work, to combat blogs turning into pro-specific candidates this early in the process. The obsession with Feingold and Clark (who I supported in the primary and still support) is pointless at this moment in time. Certain sites all but ignore anything negative about certain candidates and exagerrate the positives of the ones they like. I'm just trying to keep it honest.

by PHDinNYC4Kerry 2005-10-21 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Russ was voting anti-pork, long before
I agree that it is too early to settle on a candidate, but Feingold right now is at the top of my list. That doesn't mean I have stopped shopping or that I will slam everyone of his primary opponents. I have never been a big Bayh supporter, but most of his recent votes have made him more favorable to me.

Also watching Mark Warner and others.

by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 08:47AM | 0 recs
This isn't a new development
Sen. Feingold has been doing this since long before anyone even thought he might run for President.  He's been pushing fiscal responsability for years, even before it was the "in" thing.  I don't think this vote is about 2008, I think it's about 2005, and the  idea that we should rebuild New Orleans instead of building bridges to nowhere.
by LaX WI 2005-10-21 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sure
A Senator may be responsible for his constituents (and you'd be hard pressed to find a more responsible political representative than Feingold; note his town meetings, etc.), but a Senator is also responsible for the well-being of his or her fellow Americans (and indeed, fellow human beings).  And that does not mean wasteful spending just to look good for the political opposition in your district.

Forward With Feingold '08

by Ramo 2005-10-21 07:05AM | 0 recs
I'm his constituent...
Russ was never able to bring much pork here, so there's little to lose. Judiciary and Foreign Affairs were never considered choice Comittee Assignments, precisely because they leverege so little pork.

I'm kinda suprised his 2004 opponent didn't try to play this card more forcefully, instead going after Russ' Patriot Act viote, which was actually popular with a large nloc of the GOP base, the dun crowd.

by benmasel 2005-10-21 12:36PM | 0 recs
Highways vs. Katrina
When the issue of the highways bill vs. Katrina funding started to float I thought that there was a simple solution. But no one seems to want to think in simple terms.

All that is need is to delay implimentation of the highway bill for two years and divert the funding to Katrina recovery.

by aahpat 2005-10-21 07:11AM | 0 recs
Tax Cuts vs. Katrina
We could have our highways and reconstruction of New Orleans if we'd simply repeal those tax cuts for the rich, I bet.

But we can't have the rich paying taxes now, can we?

by Drew 2005-10-21 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Tax Cuts vs. Katrina
Of course not... If we repeal those tax cuts, then the Terrorists win.  DUH!!!!
by yitbos96bb 2005-10-21 09:23AM | 0 recs
Please.
More like, "2008 Dems: Feingold and Bayh agree that we should rob Peter to pay Paul."

This vote was part of the conservative effort to sell "Operation Offset," wherein money to reconstruct New Orleans, which should come from increased taxes or deficit spending or both, is taken from other areas of the budget.

They picked the Bridge to Nowhere because they want to reinforce the conservative meme that tax increases and deficit spending are never necessary, because there is just so much government waste.  Of course, there isn't enough government waste to pay for the reconstruction, and they know it; but they figure that if they can sell the idea, they'll be able to get away with cuts in the programs they want to cut - like Medicare - by claiming that they're simply eliminating government waste.

Bayh and Feingold should have voted against this amendment, and they should have called what it was: a gimmick, a trojan horse, and still more evidence of misplaced conservative priorities.  Evidence, for example, that conservatives believe that everyday Americans should have to give up infrastructure improvements in their own cities to pay for the reconstructions of New Orleans, but that the super-rich shouldn't have to give up their tax cuts.

This should be obvious.  I mean, really.  The mere fact that it is supported by the Club for Growth should tell you everything you need to know.  Who the hell believes that the Club for Growth gives a shit 1) about fiscal responsibility or 2) about the reconstruction of New Orleans?  Nobody with a fucking brain.  They only care about tax cuts for their rich friends.  And yet bloggers both here and at Daily Kos bought into their bullshit.  

The degree of credulity is fucking amazing, and embarassing, too.  

by Drew 2005-10-21 07:52AM | 0 recs
I would support repealing the tax cuts AND...
diverting pork project funding like the Bridge to Nowhere towards higher priorities (like rebuilding New Orleans). While I see your point as valid, my position is that this bill should have been voted up or down on its merits--is the money better spent in the Gulf Coast or a bridge to Ketchikan?
by Keith Brekhus 2005-10-21 08:16AM | 0 recs
Can't agree
The Coburn Amendment specifically targeted the beyond-ridiculous pork in Alaska (which would be bad under normal conditions, but is inconceivable with the war, Katrina, deficits, etc.)

Legislation is not like judicial decisions -- there is no concept of "precedence". You can vote for this amendment, and when the next one comes, you can vote against it.

You say that money for Katrina reconstruction should come from increased taxes or deficit spending, or both. But why can't we cut the fat from the Federal budget as well? Those bridges are a joke. Thousands of people still living in trailers and hotel rooms, and we're spending millions of dollars on briges to nowhere? That's not just a waste of money, that's a tragedy.

by LiberalFromPA 2005-10-21 09:24AM | 0 recs
The Coburn Amendment
Is part of a larger strategy that the Democrats should oppose.  Their willingness to give the Republicans this victory would be no different from their willingness to endorse some part of the Republican effort to destroy Social Security.

Remember "There is no crisis?"  Well, I say, "There is no fat."  Or at least, there isn't enough to justify this bullshit "Operation Offset."

by Drew 2005-10-21 09:46AM | 0 recs
The problem
...is that there is fat, and lots of it. And that fat helps create a massive defecit. And that deficit in turn allows Republicans to propose cuts to "entitlement" programs.

The Repubican "Starve the Beast" strategy involves using defecits as an excuse to cut entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. The Republicans view huge defecits in the short run as a means to cut all government spending in the long-run. That is why a conservative administration is spending so much. That is why Grover Norquist supports these guys.

So the best way to protect programs like Social Security is to have a sound fiscal policy (like we did under Clinton -- remember the surplus), and the best way to do that is to trim fat.

In the long-run, pork helps the Republican agenda, and hurts the Democratic one.

by LiberalFromPA 2005-10-21 12:32PM | 0 recs
Pork did not create the deficit.
The Bush tax cuts created the deficit.  Eliminate those, and voila, you have a more or less sound budget.

So the best way to protect programs like Social Security is to have a sound fiscal policy (like we did under Clinton -- remember the surplus), and the best way to do that is to trim fat.

If there were $300 billion in fat in the budget, then I might buy that line.  But there isn't.  This deficit isn't caused by fat; it's caused by Bush's tax cuts.  Furthermore, Clinton's surpluses weren't caused by fiscal austerity; they were caused by his tax hike in 1993, which reaped dividends in the late 90's boom.

Democrats would do well to point this out, but I suppose we're too busy agreeing with the Club for Growth and touting the importance of "fiscal responsibility" - which apparently means robbing Peter to pay Paul, these days - to do so.

by Drew 2005-10-21 01:00PM | 0 recs
Tax Cuts
The tax cuts are irresponsible. I never said they weren't, and I personally feel that most of them should be repealed starting yesterday.

But there is no reason we can't trim fat and roll back Dumbya's tax cuts as well. To me, that's sound fiscal policy.

by LiberalFromPA 2005-10-21 01:06PM | 0 recs
Whatever.
There's not enough fat to trim to make any significant difference in the budget.
by Drew 2005-10-21 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The problem
Fiscal policy is one of the most important things I look for when I vote.

In the long run, a fiscally responsible Republican (e.g. Lindsey Graham) will do less damage to the progressive agenda than an irresponsible Democrat. The absolute worst is a "borrow and spend" Republican.

What happens is that the borrow and spend crowd spends so much that the Government is INCAPABLE of social spending because of the massive debt. They are not worried about the debt, because more often than not, they benefit from the pork, but will have to pay a significantly smaller portion of the debt back. It's like if I borrowed money to buy myself a new house and all of MyDD had to pay it back.

Norquist and friends understand this, which is why they still support a President and congress who spend like drunken sailors. They know that sooner or later, this will force the spending cuts they want.

Likewise, Clinton understood this. Liberals may have howled at him for the spending cuts, and conservatives hated his 1993 tax increase, but he did a damn good job of running the country. More importantly, Clinton balanced the budget and then some. Wouldn't progressives rather be debating what to do with a surplus than how to deal with a massive deficit?

by wayward 2005-10-22 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Please.
No purchase here!

And Kos is doing it with CA's redistricting proposition too.

This is how the goppers operate.  They put out something that looks or sounds reasonable on the surface.  Taken out of context it might even be reasonable.

But they never operate OUT of context, and when you peel back the layers, it's not reasonable at all.

Like Parental Notification for abortions.  If you don't know that your kid is pregnant, you've already got a problem.  And it's not like teens go off to get an abortion like a trip to the mall, either.  This really impacts the less privileged and victims of abuse, and their parents either don't need to know, don't care, or aren't there.

But it sounds reasonable, right?

by DuckmanGR 2005-10-21 09:27AM | 0 recs
I have to agree with the Long Term
look at this.  First, if coburn wants it, there has to be something wrong with it.  And the stopped clock analogy doesn't apply either.  Has gwb been right about anything?  NO.

This isn't tinfoil hat opposition, these cretins are devious to a fault.  Because once you start rolling back these earmarks, where do you think it'll stop?  And who has the votes?  

And the underlying rationale is that it's gov't spending that's the problem, not gov't revenue, so no return to tax sanity either.  

Roll back those cuts for the toppers?  No way, when we can squeeze a few mill from some earmarks, and hey, make sure they're DEMOCRATS earmarks while we have the votes, eh?!

How many times do we have to see that scenario before we figure it out, anyway?  Look at the K St project, squeezing out Democrats.  Look at schwarzenkopfs Prop 75 that cuts Union political money over Corporate political money.  Look at all the Democratic amendments and hearings that get passed or conducted?

Earmarks, while a seemingly easy target, do fulfill a need, they aren't always bad, but in the context of the irresponsible spending on this unconscionable war of the gop's, they look worse then they can be.

The better way to approach this bridge would be to pressure young to pull it til next time, much like Leader Pelosi passed on some earmarks, rather than enshrine it in a bill that sets precedents that can be used against Democrats and Americans.

by DuckmanGR 2005-10-21 09:19AM | 0 recs
My candidate would have to have this voting recor
d if they are Senator if they are not they have to support/Not support the following if they want my support.

Ban Drilling in ANWR Y
Approve Bush tax cuts N
Medicare/RX N
Support Roe v. Wade Y
Ban Partial-Birth Abortion N
Approve use of Force in Iraq N

Wedge issue
Assult Weapons ban Y
Death Penelty N

If a Candidate has thought or voted that way i am happy with them.

by Liberal 2005-10-21 12:09PM | 0 recs
Candidate would have to have this voting record
Aside from the assault weapons ban, it looks like Russ Feingold is your guy.  
by whodat527 2005-10-21 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate would have to have this voting recor
Feingold actually voted for it the first time around, but after realizing (by constintuents) that it was entirely useless and symbolic (meaning you could still purchase or make assault weapons), he decided to vote against it the next time around.
by KainIIIC 2005-10-21 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate would have to have this voting recor
Yep Feingold is at the top of the list.
by Liberal 2005-10-21 07:00PM | 0 recs
Hm if you look at it seems more Republicans
Voted for it than Dems.
by Liberal 2005-10-21 01:14PM | 0 recs
Hm if you look at it seems more Republicans
Voted for it than Dems.
by Liberal 2005-10-21 01:14PM | 0 recs

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