Randy Shaw: Tax Day has passed with little attention to the chief reason U.S. students are overwhelmed by debt, millions are homeless, children go to bed hungry and our public transit infrastructure is being destroyed — the allocation of half of every discretionary dollar to the military.
Rudy Acuña: We are taking a bath on immigration: it looks as if a guest worker program will be part of the grand bargain, and it is likely that there will be a long, slippery and tenuous pathway to citizenship.
Carl Bloice: The Congressional Progressive Caucus budget that is far more sensible and humane than anything the White House is proposing. But since the “serious” people in Washington don’t cotton to it, the serious mainstream media won’t give it the time of day.
Shamus Cooke: Obama and the Democrats are aligning with Republicans to strike the first major blows against Social Security and Medicare. The decades-long political agreement to save these programs is dead, and the foundation of American politics is shifting beneath everyone’s feet.
RJ Eskow: And when the next crisis comes, “147 people” will react to it exactly the same way they reacted to the last one. You can almost hear them now, can’t you? You can’t blame us, they’ll say. Nobody could’ve seen this coming. How do we know that?
Shamus Cooke: At the end of the day a so-called progressive Democrat is still a Democrat, and the Democratic Party has re-made its image to reflect the interests of its new big donors from Wall Street, who now feel as comfortable buying Democrats as they do purchasing a Republican politician.
Robert Reich: The President needs to deliver the same message to the public, loudly and clearly. The biggest problems we face are unemployment, stagnant wages, slow growth, and widening inequality — not deficits. The major goal must be to get jobs and wages back, not balance the budget.
Joeseph Palermo: President Obama and the Democrats’ willingness to accept cuts to Social Security in the form of the gimmicky “chained CPI” right after an election where no candidate for federal office campaigned on it shows that the Right’s long-term project of undoing the New Deal marches on despite the electorate’s wishes.
Shamus Cooke: Corporations are on a public-sector union mopping up mission, using the city, state, and federal budget deficits as an excuse to target public sector unions.
Robert Reich: I hope the President starts negotiations over a “grand bargain” for deficit reduction by aiming high. After all, he won the election.
Shamus Cooke: Literally the day after the election a sudden “urgency” gripped the nation: the imminent danger of the so-called “fiscal cliff” — the national automatic tax increases and spending cuts due in January.
Peter Laarman: Just a word about the Next Big Thing: the coming lame duck session and the “fiscal cliff” and the prospect of a not-so-grand bargain in which Democrats will yield yet more ground to Pete Peterson’s baleful “austerity for you but not for me” proposals.
Shamus Cooke: The coast is clear, the media tells us; economic disaster has been averted. The Euro Zone is finally stable and the U.S. economy is recovering. Whew! Why, then, are government policies internationally still pursuing extremist measures?