So the deal has been reached and the votes are in! The credit limit has been raised and we can all breathe a little easier. But, just what is the deal, anyway?
by Charlie Leck
I’ve got some observations I’ve picked up here and there that give us a clearer picture about the murky deal arrived at by Republicans and Democrats and the President of the United States.
Robert Reich is a professor at the University of California and he has served in three national administration, including as Secretary of Labor for President William Clinton.
"Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics no politics.
“The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate — who are now taking home a larger share of total income and wealth, and whose tax rates are already lower than they have been, in eighty years. Yet it puts the nation’s most important safety nets and public investments on the chopping block. It also hobbles the capacity of the government to respond to the jobs and growth crisis."
Emanuel Cleaver, Democratic member of the House of Representatives:
“If I were a Republican, this is a night to party. This is a sugar-coated Satan Sandwich."
Raul Grijalva, Democratic member of the House of Representatives:
“This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it…. The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want.”
Jim Hightower wrote a piece in Nation of Change that included this opening:
“OK, Barack Obama has not exactly turned out to be Mount Rushmore material, but – good God! – the petulant pettiness of right-wing Republican congressional leaders has turned them into a national embarrassment.
“America has big needs right now. But those needs are not even being addressed, because little whiney ideologues like Eric Cantor, the GOP’s House majority leader, keep throwing hissy fits, demanding that they get their way, or there’ll be no way.
“Of course, their way – on everything from tax policy to Wall Street regulation – is always the corporate way. Their plutocratic theories were exactly what was tried throughout George W’s eight-year reign, and they failed spectacularly. Yet Cantor & Crew are now pushing the same nonsense – the very policies that caused America’s economic crash, which continues to crush grassroots people. ‘But it’s ideologically correct,’ cries Little Eric, ‘so we and the Koch brothers won’t stop screaming until you give us more of it.”
U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate, John Kerry:
“I think not having revenues is a mistake, but it may be all we can do at this point.”
Kevin McCarthy, Republican member of the House of Representatives
“This Speaker won. If you look at where the White House started and where they are now, it’s a big win.”
Paul Ryan (Republican), Wisconsin member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Budget Committee:
“This gives us a leg up, and I am amazed you got one for one on cuts, no violation of conservative principles, and I am amazed you got the deal you did.”
Jerrold Nadler (Democrat), member of the House of Representatives from New Jersey:
“It’s a surrender to Republican extortion. It’s one thing to say we want this, we don’t want that as part of negotiations. It’s another to say we will destroy the country and the economy if you don’t do what we want.”
Elijah E. Cummings (Democrat), member of the House of Representatives from Maryland:
“My constituents are suffering; they’ve lost their jobs and their homes, and now to cut the very programs that could have provided them with support while the rich are given a pass – it’s ridiculous.”
I could go on and on… but you get the idea! Barack Obama took a shellacking on this one, but maybe there was no other way. He was just too afraid of what might happen if the credit limit wasn’t raised. Would it have provoked an economic crisis? Who knows? Obama wasn’t willing to take the chance.
Here’s America’s only hope to become a great nation again (and, oh, by the way, being the greatest nation in the world is expensive and means we all have to chip in to make it so): The 2012 election must be a big win for the Democrats. They must show the voters that it was the stupidity of the Tea Partiers and the conservative wing of the Republican Party that led us to this crisis point.
The current Republican plan, if it is allowed to continue after 2012, will drag the nation down and we will no longer be able to boast that we – America – are the greatest nation in the world.
The Koch brothers are making sure of it!
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