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Letter: Negotiation is part of balancing federal budget

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Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:00 am

I read with fascination the recent letter which concluded that Republicans are the genetic inheritors of Neanderthal DNA, which according to the author means Republicans are something-ER-other less than Democrats. This witless argument was repeated so many times; presumably to convince us the author was clever, or perhaps to let us know he read some old copy of Science magazine.

The basis for his third-grade comparison was “the Republicans shut down government, and were criminal, ignorant or stupid” or some combination thereof.

Let’s apply a little logic and some fact. I will go slowly so the author of that letter has a chance of understanding.

Each time a budget is considered and developed at the federal level, there are fights, discussions and negotiations about how much money will be appropriated for the myriad programs and obligations which have been authorized by previous law. Every budget deals with the issue of how much to spend on things; it’s not a short process whereby we fund everything.

For example, when the Army Corps of Engineers’ money is appropriated, the Congress decides how much of the programs it conducts will be funded, not how fast to fund everything. Thus, the “battle” over funding Obamacare was just one of innumerable fights over how much funding will be authorized. This is how it works every time.

In this instance, the Republicans didn’t want to fund any Obamacare, and the Democrats wanted to fund it all. Disagreement, not irrational positions.

During the fight, one side said, “We won’t fund something but we will fund other things.” The other side said, “We won’t negotiate anything any time; you must fund everything.” Now the former position is what occurred in the last 200 years of budget battles and the latter is what has never occurred before — ever. The result: Those who advocated negotiating how much to spend were accused of shutting down the government, but the people who said “no negotiating” weren’t.

Now, we weren’t suddenly transported into the Bizarro World, but “yes” the side who advocated negotiation was labeled “unreasonable” and “ignorant.” Keen analysis, nez pas?

Actually, every day the government is shut down is one less day of mischief.

John Herrick


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:41 am on Wed, Oct 30, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865

    John Lucas stated:

    You see if you can find any of the Liberals on MSNBC in an out and out lie. The times they do get something wrong they correct it. I will wait and if you do happen to find one I will get 10 from the same day from the conservative media.

    -And I'm waiting for you to understand what a lie really is. As of now you only consider what Obama has said as only he just Misspoke. And frankly, I'm surprised you haven't called me a racist because I don't agree with Obamacare. Perhaps you've finally see the light that it just doesn't work anymore because blacks are turning on Obama even more now that Obamacare is a complete disaster.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 5:17 pm on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    "They knowingly lie at will because they know their base has been shown in study after study to "bee" the least informed of all Americans"

    “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people… If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
    “Here is a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 1:58 pm on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Americans across the country ARE being informed that their existing health care plans are being canceled because of...

    “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA)"

     P.S. The White House has now admitted that “it’s true” some Americans will not be able to keep their health care plan under Obamacare.

  • John Lucas posted at 10:58 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Did Obamacare take away those insurance plans? No, the insurance companies withdrew those plans. Some of those plans had to be dropped because they were junk insurance and did not meet standards. Every year insurance companies withdraw plans and did so before Obamacare. If this is the worst complaint against Obamacare you got you are in trouble.

    BTW Obamacare is here to stay and in the end it is going to dramatically lower health care costs in this country because now millions will now have preventive care and will be able to see a doctor when they are sick (I know you really hate that, right?) Why do I know that? It is because that happened in the dozens of countries where this is done. Why don't you quit watching Fox News and do a little investigation on the internet and see how the rest of the rich countries do it. You will find out that this is true. You will not do that because you are a Conservative. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary it cannot be true for you because it contradicts your ideology. The very definition of "Truthiness". People with integrity seek the truth even if it goes against their ideology. I got bad news for you Brian. What I said is true. It is not because I am a Liberal or I said it. It is true because it is a demonstrable fact that can be logically explained and the experience of those countries who did it(It is call an experiment) proves. No matter how much you want to bend reality to your ideology it will not happen except in your head. Out here in reality it is the truth.

  • John Lucas posted at 10:38 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I tell you what strikes me. It is your silly idea that facts have anything to do with ideology. A fact stands alone. It can be used to support an ideology but it stands alone.

    You have just stated the biggest whopper you have ever said on these pages when you say that today's so-called Conservatives hold themselves accountable while Liberals do not. I just gave you one example of your hero, that lying hypocrite Sean Hannity, telling blatant lies on national television and never coming clean about it. I could recite page after page of this happening over and over again. From Rush Limbaugh to anyone on Fox News to Newsmax etc this is not something out of the ordinary but a daily occurrence and on Fox News or rush Limbaugh an hourly happening. I tell you what I will do. You see if you can find any of the Liberals on MSNBC in an out and out lie. The times they do get something wrong they correct it. I will wait and if you do happen to find one I will get 10 from the same day from the conservative media.

    The real problem it todays political world is not the difference in ideas. Among honorable men they can be debated and fought over. The problem is that today's so-called Conservatives have no conception of the word integrity. It has gotten so bad they do not even pretend anymore. They knowingly lie at will because they know their base has been shown in study after study to bee the least informed of all Americans. This is the result of years of the Rush Limbaugh and Fox news drilling nonsense into their heads.

    I think this angers me because I grew up in a different time. None of us have perfect integrity. It is something we learned growing is something we strive for. Todays so-called Conservatives could not care less about honor. They could not get elected to anything in those days. It is only in todays world that blatant liars can get traction. Honor used to count for something

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 9:37 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    How many times must I point out that I'm not helplessly stuck in the false left/right paradigm like yourselves?

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:31 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865


    We know you're not going to hold Obama accountable for lying to America when he said he said we could keep our insurance and our doctors. Nor are you going to admit Obama knew well before Obamacare became law he knew it just wasn't the case. Just like so many other situations, he was reading from talking points. He's not the first President to read from talking points that are misleading and untruthful. But we all know you believe Obama would never do such a thing.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:35 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865


    What strikes me is your demonstration of exactly what you accuse Conservatives of being. You have a long track record of dissmissing people, and it's not always Conservatives, because the facts they present don't support your ideology. This is a big problem you and many other Liberals have. It's called "Projection". Not that Conservatives don't project. The difference is they almost always hold themselves accountable. Liberals, on the other hand, almost never hold themselves accountable. One of their explanations tends to be: There's no need to.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:49 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488


  • John Lucas posted at 2:48 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Brian, you have to understand what passes as "Conservative" today is really just radical ideologues. They are so wedded to their insane ideology that they believe in what Steven Colbert so brilliantly described as "Truthiness". Whether it is Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or most of the so-called Conservatives on this forum if the facts do not support their ideology they dismiss them out of hand. It has to "feel" like the truth. Liberals, on the other hand, have to live by the basic tenet of Liberalism that argument must be based on factual and provable parts. I will give you an example. That lying rabid ideologue Sean Hannitty had four people on his show who said that Obamacare had hurt them in various ways. When a real reporter( by definition not from Fox News) hunted these people down and went over their story it was found that Obamacare would help substantially three of them and it was unclear on the forth. Did the lying ideologue Hannity come out and retract the lies he presented on his previous show? Of course not for that would require integrity. He does not have any and being factual is not needed when presenting propaganda to people foolish enough to believe his nonsense.

  • John Lucas posted at 2:24 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Brian, please tell us what reasonable solutions the Tea Party nuts offered the President. As usual you only tell half the story, When you make outrageous demands and they are turned down you do not get credit for negotiating in good faith. You get called out for what you are. Radical extremists

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:22 am on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865

    Mr. Lucas,

    Maybe if you went a little slower you could get YOUR facts straight. Instead of regurgitating what the liberal media has been saying. Try digging a little deeper and you'll find the GOP met with Obama on several occasions with solutions to prevent the shut down. He refused to implement them.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:08 am on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865

    Ms. Bobbin,

    He's just the typical Conservative. That being ,they tow their party line. However, unlike Liberals, they have no problem holding those in their party accountable when the situation arises. It's been a long time, if ever, I have seen you make sentiments about Liberals failures or fault them.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 7:15 pm on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    It's not about party politics.

  • John Lucas posted at 2:59 pm on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:00 pm on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    OK - just who ARE you and what have you done with Andrew Liebich?

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 7:23 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Republicans continually paint the GOP as the party of fiscal responsibility, while decrying the Democrats for wanting to tax and spend. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Going back 30 years, the national debt has risen at a shocking pace. During the Reagan Administration, the United States ran a cumulative budget deficit of $1.87 trillion over 8 years. During Bush Sr’s single term, debt skyrocketed an additional $1.48 trillion. During Clinton’s two terms, the United States added another $1.42 trillion to the national credit card – and as high as those numbers may seem, are nothing compared to the $6.11 trillion during Dubya’s 8 years or the $6.06 trillion in Obama’s first 4 and a half years (projecting 8 full years of President Obama is just depressing, from a fiscal standpoint). Of course, the President isn’t solely responsible for the budget (or, these days, Continuing Resolutions), so let’s look at the makeup of Congress during the same time frame. Of the 16 Congresses since Reagan’s first Administration, we have seen 11 instances in which the same party controlled both Houses of Congress, and only 5 in which they did not. Of the 11 cases where the same party controlled both the House and the Senate, the Democrats were in control for 6 2 year terms, and Republicans for 5 2 year terms. And, although there was more than one 2 year cycle in which the “fiscally responsible” GOP controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House, the deficit continued to rise in those years.
    The only consistency that can be drawn from this is that no matter which Party controlled the White House or Congress from the start of the Reagan Administration to today, with only 1 exception (2010, where spending was reduced by a paltry $100, only to rise again in 2011), federal spending increased every single year. Adjusted for inflation, there were only 3 exceptions to this ever-increasing cycle of federal spending (the aforementioned 2010, as well as 1987 and 1993, and in each case the spending reduction was less than $60 billion in adjusted dollars). While it can easily be stated that the Democrats are the party of “Tax and Spend,” it’s equally obvious that the GOP is not the party of fiscal responsibility.

  • John Lucas posted at 4:44 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Obamacare was already funded. The Tea party nuts wanted to defund it. Again it is one thing for two sides to have different positions and seek to negotiate a settlement but it quite another for one side to say if you do not accept our side we are going to shut down the government and blow up the economy by not raising the debt limit as a condition. This is called extortion. The Tea party nuts deliberately shut down the government and not only admitted it but celebrated when it happened.Your idea that the Democrats shut wanted to and did shut down the government is demonstrably false. A vast majority does not buy your nonsense. Maybe if you went a little slower you could get your facts straight.


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