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Cowardly Republicans Now Hiding Behind Deficit Commission

November 5, 2010

This week, Republicans swept to power by promising to cut, in the words of Indiana's Mike Pence, "runaway federal spending." But when it comes to putting taxpayers' money where their mouths are, Pence, incoming Speaker John Boehner, future Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann and much of the cowardly GOP's top-brass refuse to say what budget cuts they will actually make. And now to add insult to injury, many of the leading lights of the Republican Party are waiting for recommendations from President Obama's deficit commission, a panel whose creation they opposed.
For months, Republicans have refused to "man up" to the draconian budget cuts their tough-talking campaign pledges would necessarily require. Pressed by NBC's David Gregory last month, Mike Pence could not "name the painful choice on a program that you're going to cut." Asked seven times by Chris Wallace of Fox News, failed GOP California Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina responded only, "you're asking a typical political question." Even as he touted the "GOP Pledge to America," Speaker-to-Be Boehner dodged Wallace as well:

Chris, it's time for us as Americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can't have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions...
Let's not get to the potential solutions. Let's make sure Americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

That charade has only continued since the election. Within 24 hours, Cantor, Bachmann and Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn all did the duck-and-cover on spending cuts. With defense, Social Security and Medicare (not to mention interest on the national debt) off the table, the unexplained GOP pledge to cut $100 billion in "discretionary" spending would necessarily gut the departments of Education, Transportation, Interior, Commerce and Energy by more than 20%.
And as was on display on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN last night, the comic cowardice of the ersatz Republican spending hawks has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. Refusing to reveal what Boehner described as "lot of tricks up our sleeves in terms of how we can dent this," Republicans are now saying they will wait for President Obama's deficit commission to weigh in.
To make that point, Cooper showed a Meet the Press clip of Texas Senator and NRSC head John Cornyn using President Obama as a human shield:

DAVID GREGORY: What painful choices to really deal with the deficit, is Social Security on the table? What will Republicans do?
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX), CHAIR, NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORS: The president has a debt commission that reports December the 1st and I think we'd all like to see what they come back with. And my hope is they'll come back for the bipartisan solution to the debt and particularly entitlement reform, as you -- as you've mentioned.
But I --
DAVID GREGORY: But wait a minute, conservatives need a -- a Democratic president's debt commission to figure out what it is they'd want to cut?

Former Bush chief of staff Andy Card also argued that discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to Republicans and their budget machismo:

I do think it's appropriate to wait for the -- the wisdom that might come from this debt commission. They're going to have to make some tough recommendations and see how the president reacts. I think it's much too early to be talking about specific program cuts that are only designed to inflame the debate rather than be constructive and really bringing discipline to the government. The president is the one that will have to propose a budget. Congress will have to react to it.

As it turns out, the new Republican majority lack both courage and a sense of irony. After all, the deficit commission was established by President Obama's executive order after a bill to create it was filibustered in the Senate by 53-46. That defeat came only after several Republican Senators voted against the very bill they once supported. As Politics Daily summed it up:

This reversal early this year involved six Republican co-sponsors of such a commission who voted against their own Senate bill. The six were McCain, Brownback, Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma. McConnell had once supported the idea, but he too voted against it. The bill required an up-or-down vote on the commission recommendations. McConnell and others said they feared the panel might suggest raising taxes.

And so it goes. Aside from Paul Ryan (whose plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare made him a GOP pariah during election season), virtually the entire Republican leadership team tried to run out the clock before Election Day without ever detailing the spending cuts they claimed to champion. Now, these same born-again deficit hawks are too afraid to stand on their supposed principles. The first move in the game of budget chess, they insist, is Obama's.

2 comments on “Cowardly Republicans Now Hiding Behind Deficit Commission”

  1. The Deficit Commission, Bernanke and Sebelius
    Timmy Geithner and Uncle Ben Bernanke (both members of Hillary Clinton’s and George Soros’ shadow government) plan to continue their insane orgy of spending and looting our economy for their cronies and special interests pals. Bernanke’s move to flood the world market with another $600 billion in fiat money will further depress the value of the dollar. And bring massive inflation and cause unemployment to sharply rise, not fall. Read what economist Robert Higgs says about Obama, Geithner, Bernanke and Greenspan. And about the puppeteer, George Soros, who controls these swindlers.
    Instead, to lower unemployment and underemployment, we could do, oh, so easily, by:
    • Repealing Obamacare, post haste….why spend a trillion dollars to buy health care for the 32 million Americans who are currently receiving it for free right now?
    • Give current Medicaid and Medicare recipients vouchers and let them purchase whatever health insurance fits their needs…this would cut the cost of these corrupt programs by an amazing 70%. Enforceable, meaningful deductibles and co-pays would return Medicare and Medicaid patients to the real world medical marketplace! And would simultaneously cut the cost of commercial health insurance for the rest of us by 50%.
    • Conduct an auction and sell off all government hospitals….Army. Navy, Air Force, VA, USPHS and NIH. Then present the involved patients with vouchers, so that they can seek medical care where ever they wish. Private hospital corporations would buy these facilities and run them as they should be run. Patients would be required to pay deductibles and co-pays, just like the rest of us!
    • Issue a federal mandate that would allow patients to cross state lines, in order to purchase more competitive health insurance….in other words, break up those BCBS monopolies, like the BCBS scam that Kathleen Sebelius and her trial lawyer cronies ran in Kansas, for years and years.
    • Scrap the wind farm and gasohol programs that our corrupt politicians and their flim flam puppeteers have forced down our throats. These programs are not, and never will be, cost effective. Just another corrupt political pipe dream that will never pan out.
    • Scrap the phony trillion dollar Medicare prescription drug program. This was a tradeoff by Bush and Cheney, aimed at getting old folks’ Brownie points, so that Bush et al not be put on trial for treason vis a vis the phony was in Iraq. Let the seniors buy the safer, much less expensive generic drugs.
    • Tell OPEC where to get off by imposing an adjustable energy import tax. The less you charge us, the less we tax your products. And vice versa.
    • Structure gasoline and diesel road taxes so as to encourage the use of our abundant natural gas resources for surface transportation.
    • Remove all unions from all mass transit in America. Tell these people that efficient, privately run mass transit, free of unions, is a matter of national survival.
    • Get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan right now! Station these troops stateside until they can find work in the private sector. And begin the public trials of those politicians who corruptly got us into these hell holes.
    • Call a halt to the phony war on drugs and the corrupt judicial-prison industry that it supports. Make those government judges, lawyers, DEA, Sheriff’s Deputies, FBI, USMS, local and federal judicial employees who are involved in this phony war on drugs…why, make them go out and get real jobs. We must stop this insane prohibition of opiates that empowers the most corrupt of us. Do this and crime in America would plummet by 80%. But then we will have to listen to the American drug kingpins Bush, Clinton (and Obama)…why, then we will have to listen to their puppets whine! To learn more about the drug kingpins who run this country go to
    Do these things and bingo, our economy rights itself almost overnight. But continue to follow Soros, Greenspan, Geithner and Bernanke….continue as these swindlers have been leading us, and we will continue our ever accelerating national slide into the dark abyss.
    To be sure, as suggested by this so called deficit commission, the answer is not to further squeeze grandma’s money market funds and CDs. Nor grandpa’s little social security check.
    Geithner, Bernanke, Soros and Greenspan have managed to raid pension funds, IRAs and university endowments to the point that they are worth only half what they were worth two years ago. In order to bail out their cronies at Goldman Sacs, AIG, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and others. Just look at their crony Robert Rubin…why, he made $100 million shorting Fannie and Freddie, when all the while telling, Rubin was telling his clients to buy same. This thing reeks of the currency manipulation of Germany’s Weimar Republic by the Rothchilds and their cronies circa 1923.
    And now Bernanke is cranking out $600 billion fiat dollars on some delusion that such a move will trigger US exports….. Americans, get your wheel borrows ready!
    To learn more about Sebelius’ role in the Soros-Hillary corrupt shadow government go to or just search: George Meredith MD Comments
    George Meredith MD
    Virginia Beach

  2. Preserving Social Security and Burying the Obama Deficit Commission Proposals on Social Security
    By Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, CSULB
    President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowlers, has issued a doomsday report on "fixing" the Social Security retirement system (OASDI) as a part of its proposals to reduce the Federal deficit. This flies in the face of the fact that, not only has Social Security not contributed a dime to the deficit, it has a $2.52 trillion surplus! Amongst other things, the co-chairs would drastically cut retirement benefits and increase the retirement age to 69. Not a single member of this commission, or of the vast TV/audio/print media, has mentioned nor studied other solutions to the alleged Social Security "crisis".
    There is no crisis and there is most definitely no need to advance the retirement age to 69 nor to cut the retirement benefits. .
    Based on the data in the totality of individual income tax returns for the 16 year period of 1993 through 2008, there are easy structural changes that can be made to the Social Security (OASDI) taxation system that will easily provide for sufficient annual contributions and assets growth to take care of the retirement needs of the increasingly aging population for the indefinite future, as well as the replacement of the existing 73-year old REGRESSIVE OASDI taxation system by a PROGRESSIVE one, and without reducing retirement benefits nor increasing the retirement age. Regrettably, the ever-present plethora of “privatization” and “fix-it” advocates are clueless about this analysis.
    To illustrate the regressive nature of the OASDI taxation system, the data from the calendar year 2008 shows the following. Tax returns listing an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of over $200 K (= only 3% of all tax returns) held 30% of all AGI, yet less than 3% of the listed AGI was paid to OASDI; returns listing over $1 Million (= only 0.23% of all tax returns) held 13% of all AGI, yet less than 0.6% of the listed AGI was paid to OASDI; finally, the $10 million and over AGI class had an average GROSS income (AGI plus all exclusionary gross income) of $37 million, yet paid an average of less than 0.006% to OASDI
    By using a progressive tax rate system (applied to ALL INCOME, not merely to salary/wage income) for OASDI, the rate for OASDI payments for 85% of all tax returns (= below $100,000 annually) will be LOWER than the current rate of 6.2%. This is because the total income of this class is in the form of salaries/wages, and everything below the salary/wage cap of $100,000 is taxed at 6.2% for OASDI contributions.
    Here are the details for a typical progressive OASDI tax rate system: 4% rate on all income below $30,000 (40.3% of all tax returns in 2008); 5% rate for the range $30,00 to $75,000 (24.6% of all tax returns in 2008); 6% rate for the range $75,000 to $200,000 (22.1% of all tax returns in 2008; currently, those from $100,000 to $200,000 pay as little as 3% to OASDI); 7% for the range $200,000 and up (13.0% of all tax returns in 2008; this group pays from below 3% to as little as 0.006% to OASDI).
    In addition to providing more than the annual retirement/disability needs produced under the existing regressive taxation system, the annual OASDI Trust Fund assets at the end of 2009, for each of five progressive tax systems that were analyzed for the 16 year period, would have INCREASED from the current $2.52 trillion (2008) to:
    $3.47 trillion for tax-rate system 1; $4.17 trillion for tax-rate system 2; $4.27 trillion for tax-rate system 3; $4.41 trillion for tax-rate system 4; $4.83 trillion for tax-rate system 5.
    Clearly, this revised progressive OASDI tax rate system would preserve Social Security, the most successful US government program in history, for the indefinite future, and would silence the plethora of “privatizers” and “fix-it” advocates.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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