The Economist: “The Republicans are playing a cynical political game. SHAME ON THEM”


IN THREE weeks, if there is no political deal, the American government will go into default. Not, one must pray, on its sovereign debt. But the country will have to stop paying someone: perhaps pensioners, or government suppliers, or soldiers. That would be damaging enough at a time of economic fragility. And the longer such a default went on, the greater the risk of provoking a genuine bond crisis would become.


This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.

And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look. Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.

Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans. Independent voters should take note.

76 thoughts on “The Economist: “The Republicans are playing a cynical political game. SHAME ON THEM”

  1. Wow!! Thanks BWD. If the American people sleep on this I don’t know what to say. This is TRAGIC. This is what they voted for. SHAME!!

  2. This speaks to just how extreme the GOP has become, that a magazine like the Economist is speaking out against their latest unfathomable actions. I’m familiar with this publication, and they truly are not in favor of so-called “big government,” and I’ve always disagreed with that stance. But the GOP is way to the extreme of classic fiscal conservatives and is no longer your mother’s and grandmother’s Republican party. Great catch, thanks for posting bwd!

  3. That’s interesting. Wonder what demographic actually reads that publication? We have to hope that people in the media do and quote heavily from it.

  4. “…Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans. Independent voters should take note.”

    Yes, it does…

    Yes they should, and hopefully, they will!

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! πŸ˜‰

  5. It just speaks to how completely off the rails the GOP has become. This is a sorry situation, but I’m really glad that people are not staying quiet about it. The GOP can try to deflect everything onto President Obama, but to a lot of people, it’s their behavior which is being recognized as totally extreme and unprecedented.

  6. I love your pragmatism Tien Li. I only read it in my dentist’s waiting room.

  7. Word, GN. I know a lot of conservatives who subscribe to this magazine. I’ll be discussing this particular article with them, to be sure.


  8. There are others in the media that needs to take a page from this piece so eloquently done by The Economists.

    When PBO admonished Congress the other day to do it’s job, he should have very well been extending that refrain to the media. If the people who call themselves journalists were doing what they are supposed to be doing, this is the message that the country would be getting.

    And I am tired of hearing that the White House does not get its message out there. Every time this president stands before a microphone, he is literally talking about the economy and jobs. The media on the other hand, prefers to engage in trivia.

    After the president’s twitter townhall the other day, the headline blarring on TPM was not that he talked about the need for infrastructure and manufacturing jobs, etc. Instead, it was something about the president saying he underestimated the recession. What bull!!

    So, today, as I do everyday when I see a story that catches my eye and puts the media to shame, I send it to everyone on my e-mail list with a note.

    Today is no different, I am again sending this story out to the chattering class. For those of you who tweet or facebook, perhaps you might consider doing the same.

    More than any other group or people, the Republicans are responsible for my continued unemployment. This is what I tell the folks when I write them. This is my life. I live it everyday from penny to penny, while the Republicans pal around.

    The Economist is dead right on this.

  9. Maybe my call, Jul 5th, and other Obamacrats’ calls (yours), to OFA made a BIG difference… ::clearin’ throat:: πŸ˜‰

    A really nice lady named, Susan answered the phone.

    She assured me someone would be told about my concerns:

    Some Obamacrats not happy about the new site

    Trolls takin’ over the comment section

    Site not sufficiently moderated….Supporters bein’ deleted instead of trolls

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! πŸ˜‰

  10. Sweet justice. Now we need to see more of this in other states. Next door to me here in Alabama, farmers are reeling from their own immigration recently passed.

    One farmer on the local news with acres of sweet potatos stand to lose his crop because his workers have all fled the state to escape the harsh laws.

    I’d like to wager that this farmer and lots of his peers voted Republican. Go figure.

  11. For all the tweeters out there, I wanted to build on a tweet posted earlier.


    In business Romney made a fortune firing American workers. As governor, 47th on job creation. Now? all attack, no ideas.

    That first sentence is a killer.

    The article that included the tweet went on to say “If Axlerod can dismantle Romney in 140 characters, can you imagine what he will do with 1 billion dollars”.

    It’s an encouraging thought.

  12. You know the Republicans have really lost their way from the mainstream, if the Economist – one of the more conservative pro-business publications out there – says the Republicans are at fault for the lack of resolution on the debt ceiling issue.

  13. Kudos, Ametia, for doing the important work of discussing an opinion from a source they won’t automatically dismiss. NOT a fan of “The Economist” but their pushback just shows how off the rails the teapublicans have gone.

  14. Wanted to share an OFA story. Yesterday I went to a meeting for volunteers in my area. 4 folks attended. One was the regional coordinator for Northern California. I asked her about the level of organization within the campaign.

    Her response was that this level of organization this far out is unprecedented. She was very encouraged about how prepared we would be for Nov. 2012.

    We also discussed how to deal with the “I am so disappointed baloney” She gave us the “Promises Kept” handout, and she assured us that once the campaign gets near those “disappointed voters” will be much more disappointed in the Republican.

    One of the most encouraging things she shared was that everyone was confident that volunteers would flood the campaign, she said they may not be the exact same people from 2008, but that there would be millions and we had to be ready to put them to work.

    The local organizer and I will be going to Oakland this coming Tuesday to phone bank at OFA headquarters. I am excited to meet the people there.

    Whenever I attend one of these meetings I am struck by how much I like all the folks that show up. That is not always true for some of the groups I participate in.

    It is calming for me to go to an OFA event, I leave encouraged and stronger.

    Currently when there is bad news or attacks on the President we pledge donations, I was wondering, if we could expand our response to include signing up or hosting an OFA event. That would be a great option for the cash strapped who wants to help us turn a negative into a positive.

  15. This is just absolutely positively beautiful. Who knew that in Arizona where grumpy old McBush, Kyl and Brewer have done their very best to pollute politics and dehumanize those they see as ‘other’, such a thing can happen! Congrants progressives and Dems of Arizona. What an awesome piece of news.

  16. Thank you Africa – I love my fellow Pragmatists, but the “bad massaging” complaint has worn me down. He is only one man. The “bully pulpit” would equate with “Angry Black Man.” My best to you. I’ve got to get away from this for awhile. BTW, did you get TIMT’s email – that Sistah Speak is back at DK? I wish then well, but I will never go back there again. Have a great summer, “ACD”

  17. This is big news – The Economist is well-known for being a RW rag, appeals to the same demographic as Murdoch’s WSJ.

    OT Hope you don’t mind BWD, but I’m posting this again for everyone to use as they see fit. I’m not pimping my blog or anything. I would just post it here, but need more advanced HTML than WordPress comments can support.


    If anyone needs the facts about the number of times the scumbags McConnell and Boehner have voted for a Debt Increase since 1997, here is a sourced list of their β€œAye” votes.

  18. More people signed the recall petition than voted for him in the last election. Not all of us Arizonans are wingnuts!

  19. This is how you do it:) Do’t read the comments. Have to consider the source:)

  20. Yes, Pamela; friends and coworkers. It will be off -site conversations with coworkers. the discussions are respectful. I know they appreciate hearing another viewpoint, even if they don’t agree or believe.

  21. What is Working,

    I just want to say that you are a treasure. I’m not a tweeter but I’m considering becoming one although the learning curve for me may be steep. In the meantime, I hope to read posts how you tweeters retweeted! John Cole, at Balloon Juice posted yesterday about Chris Hayes idiotic response to Axelrod’s tweet: muddying the message by setting up Rahm Emmanuel as a strawman. Please, please keep Axelrods tweet alive and trending!

  22. It is my greatest hope, that the cognitive dissonance between what the Republicans are defending and their talk about representing everyday Americans will be too great and it will all come crashing down on their own heads.

    I never thought I’d see the Murdoch crime family come under such intense scrutiny so quickly but it is really happening.

  23. Excellent suggestion, WiW. Money is important but committed boots on the ground organizing precinct by precinct will be our ace in the hole for what will be a hard fought and virulent election.

  24. I’ll try to represent in your absence. I don’t like to think about the voices of reason being drowned out.

  25. I feel the same way about OFA. I’ll share a story. I asked a new Neighborhood Team Leader who has been involved since 2008 why she thought she had stuck with our group so long and taken on so much more responsibility. She said she was normally very skeptical but she thought two things made the difference for her. OFA turned out to be exactly what it was advertized to be over the long haul and not some fake effort and the personal connections she had formed to our local group. Clear as a bell; real and relatedness.

  26. Thank you! I have another surgery in two weeks, and my goal is to STAY CALM πŸ™‚ Have a great summer.

  27. Yes Congress does! πŸ˜‰

    By the way, WiW, what about PBHO’s ‘Twitter Town Hall’…

    Are you doin’ it the same way you’ve done this press conference and other important conferences?

  28. I will be praying for you, Gc. Indeed, lots of deep breaths and find yourself some soothing relaxation exercises.

    Take good care of yourself.

  29. Hey africtimes2, I’m an Alabamian too. Nice to see another “home girl” onboard. Are you referring to farmers in northern Alabama? I’m ashamed of how our current state legisture is trying to take us back to the ‘ole days’ with their racist immigration laws, voter suppression actions, and efforts to take away women’s rights here in the state. (I just recently learned that a woman who has a miscarriage or still birth can face a criminal investigation). It’s some scary times for us here in Alabama. 😦

  30. Terrorists disguised as Republicans give Obama “Sophie’s Choice”, either make the aged, disabled, children, and those most vulnerable walk the plank or the terroristic Republicans will destroy our national and world economy. We do not make deals with terrorists.

  31. No other political person could have done this so masterfully. He is definitely in the zone when he is communicating with we the people. He was great yesterday too when he spoke about the job numbers. I hope he does more tweeting, it doesn’t have to be formal. Informal tweets from the oval office with his 9million plus followers responding will do.

  32. This is the part that nobody seems to notice, over the brawl with respect to the 14th Amendment:

    Not, one must pray, on its sovereign debt. But the country will have to stop paying someone: perhaps pensioners, or government suppliers, or soldiers.

    The US Treasury has to stop paying some of its beneficiaries – and they probably won’t stop paying their foreign debts.

    Ergo, they stop paying someone else.

    All of a sudden, it’s into the Cabinet’s hands who is going to be saved in this situation; in other words, there is no democratic process in place who’s going to bleed – it’s just the President and his merry (wo)men who decide who’s going to live and who isn’t.

    Is that what the US electorate wants ?

  33. Future one term GOP house “nonleader” john bonehead is well on track to the biggest fail in American history, maybe only 2nd to George Bush depending on how far he is willing to play these political games.

  34. This article by the economist should be influental in the right circles:-)

    In the article it says that the White House offered a 83% spending cuts 17% revenue increase. Anybody knows, where these numbers come from? I somehow had got the impression that BO was aiming for 1:1 because of the 2 trillion/4trillion business. It would sound better to me, but may not be achievable.

  35. That tells you just how rotten the Republicans are that even the freaking ECONOMIST is appalled. That is a very conservative magazine. I actually read it from time to time and am often amazed as to how aggressive and blatant it is with the right-wing talking points even in its strait reporting . .

  36. wow, Betsy, thanks for this fabulous news — maybe people are starting to wake up at the grass roots level. Very heartening to see . .

  37. If 10% of the wealthiest receive 80% of the national income and are taxed at the former rates of @ 70%, then 56% of the national income goes into federal revenues. However, at the current effective tax rate of 18 % only 14.4% of the national income goes into federal revenues. We do not have an economic crisis per se, we have a lack of taxation crisis. No wonder we are laying off teachers.

  38. That would be very cool. It could very well mean that the ratio would go down in the larger deal.

  39. Finally someone other than Dems is calling congressional Reps out for what they are: two-faced liars willing to take the whole country down just so that PBO doesn’t win in 2012. I am sooooooo fed up with Cantor, McConnell and the rest of the bozos in congress. Can’t stomach to watch them for a single second!!!Help!!!!

  40. Actually, I’m in Florida. But the TV stations out of Mobile feeds into our markets on the border.

    Still, we are having the same problem here with these draconian laws.

  41. Let’s be clear: Republican ideology is NOT good for healthy business and real economic growth that supports a society that has enough money to buy stuff.

    Republican ideology isn’t about being good for business in the general sense — it’s only about greed for the very top.

  42. There is news tonight that Boehner has backed off, accepting the Biden deal which, from all accounts I’ve read, was 83 spending cuts and 17 revenue increases. I don’t remember any details on what the revenue increases included. There were Medicare and Medicaid ‘cuts’ but I don’t believe that social security was part of it.

    Tonight was the first time I had read that Obama’s 4 tn offer was only if it was 2/3 cuts to 1/3 revenue increase.

    Boehner said he’d go back to the 2tn in cuts so he didn’t have to raise revenue. Whether this is good or bad news is quite debatable until we have more facts on exactly what’s cut and exactly what Republicans consider acceptable revenue increases. I did read that it would not include a raise in marginal rates on the rich. So who exactly is paying for the revenue increases?

    BWD, the 83/17 number has not been disputed so it’s close to the truth I think.

  43. WiW, this is FanTasia’s 2005 “I BELIEVE” vid clip. During her performance, PBHO and FLMO were in the audience. Of course, this was before he even thought about a presidential run in 2007:

    So, let me know what you think; is it a ‘inspirational’ contender: πŸ˜‰

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    i’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! πŸ˜‰

  44. I wholeheartedly agree!

    And, he has to “stay in practice.”

    Right? lol

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! πŸ˜‰

  45. I agree, but a lot of people don’t put that much thought into it, you’d be surprised. They just think, “fiscal conservatism equals responsibility equals pro-business” without really unpacking the assumptions and doing any sort of analysis about whether stable, pro-country regulatory conditions and fair taxation is truly bad for most businesses. A lot of these people were also raised in Republican households, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, which were nothing like the teaparties, and they favor Republicanism out of habit. If a publication like The Economist is ringing the alarms, that is truly significant.

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