Grover Norquist On Senator Ted Cruz

Everyone’s favorite (or not so favorite) anti-tax guy Grover Norquist hasn’t jumped on the Senator Ted Cruz bandwagon.  In fact, he’s said  in an interview with the Washington Post that Senator Cruz “pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.”  Pretty strong words towards someone who is the current Tea Party darling (I’m sure he’ll do something to screw that up….see Rubio, Marco).  Anyway, this is an excerpt from the interview with Norquist:

I’m cheerful because every Republicans is for repeal of Obamacare. When’s the last time we passed a big government entitlement and every Republican opposed it and kept pointing out that it’s a mistake? There’s unanimity among Republicans. They all voted against the thing being created and for it being repealed.

The only confusion that comes out is that Cruz stood on the side and confused people about the fact that every Republican agrees. He said if you don’t agree with my tactic and with the specific structure of my idea, you’re bad. He said if the House would simply pass the bill with defunding he would force the Senate to act. He would lead this grass-roots movement that would get Democrats to change their mind. So the House passed it, it went to the Senate, and Ted Cruz said, oh, we don’t have the votes over here. And I can’t find the e-mails or ads targeting Democrats to support it. Cruz said he would deliver the votes and he didn’t deliver any Democratic votes. He pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.

So then the House said, breaking completely with Cruz because Cruz thinks if you’re not defunding the whole thing it’s treason, that there’s delay. There’s getting rid of medical device taxes. They’ve done a series of things to hold together Republicans and break with Cruz. But because we started with the Cruz approach this got to the shutdown.

Makes sense.  We have Tea Party and other conservative groups calling Republicans in the Senate, who voted against Obamacare the first time and have voted time after time after time after time to defund or repeal Obamacare, traitors.  Norquist is right though.  The Republicans have been united that Obamacare is going to be charlie foxtrot and have been trying to tell the American people that.  No doubt that Norquist will be called a RINO/Obama’s best friend/etc. in the coming days by Tea Party groups and conservatives, but what if he’s right?  What if the Republicans did choose the wrong strategy?  We already know that the Democrats and the mainstream news media are trying to place blame solely on the Republicans (even though it was the administration who made an active decision to barricade the national monuments in Washington…though, they haven’t been barricaded in previous shutdowns).  Americans are growing weary of the continued gridlock and peeing contests taking place between the House, Senate, and White House.  At this point, I believe there is plenty of blame to go around for both sides of the aisle.

2014 looks to be a tougher and tougher election year for my party.

33 comments

  1. NoTeabagging says:

    The link above about the barricaded memorials is interesting. True, the Lincoln Memorial and WWII Memorials are open 24/7. The WWII Memorial is open from all sides. We visited in 2007 and were disappointed that many of the lights around the memorial and that area of the mall were not working.

    Curious that these memorials would be closed if, as the article states they are monitored by “park police” that are not affected by the shutdown. Another clever PR distracting ploy?

    • Nathan says:

      I believe the administration wants to send a message to citizens of “See? These Republicans are forcing me to close *your* memorials and *your* national parks….ain’t that awful? Elect Democrats.” The fact is, though, Republicans have passed a bill to fund the National Parks Service, but the Democrats rejected the bill. Both sides are playing politics, but I believe the Democrats are playing politics more so.

      • Monica says:

        Democrats know exactly what Republicans are trying to do – they’re trying to fund the government minus Obamacare in these little bills – it’s not gonna happen, it’s very transparent. This is the reality of being a minority party. Instead of acting stupid, Republicans should focus on how to win enough elections to take over the Senate – THEN they can shut down the government and be in charge of the message. Then they can say – people put us in charge for a reason. Now they’re just taking money away from people who – for the most part – don’t make that much in the first place and won’t have money to cover their bills. Reality check..

        • rrrrr says:

          AH … Well now lets take another look at this

          Think of it this way, how about each item presented above being a line on a budget somewhere. (I know its a stretch since we haven’t had one nationally since about 2009)
          By voting on each one this way – you get appropriations and also agreement on what will raise the DEBT ceiling.

          True it would be better to pass a budget but you won’t cram 5 years into the time we have left so some parallel effort will be required.

          Remember lawyers are not paid by the hour for the work they do on a daily basis like the rest of the masses – but by the sheer number of labor hours they can cram into the last five minutes before court ordered deadlines.

          Problem is a person must KNOW their limitations- yes even lawyers and those who spend far too many hours associated with same.

  2. Monica says:

    As bad as Obamacare is, Reps are wrong and Cruz was wrong. Shutting down the gov obviously doesn’t defund a health care system that’s in place (and Obamacare is our health care system now), if health care depended on congress passing budgets, we’d have people dropping dead all over the place on annual bases.

    There is nothing Republicans can do now, they could have done something before 2008 and Obama was elected – like, I dunno, not mess up so bad that people would rather vote for radical leftists than them, then convince some Dems to oppose the actual legislation in 2009, 2010 because that was the only way to actually stop it (yet they focused on berating them and making cliche political speeches), then try to win some elections in 2012 and most importantly, come up with a better presidential candidate than a guy who actually installed almost identical system in his state, in 2012.

    Basically, you wanna act tough, try winning some meaningful elections. At this rate, I’m starting to wonder how “great” is 2014 gonna be for Republicans who have now shut down the government for a reason that’s not logical and is factually incorrect (they’re not defunding Obamacare) and caused a bunch of decent, honest, hard-working people to lose their paychecks.

    A mess, is what it is, and Cruz walked them into it. And I agree, he walked them into it and now he’s MIA. I saw him on FOX for a few minutes and he made as little sense as when he was rambling on for 21 hours – again, for no logical reasons whatsoever, since he couldn’t filibuster anything. How are normal people suppose to vote for this? We are doomed, Democrats are plain wrong and bankrupting the country, Republicans are idiots with the worst PR machine I have ever seen.

    • rrrrr says:

      Again some may not care for how the “government works”
      (Fast becoming the most used oxymoron of late)

      But concepts are addressed in two phases:
      1) Legislation is enacted 2) Funds are allocated that support, grow or starve the legislation.
      This is how budgets worked in the past.

      Its relatively new to have the Fed hold down key market interest rates to the extent and length of time currently in play and then basically use adhoc CRs at every level.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    Obamacare success will further independents turning away from the GOP’s 30 years of failures. Trickle down was wrong. The GOP perpetually talks about the national debt, but did nothing about it when it was within GOP power to reduce it.

    Of course the GOP is united in rooting for Obamacare to fail. GOP political success is contingent on Obamacare failure since it was a GOP proposal and could reduce deficits, yet they’ve obstructed it at every turn. It’s success will be a double signature GOP failure.

    What did the GOP do on health care when it was in control? Medicare Part D, an unpaid for new entitlement costing twice as much as it was it would cost. But hey, the GOP has good health care proposals, and will reduce entitlements, if given control of government. Tell us about it.

    • rrrrr says:

      Success is far, FAR from reality by any reasonable standard you choose …

      Many proposals are considered but were not implemented at the time of their design because flaws were found to exist in the concept. Stating they thought of it doesn’t make it theirs, one has to ask the creator(s) why it WASN’T put into production.

      This analysis would be a discussion worth holding s0meday, preferably before the OOPS!

      • Dave Bearse says:

        Given the GOP’s total opposition and obstructionism, the bar for success, improvement however little, is low.

  4. John Konop says:

    This is the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room nobody wants to talk about. End of life cost is a key driver. The moment we go here it becomes a political debate about death panels and killing grandma. The truth is we need end of life directives and a panel deciding how much we tax payers will pay on Medicare/Medicaid. If not the system will implode.

    …………..Medicare paid $55 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients’ lives. That’s more than the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of Education. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. Most of the bills are paid for by the federal government with few or no questions asked…………

    …….politically explosive one – a perfect example of the rising costs that threaten to bankrupt the country and how hard it is to rein them in……..

    ………Something like 18 to 20 percent of Americans spend their last days in an ICU,” Byock told Kroft. “And, you know, it’s extremely expensive. It’s uncomfortable. Many times they have to be sedated so that they don’t reflexively pull out a tube, or sometimes their hands are restrained. This is not the way most people would want to spend their last days of life. And yet this has become almost the medical last rites for people as they die.”……….
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-6747002.html

    • NoTeabagging says:

      If the government would aggressively stop all the Medicare/Medicaid fraud there would be enough money to fund two wars.

      • John Konop says:

        In all due respect you are way off. It is fairly simple math problem……aging population, we did not collect nearly enough money and end of life cost curve is out of control. It time for all of us to be honest about the problem.

        • NoTeabagging says:

          Your points about aging population care under the federal system are very valid. Aggressive fraud recovery and prevention would save billions that could go to the proper federal health care programs.

    • Napoleon says:

      John, you hit on one of my biggest concerns about the program, dealing with rationing care. In addition to end of life care, the other gorilla is pre-existing conditions. It sounds good as a talking point, but how much will there be to actually fund it? Truthfully, as everyone will be in the program in the next few months, there will be no more people entering the system with pre-existing (unless it is from birth). Will people who have chronic conditions have it determined that they simply should be given care to make them more comfortable? It is what happens in other systems with socialized medical care.

      • John Konop says:

        All good points! But we are dealing with paying for it now via county emergency room hospitals ie Grady hospital……The rural areas have more problems verse major cities, as Charlie pointed out.

        That is why I have been posting for a long time about how to save money via healthcare. I do think the self insured exchange HSA will help. But at the end of the day, you hit the problem on the nail. That is why we must have a system that only covers cost within reason…..relative to chances of living, unless you have the money. Even a well designed HSA exchange your group controls can only go so far.

    • gcp says:

      The Republicans should vote yes and move on even though Obamacare is bad policy. Folks will wait until they get seriously ill or have a chronic condition before they get coverage resulting in a huge group of folks that will be very expensive to treat. The small fine for no insurance will be loosely enforced or not enforced at all. The only individual rate variables will be smoking and age. An obese diabetic will pay the same as someone not obese or diabetic. As in all taxpayer funded programs, Obamacare will lessen individual responsibility but of course the eventual goal is single-payer.

      What would I do? A couple of quick suggestions: Mandatory living will as soon as one starts on Medicare, change from 30 day to 120 day reimbursements to allow investigators to better catch fraud, end employer tax credits for health insurance to encourage folks to get individual coverage, link drug subsidies to income, legalize overseas drug purchases, include assets and income in any taxpayer subsidized program including Medicaid nursing home care, eliminate five year “lookback” and go back much further than five years.

      • John Konop says:

        GCP,

        ……….The Republicans should vote yes and move on even though Obamacare is bad policy. Folks will wait until they get seriously ill or have a chronic condition before they get coverage resulting in a huge group of folks that will be very expensive to treat……..

        1)Now the uninsured just show at the emergency room and tax payers foot the bill.

        ….The small fine for no insurance will be loosely enforced or not enforced at all. The only individual rate variables will be smoking and age. An obese diabetic will pay the same as someone not obese or diabetic. As in all taxpayer funded programs, Obamacare will lessen individual responsibility but of course the eventual goal is single-payer…..

        2) This could be fixed in the state health exchange.

        ….. Mandatory living will as soon as one starts on Medicare…..

        3) Agree ie end of life directive

        ……change from 30 day to 120 day reimbursements to allow investigators to better catch fraud…..

        4) Major cash flow issue for doctors……They could build a risk model like we use in the payment industry catch the majority of fraud.

        ……end employer tax credits for health insurance to encourage folks to get individual coverage….

        5) No problem as long as the individual got a tax break

        …….link drug subsidies to income,…..

        6) If we just allowed VA drug pricing to be used by exchanges, Medicare……it would lower prices by 60%

        …..legalize overseas drug purchases….

        7) Agree

        ……include assets and income in any taxpayer subsidized program including Medicaid nursing home care, eliminate five year “lookback” and go back much further than five years….

        8) Not sure if this is a major pick up?

        9) Finally you avoided the big one below. Should we cut of coverage on people in below situation on Medicare/Medicaid, and who makes the call?

        ………Something like 18 to 20 percent of Americans spend their last days in an ICU,” Byock told Kroft. “And, you know, it’s extremely expensive. It’s uncomfortable. Many times they have to be sedated so that they don’t reflexively pull out a tube, or sometimes their hands are restrained. This is not the way most people would want to spend their last days of life. And yet this has become almost the medical last rites for people as they die.”……….

        • gcp says:

          John Konop,

          1. Some do pay with cash and others work out hospital payment plans but yes some don’t pay at all

          4. Fraud is often perpetrated by fraudulent providers that bill for services not rendered or just intentionally overbill. An example; a doctor that bills for physical therapy that never occurred. These fraudsters can only be caught by investigators but if you reimburse in thirty days it’s very difficult to recoup the money; that’s why it needs to be at least six months. Legit providers will just have to adjust to a different cash flow.

          6. Not sure because Medicare population is much bigger than VA and the drugs used in Medicare are more diverse than VA.

          8. 2011 Medicaid total Long Term Care Expenditures nationally 118.2 billion, down from 120.6 in 2010. Approximately 50 billion of this is “nursing facility services”, the remainder is “home and community based services.” We have a whole industry of “elder care” lawyers that specialize in transferring and hiding assets so individuals don’t pay anything and government pays the total cost.. Example: An adult child takes title to moms 100,000 house but she continues to live there. Six years later she needs to enter nursing home and she pleads poverty so taxpayers fund the whole cost. I say that kid needs to give up that house before Medicaid kicks in. I know it sounds cruel but these are the solutions we need.

          9. Expand the living will/directive/durable power to those on Medicaid, Medicare and those in the exchanges. If you don’t sign one upon entry, you don’t get coverage. Ultimately if the attending docs say no sign of recovery life should end unless family will cover all the cost.

          • John Konop says:

            1) You are right some do pay, but on a macro the numbers are ugly and growing.

            2) Not to sound arrogant but I am sure i was given time as well many with my background could build a great indicator model…..What we do is hold money on accounts that we flag….

            6) You are correct but from what I read they cover it over 80 percent of the time.

            8) I get your point…..not sure if we could not create more incentive for home healthcare by relatives…..

            9) We are on the same page…….

  5. SmyrnaModerate says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens from here. The news media right now is left without a new angle to cover without any ongoing negotiations and the weekend fast coming. Next week that will change. Next Friday the 11th is the next payday for federal employees so get ready for all the stories about federal workers who won’t be able to pay their bills. Especially look for stories that focus on the roughly half of federal employees who are still working and still won’t get paid next week. The AJC has tweeted several times this week for federal workers affected by the shutdown to contact reporters so those stories are well underway. I’m sure pretty much every other local newspaper in the country is doing the same.

  6. Harry says:

    Hey Democrats, The US does have a problem. Maybe you can forget your partisan interests long enough to help fix it. A status quo approach is the problem – not the solution. We’ve gone as far as we can down this unsustainable path. Here’s a clue: We’re not all equal. Never have been, never will be.

    • benevolus says:

      That is the strangest comment. I think it’s Dems who recognize that not everyone is equal, and therefore some get marginalized by the system and they need a little help.

      To me, making everyone fend for themselves regardless of the circumstances of their birth or their fate is assuming equality.

  7. northside101 says:

    And Nathan, 2016 (president) may not look much better (for Republicans). When the Democrats, in a presidential contest, have California (55 electoral votes, Obama margin of 3 million votes over Romney) and New York (29 electoral votes, Obama margin of 2 million votes) locked up, they already have a leg up in getting the 270 electoral vote count needed to win. Those two states combined account for 30 percent of the electoral votes needed to win—and we haven’t even gotten to many other states that are reliably Democratic at the presidential level (Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts. In the last 6 presidential elections (1992-2012), 18 states and DC have voted Democratic (for president) each time—combined 242 electoral votes. Another 3 states (Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico) have gone Democratic 5 of the last 6 presidential elections (15 electoral votes combined). Hard to see how the shutdown helps to begin improving GOP fortunes (for president) in the blue states. And not all GOP congressmen come from hard-right districts. Virginia, for instance, has 2 GOP congressmen in politically marginal districts (one in Northern Virginia, which increasingly is a blue sea, and one in Virginia Beach, which at best these days is only marginally Republican). And Virginia, unlike 1952-2004 when it went GOP for president every time save for the 1964 LBJ landslide, backed Obama twice so at best is a purple state.

    John makes some interesting points on health care reform. He’s right we have to address the uncomfortable questions and address the reality that while our health care “wants” or unlimited, our resources clearly are not. That may not have been apparent when LBJ got Medicare through Congress in 1965 (like 2010 with Obamacare, thanks to hefty Democratic majorities in both chambers), but certainly is nearly 50 years later….

    • Harry says:

      From Tyler Durden:

      Youth unemployment around the world is dreadfully high and rising. An entire generation is now coming of age without being able to leave the nest or have any prospect of earning a decent wage in their home country. Young people in particular get the sharp end of the stick – they’re the last to be hired, the first to be fired, the first to be sent off to fight and die in foreign lands, and the first to have their benefits cut; and if they’re ever lucky enough to find meaningful employment, they can count on working their entire lives to pay down the debts of previous generations through higher and higher taxes. But when it comes time to collect… finally… those benefits won’t be there for them.

      • John Konop says:

        Harry,

        Worldwide we are facing a widen gap between rich and poor. As I have posted many times on this blog Henry Ford wanted workers to make enough money to buy the products they produce. We have a worldwide system that seeks the cheapest labor cost……this has created a race to the bottom for the middle class of the world…..You can always find the most desperate people willing to work for less peanuts…..Very simple concept, middle class spends which produces……kill middle class and it it all slides down hill…..We hid this with giving people credit they could not pay back for years……Now unless wages start going up for the working class we cannot fix the problems like healthcare…….

        • Harry says:

          We’re now unable to compete thanks to special interest-driven policies such as dumbed down education and excessive living standard heretofore. Under such conditions the rich get richer and the rest have zero future. It’s no country for young men and women.

            • Harry says:

              Free trade was supposed to be the answer, but since we can’t compete anymore, it isn’t. So protection is needed, but just like everything else we’ll do protectionist measures half-a** and thus the cure will be worse than the disease. Maybe we can drill enough oil to fix the problem, but I doubt it. Anyway I prefer we not generate a bunch of lazy freeloaders like Saudi and the Gulf States. Oh wait, we already have thanks to the paper dollar.

              The main problem is, this nation is in decline just like every other empire in history; and our decline is rapid one because that’s how everything happens these days. A lot of folks are in denial concerning this matter. They’ll wake up when it personally hits them, or not.

              The difference between us and China is they they are smart, industrious, and thrifty, so they will win with or without the overhead of their government.

              • John Konop says:

                Harry,

                It is a simple math problem. If you pay workers 2 dollars a day in China they do not have enough buying power ie which is why China is having their own real estate crisis……How can a 2 dollar a day worker afford, housing, health insurance……? At the end their government ends up subsidizing the working class.

                In our country we lost the middle class jobs to places like China and replaced them with service sector jobs with way less pay or some manufacturing jobs with way less pay….If a family does not have a livable wage once again the people are subsidized by tax payers for healthcare, housing……..

                Ironically, China and us are convinced the solution is just education. In China only the top 5 percent go on to college, and they have the same problem as us ie not enough jobs for college graduates. In the circle of life you need a balance of production workers, service workers and management.

                The final curve ball is technology moving at a rapid pace via human intelligence. As we automate we need less production workers……At the same time we see an increase in service jobs needed for support of automation ie welders, truckers, help desk……if the jobs are not at a livable wage we are just subsidizing them one way or another.

                The key is cutting a win/win trade deal that prompts lifting the bar on wages for working class…..not a race to lowest standard we have now.

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