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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Watch: Former Republican Senator Slams GOP For Anti-Tax Extremism

Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) ripped his Republican colleagues over the weekend, accusing them of holding extremist views and lacking common sense.

“I guess I’m known as a RINO now, which means a Republican in name only, because, I guess, of social views, perhaps, or common sense would be another one, which seems to escape members of our party,” Simpson told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Simpson — the co-chair of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission which proposed to reduce the deficit through both domestic spending cuts and new tax revenues — went on to slam Republicans for their total refusal to compromise.

You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole. And you can’t tax your way out of this hole. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, we tell these people. This is madness. If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the East or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.

Simpson saved his harshest words for anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, whose “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” has been widely blamed for Congress’ failure to tackle the deficit. 238 House Republicans and 41 Senate Republicans have signed the pledge, which promises to never raise tax rates.

“For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you,” Simpson told Zakaria.

“He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

  • Bush lowered the taxes the lowest they’ve been since Truman was President. You’ve got two choices; start paying off the National Debt. or watch it get bigger and faster every second. Spending less 0n a credit card (the National Debt) doesn’t do a d@@ thing to lower the bill and you know it. Pick one or the other. you can’t do both at the same time

  • A man with some common sense. Hand salute to you sir! A real Republican interested in helping to save and build America. A Republican I could vote for instead of the sorry excuse of people wearing rhino robes who are Norquist followers. Grover should be in ail for un-American activities. He has a right to his opinions but when they impact my life then his rights disappear and my rights appear. Wake up Republicans!

    • People max out their credit cards and pay the minimum balance. That’s how the credit card companies make money. That’s what Congress has been doing for years. The problem is, there’s no limit on how much money they can spend.

      • Itsjustmeagain1

        You were making a point? We’re fighting 2 wars and charging it to that credit card. If you don’t know, Herr Cheney said many times while in office that debt is good, it expands the money supply.
        My answer is to look at both sides of the ledger and repeal the Bush era tax cuts and eliminate tax loopholes. People say we have too high a Corp tax rate. Nonsense, after the money is washed through the tax code, Corp pay less that half the published rate. 15% (defered) Capital Gains is insane. If you want stability in the Markets, each sale is treated as income. That will make day traders think twice.

        • That’s the only way to fix it. At this point, Corporations pay zero in taxes on any money they make outside this country. A financial loss in this country, massive profits in other countries. GE actually got a tax credit They haven’t paid taxes for over ten years. The Supreme Court sc##^ed us big time. They ruled that there can be no limit on any kind of donation from any union or Corporation to any political fund. It was bad enough with a limit, now they own this country. The taxes that GE turned in last year would have been over 600 pages if it was printed, try and audit that one. Look up how much stock in major Corporations is owned by members of Congress. Vote to lose their own money? not a chance. Look up Article 5 in the Constitution. The citizens of this country can add amendments to the Constitution without Congress having a thing to do with it. It’s never happened. We need to take back control of this country, an amendment is the only way to overturn a Supreme Court decision The United States is our’s not theirs, way to many people have forgotten that.

  • Truth and reason from a Republican. How surprising!!

  • Mr. Simpson is right on this one. Grover Norquist is just egg-sucking, chicken stealing gutter trash.

  • William Deutschlander

    UNFORTUNATELY, Ignorant Grover and his Ignorant Republican Drones, have no understnding of DEMOCRACY! Grover and his Drones prefer AUTOCRACY or PLUTOCRACY which leads to a DICTATORSHIP!

    In a Democracy the MAJORITY of the population rules by chosing the Officals who represent them in Government. These officals then must sit down and “COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN” [negotiate] and COMPROMISE as neccessary, to set the governing parameters.

    The ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, is the Republican Leadership, prior to Nixon the party of the elephant was a realistic and responsible partner in governing our Democracy. Since the Nixon debacle the party has taken on the face of Carl Rove, G W Bush, the Koch Bros, Romney, Boehner, Cantor, McConnel, Kyle, Walker and a host of other ill suited GREEDY VULTURES and PREDATORS, who’s actions are not in the interest of the MAJORITY or DEMOCRACY! The actions of these perverted parties, as relates to Democracy, border on Treasonous!

  • montanabill

    Gee, you think if Alan Simpson is completely correct on his assessments, then you would think the President would have worked to enact the Simpson Commission recommendations. Why didn’t he? Could it be because it would have required a Democrat compromise on cutting real spending along with tax increases?

    • johninPCFL

      Congress writes the spending bills. If none can pass Congress (both houses), then I ask who in Congress is holding things up. It appears that the TP can’t get along with the rest of those on the playground, and take their ball and go home when they don’t get their way.

      • montanabill

        The House rejected a version of the Simpson-Bowles plan, 382-38.

        • johninPCFL

          Yep. The House, and Congress in general, are being completely irresponsible. They’re playing to the cameras instead of conducting the People’s business. In the meantime, CRs continue, meaning that the only spending bills being passed continue the $1T+ per year spending deficits.

          In the meantime, ~40% of the fedbudget is discretionary, meaning only about $1.5T could be cut if everthing that could be cut was. No military, no Medicaid, no foreign aid, no CIA, no police matching funds, no homeland security, no FAA, no FBI, no NASA, no NOAA, no National Parks, no FEMA, no Minerals Management, no EPA, no OSHA, no NLRB, no Highway programs, no DOE, no National Labs, no University R&D, no CDC, no Secret Service, no Congress, no SCOTUS, no Presidency. Fortunately, the USPS is self-funded so we could receive notice of all the agencies that were gone.

          • montanabill

            Perhaps everyone needs to travel to Washington to see things first hand. I’m a fan of NASA, but have you ever been into their building in Washington? That’s bureaucrat bloat on a major scale. How about the Dept of Education? We are falling rapidly in comparison to other countries, yet we have increased their budget from $18 billion in 1982 to $68 billion in 2012. That’s a huge increase and they are demanding more. Are the results going to continue to be inversely proportional to the funding? While you are in Washington, check out Interior and see if you can figure out what all those people in that building do besides count the days til their next vacation or government funded retirement. Move on to Transportation. More of the same. Proceed to the beltway and get a glimpse of the fancy office buildings fully packed with ‘consultants’ living on the government teat. Want a study on how high a frog can jump? Just tack it on to the billions wasted on most of these groups’ studies.
            Next time anyone reading this goes to Washington, take time off from visiting the monuments and see if you can get past the guards to watch the people we pay in action. You might just change your mind about not being able to cut spending some place.

          • johninPCFL

            There is 10% waste in any large organization, be it government or private industry. Say you could cut all the waste in the entire $3.8T government spending. You’re still over $1T short of closing the deficit.

            Decide you want to push out the SS retirement age? Change it for all the 54-year olds? Great. Only it wont make any difference in the spending shortfall until the rate of retirement is exceeded by the death rate. The only way to reduce the SS spending next year is to change the retirement age for next year.

            Decide you want to change the Medicare entry requirements for all the 54-year olds? Great. Only it won’t make any difference in the spending shortfall until the death rate exceeds the entry rate. Medicare spending rates could be reduced immediately if the Medicare overhead could be moved or blended into the Affordable Healthcare administration. That is the bulk of the $50B per year reduction in Medicare costs (surely you’ve heard of the $500B reduction in Medicare.)

          • montanabill

            I would submit to you that there is far more than 10% waste in any government program because there is little, if any, accountability. As I’ve said before, I like the plan where all automatic increases are stopped and everyone’s budget is cut 1% per year for a few years. That plan stops the uncontrolled growth of government while having a very minimal impact on current operations. It would only take a few years to get the deficit and debt under control. The proposed ‘tax the rich’ plans, even at Obama’s estimate of $4 trillion in 10 years, ($400 billion/year) wouldn’t put much of a dent in deficit spending either, nor does anyone really think that’s a valid number. Besides, every new spending proposal calls for using that money. Most of the justification for ‘tax the rich’ is based on the less than 0.1% of the ‘millionaires and billionaires’ who live solely off capital gains. The vast majority of them pay more than 50% in state, local and national taxes. Add a flat tax to the 1% plan so that everyone has skin in the game and significantly lower capital gains taxes. I believe that plan would allow this country to get it’s finances under control while giving business the stability and competitive rates needed to compete in today’s world.
            As you so correctly point out, there is a looming crisis in both Social Security and Medicare that will be difficult to solve and any solutions will be painful. I certainly hope the Affordable Healthcare administration, as presently constructed, will go away. As constructed, that agency will become the biggest vacuum of money while lowering health care available for the majority of us. We need health care availability for the lest of us, but not at the expense of lessening health care for most of us.

          • johninPCFL

            Cut the budget 1%, that’s $38B of the current spending of $3.8T. We need to reduce the costs by $1300B to be balanced at present, so we’d be incrementally cutting for 50 years (the number gets smaller every year, and that’s assuming zero growth in any program and zero interest on the existing debt) before we began to pay the first dollar on the existing debt.

            The “looming crisis” is that for the very first time in their existence SS will be collecting less than it’s paying out. The rot about “lock-box” and “raiding” is crap, the fund contains interest-paying bonds as its support. The real issue is that people collect 3X their total lifetime contribution, and there is no real-world financial instrument that pays anything close to a high enough interest rate to support that level of return.

            When employment comes up, the input/outgo ratio improves, but there will be fewer workers than retirees in the next thirty to fifty years. I talked extensively with my dad years ago about SS, and he was quick to point out that SS wasn’t designed to be a pension, it was designed to supplement the savings and pension that people would accumulate over their lives.

            At 15% of salary, it has become most people’s defacto pension.

          • montanabill

            There is probably no way that the budget can be cut enough in just a few years to get the debt under control. When you consider the 1% plan, remember that you are cutting an automatic 3-4% growth before the 1% reduction. It will still take a recovering economy and some inflation. The inflation is currently guaranteed.
            You are absolutely right about Social Security. For a historical perspective, look up the plan as enacted by the Roosevelt administration and follow the broadening of entitlements by subsequent administrations. People who, during their working years, envisioned Social Security as their pension plan were simply making a bad decision.

    • Postman27

      Sorry montanabill; the Democrats couldn’t compromise because the “Republicans refused” to. They took out their entrenching tools, dug in and absolutely refused to increase taxes. Like the commission reported, it takes “both” to turn this around.

      • montanabill

        As long as the Democrats offers to cut spending refer to cutting proposed increases to spending, call me Grover. However, if the Democrats ever really put a proposal to cut real spending (and not just on the military) on the table and the Republicans can’t find a way to either raise taxes or cut some loopholes as part of a compromise, then I’ll campaign for the compromise.

  • “Workers have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers. And a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”

    “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.”

    “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things, but their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

    President Dwight Eisenhower – 1953-1961
    Republican & WWII hero
    “Only a fool” “they are stupid”

    What was Economy doing while he was President?
    The Republicans have totally reversed their concept of how to run this country. The number of millionaires in this country increased by more then 14% while the economy crashed.

    Look up how many member’s of Congress are millionaires, the economy has no effect on them or their families. Why should they care, it’s ego. I’ve got more control then you do.

  • Norquist and K street `whow what a patriotic bunch they pretend to be , it’s not hard to see, their only intent, is MONEY, not what is good for our great country, Just look at their life style, big homes, big cars,they dont have to work , just feed their wenom to members of Congress,that have,the only intrest in getting realected,and do not serve,as true represantives of the electrate. case in point Why do they fear this phony pledge,that Norquist holds above their heads, again its all MONEY, for the most part they forget,that WE THE PEOPLE will vote them into office, and their record of past preformence, and compromise will be the only influence, in the minds of the voters, and their phony plege ot Norquist, will haunt them and their name on the ballot. Wake up Repubblcans PS All the adds , of bull crap, that Nodquist proposes to feed the Media,adds only to remind WE THE PEOPLE, That big Money, is trying to buy their way into the election

  • Lisztman

    Not only common sense, as Rvn_sgt6768 says, but a man with backbone as well. Someone who understands the problems. Who embraces the concepts of logrolling and compromise.

    A representative form of government relies upon the vote of the constituency, not the lawmaking of the constituency. Voters elect someone to go to Washington who can be relied upon not necessarily to vote as they would, but to vote in their best interests, second only to the interests of the nation as a whole. (Oh. That latter — we’ve forgotten about that.)

    Would that everyone in this country had the education, intuition, intelligence of every (well, nearly every) lawmaker in Washington. But they don’t. So leave the lawmaking to the lawmakers. And, as Mr. Simpson suggests, allow the lawmakers to do that which is good and necessary, not that which is expedient to one’s reelection odds.

  • yhboman

    It’s a shame that Alan is not still in Congress and would say that to his colleagues and to Grover the Nor-qwist!

  • DurdyDawg

    Sounds logical to me.. Too bad logic has flown out of the GOP window.