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August 01, 2011

Comments

peter

What a disaster.

MayBee

I think the absence of understanding of what this bill actually does is a good reason not to vote yes on it. Not today.

Janet

There is an idea MayBee!...Congress should have to take a test or quiz on the proposed legislation before they vote on it to prove they understand the material. Like school used to do. Any grade below a C & the scoundrels aren't allowed to vote.

MayBee

Oh Janet, I love that. It can't be a multiple choice test either.

Melinda Romanoff

If they're going to downgrade us, what're they going to do to France, first?

centralcal

Oh Janet, I love that. It can't be a multiple choice test either.

Nor, essay (answer) test, either!

Jane

So they are now saying they found some huge tax increases in the bill and Boehner is going to have a press conference in a few minutes (if I heard correctly).

MayBee

The test would actually have to be in the form of a project, per Arnie Duncan.

Jane

Is anyone else worried about the verdict of those 2 hikers in IRan? I fear they will want to show how little respect they have for Obama by executing them.

Dave (in MA)
Yike.
I don't believe I've ever seen that in its singular form before.
Captain Hate

Jane I worry about just about everything in Iran these days as a significantly western leaning population is ruled by imbecilic fanatics.

Hey Dave, Ken Vandermark and Tim Daisy play here Thursday night as some improv finally makes it to this sleepy little sub-backwater.

steve

If you don't like the deal, a reason for voting against it is (1) you think it will pass and voting against it gives you street cred on your side of the aisle (fight the power!) or (2) you think it won't pass and the other side fears the consequences more than your side does and thus they will be willing to agree later in the week to an even better deal for your side.

Danube of Thought

Just heard the Tea Party Express spokeslady voice her strong disapproval, saying the Tea Party people were sent to Washington by the voters to bring about fundamental change, and this isn't fundamental change.

What she doesn't seem to grasp is that the voters didn't send enough such people. That will require one more election.

Dave (in MA)

CH, by a little google-fu I figured out that you're in Cleveland, which, if I ever knew I somehow forgot. I though you were in Chicago for some reason.

Dave (in MA)

Mickey Kaus twits: Don't think U shld be pessimstic! Dems wd do well to get govt down to more "sustainable" size. Can tax later

Captain Hate

Nope, not Chicago; if I was I'd continually be bugging Mel to go see some fire breathers at the Empty Bottle or Velvet Lounge

Dave (in MA)

Early this AM I mentioned in the Sunday open thread that talk show host Steve LeVeille allowed a caller to say (unchallenged) that tea party members of Congress should be killed. "Drowned", specifically. All Steve did was chuckle a little bit at the suggestion. I sent him a message of FB expressing my disappointment, and this morning he replied that "i don't let them say it, God does. message him".

narciso

Seems like a Mortimer special, pending confirmation of the crop report.

Captain Hate

"i don't let them say it, God does. message him".

Such a cop out answer; refusing to take any responsibility for things that happen on his watch and instead ridiculing you for suggesting that anything is askew. Can there be any better description of today's lib?

Rick Ballard

CBO Scoring

-$21 billion in '12 (Boehner's second proposal). Fanstasy projections of $917 billion worth of cuts over ten years per specified items plus $1.2 trillion to be found by the Select Committee on Unicorn Farts and Skittles.

narciso

Catching up from last night's thread, I almost can't believe Warrick's suggestion, than again, they fell for the argument that Zubeydah wasn't really AQ, 'just a guy from
the neighborhood'.

Janet

Biden calls Tea Partiers 'terrorists'.

Dave (in MA)

Way to raise the level of discourse, Plugs. In his defense, he probably plagiarized the thought from someone else.

jimmyk

-$21 billion in '12

Roughly one half of one percent of the budget. Remarkable.

Incidentally, I've never been able to get a clear answer on this: Is the "stimulus" spending now permanently in the budget? If so, why (seriously)? And if not, how did the budget get so big? Yes, I'm too lazy busy to figure this out myself.

JackisBack!

Why would the frosh class of TPs members want to vote for something the status quo leadership and this POTUS are endorsing? Not enough real budget reform, no spending cuts (NOW), weasel words on taxes and letting the horse be designed as a camel. If this is the best they can do with this weak a Prez then our kids and their kids live like Mad Max.

Threadkiller

JIB, I wonder the same thing. Allen West once claimed he would "run through Hell with cans of gasoline" if that is what it takes. Now he runs away.

This will get him primaried.

Extraneus

I've never been able to get a clear answer on this: Is the "stimulus" spending now permanently in the budget?

Rush has been making this claim for days, but it makes no sense, and he could very well be wrong. I'd like to see the real answer, too.

jimmyk

it makes no sense,

As a logical/literal matter, no, but I guess a better way of putting the question is: Is that spending now included in the CBO "baseline"? If so, then I would suggest the CBO be eliminated as part of the cuts, as it is worse than useless.

matt

Both sides need their rallying cries for next year, and this is it. They can claim any old thing they want, but this is really the prelim to the main event.

The Dems are screaming at the Tea Party, which really is dormant at the moment and the Repubs
call yell about how they need more seats to continue the mission of reducing the debt and reestablishing America's primacy.

Both sides will be motivating their base, but the good news is that Barry is the target of just about all of them now. He's on the outs with everbody.

Hopefully this translates into weaker Dem turnout and stronger Repub/Tea Party turn out. It will be that much harder for Joe Biden and the rest of these a-holes to call the majority terrorists.

In reading Der Spiegel last night, their portrayal of the tea party was amazingly unfair and biased.Their meme on the Tea Party will only die when the nanny state goes BK.

It's all about evil right wingers and terrorists right now. They are going to do their best to smear and paint their opposition, and yet it is they who use the language of violence.

Extraneus

All we have to do is eliminate the unending stimulus and we'd have an $8.75 trillion cut, plus the amount from automatic annual increases? Woo-hoo! We're saved!

I doubt that this could have slipped through the recent debate, especially since they've been whispering about another stimulus and haven't had the nerve to say it very loudly.

Threadkiller

I remember McClintock saying the stimulus money was borrowed from an existing "capital pool". I assume if it is borrowed, it will be in every budget until it is paid off.

Rick Ballard

Porkulus was a supplementary measure with a three year authority. The spending authorized for '11 and '12 is included in the CBO projections as is projected spending for Iraq and Afghanistan operations. Iraq and Afghanistan used to handled with supplementals but are now included in the budget. That's why Dingy invoked Calvin Ball Rules in order to achieve his claimed "cuts".

Is there anything else that I can further obfuscate for you while I'm up?

The real answer is that programs are removed from CBO projections when their spending authority expires. Porkulus is set to die in '12 and is not included by CBO thereafter.

Extraneus

California Gets Advanced Loan Just in Case Interest Rates Spike Over Debt Deal

jimmyk

I doubt that this could have slipped through the recent debate,

Which brings up part two of my question: If the stimulus isn't part of the baseline, the how did the budget grow by so much in just two years? From the St. Louis Fed I have the following:

FY Outlays ($Trillions)
2007 2.729
2008 2.982
2009 3.518
2010 3.456

So spending increased by about $800B from 2007 to 2009. Then fell back a bit in 2010. I'm supposed to believe that an $800B item somehow appeared and disappeared in those numbers? I'd love to see the breakdown.

Rick Ballard

Doesn't TARP fit in there as well?

Ranger

If the stimulus isn't part of the baseline, the how did the budget grow by so much in just two years? From the St. Louis Fed I have the following:

FY Outlays ($Trillions)
2007 2.729
2008 2.982
2009 3.518
2010 3.456

Yes, that's how much the Dems jacked up spending once they got control of congress. 2007 was the last year that was under a Republican budget (done in 2006 to cover 2007).

Those numbers do not reflect Porkulus spending. That was an "extra" spending bill outside the budget. There is, of course, an on going effort by the various agencies to justify adding Porkulus funds into the base line, but that is being done on a case by case basis. TARP was also an off budget operation.

Ben Franklin


http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/08/weimar-meets-waterloo.html


" This new depression is way different from the hazily remembered one of grampy's boyhood. There was no money then, too, in 1934, but you didn't have to puzzle out the metaphysical workings of a collateralized debt obligation to know what the score was. Your pockets were just empty and the bank down the street was. shuttered. The country had plenty of everything except money: lots of oil, good farmland, manpower, ores, timber, beeves-on-the-hoof, excellent railroads, dynamic cities, and factories just recently built (only the orders for goods stopped coming in). Yet something happened that still mystifies the viziers who call themselves economists. .
Was it all that mischief on Wall Street with the "bucket shops" and the margin-gone-wild, and the shoeshine boys proffering stock tips to their customers? Or was it some remorseless cyclical exhalation of history? Or was it that plus the Keynesian monkey-business with interest rates and the issuance of currency? Or was it some fundamental flaw in the workings of industrial capitalism itself? These questions have never been adequately answered, though there is no shortage of "stories" cooked up to explain it - many of them elegantly entertaining."

jimmyk

Thanks, Rick, sorry I posted before seeing your explanation.

I thought TARP was that "capital account" thing that was off-budget. In any case it was more or less pre-designed to be a one-shot thing.

It's still a bit hard to make sense of the numbers, as spending drops a bit in 2013 baseline, but then jumps up in 2014 by nearly 10 percent.

Stephanie

Jump in 2014 is Ocare rearing its ugly head.

Extraneus

So I attempted to read the actual bill, and I didn't see one thing about an actual spending cut until Page 71:

TITLE V—PELL GRANT AND STU4 DENT LOAN PROGRAM 5 CHANGES 6 SEC. 501. FEDERAL PELL GRANTS. 7 Section 401(b)(7)(A)(iv) of the Higher Education Act 8 of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)(7)(A)(iv)) is amended— 9 (1) in subclause (II), by striking 10 ‘‘$3,183,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$13,183,000,000’’; 11 and 12 (2) in subclause (III), by striking ‘‘$0’’ and in13 serting ‘‘$7,000,000,000’’.
Etc.

I couldn't make sense of the mumbo jumbo, but here's an article that seems relevant:

Students to feel pinch in debt deal

As part of the savings to trim the deficits, Congress would scrap a special kind of federal loan for graduate students. So-called subsidized student loans don't charge students any interest on the principal of student loans until six months after students graduated.

Congress would also nix a special credit for all students who make 12 months of on-time loan payments.

The changes would take place July 1, 2012.

For taxpayers, the savings taken from the pockets of students will total $21.6 billion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

[snip]

Of the $22 billion saved, $17 billion will go to fund Pell Grants, which only leaves that program $1.3 billion short, said student aid groups. That's why most groups can live with the cuts to graduate student loans.

The rest of the savings goes to deficit reduction.

A grand total of $5B in "savings"? Has anyone seen the actual details of the so-called spending cuts?

Ben Franklin

Elizabeth Warren: A Primary Challenge?

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/should-elizabeth-warren-run-for-president.html

"Her strength is that she is a Reagan-level Great Communicator. And unlike Obama, a patrician wannabe who sees Reagan as a role model, she taps into deeply rooted traditional American values, that of a just society. Obama, by contrast, exploited the intense frustration with eight years of misrule by Bush the Second, and his liberal posturing was merely a market positioning exercise, to further differentiate him from Brand Republican.

Her position, which sounds dogmatic leftie to those lacking historical perspective, would have been dead center circa the early to mid 1980s, a Javits/Rockefeller Republican or a pretty tame Democrat of that era. But she has arrived at her views not out of ideology but out of pragmatism and rock solid knowledge of the terrain. For instance, in The Two Income Trap, she identified a bidding war for homes in decent school districts, and secondarily, the shift of bank business models to target consumers they can get on a debt treadmill, as the drivers of middle class bankruptcy, which had risen to disconcertingly high levels as of 2003. Her main solutions were simple: more widely distributed aid to schools, so that parents would have more decent districts to choose from (basically increasing the supply of good public schools) and usury ceilings (set as a spread over funding costs), which would force banks to revert to older pricing/product schemes where all consumers paid for services, as opposed to non/infrequent borrowers being subsidized by the heavy users of credit.

So the logic of having her run would be to change the terms of discourse in this country. In case you have managed to miss it, ideas that might interfere with the perquisites of those at the top of the food chain and their hired hands are virtually banned from the mainstream media."

Hmmm. The Tea Party wanted to change the discourse, as well.

what would her Party be, The 'Pea' Party?

Farbeit from me to discourage such self-defeating antics. It will be interesting to Pair Warren to Bachmann, when she gets elbowed out at the Republican Convention.

Hey! I'm starting to snark like Maguire. Time for a break.

MayBee

OMG. Gabby Giffords coming to DC to vote for this.

What a bunch of crazy theater.

centralcal

MayBee - that is just really disturbing on so many levels.

bolitha

I agree, MayBee.

Extraneus

Even Ron Paul claims that the only cuts in the bill amount to $25B.

The Hill: When a cut is not a cut

"In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of "cuts" that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to "cut". It would only take us 5 years to "cut" $1 trillion, in Washington math, just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic."
Can it be true?
PD

Chesapeake Energy confirmed rumors today that they have a large holding in the Utica shale (Ohio) that is expected to yield significant amounts of oil and natural gas.

In other words: We should be expecting to see a bunch of copy-and-paste here about how Big Oil is spinning tales about the benefits of fracking.

Ranger

Can it be true?

Well, we are talking about a system that would score an actual freez in spending levels as a 7% spending cut right now.

The best part of this entire process is that Cut, Cap, and Ballance got into the public mind. With over 60% approval with the public, any Republican presidential candidate can beat Obama by using it as their platform.

centralcal

Giffords arrives to "vote" just about 2 minutes before time is up. All attention turned toward her. My office - watching C-Span - all groaned and rolled their eyes. I guess Democrats and the MFM think we are all stupid. Someone said, Obama probably sent Air Force One to pick her up. We all snickered.

You should see Twitter now - all about Giffords - "I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."

Utterly nauseating.

Ben Franklin

What about operational budgets for Congress?

They need to bite the fiscal bullet.

I suggest an umbrella budget. By that I mean, they should be allocated a specific sum each year. Everything would be paid out of that fund. Staff salaries, office expenses, travel, ground transportation....everything...including Health Insurance.

Let them operate under a fiscal hammer-and-tong. Just like us, they can choose how to spend the money. If there's enough left for Medical, dental, vision, they can choose the plan that fits their budget.

Danube of Thought

The suggestion that the shrill harridan Warren is a "Reagan-level great communicator" is the funniest thing I've read this week.

PD

You should see Twitter now - all about Giffords - "I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."

Okay, I guess I'm insensitive, but I think she should have resigned months ago.

PD

House vote passes.

Ben Franklin

All three of you lack basic decency in this instance............

Extraneus

So how did she vote?

Ben Franklin

DoT; I can depend upon you to glean the gravel from the grain.

Ben Franklin

A Healthcare 'Voucher' for $7000 per year to cover all medical.

Sounds fair to me..........................

MayBee

All three of you lack basic decency in this instance............

Oh, Seman. That is truly hilarious coming from you.

Ben Franklin

Oh, I didn't see the charitable bolitha. Four, so far, lack basic human decency re-Giffords. I should think you would be on-guard from such perceptions.

Ben Franklin

Guilt giggles..........no substitute for conviction.......

MayBee

Seman, you and I both know it was a stunt to have her come out and vote for this bill as a big surprise! The people who have no decency are the people who use her so.

But you have been vile and cruel and unfeeling and I've no interest in hearing from you about your perceptions of human decency.

JackisBack!

Do not respond for the sake of our community. Don't.

Ben Franklin

MayBee; Then just don't read me, and I will do the same for you,
Your Cravenness......

centralcal

I am glad that Gabrielle Giffords survived and is doing as well as she is.

Unfortunately, we do not really know how well that is cognitively. Her statement about "[her] absence crashing our economy" is beyond ridiculous.

MayBee is right this was a well thought out stunt by people who are practiced at stunts. Everyone in my office saw through it instantly. Meanwhile the media gushes (none moreso than on the right).

maryrose

Maybee:
This was the dem way to suck all the air out of the room by having gabrielle show up to vote today. I'm glad she's well enough to be there and hope to see a lot more of her on the House floor now that she has recuperated. Dems took it on the chin these past 3 weeks so I will be magnanimous in victory and allow them their sentimental moment. However I noticed 90 some dems voted for this bill. They need something to sell for 2012 and Obamacare is not going to help them one little bit.
PD:
Just to inform-Tim Johnson and Biden both were gone for more than 6 months with illness and continued to hang in there and keep their seats. Illness is a great way to get re-elected.

Jane

MayBee is right this was a well thought out stunt by people who are practiced at stunts.

I don't understand why she hasn't resigned. The federal government is utterly ridiculous and we all go along with it.

Gmax

Well Gabby was on the floor, but the person I saw looked feeble and frail. We did not hear her speak nor even see her gait.

She or her staffers cast a simple vote. True.

I did not see a person who is currently able of campaigning for reelection. Sympathy only gets you so far.

Ignatz

Sometimes you just have to wonder if Peter Beinart is sane.

A sample:

While the details of the debt-ceiling deal remain fuzzy, this much is clear: Barack Obama may be president, but the Tea Party is now running Washington. How did this happen? Simple: This is what American politics looks like when there’s no left-wing movement and no war.

No left wing movement? No war? NO WAR?
Words fail.

Ignatz

--Well Gabby was on the floor, but the person I saw looked feeble and frail.--

She was shot in the head a short time ago.

MayBee

Jane- no kidding. It was the same with Byrd and Kennedy.

I find it all just too rich, on the day Biden calls the Tea Party "terrorists" and Emmanuel Cleaver says this bill is a "Satan Sandwich", the woman whose shooting was used by all of them to promote their "new civility" speech codes appears on the floor.
They have no shame.

Do you think she will use her grand return to press Obama to come clean on "Fast and Furious"?

Minimalist Poster

of course there's no left wing movement - the left wing has eaten too much of the system to move

JM Hanes

Benjamin Franklin:

What would a paean to the virtues of Elizabeth Warren be without reference to the inimitable song of praise penned by Brent Budowsky, as a September prelude to last November's elections? I'm sure you can forgive me for stretching the bounds of cut & paste, just this once, pour encourager les dispirited left and bring a smile to the right:

Within hours and possibly minutes I expect the president will name Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer protection agency, and if he does, the Democratic base will erupt and turn out to vote in far greater numbers than any current poll suggests.



I could be wrong; Obama might give up at the last minute, which would be the last betrayal of the Democratic base and very possibly the death knell of the Democratic House of Representatives. But if he names Warren, the pundits be will amazed, astonished and flabbergasted by the lift this would give to the Democratic base and by the voter turnout that would follow.



If Obama names Warren, consumers would have the strongest possible friend fighting for them all day, every day, at a time of major consumer rip-offs and disastrous consumer confidence that would be lifted with the Warren selection.



If Obama names Warren, veterans and military families who have endured rip-offs and abuses would have the strongest possible friend with Elizabeth Warren.



If Obama names Warren, small business would have the strongest possible ally as she champions fair treatment by small business that has been a piñata being abused by large financial institutions.



If Obama names Warren, the momentum in the campaign would shift powerfully and immediately, with a rejuvenated Democratic base excited and fighting trim, ready to roll, ready to fight, ready to erupt with support that the selection of Warren would inspire.



Warren should be nominated through a recess appointment, not a nomination that would bring a unified Republican filibuster in the tired Kabuki dance that the American people, and the progressive base, have suffered from for far too long.



The Democratic base is dispirited and tired, but the Warren nomination would rally them beyond the imagination of the most cynical pundits and politicians.



This campaign is in the ninth inning, the bases are loaded, and if the president hits the ball out of the park and names Elizabeth Warren, it will be the single most powerful inflection point in many months, to the Democrats' advantage, and change the campaign of 2010 to a rousing fight to the finish that could well save the Democratic House of Representatives.


Alas, as we know all too well, one can rich rhetorical heights without actually being a visionary.

Ranger

NO WAR?

Of course there is no war right now. Wars only happen under Republican presidents. Now we are engaged in overseas contingency operations and kinetic military actions. Can's you see why that makes all the difference to the "anti-war" movement.

PD

I am glad that Gabrielle Giffords survived and is doing as well as she is.

I am, too, and I hope for her full recovery. But we don't know how that will go on or for how long.

So she should resign. As long as she does not, she is, dare I say it?, holding her seat hostage.

Ben Franklin

JMH; Not sure what, exactly, you are trying to say. Perhaps I was too subtle in my 'tongue-in-cheekiness'.

I am not suggesting Warren could, or would mount a Primary challenge. But it might be good to have one.

Instead of sniping, try addressing my Budget challenge for Congressional Creatures.....

JM Hanes

One can reach those heights too .....

Ben Franklin

I understand HR has a great deal of respect for you.....

narciso

Well they picked one law professor with contempt for the law, the first time, why not another, She came to public promenence, hawking a bogus study.

maryrose

Maybee;
I'm with you also and I also made the connection between Biden's "terrorist" remark and the "new civility" and Giffords's appearance.Dems needed Gifford to distract from Biden's disgraceful remark comparing teaparty reps to terrorists. Which story do you think will be emphasized on the MFM broadcasts?

Danube of Thought

Great Scott, JMH--the Budowsky thing had me slapping my thigh and roaring loudly. And I haven't even poured a Martini yet.

Woot!

Ignatz

--Instead of sniping, try addressing my Budget challenge for Congressional Creatures....--

It seems a fairly trivial issue but do you believe it would meet with some great resistance from the right?
Jane after all does have a website called youtoocongress or some-such saying pretty much the same thing.

Ben Franklin

well you deserve a small celebration, dot.

Ben Franklin

Trivia in total dollarsl, but very symbolic. They need to have skin of their own invested in this 'shared' sacrifice. How would I know about Jane's site?

narciso

I imagine one would have to consume significant amount of absinth before coming up with either Budowsky or Beinart would start to make sense,

Ignatz

--How would I know about Jane's site?--

Umm, cause she's mentioned it here about 200 times.

Ignatz

--Great Scott, JMH--the Budowsky thing had me slapping my thigh and roaring loudly.--

The comments were equally hilarious; the poor dope had what passes for a head handed to him.

Ben Franklin

Nice talkin' to ya, JMH...........

Chubby

((Dems needed Gifford to distract from Biden's disgraceful remark comparing teaparty reps to terrorists))

Considering the malignant meme they circulated wrt the Giffords' shooting, I'm thinking more "underscore" than "distract".

MarkO

Missed the entire day due to unforseen and unfortuate circumstances: actual work.

Apparently, something happened. Even in my absence. Do you have any idea how marginalized I feel.

Oh well. "Absinth"? OK.

MarkO

Add a random "n" where necessary.

JM Hanes

Ben Franklin:

Never fear, "Pea Party" is not what I'd call too subtle, although I should probably advise you that no one can snark like Tom Maguire!

I'm not sure why you'd want me to ignore what you posit might be a good idea, but perhaps you can interest someone else in your budgetary challenge, while I enjoy the ever more frequent spectacle of lefties trying to run as resurrected Reagans! Recycling Budowski's remarkable, effusive, embrace of Warren too, just seemed as apropos as it is entertaining.

PD

Ann Barnhardt (at AT) not thrilled about the debt deal.

JM Hanes

Ben Franklin:

Perhaps you didn't realize that my saying "One can reach those heights too...." was not a comment on your post, but the correction of a typo in my own.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Giffords voted for the bill which passed 269-161.

PD

Giffords voted for the bill which passed 269-161.

And thus the world did not end.

boris

look like mungo strategery good guess on Saturday huh ... mungo conga native skills misunderestimated by lady huh ...

Threadkiller
August 1, 2011 9:26 PM

August 1, 2011. This act increases the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history. It allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis. I am opposed to this measure for the following reasons:

1. The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States Government.

2. It blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years.

3. It makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level. While the debt increase occurs this year, deficit reductions are to be spread over many years and could be reversed by future acts of Congress.

4. The spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a “major disaster,” or necessary for the “Global War on Terror.”

5. The balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined.

The House of Representatives voted on S. 365 – “Budget Control Act of 2011" on August 1, 2011. Congressman Tom Mcclintock voted NO.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

Ann Barnharts article and McClintock's quote accurately express my frustration as to where we are today. Nonetheless, as I keep preaching, there is only so much that can be done when the other party controls the Senate and the WH.

The real battle is 2012. The goals now should be to force EL Jefe's early retirement, increase our control of the House and get a filibuster prrof Senate. We can win by using our energy towards supporting candidates that will be most likely to accomplish these goals.

That doesn't mean sending money to the RNC. It means directly supporting the right candidates and working like hell to get them elected in 2012.

End of rant.

JM Hanes

The piece that worries me most is the sheer size of the Defense cuts that would kick in should the automatic reductions be triggered. While that may make it harder politically for Democrats to essentially countenance gutting American security, if push comes to shove, it's scary to see it being used like a bargaining chip.

Elsewhere, is there anything which precludes cost cutting bills which don't issue from the Super Committee?

Melinda Romanoff

Jim R.-

Duh. Each are betting it all on on 2012, and if it's close, they'll steal it.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep our eye on the ball and do everything we can to prevent the theft, Mel. 2010 proved that it is possible.

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