With gridlock and malicious behavior paralyzing our government, it is now up to we, the people, to become more visible and vocal, to show Congress what needs to be done. Here are some thoughts and ideas on where we need to go from here, and how we can become involved.
The Simpson-Bowles personal profit tour reveals that for them, for their creation -- the speciously labeled Campaign to Fix the Debt -- and for the CEOs, right-wing groups and Republicans rallying round them, the effort has nothing to do with deficits or fixing anything.
When we hear Erskine Bowles and his friends rant about the deficit this week, we should remember that once again they are distracting the public from the country's real problems. And this crew is at the center of those problems; it is not the solution.
As soon as one pitch ends, another begins. So this ain't over, folks, because every good medicine-show pitchman knows: You gotta keep on offering the crowd that "grand bargain" until you wear 'em down and they buy it.
Sometimes you just get the feeling that the various people with whom you're arguing all got together a few days ago and agreed on a talking point. In almost every single debate I've had regarding the president's budget plan, when confronted with the fact that they have thus far refused to accept new tax revenues as part of a deal for deficit reduction, conservatives cry foul. To the contrary, they cry. They'd be happy with far more revenue than the $1.5 trillion called for in the president's budget. But it must come from "lowering the rates and broadening the base." So let's explore exactly what this means.
See -- we're not that stupid. Wait. Maybe that should be the new slogan: "Congress -- we're not that stupid."
So here we are, after both sides cried "uncle" on this effort, with automatic spending cuts ready to go into effect that will begin the process of slashing $1.2 trillion dollars from the budget -- cuts that neither side wants.
The fate of the fiscal stability of the United States was sealed on the weekend of December 4-5, 2010.
Congress exempted Group Purchasing Organizations from anti-kickback statutes in the 1980s, in what critics say was a direct violation of anti-trust law. In the past three decades there has been no serious effort to correct this gross fleecing of patients and taxpayers.
We're seeing the demonization of the victim everywhere. It's in the public hatred for underwater homeowners and now reaches to the highest halls of power in both parties, where we told that helping struggling homeowners would be "rewarding the undeseverving."
Poverty in America is the most corrosive of the wars we're losing but never mention. Poverty is not merely offensive to the human condition, it is also the enemy of economic and civil stability in America.
The government's deficits were very much containable until the collapse of the housing bubble sank the economy. It was the economic collapse that gave us large deficits.
The inevitable result of austerity economics would be a plan to hand the next generation a nation with crumbling infrastructure, collapsing government services, and bleak economic prospects. It's an all-out assault on the future of the young.
It's important for the Obama White House, the 'Biden Group' and Democrats on Capitol Hill to stand firm for a budget deal that meets the demands of the middle class.
In DC the elite are gathered around tables discussing budget cuts, but not jobs to cure a deficit largely caused by a lack of jobs and tax cuts. Not at the table: women, working people, the poor or any semblance of democracy.
Making across-the-board cuts to government programs to lower the deficit is tempting, but it won't foster the economic growth needed to realize our deficit reduction goals.