Tag Archive for debt ceiling

The budget deal is a raw deal for Americans

So, we have a “deal” to precent the United States from defaulting on its debts.

I might be willing to call it a deal made in good faith if the thing had contained any tax increases on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, or maybe if it had closed a few tax loopholes on big corporations.

But the last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling — which many Constitutional scholars say is unconstitutional itself — did nothing for everyday Americans. It tied the hands of those in Congress who do give a damn about the jobless, homeless and sick people in this country, making it nearly impossible to do anything to help those in need.

And the crisis it averted was manufactured by right-wing idealogues to disable the government’s ability to do its job.

They keep talking about the debt as though it’s the most important thing and it isn’t. The most important thing right now is to get the economy back on its feet.

The Tea Party has won another victory in its effort to destroy our Democracy, and the rest of us have nothing to be happy about.

Why President Obama refused to just sign an executive order to raise the debt ceiling using the authority of the 14th Amendment, I don’t know. It seems he’s afraid of offending the very people who are destroying his presidency and this nation.

The economy is a mess because of hedge fund traders and other immoral, greedy Wall Street executives, who continue to make record profits and pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. They manage to villify people who are out of work and those who work harder and harder for less and less of the economic pie, they control the message to the point that many Americans believe they themselves are at fault for the troubles.

And President Obama caves to them as though he’s being blackmailed.

This deal is not good news. It’s more of what’s destroying us. I think it borders on treason.

Who we gonna cut?

From my friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Matt Davies (http://www.gocomics.com/mattdavies)

I’ve been really dismayed the last week or so as people post on Facebook and Twitter how we need to cut spending, and they insist it can’t come from the “job creators.”  There’s no room for debate: we have to stop carrying the lazy, unemployed bums and others who won’t work and give breaks to the wealthiest on the off chance they’ll somehow find it in their hearts to create jobs.

Facts and history aren’t persuading these folks that we can’t keep on this way. In fact, there’s a sizeable chunk of people out there who think it would be good to default on our debt so we would have to cut programs that help people in need.

The debt ceiling wasn’t such an issue when Congress voted to raise it seven times during the George W. Bush administration. In fact, Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Debt doesn’t matter,” as he and his cronies started two wars with no idea how they would be paid for, and then cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Now, all of a sudden, debt matters. That’s because we’re running out of money from the debt THEY ran up. We have to cut spending, they say, not increase taxes.

So, who do we cut?

Medicaid is pretty much pared to the bone already. Come 2014, it’s supposed to cover all Americans who earn up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level; I’m hoping it still will be around then.

Already, most single adults are excluded from Medicaid. Even with Stage 3 cancer, my son Mike wasn’t eligible until he and his wife split. I was asked to write and sign a letter saying they had split and had no intention of getting back together when we thought Mike’s only option was to live with me (his best friend invited him to live with him, offering him somewhat more of a sense of independence).

People who use Medicaid often are denied the best drugs and treatments because Medicaid doesn’t cover it. If you have diabetes, you will get medication, but not the newest meds that really help control blood glucose. If you have a psychiatric illness, you won’t get the drugs that work the best, so your illness will be more difficult to stabilize.

The people served by Medicaid aren’t just “welfare mothers” and “bums” as so many Americans lucky enough to have jobs and good health believe. People with serious disabilities get services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy. Even the places they live, which offer the skilled care they need, are paid for by Medicaid. If we cut more, some of them will be placed in nursing homes with no therapy, no activities, surrounded by people with whom they have nothing in common.

OK, so do we cut unemployment compensation? Does it really keep people from looking for jobs?

Historically, no one has objected to helping people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. We give tax breaks to huge corporations when they ship jobs overseas and then criticize the people who lose their jobs as a result, plotting to punish them instead of the corporate bigwigs who took the jobs away.

So, let’s shave some dollars from the Pentagon budget. I think Halliburton and their ilk can afford to lose some revenues, especially since the’ve been allowed to wantonly rip off the American people with shoddy workmanship and overpriced, no-bid contracts for a decade now. Those billions could have fed the nation’s hungry children or fixed our crumbling national infrastructure.

Let’s cut some of the benefits we give members of Congress. No more free ride on health care. No more lifelong pensions — or jobs, for that matter. If we limit the amount of time people can spend there, maybe we can go back to citizen rule instead of a country run by corrupt corporate shills.

I’m really angry about how many Americans believe the lies they’re being fed by a bought-and-paid-for media, and how many really think it’s OK to let the Right have its way and destroy our lives and our country.

No more cuts to programs ordinary people need to get by. None. Not one cent. Tell your member of Congress today.

 

 

Distractions, distractions

Weiner’s weiner, Bachman’s bumblings, Charlie Sheen’s shenannigans, Palin’s pussyfooting wherever another Republican wants to announce a run for the Presidency …

These are all you hear about on the “news” lately. Even MSNBC had wall-to-wall coverage of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s indescressions.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are about to negotiate permanent tax cuts for the wealthy and huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid just to get the Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling.

Anybody heard about that?

Not if you’re relying on the mainstream media.

This week, Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Tom Clyburn unveiled their plan to slash Medicare, and although it got a pretty cool reception, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be a good negotiating point in the battle to raise the debt ceiling.

The Republicans in Washington would rather see our nation’s economy utterly destroyed than to raise taxes on the wealthy or the super-huge corporations that pay to keep them in office. And if the debt ceiling isn’t raised — and soon — believe me, our economy will collapse. Then they can point the finger at the Denocrats and insist they’re the ones who wouldn’t play ball.

In reality, it’s the policies of these Tea Party darlings that will bring us down. When we have to default on our debts because the ceiling isn’t raised, China can call its loans due. The we’re done. No one will lend money to us, government programs will close. We won’t even have money to pay our representatives in Congress (most of whom don’t need the money, anyway).

All to make the Democrats look bad.

Our national economy and our national security are nothing to be playing a game of Chicken with.

And what do I hear on the mainstream news?

Well, Newsweek has on its cover a computer-generated photo of what Princess Diana would like on her 50th birthday that some are calling ghoulish. Why, she’s still stunning. I wonder if she’s had work done. Apparently, the photo is sparking a HUGE controversy over whether the photoshopped cover is respectful enough of the late princess.

We’re all held rapt by the Casey Anthony trial. Did she drown her daughter?  According to ABC news, Caylee’s grandfather attempted suicide to be reunited with the child, and he said Casey was the last one to see Caylee alive. Screw the debt-ceiling talks; I need to know more about this.

CBS News has that story in its top headlines too, plus a prediction by Andrew Breitbart that Sarah Palin will run for President, as though his opinion about it matters. CBS also has a confession from Charlie Sheen that he used steroids while he was filming “Major League.”

NBC has a heartwarming story about how two British tourists braved a train wreck, tornado and an insect invasion before their wedding.

These stories are taking up valuable time and space that would be used to explain why the debt ceiling needs to be raised, why we’re still fighting in Afghanistan, how Big Oil has twisted the facts to deny global warming, the real harm still being caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how much radiation is escaping the Fukashima Nuclear Plant (thye US has stopped monitoring the radiation from the plant).

And CNN is asking the question: “Can you follow Ayn Rand and Jesus?” My answer would be no.

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