How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

Paulie Brading

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden popped into Medford yesterday to hold a news conference. Clustered around him stood Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Republican leader of the Oregon Senate and Rep. Bruce Hanna, Republican leader of the House, and State Reps. Sal Esquivel and Dennis Richardson.

They came to hype the program launched last week by GOP House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, the YouCut initiative - which offers five programs every week that Americans can vote on to decide which program should go on the budgetary chopping block. This program is another play on the uninformed among GOP and Tea Party voters. They are counting on folks being totally unaware they will be voting on less than 1% of the total federal budget. They are counting on the lack of knowledge that we don't create our federal budget with direct democracy, citizens voting on the budget items.

It's a nifty public relations trick to hype anti-government spending ala "American Idol' voting on the federal budget. It is also known as crowdsourcing to grow an email list of supporters who will receive an activist update from "pay attention to me" Eric Cantor. It will also create a great fundraising list for 2012.

It has to be frustrating for Greg Walden and Eric Cantor to be in the minority in the House with all the rules giving Democrats total control of the agenda. Of course they and other Republicans suffer a total loss of memory of when they were in charge just 16 months short months ago. They spent federal dollars like there was no tomorrow.

When our new president was elected, Democrats in the House and Senate were handed the task to manage the Bush created recession. The GOP turned record surpluses into deficits, doubled the debt and left the U.S. in the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. The entire national budget doubled when the Republicans were in charge. The federal government spending was out of control during the time Cantor and Walden were serving in the House. They approved funding two wars and a couple of trillion dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy.

The internet voting championed by Walden and Canter is pure partisan politics. They are making every effort to fake the empowerment of main street citizens on the federal budget. They are perpetuating the myth that the national budget can be balanced with a push of a finger on a keyboard.

This is nothing more than Republican theatre. When the reviews come in the actors will be called insincere characters. The actors just couldn't quite deceive the audience well enough.

  • (Show?)

    I suggested they cut the military budget. Let's see if that gains any traction.

  • (Show?)

    (1) Yes, Devin, I agree. Let’s cut the defense budget. The NY Times, with my support, has a list to start with here and here. I can’t believe our Democrats in Congress want to add so many unneeded projects that Secretary of Defense Gates is urging President Obama to veto the Defense budget bill (here ). Shame on them!

    (2) Once we’re out of this recession, we must get the fiscal deficit under control. Democrats need to lead with budget cuts of their own. It’s not going to be fun.

    (3) Before the elections in November, Congressional Democrats should entirely eliminate earmarks from the federal budgeting process. They’re a waste! And the public know it!

  • (Show?)

    Its actually no less partisan than the various ploys pulled by and other democrat fronts. It is in a way what citizen politics shold be all about. What better way to speak to budgetary issues than ask people to give their ideas?

    Hmmm, maybe Blue Oregon should support this for the looming state budget deficits.

    And yes, the defense budget should be cut. The largest group supporting targetted cuts would be the active duty military. Case in point, the F-22 fighter program. Over budget and an aircraft that neither the Air Force, Navy or Marines want. That and the newest class of mega aircraft carriers, the V-22 Osprey and other boondoggles vrought to the military courtesy of pork barrel politicians (d & r) bringing home the bacon to their districts.

  • (Show?)

    Remembering that it is only congress who is autghorized to spend our money and with a nod to the fact that the Democrats have controlled both houses of congress since halfway through President Bush's last term (approximate 3 1/2 years now) which coincidentally were the two biggest years of Bush's 8 years in office for deficit spending any attempt to lay the deficit issue solely at his feet is just not accurate at all. Even if it were all Bush's fault, which we all know now it wasn't, how could that possibly justify Obama running that same deficit into the stratosphere like a sailor on leave since he took office a year and a half ago? Is this some sort of competition of who can run this country off a cliff economically the fastest? If it is then no President in our history can come close to touching Obama's record of reckless pointless spending. The Democrats; with their supermajorities in both houses of congress were empowered to try and fix the Pelosi Reid recession and whas their answer to this? A 1 trillion dollars pork laden boondoggle they called a 'stimulus plan' that experts and history all told us would not work. Walden voted against this spending and I agree it must have been difficult for him to sit back with no ability to do anything about what was happening but for the sake of accuracy on at least one point in your mistake ridden article. Walden's party had not been out of power for the last 16 months... they had been out of power for the past 2 years PLUS 16 months! What you fail to acknowledge is t the main street people of this country CAN control the federal budget and the out of control federal spending and they are in the process of making those corrections right now by way of the tea party ideals and the immediate replacement of the people they put in charge of the federal pursestrings in November and finalizing those corrections in 2012 when they wave good bye to Obama and Co. In the interview I saw announcing the "american idol" like voting on the 5 budget items the congressman I saw interviewed was very clear it only effected a very small percentage of the federal budget and there was no attempt to deceive anyone involved. It was his expressed hopes that it would alert other members of congress, who up until this point had chosen not to attend any townhalls in order to avoid hearing what the people who elected them to office thought of the job they were doing, how they expected to have their voices and opinions represented by the people they hired to perform that function. I don't know how the message to STOP SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE could have been made any clearer. This article is 90% wrong and does nothing but perpetuate myths and lies about where we are and how we got here and what it's going to take to get us out.

  • (Show?)

    Forgot the graph I found

  • (Show?)

    Bush began the huge Wall Street and Detroit bailouts,at the same time expanding the government with borrowed money and increased the percentage of citizens with no income tax liability.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a Republican explination for the economic crisis even though they are responsible for it.

    Bush and Wall Street gutted the regulatory system that was supposed to keep the banks in line.

    • (Show?)

      Maybe you can explain to me why Wall Street gave 90% of their money to Democrats and Obama and the strangely coincidental lack of any 'reform' in the 'reform' bill for Freddie and Fannie who hold over 90% of the mortgages and who's insolvency (no matter what bbbarney FFFrank says) was clearly the one of the major catalysts of the meltdown?

  • (Show?)

    Oh, Paulia, give it up. I'm tired of the blame game that ideologues like you enjoy playing. Every party, and every lawmaker is responsible for the mess we're in. It started long before Bush was in office, and both parties are equally to blame.

    • (Show?)

      No. Both parties are to blame, that is for sure, but one party drew the map, drove the bus for a good portion of the trip and then drove us right into the ditch. I'll let you guess which party that is?

  • (Show?)

    How stupid they think we are, or how stupid they think the teabaggers are? Hey, they got one right! The expression, "like a possum eatin' sh*t with a spoon" comes to mind.

connect with blueoregon