Eric Cantor: Whatever Happened to ‘Compassionate Conservatives’?

We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wise words. Words that set the US apart from all other nations when written, but teetering dangerously close to losing their meaning today. The idea of shared beliefs that translate into shared pain and generosity do little to “promote the general Welfare” today. We’ve become a nation of skinflints and screamers whose idea of sharing is limited to how to get a 110% refund on our taxes while using services those taxes are designed to build and “promote (for) the general welfare”. We’ve become 311 million independent nationettes that use the few remaining examples of “the Blessings of Liberty” to ruin any trace of importance in the words, “we”, “common”, “ourselves”, or “our”.

My opponents often remind me that, in their opinion, I’m not one of “the people”. But since I escaped Michele Bachmann’s FEMA-run concentration camps and allowed myself to be counted – I like to think I’m citizen 311,382,611, with a valid long-form birth certificate and everything  – I believe I’m entitled to join the exclusive club of US citizens whether I believe health care, religious freedom, or speaking to your Muslim neighbors is the thing to do or not. So here’s my two cents worth:

I’m appalled at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Obstructistan) demand that aid for families lashed by two of the worst tornado outbreaks on record must wait while Congress goes argues over whether oil company aid or health care should be cut to balance the budget.

This is not how a nation supposedly “ordained and established” as a “perfect union” behaves. It’s how a despot owned and operated country in the throes of the Arab Spring acts. And it is disgraceful.

Yes, we are a nation with big problems – problems partially caused by many of the same people who spent us into the hole and now trumpet no taxes uber alles I might add. We do need some government reorganization with more transparent accountability and proper authority. We do need to set spending priorities more in line with our “shared” needs. We do need to cut spending. All of that is inarguable. But should these victims of acts of nature be forced to sit in their heavily mortgaged piles of rubble” without the help of their 311 million neighbors, regardless if they live in the heartland of Tea Party fever and Cantorian nonsense?

I think not. Let’s come together to make this the American Spring before zealotry, hyper-partisanship, and incompetence violates our”established and ordained” prescription to “insure domestic tranquility”, before we become de facto members of the Arab Spring.

That is what “we the people” were “ordained” to do.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

GOP Excuse For NY 26th District Special Election Results

Cenk Uygur shares the excuse Republicans are using after Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election in New York.

 

Rush Limbaugh Lied To By Gingrich

Newt Gingrich went on Rush Limbaugh's show to attempt to rescue his chances at being the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 after his criticism of the Ryan Medicare plan.

 

Ron Paul says he'll end Social Security & Medicare if Elected Pres.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks with MSNBC host Cenk Uygur about why he voted against the Ryan budget and what programs he'd like to cut.

Ron Paul Admits He's cut Social Security & Meidcare if elected President:04:42

 

Weekly Audit: Hostage-Taking Over the Debt Ceiling

 

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

The latest contrived showdown between Congressional Republicans and the White House is over what concessions the GOP will demand in order to increase the federal debt ceiling.

George Zornick of The Nation explains how the shakedown works:

Congress now needs to approve any borrowing past the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, which the United States will reach “no later” than May 16, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the government would have to stop spending—including stopping interest payments on those Treasury bonds, meaning that the United States would effectively default on its debt.

The debt ceiling has to be raised and everyone knows it. Surely the Republicans knew it when they voted for tax cuts for the rich with borrowed money. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States will default on some of its obligations. Just like what happens after you miss a credit card payment, the country’s creditors will demand higher interest in order to lend to us in the future.

Playing chicken with the debt ceiling is a recipe for increasing the national debt. Paul Waldman argues in The American Prospect that the Republicans hate government so much that they are willing to declare war on the economy in a quixotic bid to smash the state:

The reason we’re now seeing an unprecedented amount of attention paid to a vote that ordinarily passes with little notice is that the Republican Party’s agenda is being set by a group of ideological radicals who seem quite willing to cripple the American economy if that’s what it takes to strike a blow against the government they hate so much.

Peak Crazy

At AlterNet, Joshua Holland explains why failure to raise the debt ceiling would be an economic catastrophe that could jeopardize the economic recovery. “Peak Crazy,” he calls it.

However, Holland notes that a showdown over the debt ceiling does not risk an immediate government shutdown, like the one we faced over the budget battle. Borrowing isn’t the only way that government agencies are funded. The government could still spend the $150 billion or so it takes in every month in tax revenue, for example.

Yet, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has announced that 47 GOP senators oppose raising the debt ceiling unless “credible attempts” are made to cut federal spending. Meanwhile the Tea Party is launching an all-out lobbying effort to urge House Republicans not to raise the debt ceiling without major spending cuts.

The Tea Party’s wish list includes some total pipe dreams like a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, and a law to require a two-thirds majority for all future tax increases. Former senator and current U.S. presidential hopeful Rick Santorum cheerfully announced that he would let the United States default on its debt if health care reform is not repealed. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) helpfully suggests paying the interest on Treasury Bills using money that would otherwise go to Social Security.

Shoot the hostage

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks argues that Democrats are panicking needlessly and, once again, offering needless preemptive concessions to the Republican fringe in the form of a proposed “hard cap” on government spending, which would cap new government spending, and subtract any overruns from social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security.

The truth, Uygur notes, is that Wall Street has already told the Republicans in no uncertain terms that the debt ceiling will be raised. The economic consequences of doing anything else would be unthinkable. The Tea Party can yell and scream, but the adults have already made the decision. Knowing this, Democrats should not be trying to placate the Republicans so as to induce them to do something they will ultimately end up doing.

Digby on Social Security

Democrats are wavering in their decades-long commitment to defend Social Security, Heather Digby Parton (a.k.a., “Digby”) writes in In These Times:

In a quixotic attempt to fix the problems in the current economy without confronting the plutocrats, the Democrats are using the illogical argument that since Social Security is projected to have a shortfall in 35 years, we must cut benefits now. And they seek to prove to “the market” that the government is fiscally responsible by showing it’s willing to inflict pain on its citizens—in the future.

Even if we do nothing, Social Security can pay out full benefits for the next 35 years. There is no crisis. A small increase on the payroll cap on Social Security could shore up the program for generations to come. Republicans oppose Social Security because they are ideologically opposed to social welfare programs, not because Social Security is broken.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy bymembers of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Audit for a complete list of articles on economic issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The MulchThe Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

 

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