Robert Reich: Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.
Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.
Shamus Cooke: Listening to Congress debate deficit deduction is like listening to a den of lions discuss the welfare of zebras. In both cases the debate is very one-sided.
Robert Reich: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s compromise on the debt ceiling is a win for the President disguised as a win for Republicans. But it really just kicks the can down the road past the 2012 election – which is what almost every sane politician in Washington wants to happen in any event.
Robert Reich: If people knew that the Ryan plan would channel hundreds of billions of their Medicare dollars into the pockets of private for-profit heath insurers, almost everyone would be against it.
Robert Reich: The underlying problem isn’t the budget deficit. It’s that so much income and wealth are going to the top that most Americans don’t have the purchasing power to sustain a strong recovery.
Brent Budowsky: The president’s budget and congressional responses will have a revolutionary impact on American politics that will either cement the total domination of the right and humiliation of progressives in the battle of ideas, or pave the way for House Dems to restore Democratic control in 2012.
Tom Hayden: President Obama needs to be convinced to “shift his political calculus” and campaign in 2012 “on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan,” Rep. Barbara Lee told representatives of several peace organizations in a conference call on Dec. 10.
Brent Budowsky: Prediction – Sarah Palin will issue a Sherman statement declaring she will not run for president in 2012, and will instead host a one-hour political talk show on network or cable television that will become the highest-rated political talk show in TV history.
Robert Reich: The deal the President struck with Republican leaders is an abomination. It’s larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM, and Chrysler put together, larger than the stimulus package, larger than anything that’s come out of Washington in years. The president needs new advisors.
Ron Wolff: Species typically become extinct as a result of failure to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Homo sapiens may be the first species not only to have caused its own destruction but to have had the power to see it coming — and failed to heed the warning signs.
Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.
Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.