Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Take 2 - Debt Ceiling Debate

Welcome to November Urban Politico Readers:

We are 23 days away from Thanksgiving, 53 days away from Christmas, and 371 days away from the 2012 Presidential Election. At this point, these small milestones are probably not on your radar and they probably shouldn't be. Brace yourself for this month will be filled with lots of political theater. Up on deck is November 23rd - the deadline for the The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction aka "The SuperCommittee," to put forth their recommendations for further deficit reduction. In the words of Congressman Cleaver, on November 23 America will be served a "Satan Sandwhich."

How much longer must we endure these terrible reruns of "F$%K You America, Sincerely, The United States Congress? Not only are these episodes exhausting and frustrating, they are literally bringing our nation to the edge of the cliff. This past summer America watched the US Congress gamble with the Full Faith and Credit of the United States. In August Congress passed The Budget Control Act of 2011 which raised the US Debt Ceiling by $400Bn and cut $917Bn over the next ten years. The Budget Control Act also called for the creation of the SuperCommittee who were charged with finding an additional $1.5Tr in cuts over a ten-year period. Failure to produce recommendations or failure of Congress to pass the recommendations will result in a series of triggers in the amount of $1.2Tr across the budget. There have been back and forth reports about the entitlement programs being impacted by these triggers. I believe its safe to assume that nothing is off the table and we should be concerned about everything. My understanding is Medicare and Defense will be the hardest hit by the triggers.

The games have already begun.........

SuperCommittee Democrats have offered up a plan that includes $3Tr. in cuts across the board, which is double the required dollar figure of cuts to honor the plan and more than exceeds the trigger. In typical democratic "piss poor" negotiation fashion, they've offered to make cuts to Medicaid, well before the plan has hit the real negotiation table. Sound like a sweet deal? A deal that Republicans should jump up and down for? Nope! The deal includes $1.3Tr in tax increases, so Republicans have said "No, Thank You," which is code for "F$%K You America." Apparently this plan doesn't go well with their "Let's Fire President Obama" agenda.

So on one side of the table we have a group of people who believe "its my way or the highway" and we have another group who despite complaints from people like me and despite the well documented true identity and agenda of the Republican Party, continues to negotiate in "good faith" and make offers that will not be acceptable to a majority of people. I smell a rat and I already know that this process will more than likely end ugly.

For the next 22 days, we will watch our dysfunctional Congress squabble over these recommendations to avoid the trigger taking effect. The US Congress has an approval rating of 9% which is an all-time low and somehow they are acting as if their approval rating is 85%. They will put the interests of their party and reelections first and disregard the needs of the American people. All of this while they have a job, a home (many members have multiple homes) health care, and access to the finer things in life that most of us can only dream of. Sadly, these members of Congress whom we entrust to represent us are in the top 1% of income earners in the country. We can officially forget about the American Jobs Act being passed or any job act for that matter. Quite frankly I am sick of all of this, what about you?

Did the Democrats on the SuperCommittee make a strong initial offering? or was it weak?
Did the GOP rightfully decline this offering?
Should Tax Revenues be included in the final plan?
Will the supercommitte prevail and make the necessary cuts or will the triggers go into effect?
In the END will Medicare survive without being touched by the SuperCommittee?
Will Congress get its act together and do "something" to help the people or will we be forced to suffer until the 2012 election?

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