Sunday, February 8, 2009

Republicans and language

You have to give Republicans credit, when it comes to defining debates, they walk the dog with the Democrats. Even after getting their teeth kicked in, they're still at it. Witness the efforts of the #1 GOP tag-team of Senators Graham and McCain to redefine the the term "bipartisan."

According to Sen. Graham, “This not remotely close to what we could have done if we had sat down in a true bipartisan fashion and found a better way.”

Sen. McCrancky says "You can call it a lot of things, but you can't call it bipartisanship."

It is amazing how quickly one becomes a staunch proponent and strict constructionist of "bipartisanship" when they're the minority party. Apparently, meeting with Republicans for several days in what was described as frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations, which slice about $110 billion from the bill, which had grown to more than $930 billion as amended on the Senate floor ain't enough for Republicans.

You see...according to Republicans, it ain't bipartisanship until they get what they want? And what do they want? Tax cuts and nothing but tax cuts, despite what Conservative mastermind Karl Rove may say to the contrary.

The amendment the House passed that the Senate was considering was this crazy-ass Jim DeMint authored wish list:
o Permanently repeal the alternative minimum tax once and for all;
o Permanently keep the capital gains and dividends taxes at 15
o Permanently kill the Death Tax for estates under $5 million, and cut the
tax rate to 15 percent for those above;
o Permanently extend the $1,000-per-child tax credit;
o Permanently repeal the marriage tax penalty;
o Permanently simplify itemized deductions to include only home mortgage
interest and charitable contributions.
o Lower top marginal income rates from 35 percent to 25 percent.
o Simplify the tax code to include only two other brackets, 15 and 10
o Lower corporate tax rate as well, from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Want to know how stupid this amendment is? It would COST $3.1 Trillion over the next decade. That's right, the GOP solution, is THREE TIMES MORE costly than the current one being offered by the Dems. And it relies on permanent tax cuts to provide stimulus, which according to Moodys and the CBO, tax cuts are one of the least effective way to stimulate the economy. We'll ignore the fact that it would create even bigger deficits than the ones the GOP controlled Congress has given us over the last decade at a time that Republican leaders have taken to publicly decrying the long-term cost of the Dems plan.

So, according to Sens. McCain and Graham, Obama and the Dems aren't being bipartisan, because they won't give in on a fundamentally flawed alternative. When, I have to ask, did the Republican-controlled Congress go to such lengths, huh? If this is the definition of bipartisanship, when has it ever happened?

As Paul Krugman notes about the GOP all-tax cut plan:

"We got 36 out of 41 Republican senators voting for that, which is
completely crazy," Krugman said. "So, how much bipartisan outreach can you have
when 36 out of 41 Republican Senators take their marching orders from Rush

How can you be bipartisan, when your potential partners are crazy insane?

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