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Intro: "Republicans say they want to save the country from Obama's reckless spending. But as Paul Begala argues, it's the GOP's policies that have driven the nation into the ground."

Speaker of the House John Boehner (left) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor listen during a news briefing after a House Republican conference meeting, 06/22/11. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House John Boehner (left) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor listen during a news briefing after a House Republican conference meeting, 06/22/11. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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+81 # Mickeyfilm 2011-07-30 11:16
Paul Begala has written the best and most clear description of what is happening. I wish it was on the front page of every American newspaper.
+7 # Virginia 2011-07-31 03:05
Hold on - where does he tell you that after Clinton balanced the budget that he gave away the keys to the store?! Clinton hardly apologizes for signing away the Glass Steagall act. We're in this mess because NO ONE regulated the derivatives on Wall Street. If no one else will say it I will, "It was REALLY dumb to do away with the Glass Steagall act, sir." About as dumb as having Lewinsky under your desk.

You can raise all the great race horses you want to but if you leave the barn door unlocked chances are they will be gone by the next morning.
+15 # Jim Bruner 2011-07-31 08:19
Sen. Phil Gramm, who later became presidential candiadate John McCain's financial advisoor and who called the American people "a bunch of whiners," slipped the Glass-Steagall killer into the bill that was passed with such a huge majority by a Republican Congress that it was veto-proof.
+1 # Susan Newman 2011-08-01 17:38
Paul Begala...I respect him so much...your remarks are right on Mickeyfilm!
+72 # LeeBlack 2011-07-30 11:27
The Republicans got in bed with the Tea Party to have a Republican majority, now they are infested with uncontrollable fleas.
0 # Bill Clements 2011-07-30 15:01
Both parties had fleas, but, yes, the Flea Party had more.
0 # Bill Clements 2011-07-31 00:06
My point being: both parties had the fleas.
+42 # DPM 2011-07-30 11:35
All so easy to see, yet, at least, 30% of our population is completely bind and another 30% myopic. So, now what?
+11 # billy bob 2011-07-30 21:19
Time for the other 40% to start paying attention.
+64 # humanmancalvin 2011-07-30 11:39
Mr. Begala is as right on as he could possibly be. Even on MSNBC (outside of the Rachel Maddow Show) one does not hear these evident-truths. So sick of news broadcasters trying to spin this (& other) stories as if there are two equal opposing views. Of course Fox News breaks from the pack & distorts, twists, manipulates & bends each & every story the GOP way. How I wish for a competent tell it like it is news sation. More Rachel Maddows & Kieth Olbermans are desperately needed. And Begalas.
+3 # AML 2011-08-01 16:01
Dylan Ratigan, from the belly of the beast (Wall St.) does a pretty good job at naming the banksters and the how's and why's of how it all got so bad. Morning Joe can be obnoxious, but they too have guests who really know what's going on.
+35 # JCM 2011-07-30 11:41
Thank You Paul
+46 # Barbara K 2011-07-30 11:49
All we have to do is look at what is happening with essentially a 3-party system and learn how dysfunctional a 3-party system is. We've had a 2 party system that had been for the most part working well, maybe not always perfect, but not so dysfunctional. It was the Republican actions under Bush and Gang who put this country into this economic crisis, and once again, it will take Democrats to rescue us again. We may not be able to accomplish much until we are rid of the Tbaggers who have infested the House. Time to fumigate the House. This President has been having to deal with conditions that no other president has had to deal with. No other one has ever had to face the relentless attacks and racism from the Rs and try to rescue our economy and face such debt crisis left by the Bush Gang. No President can accomplish all in the short time he has been in office, 2 1/2 years. The fact that he got as much done as he has is a miracle in itself. He needs our support, not our condemnation, he already gets enough of that along with hundreds of daily death threats. What a despicable bunch of selfish SOBs these baggers are. We need to rid ourselves of them, and the sooner that is accomplished, the better off our country will be, as well as her people, that means us.
+30 # ABen 2011-07-30 12:10
Barbara K,
Very well put. Obama has the patience of Job when it comes to dealing with the obstructionist Republicans and the petulant, childish Tbaggers. It would be heartening to see the rational Republicans who still remain in both houses (yes, there are still some in office) rise up and take back their party before it becomes little more than source material for the Daily Show.
+5 # boudreaux 2011-07-31 15:56
Very well said Barbara K. I wish more were are out spoken as you are and as to the point of saying it so blantely...You go girl....
+50 # ABen 2011-07-30 11:58
For those of you who like to add facts to this discussion, see the chart from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. the cold hard numbers clearly point out that the Bush Admin was responsible for 5+ trillion of the current debt, while the Obama admin is responsible for just under 1.5 Trillion. I know this will be hard to swallow for Republicans/Con servatives who still believe the myth that Republicans are fiscally responsible, but facts are stubborn things. Eat your peas! :-)
+36 # angelfish 2011-07-30 11:58
Bravo, Mr. Begala! What these Ultra Right-Wing Conservatives have done to our Economy, as well as the World's will reverberate for Centuries! Not content to trash President Obama, they are INTENT on turning us into the drones they need keep their Fiefdoms up and running! Surely the Koch bros. & Grover Norquist see the Idiocy of what their GREED has wrought? If they haven't, they are as Mentally challenged as the Tea Partiers? Are they NOT citizens? Have they no hearts or minds to see the damage they are doing? When people have nothing left to lose, the Possibilities are ENDLESS for whatever Mayhem can be achieved. I see now why they support the NRA, however I bet they never dreamed their ARMED Whack-o Militias might EVER turn their guns on THEM ala Banana Republic Rebellion! Think about it. Le Deluge is imminent! If you can't swim, I hope you can at least, tread water! Dear SANE and SENSIBLE brothers and sisters. Fall back and re-group, the biggest fight of the 21st Century is about to be waged and it is NOT against a Foreign enemy. We have MET the enemy, and they sits in our, once hallowed Halls of Congress. They're known as Newbie ReTHUGlican NAYSAYERS who rePudiate even their OWN leadership! Beware their ignorance. IT is what will DESTROY the very Fabric of our Country! Fight them with all your hearts, minds and souls! DON'T let them win, because if they do, we ALL lose!
+30 # frank 2011-07-30 12:09
Billionaire Investment in Tea Party Gone Bad?
Perhaps the super rich who funded the Tea Party and anti-tax movement are getting hurt the most. The stock market and bond markets have retreated and the super rich own most of them.
Gullible Tea party members and others were convinced that tax breaks for rich “job creators” were more important than anything, including the US economy, credit rating, Medicare, Social Security, education, police and fire protection.
These lemming-like voters elected inflexible idalogs to fight taxes and debt no matter who gets hurt.
Were the investments made by the super rich in the Tea Party their worst?
Maybe paying a little more corporate and personal taxes would have been a better investment.
+26 # J.Lindsley 2011-07-30 12:11
The ignorance of history and the workings of our democracy is the major element of out state of ignominy.

This is what happens when Education and The Arts are cut at the slightest downplay of the economy...,alwa ys cut there first.

And how much of it was as deliberate and intentional as fascist dance of death for DEMOCRACY.
+23 # Carrot 2011-07-30 12:38
Paul Begala has always been right on. And I feel he is this time too. But - no-one has mentioned racism. Racism is what this is all about, think about it. The conservatives degrade this President constantly and unless someone does something about that, it will continue. Who in the world does this Eric Kantor think he is???? Please, I pray the American people have woken up and smelled the coffee regarding McConnell, Kantor and Boehner - they are trying so hard to make the President look bad because he is black and I must say brilliant. They shouldn't be able to speak for us. PLEASE - PEOPLE, DON'T LISTEN TO THESE IDIOT'S.....
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-07-31 11:38
Carrot, you are right this is largely concerning RACISM. It is easier for Racists to fall back on that old outdated fear of "negros" than to face up to it like a man.
+2 # mcartri 2011-07-30 12:45
Paul, you do recall Dodd(D) & Gramm(R) teamed-up to kill the Glass-Steagall Act in late 1999? Clinton(D) signed it. I'm a progressive, who sees a moderate, Republican Obama, enabling a GOP agenda of social program cuts, supporting bills from both parties that have no sacrifice asked of the rich. Is there any doubt the Bush/Obama tax cuts for the rich will not be extended? The Democratic Party, as well as the GOP, I grew-up with from my first vote for HHH in '68, are both gone, replaced by two-parties representing the ting oligarchy of billionaires & millionaires that own them both now. I will NOT waste my vote on Romney or Obama. It's third party time.
+6 # margoharris 2011-07-30 16:58
So you are going to vote 3 party and let the rightwing win and what will that have accomplished for progressive policies? Sometimes you have to fight. The grass isn't always greener in the third party. What a nihlist like a bagger you sound.
+6 # Dolores A McGuigan 2011-07-31 07:30
i agree with some of your points, however, to put the Republicans and the Tea baggers in control is senseless.
-1 # Lucius 2011-08-03 16:29
I agree, it is time to create a third party. Something like a Green Progressive Party. It won't happen overnight and may not have any influence on the 2012 elections, but we must begin. MLK didn't change civil rights overnight; it took years. But by organizing and protesting real change happened. I believe that at this point there are enough disaffected Democratic voters (especially the young idealists who organized and actively campaigned in 2008) to build the base for a new party. And not some teabagging pseudo party, but a real third rail political party to challenge the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans.

The teabaggers elected some 87 members to Congress in 2010 while progressives and the left in general sat on the sidelines hoping in vain that Obama was going to do the right thing. We now know that Obama is a corporatist in thrall to Wall St and the Pentagon, and has entirely embraced the neo-con agenda in both foreign and domestic policies. The Democratic Party has sold out its ostensible base. Progressive politics do not exist in DC. What alternative do we have but to begin anew with a third party?
+15 # fhunter 2011-07-30 12:58
How we got here? you ask.
1. Our newly elected President refused to investigate the odious crimes that destroyed the life of 15 million people.
2.The President did not see that the Reagan-Bush(43) politics will usher in a complete PLUTOCRACY and did nothing to prevent it.