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Francophobe Feeding Frenzy!
April 21, 2003 7:13 AM   Subscribe

The Republicans seem to be turning on one another over the budget-minded restraint of such moderates as Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who don't support George Bush's sweeping tax cuts. The funny thing? They're pictured over French flags, the new symbol of evil.
posted by jpburns (43 comments total)

 
I guess that the Democrats aren't much of a challenge, nowadays...
posted by jpburns at 7:20 AM on April 21, 2003


Wait, are the flowing French flags in the background deliberate? Because that might be an official new low.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:20 AM on April 21, 2003


Oop. Just watched one of the ads on the site. Yes, they are, and yes, it is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:24 AM on April 21, 2003


Good, let them eat each other up. They'll drive out all the moderates and lose the electorate to their fascist extremism.

I remember when republicans were all about fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. Now they're becoming as fascist as the dictators they claim to want to depose.

Each new day and new absurdity makes more more motivated to actively campaign for a dem in 2004.
posted by Red58 at 7:39 AM on April 21, 2003


The real deal on Bush's tax cut plan

Frist claims regrets and pledges to work for a tax cut more to Bush's liking, but the fact remains that if Voinovich and Snowe stick to their point that the country can't afford more, the Bush plan can't pass. Worse, if others like Specter and McCain realize that the Club of Growth's machinations are impotent in their states, they could easily return to their own fiscally responsible roots and dig Bush's hole even deeper.

In these circumstances, the idea of selling a repeal of dividend taxation to the country is a joke. The country has higher priorities that have little to do with taxes and more to do with security and budgetary common sense. There is no broad constituency in favor of it that extends an inch beyond the hardest core of the conservative movement.

posted by y2karl at 7:41 AM on April 21, 2003


and yet it seems like it wil pass. sigh.
posted by n9 at 7:50 AM on April 21, 2003


"The Club for (debt) Growth: $10 trillion in federal debt by 2010.

We're proud to bring fiscal irresponsibility to new heights."

Arghh. I'm going to be at the bottom of the economic food chain for the next five years, so I get none of the tax benefits and all of the disadvantages of a sluggish economy. But by the time I start making money, America will have woken up from Reagen II, and I'm guessing my taxes will be sky high. As will my children's, because there's no way that we're going to get rid of this debt anytime soon.

Didn't we learn from the last big tax cut that they really don't do much for the economy? Or is this tax cuts = better economy thing a matter of blind faith?
posted by Llama-Lime at 8:01 AM on April 21, 2003


Club of Growth??

Call it a "+1 Club of Growth" and it sounds like a Dungeons and Dragons weapon.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:03 AM on April 21, 2003


Now that Iraq is basically over, it's the economy that will get Bush his second term - he has to turn it around, by hook or crook (he has learned his father's lessons...). Tax cuts in general are not a bad method toward stimulating an economy; neither is deficit spending (we might do well to recall that deficit spending is the rule, rather than the exception - those surplusses were just as big a part of the Bubble as were IPO zillionaires). Also, I read that the Bush tax cut is a small percentage projected GDP for the period of effect (can't find evidence for that, read it in the Journal, though) although this makes the case that it's smaller than the Reagan tax cuts (which failed to do their job). Honestly, macroeconomics is more sci-fi than science. I'm no fan of taxes, and would LOVE to see taxes of dividends repealed, but I must admit that we should have different priorities at this juncture, and that Bush has been screaming tax cut as a mantra for every ill, which is just ludicrous.
posted by UncleFes at 8:06 AM on April 21, 2003


"Club of Growth??"

Wouldn't Bludgeon of Growth be more accurate? Mallet of Growth, maybe? Mace of Growth?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:30 AM on April 21, 2003


Every farmer knows that hogs will engage in cannibalism when under stress.
posted by 2sheets at 8:32 AM on April 21, 2003


Use the +1 Club of Growth against the Snowe monster of Olympia.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:33 AM on April 21, 2003


Hammer of Growth (as in "when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail")
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:35 AM on April 21, 2003


eek. I meant to put a </b> in there.
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:35 AM on April 21, 2003


While I'm not at all surprised that "someone" would go to the lengths of Photoshopping the French flag into the background to oh-so-subtly suggest these pols are not-quite-American-enough, I just have to ask: what cretin is responsible for thinking this would be a bad thing for Stowe, a significant number of whose constituents are of French descent?
posted by JollyWanker at 8:36 AM on April 21, 2003


Is this the rare beast of a thread on MeFi where we get to discuss how we don't like Republicans?

Yay!
posted by xmutex at 8:38 AM on April 21, 2003


Voinovich the Valiant was eaten by a grue.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 9:11 AM on April 21, 2003


we don't like Republicans?


*GASP!*
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:36 AM on April 21, 2003


"It's the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce [those who disagree] for lack of patriotism... it works the same in every country."

-Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII
posted by squirrel at 10:02 AM on April 21, 2003


Screw tax cuts, want to save the US economy? Easy....

Interest rates are at an all time low, then why is my Visa still at 19.9%?

Freeze credit card rates at Prime plus 2% for 5 years, the results would be immediate and across the board.
posted by CrazyJub at 10:03 AM on April 21, 2003


It's not that I don't like Republicans - I don't like idiots. Party is irrelevant.

Someone actually thought, "Hey! We don't want the American public to like this guy - we could throw a French flag up there! We've whipped them up to hate the French; let's equate these two folks with them!"

The folks who developed these ads believe that the majority of American citizens are easily-led, moronic sheep - and so far, no one's proved them wrong.

(I prefer the "Morning Star of Growth" - it has both that "bludgeony" feel, plus the "Morningstar" reference is sure to irritate the devout.)
posted by FormlessOne at 10:19 AM on April 21, 2003


Describing Voinovich as having budget-minded restraint is a joke. He's a tax and spend republican who's budgetary tom-foolery has left Ohio broke. The man should be rode out of DC on a rail (as long as he doesn't come back here to Ohio, anyway)
posted by Mick at 11:19 AM on April 21, 2003


*GASP!*

for lack of a valid thing to contribute to this, or any, discussion, steve's brain bud fires autonomically.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:34 AM on April 21, 2003


if these cats are so wild about smaller government, then why are they pro-bush?
posted by mcsweetie at 11:48 AM on April 21, 2003


we don't like Republicans?

Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, Blanche K. Bruce, Hiram Revels, Benjamin F. Wade, Zachariah Chandler, Horace Greeley, Frederick Douglass, Salmon P. Chase, Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were Republicans when being a Republican stood for something noble. We like them.
posted by y2karl at 12:02 PM on April 21, 2003


if these cats are so wild about smaller government, then why are they pro-bush?

Exactly mcsweetie.

I would posit it's because to oppose Bush is unpatriotic and no one wants to be unpatriotic.

How dare you question our fearless and daring commander-in-thief!
posted by nofundy at 12:06 PM on April 21, 2003


voinovich and snowe seem like the only true conservatives in the senate. the rest of them remind me of another bunch.


conservative

adj 1: resistant to change [ant: liberal] 2: opposed to liberal reforms 3: avoiding excess; "a conservative estimate" [syn: cautious]
posted by specialk420 at 12:13 PM on April 21, 2003


why is it that the republicans are, in the past few decades at least, the worst offenders when it comes to the very fiscal responsibility they go on about? everytime we get a republican president we get uncontrollable, runaway deficit spending! i find it ironic that they use the derisive label "tax and spend democrats" when they are quite clearly BORROW AND SPEND republicans! what kind of "fiscal responsibility" is that?

now, i'm not saying the republicans caused this, but they sure aren't doing anything responsible about it! it's just going to get worse.
posted by muppetboy at 12:18 PM on April 21, 2003


"Now that Iraq is basically over, it's the economy that will get Bush his second term - he has to turn it around, by hook or crook (he has learned his father's lessons...)."

bush has the problem with which all presidents have set themselves up. by falsely taking credit for the sun, they then have some explaining to do when it rains. in truth, economies and markets are not controllable by administrations. and under conditions like the ones we're in now, it may not even be possible to influence the economy in a predictable way at all. my "big toe" weather forecast is that it's going to be pouring cats and dogs this year. i predict a major break in the market, possibly in the next couple weeks. there will be some sunbreaks, but thunderstorms will be the rule for some time. perhaps years. if bush is not very lucky, we'll be in a major downphase around election time and he'll be thrown out of office just like his dad. i'm told that the US has never re-elected an incumbent at the onset of an economic contraction. history doesn't repeat itself, but it sometimes echoes.
posted by muppetboy at 12:31 PM on April 21, 2003


"Screw tax cuts, want to save the US economy? Easy....

Interest rates are at an all time low, then why is my Visa still at 19.9%?

Freeze credit card rates at Prime plus 2% for 5 years, the results would be immediate and across the board."

there's a reason why your visa rate is so high: the risk is high to banks. it you set artificially low interest rates, you increase the risk to the banking system. if things don't turn around in the way and at the pace you hope, it might take out a substantial part of the finanicial system, harming the economy even further. the same goes with these low-interest car and home loans. if the economy contracts further (which is pretty unpredictable), the default rate may skyrocket. if that happens, lord knows how much trouble we might be in. all these idiots on wall street are all leveraged up again. a small, unexpected fluctuation could turn into the financial version of dominoes.

the healthy thing that NEEDS to happen right now is a credit contraction. that means debt needs to get paid down and savings needs to grow. this is the hard lesson going on in Japan right now.
posted by muppetboy at 12:39 PM on April 21, 2003


Describing Voinovich as having budget-minded restraint is a joke.

But in this instance, this is the right way to represent him.
He's being responsible about not spending money we don't have (or at least... not spending as much as Bush wants us to spend...).

Compared to Bush, he's fiscally responsible.

... for a Frenchie, that is...
posted by jpburns at 12:49 PM on April 21, 2003


Anyone who thinks a Dem will fix things is sadly mistaken, IMHO.

Now, not to jack this thread... but CrazyJub mentioned his frustration with credit cards.

Tired of high rates? Consider this.

* You Have a low credit score in order to get good rates. Bad scores are the result of:
i.) New to the card, or credit (cards) in general
ii.) Late or missed payments
iii.) You didn't read the fine print for the rate of the card

None of this applies to you? Simply ask for a better rate!

I had an APR of 18 percent on my frequently used card, but after I called my credit card company... a BIG one, by the way... they dropped it to just about 9.2 percent. On top of that, I get about 2-3% cash back at the end of the year. Why? I have an "above average" credit score. I've only had three cards in my life, and I just cancelled two of them because I never used 'em.

Anyone who thinks credit cards are out to hose everyone usually knows nothing about them. They're great if you use them responsibly. The real vampires are insurance companies.
posted by cinematique at 1:55 PM on April 21, 2003


the healthy thing that NEEDS to happen right now is a credit contraction.

Yeah! I'm not paying enough interest on MY visa. I demand at least a 25% pa rate! I'm only paying 17.5%! Damn pikers.

The real culprit is the the auto industry: "1.9%, no money down, EZ credit!" Those SUVs don't just sell themselves, you know.
posted by bonehead at 1:57 PM on April 21, 2003


Damn typo.

*You need a high credit score in order to get good rates.
posted by cinematique at 2:07 PM on April 21, 2003


The real vampires are insurance companies.

And guess who's behind "tort reform".
posted by y2karl at 2:11 PM on April 21, 2003


by falsely taking credit for the sun, they then have some explaining to do when it rains.

I miss the good old days, when the final remedy was hurling them from the top of the temple...
(Note to Secret Service: This is a sorta kinda anthropology joke, not a threat on the president's life. He'd probably just bounce, any way.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2003


Speaking of interest rates, I just received a notice in the mail that my new APR is 8.7%

Weeeee! :)
posted by cinematique at 3:29 PM on April 21, 2003


On another Republican vs. Republican front: Gingrich vs. Powell.
posted by homunculus at 9:59 PM on April 21, 2003


CrazyJub: Call up your CC company, I'm sure you can get a better deal. My 'main' credit card's intrest rate is just 3%/prime.
posted by delmoi at 10:14 PM on April 21, 2003


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Until recently it has been hard to get people excited about the states' worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. For about two years state governments were able to use fancy financial footwork to put off the full effects, and the public probably regarded warnings about looming catastrophe as exaggerated. But now, as Timothy Egan reported yesterday in The New York Times, states are "withdrawing health care for the poor and mentally ill. They are also dismissing state troopers, closing parks and schools, dropping bus routes, eliminating college scholarships and slashing a host of other services." Not to mention unscrewing every third light bulb in Missouri government offices. (Honest.)

Aside from their cruelty and their adverse effect on the quality of life, these cuts will be a major drag on the national economy. So if the administration really cared about jobs, it would provide an emergency package of aid to state governments — not to pay for new spending, but simply to maintain basic services. How about $78 billion — the same sum just allocated for the Iraq war?

Oh, never mind. Anything that would distract from the tax-cut message is out of the question. In fact, rather than compromise on its goal of maximum long-run tax cuts for the wealthy, the administration now says that it's willing to phase tax cuts in gradually — making them even less effective as an economic stimulus.

So when you take the policy consequences into account, it's clear that the administration's tax-cut obsession isn't just busting the budget; it's also indirectly destroying jobs by preventing any rational response to a weak economy. In its determination to stay on message, the administration is also determined not to do anything that would actually help ordinary families.

posted by y2karl at 10:51 PM on April 21, 2003


why is it that the republicans are, in the past few decades at least, the worst offenders when it comes to the very fiscal responsibility they go on about? everytime we get a republican president we get uncontrollable, runaway deficit spending! i find it ironic that they use the derisive label "tax and spend democrats" when they are quite clearly BORROW AND SPEND republicans! what kind of "fiscal responsibility" is that?

Exactly what I asked in a comment two days ago. Are the Dems asleep? Or just incompetent?
posted by NekulturnY at 4:21 AM on April 22, 2003


And another thing, why the hell isn't our "liberal media" all over this?

According to all the right wing nuts on radio and TV the media should not be able to resist covering this to no end. But that isn't happening, is it? Anyone care to explain?

Where's the outrage? What will we tell our children? Why don't the polls reflect these sorry conditions? (remembering all those trolls from the Clinton years played ad infinitum)

it may not even be possible to influence the economy in a predictable way at all - muppetboy
I'm quite certain unrestrained deficit spending by our government does influence the economy a great deal.

the US has never re-elected an incumbent -muppetboy
Or even elected an incumbent for the first time?
posted by nofundy at 5:27 AM on April 22, 2003


"I'm quite certain unrestrained deficit spending by our government does influence the economy a great deal."

yeah, and so does playing with interest rates, printing money or having the fed put stock market risk on its balance sheet (frighteningly, even the latter of these things is on the table!). but none of these things influences the economy in a *predictable* way. god knows what's going to happen as a result of massive federal deficit spending with so many other crazy variables, like massive local deficit spending, huge trade deficits, overcapacity, inflation/deflation/stagflation, artificially low interest rates, consumer debt defaults, plummeting dollar, massively leveraged derivatives pyramids, underemployment, etc...

truth is, the fed doesn't have any idea now, and has never known with any degree of certainty whether its policies would be beneficial or not. when the fed lowered interest rates and pushed liquidity into the system, they hoped it would re-inflate the stock market. instead, it gave us a bubble in the bond market and in housing/refi. it's anyone's guess what effect their next move will have. it may just as easily exacerbate our problems as solve them. for example, attempting to prevent deflation may lead to hyperinflation. keeping interest rates artificially low may destroy parts of the financial system if joblessness increases and/or rates are raised later. and any sudden move could, in theory, topple the multi TRILLION dollar derivatives of JPM. they would surely assert that they're covered. but in fact, there is no way of proving that (see LTCM). and if JPM fucks up, we'll all end up paying for it. possibly with our whole financial future.
posted by muppetboy at 8:48 AM on April 22, 2003


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