Tuesday, July 26, 2011

De basement of debasement

I really find this whole thing nauseating in the way it lays bare the utter moral corruption of our entire crop of national misleaders, but I do have to make this observation about the debt ceiling issue.

So right now we have come down to two major, pretty much last-minute, proposals. One, from Harry "Strong as a Single" Reed (not a typo) calls for raising the debt ceiling $2.4 trillion, enough to get through the 2012 elections, coupled with $2.7 trillion in program cuts over the next decade. Those cuts supposedly do not include the so-called "big three" (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) but the proposal also includes establishing a so-called "Super Congress," an above-both-chambers super-committee that would make recommendations for future cuts (which could include cuts in those three programs or any others), recommendations that could not be amended but would be guaranteed a fast-tracked up-or-down vote.

The other comes from John Boner (also not a typo), aka Sir John of Orange. It would cut spending $1.2 trillion while raising the debt ceiling $1 trillion, requiring another round of chicken in early 2012, just as the presidential campaign is getting into high gear. That round would involve an additional rise in the debt ceiling of $1.6 trillion, conditioned on that same Super Congress getting approval of at least $1.8 trillion in additional program cuts.

While the GOPpers rant and rave about how Boner's cuts are not cruel enough and the Dimcrats sigh with relief that Reed "protects" Social Security (for now) as if that made it acceptable, the thing I wanted to comment on is that besides the Super Congress, the proposals share one other common feature: They involve no tax hikes.

That is, they would involve no burden on the rich.

We're told we "all" will have to sacrifice - but not the rich.

We "all' will have to suffer some pain - but not the rich.

We "all" will have to tighten our belts - but not the rich.

So one thing that all our leaders - all of our national leadership - seem to agree on is that the people who have gained the most should give back the least. That those who possess the most should contribute the least. That those who caused our current straitened condition through their recklessness and greed, those who, as I said last week,
have eaten the meat and even the gristle and sucked out the marrow leaving us only the scraps they thought it too much trouble to pick up,
that those are the people too valuable, too important, too worthy, too deserving, to be expected to suffer a single scratch even as the rest of us continue to be mauled.

Nauseating may be too kind a description.

Footnote One: Several people have commented on the extra-Constitutional nature of that Super Congress, which according both proposals would consist of 12 members of Congress, six from each body and six from each party. Its extraordinary power to issue proposals that can't be changed but will be voted on would in essence, in practical if not technically legal fact, make its 12 members the equal of all 535 members of Congress (since one assumes members of the super-committee will be able to vote on their own proposals) - almost as if it were a fourth branch of government.

Which is really creepy.

Footnote Two: About 10 days ago or so I made mention of the budget plan from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which was released back on April 6. This, unlike the bullet points and bumper stickers we see even now from the Demopublican misleadership, is a real legislative proposal.

It would balance the budget by 2014, produce a surplus by 2021, reduce public debt as a share of GDP, and reduce the deficit by $5.6 trillion over 10 years, double what Reed and Boner are proposing. And it would do it without harming the interests of real people - protecting not only Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid but food aid, student loans, unemployment assistance and jobs programs, environmental programs, housing assistance, and much more.

I said then it wouldn't surprise me if you hadn't heard of it. It still wouldn't. Which makes the question of why you haven't even more significant.

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