POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Tea Party “know nothings” sabotage Obama’s sensible “Grand Bargain” … they would drive the country and the world into chaos with their simplistic, wrong-headed approaches to solving what are admittedly real problems

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 29, 2011

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Republican Tea Party "know nothings"

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Paul Krugman writes in the NYT (7/29/11) …

  • The facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren’t complicated.
  • Republicans have taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation.
  • And Democrats have gone a long way toward meeting those Republican demands.
  • President Obama initially tried to strike a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans over taxes and spending.
  • To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities:
    • an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility,
    • sharp spending cuts
    • and only small revenue increases.
  • But Republicans rejected the deal.
  • The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinion/krugman-the-centrist-cop-out.html?_r=1&hp

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LMW COMMENT …

Know-nothing Tea Party extremists are the problem.

They are legitimately upset about the status of our debt, deficit, and entitlement programs, as is President Obama and any other thinking American.

BTW, I favor changes in our unsustainable Social Security, Medicare, and state and local public employee pension programs. But this must come with the end of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and other favorable loopholes for those who don’t need them. It’s time for all of us to agree we are in this together.

The proposed solutions of Tea Party Republicans are destructive and counter-productive. They know very little about how the world works and how to improve it. They care nothing for those who would get hurt by their proposals, which in fact would be all of us, including them.

Being angry is not an effective policy for governing, for improving what needs to be changed while conserving what is needed for our future in a challenging world.

The only good news in this is that a majority of the country seems to understand that the Tea Party Republicans are far over-stepping themselves, and I suspect they will be roundly defeated in 2012.

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6 Responses to “* Tea Party “know nothings” sabotage Obama’s sensible “Grand Bargain” … they would drive the country and the world into chaos with their simplistic, wrong-headed approaches to solving what are admittedly real problems”

  1. Ed Lake said

    I posted this to another forum where the discussion was about comparing Tea Party members to terrorists:

    Negotiating with Tea Party members isn’t the same as negotiating with terrorists.

    Terrorists say they will destroy your country of you do not do as they demand.

    Tea Party members say they will let your country be destroyed if you do not do as they demand.

    See. It’s not the same thing.

    Yes, both will enjoy your destruction if you do not agree with them.
    Yes, both are ruled by dogma that doesn’t allow them to negotiate.

    But, one is coming after you and the other is waiting for you to come to them. So, there’s a difference.

    It’s really a problem of negotiating with True Believers who feel they will lose their souls if they agree with you on anything.

    I can understand the frustration. Arguing with True Believers is a waste of time. That could be one of the reasons our Founding Fathers understood the necessity of a separation of Church and State. There’s no way a True Believer will compromise, and our government is based upon compromise.

    I think the problem is understood. But what is the solution? How do you negotiate with people who won’t negotiate?

    The answer of course, is that you do not elect people who will not negotiate. But, that’s a lesson for the next election.

    Ed

  2. Lew Weinstein said

    Nobody has a monopoly on the truth and no one is always correct. The important thing when there are differences of opinion is to make an effort to understand the underlying facts and thus determine which opinion is more likely to be correct. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

    Much of what the Tea Party radicals advocate is based on no facts or incorrect facts or half truths. There is also very little apparent concern for the consequences of what they propose. For example, huge cuts in government expenditures during a period of economic downturn will surely make things much worse for many millions of people who will lose their jobs or the benefits of government programs which make their lives possible, or who will die, for instance, when we stop regulating the safety of our food supply or airline safety procedures. There are many other examples. Education. Energy. Climate Change. Banking. All require significant government involvement to serve our mutual interests not just of those who make up those industries.

    There is clearly a need to cut overall government expenditures and the annual budget deficit. Entitlement programs (Medicare, Social Security, government worker’s pensions) are simply not fundable over the long term. But this must be done wisely over time as President Obama and responsible Republicans have repeatedly proposed, not suddenly with a meat cleaver like the Tea Party insists upon.

    There is also a need to have fair tax and regulatory policies, not simply those which favor bankers, Wall Street, corporate CEOs and other wealthy people at the expense of the middle class which comprises most of America. The Tea Party radicals are opposed to all tax increases of any kind, since they want less or no government. That is not in the interests of Americans generally, and never has been, even under the leadership of such conservative Republicans as Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Such policies would assure that America becomes a second rate country in a challenging world.

    The need for re-election and the money that helps achieve that is a corrupting influence on our political process. This has been addressed by serious politicians of both parties for many years, with noticeable success. We must keep trying, as discouraging as it seems sometimes.

    Worrying about these problems is a big frustrating burden. But simply ranting and complaining will accomplish nothing, except to make things worse. As bad as our political system is, history teaches us that there has never been a better one. Working to improve our system is far more likely to produce good results than seeking to destroy it.

  3. chris said

    Paul Krugman is a hack. Your assessment of the financial state is wrong. SS was funded and money was taken out of the programs by Washington. Borrow 40% of your annual spending and let me know how you make out in 10 years. Instead of blaming the “tea party” take a look at the real root cause and start talking about them. Our own desire to have Gov give us OPM (other people money), Politicians who only desire is reelection, failed policies, inaction, lack of leadership, lack honor, endless wars. Remember, who really caused this and why do you think they have the solution?

    • Lew Weinstein said

      Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, is a hack, and you know everything there is to know about economics. I doubt it! You would do well to try to understand the implications of the policies I think you are espousing. I say “think” because most of what I hear from you is nothing but complaints based on half-truths and less-than-half facts. I hear no real thoughtful suggestions as to what should be done. I am not saying we don’t have problems. I am saying that angry radical solutions based on false understandings are not the answer.

      • Chris said

        The Nobel Prize winner who has been wrong plenty. I do not know everything about anything nor do I claim to. However you do not need a degree from Princeton, Harvard or Yale to see what is happening. I understand the implications of failing to change. I promote half truths and half facts and everything you promote on this blog is truth and fact? “Angry radicals” that sounds like an elitist speaking. I’m pretty sure that there have been some angry radicals in history whom people are fond of.

  4. I wish President Obama would speak as clearly as you are on this. His narrative should be to tell the truth of this extortion, and to call out and isolate the crazies, by name. He should not concede anything to them at this point. They had their chance. It’s time to play HARDBALL. What’s he waiting for?

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