from Robin Hood lore--look like the tooth fairy. Fresh to the GOP leadership
'trough'--the new House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and
Rep. Paul Ryan are eager to prove their political---gonads. (Like the debacle
in the GOP led Florida legislature--where the term 'uterus' is now banned--I
felt the need to use the male term for the source of their
This group of GOP legislative miscreants in the House of Representatives have
decided unilaterally to dismantle the sole remnants of The New Deal--namely
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They are proposing a radical budget
deal which will reduce the funding for each program and send the majority of
monies to each individual state as a 'block grant.' These GOP hangmen are
proposing this type of change as a way to address soaring budget deficits. The
fact that our present economic crisis can be traced directly back to the
excesses of the Robber Barons of Wall Street does not matter---Boehner, Cantor
and Ryan have rewritten 'the rules' of the game in a perfect fit--for a Dickens
Majority Leader Eric Cantor was recently quoted in the Washington Post, claiming
that House Republicans don't need the Senate or the President to enact new laws,
as he was explaining the "Government Shutdown Prevention Act" aka. H.R. 1.
"What this bill says is it reiterates again the deadline, and that the Senate
should act before the deadline, and that's what the American people are
expecting." "The bill then says if the Senate does not act, then H.R. 1 (the
House passed version cutting 61 billion) WILL BE THE LAW OF THE LAND. In
addition to that, it says that if all else fails, and the Senate brings about a
shutdown, then members should not get their pay."
Playing legislative 'chicken' ...more GOP chest thumping....
Now, the missing piece to this symbolic game of legislative 'chicken' lies in
the fact that no legislation (including H.R. 1) ever becomes law without
approval of the Senate and the President. Somehow this simple point eluded this
George Washington University grad--the same legislator who bragged about new
House rules which REQUIRE any bill introduced for consideration to have a
virtual certificate of 'constitutional authority." According to the new House
Rules written by GOP leaders (presumably this includes Cantor); any bill
introduced for consideration must include a statement for the Congressional
Record by the sponsor, ..."citing as specifically as practicable the power or
powers granted to Congress" REQUIRED to make the bill law. The Memo CLEARLY
..."any bill filed without the requisites CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
will not be accepted by the House Clerk and will be returned to the sponsor."
Forget the fact that this 'symbolic' legislation represents an end run around
the very constitution Cantor and comrades profess to serve--he can't even seem
to keep track of his earlier 'proclamations' regarding constitutionality. Keep
in mind this is the same group of House members who DEMAND that the Constitution
be read each time they meet--like 'cafeteria Catholics'--they pick and choose
the rules most convenient for their own purposes. I'm sure Cantor realizes H.R.
1 will go nowhere--but once again--his political 'gonads' overruled any sense of
intellectual honesty. Now, that the stage has been set--Cantor goes out on the
road to 'sell' this legislative 'snake-oil.'
Cantor makes the rounds of the 'mainstream ' Media ...
Cantor flatly proclaimed to Fox News' Chris Wallace that Medicare, Medicaid and
Social Security...'AREN'T GOING TO BE THERE' by the time he retires. Qualifying
the plan to dismantle these programs Cantor added that...
"What we (House Republicans) have said is this : We'll protect today's seniors
and those nearing retirement, but for the rest of us, all of us, WHO ARE 54 AND
YOUNGER, I KNOW THE PROGRAMS ARE NOT GOING TO BE THERE FOR ME WHEN I RETIRE.
Cantor also told NPR that our country's most respected entitlement programs
were not going to survive the GOP's axemen. Pontificating on the political
correctness of his proclamation;
"We're going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot
exist if we want America TO BE WHAT WE WANT AMERICA TO BE."
House Majority Leader Cantor...a founding member of the 'too big to fail'
Hypocritically speaking, this is the SAME Rep. Eric Cantor, House Majority
Leader--who was a leading proponent of the banking BAILOUT bill--you know--the
'TOO BIG TO FAIL' caucus. There should be no great surprise to find that
Cantor's top industry political 'contributors' are : real estate, insurance and
securities/investments. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, some
1.8 million dollars of campaign funds have come from these sources, from the
time he first ran for Congress in 2000 till September of 2008. (Source:
http://www.opensecrets.org>Politicians&Elections>Congress) In fact, according
to the Sunlight Foundation, Cantor has received some $951,574 in campaign
donations from the very insurance industry which stands to (pardon the
pun)...'make a killing' on our nation's seniors once Medicare is destroyed.
(Source : http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=FO9&cycle)
Subsequently, it should not shock any of us that Cantor fails to explain WHY and
HOW this problem developed beyond the same tired, cliched slogans. His comments
are minus any sourcing--we are just expected to believe him.
Rep. Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' ...by empoverishing the rest of us....
Rep. Paul Ryan is the GOP Chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee, and as such
wields the 'power of the pocket-book.' He authored the GOP plan to destroy
Medicare, Medicaid and eventually--Social Security which he peevishly
titled--Path to Prosperity. In another political life, Ryan was alse a vocal
supporter of the 2008, 800 BILLION DOLLAR WALL STREET BAILOUT. He became such
a bailout booster that it earned him a place in Michael Moore's
documentary---Capitalism : A Love Story. Then came the Tea Party's angry stance
on the bank bailout--and Ryan, like the perverbial reformed alcoholic, saw the
political light--sobered up and reinvented himself as 'the defender' of fiscal
(Source : http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Paul_Ryan)
Ryan's Logic--a non-starter...
Rep. Ryan wrote a now infamous op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining his
To quote Ryan...
"No one person or party is responsible for the looming crisis."
REALLY?! So, the 800 BILLION DOLLAR Wall Street Bailout, accompanied by
virtually no reinvestment into the job market--had nothing to do with our
present economic Titanic? Rep. Ryan continues to state that ..."Major spending
increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. The safety net for the poor is
coming apart at the seams. Government health and RETIREMENT programs are
growing at unsustainable rates. The new health-care law is a fiscal train
wreck. And a complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families
Medicare SUBSIDY threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates
inexcusable levels of waste." He then explains some delightful double-speak as
he declares that the new program ..."is not a voucher program but rather a
premium-support model." Voucher program vs. premium-support
model...'Potaato---Potato, the effect is the same, namely the privatization of
Medicare using inadequate vouchers. According to Congressional Budget Office
estimates, seniors will pay some 68% of their own healthcare costs by 2030.
(Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Paul_Ryan) Ryan then
touches upon the need to 'reform' Social Security in ..."order to prevent severe
cuts to future benefits." After the mere mention, Ryan symbolically 'leaves the
room,'and--again we are urged to 'trust him.'
The 800 BILLION DOLLAR ELEPHANT in the room...the 2008 Wall Street Bailout...
Frankly there are so many problems with Ryan's faulty and dishonest analysis
that I'm not sure where to start. First of all, the major spending increases
Ryan refers to is mainly the 800 BILLION DOLLAR ELEPHANT in the room--namely the
2008 Wall Street Bailout. The bailout DID fail to produce jobs, but the fault
lies not with the idea of government spending--but with the thieving recipients
themselves. Wall Street has to date utterly failed to provide any reasonable
levels of accountability or transparency regarding the taxpayer monies they
'appropriated' with their able congressional lapdogs. There has even been a
critically acclaimed film on the subject, aptly titled--Inside Job. Boehner,
Cantor and Ryan should go see it--I'll even spring for popcorn. (Source:
Uncontrolled Military Spending...Another Cause of the Financial Meltdown.....
The other unmentioned cause of our financial ruin--is the bloated military
budget. According to the National Priorities Project the cost of war is
ruinous, both financially and morally. The total cost of war in Iraq and
Afghanistan (minus Libya) is over $1, 179, 561,000 with the counter constantly
ticking. (THATS OVER ONE TRILLION DOLLARS PEOPLE). We have spent in excess of
784 BILLION in Iraq and 394 BILLION in Afghanistan. (Source:
http://costofwar.com/en/) The National Priorities Project includes a
'trade-off' counter, where you can see what the same monies can buy domestically
on things other than war. For instance, if we traded off the proposed
Afghanistan war spending for 2011--we would have enough money to provide some 55
MILLION CHILDREN with Low-Income Healthcare for a year. (Source :
When you begin talking about military expenditures in the TRILLIONS, for a war
in Iraq, despite the fact that Iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11, and a war in
Afghanistan against a stone age society in a feckless effort to find a band of
pirates with Bin Laden at the helm--you are either staring at gross political
incompetence or the biggest bank robbery of the millenium. One thing I forgot
to mention--Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' leaves military spending totally