Carl Bloice: If the country were really impoverished, there would be some legitimacy to the idea that we really couldn’t afford to properly meet the needs the elderly, people with disabilities and the poor.
Robert Reich: Government should extend unemployment benefits, and not cut spending until the nation’s rate of unemployment is down to 5 percent. Then, and only then, should we move toward budget austerity.
Robert Reich: Not a day goes by without Republicans decrying the budget deficit. But the biggest single reason for the yawning deficit is big money’s corruption of Washington.
Brent Budowsky: The sin of the supercommittee is that it has merely mirrored the old-think politics it was created to rise above.
Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.
Randy Shaw: If President Obama and fellow Democrats agree to a deficit reduction deal that cuts Medicare, Social Security, and other programs serving the 99%, expect an electoral calamity for Democrats in 2012.
Carl Bloice: Obviously, there is nothing demographically representative of the Gang of 12. It’s hardly democratic; but then, there is nothing particularly democratic about the whole setup.
The recent debt ceiling negotiation wrestling match resulted in the United States losing its AAA credit rating and also resulted in the creation of a new committee. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee or Super Congress, was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2.
Ivan Eland: The good news is that if the committee can’t reach an agreement on the fiscal changes, or if Congress rejects its work, defense (including homeland security) and domestic programs have to take equal cuts.
Brent Budowsky: The president and congressional leaders should bring a new player to sit at this jobs-and-deficit table on behalf of all who love and serve the nation: Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell.
Robert Reich: Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.
Denis Campbell: Many economists predict a failure to act before Asia markets open Sunday or Monday night could see an immediate stock market loss of up to 5% and wipe out 10% of US GDP by Tuesday night. It’s that serious.
Robert Reich: Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.