"Question Mark Cloud"

"Question Mark Cloud" by Mick1.! on flickr

A “friend” just forwarded this to me. It’s clearly going out to Dems still stupid enough to still be on the mailing list. My furious reaction is printed below.

With our nation set to surpass the current debt limit in less than two weeks, we're approaching perhaps the most predictable financial crisis
ever -- but up until now our politics have been too divisive and hyper-partisan to seriously confront the problem.

I hope to change that. For several months now, I've worked with a bipartisan group of Senators, three Republicans and three Democrats, devising a plan to cut our debt by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade through a combination of spending cuts and tax and entitlement reforms.

I'm now asking for your help to turn our Gang of Six into something much larger: a grand coalition of like-minded Democrats, Independents, and Republicans with the political will to break the gridlock in Washington and fix our debt problem. It’s going to require a lot of work to pass this proposal through both Houses of Congress, and in
order to swing enough votes I need your help to apply some public pressure.

Will you click on this link and add your name in support of our bipartisan debt reduction proposal?

The single best thing we can do to create jobs and grow the economy right now is to enact a long-term debt and deficit reduction plan that will provide some semblance of certainty for the marketplace. Right now, businesses have $2 trillion in cash that’s just sitting on their balance sheets. They’re unwilling to invest those funds and create
jobs because, as they watch the debate in Washington, they have little confidence in what the future will hold.

Enacting our plan will give businesses reason to put their money back into the economy and start hiring again. We simplify the tax code, lowering tax rates and removing special tax breaks and havens that will generate $1 trillion in new revenue. And we reform and strengthen our entitlement programs to ensure their long-term viability.

This proposal is not perfect. To make this work, we all have to make concessions we’d prefer not to make. Seriously reducing our debt and deficit requires everyone to have some skin in the game. But this common-sense, bipartisan framework provides an incredible opportunity to steer our country toward a new path to fiscal solvency – and I need your help to turn it into law.

Thanks so much for your help and support,
Mark Warner

Notice, by the way, that there aren’t any specifics in Warner’s bs. Just a lot of “trust us.”

Note that it’s tilted entirely towards business.

Note also that the only purported cause + effect between reducing the deficit and creating jobs is that such reduction will “increase business’ certainty” in the economy. Where are those “rugged capitalists,” able to deal with uncertainty and willing to take risks to earn a buck?

Here’s my response:

The single best thing we can do to create jobs and grow the economy
right now is to enact a long-term debt and deficit reduction plan

I’m sorry, Mike, but this is just crap.

a) one reason the deficit is at the level it is today is Bush’s initial set of tax cuts, followed by Obama’s refusal to end them.

b) reason #2 [I can send you any number of charts] is the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, plus the myriad of bases that Obama shows no indication of closing.

c) the whole “entitlement reform” really means cutting social security and Medicare. The ss fund has a surplus out, I think, 30 years, and it could extend further by the simple move of raising the “cap” on which FICA is deducted.

d) but most importantly, issues re social security have no effect on the “deficit.” It’s self funded. The only problem is that, because Al Gore didn’t get his “lock box,” the Treasury borrowed from the social security trust fund, and is now looking for ways to eliminate that “debt.” That has nothing to do with what social security has to pay out, only with the chicanery of those who run the social security trust fund allowing the Treasury to borrow from it, and ending up with a crap debtor who’d rather spend all its funds on wars and tax cuts for rich guys than pay back its debt.

Finally, this whole “OMG, we have to raise the debt ceiling” is a crisis manufactured by Obama and craven Democrats like Warner. The debt ceiling was raised numerous times under Bush, and McConnell just offered Obama a “clean bill” re raising the ceiling without any cuts. But Obama wouldn’t take it because he really, really wants to make cuts in social programs.

Obama said back in 2009 that he wanted to “reform entitlements.” This whole “crisis” is just an excuse to go after social programs and the social safety net enacted under FDR and strengthened under LBJ. I don’t know why Obama has taken this tack. Maybe it’s because, as he said early on, his hero is Reagan. Maybe it’s because he’s surrounded by those geniuses from Harvard, Goldman Sachs et al., who’ve never met an unemployed person or a person on SSDI, but deal only with “ideas” and “theories.”

This whole trickle down economics, that cutting taxes will create jobs, has been going on since Reagan’s day. Even its author, David Stockman, has admitted it’s crap. So, there’s a federal deficit. You deal with it by increasing revenue [TAXES] or cutting expenses [wars, military bases, agricultural subsidies]. You don’t deal with it by cutting a program that’s completely separate from the deficit.

OTOH, you really want to “reform entitlements”? Then increase taxes on rich guys, particularly on any social security or Medicare they get. They don’t need it; they can pay for it, and others need the money. Quit, for example, paying for hip and knee replacements [under Medicare] for folks who could themselves pay for these. [BTW, Nebraska has the highest rate in the US for this surgery.]

You can reduce the deficit by creating JOBS, which produce taxes. Taking away folks’ social security and unemployment benefits — at a time when they can’t find jobs anywhere in this crap economy — is both cruel and counterproductive. Who’s going to create the demand for cars, refrigerators, houses or any of the few things that continue to be produced here? Not folks sleeping in cars and dumpster diving.

And particularly Fuck Warner for his suggestion about giving corporations a tax break for “repatriating earnings.” What a scam.

You could also affect the “deficit” by enacting a “financial transactions tax,” particularly one directed at hedge funds. But no, Obama, and now the Democrats are so enslaved to the banks and hedge funds that they won’t do any of this. They rather go after the unemployed, the old, the sick, the handicapped. I am ashamed of the Democratic party, the one I’ve voted for since 1968, and I’m especially ashamed of Obama and his nerve in putting out this pile of crap.

BTW, here’s the latest on Obama’s “plan for action” on the deficit. [Courtesy of Politico.] Note what will “happen now,” and what’s merely a “promise.”

After weeks of winding negotiations, the White House and GOP leaders are discussing a deal worth more than $3 trillion with changes to entitlements and a promise to do tax reform, the sources said. [Emphasis added.]

If you get this despicable “plea” from Warner and the Democrats, I hope you’ll “respond appropriately.” I’d love to hear what you say to them.