Here are some thoughts about the super commitee CREDO sent me.
The deficit deal Republicans fear the most is the one they already cut when they created the Super Committee.
If the Super Committee fails to pass a deficit reduction bill, a number of budget cuts will automatically be triggered. These cuts, which include defense spending but spare Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, are much less damaging that what's on the table.
All the Democrats need to do to save our social safety net is stand strong.
But according to recent reports, Democrats on the Super Committee have floated a proposal that would not only make deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, it would also pave the way for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be made permanent.1
It's simply unconscionable.
Paul Krugman summed up the situation nicely when he wrote:
I thought I had worked out all the worst-case scenarios for the supercommittee (there was never a best-case). But this is even worse than my worst imagining: a deal to undermine key social insurance programs in return for a promise that Congress will come up with a plan for raising revenue at some future date. If you think that promise has any credibility whatsoever — if you have any doubts that the end result would be to gut Social Security and actually cut taxes for the wealthy — I have this Nigerian bank account that can be yours if you send me $100,000 in expenses.2
This is not mere pessimism from Mr. Krugman. Not only are the Democrats apparently poised to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits in return for promised but unspecified tax increases, under this proposal the tax reform in the House would be run by Republican ideologues, and in Senate would be determined in a committee chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, the Democratic senator most responsible for the Bush tax cuts.
The Democrats are structurally in a position of strength. Right now the best scenario would be for the Super Committee to deadlock, or barring that, for the Senate as a whole to reject a terrible deal.
Let's remember that Democrats still have majority control of the Senate.
In the face of massive unemployment, rampant foreclosures, a sputtering economy and widespread anger that the country is systematically prioritizing the needs of the ultra-rich and wealthy corporations over the needs of the other 99% of us, it should be easy for Democrats to reject a plan that makes it harder and more expensive for seniors and the less fortunate to get medical care or pay for their basic living expenses.
But the national discussion has gotten so warped, some are calling for benefit cuts to social insurance programs in the name of shared sacrifice as though the middle class and the working poor aren't already paying their fair share and suffering the most.
It's long past time to roll back the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest and ended corporate handouts. We don't have to pay for it by throwing the poor, seniors and women under the bus with benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. "Deficit Panel Seeks to Defer Details on Raising Taxes," Robert Pear, New York Times, Nov. 13, 2011
2. "Superfraud," Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2011