I’ll be brief.
Buried in blue aardvark’s highly recommended diary is a comment that should get much more attention:
Republicans, especially the Tea Party types, are going to lose their collective minds. They will scream about the use of reconciliation. When they do, we must be ready to point out how often Bush used it.
Yes, they will scream, because that is what they do. And not only is it imperative to ram the Bush Republican Congress use of reconciliation down their throats, but even more so because of the way it was used and the impact on how massive the deficit is because of it.
Let’s start with some basics: This is far from extraordinary – even if it isn’t common. 19 bills have been enacted, with another 3 being vetoed by the use of reconciliation since 1980. But let’s look at some of the major ones that were under the Bush enabled drunken sailor Republican Congress (apologies to all drunken sailors).
Here are some important points to consider and repeat:
- Prior to 2001, good or bad bills aside – every single bill passed through reconciliation REDUCED the deficit;
- Not one, but two of the major Bush tax DEFICIT BALLOONING cuts were passed under reconciliation;
- The combined addition to the deficit of JUST THESE 2 tax cuts were over $2.3 TRILLION over a ten year period.
And how close were these two votes? The 2003 budget busting tax cuts were passed 51-49 and the 2001 budget busting tax cuts passed with less than 60 votes (58-33), and not one single Republican voted against the bill.
Also, the ANWR oil drilling bill was passed under reconciliation by a vote of 52-47 and yet another tax bill in 2005 was passed in reconciliation, by a 54-44 vote, with only 3 Republicans voting against it. This one decreased the capital gains tax rate, just to give one big "highlight".
So not only should progressives, as blue aardvark notes, be ready to ram this down the throats of Republicans, conservatives and teabaggers, but let’s be clear just how (1) partisan the Bush era budget busting tax cut votes were – USED IN RECONCILIATION, (2) how much they crushed the deficit, (3) how much they were skewed toward the fat cats who needed them the least and (4) WERE USED IN RECONCILIATION.
Lather, rinse, repeat.