Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm Mad As H*ll and I'm Not Gonna Take It -- Friday Edition

I really don't feel like doing the news today. I'm too mad. Mad at Congress. Mad at the President. He knew -- everybody on the left knew -- that it was suicidal to focus on deficit reduction while the economy was still so fragile. Paul Krugman has said it again and again. You don't take money out of a failing economy -- you pump it in. Deficits are bad, but recession and depression are worse. This two-step debt reduction plan they passed, giving power to a super-committee which will get nowhere, just creates uncertainty in the markets. Worse, the Republicans have already said they won't appoint anybody to the committee who would even consider raising revenue despite the inequity of the fact that 1400 millionaires paid no income tax at all in 2009. I'm sure the Dems won't appoint anybody who would consider cutting entitlements, although they say the will not draw lines in the sand. So we're locked in the same stalemate, but this time, with $1.5 trillion trigger of more cuts and more starvation of the economy that will take effect if the super-committee fails, like it or not. The private sector is sitting on $2.5 trillion in cash that they won't pump into the economy because of all the uncertainty and bad policy. And so we slide into another recession, and the President loses re-election, and the GOP comes in and does far more harm than it has done already, eliminating Medicare as we know it, repealing health reform despite its successes, and further perverting the values our country was built upon -- which includes taking care of each other, the elderly, the infirm, the poor. I've stuck with President Obama through a lot of compromises, but this time, I am mad. How could he sign this awful plan and send the country down this road? There had to be a better way than going along with a Congress that's being held hostage by the Tea Party, that has an 82% disapproval rating. There had to be a better way.

And really, did you need to throw yourself a birthday party yesterday to top it all off?

And now, is a balanced budget amendment next? Really, GOP? Are you sure you want this? Because President Bush took office with a balanced budget and left with $10 trillion in debt. So it's not just Dems that don't balance the books. Indeed, most of what created the deficit is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and the recession -- all of which was created by the GOP. And they want a balanced budget amendment? Do you really want the hands of the United States tied so that, if something extraordinary happens, like 9/11 and a war we didn't ask for, the President and Congress don't have the ability to borrow cash?

Then again, the debt ceiling deal says that, if the super-committee fails OR there's no balanced budget amendment, the trigger gets pulled and we have massive cuts. So if Congress needs to pass a balanced budget amendment and then hope it doesn't get ratified by the states in order to avoid the trigger, maybe that's the lesser of the evils.

Meanwhile, when Congress returns after the August recess -- and after all, don't we all get a month off after failing to do our jobs? -- they still have to figure out where the cuts they've already passed will come from. In other words, there's no plan for cutting the deficit; there's just a plan to make a plan.

Seniors are supposed to feel encouraged that their Medicare Part D (drug) premium is going down -- by $0.76. But there's a jobs report due out today, and it's not going to be pretty.

All in all, I see a horrible failure of leadership. The President and the Dems should not have ever adopted the GOP deficit hawk posture in the first place. They should be pumping money into the economy to fix our infrastructure and create jobs, not taking money out of the economy without asking one dime of sacrifice from those most able to give. Even the mainstream GOP should understand how dangerous Tea Party politics has become. Indeed, the wealthy with a lot of money in the stock market are taking a hit -- maybe it will wake them up. There are a few dozen members of the House driving the train for the entire country. How did a minority get so much power? Only because we let them.

So let's not let them. Let's fight. Jennifer

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