On the promotion of irresponsibility

The Republicans in DC have apparently decided that being responsible, meeting your obligations and building for the future is for the birds

The House Republican majority has made it quite clear that they are unwilling to give any new federal funding to states — “bailout” has almost become a dirty word.

“There will be no bailout of the states,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. “The states can deal with this and have the ability to do so on their own.”

“There era of the bailout is over,” said Rep Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

On the Senate side, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also ruled out any new funding for states.

“There will be no bailouts, I can tell you that,” the Kentucky Republican said. “No bailouts.”

As an alternative, Congress is considering legislation that would allow states to declare bankruptcy. Currently only cities and some local municipalities can file for federal bankruptcy.

“We’re exploring that as a reasonable option,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said of bankruptcy for states.

We tell borrowers constantly to work with creditors directly rather than pursue the bankruptcy option. It’s good to see Republicans basically throwing that all away and telling people it’s OK to screw your creditors. Bankruptcy should be a last resort, not the go-to tool used by government to screw citizens.

The reality is that while the budget cuts are draconian and short sighted, they are necessary given the public’s largely dumb attitude toward taxation. We have for years been living hand to mouth and people have continuously demanded lower taxes rather than increased wage growth. In Texas, we have a tax base that is largely dependent on high employment and a good economy (we really have neither right now). As a result, when there is a recession the Texas budget doesn’t just get hurt, it gets bodyslammed by a 400 lb Sumo with really bad breath.

Bankruptcy will not help Texas but it is nice to know that Senator Cornyn has developed such a flexible relationship with financial morality.

Sooner or later the vast majority of people in this country will realize that taxes aren’t their problem and neither is the ‘oppressive government that just won’t get off people’s backs and allow them to succeed’. Remember Joe The Plumber and his rant with then Senator Obama? His problem was a propensity to make excuses rather than act coupled with a frustration at his inability to achieve goals, like many of his fellow conservatives. The refrain goes…

‘If only government weren’t so restrictive, I would easily be able to start up my own multimillion dollar business!’.

It’s bullshit and nothing more than a desire for a scapegoat responsible for their own failures. For the vast majority of people in this country, your problem isn’t taxes or the government… it’s the fact that, adjusted for inflation, you’re earning less than what you would have earned in 1973. However, you’ve been voting as if you had much in common with billionaires.

So, when your elders show up because they’ve been turned out of the nursing home or kids come home complaining about the teacher not being able to take the time to work with them because there are 80 other kids in the class, remember that elections have consequences.

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