Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Roy Cooper, Ruth Samuelson and Richard Burr

House GOP members are meeting behind closed doors at 3 p.m. to discuss accepting the Senate-prepared plan to end the unwise government shutdown and increase the debt ceiling before potential harm results. Here are a couple of closer to home events you might have missed as our faux adult national lawmakers played cat and mouse with each other and flirted with hobbling our financial security.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is firmly setting his sights on the governor's mansion with a column in the liberal Huffington Post on Tuesday. The item called, "North Carolina: Threatening Fifty Years of Progress in Ten Months" praises Democratic political leadership of the past, particularly that of former governors Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt, and lambastes current Republican leadership, though Cooper doesn't mention first-term Republican Gov. Pat McCrory by name.

Cooper writes: "Today, the emphasis on economic growth, public education and innovative change that has distinguished North Carolina for fifty years has reached a sudden end. For the first time since Reconstruction, North Carolina has a General Assembly and governorship controlled by the extreme factions of the Republican Party, and their legislative super majority means their power is unchecked. In ten short months, they have set out to deliberately and systematically undo fifty years of progress. It's as if the Tea Party created its own playground of extremist fantasies.

Tax giveaways for the top 1 percent instead of real tax breaks for working North Carolina families. An end to childcare tax credits. Election law changes that make it harder for North Carolinians to register and vote. Overcrowded classrooms for public school teachers and layoffs for teacher assistants to fund private school voucher programs. University and community college funding slashed, leading to an exodus of talented faculty. A gutting of unemployment benefits when our economy is barely getting back on its feet. And a refusal to accept federal Medicaid dollars that would expand healthcare for working people, as well as for seniors in nursing homes and assisted living. This is not the North Carolina that any of us recognize. "
Sounds like his 2016 campaign platform for N.C. governor.

Lots of chatter is going on about why Charlotte's State Rep. Ruth Samuelson is looking to end her political career - at least for now. Samuelson, a key GOP lawmaker who had been a top contender for N.C. House Speaker, announced Tuesday she wouldn't be seeking reelection in 2014. She noted that "there have been several private sector opportunities develop for me since the session adjourned that tap into some lifelong passions of mine. Coupled with a growing family and exciting opportunities with my church community, now is the time to set the stage for a great second half of my life."

Samuelson will leave accomplishing many of her goals - sponsoring much of the controversial conservative agenda including the stringent voter ID bill, limiting access to abortion services, and creating a regional and still-being litigated Charlotte airport commission.

Samuelson seemed often stunned at the criticism she got from many of her home-town constituents on many of her stands. At a recent forum at Central Piedmont Community College, she and other lawmakers got booed more than cheered. Those kind of reactions might have had nothing to do with her seemingly sudden decision, but they possibly made it easier.

Back to Congress and the debt ceiling for a moment. I blogged last week about North Carolina U.S. Sen. Richard Burr who was quoted in the New York Times saying that failing to raise the debt limit wouldn't be so bad because the money saved by shutting down the government and furloughing federal workers can be applied to paying those obligations. Politico reports he also downplayed the consequences of the debt default with this astonishing statement: "I am not as concerned as the president is on the debt ceiling, because the only people buying our bonds right now is the Federal Reserve. So it’s like scaring ourselves.” Politico rightly notes that the "statement ignores that nearly $6 trillion - almost half of outstanding debt held by the public - is owned by foreign governments, including $2.4 trillion by China and Japan alone. Both of those nations [last week] warned the United States against doing anything that would put these massive investments at risk."

- Fannie Flono


David Godfrey said...

There was never any chance of a debt default. The feds take in more than enough money each month in tax receipts to service the nation's debt obligations.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, David. Just...wrong.

Bill said...

David: I thought Minnesota was a state with smarter people. Not sure where you're getting your information, but it's not true.

kantstanzya said...

Roy Cooper? And people wonder why Governor McCrory doesn't trust our own Attorney General to represent the state against the politicized U.S. Justice Dept.of Eric Holder and his attack on our voter ID law? Democrats like Roy Cooper and Barack Obama can never just do their is always about campaigning, politics and the next election.

Sure Cooper praises "Democratic political leadership of the past...Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt." So do I. Just as Democrats might be equally proud of the moderation, leadership and reasonable positions of past national figures like JFK and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But the people of NC did not vote out Jim Hunt and Terry Sanford of the Democratic past. They voted out the Mike Sleezly, Jim Black, Bev Perdue corruption and incompetency of the Democratic Party present.

And at the national level with the enthusiastic help of the media the GOP is characterized as extremist. The politics of the left cannot argue the merits of ideas so they villify the opponent. We have the stunning acceptance that things such as living within your means and sound fiscal policy and allowing people to keep more of their own money are now crazy ideas. That sensible policies such as voter ID that most of the Democracies on earth employ and a large majority of Americans support are policies of racism and hate and extremists.

If mischaracterization and misrepresentation works at the national level with an easily duped low information base the NC Dems think "why not here?" So we have Roy Cooper claiming the GOP has created a "playground of extremist fantasies." But those "extremist fantasies" are mostly things reasonable moderate Dems like JFK and Jim Hunt would approve of. Sure everyone wants more money for poverty programs and education. But none of them would have signed on to the real nuttiness and lunacy of increasing our debt by 100% to $17 Trillion dollars to satisfy every whim and whimsy of a new socialistic society and mortgage the future of America and future generations.

Yes the GOP has a far right wing that supports crazy things like fiscal sanity and not destroying the best health care system in the world. But the Republicans have not veered nearly as far to the right as the Democratic Party has to the left. Republicans in state after state are correcting the fiscal problems at the state level. Unfortunately the radical left which has taken over the Democratic Party is still implementing their extremmist agenda at the national level and doing damage that will take generations to undo...if at all.

Garth Vader said...

Anonymous and Bill:

David Godfrey is absolutely, one hundred percent right.

Here is a New York Times piece referencing a definitive survey conducted by the University of Chicago (one of the pre-eminent economics schools in the entire world) which polled the 30-plus members of the Economics Exprts Panel of the Initiative on Global Models. The Panel includes Nobel laureates, John Bates Clark Medal recipients, past presidents of both the American Economic Association and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and editors of leading economic journals.

So how does this group, the cream of the cream of the cream of the crop of economists, define "debt default"? As a "failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments on government debt securities".

And as Mr. Godfrey stated, there is more than enough money in tax receipts to service those payments. In fact during the twelve months ending in August 2013 (the most recent period for which full data exists), the government took in a record $2.47 trillion.

Here is the NY Times piece: