Category Archives: economic news

Why won’t GOP govern?

Why in the name of sound fiscal management is Congress — led by Republicans in the House of Representatives — unable to approve a long-term budget deal that avoid the catastrophe that awaits us at the end of this month?

The federal government might be headed for another shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve enough money to keep services running. These are the services that you and I pay for with our tax money, services we expect to receive in return for the government demanding our funds.

Is it me or does it appear that these crises always seem to play out when the GOP controls the congressional purse strings while a Democrat sits in the big chair behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office?

This particular House GOP majority, although it is of an extremely slim margin, is being driven by the impulses that coarse through the veins of the MAGA Moron caucus that has managed to outshout not only Democrats but also the more reasonable members of the once-great Republican Party.

The MAGA minions insist on impeaching President Biden before they consider approving a federal budget. For what? Beats the hell out of me!

The MAGAites even have steamrolled House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into toeing their line. McCarthy went seemingly overnight from being someone who blamed the MAGA mouthpiece in chief for inciting the 1/6 assault on our government to becoming one of the dipsh**’s chief allies in the House. That’s not good enough to satisfy the MAGA morons.

So, here we are. Government could shut down again by Oct. 1. We’ll get to hear nonsensical speeches from GOP House members and perhaps even some senators about the wisdom of shutting it all down.

It is government performed by the cosmically stupid.

DeSantis had me … then he lost me

Just as I was feeling pretty good about Florida Gov. Ron  DeSantis’s ability to do the job to which he was elected, he then stiffs me with a petulant slap at the Biden administration’s effort to help ease the pain of Floridians suffering from the effects of Hurricane Idalia.

DeSantis wants to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2024. He took time off from the campaign trail to inform Florida residents of the things his state’s government is trying to do to protect them against the hurricane. That’s what he was elected to do, yes? Of course!

Then the GOP governor says “no dice” to President Biden’s relief effort — part of the Inflation Reduction Act — that totaled $350 million. The feds can keep the money, DeSantis said. What? But … shoot, governor, it’s money that aims to help your residents, your constituents, the people to whom you are responsible!

As Politico reports: “It’s unfortunate that some officials are putting politics ahead of delivering meaningful progress for hard working Americans,” said White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa. “Despite this, President Biden and his administration are working with cities, counties, businesses, nonprofits, and other entities in the Sunshine State to ensure Floridians benefit from the lower costs and stronger economy delivered by his agenda.”

Yeah, it’s “unfortunate.” It’s also disgusting and petulant.

The IRA contains several energy-savings provisions in it. As Politico reports: The Biden administration has explored ways around the energy rebate blockade but has come up empty so far, according to federal and state officials. The IRA was written in a way that requires the rebates to go through a state energy office. Unlike many federal laws, there is no federal fallback option or way to circumvent an obstinate governor.

Gov. DeSantis, though, will have none of it, given that it just might reflect positively on President Biden.

It’s still the economy, stupid

James Carville, the political guru who burst into notoriety while helping steer Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992, once famously declared, “It’s the economy, stupid” as he led Clinton to victory over President George H.W. Bush.

I believe President Biden would do well to resurrect a portion of Carville’s winning mantra.

It’s still “the economy, stupid” as Joe Biden campaigns for re-election in 2024.

The numbers hold up well under careful examination.

Joblessness is near historic lows; we are creating more jobs each month than any time in our history; inflation is receding; our national budget deficit has been slashed.

Mr. President, you are entitled to gloat just a bit, reminding us that “Bidenomics is working!”

‘Bidenomics works!’

Joe Biden has coined the phrase that, if you think about it, seems to roll off the tongue.

He declared today that “Bidenomics works” better than the “trickle-down theory” promoted by archconservatives.

The numbers bear out the president’s declaration.

The administration was able to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. The result? A “reduction in inflation.”

President Biden’s administration managed to enact a massive infrastructure rebuilding plan. The result? Thousands of jobs committed to improving our roads, highways, airports, seaports.

We now have the fast-growing economy of any nation belonging to the G-7 association of industrialized nations. We have added 13 million non-farm jobs to our payrolls in the past two years. The nation has whipped the COVID-19 pandemic that killed more than 1 million Americans. People’s faith in the economic future is improving. We have reduced the national budget deficit and taken bites out of our still-growing national debt.

Yes, Mr. President. Bidenomics is working!

Recession? Uhh … where?

Let me toss a number at you and ask you to ponder its significance for a brief moment.


That is the number of jobs the U.S. Department of Labor said today were created this past month. The nation’s jobless rate ticked up a bit to 3.7%, but no one is speaking out loud about any concern there.

It’s the first number that is stunning. It continues to demonstrate — at least to me — that the fearmongers need to be called out when they suggest the nation’s economy is tanking.

It isn’t. Not by a long shot!

Economists predicted — to the extent they can predict anything — a job growth of about half of what was released. Even that wouldn’t have been too bad.

But a 339,000 job growth figure simply is staggering.

Uhh, Mr. President? Keep up the good work.

Economy is strong … period!

How in the world does one deal with the fearmongering on the right wing of the political spectrum that keeps fomenting the lie that our national economy is headed for the crapper?

President Biden keeps seeking to remind us of several undeniable facts: joblessness is at a historic low; new jobs are pouring in; business continues to make astounding profits; inflation is subsiding; the national budget deficit is shrinking; the national debt is receding, too.

It’s falling on deaf ears on the right. The right-wingers are looking for any advantage they can find as they seek to run against the president. They are fomenting yet another lie, that the economy is tanking.

Listen up, folks: The economy is not heading for the tank! The economy is showing remarkable resilience! Its strength is presenting itself almost daily!

I am going to use this blog to try to disabuse those who want to believe the liars that the economy is set to be flushed away.

It is not!

Compromise = good government

All right, folks, we are witnessing in real time the impact that good government can bring us.

One aspect of good government — in a representative democracy — is that compromise is essential. So, with that we have an agreement in principle to fend off the threat of our nation defaulting on payments to which it is obligated.

It came down to two men, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, haggling, needling, cajoling and compromising to reach this agreement.

“Everybody won’t like what is the end of the agreement … on both sides,” McCarthy said Saturday morning. “But … at the end of the day I think people should see what that product is before people vote on it.”

McCarthy is going to make the details of the agreement available to House members for 72 hours before casting a vote slated for Wednesday.

Progressives are unhappy. So are conservatives. These are the hardliners on both ends who refuse to accept compromise as an essential element of good government.

I haven’t seen the details of the bill, so I won’t comment on the finished product. My focus with this post is on the method that Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy used to reach this point.

Defaulting on our debt obligations is a non-starter. Both men said so. They proceeded from that point. Default would have produced a catastrophe.

The deal that Biden and McCarthy have reached is good for the next two years. It takes this whole issue off the campaign table for 2024. It is an agreement that in a more perfect world should have been reached without the drama that led to this point.

In the end, good government has won the day.

Good government works?

The deal to increase the federal debt ceiling that appears to be in the works between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is likely to be a triumph of center-left and right principles of good government.

Those principles will have won out over the extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. The far lefties don’t want any cuts in any discretionary domestic spending, while the far righties want to gut everything in sight.

Just to be clear, I will continue to place the bulk of the blame on this nonsense on the far right, the MAGA cult, those who refuse to govern via compromise. They are wedded to this notion of getting and keeping attention and ignoring the compromise that is essential to governing in a representative democracy.

President Biden brings decades of experience as a good-government Democrat to the table. He has given a little here and there and, to his credit, Speaker McCarthy appears also to have budged a bit from the precipice that the MAGA cult forced on him when he was elected the Man of the House at the start of the year.

If the MAGA types reject whatever debt ceiling deal emerges from Biden and McCarthy’s time together, they will be on the record as opposing the principles of good government that should be the rule rather than the exception.

Indeed, that we are having this discussion at all is a symptom of the perversion that has infected the process. This simply is a product of a Democratic president dealing with a Republican House majority that is dominated — strange as it looks — by a minority cabal of kooks who want simply to be heard and who don’t give a damn about being constructive partners in building a government that works for all Americans.


Mr. Speaker, for whom do you work?

Kevin McCarthy clearly needs a lesson on public service, because the House speaker is listening to the wrong “bosses” as he digs in against efforts to raise the national debt ceiling.

Mr. House Speaker, you work for the people of south-central California, who sent you to Congress to do their bidding, not the bidding of the MAGA crowd that is pulling your strings.

McCarthy appears to be resisting President Biden’s effort to reach common ground because the MAGA cabal that comprises the vocal minority within the GOP House caucus is demanding it of him.

What will happen, then, if the nation defaults? If it fails to pay its debts by the June 1 drop-dead date established by the Treasury Department?

A lot of folks in McCarthy’s home district are going to go without Social Security or military benefit checks, they will watch their mortgage interest rates skyrocket, they will lose their jobs.

Do you think that will piss a lot of ’em off?

The House once had a Republican leader named Eric Cantor of Virginia who listened too closely to the GOP leadership and didn’t listen enough to those who sent him to Congress. Cantor ended up getting booted out of Congress when the GOP primary voters cast their ballots for someone else. Cantor was deemed out of touch with the home folks.

Mr. Speaker, you had better pay attention to who is going to feel the harm of a national default on our debt.

GOP goes phony on budget concern

Congressional Republicans’ phony concern over federal government standing would be laughable if the consequences of their stubbornness in lifting the debt ceiling weren’t so catastrophic.

Let us remember this fact. When Donald Trump sought to raise the national debt ceiling during his term as POTUS, Republicans went along with their Democratic colleagues. No questions asked. Not a single concern raised about spending, the national debt, the annual budget deficit … all of which grew during Trump’s time in office.

Trump lost the 2020 election to a Democrat. Now the MAGA crowd in Congress who controls the agenda in the House of Representatives has become all worked up over spending. Now they want to cut spending dramatically before lifting that debt ceiling.

To his credit, President Biden isn’t swallowing all the bait whole, although he appears willing to give up some of the high ground he has staked in this standoff with the GOP caucus.

The president has proposed a budget that reduces the budget deficit, bites into the national debt and meets many of the GOP’s demands for “fiscal responsibility.” He also wants to force the mega-rich to pay more in taxes. Is Joe Biden seeking to make billionaires less than rich? Hardly. They will continue to be richer than God.

All of this posturing, though, appears to be for show. The MAGA crowd is not interested in governing. It is interested instead in making a spectacle of themselves and of the Constitution they took an oath to “defend and protect.”

Thus, we see House GOP leadership marching to the cadence the MAGA cabal is calling.

I will hold on to my sincere belief that there will not be a default on our national debt. The consequence of any of this is just too dire to fathom.