Charles Keefer's Blog


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I really don’t know what to think about the Big O’s compromise with the Republicans.

When he explains it, I get it. We absolutely need to extend unemployment benefits, not only for the little comfort it gives millions of Americans, but also to stimulate our sagging economy. If the only way to do that is to give the Republicans a tax break for billionaires for two years, well, that’s what you’ve got to do. And in the elections of 2012, you remind the public how they took America hostage to save the billionaires.

I also get it when the progressives in Congress protest. I’m all for making the Republicans stand up and show themselves as the traitors, liars, and thieves that they are. I want to see them on CSPAN trying to fill up entire days with their lies because the Democrats made them really filibuster.

According to Wikipedia, here are the rules for the filibuster.

In the United States Senate, rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn”[26] (usually 60 out of 100 senators) brings debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII. This means that as few as 41 senators, which could represent as little as 12.3% of the U.S. population, can make a filibuster happen.

According to the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Ballin (1892), changes to Senate rules could be achieved by a simple majority. Nevertheless, under current Senate rules, a rule change itself could be filibustered, and in this case votes from three fifths of Senators would be required to break the filibuster filibustering a bill to remove filibusters.[26]

Despite this written requirement, the possibility exists that the filibuster could be changed by majority vote, using the so-called nuclear option. (Proponents also refer to it as the constitutional option.) In the modern filibuster, the senators trying to block a vote do not have to hold the floor and continue to speak as long as there is a quorum, although the Senate Majority Leader may require an actual traditional filibuster if he or she so chooses.[27]

I also know there is leakage here. Progressives like me also are pissed that we aren’t out of Afghanistan, that Gitmo isn’t closed, that we stimulated the banks and not education and the infrastructure, and by Obama not even putting up a fight in what is, historically speaking, a hijacking of the U.S. Senate.

Not to mention the fact that we would like the Bush criminals prosecuted.

God only knows what history will say about our current tiff. (I’m using that phrase as a literary device, not because I think there is a guy with a long, white beard somewhere around Andromeda who actually does know.)

I’m not even sure it is right to keep the tax cuts. After all, they are a Bush idea and I can’t remember a single Bush idea I thought was right.

So I’m going to go contrarian on this one. Let the Bush tax cuts lapse. It won’t hurt people who are jobless. They don’t have any income to be taxed. And there are plenty of dentists’ wives running around City Place buying expensive shit in Williams Sonoma.

It certainly won’t hurt the national debt. If you don’t borrow money to give tax breaks, well, you don’t borrow money. Good deal.

Have I ever been bothered about paying taxes? Not likely. Like a sign said at the John Stewart Rally for Sanity, paying taxes is part of being grown up. I have objected to what my taxes are used for, but I have never questioned the need to pay them.

I pay taxes for local schools although I have no children. I have no problem with that. I want other peoples’ kids to be educated so they don’t vote for more Republicans or think the world was created in six days or think homosexuals are recruiting them for some dastardly ritual that will convert them to that “horrible” fate. And so they won’t mug me because they don’t have the skills to make money any other way.

I pay taxes gladly so I have roads to ride my motorcycles on.

I would gladly pay more taxes if they would take better care of our national parks and do a bunch of other things except invade other countries for no apparent reason.

So there you go. Let the tax cuts expire like they were supposed to. Screw the Republicans with their own game. And, by gosh, hire some more park rangers. I think park rangers are cool. I’d be a park ranger except I’m too old.


Written by Charles Keefer

December 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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