BREAKING… HOUSE PASSES ‘SATAN SANDWICH’
It was 1978 and Jimmy Carter was on his way down, down, down, and Donna Summers, disco and Reaganomics was on the way in and up. So, if in the 21st century we’re going to revisit Republican economics of the ’80s, we might as will bring back disco too.
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made her announcement in her own inimitable way.
From former Sen. Russ Feingold, founder of Progressives United:
“The debt ceiling deal should remove any doubt of the power corporate interests have over our government. That deal, hammered out by the president and Republican Congressional leaders, places the burden of reducing our long-term budget problems on average Americans, while the wealthiest individuals and corporations are given a free pass. Americans are willing to bear their share of the burden of addressing our nation’s long-term budget problems, but those sacrifices should be shared by all.”
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Debt Deal
Reaction from Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Executive VP/Acting CEO
“America’s seniors have been terrified by threats that their life-sustaining Social Security checks wouldn’t be delivered this month if the federal government were to default. So there is some good news in this debt deal if it passes; default will not deny millions of American seniors the benefits they’ve earned. However, that’s small consolation because it never should have come to this in the first place.
For too long, middle-class Americans and their families have been held hostage while anti-tax crusaders threaten American default unless vital programs, like Social Security and Medicare, are slashed. Unfortunately under this debt deal, those programs will still be under attack – this time by a newly-created ‘Super Committee’ of just 12 members of Congress tasked to cut programs by $1.5 trillion dollars. This committee plan will be fast-tracked to force it through Congress with no amendments allowed and little time for debate.
Americans of all ages and political persuasions know that Social Security and Medicare have not caused this economic crisis and do not support cutting these programs to pay down the debt. Yet, Washington continues to use these vital programs, and the Americans they serve, as bargaining chips in a quest to balance the budget on the backs of working class Americans and their families.
Our work is clearly cut out for us. The House Speaker has said he will appoint only “Super Committee” members opposed to revenue increases. Leaving the debate right where we started…100% benefit cuts and 0% revenue…except this time, the proposal will bypass the normal Congressional process. That makes it even easier to force middle-class benefit cuts to pay for billionaire tax breaks and corporate loopholes. This is no way to run a country. And the over 3 million members and supporters of the National Committee will continue to deliver that message loud and clear, focusing our efforts on this Super Committee as well as the rest of Congress and the White House.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as posted on the Web site of the House Committee on Rules on August 1, 2011. The legislation would:
- Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021;
- Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for “program integrity” initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments;
- Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs;
- Require that the House of Representatives and the Senate vote on a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution;
- Establish a procedure to increase the debt limit by $400 billion initially and procedures that would allow the limit to be raised further in two additional steps, for a cumulative increase of between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion;
- Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules;
- Create a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction, with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years; and
- Establish automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings.
Are you feelin’ it yet? Let’s dance, baby.