We have two words for House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to resolve fiscal showdown. No deal.
Campaign for America’s Future co-directors Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey both condemned Boehner’s latest offer, which would reportedly allow tax rates to go up on upper incomes in exchange for reducing the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security and cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.
“Speaker Boehner doesn’t get it. Demanding cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a price for long overdue fairer taxes on the richest Americans isn’t an offer; it is an insult,” Borosage said. “Using the debt ceiling to hold the country hostage to exact otherwise unacceptable cuts in education and other vital domestic programs is disreputable policy and politics. Offering to hold off a year before taking the next hostage does not remove the threat. Clearly the president and Democrats have two words to say to the speaker: No deal.”
“The top 1 percent of Americans pocketed fully 93 percent of the income growth over the last couple of years. Boehner suggests that a small increase in the tax rates of millionaires is acceptable only if benefits are cut for Social Security recipients or 65 and 66-year-olds go without Medicare, adding an estimated $2,200 a year to their health insurance premiums. No deal. Better simply to let the Bush tax cuts expire and revive them for 98 percent of Americans in January.”
“If this is what a so-called `Grand Bargain’ looks like, it is nothing more than a `Grand Swindle:’ a measly tax increase on the super-wealthy followed by unnecessary and draconian cuts to our vulnerable seniors,” said Hickey. “America’s elderly are not the problem. Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. Medicare faces insolvency because of price gouging by the insurance and drug industries. If the deficit hawks are serious, they would demand a public health insurance option and government bargaining power to lower drug prices. But they are not serious. They are only looking for excuses to dismantle the New Deal. Democrats should say: `No Deal.’”
In Washington at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, a coalition of organizations (endorsed by the Campaign for America’s Future) is staging a rally on the Senate side of the Capitol to protest cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The so-called deficit hawks have made a deal that punishes seniors while hardly scratching millionaires. It is up to all of us to make such a swindle politically toxic.