The debt ceiling deal struck last night does not tax the rich or even allow temporary tax cuts on the rich to expire. Nor does it defund any wars. Yet it requires cuts of $1.2 trillion now and $2.5 trillion over a decade. This so-called deal boxes US policy into a relentless program of domestic spending cuts, economic stagnation, and growing poverty when we need increased public spending to create jobs and build a sustainable economy that meets the people's basic needs and restores the environment.
Call your Congressmembers and urge them to vote no on the deal and demand that the President use his constitutional power to raise the debt ceiling, raise the funds, and pay our nations' bills under the 14th Amendment, Section 4 of the US Constitition ("The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,...shall not be questioned.)"
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Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121
You can send an email message here.
From Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist:
"The deal is a disaster. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America's long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.... Obama could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn't, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call. And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options."
From Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Clinton (posted on Common Dreams):
"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. Added to the cuts already underway by state and local governments, the deal's spending cuts increase the odds of a double-dip recession. And the deal strengthens the political hand of the radical right."
From Glen Greenwald, constitutional lawyer:
"The reported deal on the debt ceiling is so completely one-sided -- brutal domestic cuts with no tax increases on the rich and the likelihood of serious entitlement cuts in six months with a "Super Congressional" deficit commission -- that even Howard Kurtz was able to observe: "If there are $3 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes, Obama will have to explain how it is that the Republicans got 98 pct. of what they wanted;"
while Grover Norquist, the Right of the Right on such matters, happily proclaimed:
"Sounds like a budget deal with real savings and no tax hikes is a go." The same White House behavior shaping the debt deal -- full embrace of GOP policies and (in the case of Social Security cuts) going beyond that -- has been evident in most policy realms from the start.
Three days ago, Democratic Rep. John Conyers, appearing at a meeting of the Out of Poverty caucus, said: "The Republicans -- Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor -- did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that"
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