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I think that brings us to the last ingredient in this farce: the idea that these arbitrary cuts are magically going to result in equal pressure on both sides. ...Well many Republicans opposed default too, but in practice you know and I know this GOP congress has proven itself willing to risk great harm in pursuit of its agenda.
"The president signed the debt ceiling bill into law. Democrats hate it and Republicans hate it, so I guess it can't be that bad."
"We finally have a debt deal. See what happens when the two parties put aside their principles and do what is best for them personally?"
"It's what they call a 'two-step' deal. It steps on the middle class and the lower class."
"They say we avoided economic disaster. So now we're $16 trillion in debt.
That's not economic disaster?"
"One of the leading Tea Partiers, Congressman Joe Walsh, he famously went on YouTube and wagged his finger at Obama and said, 'Have you no shame, Mr. President?' It turns out he is $117,000 delinquent in his child support.
Have you irony, Mr. Congressman? He had an excuse. He said his kids don't have a child support problem; they have a spending problem."
"The Republicans attached 39 riders to the bill repealing environmental protection laws. One of them forbade the government to add any more animals to the endangered species list. Sorry, woodpeckers, but once we get rid of Social Security the old people are going to have to eat something."
"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain." - Napoleon
"The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is the government's greatest creative opportunity. The financing of all public enterprise, and the conduct of the treasury will become matters of practical administration. Money will cease to be master and will then become servant of humanity." - Abraham Lincoln
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered." - Thomas Jefferson
Politicians in Washington over weekend said that the credit downgrade gives the super committee's work new urgency, but at the same time, they seemed more motivated than ever to stay entrenched in political gridlock.
President Obama created the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to address our nation's fiscal challenges. The Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015. In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government. The Commission will meet as a whole once a month while Congress is in session. The Commission will vote on a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve its mission no later than December 1, 2010. The final report will require the approval of at least 14 of the Commission's 18 members.
Wyoming Republican Alan Simpson has a pretty low opinion of the people that have paid into Social Security all their lives and now need something back.
What the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is: As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (S. 365 Public Law 112-25 [.pdf]) deal to raise the debt ceiling, Congress created a joint committee, sometimes referred to as the "Super Congress" or "Super Committee.
SEC. 502. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY TO MAKE INTEREST SUBSIDIZED LOANS TO GRADUATE AND PRO- FESSIONAL STUDENTS.
SEC. 503. TERMINATION OF DIRECT LOAN REPAYMENT IN-CENTIVES.
Boehner's choices are: • House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) • House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) • House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)
Know Your “Super Congress” Committee Members
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) – Kyl is one of the ranking Republicans in the Senate and, as Minority Whip, is responsible for keeping the Republican caucus on message and generating the votes necessary to pass key legislation. He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Kyl was up for election in 2012, but elected to retire this year. He is not responsible to the voters anymore and has very little to lose.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) – Toomey is a freshman Senator from Pennsylvania. He is considered one of the few unabashedly tea party-aligned Senators in the 112th Congress. A member of Congress from 1999 – 2005, he served as the president of the conservative Club for Growth until 2009. He has committee assignments on the banking, budget and commerce, science and transportation committees. As a person of Portuguese decent, he is also a member of the Republican-controlled Congressional Hispanic Conference.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) – Portman is another freshman Senator. He served in Congress from 1993 to 2005, when he joined the Bush Administration as the U.S. Trade Representative and, later, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. His experience in the Bush White House put him knee deep in fiscal policy and he is considered the policy wonk on the committee on the Republican side. Portman is a member of the armed services, energy and natural resources, homeland security and budget committees. He is also a member of the Senate Sportsman’s Caucus—yep, that exists. Portman fancies himself a rising star and has a lot to lose if his performance in this committee is not hailed by conservatives as stellar.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) – In 2010, Baucus announced that he would retire at the end of this term in 2015. First elected to the Senate in 1978, he is Montana’s longest serving Senator ever. He, like Kyl, has nothing to lose and is likely to be a productive member of this committee. He is the chairman of the budget committee and is considered a moderate Democrat and a policy wonk.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) – Murray is on the more liberal side of Democrats in the Senate. She is the present chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and is in charge of fundraising for her 23 Democratic colleagues up for reelection in 2012. Due to this inherently partisan position, her appointment to the committee was viewed with suspicion. She did however survive her election last year comfortably and is not up again until 2016 so she may not have as much to gain from partisan grandstanding as the joint committee’s co-chair. First elected to the Senate in 1993, as the “mom in tennis shoes,” she is a member of the appropriations, veteran’s affairs, health education, labor and pensions and budget committees.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) – You remember this guy, right? He did something important in 2004. While Kerry is remembered as a strict partisan when he ran for president, he also prides himself on being a statesman and a compromiser. While he is a vocal advocate for tax increases, he is not up for reelection until 2014 and, when he is, has little to worry about from his liberal leaning constituency back home. He is a member of the commerce, science and transportation, finance and small business and entrepreneurship committees. He also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) – Hensarling is a pretty staunch conservative who lobbied hard to have “earmarks” eliminated. A member of the previous deficit reducing commission, known as the Simpson-Bowles panel, he opposed their recommendations for not going far enough to limit spending. He has been in office since 2003.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) – Upton is an elder statesman among the recently enlarged Republican delegation from Michigan. In his 13th term in Congress, Upton is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is considered a moderate Republican, and authored the ban on non-eco friendly light bulbs for which he was reviled by his colleagues on the right and among the Republican commentary class. After the 2010 elections, he had a bit of a come to Jesus on his previous positions and has tacked to the right a bit. Upton is also on the House Ways and Means Committee which handles tax and entitlement law.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) – Camp is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Camp has gone on record saying that the super committee’s primary job would be to reform the tax code, to eliminate loopholes which would increase revenues but lower rates across the board to compensate. This committee has been called the only way in which to reform the tax code because eliminating loopholes offends too many constituencies to get it passed the Congress as a whole. Camp is on record saying that he will do what is in his power to pursue that outcome. He also served on the Bowles-Simpson panel and shares Hensarling’s criticism of the panel’s recommendations.
All the party leaders in Congress with the exception of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-S.F., have made their selections for the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that will have to come up with at least $1.2 trillion in further deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. It's a mixed lot.
Pelosi was probably waiting to see who the other party leaders chose before making her picks. No guidance yet, but expect her choices to try to block any benefit changes in Medicare and Social Security. Pelosi was key to nixing an inflation adjustment in Social Security.
Read more: www.sfgate.com...
edit on 10-8-2011 by rbrtj because: added nifty imagery
Americans don’t have much confidence in Congress these days, but they still have faith in the power of compromise. Six out of 10 of those surveyed earlier this month told Gallup pollsters that the congressional super committee tasked with trimming the federal deficit should prioritize progress over principle. A majority of Americans favor agreement even if the resulting deal is personally unpalatable. If congressional party leaders are listening, it was hard to tell from the 12 plenipotentiaries they appointed last week to craft a bipartisan debt-reduction plan. Democrats and Republicans alike played it safe, tapping reliable defenders of party orthodoxy and shunning those more likely to embrace unconventional approaches. Consider: • Not one of the appointees belongs to the Senate’s Gang of Six, the bipartisan group that showed the willingness to make the kind of trade-offs that will be necessary to get to a sustainable budget. • Four of the appointees also sat on President Barack Obama’s deficit commission. All four helped defeat the commission’s promising 10-year austerity plan. • The six Republicans on the super committee have already declared tax increases a no-go. And then there’s the Democratic co-chair, Washington’s own Patty Murray – known in recent years for getting results for her home state and fellow Democrats but not for rising above playing to her constituents. Murray’s role as head of the campaign arm for Senate Democrats is also problematic. Her job is to raise money from some of the same interests whose oxen would be gored by any credible deal to reduce the federal deficit. The super committee has until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan, a job that will require angering core Democratic and Republican supporters. If the panel fails, $1.2 trillion in cuts – to defense, education and other discretionary spending – automatically take force. Left for another day would be tax reform and cuts to Medicare and other federal middle-class entitlements, key elements of true long-term deficit reduction. Lawmakers will have to go there eventually. The country won’t begin to emerge from its economic malaise until its leaders deal seriously with federal debt. May Murray and the others prove the pessimists wrong. While vocal minorities may clamor for someone else to bear the necessary sacrifice, the majority of Americans understand that shared pain is the order of the day. Those Americans are hungry for leaders who are finally willing to talk hard truths, and they desperately want a reason to be optimistic about the future once again. Congress fails them at the country’s and the economy’s peril. CATEGORIES: SNEAK PREVIEW Read more: blog.thenewstribune.com...
The leaders of France and Germany want the eurozone countries to elect the president of a new "economic government" who would direct regular summits to respond to the continent's financial crisis. The proposal fell short of what markets had hoped for: a grand plan to save the euro and, in particular, a sign the eurozone was moving toward a single bond issued by the 17 countries. Global shares slid , as investors took little heart from the announcements.