ChrisWeigant.com

"No Budget, No Pay" Smoke And Mirrors

[ Posted Thursday, January 24th, 2013 – 17:00 PST ]

The Republican House just scored a political victory. While meaningless in financial fact, they successfully co-opted a dandy slogan -- which may have real political consequences for Senate Democrats -- and they also managed to pull the wool over the eyes of a large portion of the mainstream media while doing so. Which, as I said, has to be chalked up as a big political victory for the House Republicans.

I'm speaking of the "No Budget, No Pay" provision in the short-term debt ceiling hike the House just passed. First and foremost, it will not actually "cut" the pay of anyone. Period. It just won't. It should rightly be called the "No Budgetary Political Posturing... Um, Then We'll Hold Your Pay For Awhile" provision -- this is where the "co-opting" of the slogan comes in. The political victory is that the House will likely shame Harry Reid's Democratic Senate into actually producing a budget bill this year. More on this in a moment.

First, though, the part most of the media is missing: there actually is a "No Budget, No Pay Act" proposal that's been floating around Washington for a while, now. It would actually do what it says it would do -- it lives up to the slogan, in other words. If the federal budget and appropriations bills are not in place when the fiscal year starts, then Congress does not get paid until that happens. Simple concept. Lawmakers are sent to the Capitol to do many things, but one of the first and foremost of these responsibilities is to set the federal budget each and every year. If they don't accomplish this main part of their job description, then their salary gets cut off. There are two important parts of this to focus on. One, all the budget and appropriation bills must pass through both houses of Congress. Agreement must be reached, or no pay. Two, any lost pay cannot be retroactively awarded. Once the pay is lost, it is lost forever.

These are the two reasons why the House Republicans just pulled a snow job on the media, for the most part. Because neither is true for what just passed. Not even close. In the first place, the House bill (as I understand it, I have yet to read the whole thing, so any mistakes in interpretation are mine) only applies to the budgetary document that is supposed to pass in the Spring. This is a "framework" and doesn't actually fund the government at all. While called a "budget" it is no more than a suggestion -- the real business of funding the government happens later in the year with the multiple "appropriations" bills. So focusing on the "budget" document is rather meaningless without addressing the second part as well.

The second reason the House passed nothing more than smoke and mirrors is that to get paid, the two houses merely have to pass their own budget bill -- which does not have to be reconciled with the other house. This means all the tough choices are postponed. They don't have to actually agree on anything -- the House will pass an ultra-Republican "budget" and the Senate will pass whatever it can get five Republicans on board with, and everyone gets paid -- even before a conference committee even meets to discuss the differences. Again, more on the political implications of this in a bit.

But the whopping big reason this whole thing is a farce is that nobody loses a single dollar of pay, no matter what happens. Yes, you read that right. Nobody's pay is "cut" by even one thin dime. This, more than anything else, shows the gimmick nature of this political ploy. If budgets aren't passed, then lawmakers' pay gets put into an "escrow" account. If a budget isn't passed for the entire two-year term of the current Congress, then everybody still gets their full salary paid to them from the escrow account on the last day of the term. In other words, no matter what happens politically or legislatively, everyone still gets paid. The worst that can happen is their money will be withheld for a period of time.

To be fair, this is due to the demands of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment, which states (in full): "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened." The story of the ratification of this amendment is one of the most hilarious bits of American history of all time, in fact, since it was proposed in 1789 (as one of twelve amendments, ten of which became the Bill of Rights), but not ratified until 1992 -- largely as the result of the efforts of a college student who got a "C" on a paper, and was annoyed by his low grade. As I said, you can't make this stuff up -- it's truly a fascinating story.

Trivia aside, however, what the amendment means is that no Congress can effectively vote to change -- in any way -- their own pay. They can vote on what the next Congress will be paid, but not themselves. Because House Republicans were looking for action in the next couple of months, this was constitutionally not possible (the real "No Budget, No Pay Act" does indeed specify that the rule won't take effect until the next Congress convenes, making it constitutional and legitimate). So they came up with their political gimmick, to bamboozle the public into believing it would, in fact, cut Congress' pay. It does not.

Which is where we get into the grand game of politics. A Republican talking point, for the past few years, has been to complain that "the Senate hasn't passed a budget in (insert time period)." Sometimes this is given as "X years" and sometimes it's even given in days, or on a countdown clock. This is a valid political complaint, in fact. I've even criticized Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats for failing this basic duty myself, on multiple occasions.

In the normal times-gone-by, budgets were passed by both houses of Congress. Finagling over details happened in conference committees. Sometimes, an agreement was hammered out, and a real budget (with appropriations) passed. Sometimes, it wasn't, and "continuing resolutions" were passed which just punted the whole problem to the next calendar year. For the past two years, House Republicans did indeed pass a budget document (but not all the appropriations bills, mind you). Paul Ryan wrote a bill, and the House passed it -- which exposed them to a whole lot of political vulnerability on the campaign trail from Democrats. Senate Democrats did not. They chose, instead, to avoid the political pitfalls altogether.

This chickening-out by the Senate meant that Republicans couldn't slam them on the campaign trail for their votes for unpopular things in the budget. But that's another way of defining political cowardice, at least in my book. Stand up for what you believe! Pass a budget to show how different Democrats' priorities are than the House Republicans -- that would be political bravery.

Which is where the House Republicans' political victory becomes apparent. Because their "No Budgetary Political Posturing... Um, Then We'll Hold Your Pay For Awhile" provision is actually going to change things. Harry Reid has now announced that, this year, the Senate will indeed pass at least the budget bill (remember, none of this fight yet concerns the actual appropriations bills). That is indeed a political victory for the House Republicans. They structured their provision so that members of either house aren't faced with the escrow situation if their house passes a budget bill on its own. It doesn't have to be reconciled, in other words, with the other house.

Which means that the House of Representatives is -- so far, successfully -- forcing the Senate to accept the escrow accounts only for the Senate if they don't act. This is a monumental coup, in the eternal power struggle between the two legislative chambers. The House, in plain language, is shaming the Senate to act on the issue -- at very little cost to itself (remember, the House has indeed passed budgets the past two years).

My hope is that the whole thing backfires on everybody in Congress. My hope is that the Republicans' use of the "No Budget, No Pay" slogan will cause an outcry when the public realizes it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors (if any lawmaker's pay actually winds up in an escrow account, the media will likely wake up and report the flim-flam nature of the arrangement). Over the coming months and years, my hope is that the issue rises in prominence in the public's mind, until they start demanding a real "No Budget, No Pay Act" complete with ironclad penalties for both houses not agreeing to the same budget. As I've said before, California previously passed such a law, and it has worked wonders with our state's budgetary process. It could easily have the potential to do the same on the national level. Even if this happens immediately, no pay will be cut in Congress until 2015 (the start of the next Congress, after an intervening election in 2014), but the idea is still a sound one.

Democrats -- smart ones, at any rate -- will pounce on this opportunity to get out in front of the issue with the public. They should be out there right now saying: "The so-called 'no budget, no pay' provision the House passed is silly, because it does nothing of the kind. It's a sham wrapped in a gimmick. However, I fully support a real 'No Budget, No Pay Act' with real financial consequences for Congress not doing their basic job for the American people, each and every year."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

78 Comments on “"No Budget, No Pay" Smoke And Mirrors”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    The political victory is that the House will likely shame Harry Reid's Democratic Senate into actually producing a budget bill this year.

    In other words, the House bamboozled the Senate into actually doing their jobs and following the law..

    And this is a bad thing HOW... exactly??? :D

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    akadjian wrote:

    My hope is that the Republicans' use of the "No Budget, No Pay" slogan will cause an outcry when the public realizes it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors

    Hahahahah. When the public realizes ...

    Truer words were never spoken. The issue, however, is that the public typically doesn't pay any attention to everyday goings on in Congress. Neither does the media.

    However, they might pay some attention now that Republicans are trying to pick a fight. Keep in mind they haven't been very good at picking fights lately.

    Some of the things which could be brought to light by this new found media attention are a) the extraordinary use of the filibuster in the Senate by Republicans, b) the Republican fight against math (in their budget), and c) they're political posturing which you mention Chris.

    Remember, the Republican position is "fight everything Obama". Now they've just proposed legislation saying "we should find a compromise or our pay gets docked". (Forget for a second that no ones pay actually gets docked).

    Aren't they going against their own strategy?

    They look like a rudderless ship. (Not that I'm complaining mind ...)

    -David

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Crap. Should read "their political posturing"

  4. [4] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW,
    To be fair, this is due to the demands of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment

    I agree with a proper NBNP that requires THE SAME bill to be passed in both Chambers (as sad as it is that it has to come to this to force House Republicans to actually compromise and pass bills). But there is absolutely no doubt it is 100% unconstitutional (one of the side effects of relying on a centuries old document to provide the scope for a modern legal system).

    However, what the Republicans did turns out to be good in passing something that is constitutional. If they had passed a proper NBNP, instead of the current version which merely delays pay, and the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional (likely) then the Debt Ceiling increase, which was only tagged on to this requirement, could potentially disappear with the bill. Then you'd be in weird situation where a bunch of debts incurred had been paid off 'unlawfully'. Who knows what kind of mess that would create (which illustrates the stupidity in having a debt ceiling anyway - but hey America gonna America!)

    Michale
    In other words, the House bamboozled the Senate into actually doing their jobs and following the law..

    Uhm not really. The job of producing a budget belongs to the House. Always has done and always will do. So they're basically deflecting the fact that they haven't produced a budget that could pass the Senate because the Republicans in the House are whack-jobs unwilling to compromise or pass anything (see other thread).

    Once again they say: 'Please Sensible non-whack-job-nut-case Republican members of the Senate, once again hold our hands and pressure us into doing our jobs'. EXACTLY like the fiscal cliff bill all over again.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Uhm not really. The job of producing a budget belongs to the House.

    Uhhhhh, the House HAS passed a budget...

    Every single year, according to the law...

    Reid never brought the legislation to the floor..

    In VIOLATION of the law, I might add...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    michty6 wrote:

    No way, the Senate doesn't hold votes on legislation that has 0% chance of passing? They don't waste time on stupid political stunts? They don't pass laws 35 TIMES in a row that have no chance of being passed?

    That's crazy! Fire them all and replace them with tea-party members immediately. Damn stupid Chamber actually trying to get stuff done - who do they think they are!

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the House HAS passed a budget.

    The House passes a Republican budget w/o any compromise.

    Big deal.

    Why should the Democratic controlled Senate and/or President Obama even consider a 100% Republican budget?

    Idiocy.

    Passing a 100% Republican budget doesn't seem to me like the House actually doing their job - more like 'we're being a bunch of assholes'.

    Maybe that's why Congress is so unpopular these days.

    -David

  8. [8] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Don't forget the moronic 'Obama Budgets' they passed as political stunts.

    But Michale is right. Everyone on here should write a letter to their Senator:

    "Dear Senator
    I am appalled that you have not been passing legislation that has 0% of chancing, contains no compromises and is based on your radical whacko views of the world. Shame on you. If you don't get your act together and start passing completely useless partisan legislation (at LEAST 30 times per piece) I will have no option but to vote for a crazy radical tea-party member who will do this."

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The House passes a Republican budget w/o any compromise.

    Big deal.

    It seemed to be a "big deal" when Democrats passed a Dem budget without any compromise..

    Wait for it.... Wait for it....

    "That's different"... :D

    Why should the Democratic controlled Senate and/or President Obama even consider a 100% Republican budget?

    Flip it around and you'll answer your own question.. :D

    But Michale is right.

    "Pardon me?? Could you speak into my GOOD ear??"
    -Ace Ventura

    :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    michty6 wrote:

    You mean the compromise bill, which was based on Obama's saying he was willing to compromise on the upper rate to $450k as well as releasing a bunch of taxes he wanted, that got 90% support in the Senate but 65% of Republicans in the House voted AGAINST it?

    Yeh House Republicans definitely don't have a problem compromising LOLOLOL. It's the Senate that's the problem. LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

  11. [11] 
    michty6 wrote:

    (And this was only after the buck for budgeting was (once again) passed to the Senate as House Republicans wouldn't even back a compromise on taxes at $1m)

  12. [12] 
    michty6 wrote:

    On the subject of budgets, you might want to read the news about the UK today about the state of our economy.

    As I have pointed out many times on here, you should be thankful that you have a leader in charge who decided not to go down the route of austerity (with tax cuts) and absolutely kill the recovery like our Conservative Government did...

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "For example, the late David Broder urged President Obama to “do a Cameron”; he particularly commended Mr. Cameron for “brushing aside the warnings of economists that the sudden, severe medicine could cut short Britain’s economic recovery and throw the nation back into recession.”

    Sure enough, the sudden, severe medicine cut short Britain’s economic recovery, and threw the nation back into recession."
    - Krugman

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    In a case freighted with major constitutional implications, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, ruling he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess.

    The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/25/federal-court-obama-broke-law-recess-appointments/#ixzz2J0YHm01A

    And the hits just keep on coming....

    I said it then and I'll say it now..

    What part of "UNCONSTITUTIONAL" does Obama not understand???

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It seemed to be a "big deal" when Democrats passed a Dem budget without any compromise.

    When?

    It's a bit tough having discussions w/ you Michale when one of your favorite argumentative strategies is accusing Democrats of doing things that never happened.

    -David

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    you should be thankful that you have a leader in charge who decided not to go down the route of austerity (with tax cuts) and absolutely kill the recovery like our Conservative Government did...

    Good Lord yes, michty. What is going on in Europe. Where did all of this belief in "austerity" come from? Who is pushing for what seems like such a suicidal policy? I mean ... other than the Germans

    -David

  17. [17] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The Germans and UK still have Conservative Governments but most other countries sacked the Conservative Governments when the recession hit - or saw massive depletion in Conservative support.

    The left of centre parties all over Europe have been weak since the 1980s and of course the Conservative Governments that came in implemented their brand of moronic deregulation, stripping workers rights and de-taxation (a word I just invented) policies that caused the massive recession, massive deficits and massive inequality - a very similar path to the USA.

    Unlike the USA (to a certain extent - you did just overwhelmingly vote Democrat in the House, Senate and Presidential elections) they learned their lesson. France, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Italy (and Scotland :)) have all put in or seen vast increases in support for more left of centre Governments now (or have coalitions that include a left of centre party). Even the UK coalition includes a left of centre party which stops the poor/unemployed/ill etc getting compltely raped by Conservatives (but this party is really weak and just caves to Conservatives sadly). But the UK is like the US with a large number of older voters and wealthy voters who are stuck in the past voting Conservative 'because they've done that all their life' and so on. Especially in London.

    And of course the Scandi countries have had left of centre Governments for a while and didn't have to bail out their banks, didn't have large deficits, have way more equal societies and a considerably better standard of living. SHOCK HORROR. Lol

    /rant

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I think Iceland got it about right. When their economy collapsed, they threw the bankers who had caused the collapse in jail and bailed out the people, not the banks.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/is-remedy-for-next-crisis-buried-in-iceland-view-correct-.html

    And surprise ... the economy recovered!

    Here, we're still ruled largely by the bankers and the special interest lobbies pretty much regardless of who's in power.

    -David

  19. [19] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yup Iceland is the perfect example of the complete and utter failure of deregulation that the Republicans love so much. There is no better example of the damage a 'free market' can do to a country if you leave it to be free.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    And of course the Scandi countries have had left of centre Governments for a while and didn't have to bail out their banks, didn't have large deficits, have way more equal societies and a considerably better standard of living. SHOCK HORROR. Lol

    It's easy to do when you don't have to worry about policing the world and making sure those Left-Centre governments don't get their countries overrun by psychotic madmen with nukes..

    I seem to recall that we pulled the UK's ass out of the fire about 60 odd years ago as well...

    It's easy to be all you cheer about when you have no responsibility..

    Like being a kid... You have your parents to take care of you...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Like being a kid... You have your parents to take care of you.

    Maybe we should stop treating countries like little kids then.

    I think Norway's a big boy now. Sweden too. (France is questionable, but that's just because it's France :) )

    Seriously though ... how does any of this relate to an economic crisis caused by bank deregulation?

    -David

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think Iceland got it about right. When their economy collapsed, they threw the bankers who had caused the collapse in jail and bailed out the people, not the banks.

    As opposed to Obama who HIRED the financial people who caused the collapse and lavished money on the bankers and the 1%'ers

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, I get it..

    You're in love and when you're in love, your chosen one can do no wrong... :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale,

    I seem to recall that we pulled the UK's ass out of the fire about 60 odd years ago as well...

    Yes and this was when the US economy boomed by cleaning up the mess from the rest of the world - it's not like you didn't benefit from this.

    As opposed to Obama who HIRED the financial people who caused the collapse and lavished money on the bankers and the 1%'ers

    Totally agree. Yet another example of President Obama governing from the centre-right while Speaker Obama gives nice little speeches from the centre-left. Of course you probably shouldn't mention these facts to Republicans because in their minds he is a crazy socialist overturning everything they hold dear...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Maybe we should stop treating countries like little kids then.

    Maybe the countries should stop acting like little kids then...

    "Earth. Hitler. 1939."
    -Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK VI, The Undiscovered Country

    I think Norway's a big boy now. Sweden too.

    Big enough to stand up to Russia on it's own??

    {cough} {cough} bullshit {cough}

    Seriously though ... how does any of this relate to an economic crisis caused by bank deregulation?

    It has to do with Michty's comment about how easy it is for the Scandi Countries to live in KoomByeYa land...

    It's easy when they have parents to take care of their security...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh you're going off on one again Michale. You don't think the Scandi countries have their own armies? Or that there is apparently some amazing thing America has done to 'save' them recently?

    In fact, there is an valid argument that America finger poking has made the world a considerably more unsafe place than vice versa.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yeh you're going off on one again Michale. You don't think the Scandi countries have their own armies?

    Of course they have their own armies..

    But do you think it is the threat of THEIR armies or NATO armies that keep Russia at bay???

    You get three guesses and the first two don't count...

    In fact, there is an valid argument that America finger poking has made the world a considerably more unsafe place than vice versa.

    "Earth. Hitler. 1939."
    -Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK VI, The Undiscovered Country

    Or, maybe you would prefer speaking German and living under a Nazi regime??

    Me??? Not so much....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    michty6 wrote:

    WW2 wasn't finger poking. It was responding to a global war and an attack on US soil.

    Finger poking is stuff like invading Vietnam for shits and giggles, turning most of SE Asia into communist dictatorships in the process.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Totally agree.

    It just takes ALL the fun out of things!!! :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol I was wondering when you'd respond to that!

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Finger poking is stuff like invading Vietnam for shits and giggles, turning most of SE Asia into communist dictatorships in the process.

    Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.....

    Where were you when the Pueblo was sunk???

    Michale......

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Meh there's hindsight and then there's learning from your mistakes and not repeating them over and over again!

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Meh there's hindsight and then there's learning from your mistakes and not repeating them over and over again!

    The problem is what you consider a mistake really isn't..

    You consider Iraq a mistake..

    The people who were being brutalized and victimized by Saddam Hussein might disagree...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    I believe this latest Teapublican move has been debunked rather emphatically else where,as I am given to understand it's unconstitutional,it is getting harder to take anything coming out D.C. as noteworthy,with the exception of the poetry of Mr.Blanco which I found uplifting.

    My entry for most disappointing Democrat of the week would be our Mr.Reid;I had such high hopes with the reelection of Mr.O.,but someplace in Latin America is looking better in my dotage.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    as I am given to understand it's unconstitutional,

    Iddn't it funny that the Constitutional question was NEVER mentioned when it was a Lefty idea, eh?? :D

    I had such high hopes with the reelection of Mr.O.,but someplace in Latin America is looking better in my dotage.

    First michty and now you!

    Com'on people!!

    Obama bashin' is MY domain!!! :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But do you think it is the threat of THEIR armies or NATO armies that keep Russia at bay???

    Uh...neither? I think France and the UK's nuclear weapons are more than enough. Plus most of these countries could be nuclear powers if need arises. Germany and Japan are said to be a month away quality nuclear weapons if they needed them. I would not be surprised if there were secret plans to accelerate that even faster. Sweden has nuclear power plants and top of the line science. They would not be far behind.

    The funny thing is France is the third largest nuclear power in the world because of how the US wielded it's police stick in the 50's...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/01/28/gun-laws-and-the-fools-of-chelm-by-david-mamet.html

    Couldn't have said it better myself!

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Uh...neither? I think France and the UK's nuclear weapons are more than enough.

    And UK is.... NATO... ding ding ding ding...

    If UK is a deterrent then NATO is part of that deterrence..

    Take away the deterrent of NATO *and* it's members and how do you think the Scandi countries would fare???

    They would be Bolsheviks before the year was out..

    Germany and Japan are said to be a month away quality nuclear weapons if they needed them.

    And why would Germany or Japan, ON THEIR OWN, take on Russia???

    Answer? They wouldn't....

    Michale....

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    My point was that, if the "Scandi Countries" had the world obligations and the world responsibilities that the U.S. has, they would likely be JUST like the U.S. and not the namby-pamby KoomByeYa Utopias that some Weigantians think they are...

    That's all...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's a bit tough having discussions w/ you Michale when one of your favorite argumentative strategies is accusing Democrats of doing things that never happened.

    So, you are saying that Democrats *never* passed legislation w/o compromising with Republicans??

    I just want to get you on record before I demonstrate my GOOGLE prowess... :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    As opposed to Obama who HIRED the financial people who caused the collapse and lavished money on the bankers and the 1%'ers

    But Democrats are still socialists right? How does this work?

    Ok. That aside. Here, I'm with you in my anger.

    However, your answer is 'vote Republican'. You want me to tell you what Republicans would have done. Hired the same people only without reigning them in at all.

    You would have seen zero Wall Street reform as opposed to mild Wall Street reform. And much larger handouts. And much more deregulation.

    So, you are saying that Democrats *never* passed legislation w/o compromising with Republicans?

    No. I'm saying Democrats didn't pass a Dem budget without any compromise.

    Unlike what you made up ...

    It seemed to be a "big deal" when Democrats passed a Dem budget without any compromise..

    Google away ... (but you can't change the subject)

    -David

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    However, your answer is 'vote Republican'. You want me to tell you what Republicans would have done. Hired the same people only without reigning them in at all.

    No.. My answer is vote the current crooks out of office..

    You see, I don't see things as Democrats vs Republicans.. I see things as all politicians are crooks and, since the current batch of Democrats are crooks and are incompetent lets give a new batch of crooked politicians a chance...

    I voted Democrat in 2006 and 2008...

    They have proved wanting.

    So, now they need to move on out...

    When GOP are voted in overwhelmingly in 2014 and THEY do a bad job, then I will likely vote for THEM to go and a new batch to come in...

    Rinse and repeat ad nasuem until such time as we get people who care more for country and less for political agenda..

    No. I'm saying Democrats didn't pass a Dem budget without any compromise.

    I'll let you know what I dig up.. :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I see things as all politicians are crooks and, since the current batch of Democrats are crooks and are incompetent lets give a new batch of crooked politicians a chance.

    Your strategy seems a bit random. And what exactly would 'competent' look like? George W. Bush?

    Ok. Sorry, that was a cheap shot, but couldn't resist :)

    I think a better strategy would be ...

    1) Vote for people who want to balance the interests of people and corporations (not corporate shills who want to return to 'trickle down' theory)

    I do believe you're an independent. But you still supported a Republican nominee for President whose ideas were the same failed trickle down ideas which caused the financial crisis.

    This doesn't make sense to me.

    Like him or hate him, Obama still has the better approach on the economy right now. And its working. I don't know if you've noticed but the housing market is back, the S&P 500 just hit new records, and the job market is looking better than it has in a long time.

    I'll vote for someone else when they show me better ideas.

    The people who you seem to think would care more about our country seem like they care more about getting back into power than anything else. And by the way ... their guiding philosopher, Ayn Rand, is a person who espouses being a selfish a-hole. I'm not really sure how that fits in with caring about our country.

    -David

  44. [44] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW- Stocks absolutely crushed last year. Glad I didn't listen to the naysayers.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your strategy seems a bit random. And what exactly would 'competent' look like? George W. Bush?

    Seven years w/o a terrorist attack on US proper is a pretty impressive stat...

    I do believe you're an independent. But you still supported a Republican nominee for President whose ideas were the same failed trickle down ideas which caused the financial crisis.

    And you supported a Democrat incumbent who has PROVEN that he is incompetent when it comes to foreign affairs AND the economy, who has violated vital foundation tenets of the Democratic Party and who has made life WORSE for each and every American...

    All things considered, my choice was the more logical choice.. :D

    Like him or hate him, Obama still has the better approach on the economy right now.

    ...despite ALL evidence to the contrary..

    I'll vote for someone else when they show me better ideas.

    That's the problem. You will stick with worse ideas until someone shows you better.. What if someone shows you DIFFERENT that MIGHT be better??

    You would still go with bad ideas instead of taking a chance..

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Ayn Rand has more in common with the Leftist ideology than with the Right..

    Michale...

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    What if someone shows you DIFFERENT that MIGHT be better?

    Like what?

    I am also constrained to point out that Ayn Rand has more in common with the Leftist ideology than with the Right.

    Really? What planet do you live on?

    Here on Planet Reality the people advocating for Ayn Rand are people like Ron Paul (who named is son after Rand for chrissake), Paul Ryan, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, etc etc ad nauseum

    Rand Paul ... after Ayn Rand ... get it?

    -David

  48. [48] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW ... stock market ... pretty good for an incompetent socialist President.

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like what?

    Do I look like an economic genius??

    Hell no..

    But I have an abundance of common sense... And common sense tells me that when one is in a financial one should STOP DIGGING...

    It's a no brainer.. Like our POTUS...

    BTW ... stock market ... pretty good for an incompetent socialist President.

    So now you are cheering Wall Street???

    Wall Street is successful in SPITE of our POTUS..

    Not due to our POTUS..

    Michale...

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really? What planet do you live on?

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7458

    Planet Earth...

    You??

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Planet Earth...

    Like one of those alternate planet earths in Star Trek? Because if this article you posted is "Leftist ideology" I think you just proved beyond any doubt that you are a died in the wool lefty...

  52. [52] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Or maybe a dyed in the wool lefty...

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you just proved beyond any doubt that you are a died in the wool lefty...

    I've been called worse.. :D

    Though not much... :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wall Street is successful in SPITE of our POTUS..

    Not due to our POTUS..

    Or, more accurately, Wall Street is successful in SPITE of the actions of Democrats and the Obama Administration..

    Not because of their actions..

    The true testimonial to the incompetence of Obama and the Democrats is one simple question.

    Are Americans better off today than they were four years ago??

    The answer is clearly 'no'..

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Planet Earth...

    From that article you posted ...

    "And if we fail to use our military against state sponsors of terrorism today, imagine the challenge we will face five years from now when Iraq and Iran possess nuclear weapons and are ready to disseminate them to their terrorist minions."

    This sounds like your beliefs, Michale.

    Are you sure about Ayn Rand and the "left"?

    If so, I'm with Bashi, welcome to the Left.

    Or, more accurately, Wall Street is successful in SPITE of the actions of Democrats and the Obama Administration.

    It's interesting how you're able to give someone like George W. all the credit when it comes to 7 years of non-terrorism (while you ignore how 9/11 happened during his term) and then turn around and give zero credit to President Obama for the economic recovery. Which is clearly happening during his term.

    In reality, I'd give Bush credit for starting the stimulus (though I wish he would have broken up the banks and done more in terms of long term regulation) and Obama credit for going a couple steps further though again I think he could have done even more.

    In terms of terrorism, I think both deserve some credit though I would caution against how much credit to both since the timing of terrorist attacks is largely random and unpredictable. This is why I don't blame George W. for 9/11.

    I point out the stock market under Obama to dispute the widely held belief that Obama is somehow a socialist. He's a moderate centrist.

    -David

  56. [56] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Are Americans better off today than they were four years ago?

    Let's see ...

    - No Osama bin Laden
    - War in Iraq wound down
    - Economy recovering
    - Housing market back
    - Corporate profits and Wall Street hitting new records

    Not sure what you're looking at, but I think we're much better off than 4 years ago.

    -David

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not sure what you're looking at, but I think we're much better off than 4 years ago.

    Howz gas prices??

    Howz unemployment??

    Howz American prestige??

    'Nuff said..

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    - No Osama bin Laden

    Thanx to President Bush and the policies put into place by him and the Democrats..

    Policies, I might add, that Democrats fought tooth and nail against, SOLELY to suit a political agenda that hampered the nation's security..

    Do you REALLY want to play the Bin Laden card??? :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx to President Bush and the policies put into place by him and the Democrats..

    Of course, that's a typo... :D

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    and then turn around and give zero credit to President Obama for the economic recovery. Which is clearly happening during his term.

    Slowest.... Recovery.... EVER.....

    If mismanaging an economic recovery were an Olympic event, President Obama would be standing on the middle platform right now, accepting the gold medal.

    Deep recessions are supposed to be followed by strong recoveries, but, under Obama, the worst recession since the 1930s has been followed by the slowest economic recovery in the history of the republic. In a very real sense, there has been no recovery at all—things are still getting worse.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2012/08/01/obama-wins-the-gold-for-worst-economic-recovery-ever/

    This snail-paced recovery is in SPITE of Obama's actions..

    Not because of...

    Michale....

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me repeat that for the cheap seats...

    Deep recessions are supposed to be followed by strong recoveries, but, under Obama, the worst recession since the 1930s has been followed by the slowest economic recovery in the history of the republic. In a very real sense, there has been no recovery at all—things are still getting worse.

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    the slowest economic recovery in the history of the republic.

    So, tell me...

    Exactly WHAT should we give Obama credit for??

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    But hay...

    Let's give credit where credit is due..

    Obama's a great fly guy... :D

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Howz gas prices??

    Howz unemployment??

    Howz American prestige?

    All better than 4 years ago with the exception of unemployment.

    And what created unemployment? The economic crisis.

    Due to what policies did the economic crisis happen? Trickle down theory and deregulation.

    I know this drives you nuts Michale because I know you want conservatives back in power to start another war, but don't you think we're better off without one?

    -David

  65. [65] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And I'm sorry to say it, but I have no idea what the Republican party stands for any more other than "vote against Obama"

    I mean, I guess this makes for good angry AM radio rants, but it sure doesn't seem like it's doing any good.

    And people are leaving the party faster than Mitt Romney's facebook page :)

    -David

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    All better than 4 years ago with the exception of unemployment.

    David, David, David...

    Average gas was $1.84 p/g the day Obama took office..

    American prestige??

    We were respected under Bush. Feared, yes. But respected.

    Now the US is a laughing stock thanks to Obama's Lead From Behind AKA The Coward Of The County "strategy"...

    And I'm sorry to say it, but I have no idea what the Republican party stands for any more other than "vote against Obama"

    Yea, I had the same feeling about the Democrats during the Bush years.

    All they were was Anti-Bush..

    Even when they KNEW that many of Bush's policies was the right way to go..

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    And people are leaving the party faster than Mitt Romney's facebook page :)

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it thru the day is all right by me.. :D

    I think the idea that this country has become a Center Left country has been laid to rest by recent events...

    But, like I said, whatever you have to think to make it thru the day..... :D

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    michty6 wrote:

    the slowest economic recovery in the history of the republic.

    Lololol amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how wrong you can be so many times.

    The only recession worse than the Great Recession of 2008-2009 was the Great Depression. That took 10 years to recover from. And the recovery only really happened because the world went to war, who knows how much longer it would've taken otherwise...

    If you want to compare how well Obama has done for the US recovery, just look around the world. The recovery is still underway EVERYWHERE. But in places like the UK - where Conservatives in charge decided for tax cuts + austerity (SHOCK HORROR) - we are about to enter a TRIPLE-DIP recession. Wait till you have your 2nd recession in the US before you go moaning - we are just about to hit number 3.

    The US is one of the minority of countries to go through the full whack of the Great Depression of 2008-09 and NOT have a double dip recession.

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lololol amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how wrong you can be so many times.

    I provide evidence of my facts and conclusions..

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2012/08/01/obama-wins-the-gold-for-worst-economic-recovery-ever/

    Where's your evidence for your claims???

    {{chhhiiirrrrrpppppp}} {{ccchhhirrrrrpppppppp}}

    Cricket city....

    The US is one of the minority of countries to go through the full whack of the Great Depression of 2008-09 and NOT have a double dip recession.

    .... YET

    Obama and the Democrats ain't thru screwing over the country..

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Simple maybe you should actually read the article you posted? Here is a clue:

    "Deep recessions are supposed to be followed by strong recoveries, but, under Obama, the worst recession since the 1930s"

    The article then proceeds to compare Obama to Bushes, Reagan and Clinton. NOTHING about the Great Depression.

    And of course Obama has the slowest recovery (since the Great Depression) because he has the WORST RECESSION (since the Great Depression) lolol.

    So what you're saying is completely breaking news: The 2nd worst recession of all time has had the 2nd slowest recovery of all time; it was beat by the 1st worst recession of all time which, shockingly, had the 1st worst recovery of all time.

    In other news, the Sky continues to be blue and 2 + 2 continue to be 4. Unless you are a Republican then the Sky has been ruined by Obama and Obama changed 2 to make it 'too liberal' so that 2 + 2 now equals 5.

    .... YET

    Obama and the Democrats ain't thru screwing over the country..

    Right well at least you admitted this fact. As the UK is about to enter our THIRD recession you aren't even on number 2. And YOU think YOUR GUY did a bad job????? LOLOLOL.

  71. [71] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    So, you are saying that Democrats *never* passed legislation w/o compromising with Republicans??

    I just want to get you on record before I demonstrate my GOOGLE prowess... :D

    I had forgotten how amusing Michale is,I must make an effort to keep track,the above comment put a smile on my face as much as the sunshine here in Red Neck Hillbilly California does.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    I had forgotten how amusing Michale is,I must make an effort to keep track,the above comment put a smile on my face as much as the sunshine here in Red Neck Hillbilly California does.

    Do you have anything to counter? Or are you just into ridicule?? ;D

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Forgot to mention the housing market is back as well ...

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2013/01/28/Housing-market-poised-to-push-recovery/UPI-19071359420338/?spt=hs&or=bn

    Not bad for a Socialist Muslim lefty king (or whatever the latest conservative name calling is) :)

    -David

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not bad for a Socialist Muslim lefty king (or whatever the latest conservative name calling is) :)

    Yes, if you cherry pick a good thing here and there, you can make Obama look like the second coming..

    But if you look at the overall picture, I could have 3 times the list that you could have.

    Hell, even Michty has come around to my way of thinking that, on the economy, Obama has been incompetent..

    If that's not a big hit for ya, NOTHING will be.. :D

    I see yer still ignoring your Gas Prices gaffe.. :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not bad for a Socialist Muslim lefty king (or whatever the latest conservative name calling is) :)

    Bush had an 8 year stretch with no terrorist attacks on US Proper..

    Not bad for a Warmongering War-Criminal Hitler (or whatever the Leftist name calling was) :)

    Once again, I emphatically, unequivocally and indubitably) show that it goes both ways... :D

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Corporate profits and Wall Street hitting new records

    You seem to think that, because Wall Street is doing well, our POTUS is doing well..

    Fair enough..

    But will you concede that, when Wall Street tanks and takes a dive, that Obama is responsible for THAT as well???

    Somehow, I kind of doubt it??

    It's like Gas Prices.. When we have a GOP POTUS and gas prices rise, it's all that President's fault..

    When we have a DEM POTUS and the gas prices rise...???

    Not so much....

    Why not just come right and and say it..

    Everything bad is because of Republicans..

    Everything good is because of Democrats..

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Whether or not the economy continues to recover in 2013 will be down to things:

    - Republicans in the House and how they deal with the upcoming sequestration debate
    - Republicans in the House and how they deal with the debt ceiling 6 months down the line

    The main faults in the recovery during the last 4 years came during these periods. For example, the debt ceiling debates of 2011 saw stock prices plummet, job numbers nose dive and the economy free-fall - this tends to be what happens when one party plays games with the economy for political gain.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    The main faults in the recovery during the last 4 years came during these periods. For example, the debt ceiling debates of 2011 saw stock prices plummet, job numbers nose dive and the economy free-fall - this tends to be what happens when one party plays games with the economy for political gain.

    Yea, we know..

    Standard Lefty line..

    It's all the Republicans fault.

    Democrats are as pure as the driven snow..

    {{{Yawn}}}

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