throw a temper tantrum filibuster in order to force a debate on raising the debt ceiling. Yup.
He also claims that the Teabilly Caucus’s vote to raise the debt ceiling is contingent upon passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
Yup. A Balance Budget Amendment. The same one that Ezra Klein called “the worst idea in Washington” — that Balanced Budget Amendment:
Bruce Bartlett takes a look at the Balanced Budget Amendment all 47 Republicans signed their names to and pronounces it “quite possibly the stupidest constitutional amendment I think I have ever seen. It looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin.”
I think “stupid” is the wrong word. “Dangerous” is more like it. And maybe “radical.” This isn’t just a Balanced Budget Amendment. It also includes a provision saying that tax increases would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress — so, it includes a provision making it harder to balance the budget — and another saying that total spending couldn’t exceed 18 percent of GDP. No allowances are made for recessions, though allowances are made for wars. Not a single year of the Bush administration would qualify as constitutional under this amendment. Nor would a single year of the Reagan administration. The Clinton administration would’ve had exactly two years in which it wasn’t in violation.
Read that again: Every single Senate Republican has endorsed a constitutional amendment that would’ve made Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy unconstitutional. That’s how far to the right the modern GOP has swung.
But the problem isn’t simply that the proposed amendment is extreme. It’s also unworkable. The baby boomers are retiring and health costs are rising. Unless you have a way to stop one or the other from happening — and no one does — spending as a percentage of GDP is going to have to rise. This proposal doesn’t interrupt those trends. It simply refuses to acknowledge them — or, to be more generous, it rules them unconstitutional. This is the equivalent of trying to keep your kid cute by passing a law saying he’s not allowed to grow up.
Wait, I’m confused — Paul and the Teabillies will only vote to raise the debt ceiling if a Balanced Budget Amendment is passed? So, what, Paul is planning to scramble a Constitutional convention between now and August 2 (the day on which the debt shit is slated to go down)?
Or, or, or maybe he wants Obama to pinky swear that such an amendment will be passed at some point in the future if only Rand Paul and his Teabilly Cave-Dwellers will pretty please with a cherry on top raise the fucking debt ceiling, like right now.
My mind — she is reeling, but let me see if I’ve got this straight:
Eight years of Bush Dimwittery including two unpaid-for wars and unpaid-for tax cuts to rich muckity mucks turned a surplus into a deficit. Seven debt limit increases under Bush’s reign. The GOP steadfastly refuses to raise revenue through tax increases yet also refuses to cut the multi-billion dollar tax breaks to their buddies in the oil industry. Republicans and Teabillies are well aware of the global clusterfuck that will ensue should they decide to not raise the debt ceiling.
Still, they continue to clown around in the Congressional Funhouse, lurching hither and yon in their oversized shoes, stopping only to blow their fake rubber noses on the fabric of our lives — all in the name of fealty to Grover fucking Norquist.
And they’ve chosen Libertarian Nutbag Rand Paul as their ringleader. Fantastic:
Senator Paul has been a leading proponent of adding an amendment to the Constitution mandating a balanced budget, like many states. But some Senator Paul’s proposals go beyond a balanced budget requirement and include spending caps and significant spending cuts.
Senator Paul said he is not opposed to all tax increases. He pointed to the Senate vote on removing ethanol subsidies, but said broader reform with lower overall tax brackets are necessary. “We’re more than willing to look at the tax code,” he said.
Senator Paul said he supports means-testing for entitlement benefits, which would determine the level of Social Security and Medicare benefits received based on a recipients income. “I think this would please the Democrats,” he said. The Democratic Party has not endorsed means-testing, which would reduce benefits for some.
Senator Paul, founder of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, said on Newsmakers that President Obama is showing “disdain” for the Constitution and is “manipulating” facts.
Just in case your head has not yet exploded, here is the final brick of stupid in the Teabilly Wall of Insanity:
[Paul] praised the lawmakers associated with the Tea Party. “We’re controlling the debate,” he said. “We’re still losing most of the legislative battles, but we’re shaping the debate. “
Get it? They are losing but they are still winning! (Somebody call Charlie Sheen.)
Yesterday, one of my best friends who is a chef in New Zealand said I should move my money into Chinese, Australian, or New Zealand currency. I laughed at him.
Then this morning, I read about Rand Paul’s nonsense.
Who’s laughing now?
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