Well, in my experience, just because you can't smell something doesn't mean it doesn't sink. Some things "pass the smell test" because of a faulty sniffer; not because they don't stink. And the GOP's payroll tax plan does so stink.
Most Americans, the 99 percent, feel the pressure of indebtedness. When they owe a friend a buck, their conscience bothers them until they’re square. They pay their bills, working second jobs if necessary. They meet mortgage obligations even when underwater.
That’s why there was a deficit Super Committee. Americans don’t like debt, including bills owed by their government. more »
Don't get me wrong. We've earned it. As Van Jones wrote, it's not often that progressives "battle the concentrated forces of corporations and their armies of lobbyists to a stalemate." So go ahead and celebrate a job well done. But make it quick, because though we've just won this round, the bell signaling the start of the next will soon ring.
slate.com — Today’s the day when Washington officially comes to terms with the fact that the “Supercommittee”— a bipartisan, bicameral group charged with reducing America’s long-term fiscal deficit — won’t agree on anything. This is being termed a “failure,” and by the standards of D.C.’s fetishization of bipartisanship, it is one. But in terms of deficit reduction, failure is actually better than success. By failing, in other words, not only did the Supercommittee preserve a larger set of spending cuts than would have been enacted if they succeeded, they preserved the current-law baseline. That means that if the White House follows through on its threat to veto any full extension of the Bush tax cuts, we’ll get both more tax increases and more spending cuts than we would have if they’d succeeded.
progressive.org — Thank God the Congressional Super Committee failed to reach an agreement. It was a bad idea in the first place, and Obama and the Democrats should never have pushed it. It focused too much attention on deficits, which aren’t the biggest problem we’re facing right now. High unemployment is the real crisis, and the more obsessed we all are with deficits, the less room there is to address unemployment. The Super Committee also was a bad idea procedurally as it bypassed the usual way Congress makes laws. In this sense, it was an end around democracy.
I'll just let Bernie Sanders explain it to Wolf Blitzer, who appears to be extremely confused by the fact that someone might have liberal principles. In fairness, it's not something he hears every day. Usually, it's a Democrat explaining that he or she is more than willing to drive the social safety net over the cliff but the other side is refusing to kick in gas money.
alternet.org — The bipartisan super committee will probably fail to meet the self-imposed November 23rd deadline to enact $1.2trillion of cuts over the next ten years. That failure, as Paul Krugman notes in the New York Times, is a good thing: “Any deal reached now would almost surely end up worsening the economic slump. Slashing spending while the economy is depressed destroys jobs, and it’s probably even counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction, since it leads to lower revenue both now and in the future.” The economics of the super committee, indeed that of virtually all of the mainstream Washington policy establishment, is still predicated on the economic equivalent of Medieval blood-letting. Continuing to “draw blood” from the US economy via ongoing cuts in government expenditure at a time of high unemployment and underused resources will ensure the patient’s death, not recovery.
Days after the tents were ripped out of Zucotti Park in New York, hundreds of Americans brought the fight for the 99% to the nation’s capital on Thursday with a “Wake-Up Congress” rally calling for the Super Committee to support “Jobs, Not Cuts” to key social programs. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) fittingly called it “#OccupyThe SuperCommittee.”
blog.aflcio.org — In a packed hearing room at the U.S. Senate, participants in a “Jobs, Not Cuts!” rally keynoted by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), erupted into the chant that has come to identify the Occupy movement: “We are the 99 percent!” Most of the chanters bore little resemblance to the stereotyped image of an Occupy protester–many were senior citizens, and the young people in the audience bore a distinctly clean-cut look. It all served to prove Sanders’ point that mainsteram American wants the wealthiest Americans to pay more taxes, and they want Congress not to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicate.