Democrats On ‘Super Committee’ Propose Gigantic Cuts

If you ever wondered whether the Democratic Party would come around again, I think you have your answer now…

Via Jon Walker of FDL, here’s a Reuters exclusive article that spells out what few details are available. According to that article, Dems are seeking a bargain involving a total of $3 trillion in savings, including large cuts to Medicare and Medicaid:

The Democratic plan proposes cutting the deficit by $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion and calls for between $200 billion and $300 billion in new stimulus spending to boost an ailing U.S. economy. …

[The plan] also seeks around $400 billion in Medicare savings, with half coming in benefit cuts and the other half in cuts to healthcare providers.

The Democratic proposal also identifies $100 billion in cuts to the Medicaid healthcare program for the poor, …

(Bolds mine.)

There is some small amount of good news:

Republicans rejected the Democratic initiative.

“Asking for a $1.5 trillion tax hike in the middle of a jobs crisis is not a serious proposal,” said a House of Representatives Republican leadership aide.

Right… the R’s, whose Super Committee members all had already signed the Grover Norquist no-taxes pledge, are supposedly going to kill this deal.

So we may get the default… large cuts to domestic AND defense spending… or, more likely, this already bad deal will get much, much worse with the cooperation of Obama and the congressional Democratic leadership.

But we won’t know which until it’s almost a done deal: the Super Committee meets in secret, and in previous legislation, Congress agreed that there will be a simple up-or-down vote on the results of the Super Committee’s plan… no amendments.

I don’t remember learning about any of this bullshit procedural fol-de-rol when I studied Congress in school. Frankly, I doubt it’s constitutional. But I’m certain that no one will call them on it. As the classic bully says when told to stop, “Who’s gonna make me?”

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  • jams o donnell  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    One of my favourite US comedians Will Durst reckons that the reason that Democrats support stem cell research is that they are relying on it to grow them a spine.

    Like a large chunk of the Labour party here including our current leader Miliband, the Democrats strike me as a bunch of spineless asses.

    • Steve  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      jams, the irony is that the rank-and-file Democrats I know personally are not anything like that… not spineless, not stupid, not given to caving in to the first bit of pressure from Republicans. It took me a while, but I finally concluded that the Democratic Party leadership simply does not represent the rank-and-file, nor do they have any regrets about that posture, presumably because they have a lot more money coming in from the MOTU if they ignore their base.

      I don’t know the particulars of your situation with Labour, but it looks as if they’re up to the same sort of foolishness as our Dems. There is no good place to be these days, if you want to live in a free, open and democratic society. I guess America’s founders were right again: all political parties ultimately are co-opted by the wealthy and the powerful. It sucks!

  • Madeleine Begun Kane  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I’d love to know where most Dems left their brains and balls.

    • Steve  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Mad, maybe they just swapped their locations!

  • karmanot  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Meeting in secret etc –Blatantly democratic and anti American.

    • Steve  On Sunday October 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Indeed, karmanot, just so… undemocratic and anti-American. To those two I think one could well add “unconstitutional”; I don’t see any basis in the Constitution for Congress to undertake to restructure itself to so limit the power of all but 12 members to nothing more than casting an up-or-down vote. That’s a lot of power in the hands of 12 people elected in six states and six representative districts, not by the American people as a whole.

  • jams o donnell  On Monday October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I didn’t mesn to dis the Democrat rank and file many of whom probably feel the same. That definitely goes for Labour rank and file! My ire is aimed that the leadership. Our leader Miliband is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Obama, from this side of the Atlantic, looks lime a complete waste of space.

    • Steve  On Monday October 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

      jams – no offense taken, not in the least. Many of us are fed up. Some are fed up enough to stop supporting the Democratic Party financially. I still mostly vote for Democratic candidates… who else is there, on our sorry ballots, and some Dem members of Congress are actually useful… but even that I do grudgingly, because I find I have no solid support in Washington from either party. “Chocolate teapot,” indeed! An apt image… they’re great until they have to take hot water.

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