Deficit reduction and priorities


questionall: via thetruthnow.org

And how about all that defense spending when we’ve supposedly ended the Bush Wars? Or all the federal money paid to highly profitable oil companies? Or $77,000 tax deductions for dancing horses for the super rich? The GOP needs to trim their favorite expenditures before they talk about tapping into the safety net that millions must rely on to simply live.

Mitch McConnell’s position on a shutdown: it WILL happen without cuts to the safety net

McConnell’s totally fair and completely rational negotiation strategy so far:

Josh Marshall: “Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his position this morning: Government will shutdown unless President makes dramatic cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In other words, big cuts to key social insurance programs are not only the price of avoiding what would likely be a catastrophic government shutdown (a real one, not like what we had back in the 90s). But Democrats must also shield Republicans from the political consequences of cutting these programs by cutting them on the Republicans behalf.”

And that’s what Democrats have to negotiate with. Wouldn’t it be great if any Republican in the House or the Senate was willing to state exactly what they want to cut in the SS or Medicare programs? That will never happen though — too many elderly, white Social Security recipients / Fox “news” viewers vote Republican.

The “new” death panel: raising the age of Medicare eligibility

At least for lower wage earners:

Andrew Sullivan: We know that average life expectancy went up less than 5 years overall in this period. But what’s somewhat stunning is how much of a disparity there is in these gains. The top half of earners gained more than 5 years of life at age 65. The bottom half of earners, though, gained less than a year. [...] If you raise the age of eligibility by two years, then you are taking away more years of Medicare than half the country gained in longer life. Moreover, we’ve already taken away these people’s Social Security. The Greenspan Commission in the early 1980s made it so that the retirement age is already 66. It’s scheduled to rise to 67. So those at the bottom half of the socioeconomic ladder have already lost more years of Social Security than they’ve gained in years of life expectancy at 65.

Life_Expectacy

Poll: majority of Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy, Republicans continue to stall

Reuters: “Negotiators warned the showdown could drag on past Christmas. A Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll released late on Wednesday …held the potential to shake up the stalemate. Three-quarters of those surveyed, including 61 percent of Republicans, said they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid the so-called cliff, as Democratic President Barack Obama is demanding.

“With Republicans in Congress already divided, that rejection by their own supporters of the core demand of Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner could further weaken his position.

“Both sides refused to give any ground in public, one day after what Boehner described as a “frank” conversation with President Barack Obama about the remaining hurdles to a deal.”

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I’m quite sure the Republicans in Congress don’t give a damn what their base wants if it interferes with the happiness of their wealthy benefactors.

Also why isn’t there more discussion about cuts to defense spending — why are we now only discussing cuts to the safety net? And that goes for both Republicans and Democrats.

Policy failures of the GOP: the debt could disappear if the rich paid taxes at 1960s levels

Is anyone surprised by this? Yet discussion of increasing tax revenues from the wealthy and corporations is off the table,  no compromise, according to the teaparty Republicans.

If Corporations And The Rich Paid Taxes At The Same Level As The 1960s, The Debt Would Disappear

… [Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) Sam] Pizzigati cites an IPS paper from last spring to make the argument that if corporations and households making more than $1 million paid the same rates as they did in 1961, our debt would virtually disappear in a decade:

Some numbers — from an Institute for Policy Studies report released this past spring — can help us better visualize just how monumental this political failure has been. If corporations and households taking in $1 million or more in income each year were now paying taxes at the same annual rates as they did back in 1961, the IPS researchers found, the federal treasury would be collecting an additional $716 billion a year. In other words, if the federal government started taxing the wealthy and their corporations at the same rates in effect a half-century ago, the federal debt to investors would almost totally vanish over the next decade.

As ThinkProgress has previously reported, the richest Americans are paying their lowest taxes in a generation. Additionally, Center for American Progress experts Michael Linden, Seth Hanlon, and Jordan Eizenga have shown that the United States is actually very low-tax compared to other developed countries.

The teaparty Republicans are proposing that we continue this policy failure, with the end game being a failure of our country, failure to protect our middle-class, and failure of a safety net for future generations.

The average teaparty voter certainly isn’t a millionaire. What are you people thinking?

[via: sarahlee310]

John Boehner: “I didn’t sign up for going mano-a-mano with the President of the United States.”

That’s what Boehner said when he left his office building last night, after finishing his response to President Barack Obama’s remarks. Hm.

The president rejected a Republican proposal to temporarily lift the debt limit, arguing it would leave the underlying problem unresolved and lead to a repeat of the current crisis in six months.

“That is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake,” he said.

But with a potential US default looming in eight days time, Obama appealed to Americans to “make your voice heard.”

“If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message,” he said.

[...] Boehner warned, “The American people will not accept an increase in the debt without significant spending cuts and reform.”

Obama, he said, “has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more, you pay more… those tax increases will destroy jobs.”

Bullshit, Boehner! No one believes the rich and powerful created (or will create) ANY jobs in the U.S., aside from butlers and kitchen help. The jobs they’ve created overseas, the manufacturing they’ve moved to other countries shouldn’t reap tax benefits here. Period.

Let them know:

[image: bunnyfood]