Obama-Tea Party compromise is unjust


Martin Rowson cartoon about Obama-US Republican Party negotiations on the debt ceiling

From the USA: Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog: “Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics. The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate – who are now taking home a larger share of total income and wealth, and whose tax rates are already lower than they have been, in eighty years”: here.

Forget Compromise: The Debt Ceiling Is Unconstitutional. Ellen Brown, Truthout: “The debt ceiling crisis can be averted by enforcing the 14th Amendment, which mandates the government to pay its debts already incurred, including pensions. That means Social Security, which IS an ‘entitlement,’ in the original sense of the word. We’re entitled to it because we’ve paid for it with taxes. The game of Russian roulette being played with the US federal debt has been called a ‘grotesque political carnival’ and political blackmail. The uproar stems from a statute that is unique to the United States and never did make much sense. First passed in 1917 and revised multiple times since, it imposes a dollar limit on the federal debt”: here.

President let right wingers take the American people hostage then gave in to hostage takers: here.

The President Surrenders, By PAUL KRUGMAN: here.

Dean Baker, Truthout: “As we get the final details of the debt ceiling deal between President Obama and Congress, we still have to wait for the verdict of the credit rating agencies. Will they give us the thumbs up or will they tell Congress that it has to take even more money from the poor, the sick and the elderly before the credit rating agencies reaffirm the top credit rating of the US government? The media have spent much of the last two weeks telling the public that the judgment of any deal by the big three credit rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, will be the key to its success”: here.

Jack Rasmus, Truthout: “On Sunday evening, President Obama and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, announced they had reached an agreement on cutting $1 trillion in spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner indicated he was also in agreement, subject to voting to take place in the House on Monday. This latest ‘deal’ is essentially the same that was reached by Harry Reid in the Senate on July 29 and Boehner in the House on July 27, with two major changes – one favored by the Republicans and another by Obama”: here.

Robert Borosage, Campaign for America’s Future: “The raw deal on the budget ceiling has been cut. The Tea Party terrorists – the extremist faction willing to hold the economy hostage to get their way – have won. The Republic, common sense and decency have been trampled. With the economy deeply depressed, 25 million people in need of full time work, the raw deal will impede any recovery. It precludes any serious action on jobs from the federal government. It will cost jobs as spending is cut. Instead of getting serious about a plan to revive this economy and put people back to work, Washington will remain fixated on what and how much to cut”: here.

National Nurses United (NNU): Nurses Call on Congress to Reject Flawed Debt Ceiling Deal: here.

Where are the jobs in the budget deal? Find out how this deal hurts working families: here.

Congressional Black Caucus Chair: Debt Deal is a “Satan Sandwich”: here.

Wall Street & Pentagon Emerge Victorious on Debt Deal: See Democracy Now! Report: here.

Sen. Lieberman: Cut Social Security to prevent cuts to defense budget: here.

Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers: “The last-minute deal that Congress is considering to raise the federal debt limit probably will mean trillions of dollars in government spending reductions for most agencies. But one department stands to gain: the Pentagon. Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims $350 billion through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been expecting over the next decade”: here.

Obama and the Democrats drive a stake into the heart of the welfare state: here.

The bipartisan deal accepted by the White House calls for nearly $3 trillion in spending cuts, the bulk of them in domestic social spending: here.

Austerity and the Destruction of Democracy: here.

Did Bush Leave Us Bankrupt, Corrupt, Ungovernable? Here.

4 thoughts on “Obama-Tea Party compromise is unjust

  1. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Recently, BuzzFlash at Truthout talked about how Republican Congressional “deficit reduction” and tax cuts for the rich and corporations don’t help and even hurt small businesses in America, because the actual policies facilitate large companies in crushing small business competitors. But another reason the GOP claim to tax cuts for the wealthy is dishonest in that most small businesses bring home less that $250,000 a year. That means, if the US reinstated the taxes for the rich from the Bush administration, small businesses would not be affected, but our national deficit would decrease – and perhaps some funds could be allocated to really help small businesses. That is because President Obama wants to keep the tax cuts for those households making less than $250,000 a year, but raise them for wealthier households.

    The New York Review of Books recently noted, “But relatively few small business owners earn $250,000 – in fact, fewer than 3 percent of the 20 million people who file business income on their personal tax forms (the 1040s) earn that much.”

    As Elizabeth Drew – seasoned Washington, DC, analyst (formerly for The New Yorker) – writes in The New York Review of Books, the Republicans have controlled the debate on “debt reduction” by continuing to move the goal posts, as the White House then gives up more yardage. But facts cannot be argued, as in the case of small businesses, in reality, getting the short end of the stick from the GOP. As Drew observes:

    The antitax dogma of the Republican Party is strongly rooted in mythology. The theory that tax cuts create jobs has been discredited by the results of George Bush’s tax policies. The Republicans cling to the myth that “small business” owners are the “job creators,” and so they oppose proposals to eliminate the Bush rate cuts for even those earning over $250,000. But relatively few small business owners earn $250,000 – in fact, fewer than 3 percent of the 20 million people who file business income on their personal tax forms (the 1040s) earn that much.

    In fact, to repeat, the GOP Congressional policy hurts small businesses – as they are shrinking in America – by facilitating the growth of mega-corporations that drive small stores and manufacturers out of business. That turns the Republican Party into a job killer.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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  2. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/07/31/democrats

    Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 10:32 ET

    Democratic politics in a nutshell

    By Glenn Greenwald

    ——–
    “In other words: it makes no difference to us how much we stomp on liberals’ beliefs or how much they squawk, because we’ll just wave around enough pictures of Michele Bachmann and scare them into unconditional submission. That’s the Democratic Party’s core calculation: from “hope” in 2008 to a rank fear-mongering campaign in 2012. Will it work? The ones who will determine if it will are the intended victims of that tactic: angry, impotent liberals whom the White House expects will snap dutifully into line no matter what else happens (even, as seems likely, massive Social Security and Medicare cuts) between now and next November.”
    ——–

    Let’s begin by taking note of three facts:

    (1) Three days ago, Democratic Rep. John Conyers, appearing at a meeting of the Out of Poverty caucus, said: “The Republicans — Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor — did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that” (video here, at 1:30);

    (2) The reported deal on the debt ceiling is so completely one-sided — brutal domestic cuts with no tax increases on the rich and the likelihood of serious entitlement cuts in six months with a “Super Congressional” deficit commission — that even Howard Kurtz was able to observe: “If there are $3 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes, Obama will have to explain how it is that the Republicans got 98 pct. of what they wanted,” while Grover Norquist, the Right of the Right on such matters, happily proclaimed: “Sounds like a budget deal with real savings and no tax hikes is a go.”

    (3) The same White House behavior shaping the debt deal — full embrace of GOP policies and (in the case of Social Security cuts) going beyond that — has been evident in most policy realms from the start. It first manifested in the context of Obama’s adoption of the Bush/Cheney approach to the war on civil liberties and Terrorism, which is why civil libertarians were the first to object so vocally and continuously to the Obama presidency, culminating in this amazing event from mid-2010: “Speaking at a conference of liberal activists Wednesday morning, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero didn’t mince his words about the administration’s handling of civil liberties issues. ‘I’m going to start provocatively . . . I’m disgusted with this president,’ Romero told the America’s Future Now breakout session.”

    In other words, a slew of millionaire politicians who spent the last decade exploding the national debt with Endless War, a sprawling Surveillance State, and tax cuts for the rich are now imposing extreme suffering on the already-suffering ordinary citizenry, all at the direction of their plutocratic overlords, who are prospering more than ever and will sacrifice virtually nothing under this deal (despite their responsibility for the 2008 financial collapse that continues to spawn economic misery). And all of this will be justified by these politicians and their millionaire media mouthpieces with the obscenely deceitful slogans of “shared sacrifice” and “balanced debt reduction” — two of the most odiously Orwellian phrases since “Look Forward, not Backward” and “2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate” (and anyone claiming that Obama was involuntarily forced by the “crazy” Tea Party into massive budget cuts at a time of almost 10% unemployment: see the actual facts here).

    With those fact assembled, this morning’s New York Times article — headlined: “Rightward Tilt Leaves Obama With Party Rift” — supplies the perfect primer for understanding Democratic Party politics. The article explains that “Mr. Obama, seeking to appeal to the broad swath of independent voters, has adopted the Republicans’ language and in some cases their policies,” and then lists numerous examples just from the debt debate alone (never mind all the other areas where he’s done the same):

    No matter how the immediate issue is resolved, Mr. Obama, in his failed effort for greater deficit reduction, has put on the table far more in reductions for future years’ spending, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, than he did in new revenue from the wealthy and corporations. He proposed fewer cuts in military spending and more in health care than a bipartisan Senate group that includes one of the chamber’s most conservative Republicans. . . .

    But by this month, in ultimately unsuccessful talks with Speaker John A. Boehner, Mr. Obama tentatively agreed to a plan that was farther to the right than that of the majority of the fiscal commission and a bipartisan group of senators, the so-called Gang of Six. It also included a slow rise in the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65, and, after 2015, a change in the formula for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments long sought by economists.

    How can the leader of the Democratic Party wage an all-out war on the ostensible core beliefs of the Party’s voters in this manner and expect not just to survive, but thrive politically? Democratic Party functionaries are not shy about saying exactly what they’re thinking in this regard:

    Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster, said polling data showed that at this point in his term, Mr. Obama, compared with past Democratic presidents, was doing as well or better with Democratic voters. “Whatever qualms or questions they may have about this policy or that policy, at the end of the day the one thing they’re absolutely certain of — they’re going to hate these Republican candidates,” Mr. Mellman said. “So I’m not honestly all that worried about a solid or enthusiastic base.

    In other words: it makes no difference to us how much we stomp on liberals’ beliefs or how much they squawk, because we’ll just wave around enough pictures of Michele Bachmann and scare them into unconditional submission. That’s the Democratic Party’s core calculation: from “hope” in 2008 to a rank fear-mongering campaign in 2012. Will it work? The ones who will determine if it will are the intended victims of that tactic: angry, impotent liberals whom the White House expects will snap dutifully into line no matter what else happens (even, as seems likely, massive Social Security and Medicare cuts) between now and next November.

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  3. The budget deal will force Congress to cut over $2 trillion – which could devastate jobs, education, environmental protection, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    Instead, Congress should cut massively wasteful subsidies and tax breaks handed out to corporations.

    For starters, the Senate recently voted to cut $6 billion in corporate tax subsidies for corn ethanol. These subsidies not only waste taxpayer dollars, but also increase the cost of food for a billion hungry people worldwide. Let’s join Oxfam America in telling the House to end ethanol welfare.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    Dear friend,

    Forty percent of the corn we grow is devoted to ethanol production – and most goes straight to our gas tanks.

    The Senate recently voted to end harmful tax breaks for ethanol production, but we need your letter to make sure the House of Representatives follows suit.

    Tell your representative: corn should be food, not fuel.

    Corn that could feed millions of people is being turned into fuel instead of food. We’re literally burning up our crops by converting them to ethanol, diminishing the food supply and sending food prices through the roof.

    Something is seriously wrong here.

    The House of Representatives is about to vote on a bill that could save billions in tax dollars and keep corn from being poured into gas tanks.

    Tell your representative to end harmful tax breaks that encourage ethanol production and raise world food prices. Send your message now!

    Oxfam and our supporters are waging a campaign to build a better food system that will alleviate hunger and poverty – and our fight begins at home.

    Right now, forty percent of the US corn crop is devoted to ethanol production and most goes straight to our gas tanks. This year alone, the US government will spend $6 billion in tax giveaways to ethanol producers that use corn for fuel.

    Turning corn into ethanol doesn’t just prevent it from being eaten; when the supply of available corn is decreased by ethanol production, the cost of food around the world rises, pushing people into hunger and poverty. It’s wrong to spend billions of tax dollars to turn food into fuel while people are struggling to feed their families.

    Tell the House: don’t burn food while millions of people go hungry.

    Oxfam supporters recently sent more than 10,000 letters to the Senate about this issue – and two days later, they voted to end wasteful tax subsidies to the ethanol industry.

    But now the fight has moved to the House, and we need to make sure your representative gets the message loud and clear.

    The House of Representatives has a choice: continue giving handouts to the ethanol industry, or stand with the Senate and a policy that can help reduce hunger and fix our broken food system.

    Email your representative today, and make it clear that corn should be food, not fuel.

    We’ve already had one major success in the Senate – let’s keep up the momentum!

    Thank you for your support.

    Sincerely,

    Vicky Rateau, Campaign Manager, GROW
    Oxfam America Advocacy Fund

    Like

  4. Pingback: Obama-Tea Party deal is unjust | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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