The GOP is openly calling the US economy their “hostage.”

Headline from Common Dreams

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said the U.S. potentially defaulting on its debt would be a boon for Republicans in 2024.

Action #1: Call your legislators!

CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS: Republicans will try and peel off some Democrats, duping them in with promises of “bipartisanship” or “commissions” to find a solution. But we’ve seen this before, and we know Republicans aren’t to be trusted. 

Minimal call or email script to your representative and senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I am so angry that the GOP is willing to deliberately burn down our economy, along with all our savings, retirement funds, social safety net programs, educational funding, climate change assistance and veterans benefits, as a strategy to help them win elections in 2024. Their “compromise” proposal – the duplicitously-named “Limit, Save, Grow Act,” is just another gift to the wealthiest and corporations to dodge paying their fair share of taxes. Do not remove funding from the IRS – it’s the only check we have on these people.

Please tell Rep/Senator [___] not to cave or cooperate in any way with their plans to economically cripple this country. Have them tell Biden to invoke the 14th amendment, mint a coin or just ignore them as the traitors to their oath of office and this country that they are.


  • Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?:

Action #2: Write Biden!

We created two model letters to send to Biden here!

It’s easy to write to him! Just click on and you’ve got 2000 characters to tell him what you think.

However, sharing with him a personal story – how you, your friends, family or coworkers would be harmed by the GOP’s extortionate funding cuts in exchange for doing their damn job – is just as good or better for stiffening his spine. (We’ve copied the Whitehouse letter below for an easy reference to what the GOP is up to.)

Here’s a new example!

Dear Joe,

One of the cool things about being older is not worrying so much about the sniping from below.

No matter which way you turn or try to compromise with the GOP, they want to hurt us and our economy, which they are now openly calling a “hostage.” They are depraved enough to believe that traumatizing us middle-class and poor Americans is their only viable 2024 election strategy, while they grovel to corporations and donors so wealthy that they are literally creating 1000-year trusts to protect their assets from ever being taxed.

The GOP’s “Limit, Save, Grow Act” appears to be just three random words they’ve chosen to protect rich tax cheats and savagely cut spending on federal nutrition assistance, Medicaid, affordable housing, childcare, and other key programs. Don’t let them slash the IRS either. It’s the only real check we have on wealthy cheaters.

This GOP is no longer the party of your younger days, one pretending to “fiscal conservatism”. They are now openly economic terrorists and we are done with this.

You have a chance now to keep your word to us. To be a hero.

But no one becomes a hero without risk. Invoke the 14th! Mint a coin. Do whatever is necessary to stop their circus of horrors and run ’em out of town.

Resources to share with your friends who don’t understand what’s going on!

Some people understand videos better than articles. Pick what you think will resonate with your friends and family. The crash the GOP is contemplating for us will “sink most boats,” no matter the political persuasion of the owner.

[O]n Tuesday, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz leaned into the charge as he explained to reporters that he and his fellow hardline conservatives would likely reject any sort of compromise deal that watered down the party-line bill Republicans passed through the House. “I think my conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow, and they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage,” Gaetz told Semafor.

As Common Dreams describes it: “The Limit, Save, Grow Act is legislation that Republicans passed in a party-line vote last month, staking out their position that the debt ceiling shouldn’t be raised unless rich tax cheats are protected and an axe is taken to spending on federal nutrition assistance, Medicaid, affordable housing, childcare, and other key programs.

(WaPo) “McCarthy (R-Calif.) is not only refusing to put any of the Trump-era tax cuts for the best-off and corporations on the table; he also wants to make them permanent, adding $3.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade. So much for “deficit reduction” as the central purpose of this exercise.

(Simon Rosenberg) “Do Republicans care about debt and deficits?

  • The deficit went up every year of Trump’s Presidency
  • It went up under the last 4 Republican Presidents
  • Every Republican voted against the Clinton, Obama and Biden budgets which significantly lowered the annual deficit

So, no Republicans don’t care about debt and deficits. What McCarthy and Trump care about is pushing the economy into a recession to weaken Biden. As we’ve discussed the two options McCarthy gave us – deep cuts or default – would have both resulted in deep recessions. That is McCarthy’s goal. What Biden is trying to do now is to avoid default and get the level of cuts down to a number that won’t push an already slowing economy into recession.

Almost everything Kevin McCarthy is saying now about the economy and what he wants to do is red wavy fabulation. The economy is strong, not weak. The inflation we’ve seen is not Biden’s fault and has come way down in recent months.

Americans aren’t falling behind but getting ahead. Our recovery has been the strongest of any G7 nation – the “comeback” DeSantis talks about has already happened. Biden has lowered the deficit not increased it, and McCarthy voted against those budgets.

What Democrats have failed to do over the past few weeks is to turn the GOP’s fiscal conversation – cuts – into an economic one that talks about growth, jobs, incomes, and deficits. Historically, Democrats focus on smart economic strategies which is why the economy does so much better when we are in power. Republicans approach the economic conversation largely through a fiscal lens because their goal isn’t to create growth, it is to stop “tax and spend.” Their central policy goal is to ensure that people they view as undeserving get as little as possible.”

It’s a “manufactured crisis.”

(Heather Cox Richardson – Wednesday) “White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre informed reporters about the budget negotiations and averting default, calling it a “manufactured crisis.” She called out members of the far-right Freedom Caucus for referring to the full faith and credit of the United States as a hostage, and reiterated that it is the duty of every member of Congress to avert the default that will cost millions of jobs lost, devastate retirement accounts, and throw the United States—and the world—into a recession.

“Let’s be clear about what Republicans are demanding in exchange for doing their job and preventing a default,” she said. “Earlier this year, they put forward an extreme package of devastating cuts that would slash…support for education, law enforcement, food assistance—the list goes on and on and on and on—by what now would be about 30 percent.”

While Jean-Pierre didn’t say it, the Republicans’ insistence that spending is out of control does not reflect reality. In fact, discretionary spending has fallen more than 40% in the past 50 years as a percentage of gross domestic product, from 11% to 6.3%. What has driven rising deficits are the George W. Bush and Donald Trump tax cuts, which will have added $8 trillion and $1.7 trillion, respectively, to the debt by the end of the 2023 fiscal year.”

(Thursday) “Biden’s proposed budget invests in ordinary Americans and over 10 years is projected to reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion by “asking the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share and by slashing wasteful spending on special interests.” In contrast, “House Republicans…want to slash programs millions of hardworking Americans count on, while also protecting tax breaks skewed to the wealthy and corporations that will add $3.5 trillion to the debt. That’s where these negotiations began,” she said.”

The Debt Ceiling Is Just “Two Santas” in Drag

Republicans are dropping their Two Santas bomb right onto President Joe Biden’s head. It worked against Clinton & Obama and the media never caught on. Why wouldn’t they use it again?

“…Here’s how it works, laid it out in simple summary:

To set up its foundation, Wanniski’s “Two Santas” strategy dictates, when Republicans control the White House they must spend money like a drunken Santa and cut taxes on the rich, all to intentionally run up the US debt as far and as fast as possible

They started this during the Reagan presidency and tripled down on it during the presidencies of Bush and Trump with massive tax cuts for billionaires and increases in spending across-the-board.

Those massive tax cuts and that uncontrolled spending during Republican presidencies produced three results:

  1. They stimulated the economy with a sort of sugar high, making people think that the GOP can produce a good economy;
  2. They raised the national debt dramatically (it’s at $32 trillion today, almost all of which tracks back to Reagan’s, Bush Jr.’s, and Trump’s massive tax cuts and Bush’s two illegal off-the-books wars);
  3. And they made people think that Republicans are the “tax-cut Santa Clauses.” 

Then comes part two of the one-two punch: when a Democrat is in the White House, Republicans must scream about the national debt as loudly and frantically as possiblefreaking out about how “our children will have to pay for it!” and “you must cut spending to solve the crisis!”

The “debt crisis,” that is, that they themselves created with their massive tax cuts and wild spending.

Do whatever it takes, the “Two Santas” strategy goes. Tie up legislation, deny a quorum, filibuster, whatever.

…And, sure enough, here we are again with a Democrat in the White House.

Which is why, following Wanniski’s script, Republicans are again squealing about the national debt and saying they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, possibly crashing the US economy. 

And, once again, the media is preparing to cover it as a “Debt Ceiling Crisis!” rather than what it really is: a cynical political and media strategy devised by Republicans in the 1970s, fine-tuned in the 1980s, and since then rolled out every time a Democrat is in the White House. 

Here is just a taste of the harm the MAGA Majority plans to exact on average Americans: 

  • Rips Away Aid From Millions of Seniors and Children: CNN: “The proposal would return funding for federal agencies to fiscal 2022 levels, while aiming to limit the growth in spending to 1% per year… slashing nutrition services for 1 million senior citizens and eliminating affordable housing assistance for close to 1.1 million families. Also, the reduction would impact the 6.6 million students who rely on Pell Grants and the 1.2 million women, infants and children who receive nutrition assistance through WIC, DeLauro said. Plus, 200,000 children would lose access to Head Start and 100,000 children would lose access to child care.” 
  • Offshores 100,000 Good-Paying Green Jobs: USA TODAY: “McCarthy’s debt ceiling plan to cut $4.5 trillion in spending would jeopardize more than 100,000 green manufacturing jobs – many in Republican congressional districts – announced as a result of incentives in President Joe Biden’s landmark climate law, the White House said Thursday.”
  • Slows Down Social Security Administration: Reuters: ‘Republican states could be hit hardest by McCarthy’s proposed spending cuts’ : But the [Social Security Administration] warned last month that budget cuts could make it more difficult to administer benefits. That could have a bigger impact in Trump-voting states, where 20.1% of residents rely on the program, compared to 18.6% of residents in Biden states.”
  • Eliminates Student Debt Forgiveness for 40 Million Americans: U.S. Department of Education: “Today, McCarthy declared that he will force a catastrophic default and plunge America into recession unless he can claw back school relief dollars and prevent millions of hardworking Americans – including over 83,000 borrowers in his own district – from getting the student debt relief they need coming out of the pandemic. […] Overall, more than 40 million borrowers would qualify for the Biden Administration’s debt relief program. Nearly 90 percent of the benefits of the relief going to out-of-school borrowers would go to those earning less than $75,000 per year.
  • Strips Away Aid for Americans Crushed by Debt: Student Borrower Protection Center: “This does more than block badly needed action to cancel student debt for nearly everyone—House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has proposed unwinding the widely popular pandemic-era pause on interest charges and reversing debt discharges already granted to more than 100,000 teachers, healthcare workers, and others who served on the front lines of America’s pandemic response. Even worse, this proposal would make permanent the debt trap for any borrower who does not earn enough money to afford their monthly loan bills by blocking the Administration’s newly proposed Income-Driven Repayment plan. The student loan system was broken when President Biden inherited it from Donald Trump. Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans are making it clear they like it that way.”
  • Guts Veterans’ Telehealth Access and Threatens National Security: Fed Scoop:  “Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough on Wednesday warned that a move to cap his agency’s budget at fiscal 2022 levels could harm its telehealth and cybersecurity programs. McDonough set out concerns about a $345 million shortfall within the VA Office of Information Technology (OIT) and a $465 million shortfall in infrastructure and technology funding regarding major construction elements if Republican proposals to cap the budget succeed.”
    • Secretary McDonough Noted Veteran Affairs Had Seen A “‘3000% Increase In The Use Of Telehealth’” Since Fiscal Year 2022. “The secretary’s comments follow a commitment by House Republicans, reiterated earlier this month, to cap the federal government budget at 2022 levels. In particular, McDonough stressed the potential negative effects of Republican proposals on telehealth reliability. ‘I’m told the office of [information] and technology would have a $345 million shortfall… which would have a significant impact on network reliability which is increasingly what we use for a 3000% increase in use of telehealth so it would have an impact there, McDonough said.”
  • Leaves Millions Hungry – Including Children and Veterans:Reuters: “McCarthy also proposed stiffening work requirements for benefit programs like SNAP, which provides grocery money for low-income people. That… could hit Republican-leaning states harder: 3.1% of the population in those states could lose benefits, compared with 2.8% of residents in Biden states, according to a Reuters analysis of data compiled by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.”
    • CBPP: “Nationwide more than 10 million people, about 1 in 4 SNAP participants, live in households that would be at risk of losing food assistance benefits under this bill. That includes about 6 million people who would potentially be newly subject to the time limit and at risk of losing SNAP, and about 4 million children who live in families that could have their SNAP benefits reduced, harming the entire household.”
    • Politico: “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently told House Agriculture members who oversee SNAP that the ‘able-bodied’ group of low-income Americans without dependents receiving assistance is ‘mostly male and mostly homeless,’ including homeless veterans. People who have just aged out of foster care are also in the group. This population of SNAP recipients tends to have lower education levels, as well.” 
  • Decimates Infrastructure: Reuters found McCarthy’s proposed cuts to discretionary spending would disproportionately impact “states that backed Republican President Donald trump in the 2020 presidential election,” with these 25 states receiving $1,196 per person “in the last fiscal year for highway construction, housing, public health and other purposes” compared to $1,079 per person in the 25 states and Washington, DC that went for President Biden.
  • Any provisions ensuring multi-billion corporations pay their fair share in taxes – or closing any special corporate tax loopholes? Not a Single One. 

These billionaires have more money than the US Treasury right now

Below are the billionaires with more money than the Treasury currently.

  • LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault – $189 billion 
  • Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk – $179 billion 
  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – $139 billion 
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – $125 billion 
  • Oracle co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison – $116 billion 
  • Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – $113 billion 
  • Google co-founder Larry Page – $112 billion 
  • Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett – $111 billion 
  • Google co-founder Sergey Brin – $106 billion 
  • Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg – $92.3 billion 
  • Investor and América Móvil founder Carlos Slim – $90.3 billion 
  • L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers – $87.2 billion 
  • Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani – $83.7 billion 
  • Inditex founder Amancio Ortega – $67.1 billion 
  • Walmart heir Jim Walton – $66.6 billion 
  • Walmart heir Rob Walton – $64.9 billion 
  • Walmart heiress Alice Walton – $63.8 billion 
  • Adani Group founder and Chairman Gautum Adani – $63.4 billion 
  • Mars candy heiress Jacqueline Badger Mars – $61.7 billion 
  • Mars heir and Chairman John Mars – $61.7 billion 
  • Nongfu Spring founder and Chairman Zhong Shanshan – $61.6 billion 
  • David Koch heirs Julia Flesher Koch and family – $60.6 billion 
  • Koch Industries CEO and Chairman Charles Koch – $60.4 billion 
  • Dell Technologies CEO and Chairman Michael Dell – $53.4 billion

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