Blue Dogs Argue For Increased Government Spending

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 15:02

The first descriptive term the Blue Dogs use to describe themselves on their website is "fiscally conservative." Calling themselves "fiscally conservative," is kind of hard to swallow, given that as a group between 60% and 90% of them voted for blank checks in Iraq in 2007, the Wall Street bailout in October, the stimulus bill in February, and the largest budget in history back in March. So, the Blue Dogs are fiscally conservative, except on every single major spending policy.

Another great example of Blue Dog fiscal conservatism comes from their letter to Speaker Pelosi on health care. In the letter, they actually argue it would be bad if the federal government saved costs by spending less to pay for health care:

In order to establish a level playing field, providers must be fairly reimbursed at negotiated rates and their participation must be voluntary. A "Medicare-like" public option would negatively impact hospitals, doctors and patients. Medicare reimbursement is on average 20 to 30 percent lower than private plans and this inequality is even greater in some parts of the country.

This is an outright negation of their primary public rationale for existence. The 40 Blue Dogs who signed this letter are actually arguing that the federal government should pay 20-30% more than current plans indicate for the exact same amount of the exact same services. They want the federal government to spend more and get nothing extra back in return.

Many of the Blue Dogs are simply not intellectually honest. Some others are not even really that intellectual, given how often they contradict themselves and repeat lobbyist talking points verbatim.

If they were smart and intellectually honest, you might be able to point out to them it is impossible to start lowering the cost of health insurance unless some entity begins selling lower priced health insurance. The Blue Dog argument is that we can just keep paying everyone in the health care industry the same amount of money, and that somehow prices will go down anyway. That doesn't make any sense, but try explaining that to them.

Chris Bowers :: Blue Dogs Argue For Increased Government Spending

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Blue Dogs (4.00 / 1)
"If they were smart and intellectually honest, you might be able to point out to them it is impossible to start lowering the cost of health insurance unless some entity begins selling lower priced health insurance."

You don't suppose their taking lobbyist money had anything to do with it do you?    

I hate Blue Dogs as much as Republicans... (4.00 / 1)
if not more.

John McCain won't insure children

Are there any idealogical distinctions anymore (4.00 / 1)
or is is just a question about who is for sale and who is an "idealist?"

I know there some people who favor violence as a first resort, who call themselves "hawks," but I bet a lot of them are just already sold to the military industrial complex, so I'm not even sure that favoring aggression counts as ideology.

It's hard for me to think up any left/right issue split that does not eventually come down to a struggle between the rich and not rich.

Sometimes the rich run for office to protect their wealth.

Sometimes the not rich run for office and sell themselves to the rich.

Sometimes the rich run for office and do the right thing. (FDR!)

And occasionally, the not rich run for office and remember what it was like for them before. Now, that's my representative Woolsey, who I cannot say enough good things about lately.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

"Fiscally Conservative" (4.00 / 1)
I think they are using the traditional meaning of this phrase, which does not mean they are against government spending.  Traditionally this means they are for balanced budgets and paying your way.  Obama's budget is actually fiscally conservative by this definition.

But other than that nitpick I agree with you completely.  And hell, you could make the case the Blue Dogs haven't the fainest idea what they are talking and just say things they think sound good.

And if "progressives" were smart and intellectually honest... (4.00 / 2)
... they'd be arguing for single payer, which saves $350 billion a year in adminsitrative costs by eliminating CEO salaries and bonuses, profit, and all the call centers set up to deny people care.


I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

"Those Lazy Mexicans Are Stealing All Our Jobs!" (4.00 / 1)
See subject line for sample of Blue Dog intellect in action.

"Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was."
    --Byrne/Eno, "Once In A Lifetime"

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

It's probably no coincidence that once rahm got shouted down ... (4.00 / 2)
... all of a sudden out comes his blue dogs ... which he has nurtured, trained and empowered ... barking in unison against universal health care.  Funny they hadn't made much noise at all until now ...

emanuel is known all around dc as being the dlc's master of deceit who serves big business interests while providing cover for the dems therefore serving personal, party and and big business interests all at the same time while working against the average American's interetsts.  And here he is again coming down on the side of the insurance companies when this is a life and death matter for many people.  People have died, people will continue to die if we do not have universal health care.  rahm is evil.

He didn't fall from the sky like an asteroid into the chief of staff position. obama hired him.  And why does the 83-dimensional chess player's games always end up with the corporate interests getting their checkmate? Why does obama constantly say one thing and do the exact opposite?

Maybe it's way past time that folks recognize the lack of logic in believing that obama is both a very smart man and a good man.  If everybody else knows what rahm is all about, is it possible that the man who was at the head of his class at harvard law school and who was a senator in the same state as rahm was a congressman does not somehow know this bastard's MO?  Is he too dumb to realize that rahm continually works against the american people's interests even as he does it practically underneath his nose undermining the policies that he waxes so eloquently about to the American public?

I don't think that it is possible.  The pope of hope is not dumb; he is just a selfish fraud who deceives the american people while he continually serves big business' interests.  


Whoa... (4.00 / 2)
You have to go a little farther to find their true rationale here...  It's not the same as the Senate, where they want to save their friends in the insurance industry...  The blue dogs' rationale comes from a different direction entirely, and a semi-legit one at that.

The reason why they don't like the medicare piggy-back option is simple.  Rural hospitals and doctors get hosed on medicare payments...  Basically their beef isn't with the public option at all, but with the medicare payment formula... something they've been griping about for a long time, and a gripe that has some merit... improve the payment formula, and they are all in.. they pretty much made that clear in their complaint...

This griping is their leverage to improve the medicare reimbursement rates for their constituents...  something that would have been tinkered with anyways... so, they will get credit for something that will be essentially be guaranteed to happen no matter what...

That's how blue dogs operate... all bark, no bite... get credit for stuff that is predestined to happen anyways... seem like they "struck down" liberals, get some good quotes in their local newspapers, blah blah...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

it's both (0.00 / 0)
They are hung up on the medicare reimbursement rate problem, which makes it hard to attract doctors in rural areas and makes it hard for rural hospitals.

But many of the Blue Dogs are also corporate whores trying to protect the insurance industry.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Ask a blue dog why he got elected (4.00 / 2)

 One would think that if the voters in a blue-dog district wanted a Republican wingnut, they would have voted for a Republican wingnut, a specimen not exactly in short supply in these districts.

 But they didn't. So obviously there was some reason they voted for the Democrat.

 Can the blue dogs identify that reason? One would think they would, assuming they do, in fact, desire to be re-elected.

  Maybe they don't.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

Thank you Chris (4.00 / 1)
I think this point is accurate and and an excellent honest avenue of attack for the BD's. I've been saying much the same in my home state for quite some time now. And as for defending their "paygo" brand of conservatism as a beneficial style of conservatism right now, well that's a crock too. Considering we all know what we need is targeted real stimulus (defecit) spending on a grand scale (while we still can)!

They are never for raising taxes to pay for their mega expenditures. Have never tried with any sincerity to pay for these wars or anything else as they go or years after the fact, for that matter. They are cons not conservative. The very fact they are not out leading the charge for single payer or real public competition says it ALL in re their bullshit fiscal conservatism.

We are the most expensive in the world by far... even by the standard of what medicare pays now. This is a time to lower costs 30 to 50 percent, certainly not raise anyones pay... until we get a real handle on care for all. Lets get the salesmen out of the doctors office and free their time up for patient care... then evaluate how much they earn for an honest days work.

I cannot read all signatures on the letter. I see Arkansas Marion (anti choice) Berry signed on, but can't tell if Mike Ross signed?

The Blue Dogs' votes for the stimulus and the budget (0.00 / 0)
Are we congratulating them for voting the right way or criticizing them for being hypocrites?

Cuz I'm all for doing both, at the same time.


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