Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

It's too darn hot. And the news isn't going to make you feel any cooler. But here goes:

I guess I'm not the only one feeling pessimistic about the debt ceiling negotiations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks a bipartisan deal is so unlikely that he's willing to let President Obama raise the debt himself. This angered Republicans, who want concessions in exchange for a vote on the debt ceiling, although Speaker Boehner -- who also learned this week that a grand compromise involving $4 trillion in budget cuts and revenue raisers ($3 trillion cuts; $1 trillion closing tax loopholes) will not earn the support of his party -- thinks just about any solution would be good at this point. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, speaking for the conservative wing of the party, has thrown cold water on any deal that has seemed to involve compromise of any kind in any way related to raising revenue. But here's a good explanation for why taxes must rise, especially if we intend to maintain the highest medical costs in the world and the largest military, plus an aging population -- and one of the lowest taxes in the world. But the Dems will not agree to cutting Medicare and Medicaid and getting nothing in revenue in exchange. One of the Medicare cuts being discussed would cut funding for physician training. Does that make sense to anybody? Cuts in Medicaid and Medicare would only shift costs to seniors and to the states. Failing to raise the debt limit before August 2 will affect the world economy -- and our economy is already fragile enough. President Obama said that it may even affect the ability of the government to cut Social Security checks in August. Still, Speaker Boehner admits that many GOPers are determined to vote against raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances, regardless of the consequences. Indeed, the Tea Party will be beginning protests at Congressional offices trying to get pledges that members will vote against any increase in the debt ceiling unless it involves no new taxes and a balanced budget amendment. Please remember that if they hear from them and not from the rest of us, members of Congress won't know what we think. So call and email your members of Congress today. To find your House member, go here. To find your Senators, go here.

And that's it for today. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this battle to end -- and then they can start working on the 2012 budget!!! Ugh. Well, have a great day anyway! Jennifer

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