[I]t turns out that this isn’t really about deficit reduction at all. The entire exercise is about gutting the social safety net, thus giving the markets “confidence” in the United States’ ability to govern itself.
Ironically, this was considered to be so important that our democratic government had to convene a secretive committee to meet behind closed doors and enact policies that go against the explicit desires of a vast majority of American citizens. In fact, among the chattering classes, defying the citizens has become the defining act of political courage. Nearly all of them have demanded that the Democrats brutally slash their signature social safety net programmes to prove their seriousness while assuming that Republicans could never agree to substantial tax increases.
And sadly, Democrats were more than willing to go along with this lopsided demand, labouring under the bizarre illusion that they would be rewarded by the people for doing exactly what the people didn’t want them to do. The only thing standing in their way was the Republicans’ unreasonable refusal to consider raising any taxes at all on highly profitable corporations and the greedy 1 per cent. In the end, even that small concession to allow the Democrats to save a tiny bit of face was too much and the negotiations fell apart…
The polls have been clear and solid over time: The public cares far more about jobs than deficits and a majority of Americans are opposed to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
If nothing is done, the Bush tax cuts will expire and reduce our deficit by $7.1 trillion. The idea that we need this super-committee is laughable on it’s face, and further proof of the Democratic complicity in the sacking of the middle class.