The Debt Deal: Ron Johnson

By YeOldeScribe ~ August 28th, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

Okay, we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve been quite hard on members of the Tea Party over the last week. We’ve called them “Tea Baggers”, blamed them for two major governmental crises, and essentially deemed them the worst thing to happen to government since the Pauls (who also happen to be Tea Baggers). Maybe some of you are thinking that we’ve been unfair to them. Let’s settle this by examining one Tea Bagger’s response to the Budget Control Act, which passed through the Senate on a 74-26 vote, in which 60 votes were needed to pass.

While Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has never called himself an official Tea Bagger, it’s quite clear he is one. First, if you have any doubts after reading his statement (which we’ll share with you in a moment), then you might need to take another look at the Tea Party’s core beliefs. Second, Johnson accepted money from Tea Bagging organizations, and many Tea Bagging PAC’s ran commercials in his favor.

To start off, we’ll give you Mr. Johnson’s statement unabridged, then we’ll add in our commentary.

“After reviewing the Budget Control Act of 2011, I have decided to vote against its passage.  Although this bill represents the first time any future spending limitations have been attached to an increase in the debt ceiling, the limitations contained in the bill fall far short of serious budget reform.

President Obama requested a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.  To put that amount in perspective, it took over 200 years for America to incur that level of debt – from our nation’s founding to September 30, 1987.  Because of President Obama’s out-of-control spending, his $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase will only last until March 2013.   At that time, our total debt will be $16.7 trillion – about the same size as the entire U.S. economy.  Our debt to GDP ratio will be 100 percent.  This is a key measure that signals very real financial danger.

Unfortunately, President Obama and his Democrat allies in the Senate refuse to acknowledge this danger by agreeing to serious reforms.  Instead, the Budget Control Act will only reduce spending in the first year by $21 billion (0.6 percent of the total budget, and less than 1 percent of the increase in the debt ceiling).  The total amount of deficit reduction is $1.6 trillion less than the rating agencies indicated would be required to prevent a downgrade in the U.S. debt rating.

Last November, the American people sent a very clear message to Washington to get America’s fiscal house in order.  The fact that we are debating how to reduce the growth of government is a good thing, and the Budget Control Act is a step in the right direction.  But it is simply inadequate, and my ‘no’ vote is my way of acknowledging that we simply must do more.”

Oh, Ron, why do we hate you so? Let us count the lies…

“The limitations contained in the bill fall far short of serious budget reform.”

Lie. The bill is required to generate more monies for spending cuts than money put into raising the debt ceiling. As Johnson himself notes, that’s the first time that any requirement has been put on raising the debt ceiling, much less one so drastic as that. It also creates a “super-committee” to make recommendations on budget cuts and how to eliminate wasteful spending, something else that has never happened before. Even in his very first paragraph, Johnson is already contradicting himself. A great start, Ron…

“Because of President Obama’s out-of-control spending, his $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase will only last until March 2013.”

Lie. Obama’s so-called out of control spending has very little to do with the debt ceiling needing to be raised. Republicans are so quick to forget that not only did they go start a war that they had no way of paying for, they also made changes to Medicare that were so damaging they make the PPACA’s worst-case scenarios look like a drop in the bucket. And, have we forgotten that the PPACA actually helps bring in money? The only way the PPACA costs taxpayers money is if it’s repealed. For right now, it’s part of the solution. Johnson attempts to point the finger at Obama and the Democrats, but in doing so he ends up pointing three fingers back at himself.

” Our debt to GDP ratio will be 100 percent.  This is a key measure that signals very real financial danger.”

Lie. What do France, Germany, and Japan have in common? They all have higher debt to GDP ratios than America. Take a closer look at Japan – one of the world’s major economic superpowers. They have a debt to GDP ratio approaching 200%, and yet their country still manages to function on the global scale despite the fact that it was devastated by an earthquake/tsunami combo. That indicator isn’t a “key measure” at all.

“Unfortunately, President Obama and his Democrat allies in the Senate refuse to acknowledge this danger by agreeing to serious reforms.”

Lie. See the first statement for this explanation; it uses the same logic.

“Instead, the Budget Control Act will only reduce spending in the first year by $21 billion…”

Mis-truth. It’s not an outright lie – for FY 2012, only $21 billion in cuts are required. But don’t forget, the super-committee that’s created is going to look for things to cut, and the FY 2012 budget will be an excellent place for them to start looking. Chances are very good – almost 100% – that more than $21 billion will be cut in 2012. And, this statement makes it sound like the President is getting trillions of dollars for only $21 billion in cuts, and that’s a gross misrepresentation of what the bill actually does.

“The total amount of deficit reduction is $1.6 trillion less than the rating agencies indicated would be required to prevent a downgrade in the U.S. debt rating.”

Lie. First, there’s no way Ron Johnson could have known the exact number at which the economy wouldn’t be downgraded for a variety of reasons, one being that he doesn’t work for S&P nor is he privy to their information, and the second being that such a number did not exist. The reason for the downgrade was not that too little money was promised in cuts, it was because assholes like Johnson dragged such a simple procedure out that investors were seriously freaked out that the US would fail to reach a compromise and default.

“…the Budget Control Act is a step in the right direction.  But it is simply inadequate, and my ‘no’ vote is my way of acknowledging that we simply must do more.”

This isn’t so much a lie as it is the dumbest thing we’ve heard in politics since Dan “potatoe” Quayle left office. So complete financial oblivion and economic meltdown on a scale unseen in American politics was a better idea than getting 95% of what you wanted? Keep in mind, there are no tax increases in this proposal, and the Repubs will fight to the death to make sure Americans who earn over $250,000 (or more than ten times what our writer was making when he was working full time before he got laid off due to the economy tanking) don’t have to pay a cent of taxes. In fact, that 95% statistic is crap. The Republicans got everything they wanted. They’re bitching because they didn’t get more of what they wanted. It’s like if you went in to Perkins and ordered a slice of pie, and they brought you two slices of that gigantic chocolate silk and peanut butter pie with sprinklers shooting out of them and a Coke, and you complained because you didn’t get a whole pie with bottle rockets instead (and a liter of Cola instead of the large Coke). It defies description how absolutely pig-headed the Tea Baggers are being that they would throw America under their bus just to get re-elected.

Shame on them. Shame on every single person (Democrats included) who voted against this legislation. Shame on Ron Johnson for once again proving that the only reason he belongs in a Senate office would be if he was cleaning it (and even then he should really be supervised by a parent or legal guardian).

But most of all, shame on America for electing these complete idiots into office. Do you see what you have done now? Do you see how stupid these people are? Do you see that they don’t give a shit about you or your plight or America? You have a voice, and that voice needs to be heard. Don’t wait until next November to use it. (Although do be sure you use it then, too.)

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