Polls: What people WANT not on any DC tables for Debt Ceiling Legislation
People: They do not work for YOU. They have paymasters with far deeper pockets that all of you put together.
Update: Today, Boehner has turned the House debt ceiling bill back into Cut, Cap, and Balance -- requiring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, per David Dayen's reporting. Oh, my. I'm laughing, but it does mean complete standoff.
I recommend Obama go the 14th Amendment route. Apparently increasing numbers of Democrats are recommending that, and it is a clean debt increase.
However, Obama does want a crisis to get to entitlements.... What to do, what to do....
Yesterday, even with harsher cuts in the Boehner version, the House Tea Party conservatives would not let Boehner get the numbers to even bring the bill to a vote. Dayen notes now the House leadership can make changes without going back to committee (Changes Away, Boehner. Cantor, et al!).
Late last night the House Rules Committee voted to basically open the previously closed rule to the leadership, giving them the ability to amend the Boehner plan and vote on it without having to go back to the Committee. So now they at least can shift the legislation to please their recalcitrant lawmakers. Apparently one sticking point was the fact that the bill “spends” $17 billion on Pell grants over the next three years (to maintain the $5,500 benefit in the program). I put “spends” in quotes because that policy is tied to changes in the student loan program that save $22 billion, meaning that the overall effect is a deficit reduction of $5 billion. I’d be willing to bet that the Pell grant spending gets yanked. The South Carolina delegation is also claiming they want a vote to nullify the NLRB decision on Boeing as a condition of their support. It’s really a free-for-all. Who knows what riders could be included? (My emphasis)
The changes, per a Bloomberg reporter on WNYC this morning, are to make interest rates of 6.8% on student loans for graduate students begin when the loan is taken out, not when the student graduates. (IIRC, this interest requirement applies already to many graduate student loans -- and makes for a nicely larger loan repayment....). This is already in the Reid version, and it was already proposed by Obama for the budget.
David Dayen's post covers the polling, digs down to show what peopel prefer (some cuts, with high increased revenues):
Raising taxes on the wealthy – no longer available. Raising taxes on oil and gas companies – no longer available. Increasing the payroll tax cap – no longer available. Raising taxes on hedge fund managers – no longer available. Only means testing, which gets a majority in the WaPo poll, was a part of the grand bargain talks. But if people knew that in order to wring any real savings out of that you would need to dip all the way down into the middle class, they’d be against that too.
Dayen also looks at the similarities between Reid's and Boehner's plans (pretty soon I'll need to use only one possessive as they will be exactly the same, eh?):
The DC denizens work for the Oligarchs and now they are "fighting" over proposals which are almost identical, even to the amounts they claim as cuts which aren't really there. I almost wish the Oligarchs would just tell them what to do and get it done NOW. But that might be a fearsome outcome as well....
The fact that the Boehner and Reid plans are so similar, including the Pell grant spending and everything else, means that they were basically negotiated together, as something the White House would accept. Reid threw in a few more bells and whistles, scored the war savings, and increases the debt limit all at once. Boehner uses a second tranche of the debt limit to force through any Catfood Commission II changes.
The White House is talking about blending all the plans on the table if they fail, “combining elements of the Boehner and Reid proposals and another from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) so each can claim a measure of victory.” They’re already blended! It’s just a matter of when the debt limit is increased, and who can declare victory.
So much for my hope that Obama would be forced to use the 14th Amendment approach, or just presidential duty to protect the nation approach, due to neither chamber accepting the other's plans. That would have meant a clean debt ceiling increase. And Obama does not want that. Oh, shit.
Please feel free to add news reports, blog analysis as they come out.
(The idea that Obama may go for a 10 day increase of the debt ceiling so he can keep working to undo New Deal and Great Society programs makes me ill.)
Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, reality still exists and it shows up in a sharply reduced growth rate for the first quarter and a continuing anemic rate for the second quarter. Dayen sums up the state of our economic affairs. And our leaders are putting us further into the Big Muddy Austerity, and the idiots say march on.
It looks like we're trying to beat Britian in using austerity to slow the economy:
It’s not just that GDP growth for the second quarter came in under expectations, it’s that GDP for the first quarter was massively revised downward.
The U.S. economy came perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter and grew at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June period as consumer spending barely rose.
The Commerce Department data on Friday also showed the current lull in the economy began earlier than had been thought, with the growth losing steam late last year.
That could raise questions on the long held view by both Federal Reserve officials and independent economists that the slowdown in growth as the year started was largely the result of transitory factors.
Growth in gross domestic product — a measure of all goods and services produced within U.S. borders – rose at a 1.3 percent annual rate. First-quarter output was sharply revised down to a 0.4 percent pace from a 1.9 percent increase.
The fourth quarter of 2010 was revised down to 2.3% from 3.1%, too.
When you look at US GDP numbers, keep in mind that they are annualized. So the quarterly growth in 2011 Q1 was actually 0.1%, which is practically speaking, zero. (My emphasis)
Cuts being worked on right now in Washington, to soothe the savage beasts of the Tea Party, will add more drag to the economy, create more unemployment, more hardship. History shows what's being done is not the right course to take, but politics are now ruled by the right and the Corporatist, the Kleptocratic Oligarchs.
In Britain, they're going to double down on cuts, because they're not getting growth or more revenues. So...more layoffs!
As the Dr. Who Daleks would say, "Exterminate! Exterminiate!," our robotic rightwads scream, "Eliminate! Eliminate!"
Again, please add links for news reports, blog analyses.
On Wednesday, 7/27, the NYTimes had a Scorecard of the House and Senate Plans, but it has not been updated. Meanwhile, there are reports that Reid is making changes, as Boehner and his crew are....
And, all behind closed doors. Plus, this is now the kind of bill where any and everything that can't be passed when known about gets tossed into bills. Dayen mentioned a possible sale of wireless broadband being added to Reid's bill. Earlier, I read about Joe Lieberman wanting to add changes to Medicare to any debt ceiling legislation. What else???