We're not going to be able to pressure Congressional Democrats to stand firm on budget cuts as long as supposed liberal voices ignore the fact that supercommittee Democrats came within a hair of giving away the entire store.
George Zornick at The Nation:
This whole super-committee charade was never about deficit reduction for Republicans, but protecting low taxes, particularly for the very wealthy—that became abundantly clear when their final offer involved a permanent extension of the budget-busting Bush tax cuts.
To their credit, Democrats would not assent to any such extension. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Senator John Kerry, a member of the super-committee, explained that the “most significant block to our doing something right now, tomorrow, is their insistence, insistence, insistence on the Grover Norquist pledge and extending the Bush tax cuts.” The Democrats offered up some awful deals during the course of super-committee negotiations, but they deserve some credit for not budging on taxes.
The Bush tax cuts, you may recall, will expire at the end of 2012. So the central battle that divided the super-committee has yet to be resolved. While Democrats showed gumption in not using the super-committee to extend the Bush cuts, nor lock in a new tax policy that’s just as bad, they’re going to need to stand just as firm next year.
That’s because the Democrats can’t just stand pat, and let the tax cuts expire automatically—that would be easy. But under that scenario, all the Bush tax cuts would expire, including those on the middle class, and during a recession—not to mention on the brink of a presidential election—Democrats will simply not allow that to happen.
Some kind of bill addressing the Bush tax cuts will have to be passed by the end of next year, and Republicans will definitely try to force the issue before the November elections. It wasn’t done last December, when the Bush rates were first set to expire, and it didn’t happen with the super-committee, but sooner or later, Congress will have to either kill the Bush rates or make them permanent—and thus choose between two radically different versions of a federal government. The super-committee has now become nothing but a footnote in that ongoing battle.
No. The Dems were perfectly willing - just as they were last year - to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, no matter that those cuts would explode the deficit to the point that it might actually matter.
They were also not just willing but eager to gut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ACA, public health, public housing, public education, and everything else not dedicated to killing innocent brown people.
All the dems wanted in return for eliminating the New Deal, the Great Society and the last vestiges of civilization in this country - not to mention committing political suicide as a party - was a bone. A teeny, tiny tax bone. Like reducing the tax write-off for personal helicopters from 100 percent to 90 percent.
The repug refusal to countenance even a deal that would create the lords-and-serfs economy they pine for, make the plutocracy permanent and keep them in power for eternity is what saved us - not any alleged courage on the part of Kerry and company.
Yes, now it's a street fight, and the dirtiest fighters will win. Everybody who thinks that's the Democrats, stand on your head.