The Republicans are “Going to hurt some people,” and they know it

We all know that the gap between rich and poor in America is growing wider, right? Well, it looks like it might get even worse, if the Democrats aren’t able to turn the debt ceiling debate around. According to reports out today, the new plan being championed by Speaker of the House John Boehner would increase poverty across the country dramatically. The following clip comes by way of Think Progress:

…It’s a plan that the usually “mild-mannered” Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is describing as “tantamount to a form of ‘class warfare’” that “if enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.” Since Boehner’s blueprint contains no tax increases and his first round of cuts targets discretionary spending, the joint committee will have no choice but to achieve its $1.8 trillion in budget reductions by cutting entitlement spending, Greenstein explains:

– As a result, virtually all of that $1.8 trillion would come from entitlement programs. They would have to be cut more than $1.5 trillion in order to produce sufficient interest savings to achieve $1.8 trillion in total savings.

– To secure $1.5 trillion in entitlement savings over the next ten years would require draconian policy changes. Policymakers would essentially have three choices: 1) cut Social Security and Medicare benefits heavily for current retirees, something that all budget plans from both parties (including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan) have ruled out; 2) repeal the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions while retaining its measures that cut Medicare payments and raise tax revenues, even though Republicans seek to repeal many of those measures as well; or 3) eviscerate the safety net for low-income children, parents, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. There is no other plausible way to get $1.5 trillion in entitlement cuts in the next ten years. […]

In short, the Boehner plan would force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor. It would do so even as it shielded all tax breaks, including the many lucrative tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations…

And, lest you think that the Republicans are unaware of what it is that they’re doing, I thought that I’d pass along the following factoid.

According to the Washington Post, the Republican caucus was shown a video clip from the Ben Affleck movie today in an effort to shore up support for Boehner’s plan. Here’s a clip from the article:

…The House GOP leadership team, often described as fractious, showed complete unity behind closed doors and in public Tuesday. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Republicans he was “150 percent” behind Boehner and his plan, according to Republicans who attended Tuesday morning’s closed-door meeting. He told Republicans to “stop grumbling and whining and to come together as conservatives” to support the Boehner proposal.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party’s vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, “The Town”, trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus…

And here’s the clip they were shown:

Ben Affleck: I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we’re going to hurt some people.

At this point, according to the Washington Post, Congressman Allen West cried out, “I’m ready to drive the car.”

This is the message – don’t ask any questions – let’s hurt some people – that Republican leaders thought would resonate with their caucus.

How fucking insane is that?

How is that even possible? Are they so out of touch with the American people that they didn’t realize how that would come across, or don’t they care? I may be reading this wrong, but it sounds to me as though they’re almost joyful about the prospect of hurting people. How is it that we’ve elected people who could yell “let’s hurt some people” before voting to slash social security benefits for our seniors? How have we allowed things to go this far?

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56 Comments

  1. dragon
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Well, it looks like it might get even worse, if the Democrats aren’t able to turn the debt ceiling debate around.

    It’s pretty hard to turn around something you’ve been winning all along. Please provide links that would give any indication that Obama is not eating Boehner’s lunch.

    ZED
    Bring out The Gimp.

    MAYNARD
    I think The Gimp’s sleepin’.

    ZED
    Well, I guess you’ll just wake ’em
    up then, won’t you?

    Maynard opens a trap door in the floor.

    MAYNARD
    (yelling in the hole)
    Wake up Glen!

  2. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Boehner’s “plan” doesn’t even have the support of a majority of Republicans, so why the post blaming Republicans for a plan they don’t even like?

    Dealing with this nation’s out of control debt will hurt a lot of people. Continuing to add more debt and creating an even larger problem to deal with at a later date will hurt a lot more people. The best way to reduce the gap between rich and poor in America is through education and rewarding positive individual efforts. Programs that increase poverty and income disparities include entitlements such as those that pay poorly educated unwed mothers to produce babies and job training opportunities that are predominately for criminals, drug addicts or dropouts.

    We have spent trillions of dollars to eradicate poverty since the sixties, yet still have the same percentage of poor in our society. We have spent trillions of dollars to defend foreign governments in Europe and Asia and spend trillions of dollars to manipulate and interfere with sovereign nations in South America, Africa, and the Mid East – to what end? Much of our foreign aid dollars have been given to prop up regimes that are despised by their own people. We are near the brink of financial collapse and yet many still champion more spending for more programs of questionable benefit.

    What is it going to take to make Liberals/Progressives see that throwing money at a perceived problem doesn’t fix the original problem, creates greater dependencies and results in larger numbers that “need” more money to solve their problems, and ultimately bankrupts even the wealthiest, having never even made a dent in the original problems? What societal problem has been eradicated by a governmental program?

  3. Edward
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Why not show scenes from American Psycho or Natural Born Killers?

    Maybe there were issues, like when Bachmann wanted to use Tom Petty’s song American Girl for her Presidential campaign.

  4. Tommy
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    EOS (swallow hard) is for the most part correct. If either side was proposing across the board scaling back of everything – including defense, aid to foreign governments, sacred safety net programs, etc. there would be more unity in terms of a shared sacrifice and its benefits. Neither side is, and that is the problem. Here are a few examples that would seem reasonable to me (one on the revenue side, one on the cut side, one I’m not sure where it falls). A 1/4 of 1% Financial transactions fee/tax (I call it a gamble with your or others’ money tax). Buy a $1000 in stocks, get chagred a fee of $2.50; same goes when you sell. Trade milions of shares daily at these big equity firms, pay more. Call it the cost of ‘gambling’. On the cut spending side how about all subsidies for ethanol fuel. Unecessary bullshit if you ask me. The third – immediately repeal the piece of crap legislation that does not allow for Medicare to negotiate pricing for medication. In essence, fuck some big pharma company if they won’t budge on this; some company will as there will still be profits to be made.

  5. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Wow, EOS/Tommy – those are some of the best comments I’ve read in a long time…!

  6. Meta
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    According to the CBO, Harry Reid’s bill saves 3x as much as Boehner’s debt plan: http://politi.co/omAmDg

  7. Meta
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    From yesterday’s Progress Report:

    After refusing last Friday to even return the president’s phone calls and then eventually walking out on negotiations to avoid default — now just one week away — Speaker Boehner has rolled out yet another Tea Party-oriented debt plan. This new plan is no better than any of the previous GOP plans and is likely to just be another waste of precious time as we hurtle toward default. In fact, due to strong opposition from Democrats, the Tea Party, and conservative groups, the plan appears to be on life support.

    A vote is currently scheduled for tomorrow.

    Here’s what you need to know about the GOP’s latest disastrous default plan:

    Automatically Precipitates Another Default Crisis: The Boehner plan only raises the debt ceiling enough to get us through the next few months. If a newly-created “Super Committee” of 12 members of the House and Senate cannot agree on $1.8 TRILLION in new cuts by year’s end and those cuts are not enacted by both the House and Senate, then the debt ceiling is not raised any further. In other words, we will be right back to where we are today in just a few short months.

    Means No New Revenues — Period: The first step of the Boehner plan includes no new revenues and Boehner promised that if the Super Committee proposes any new revenues in round two of the plan, the House will vote them down.

    Will Result in Deep Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: Since the first slice of the Boehner plan’s cuts — $1.2 TRILLION worth — come entirely from discretionary spending, the additional $1.8 TRILLION to be identified in the second stage would almost by definition have to come from entitlements programs (more on this from ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky here). The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Robert Greenstein said, “If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”

    Would Still Mean a Downgrade of the United States’ AAA Credit Rating: A Standard & Poor’s source told CNN’s Erin Burnett that Boehner’s plan doesn’t cut enough to guarantee that they won’t downgrade the U.S. credit rating anyway. The source also noted that the Democratic plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would avoid such a downgrade.

    Opposed by President Obama and Democrats: This afternoon, the White House issued an official veto threat. Senator Reid also called a press conference this afternoon and called the Boehner plan “dead on arrival” in the Senate and repeated three times that “Democrats will not vote for it.” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said “very few” Democrats in the House would vote for it.

    Opposed by Conservative Groups: The Cut, Cap, and Balance Coalition, a collection of more than 60 Tea Party and other right-wing groups, came out in loud opposition to the plan yesterday. They have been followed today by other influential groups, including Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth.

    Opposed by Tea Party Extremists in the House: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of 178 extremely conservative House Republicans, announced that he will opposed the plan, adding that “[he is] confident as of this morning that there were not 218 Republicans in support of this plan.” (218 is the number of votes typically needed to pass a bill in the House.) Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann also announced her strong opposition to the plan, calling it “wrong” at a campaign stop today in Iowa.

    ThinkProgress Whip Count Against the Boehner Plan: Boehner can lose just 23 GOP votes if all Democrats stand united against the plan (which is unlikely, though the number of defections is expected to be very small). Here is the ThinkProgress whip count of Republicans and potentially wavering Democrats who have confirmed that they will vote against the plan:

    Jim Jordan (R-OH) [The Hill]
    Michele Bachmann (R-MN) [ThinkProgress]
    Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) [The Hill]
    Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) [The Hill]
    Jeff Landry (R-LA) [National Review]
    Phil Gingrey (R-GA) [Twitter]
    Trey Gowdy (R-SC) [NYT]
    Tom Graves (R-GA) [Twitter]
    Louis Gohmert (R-TX) [National Review]
    Dennis Ross (R-FL) [National Review]
    Joe Walsh (R-IL) [MSNBC]
    Steve Southerland (R-FL) [RCP]
    Ron Paul (R-TX) [Call to office]
    Paul Broun (R-GA) [Call to office]
    Heath Shuler (D-NC) [The Hill]

    In one sentence: Instead of wasting more time on extreme plans that can’t pass, it’s time for Speaker Boehner and Republicans to agree to a compromise plan that avoids both default and devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other vital government programs and services.

  8. Glen S.
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    This movie metaphor is quite apt.

    What Republican leaders are attempting is basically a crime: Stealing millions of working Americans’ long-promised and already paid-for Social Security and Medicare benefits — all in order to provide additional unnecessary and unwarranted benefits to a relatively small handful of individuals and multinational corporations who already enjoy a degree of wealth possibly unrivaled by any group at any point in human history.

    The only question left to be decided is whether President Obama and the Democratic leadership will act as accessories.

  9. Glen S.
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Paul Krugman, in today’s NYT, on “The Cult that is Destroying America”

    “Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

    So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

    snip

    What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.”

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/the-cult-that-is-destroying-america/

  10. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Ever since Drudge started breaking many of the nation’s top stories, Lame Stream Media has had increasing difficulties in manipulating public opinion. No way for a few celebrity newsmen to limit access to information. No way for corporate media moguls to dictate the parameters of every discussion. No way for their news analysis to stand in an information age where we can watch events on YouTube ourselves. Too many of us can no longer be fooled by media distortions of events that we have seen firsthand. Real men understand what’s really going on because we have retained the capability to think for ourselves.

  11. Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Then why do you continue to endlessly spout talking points from FOX News?

    You haven’t said any

  12. Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with EOS on some points, especially the one about throwing money at unwed women who have babies. I think she might disagree with me though when I say that I’d love to see birth control advocated and made easily available to folks who are otherwise having unprotected sex. (Abstinence doesn’t work.) I’d also like to see tighter controls on the money that is given out to people who adopt special needs children. This is kinda personal but a large number of kids on my caseload have been adopted (usually b/c they were born addicted). Some of the guardians kick the ass but others suck the balls. Once you legally adopt, the “system” is out of your bidness, except for the monthly checks. One woman I know of adopted 5 kids and got–I saw the court order myself–$9,000 per month. The kids were pulled out of school for 2 years and locked in a house with no education, no doctors or medical care and poor nutrition, but the checks they just kept on rollin’ in. (Kids are fine now thanks to the dad, who got custody).

    I have this theory, you see. If you can’t take your adopted, low vision kids to a FREE eye doctor appointment, you shouldn’t get your $1,000+ per month check. I’m silly that way.

  13. Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    They were “home schooled,” Patti.

  14. Maria
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    So where I think Obama has been going since the economy tanked is that he’s cranking money out to keep paying things, At this point, we’re in a funky inflation/deflation situation, instead of a inflation situation, which would frankly initially, make it easier for people to pay off their debts, except the economy has stalled out thanks to the housing bubble. After hyperinflation really kicks in you just reset the currency, debts paid off, money becomes worthless and we start all over again. What does this have to do with this? We would collect more money to pay off the debt faster, because incomes would go up, secondary to inflation. Just my take on Obama’s ultimate ideas…

  15. Eel
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Boehner had requested clips from American History X.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp9KFdEF6vo

  16. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    Maybe you don’t watch Fox at all, but I haven’t spouted any of their talking points. The majority at Fox want CUT, CAP, and BALANCE. O’Reilly was specifically mentioned by Obama in his speech because he has called for the so called moderate approach with a few small budget cuts in the future and a significant amount of tax increases now. Rupert Murdoch is a liberal who supported Hillary Clinton for president. His aim is to control and moderate the Lamestream “conservative” news slant.

    Patti,
    I’m glad birth control IS readily available for teens and low income individuals, but I’ll continue to advocate abstinence for persons outside of marriage. It works 100% of the time when it is used.

  17. Gene
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    listening to npr on my way in, a story about high school dropouts had this tidbit: “Bernice Jones, 56, has 14 children, 38 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Jobless, with a 10th-grade education, she’s an alcoholic and suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks.” I’m ok with Bernice receiving “help” – but 14 kids? who then had 38 more? Yes, this is not a situation that is solved with more money being thrown at it – there needs to be some common sense, and a high school education would be a good start. 14 children…geesh.

  18. Mr. X
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    This might have been a good reason to keep the Catherine Ferguson Academy open.

  19. Meta
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The following is from MoveOn:

    Dear MoveOn member,

    In the last 24 hours things took a dramatic turn in the fight over whether we’ll default on our debt.

    Progressives organized over 800 rallies nationwide that generated a flood of pressure on Republicans. The president’s speech led to so many people contacting Congress that the switchboard jammed. And Speaker Boehner is struggling to get enough votes to pass his terrible proposal through the Republican House.

    Suddenly, there’s a path to a deal that doesn’t simply cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid to pay for tax breaks for the rich.

    But the next 3 days are crucial, and we need to turn up the heat even further. We’re planning an emergency rally on the Capitol steps tomorrow, recording new ads targeting swing Republicans, and keeping the pressure on Democrats so they stand strong.

    But we can’t do this without money. Every minute counts—which is why this email is short—and every dollar will help us do more. Can you chip in $10?

    Yes, I can contribute to help keep up the fight.
    https://civ.moveon.org/donatec4/republican_radicals.html?rc=homepage

    Thanks for all you do.
    –Daniel, Justin, Elena, Robin, and the rest of the team

  20. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Friends,

    On Monday night the president appeared on television and asked the American people to call their representatives in Congress. I agree with him. You should stop what you are doing and make a phone call to your U.S. representative and your two senators: Levin and Stabenow.

    Except, it’s critical you urge them to cut spending, deep cuts, and make the necessary structural changes to ensure that this and future Congresses stop their habitual over-spending. Please tell them NO to the so-called balanced approach the president suggested in his speech and NO to the weak plan urged by Boehner. Please call your representatives today at 202-224-3121 and urge them to vote for spending cuts, not more taxes and more spending.

    Thanks for all you do,

  21. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Mr. X,

    Do you realize that statistics show that more than 90% of the girls like those who attend Catherine Ferguson Academy (unmarried teen mothers) will have a second child out of wedlock before they are 20?

  22. Glen S.
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    @ EOS

    ” … Please tell them NO to the so-called balanced approach the president suggested in his speech and NO to the weak plan urged by Boehner. ”

    For perhaps the first time ever, I actually agree with you.

  23. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Urge your Representative and Senators today (202-224-3121) to not accept any debt deal that keeps the burden on future generations. Tell them to not vote for any of these plans devised of smoke and mirrors but to stand strong and fight for our nation and its continued existence.

  24. K2
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Ben Affleck responds.

    On Wednesday, Affleck — who wrote and directed “The Town” — said that he too found the whole scenario a touch bizarre. And in a statement his spokesperson provided to The Huffington Post, he suggested that Republicans use a different one of his movies next time they need to whip votes.

    “I don’t know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation,” said the actor, who is currently in Turkey directing and starring in “Argo,” an adaptation of the Tehran hostage crisis. “But if they’re going to be watching movies, I think “The Company Men” is more appropriate.”

    That latter Affleck flick focuses on the plight of middle age men who have been laid off during the recession. (One of them, depressed about being unemployed, later kills himself.) Whether that message would resonate in the GOP caucus is anyone’s guess. But the likelihood is that McCarthy knows his members a bit better than Affleck. According to the Post, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla), one of the most intransigent Tea Party members of the Freshmen class, was won over by the gambit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/ben-affleck-the-town-republicans-debt-debate_n_910776.html

  25. Mr. X
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, most, if not all, of the women who graduate from the Catherine Ferguson Academy go on to some type of post secondary program. I believe it is also true that women who graduate from high school and go on to college have fewer children. Therefore, I don’t believe there is any way you could demonstrate that the graduates of CFA have more children than those women who attend other Detroit area high schools.

  26. Mr. X
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    And, as long as we’re discussing teem pregnancy, could you please shed some light on this headline from last week, EOS?

    “Rick Perry’s “Abstinence Only” Sex-Ed Resulted In Highest Teen Pregancy Rates In U.S.”

    Are they all from immaculate conception?

    Is this the “Texas Miracle” we’ve been told of?

    Please help me to understand.

  27. Mr. X
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the link for the last headline.

    http://www.alan.com/2011/07/21/rick-perrys-abstinence-only-sex-ed-resulted-in-highest-teen-pregancy-rates-in-u-s/

  28. Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I certainly don’t mind if people advocate abstinence but I will tell you when I was abstinent–when I couldn’t get laid. Not gonna lie, that was it. Most people want to get laid most of the time. In other words, I don’t think abstinence works for MOST people. (And I subscribe to the theory that oral sex or anal sex = sex. If your tab A is going into my slot B,C,D, we are having sex.)

    I did know a few folks who were abstinent b/c of their religious upbringing and that’s fine if that’s what works for you.

    Btw, note user name! Got my call back yesterday so YAY :)

  29. Glen S.
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, TeacherPatti!

  30. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    YAY!!!!!

  31. Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I just read that 38 million kids worldwide are unintended.

    That’s a lot of kids.

    If people abstained, it would be like killing them, which is a crime against god.

    Plus, there would be lots of masturbation, which jesus wouldn’t like.

  32. Mr. X
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    EOS, was that “Yay!” for oral and anal sex, or because Patti got to keep her job?

    Either way, it makes me like you better.

  33. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Mr. X,
    That a particular abstinence education program was ineffective in changing behavior doesn’t mean that abstinence, when adopted/practiced, isn’t effective. We’re getting way off the topic on this thread. Read the previous posts on CFA for more elaborate answers. Very few students ever graduated from CFA. 25% of teen mothers have a second child within 24 months and 1/3 of these mothers are on welfare within 3 years. Teen parenthood is a significant factor in multi-generational poverty.

    I’m glad Patti will be working next year.

  34. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    EOS: “We have spent trillions of dollars to eradicate poverty since the sixties, yet still have the same percentage of poor in our society.”

    I’ve never thought of welfare as an attempt to eradicate poverty; rather, it’s an attempt to alleviate the negative effects of poverty. Capitalism depends on poverty, just as much as it depends on wealth.

  35. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Good news, TeacherPatti.

  36. Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Since when does EOS give a shit about being of topic?

    “We spent billions on black people AND THEY’RE STILL BLACK!!!!”

    – EOS

  37. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Contraception is the biggest health issue all women face. Most women are fertile and have to deal with this issue their whole adult lives. Reproductive health education and prevention raises up all women and families…pure and simple.

  38. EOS [imposter]
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, abstinence is the only path to take.

    Black people just do it with abandon, pop babies out with the sole aim of collecting welfare and then drain the public school system by bringing their stupid kids to school.

    The solution is to just stop giving them money. We can watch Detroit flourish once these women stop depending on white people for money.

    Welfare never helped their stupid kids either. If those brats would just get jobs, they wouldn’t need welfare.

  39. Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks all–and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hijack the thread.

    On the positive side, think of all the awesome school stories I’ll have again :) The teacher who kicked off her shoes and told a student “bitch let’s go”, the teacher who had a den of rats living in her room, the foot of water in our sub-basement where my principal saw a rat swimming for its dear life, the no-heat until 10:30 situation…and the happy stuff like the gangsta 8th grade girls who loved me even though I’m a middle aged (39) white woman whose life is a cakewalk compared to theirs.

    But back to the topic…WDM is right on. Contraception and the ability to have kids when you want them (or not, in my case) is huge.

  40. Redleg
    Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Years and years ago, when I was a teen, I was watching the evening news with my Pop. A story about some third-world birth explosion (I can’t even remember where… So pick a brown skinned nation of your choice…) and a resulting famine that ensued. Youthful lad, that I was– I turned to my Dad and asked: ” Why don’t they stop having so many kids?”
    And stuffed into my memory banks to this day is my Dad’s reply: ” Son, you can see the miserable mud huts they live in, don’t you? What else are they going to do except fuck…”
    This was probably the first time my Dad engaged in general conversation with me while deploying the F-bomb, though I feel his answer still holds true to this day…….

  41. Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Dude, whatever. Personally, I’m pretty much tired of people in places of privelege trying to rationalize why poor people have large numbers of kids.

    Chances are you great great grandparents were poor as shit and had multitudes of kids just like their poor ass parents before them. I bet they also watched half of them die.

    Forgive me, but it gets extremely old.

  42. Posted July 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    The debt is only a problem because as a nation we are getting poorer. As long as you are creating value (wealth) the ability to carry greater debt is not a problem. Since we as a nation no longer create anything of any value- then of course debt is a problem. Rentiers (the extractors of wealth) add no value. Developing new financial derivatives is not a value adding activity, charging service fees on every transaction adds nothing of value. When the landlord on a small business keeps raising the rent, all they are doing is moving the wealth created by the entrepreneur into their pocket without adding anything of value to the process. If, as a nation, we put our resources into activities that added value (my favorite is wind power)-the debt would not be an issue.

  43. Posted July 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    In response to EOS “What societal problem has been eradicated by a governmental program?”
    polio–and numerous other things that killed and maimed others in my generation
    illiteracy
    polygamy and female bondage
    slavery
    indentured servitude
    the need for out houses and hand operated water pumps
    and the list is endless, only those who will not let factual reality intrude on their fantasies can make the kind of blanket statements you make

  44. EOS
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Dirtgrain,

    Why do you believe that capitalism requires poverty? Do you think socialism or communism eliminates poverty?

    Wobblie,
    Every item on your list still exists today, but don’t let factual reality intrude on YOUR fantasy.

    Peter,
    There’s no mention of race/racism in any thread until you bring it up. You are encouraged to dispute any facts I write about. But it’s really lame that you keep trying to tag me with a label that will not stick. It is is an intentional, premeditated effort on your part to undermine my reputation, credibility, and character and it has no basis in fact. Instead of your intended result, your tactics serve only to harm your own reputation, credibility, and character. If you’re the one who is now trying to post racist comments under my user name, I pity you.

  45. Meta
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    From Think Progress:

    Yesterday, the House GOP leadership played a clip from the Ben Affleck movie The Town to rally their caucus around Boehner’s debt plan. The Ben Affleck character says, “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we’re going to hurt some people.” His friend replies “Whose car are we going to take?” In the movie, the characters then put on hockey masks and bludgeon two men with sticks, then shoot one man in the leg. A few minutes ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took the House GOP to task over the incident. Watch it:

    http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/07/27/280755/schumer-blasts-house-gop-for-using-violent-movie-clip-to-rally-gop-caucus/

  46. Meta
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    McCain erupts: Conservatives are lying to America

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/mccain-erupts-conservatives-are-lying-to-america/2011/03/03/gIQAUm2HdI_blog.html

  47. Tommy
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    EOS – undermining your reputation, credibility, and character ? You are an anonymous poster on a fucking blog … in Ypsilanti. Get over yourself. And yes, poverty exists in every type of society. Programs that are meant to help sometimes don’t. Institutions that are meant to help – including many churches – sometimes don’t.

  48. Glen S.
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Fact: Following the advent of taxpayer-funded social welfare programs (especially enactment of the “Great Society” programs of the 1960’s) enormous strides were made in eradicating poverty in the United States — especially among children and the elderly.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/US_poverty_rate_timeline.gif

    Unfortunately, the point in time at which this downward trend began to bottom out (around the early- to mid-1970s) coincides almost exactly with the point at which many politicians began advocating “free trade” policies which encouraged the outsourcing of many good-paying manufacturing jobs abroad. As these policies multiplied and expanded (NAFTA, GATT, WTO, “most favored nation” status for China, etc.) the rush of jobs, corporations and even whole industries only accelerated … followed, inevitably, by a long, steady decline in *real* wages and household incomes … followed, inevitably by the credit/mortgage bubble/crash, as many folks tried to maintain their former standard of living by cashing out home equity, etc. …

    One thing I suspect that both many conservatives and liberals can agree on is this: There is no better or more effective welfare program than to take proactive steps to rebuild our manufacturing economy, and to make more decent-paying jobs available to more Americans.

    However, it seems as if practically no one in Washington D.C. seems to get this very basic idea …

    (Absurd note: Currently, there are two NEW “free trade” agreements pending in Congress … meanwhile, yesterday, G.E. — led by President Obama’s “Jobs Czar” Jeffrey Immelt — announced that it is planning to invest up to $2 Billion to move its X-Ray machine division to China!)

    I guess what I’m saying is … instead of spending endless time and energy fighting over a phony “debt ceiling,” our leaders all SHOULD BE 100% focused on a long-range plan to create real, honest-to-goodness, living-wage-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who need them. Until that happens, “anti-poverty programs — while still worth supporting — can only be expected to help to a very minor degree.

  49. Tommy
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Beautifully stated – the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Funny how all the anger is placed on the unions, the teachers, the government workers, the blacks, the immigrants, and the the gays when everyone should take a step back, sharpen their pitchforks, and point them directly at greedy corporations who have outsourced most of the decent valued added jobs and the thieves who wear suits on Wall Street. And yes, Mr. Obama has done nothing – I repeat nothing – to stop these crooks.

  50. Maria
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Abstinence is overrated. Humans need and like each other, at least most of the time, and ultimately, that’s all good.
    Lots of vitriol on this blog, but everyone works on the what’s in it for me principle, we are supposed to have a system where people compete and join forces to access resources, not monopolize and manipulative most resources.
    Unfortunately, corporations use buzzwords to manipulate tea partiers into getting out the vote,only to screw the very people they wound up to support their agendas..

  51. TaterSalad
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Why you all are “hurting” while talking on your cell phones, watching movies on your big screen T.V.’s, drinking your beer and eating just about anything you want to, how about getting involved with a party………….The Republican Party. In 2013 the country will become conservative and all you entitlement lovers will then have to go bakc to work for a living and pay taxes. I know, I know you will find a way to get around the tax issue.

    http://www.migop.org/

  52. Andy Cameron
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the GOP. Serving the needs of greedy white assholes everywhere.

    Demographics are a bitch, tho.

  53. Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it Tater, I really don’t.

    YOU LIVE ENTIRELY OFF THE TAXPAYER DIME. When’s the last time YOU worked?

    For those not in the know, Tater is 100% DAV.

    That’s right, he gets health benefits FOR FREE FOR LIFE from the Veterans Admin, unlike you and me who get… nothing. He also gets a monthly stipend. He gets MINIMUM of $2,673 a month FOR FREE FOR LIFE.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that people who serve their country should get benefits, but it’s pretty disgusting to hear about the “Party of food stamps” and “entitlement lovers” when your fat ass is doing just what you hate, living off the public dime.

  54. EOS
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    If Tater receives benefits from the VA, he has earned every penny of them, and then some. He’s entitled to our respect, admiration, and gratitude. A lifelong disability is no free ride. What have you ever done that compares to such altruism?

  55. Glen S.
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    This evening, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that a “compromise” on the debt-ceiling has been reached, and a Senate vote will follow soon.

    If passed, Republicans, the Tea Party, and President Obama will get much of what they’ve wanted all along — immediate, massive cuts, followed by additional major cuts that are guaranteed by a sham “Super-Special-Secret-Senate Committee,” and a series of “triggers” that virtually guarantee the cuts will be made one way or the other — and not a single penny in additional taxes on corporations or the wealthiest Americans.

    On the House side, the Progressive Caucus has called an “emergency meeting” for tomorrow morning to try to decide whether they will support the deal. Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus already announced (yesterday) that they will not support anything other than a clean, “no-string” debt ceiling bill.

    Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she wanted to review the final legislation before committing to supporting it, and added:

    “”I have to meet with my caucus tomorrow to see how they wish to proceed,” Pelosi said. “We all may not be able to support it, or none of us may be able to support it. But we’ll wait and see.”

    At this point, this seems to be a done deal … but there is still time to call/e-mail Congressman Dingell and Senators Levin and Stabenow, and ask them to vote against the Republicans and President Obama — and for the American people.

  56. Meta
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Allen West claimed yesterday that approximately 80 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/allen-west-democrats-communist-party_n_1417279.html

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