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Super-Congress wants to have its cake and eat it too

by Linda Beale

Super-Congress wants to have its cake and eat it too

So the Democrats and Republicans on the so-called “Super-Committee” that is supposed to find $1.2 trillion in budget reductions/increased revenues within a week now thinks it has a solution–let the regular tax committees (Finance and Ways & Means) come up with the tax revenues, while the Super-Committee will go on and specify the spending cuts.  See Deficit Panel Seeks to Defer Details on Raising Taxes, New York Times (Nov. 14, 2011).

The proposal doesn’t sound like anything that the Dems on the panel should accept.  For a piddling reduction in some of the deductions available to the most affluent individuals, the GOP is willing to lower the rate on those individuals to 28%!  Just more enriching the rich.  The Dems shouldn’t agree to that.  Especially since Grover Norquist thinks that any such agreement would be undone immediately, while any stupid agreement the Dems make to “reforming” (i.e., cutting benefits from) the earned benefits programs will be allowed to take place.

Grover G. Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, whose antitax pledge has been signed by most Republicans in Congress, said in an interview, “I am not losing any sleep” over the Republicans’ latest proposal. Mr. Norquist said he was confident that, “at the end of the day, the Republican House will not pass a tax increase.”

“As a face-saving measure,” Mr. Norquist said, the deficit reduction panel “could give lots of instructions to the tax-writing committees.” In complying with those instructions, he said, the House and the Senate could pass very different bills.  Id.

It is hard to see why any cuts to the earned benefits programs should be made. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are more important now than ever because of the weak economy.  We are a rich country and we can afford these programs.Tax 100% of compensation for Social Security.   And treat all profits interests as compensation income when allocations are received, so that partnerships treat persons as partners only when they have a capital investment in the partnership business.

Let the military be cut at least $750 billion.  And raise the rest through taxes–especially through a progressive estate tax and through eliminating the character preference for capital gains income.

This country is tired of being held hostage by far-right radicals  who don’t understand that the government acts for the people and who don’t give a damn for anybody that isn’t in the top 20% of the income and wealth distribution.  We are tired of the radical right’s anarchistic actions to prevent the government from borrowing money to carry out important programs.  We are tired of the radical right’s stupidity about the economy and its reliance on ideological beliefs in “trickle down” programs to justify tax cuts no matter what situation the country is in.  We are tired of the radical right’s refusal to acknowledge the facts about the failures of the four-decade experiment with reaganomics, during which time the large multinational corporations have been allowed to function like quasi-sovereigns.  We are tired of seeing tax policies that support consolidation of corporate empires and movement of business overseas, while Americans lose jobs and watch their wages decline.

 

originally published at ataxingmatter

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Keep information on Super Congress decisions open for our debate

A note from Firedoglake is relevent for the Super Committee today as a bid to keep the meetings less secret. Call or write committee chairs for more open meetings.:

Senator Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621
Representative Jeb Hensarling: (202) 225-3484

Sample Script:

Hello, my name is ________ and I am calling to ask that [SENATOR MURRAY / REP. HENSARLING] work to ensure the public will continue to have access to the Super Congress’ meetings.

I was pleased to hear that the first two meetings of the Super Congress would be broadcast live, but am concerned about what will happen when actual negotiations begin. It is very important that, as co-chair of the Super Congress, [SENATOR MURRAY / REP. HENSARLING] do everything in her/his power to provide public access to these hearings.

CSPAN broadcasts committee hearings all the time, and it would not be difficult to make these deliberations public as well. I urge [SENATOR MURRAY / REP. HENSARLING] to keep the Super Congress open to the public.

Thank you for your time.

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