Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Republican Voters-- Just Like Normal People-- Don't Back The Benefit Cuts Boehner And Congressional Republicans Are Demanding


A Republican mantra drilled into the cerebral cortex of anyone who's ever had to sit down in a room with Fox News playing is that we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. And, of course, they're not completely wrong. Where they are completely wrong is that we certainly do have a revenue problem-- the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes. But where they're correct is that we have had a very serious spending problem. Our political elites-- Washington's Conservative Consensus-- have spent trillions on the same Military Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned us about (see video below) in 1961. They've wasted astronomical amounts of money-- a huge proportion of which (over half) went straight into the pockets of corrupt operators who finance the political careers of our political elites-- on wars, corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich.

So at the same time Boehner is insisting Obama name the spending cuts-- they both want to cut Medicare and Medicaid but each wants the other to get the blame-- the America public (even grassroots Republican voters) fear the benefits cuts the two of them have cooked up. A new Marist-McClatchy poll shows that Republicans-- as well as normal people-- "oppose any and every specific spending cut proposed to them." What do GOP voters say they are against?
By 47-37, letting the Obama payroll tax cut expire.
By 68-26, cutting spending for Medicare.
By 61-33, cutting spending for Medicaid.
By 66-28, eliminating the tax deduction for home mortgage interest.
By 72-25, eliminating the charitable tax deduction.
By 56-44, raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

Republicans don't favor much in any potential deal-- they also, of course, are opposed to allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on any income bracket. Pollster Lee M. Miringoff warns that they might be unhappy with whatever happens.

“There’s no clear statement of what Republican voters want to happen. There’s opposition to everything,” Miringoff said in a statement.

“If you’re a Republican in Congress looking for what Republican voters are telling you, they’re not telling you much."
As if these congressional crackpots weren't already confused enough! Their simple-minded world started crumbling when they realized what a scam the Grover Norquist pledge most of them got tricked or bullied into signing has always been. And now dozens of them want no part of Grover or his pledge. 16 of the newly-elected Republicans have refused to sign it-- Chris Stewart (R-UT), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Scott Perry (R-PA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Tom Rice (R-SC), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rob Woodall (R-GA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Rodney Davis (R-IL), David Joyce (R-OH), Paul Cook (R-CA)-- and 42 who are part of the Lame Duck have renounced it, including Boehner patsies who would never make a move without his approval, like John Kline (MN), Buck McKeon (CA), Adrian Smith (NE), Kay Granger (TX), Lord Boustany (LA), Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Tom Latham (IA), Tom Cole (OK), John Shimkus (IL), Howard Coble (NC), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), and Tom Reed (NY). And the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the confused and disjointed caucus is more of a challenge than ever for Boehner to hold together.
"The unruly freshman class of 2010 has thwarted Mr. Boehner numerous times during his two years as speaker. To bolster his position, Mr. Boehner has been slowly bringing Republican freshmen to his side by introducing them to the realities of legislating and congressional leadership. Mr. Boehner's strategy, and his future as speaker, will get tested between now and year-end as Washington wrestles with negotiations designed to avert tax increases and spending cuts due to begin in early January."

"Boehner has used both carrot and stick to unify his ranks, lawmakers said. Rep. Steve Southerland, a voluble freshman, got a job managing a transportation bill. Three freshmen who continued to defy the House leadership on key votes got booted from plum committees. Others learned the limits of their power by watching bills the House passed disappear in the Senate."

"Boehner mended fences with his No. 2, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), after the two repeatedly clashed over various budget negotiations, aides to both men said. He has made an overt effort to cultivate Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee and Mitt Romney's running mate. Mr. Ryan didn't embrace Mr. Boehner's efforts to negotiate a deficit deal in 2011. This year, he is sitting in on Mr. Boehner's daily strategy session and has endorsed the speaker's plan to raise fresh tax revenue."
And this, of course leaves dozens of House Republicans, as Jonathan Weisman reports in the NY Times "caught between the will of a larger American public that favors higher taxes on the rich and the wishes of constituents who re-elected them overwhelmingly to oppose the Obama agenda at every turn."
[T]he president and a majority of senators, including a growing number of Republicans, back compromise on tax rates and say the public is on their side, and a majority of the House, in artfully drawn districts, claim just the opposite.

...House Democratic candidates won about 50.5 percent of the national vote in November, but took just 46 percent of the seats. In the last 40 years, only one other time-- 1996-- did the party that won the majority of the votes end up with a minority of the House, said Nicholas Goedert, a political science researcher at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri. Democrats actually gained two seats in the Senate.

Political scientists point to two factors influencing this divergence: a redistricting process dominated by Republican legislatures, and even more so, the concentration of Democratic voters in urban enclaves.

Gerrymandering did matter. In nine states redistricted by Republicans, the Democratic vote share was well above the percentage of seats won, Mr. Goedert said. For instance, in North Carolina, Democratic House candidates won 51 percent of the vote but only 27 percent of the House seats. Where Democrats drew the lines, in Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts, Democratic House delegations fared better than their vote totals, but not as drastically. This points to an inherent advantage for Republicans. In closely contested years, like 2012, the concentration of Democratic voters in cities has put them at a loss-- and given House Republicans little reason to fear national opinion.

...The Republican comfort in their districts suggests that standard political pressure tactics will not work in trying to sell a compromise. The appeal has to be loftier-- to the national interest or at least the political future of the national Republican Party, said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the House Democratic leadership’s liaison to the budget talks.

Speaker John A. Boehner must appeal to his members in ways that go beyond their constituents, he said: “Do you care more about the country, or at least the future success of the national Republican Party, or are you only interested in your political self-preservation?”

Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a loyal Boehner lieutenant who nonetheless has been advocating compromise on higher rates, puts it differently. He frames it as this: tax rates are going up Jan. 1, when the Bush-era tax cuts expire, whether Republicans like it or not. The party now has to find a victory in compromise that allows rates to rise on the affluent few while locking in long-sought spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs like Medicare.

“I don’t think voting to cut spending, restrain and reform entitlements and make the Bush tax cuts permanent for 98 percent of the American people is voting against the will of anyone’s constituents, including my own,” he said. “President Obama and the Democratic Senate have to be part of any agreement that prevents taxes from rising on almost everyone who pays income taxes. That is just political reality. Given that hard reality, I believe most voters will accept a deal that keeps their taxes from going up and makes real progress on the deficit.”
It's worth noting here that several die-hard GOP obstructionists in the House won narrow reelection victories, largely due to DCCC incompetence, and that more voters cast ballots for President Obama in the districts than for them, like in the cases of Jeff Denham (CA-10), Gary Miller (CA-31), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Bill Young (FL-13), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Tom Latham (IA-03), Rodney Davis (IL-13), John Kline (MN-02), Joe Heck (NV-03), Scot Rigell (VA-02), and David Reichert (WA-08). So what did those voters want? Democrats won statewide victories in Senate races in states filled with gerrymander-created GOP congressmen, particularly in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, and Michigan. What did those voters want?

At least it's pretty clear what most Alabama voters want. One of the most Foxified and Limbaughized electorates in the country thinks it still wants secession. Here's their KKK perspective. Tuesday morning Soledad O'Brien went toe to toe with the state's reactionary junior senator, Jeff Sessions, on CNN:

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At 1:14 AM, Blogger Daro said...

Cantor could save $3Billion by vowing to cut funding to Israel. Oh. that'll never happen.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Bukko Canukko said...

"A new Marist-McClatchy poll shows that Republicans-- as well as normal people--"



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