Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Monday, July 25, 2011

But today I am still just a bill

You know how everybody is talking about "Aug 2"? Yeah, because of the convoluted rules, the Senate needs about 8 days to pass anything (if anybody objects to a unanimous vote). That makes the deadline tomorrow.

Conservatives have drug their feet to the last minute to try and ram their plan down our throats. Two years ago nascent tea partiers howled about the President was shoving a bill most people agreed with down our throats and how terrible that was. Yet, here are the conservatives actually shoving a plan down our throats that most people think is stupid and there's nary a peep.

Gee, ever think the President will call your bluff with a veto? Think if he does the blame will shift to him? Boy, you all really don't remember 94, do you? Only this is slightly worse than a budget impasse.

Notice that the President has already floated more cuts than what you're asking for, was willing to go to his base to get them to accept major changes to entitlements, and laid out his plan? Notice that Harry Reid just floated an even larger cut than what Boehner was working toward? Notice how the conservatives won't take either deal (well, I would guess at this point the President's plan is off the table)? Guess what that makes conservatives look like? Yeah, even the poll I saw on Fox over the weekend says that people will blame the Republicans for any default. Also notice how the story is being told that Boehner is being held captive by his TP Caucus. Dudes, you're being framed, and you can't see it.

Think it'll just be old people and the very poor that get screwed over (notice the sub talk about how "the poor now have to do their share")? One thing not very well highlighted in the arguments, guess what programs won't get funded (because they're not on anybody's radar, yet) if we go past the deadline? Pell Grants and Student Loans. Guess what's due soon? Guess what will make a major difference for a lot of people? And let us not forget direct payments to schools (and block education grants to states) that affect a lot of children. The citizenry will get an object lesson of what this country will be like without a Department of Education. Eyes will be opened.

On a slightly related note, Congress can't get it's shit together and allows authorization for the FAA to lapse. Government loses $200 million per week, stalls out airport construction, and generally sets up a big mess (fortunately they're keeping the flight controllers on the job, so the public doesn't notice too much). And in a move of ever loving gratitude to their customers, airlines raise their fares to keep ticket prices the same. You know, just so we don't get used to those fares sans taxes. That's so nice of them. Just remember that the next time someone talks about how business has their customers as their main focus and how the free market will drive down prices.

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