Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Beltway media villagers were tripping all over themselves on Sunday to lavish praise on the GOP's alleged boy genius, Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan (R-WI), for his "pragmatic" budget compromise with Democrats. You would think it was the dawn of a new bipartisan era of cooperation where long-delayed legislation like a jobs bill and a comprehensive immigration reform bill were suddenly possible.
I can't believe how stone-cold stupid the Beltway media villagers are. First of all, the Senate still has to pass the House budget this week, which is not at all a certaintly. And then comes the appropriations committee process where Democrats and Tea-Publicans will square off over farm bill subsidies, food stamps and an extension of long-term unemployment insurance benefits, just to name a few.
Secondly, there is no "dawn of a new bipartisian era" — this is the GOP 2014 election strategy to become the "Anti-ObamaCare" single issue party. Ryan on Sunday defended his budget deal to avert a government shutdown, saying that it would allow the Republican Party to "focus" on destroying President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Paul Ryan: Averting shutdown with budget deal allows GOP to 'focus' on killing Obamacare . That sounds like the same old bunch of dead-enders to me.
The promise by the "zombie-eyed grannie starver" to avert a future government shutdown in 2014 also appears to have been short lived. The big story today is that the Tea-Publican economic terrorists are already plotting the next debt ceiling hostage taking in 2014. Ryan Cooper of the Washington Post reports, The GOP’s Great Depression agenda:
Paul Ryan has set everyone’s socks ablaze with a new comment suggesting he wants to shake down the country again over the debt limit. This inevitably inspired a lot of amateur psychoanalysis attempting to figure out whether he was serious or just pandering to the base. Whether that is true is an important thing to figure out, but the deeper subtext here is that the Republican Party continues to organize itself around the kind of austerity agenda that, should they obtain enough power to implement it, would cause another recession immediately, possibly a very bad one.
“We, as a caucus, along with our Senate counterparts, are going to meet and discuss what it is we want to get out of the debt limit,” Mr. Ryan said on Fox News Sunday. “We don’t want ‘nothing’ out of the debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight.”
The first thing that always comes to mind when top Republicans are saying crazy things is that it’s hard to know how serious they are being. As Steve Benen points out, Republicans’ last attempt to hold up the debt ceiling backfired spectacularly. It was a ransom demand so ludicrously irresponsible, so dangerous, such a violent insult to democratic legitimacy that Democrats literally had no choice other than to hold firm against it, across the board. So I suspect Steve is right when he says:
Yesterday, Ryan raised the specter of yet another crisis, in which Republicans would threaten to hurt Americans on purpose, but here’s the thing: we now know he and his party won’t actually follow through. GOP lawmakers can hold the proverbial gun to the nation’s head, but party leaders have already made it abundantly clear that they’re not prepared to pull the trigger.
So, when it comes to holding the nation’s full faith and credit hostage to get more austerity, Republicans probably don’t have the stones to go through with it. But, as Ed Kilgore never tires of pointing out, this dispute is entirely about tactics, and the agenda they actually do agree on amongst themselves would be a deeply destructive one if they could realize it. Republicans have been so single-minded in pursuit of this agenda that even despite controlling only one half of one branch of government they have managed to impose a level of austerity unseen since the post-WWII demobilization. Currently, Republicans have less purchase on monetary policy, but they have a similarly harsh hard money agenda there too. Paul Ryan, Republican policy king, has proposed that the Federal Reserve should be stripped of its mandate to combat unemployment, that the Fed should increase interest rates, and pegging the dollar to a basket of commodities gold standard-style.
All this basically adds up to Hoover-nomics. When the crash of 1929 gave a sharp shock to aggregate demand, Herbert Hoover went for balanced budgets and did not challenge the gold standard, thus cutting off both avenues for economic stimulus. In short order, unemployment reached 25%. All the electoral incentives in the world couldn’t convince him to change his mind, and he was absolutely crushed in 1932 polls. It took a generation for the GOP to recover its reputation.
Even some right-leaning thinkers are warning the GOP that their agenda (especially on monetary policy) could cause just such a crisis. But it is plain as day that the party’s political elites don’t believe them.
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Whatever the motivations of Paul Ryan for his latest foray into extremist political tactics, there should be no doubt that Republicans are perfectly sincere in their desire for maximum austerity, no matter what the consequences for the country, and would implement it as savagely as possible if given the chance.
Exactly. The Tea-Publican Party is an anti-government insurrectionist rebellion that wants to destroy the federal "guvmint." The GOP and 'post-policy nihilism' have rendered the party intellectually bankrupt and morally depraved; they will be a single issue party in 2014: to deny access to affordable healthcare to millions of Americans in desperate need. But the GOP's long-term goal is to end democracy as we know it and to install an aristocracy of wealthy elite corporate plutocrats. Their promise is one of serfdom under the new corporatocracy.