Now the TanMan is going all Mad Max and is staging a Thunderdome fight between the Teabaggers who want to keep the GOP Budget Sequestration caps to starve the government, and the GOP Neocon hawks who want a bigger badder military defense budget so that they can get their war on with Iran.
You remember Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome don’t you? “Two men enter, one man leaves” — or in this case, two budgets enter, one budget leaves. “Dying time’s here.”
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post explains, Will GOP pay any political price for budgetary hocus-pocus?:
Congressional Republicans face a major test this week as they seek to pass a budget that makes both fiscal and defense “hawks” happy, and the big story right now is that Republicans may not resolve the impasse between the warring camps.
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GOP leadership will try a new strategy to resolve their internal divisions.
Here’s how it will work: The House will hold votes on both a budget that the fiscal “hawks” want (which would balance the budget in 10 years with no new revenues and less defense spending) and on a budget that the defense “hawks” want (which would balance the budget in 10 years with no new revenues and more defense spending, while not counting it as spending that busts the sequester caps conservatives want to keep in place). Such are the parameters of responsible GOP budgeting in this Congress.
Whichever gets more votes will be the winner, whereupon the effort will begin to reconcile that budget with the Senate GOP version (presuming one passes). If Republicans fail to unify, there will be countless stories about their failure to govern, and it will raise the possibility of a lot more chaos ahead. But if they do agree on a budget, a whole new chapter begins.
You never learned this from School House Rock, and I assure you that it will not be on the citizenship exam that the Arizona legislature is requiring of high school students to graduate.
Gearing up for the fight to come, the Senate Democratic caucus released a report this morning that previews how they will prosecute the political case.
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[T]he forthcoming report from the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center will argue that the spending cuts that are detailed in the GOP blueprints — such as the repeal of Obamacare (while keeping its savings) and the block-granting of Medicaid to states — would “take affordable health coverage away from millions of Americans.” And it will argue that, to get to its goal of balance within 10 years with no new revenues, the House and Senate GOP fiscal blueprints go to extraordinary lengths to conceal the real impact of the spending cuts that would be required to accomplish that goal:
Despite enormous cuts to discretionary spending, already at its lowest level since the 1960s, both Republicans still have to rely on a “magic asterisk”: over $1 trillion in cuts to unspecified mandatory spending programs…. Republicans provided virtually no information about where those cuts would fall. Other mandatory spending includes investments in student loans, veterans’ pensions, and disability compensation, Supplemental Security Income for the elderly and disabled poor, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and farm programs.
Says Senator Chuck Schumer: “Fuzzy math, sleight of hand, and arithmetic acrobatics can disguise but not change the fact that the Republican budgets would devastate programs that the middle class relies upon.” Meanwhile, the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that 69 percent of the cuts in the GOP budgets would have to fall on programs helping people with lower incomes.
But will Republicans pay any political price for any of this? One key thing to watch will be how GOP Senators up for reelection in states carried by Obama handle the politics of it.
Republicans rarely pay a political price because our feckless corporate media never holds them accountable, preferring instead to engage in the false equivalency “both sides do it” and “a pox on both their houses,” because so-called “fair and balanced” reporting does not allow them to point out the obvious fact that one political party has gone completely batshit crazy.
And then there are all the American who do not vote, and of those who do vote, the 46% of Americans who will vote for anyone with an (R) behind their name purely out of GOP tribalism.