Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To Senator Al Franken

To Senator Al Franken (D-MN):

Thank you for your explanation of your Yes vote [on the Budget Control Act 2011].

We are disappointed that the Senate vote was delayed. We can only speculate that it was delayed to ensure the bill's passage and to prevent an alternative bill with a clean deficit ceiling raise from having time to get passed.

We are also dismayed that once again the White House seems to have taken over the negotiations, with the result being another anti-progressive (regressive?) and one-sided bill.

The bill does nothing about jobs, and does not extend federal unemployment benefits. It also does nothing about ending tax breaks on income, capital gains, dividends and estates, and does nothing about corporate welfare. The bill means that the average wealthy person will continue to pay less of a percentage in taxes than the average working person, who does not have money to do his work for him.

Nevertheless, we appreciate the superb job you are doing as our Senator, and we will continue writing Letters to the Editor in our area that make note of your efforts on Minnesotan's behalf.

Thnak you.

Wendell, MN

Letter to Obama post Budget Control Act 2011

To The White House, President Barack Obama:

We are disappointed that you inserted yourself into the debt ceiling negotiations, and as a result of your concessions, a very one-sided bill was passed.

Why was a clean debt ceiling bill not passed?

If there were going to be conditions on a debt ceiling hike, then where is the extension to unemployment benefits?

Where is the end to the Bush tax cuts? How about reversing the 25% reduction in taxes on capital gains and dividend income? What about doing something about corporate welfare? Why should small businesses pay more in effective tax rates than large companies?

Where are the jobs provisions?

How is a bill which passes huge costs onto poor and average American citizens, taking that much out of their spending power, supposed to help the economy and get tax revenues and job numbers back up?

In effect this bill is the same as a massive tax increase on the middle and working classes.

If this is the kind of bill that results from White House sponsored negotiations, the same kind of bill that passed last December, it would be better to let Congress do its own negotiating.

As a result of this bill and your involvement, not only will Americans and the economy suffer, but Republicans will continue to blame Democrats and the White House for the poor state of the economy. Winning in 2012 will be that much harder for Democrats, and especially for Progressive candidates.

Thank you.

Wendell, MN

Monday, August 1, 2011

Debt Ceiling Deal: Almost No Spending Cuts Before 2014

From The Huffington Post:
The first phase of a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit would pose little threat to the economy in the short term because almost none of the spending cuts would occur before 2014...

Discretionary spending, which excludes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, would be cut by $21 billion in 2012 and $42 billion in 2013, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office...

"[M]ost of the cuts" have been put off for several years...

The deal comes as the U.S. economy is worsening. Manufacturing activity dropped to its lowest level in two years, according to a survey released Monday...

And economic growth dropped below 1 percent in the first six months of this year, the government said last week, much weaker than economists had expected. Government spending fell for a third straight quarter, contributing to the slower growth...

The sluggishness of the economy has raised concerns that it could slide back into recession...

The deal enables the government to avoid defaulting on the nation's debt. Credit ratings agencies may still downgrade their ratings of U.S. debt...

There's little in the package that would promote growth, many economists said. And some measures that were intended to stimulate the economy are slated to expire at year's end...

[E]xtended unemployment benefits....will be difficult to extend...

[C]uts in federal spending and the end of the tax cut could reduce growth by about 1.5 percentage points in 2012.

Letter To Obama And My Representatives.

Reject this total capitulation. Force a vote on a clean debt ceiling bill, and if that fails, force Obama to raise the debt ceiling under the fourteenth amendment.

This is just a massive tax hike on the middle class and the poor. This will kill the economy as well as insure that Democrats lose in 2012.

This hurts everyone except the wealthy and large corporations. Small businesses will be hurt badly by the decrease in spending power of the average American.

No extended unemployment benefits? No jobs creation? No end to the Bush tax cuts? No end to tax loopholes and subsidies? Forcing a vote on a balanced budget amendment? A super Congress? This is just total capitulation to extortion! Wake up!!

Don't throw us under the bus again. Just please, please say no!

P.S. Where do I send Obama his cigarettes?

Satan Sandwich

The deal is the same as a massive tax increase on the middle class in the middle of what to us is still a recession, just to keep tax cuts, loopholes and deductions for the wealthy and large corporations.

Hello to a big drop in purchasing power by the middle class and poor, who will have to pay more for college, more for heat in winter, more for healthcare, etc.

Goodbye to jobs.

No extension of unemployment benefits?

Automatic cuts if Republicans do not pass a bill crafted by their super Congress?

A mandatory vote on a balanced budget amendment? That should be fun come election time.

This truly is a Satan sandwich, but I don't see the sugar coating. Unless the coating is the debt ceiling increase. Is there any reason the last minute deal just prior to the default was not a clean bill?

So Democrats are capitulating once again, led by the Conciliator-In-Chief. Welcome to the New Deal for the wealthy.