Obama Pushes Congress to Avoid Shutdown

It sounds tense in Washington. Can President Obama convince Congress to avoid a shutdown? He's trying.

Or will the Republicans in Congress just let the country fall apart?

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    Wait...the Republicans are (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:32:19 PM EST
    going to let the country fall apart?  These people weren't even in power in the Congress until three months ago, for heaven's sake.  They only hold one house of Congress and they don't hold the White House.

    Obama and the Dems have had two friggin' years to avoid being in this position, so if there's any falling apart going on, I think they bear a great deal of the responsibility for it.

    It's such a bogus crisis; with leadership from legislators who actually have a grasp of monetary theory and economics, the public could have been well-educated about the dangers of austerity, and the real goals of the Republicans exposed.

    But...no.  Because it seems the Dems have the same goals: kill the only parts of government that actually help people.  Leave those people out to dry, to fend for themselves.  Call it "sacrifice."  Protect the wealthy no matter what.  Do it slower, make it seem like the Dems are the sane alternative, the good cop, to the Republicans' crazy, bad cop.  But get to the same place and try to make people feel like the Dems saved them from a greater evil.

    No, sorry, Jeralyn; the "falling apart" has been going on for well on two years now, under the direction of this "Democratic" president, and with the willing participation of Democratic members of the Congress.

    No sorry, Anne (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:56:54 PM EST
    The "falling apart" has been going on for well over thirty years now, under the direction of  Republican and Democratic presidents, and with the willing participation of Democratic members of the Congress and a shortsighted electorate (adequately represented in this blog) that cannot see beyond the end of their nose.

    Acceleration (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 11:18:23 AM EST
    Your point is absolutely true, but the reality is that the longer it goes on, the more steam it gathers, the worse it gets.  And the difference between Repubs and Dems grows narrower and narrower, and not because they are coming to the middle to meet (which itself wouldn't be optimal). Our "leaders" have been moving to the right, and that shift is quickening.  And there is no one to check it but masses in the streets at this point -- and that, I fear, is what we are headed for from coast to coast.  It is only a matter of time.  And yet, the powers that be here have been very adept at averting their own destruction by mob through buying off just enough of the populace to get it done.  I'm not sure they can keep doing it much longer, though I have no doubt we will first see the mass of Americans hurling their anger at each other rather than at those in power who deserve it.

    I'd also ask if you consder yourself... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 11:21:19 AM EST
    ...as part of the "shortsighted electorate?"

    Let me explain, Dadler (none / 0) (#67)
    by Politalkix on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 09:04:05 AM EST
    I will be the first to tell you that even though I have been more supportive of the BHO administration than the majority of people here, I disagree strongly and am quite angry about the following
    (1)its decision to extend the Bush tax cuts to the rich that is harming our countries ability to invest in infrastructure and job creation.
    (2) not bringing to justice the banksters who brought about the financial collapse.
    (3) its general coziness to big money donors.

    However, many people here refuse to accept the fact that the Democratic Party's relationship with banksters was as cozy during the Clinton years; many of them fail to realize that the Clinton Presidency policies of deregulation in the financial sector and its reliance on people like Greenspan, Rubin, etc contributed to the mess that we are in. The Clinton administration sold people a dream about growing an economy through borrowing beyond one's means, home construction and related service industry, daytrading, offshoring, sueing each other and Hollywood. These kinds of policies could not really sustain an economy in the long run, you now have the evidence that it could not. However, how many of you are willing to come out and say that a lot of problems that we face now have their origins in earlier decades (including the time of the Clinton Presidency)?
    The electorate is not powerless and politicians do listen to them. We got to where we are now because
    (1) the left fought amongst itself in 1968, 1972 and 1980.
    (2) the non college educated white in this country thought that they had more in common (regarding economic interests) with the super rich than with African-Americans or Hispanics.
    (3) the inability of public and private sector unions to articulate a common and coherent vision for the middle class. Public sector unions stood by when private sector unions got dismantled and jobs got offshored. Now many in the lower middle class that are employed in the private sector think that many of the demands by public sector union workers are not justified because people in the private sector gave up those benefits long ago.
    (4) Many union workers seem to be more exercised about issues relating to guns, gays, religion, race and wars than simple economics in the last 30 years. Remember, even in 2008, Barack Obama got just 61% of union votes.
    (5) The seniors that most people seem to care about here, voted heavily for Reaganomics when they were younger. Seniors have voted heavily in favor of Republicans in 2008 and in 2010 (even when Republican economic policies are economically destructive). When this is the case, why would any Democratic administration feel that they have to move to the economic left to help seniors out as some of you keep suggesting and not give them economic conservatism which they seem to like (based on election results).


    Wasn't talking 'bout Obama (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 03:08:53 AM EST
    I was referring to "Democrats" vs Republicans.

    And, you don't see me defending, nor promoting, Obama or those calling themselves Democrats today.

    But I'd appreciate a serious answer to a serious question: Why didn't deficits matter when Reagan & Bush were Pres?

    Probably because (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:00:44 AM EST
    It's a matter of size. Under Obama and the Democrats... I don't split'em.... the deficit has gone from around $8.5 trillion to around $13.5 Trillion..

    And, in reality (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 04:58:42 PM EST
    only the "health care" expenses can be attributed to Obama; the financial expenses were because of the barrel of camel dung he inherited from the "conservative" GWB.

       But, like all these phony issues, we Democrats come out looking like a bunch of naive, clueless bobble heads. The very first thing necessary in any negotiation process is for both sides to deal in Good Faith." Why would you expect any kind of reasonable outcome when the Republicans sit down having "Lying through your teeth" as their main negotiating weapon?

    Now, if the Democrats began negotiations with the public proclamation: "the the Republicans don't want to "fix" anything, they want to Destroy our society as we've known it, and turn our Government over to Wall Street," then, at least, we'd know they had their eyes open.

    Again, why we always let them frame the issues leaving us looking like frightened children scrambling after them crying, but, but, but, is beyond me.

    Republicans are being totally unreasonable (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 06:43:48 PM EST
    I think the Republicans will soon regret that the Tea Party ever came into existence.

    Atrios has a great comment today (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:53:36 PM EST
    To paraphrase, who is going to tell the tea party that Paul Ryan just proposed replacing Medicare with Obamacare for all?

    Imagine how much more coherent (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:56:08 PM EST
    the Democrats could be today if healthcare reform had simply been Medicare for all.

    Ryan still wants to privatize Medicare, which is an awful idea. But you have to ask Democrats why it's bad for seniors and Jesuscare for everyone else.


    its not that complex (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:39:28 PM EST
    one went from zero coverage to marginal coverage, the other from good coverage to marginal coverage. Not to mention the fact that its dramatically cheaper for people under 65 to get private health insurance than it is for those over 65 to do the same- seriously, try and get a quote for a 65 year old male from one of the online Quote mills.

    Yup - but right now I'd rather ask (none / 0) (#55)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 02:43:02 PM EST
    Ryan why he is attempting to repeal the new HCR for everyone else, but pushing seniors into it.

    Wee bit of hyperbole (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:03:55 PM EST
    A couple of weeks of a shutdown in the 1990's didn't make the country fall apart.  And the Democrats could just as easily make a few billion more in cuts for the 2011 budget given the trillion dollar plus deficit.

    one year of the pentagon budget (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Edger on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:09:10 PM EST
    would take care of most of that deficit

    And one year of the rich actually paying (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by shoephone on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 10:40:00 PM EST
    what they ought to would amount to another $70 billion in revenues. If Obama hadn't made the unconscionable deal on tax breaks then nobody would even be entertaining the idea of a government shutdown.

    From the November election (none / 0) (#34)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 11:11:33 PM EST
    the shutdown has been expected and discussed in many national papers. It has always been a principal road bump before the next debt ceiling issue and the 2012 budget.

    Meant to also say (none / 0) (#36)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 11:15:33 PM EST
    that, of course, it would have been far better for the deficit situation if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy had been allowed to expire. But, that never was the point with the Repubs...the bigger picture always had to do with reengineering government structure/process starting with their original threat last fall to shut down the government.

    No, the real point is that (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 01:51:19 AM EST
    if the tax cuts had not been extended, and the extra $70 billion in revenues had been opened up, the congress wouldn't need to be engaged in the fallacious arguments over whether to cut spending by $33 billion, or $ $61 billion. The GOP would not have the argument to make in the first place. Of course, all budget arguments aside, it's really a matter of Democrats showing some cajones by making mincemeat of GOP policy to begin with. And, therein, lies the proverbial rub. The Dems don't know how to frame a message to save their arses.

    At this juncture, the GOP has managed to make the Democrats look weak, at least in the mainstream media. And Joe and Jane voter from Ohio watch mainstream media like ABC News; they don't read Brad Delong, and they think Krugman's a commie. If a shutdown does happen, I won't be at all surprised if Joe and Jane from Ohio blame the Democrats.


    Geeee (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:07:20 PM EST
    The Repubs want to reduce the budget a whopping 2.6%.


    I am underwhelmed.

    "Reduce.....". (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:54:05 PM EST
    when a Democrat's in the White House.

    But, when Ravenous Ronnie & Gorging George squatted there, raping, looting, and plundering our Treasury like a pack of rabid, rapacious hyaenas.............


    your heroes have convinced you that "truth" is a Liberal Plot, so I guess your comment makes sense.


    Re: Republican on a deficit, past tense (none / 0) (#27)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 09:35:21 PM EST

    O'Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush's economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency.

    O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

    Click or #$%(*@! Me


    Evidently the Demos and (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 10:29:42 PM EST
    Obama agree with Cheney.

    About Reagan proving that (none / 0) (#35)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 11:12:12 PM EST
    deficits didn't matter?

    Who knew?



    The "2.6%" is an overall ... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:02:24 AM EST
    ... number.  The Repubs aren't proposing any cuts in the largest parts of the budget pie (SS, defense, etc.).  They're proposing much larger cuts in other areas (EPA, NASA, international aid, job-training, NIH, CDC, etc.).

    Wouldn't want anyone to think a "social liberal" is trying to mislead anyone by using Republican talking points ...


    Point of information: Social Security (none / 0) (#56)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 03:45:26 PM EST
     has nothing, nothing, to do with the deficit. Money for SS does not come out of the general fund. SS has its own dedicated revenue stream. The only reason to propose cuts to SS is to destroy SS. Cutting it will have no effect on the deficit.

    Defense, OTOH, sucks up a whole lot of the budget. Let's not forget that the three primary reasons we have this deficit now are the Bush-Obama tax cuts, the Iraq War and the Af-Pak War. Yes, other things, like the Great Recession, have exacerbated the deficit problem, but those three are the big ones.


    Repubs (none / 0) (#5)
    by star on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:10:08 PM EST
    Control 1/2 of 1/3rd of the government and yet THEY are holding the rest of the administration Hostile????

    the tyranny (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:17:24 PM EST
    of the minority.

    It's that old Constitution thingee (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:37:46 PM EST
    I'd hardly call (none / 0) (#28)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 09:40:56 PM EST
    the threat to take one's ball and go home reaching to the level of Constitutional, it's certainly not unConstitutional, merely extremely unwise.  



    Actually it is the Demos who (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 10:27:04 PM EST
    failed to pass a budget when they had majorities in both houses and Obama in the WH.

    Now they are threatening to let shut it down because the evileeeeeee Repubs want to cut spending 2.6%.

    Wow. The strain. The sacrifice.

    The hypocrisy.


    Beware of Republican promises (none / 0) (#33)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 11:11:22 PM EST

    The Republicans Pledge to America that they will strengthen our national defense while offering nothing substantive or truly game-changing other than the embarrassingly useless suggestion to fund a missile defense program. Hey Boehner, it's 2010. The Cold War is over. We're fighting a different kind of enemy now. Or didn't you get the memo?

    True Leadership

    If Boehner, Cantor, and company don't really want to lead the GOP, as they have made abundantly clear in their lame attempt at Republican solidarity, which they are pawning off as a Pledge to America, then I invite them to add a provision to their pledge that Congressman Ron Paul will be nominated for Speaker of the House after the Republicans sweep to victory this November.

    Then at least, they can blame the House agenda on him and get through the real reforms this country needs with their lack of integrity or boldness still intact.

    Click or Daily Caller Me


    It's the Demos (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:03:22 AM EST
    who can't stand the thought of cutting a whopping 2.6%.....

    Golly gee, Sgt Reid, we gonna get us some shut down?


    And where did you get the 2.6% figure? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 08:18:14 AM EST
    heh (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:32:29 PM EST
    The 1/2 of 1/3 line (none / 0) (#18)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:37:19 PM EST
    ...that's the Boehner line, as I recall?!? Cute.

    Its that whole (none / 0) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:40:57 PM EST
    Congress has the power of the purse thing- oh and if you want to be honest about it the GOP has had control of at least 1/3 of the 3 parts of the government for a while now given the GOP dominance of the SC since the late 80s early 90s.

    shut down (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:16:17 PM EST
    iraq & afghanistan, there's your deficit. of course, actual economics never enters the heads of good republicans/tea baggers.

    Hmmm ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:36:31 PM EST
    It sounds tense in Washington. Can President Obama convince Congress to avoid a shutdown? He's trying.

    Or will the Republicans in Congress just let the country fall apart?

    Isn't this narration from the end of an episode of Batman?

    I said months ago (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:48:56 PM EST
    that the Republican base would insist on a government shutdown. I don't think the Orange Jerk wants to do it, but his hands may be tied by the shear audaciousness of the cuts he feels compelled to insist on.

    Wel (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:59:06 PM EST
    that worked so well for them last time didn't it? Of course, this time we're dealing with Obama so I guess they know their odds are better.

    I'm hearing inklings of a fight (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:00:14 PM EST
    from the White House today. That's a good sign.

    Of course, the whole "we offered $30B in cuts!" part isn't very hopeful.


    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:03:03 PM EST
    completely lost control of the argument and lost the debate on spending and tax policy when he did "the deal". He really painted himself in a corner on this. I wouldn't be surprised if the GOP got everything they wanted.

    God I love how the deal (none / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:44:49 PM EST
    is this huge mistep (despite it allowing START and the repeal of yet another one of Clinton's sellouts--DADT)-- yet rolling on entitlements is just good politics (at least when those entitlements are for the poor- if Obama sold out Medicaid I can only assume you'd applaud his deft touch considering your rationalization of Clinton doing the same for Welfare).

    LOL (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:25:47 AM EST
    Obama was actively working behind the scenes to kill DADT. Gillibrand took the lead on that.

    Obama is proposing privatizing social security.

    If welfare reform is the only argument you have then it's a pretty weak one.

    Obama's biggest problem is that he's a wimp.


    Oh, please (none / 0) (#51)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:09:58 AM EST
    ... despite it allowing START and the repeal of yet another one of Clinton's sellouts--DADT

    Maybee you weren't around in the early 90's, but Clinton tried to repeal the ban and paid a heavy price in doing so at a time when everyone (Congress, DOD, the American public) strongly opposed repeal.  DADT was an ugly, but necessary compromise.  By the time Obama entered office, Congress, the DOD and almost 80% of the public favored repealing the ban, yet you use it as an excuse for the Deal.

    Not for anyone old enough to remember the biggest differences between '93 and '09.


    It does do a deft bit of co-opting (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:45:57 PM EST
    if they play it right- "We met the GOPs intial cuts goal, then the unreasonable idealogues on the right screwed us).

    oh,please get real. (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:52:30 PM EST
    Saying he already caved, so please dont hurt him only invites more hostage taking

    I'm not saying its great policy (none / 0) (#26)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:59:22 PM EST
    but politically its a lot like Clinton caving on Welfare in order to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security- horrible policy but good political positioning.

    How is (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:28:38 AM EST
    it caving IF you campaigned on welfare reform? You are comparing apples and oranges. Obama campaigned on NOT extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and then caved on it. Clinton campaigned on welfare reform and then signed it after he promised to do it. So that's NOT caving.

    Obama has done way less for the poor in this country than Clinton ever did. So if you really cared about the poor in this country then you should really be mad at Obama.


    And, one of the things (none / 0) (#58)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 05:10:28 PM EST
    B. Clinton was most proud of was the very real increase in the standard of living enjoyed by the poor/middle class as a result of the policies passed during his Presidency.

    His mantra was, "a rising tide lifts all boats." And, I believe, he proved that good campaigning and good governing are not mutually exclusive.


    It seems to me (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 08:44:47 PM EST
    that a number of you who seek "welfare" now, cheered Bill Clinton when he took away "welfare" from others. Amazing!

    That's the great thing ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 08:59:55 PM EST
    It seems to me ...

    ... about that qualifier.  You can follow it with pretty much any conclusion and it can't be disproven, no matter how silly, baseless, fact-free, etc., etc. ...


    You really shouldn't (none / 0) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:07:31 PM EST
    confuse hypocrisy with knowledge, facts, and circumstances.

    Your comment was, respectfully, ridiculous.


    So, Obama's actions are similar to (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by observed on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:31:33 AM EST
    those of Clinton, whom you loathe.
    Exactly how is this a defense?
    It sounds to me like you are condemning Obama in your strongest possible terms.

    Clinton didn't "cave" ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 08:47:55 AM EST
    ... on welfare reform.  In fact, he campaigned on it, and did precisely what he promised to do.


    Not so much ...


    Obama campaigned on hope and change. (none / 0) (#49)
    by observed on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:01:45 AM EST
    He's given us a lot of the latter, and the way he has done so has left me with only the former for comfort.

    Not sure how that changes the odds (none / 0) (#21)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:42:38 PM EST
    I mean Obama seems at least as able as Clinton in spinning congress and the press- the main difference is that Obama can't cave on entitlements in the same way Clinton did since the Elderly vote a lot more consistently than the poor.

    Obama (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 12:22:09 PM EST
    is terrible at spinning the press. Actually Obama is much more willing and able to "cave" and has repeatedly done so already. Obama is the one who has been promoting the idea that "social security is in crisis" which Clinton never really did.

    Thread cleaned (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 11:00:30 PM EST
    of typical spat between Jim and Harry. Both will be put in time out if they keep it up. And a long comment by Harry reprinting a post printed elsewhere was deleted. This space is for comments, not reprinting the work of others. A paragraph or two short ones is fine to quote with attribution. More is not allowed.