I got out on the lake today to do some kayaking and clear my head because it was about to explode. The debt ceiling “compromise” does nothing but compromise our economy and our future. This deal makes the Ryan Budget look tame by comparison. No one who voted against that bill can possibly support this one. Where Ryan’s plan cut Medicare this one has the clear potential to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The poison pill is the balanced budget amendment which is the absolute worst piece of legislation ever introduced in Congress.
If Pearl Harbor or 9/11 happened again our only option is abject surrender. Of course that’s what President Obama did in the face of the tyranny of the Tea baggers. Why they didn’t simply craft a bill which went around them or invoke the 14th Amendment is beyond comprehension. This bill seriously compromises our national security and sovereignty. That’s without even considering the effect of eliminating programs for the poor, safe food, water and consumer products, medical research, clean energy development and everything else done by the government. The scope of these cuts renders the federal government impotent. It renders our national security impotent in the face of foreign threats and that fact alone will embolden our enemies. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to finance a defense makes us sitting ducks.
Republicans are gloating saying they acheived 98% of their goals. They are claiming the bill includes no new taxes. The rich and the corporations will now be subsidized by seniors giving up the Medicare, Social Security and long term care, the poor (especially children) will go without any health care, unemployment insurance will disappear, transportation arteries will rot, the Centers for Disease Control won’t be able to respond to pandemics, nothing done will continue to be done effectively if at all.
$2.8 trillion in federal budget cuts will damage our economy so badly as to actually make the deficit worse. It will spiral us deeply into recession and, perhaps depression and the federal government will be powerless to do anything. The Balanced Budget Amendment would require a 2/3 vote to raise taxes and impose an 18% of GDP cap on all federal spending. That eliminates all entitlement programs.
I wonder how giddy tea baggers will feel when they discover they’re losing all of their Social Security and Medicare? These economic terrorists are beyond stupid, they’ve held the nation hostage to their extreme ideology. This is the height of Tea Party politics and will be their downfall.
It is also the Waterloo for the Democratic Party. Obama could have vetoed this or the other bills and forced Congress to pass something responsible. He could have invoked the 14th Amendment and dared the House to impeach him for doing his constitutional duty. Dems could have gone into 2012 condemning Republicans for voting for the Ryan Plan. They can no longer do that because they OWN THIS BILL as soon as Obama signs it. Because this is far worse than Ryan they now cannot run on that next year. Conversely now Republicans will run against a President Obama who agreed to kill Social Security and Medicare. They’ll place the entire onus on him and Democrats.
Paul Krugman wrote an excellent column in today’s New York Times titled “The President Surrenders.” This is must reading.
The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.
Indeed, slashing spending while the economy is depressed won’t even help the budget situation much, and might well make it worse. On one side, interest rates on federal borrowing are currently very low, so spending cuts now will do little to reduce future interest costs. On the other side, making the economy weaker now will also hurt its long-run prospects, which will in turn reduce future revenue. So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.
I heard Harry Reid on NPR saying this must be a good bill because no one on the right likes it, no one on the left likes it and no one in the middle likes it. Therefore it’s a compromise. No, that means NO ONE IN THE COUNTRY LIKES IT! It means it’s what Congressman Cleaver called “a sugar coated Satan sandwich.” Meanwhile Sen. Casey is voting for it along with most of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation. I expect a few heroes like Bob Brady and Chake Fattah to do the right thing but the likes of Jason Altmire who votes with Republicans 79% of the time on key issues and Mark Critz already said yes. As I write this news comes that the House has passed the bill.
VP Biden is reported to have told the Democratic caucus that Tea Party Republicans “acted like terrorists” during negotiations. He also said the President was ready to invoke the constitution if no agreement was reached. Why then would any Democrat vote for this bill? Let it fail and invoke the 14th.
Sen. Jim DeMint decried the Vice President’s remarks about his fellow tea baggers and demanded an apology. Why apologize when you’re telling the truth? What Biden and Obama need to learn is that you don’t negotiate with terrorists. This has now been kicked down the road to Thanksgiving and Christmas and if anyone thinks an agreement will be reached is truly delusional. How would anyone vote for this bill before knowing the composition of this Super Committee? That’s beyond stupid, it’s irresponsible.
I fear the our future for the future of our country. My recommendation is that if you can emigrate somewhere go. The future of America is as a third world country. Our democracy is finished, our way of life is finished. One saving grace will be that as roads and bridges crumble they’ll provide shelter for all of us condemned to live under them.
Barack Obama is a worse President than George W. Bush and that’s saying something. He may go down in history as our absolute worst for dismantling the New Deal. My new name for him is The Great Capitulator.
Update: By the way I’m in Wellsboro for a few days visiting the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
I was wrong about Brady and Fattah. They both voted for this monstrosity. Only Congressman Mike Doyle is a hero from PA.
Basically the United States just got shock doctrined. I predict open revolt within ten years.