Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beck v. Olbermann on the debt ceiling extension compromise

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Not surprisingly, Glenn Beck expressed his opinion about the bipartisan compromise that was arrived at by Congress with input from the White House. This post is a transcript of his remarks followed, for balance, with a special comment offered on the same day by Keith Olbermann. Additional analysis is offered by Jim Harper and a perspective from the progressive blog, The People's View.

Via Glenn Beck's website:
Don’t be fooled. We’ve just been betrayed by Washington.
A deal on the debt ceiling is near and Washington still hasn’t gotten serious about the fundamentals. It hasn’t gotten serious about default. It certainly hasn’t gotten serious about the future. When Harry Reid hails a “bipartisan compromise” you know we’re doomed.
Republicans and Democrats have just negotiated away the future of our children behind closed doors. The big compromise on Capitol Hill features elaborate triggers, tranches, Hornswogglers, Snozzwangers, Super Duper Commissions that will make the Snozzberries taste like Snozeberries, and a whole bunch of other convoluted gibberish that will, no doubt, come with loopholes and create entire new bureaucracies. What it doesn’t do is fix the problem.
The fact is Moody’s has already warned us that no one has put a plan on the table that comes close to solving our long-term problem. Moody’s will downgrade us. This could happen tomorrow, in six months or maybe a year from now, but at some point in the near future it’s
going to happen. And it’s going to hurt. So we must be prepared.
Imagine your credit card’s interest rates constantly rising. Imagine high inflation eating away at your savings accounts, retirement funds and salary — if you’re lucky enough to have one these days. Imagine the interest rate on your mortgage rising and compounding until there was no hope of escaping debt. Imagine that fewer and fewer people are willing to lend you any money as your credit rating takes a dive.
Now imagine we’re talking about 15, 25, 100 trillion dollars and your Medicare, Social Security and Treasury bonds.
Those tanks and missiles Republicans say we need? No more. Those food stamps and green-energy boondoggles Democrats say we can’t live without? Forget it. We won’t be able to afford them. It won’t matter how many prime time speeches the president gives or how dangerous the
world gets. The unsustainable cost of irresponsible governance mean everyone loses.
Reactionary anger about the compromise
And by everyone, I mean the whole world.
Remember the saying: as Greece goes so goes the world? The United States economy constitutes around 25 percent of the world’s GDP. What happens to global economy when we default? Everyone will feel it. After all, who’s going to send billions in weapons to Egypt’s military regime to help it quell the “democratic” Arab street when we can’t even pay the janitors at the IRS office space?
So what is the point of all the drama in Washington? As best as I can tell most politicians are scared stiff that they might have to have a substantive debate about the debt ceiling during the election season. Other than that, we’re back where we started.
For one, any promise of future cuts is as about as rock solid as a politician’s word. Experience has taught us every year some “unprecedented” emergency will require us to spend hundreds of
billions, if not trillions, we don’t have to “fix.” Mark my words, the war (I’m sorry … “kinetic military action”) that no one even understands in Libya will expand and then all the promises forgotten.
It’s true that seven or eight months ago Democrats were still saying we needed another stimulus package and calling for new spending. Now, we’re not just talking about whether to cut but about how much to cut. And it’s great news that Washington has made significant progress in moving the Balanced Budget Amendment — the only real and lasting solution to this crisis. Nevertheless, the fact remains that this deal raises the debt limit by about $2.5 trillion dollars without making substantial and immediate cuts.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, in fact, explained that the first year of spending cut is $7 billion and when you consider that we deficit spend $4 billion a day, the real savings in the first year of this deal covers only two days of spending.
Promises mean nothing in Washington. We need genuine, transformational reform and real spending cuts today, not a strategic Republican victory. The time for political expediency is over.
Isn’t it curious that when Democrats wanted to push through a $1 trillion stimulus plan that enriched every social engineering project in the country they got it done? Isn’t it amazing that Democrats had the willpower to ram through health unpopular Obamacare which changed
our entire health care system without any compromise whatsoever?
Why can’t Republicans find a similar backbone? Why can’t they fight for the people who elected them? Are you telling me they can’t find significant waste and fraud in the Federal government right now?
The answer is simple.

You cannot spend more than you earn. You cannot run up the largest credit card bill in human history. You want more revenue? Stop chasing income earners overseas by threatening them with higher taxes, stop inflating their energy costs and stop punishing them with never-ending regulations. Mr President, put down your socialist mop! Stop with the Cloward and Piven floor wax.

And then balance the budget, cut back the spending and reform entitlements.
Two points have to be made about Beck's perspective on the President. First, Obama is not socialist. That deception from Beck/Fox "News" has been previously exposed here. Another perspective on that reactionary claim comes from former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Bruce Bartlett who believes that Obama is "a moderate conservative." Progressive academic and author of The Regressive Antidote, Micheal Green, claims that Obama is a corporate liberal. He adds that "to the extent [Obama] stands for anything, it is for maintenance of a status quo that continues to wreck the country in order to service the greed of a few oligarchs." Facebook activist and owner of scribillare, a technology and politics blog, John Iacovelli, believes that the President is "a Reaganite who believes in supply-side economics as it applies to job creation." If Obama has a "socialist mop," it is in Beck's imagination.

As for the "Clower and Piven floor wax," that too shows a lack of comprehension on Beck's part as previously exposed here. Briefly, the Clower and Piven theory was to overload the local social services with food stamp and welfare claims forcing the agencies to go bankrupt. Then, the federal government would step in, according to their theory, and establish a minimum standard of living for all Americans. Beck keeps applying this theory to the federal government, but there's no world government to come in a create justice or to bail out the United States. This misunderstanding is one of the reasons Beck is analyzed here as a charlatan. He simply makes up realities that do not actually exist.

For a counter perspective from the left, this is a special comment from Keith Olbermann. Via Current TV:
There, then, are two perspectives of people who reject this "compromise" for which Speaker John Boehner told CBS News that he got 98% of what he wanted; but did he get such a great deal? When people from both ends of the political spectrum dislike a compromise, "it's usually a good sign that it's the best possible compromise." That is according to graphic artist and progressive activist Jim Harper who added: is difficult to uncover whether it is a Democratic cave-in, or a Democrat's slight-of-hand when dealing with a Republican cave-man.
According to the progressive website, The People's View, Obama got the better half of this, pretty much as Beck argued above. On that site, in a piece entitled, "Paul Krugman is a Political Rookie: Or How Barack Obama Left John Boehner Holding the Teabag, Again,Deaniac83 wrote:
As it turns out, if you look at the details, the President essentially gave up almost nothing in the triggers. John Boehner, as usual, put himself between two triggers (three, if you count the clock ticking on the Bush tax cuts), both bad for his party. McConnell is basically trying to sell his surrender pig with a little lipstick on. And Boehner went dancing to his conservative House morons about how great this deal is for them. But then by now, we should all have learned that John Boehner is very bad at his job, and that President Obamaalways eats his lunch, and leaves him there holding the teabag.
The full rationale for that conclusion can be read on that site, but Deaniac83 seems to be missing Krugman's point. Again, from Olbermann's Countdown, he explains how the President has been boxed in by the Republicans on dealing with the economy. Go to Current TV by clicking on Klugman's picture:


Reactionaries like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who seek to undermine and destroy the welfare state, will likely embrace Glenn Beck's criticism of this bill while liberals and progressives are more likely to grasp the hypocrisies of which Olbermann spoke and the economic concerns of Krugman. The facts are that this compromise had something for everyone to dislike as Harper suggested. That is the nature of democratic order in a divided government. We have the government that the people voted for, i.e., divided. If Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and the Fox channel of right-wing propagandists end up getting their way, this compromise will be a relative utopia for working, middle class and elderly Americans. 

one term president?

Unless the American people realize that the U.S. government has a revenue problem from 30 years of irresponsible tax cuts on the wealthy, President Obama will continue to appear as a supply-side Reaganite; and the American people will suffer as a consequence of continued and exasperated plutocracy, i.e., government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy (corporations). When the wealthy will not spend and invest to get the economy moving again, the government normally can step in and stimulate it with spending on infrastructure and construction projects. Now that Obama has been "boxed in" by this agreement, unless there is a short term green energy boom or some other private stimulus to the economy, there could be a double dip recession or at best sluggish growth and a stalled economy. If that is the case, then the one who would end up moving is Barack Obama...out of the White House in 2013.

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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rain said...

The debt ceiling has been in the talks for a long time. They have to come up with the right solution.

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Thomas said...

Overstretching the debt ceiling again will just make our lawmakers more complacent regarding making a firm decision on our spending cuts. They are just using this to buy more time till their term ends.

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The Glenn Beck Review said...

Thomas, if we don't extend the debt ceiling, we'd likely crash the economy which would set back our ability to pay off our massive debt. When someone's term ends is moot! We need a comprehensive approach to raising taxes and cutting the costs of government while investing in our future.