In a press conference last Friday, President Obama argued that his proposal of a “balanced approach” on a debt deal – one that includes revenue increases as well as spending cuts – is what the American people want. According to a new poll from CBS News he’s absolutely right – 66% of Americans believe that the deal to raise the debt ceiling should include both spending cuts and tax increases. Only 28% said they thought the deal should contain spending cuts exclusively, and a mere 3% wanted it to include tax increases only. Moreover, a new CBS poll on the handling of the debt ceiling and budget negotiations shows 43% of voters approving of how President Obama was handling the negotiations, the Democrats in Congress got a 31% approval, and the GOP received a very weak 21% approval rating. .
No surprise that the GOP approval rating was weak. The poll is sending a clear message to the Republicans in Congress, particularly the Tea Party freshman, “Stop the unmitigated insanity and sheer stupidity because continuing to be stubborn may cause irreparable damage to an already fragile economy!” Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner and other leading economists have said that if we default on our debt, the U.S. economy could fall into a greater depression then the Great depression. Interest rates will go up on everything. The value of the dollar will collapse. Unfortunately, it’s becoming apparent that the House Tea Party member could care less about what the American people think or the consequences of not compromising.
The American people are growing very tired of the Tea Party’s reckless shenanigans. It’s becoming evident as each day passes in the debt ceiling negotiations that they aren’t willing to offer any real solutions but instead are proposing ridiculous hopeless stunts. Their latest solution to deficit reduction is the most ideological extreme piece of legislation to come before Congress. The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Bill proposal is nothing but a hopeless stunt that the House Republicans know will never get through the Senate but have decided to pass it through the House anyway. Prresident Obama issued a rare veto threat yesterday against this hopeless joke that is nothing more than a symbolic exercise in futility.
The Cut, Cap, and Spend Bill is a hopeless joke because it’s the most extreme partisan bill to ever be proposed by any Congress. The “CUT” part has cuts so deep and so fast (Oct. 1, 2011) that if taken in this still fragile economy would cost about 700,000 jobs in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, 2011, based on mainstream economic estimates. The “CAP” part is more severe putting a cap on the total amount of federal spending allowed each year for the next ten years phasing in federal spending down to just below 20% of GDP by FY17 and then holding it there through the end of a 10-year budget window in FY21. Put more simply, this is the level you get to if you do every one of the drastic cuts in the Paul Ryan budget including but not limited to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education cuts. The most extreme part is the “balance” part. It would hold the increase in the debt limit hostage to both houses of Congress by a 2/3rds vote passing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require a 2/3rds vote from both chambers of Congress. This includes a 2/3rds vote to pass any tax raise including closing loopholes for Wall Street traders, CEOs, Corporations that ship jobs overseas, and the wealthiest Americans (it’s the wealthy millionaires and billionaires not upper middle class earners who generally have the tax loopholes).
This Cut, Cap, and Balance stunt is an attempt to use the Constitution to lock-in the Paul Ryan budget and its reckless budget cuts. It would be impossible to hit those spending targets in the bill without benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Speaking of cuts to Medicare, how quickly the Tea Partiers have forgotten Kathy Hochul’s surprise victory in May over Republican Jane Corwin in a special House election in western New York where the message was loud and clear: We don’t live in a Tea Party nation and the American people DO NOT WANT the Republican budget plan that would among other drastic cuts end the current Medicare program. Get over it already.