Nel's New Day

May 10, 2013

No Jobs from the GOP

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That was the campaign promise of the Tea Party infusion of 2010. Yet Congress has done nothing about increasing employment and erasing income inequality. In their new attempt to less offensive to everyone except white males, they have switched away from moral legislating into repetition of what has failed for the past four years or just plain inertia.

A debate among pundits is how many times the House has voted to repeal Obamacare, but it seems to be between 33 and 39 times. No matter how many, the House is about to add another one. Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that there would be another vote of the full House next week because, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, not everybody in the House has had a chance to vote against it.

The Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is legal, and Boehner declared, “Obamacare is the law of the land.” The bill has no chance to moving forward after the House passes it. The country is still suffering from high unemployment, the middle class has become the poor, the infrastructure is in shambles, and Congress has passed no budget. But the freshmen class needs its rite of passage to deny people in the United States affordable access to quality health care. And the House is just sitting around for another 18 months hoping that the GOP will take over the Senate in the next election.

One of the parts of Obamacare that the GOP wants to block is a fair comparison and transparency of insurance costs. People on Social Security can easily compare costs of supplemental insurance. If you want the benefits given under “C,” for example, you can see what every insurance company charges for “C.” Yesterday in Oregon, the same thing started to happened for all individual consumers and small business owners. A chart of 2014 insurance premiums shows what each insurance company is charging for the same benefits. Two insurers who checked out the competition have already asked for “do-overs” to lower their rates.

According to Oregon Live, “here’s what competition looks like: one health insurer wants to charge $169 a month next year to cover a 40-year-old Portland-area non-smoker. Another wants $422 a month for the same standard plan.” And which insurance company do you think will get more money? The GOP is opposed to this in the same way that they oppose the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doing the same thing for credit card agreements.

Yesterday, Republicans in the House did manage to approve the Full Faith and Credit Act (HR 807), better named “Pay China First,” that’s what the bill does. Looking forward to the need to raise the debt ceiling, the GOP decided to increase it only to pay off bondholders and pay Social Security. Anyone else, including the military, would get nothing. Although GOP claims that China holds only 8 percent of the U.S. debt, “Pay China First” is a catchy title. If the debt to the Social Security fund is included, China holds 22 percent of our debt.

Only 8 House Republicans voted against the FFC Act while every Democrat opposed it, resulting in a 221-207 vote. The House knows that the Senate won’t touch their bill, and the president certainly won’t sign it. And the country doesn’t need a debt ceiling hike until at least October. The fact that the GOP would start planning five months ahead is highly unusual for them. Perhaps they’re trying to avoid the bigotry and misogyny so obvious in their approaches to non-fiscal bills.

Another reason for these debt discussions might be to drive the stock market down to make the president look bad. The DOW has gone from under 8,000 to over 15,000 in the less than five years that Barack Obama has been president. The GOP can’t prove that the president is a failure as long as the stock market is so high. The GOP bill could also send a signal to foreign lenders that the nation might not be fiscally sound. The last time that the GOP played around with the debt ceiling, the country paid billions of dollars extra in additional interest; the same thing could happen this time. The GOP appears to be willing to destroy the country in order to get Republicans elected.

John Boehner explained why China would get the money before members of the military or doctors or small businesses or anyone else in the United States: “Those who have loaned us money, like in any proceeding, if you will, court proceeding, the bondholders usually get paid first. Same thing here.”

The GOP prefers to develop a plan in case of crisis instead of providing solutions to avoid the crisis. They also ignore the $407 billion that the federal government collected in April, the highest amount for any other month on record. This amount created a budget surplus of $113 billion and doesn’t reflect the $59 billion that mortgage giant Fannie Mae has promised to repay the government in June.

While the House GOP busies itself passing stupid bills, the Senate drags its heels in the budget field. Under duress, the Senate Democrats passed a budget for to please the Republicans. Because it differs from the House version (that’s an understatement!), the GOP is blocking efforts to form a conference committee to develop a compromise budget. After snarky nagging from Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sens. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dan Coats (R-IN), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) to get a Senate budget passed, the budget business compromise came to a screeching halt.

The House GOP is matching the Senate conservatives with its own paralysis. Republicans had hoped that they could extort a budget deal before August recess, but the debt ceiling isn’t coming that early. Now they have to wait until the threat of a government shutdown on October 1. Without leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said last Tuesday that they have no reason to open format budget negotiations because Democrats have no reason to revise Medicare and the U.S. Tax Code. In plain words, right now the GOP doesn’t have what it needs to blackmail the Democrats. They’re admitting that they won’t work for a budget unless they can threaten to crash the economy.

Ryan said, “The debt limit is the backstop.” He wants only to rule by self-inflicted crisis. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said, “Sometimes we don’t want to act until a gun is at our heads.” He flagrantly and explicitly stated that all the GOP wants is the ability to blackmail the Democrats. He describes a party of thugs, a gang that will perform any act, legal or illegal, to get their own way even if it has no benefit for the people of the United States government.

The GOP complains incessantly about President Obama: he’s not trying to get things done, he’s not leading because nothing happens; he doesn’t really mean it when he reaches out across the aisle. But which party is not trying to get things done, not leading, and not reaching across the aisle? I rest my case.


Rethinking Before Restarting

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

© blogfactory

Freely reported with that local taste

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors


Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: