The Gang of Six are serving their corporate masters, who don’t, by the way, create jobs

I’m tired, and the sweat is running off of me in tiny rivers. The house we live in, built over 150 years ago, does not have air conditioning. It’s never bothered me before, but, tonight, as I lay here in bed, with a red-hot laptop balanced across my mountainous belly, and my sweat pooling in my folds, I’m reconsidering my idealistic stance against AC. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about tonight. Tonight, I wanted to talk about the debt ceiling debate, and the real intentions of the corporate handmaids we call our leaders. As I’m not sure how long I’ll make it before passing out from heat stroke, here’s the most important thing that I wanted to pass along. It’s footage of Bernie Sanders on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday, railing sarcastically against the debt ceiling ‘compromise’ being trumpeted the so-called Gang of Six.

Here’s part of what the Senator from Vermont had to say… And, remember, he’s saying it sarcastically:

“…Clearly (the Gang of Six) has won this debate, in a very, very significant way. My guess is that they will probably get 80 to 90% of what they want. In this town, that is quite an achievement. They have stood firm in their desire to represent the wealthy, and the powerful, and the multinational corporations. They have threatened… They have been very smart in a number of ways. They have been determined. And, at the end of the day, they will get 80 or 90% of what they want. That is their victory, and I congratulate them on their victory. Unfortunately, their victory will be a disaster for working families in this country, the elderly, the sick, the children, and for low income people…

Can you imagine the change that would happen in Washington if the Tea Party zombies ever actually woke up and listened to a speech given by Bernie Sanders, instead of just reflexively calling him a Socialist?

As for the deal being floated by the Gang of Six, a lot hasn’t been made public at this time, but Bernie’s right when he says there’s reason for concern. For instance, Matt Taibbi is reporting that the compromise will almost assuredly contain another tax holiday for corporations. Here, with more on that, and why it’s a terribly bad idea, is a clip from Taibi’s post:

…For those who don’t know about it, tax repatriation is one of the all-time long cons and also one of the most supremely evil achievements of the Washington lobbying community, which has perhaps told more shameless lies about this one topic than about any other in modern history – which is saying a lot, considering the many absurd things that are said and done by lobbyists in our nation’s capital.

Here’s how it works: the tax laws say that companies can avoid paying taxes as long as they keep their profits overseas. Whenever that money comes back to the U.S., the companies have to pay taxes on it.

Think of it as a gigantic global IRA. Companies that put their profits in the offshore IRA can leave them there indefinitely with no tax consequence. Then, when they cash out, they pay the tax.

Only there’s a catch. In 2004, the corporate lobby got together and major employers like Cisco and Apple and GE begged congress to give them a “one-time” tax holiday, arguing that they would use the savings to create jobs. Congress, shamefully, relented, and a tax holiday was declared. Now companies paid about 5 percent in taxes, instead of 35-40 percent…

So, it looks as though, at least according to Taibbi, that the DC lobbyists have been able to work in another tax give-away for our corporate masters. And, that’s not the worst of it. According to numerous analysts, the Gang of Six plan would also reduce Social Security benefits by as much as $1,300 a year, while further cutting corporate tax rates.

But, we’re told this is necessary, as corporations are “job creators.” We’re told that we can’t possibly raise taxes on them, or their senior executives, because, if we do, they’ll stop creating jobs. It makes sense, right?

The only problem is, the evidence tells us different. Fortune 500 companies, according to all the data, aren’t creating jobs, in spite of pulling in record profits. Regardless of how much the talking heads on TV may tell that they’re “job creators,” they’re not… at least in this country.

….Last Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report was brutal: a scant 18,000 jobs were created in June. Many look to big business for answers — especially those corporate leaders who joined President Obama earlier this year for his job summit.

Unfortunately, they are looking the wrong people.

According to the WSJ, Big Business slashed 2.9M domestic jobs in the 2000s while creating 2.4M overseas. In fact, all of the net job growth in the last 35 years did not come from Big Business. Those jobs came from entrepreneurs…

And, not just are the jobs disappearing while corporate profits are rising, but those who are able to hold on to their jobs aren’t seeing their incomes grow. Check this out:

…Over this six-quarter period [from Q2 of 2009 to Q4 of 2010], corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income…

So, are you starting to get the picture? There is incredible wealth being created in our country, but it’s all at the corporate level, and it’s not making it’s way down to the American people, regardless of what we’re being told about these beneficent entities and their ability to “create jobs.” Here’s a little anecdotal evidence – a headline from today’s news:

“Goldmann Sachs will lay off 1,000 people, even though it made $1 billion in profits in the last 3 months”

Here’s an American company that benefited directly from the recent taxpayer bailout, and, just a year later, they’re firing American workers, in spite of making record profits. Sounds unconscionable, doesn’t it?

But it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Corporations are, after all, psychopathic by nature.

I want to go on, but I’m afraid that the rest will have to wait until tomorrow…. Good night, my invisible friends….

[note: The photo of the sleepy sloth above has nothing to do with this post. It’s just there because I’ve recently figured out that posts with photos tend to get more comments. Also, I noticed that they were talking about a sleepy sloth video of Good Morning America this morning, so that means it must have done well with focus groups. Speaking of GMA, have you noticed that half of their content is now taken directly from YouTube? It’s pretty amazing how far can you stretch the definition of news… Check this out. I just looked the GMA website, and these are their three top headlines: “Paris Hilton Interview: Greatest Celeb Walkouts,” “Extreme Makeup Hoarders,” and “Which Popular Summertime Snack Can Kill Your Pet.” I know it may not mean shit to anyone but me, but it pisses me off that we continue to allow these networks to use our public airwaves. The deal, as I understand it, was that they could use them in so long as they provided news as a public service. This, I’m pretty sure, wouldn’t qualify.]

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24 Comments

  1. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    While we watch our schools and local governments fail one by one…What will we give up to keep gov’t up and running this time?

  2. Edward
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Jon Stewart had a good segment a few days ago on the “job creators” narrative.

    Here’s a link:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-18-2011/armadebtdon-2011—republicans-think-obama-is-obsessed

  3. Mr. X
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The next World War will be everyone against corporate entities and their armies.

  4. Chairman Meow
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    “So, are you starting to get the picture? There is incredible wealth being created in our country, but it’s all at the corporate level, and it’s not making it’s way down to the American people . . .”

    Karl Marx illuminated this for us 150ish years ago.

  5. Glen S.
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The last time President Obama had “secret” negotiations with Republicans over budget issues, he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts on those making over $250K/year, and to institute a Social Security tax “holiday” that did little to help ordinary Americans — but has done a lot to undermine the program’s financial stability. He then announced this “compromise” to many stunned House and Senate Democrats, and basically *dared* them to vote against it … warning that if they didn’t, Republicans would not agree to a much-needed extension of unemployment benefits. (In the middle of record-high unemployment!)

    Now, once again, we have the President negotiating with Republicans in secret over what are being described as among the biggest federal budget cuts (including deep cuts to core safety-net programs like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security) ever considered — in exchange for a mere “promise” by Republicans that they will agree to some, as yet unspecified, tax “reform” in 2012. (A year during which most of them will be up for re-election, I might add.) Only this time, it isn’t simply another extension of unemployment benefits that hangs in the balance, but rather — depending on who you believe — either a possible, temporary “default” on U.S. government debt obligations leading to economic and market uncertainty (best-case scenario), or a cataclysmic unraveling of confidence in U.S. political and economic stability that could deepen the depression and create worldwide economic consequences for years to come …

    Obviously, at some point the U.S. cannot continue spending more money than it takes in in revenue, so — at some point — the tax and spending mix will need to be readjusted. The question is: Why in the world is a “Democratic” President considering slashing federal spending NOW, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression? Moreover, why in the world is he considering do so without any “shared sacrifice” whatsoever on the part of super-rich, and large corporations — which are currently sitting on more cash than at any time in world history?!

    I could go on about the many reasons we should never have ended up in this terrible predicament … but I will say this: At this point, I can only conclude that President Obama is the possibly the worst president ever in terms of political strategy, and in terms of working with Congress to advance his agenda; OR — President Obama’s true political agenda is much closer to “Tea Party” ideals than any of us could ever have imagined.

    Either way, I think our Democratic leaders have an important decision to make: Are they going to vote against the President’s so-called compromise, and risk economic catastrophe? Or, are they going to support the President, and drive the final nail in the coffin of the Democratic Party as a viable (and credible) national party that represents the interests of the middle class, the working class, and the poor?

  6. Glen S.
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    From the Washington Post:

    “President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner rushed Thursday to strike agreement on a far-reaching plan to reduce the national debt but faced a revolt from Democrats furious that the accord appeared to include no immediate provision to raise taxes.

    With 12 days left until the Treasury begins to run short of cash, Obama and Boehner (R-Ohio) were still pursuing the most ambitious plan to restrain the national debt in at least 20 years. Talks focused on sharp cuts in agency spending and politically painful changes to cherished health and retirement programs aimed at saving roughly $3 trillion over the next decade.

    More savings would be generated through an overhaul of the tax code that would lower personal and corporate income tax rates while eliminating or reducing an array of popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for home mortgage interest. But the talks envisioned no specific tax increases as part of legislation to lift the debt limit, and the tax rewrite would be postponed until next year.

    Democrats reacted with outrage as word filtered to Capitol Hill, saying the emerging agreement appeared to violate their pledge not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as Obama’s promise not to make deep cuts in programs for the poor without extracting some tax concessions from the rich.

    When “we heard these reports of these mega-trillion-dollar cuts with no revenues, it was like Mount Vesuvius. . . . Many of us were volcanic,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.). … “

  7. Glen S.
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, despite the lack of specifics — given the secret nature of his negotiations with Republicans — President Obama is already working overtime trying to “pre-sell” this shitty agreement by going directly to the American people by publishing an editorial in (where else?) USA TODAY:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2011-07-21-obama-debt-ceiling-debate_n.htm

    As a side note, I urge you to read this piece and try to imagine that it was not written by any mainstream Republican leader, circa 1998 …

  8. Anonymous
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I guess the rich think that the American police state is strong enough to protect them and their assets.

  9. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I think you are jumping the gun Glen…lets see what they actually agree on before we start whining

  10. Meta
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Dear MoveOn member,

    

If you’ve been tuning out the fight in Washington over the “debt ceiling,” it’s time to tune in. Right now. 


    The New York Times reports that President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are close to reaching a secret agreement that includes deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but have no immediate plan to make millionaires and corporations pay their fair share.

    This is an absolutely critical moment for MoveOn members to make an impact.

    Democratic Leaders in Congress—including Minority Leader Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid—have consistently said that a lopsided deal like this is a non-starter. But if a backroom deal is reached, they’ll be under extraordinary pressure to go along. They need to hear loud and clear from their donors, volunteers, and voters that such a deal would be completely unacceptable.

    Things are moving very quickly right now, so we’re joining other key progressive groups for today’s Emergency Call-In Day to Demand They Stand Strong. Democrats in Congress need to hear that if they stand firm against any debt ceiling deal that goes after the elderly and poor, we’ll have their backs.

    
Will you call Sens. Stabenow and Levin and ask them to make clear that they will not vote for a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits or a deal that doesn’t make corporations and the rich pay their fair share?

    Senator Debbie Stabenow
    Phone: 202-224-4822

    Senator Carl Levin
    Phone: 202-224-6221

    Current reports suggest that the deal that’s being negotiated may trade deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare for an end to the Bush tax breaks for the rich. But here’s the thing: those tax cuts are already scheduled to expire. There’s no need to make a deal including severe cuts in order to end them.

    Even more upsetting: the change President Obama is reportedly offering to Social Security would cut already-meager benefits by almost 10% for millions of Americans. But this is totally unnecessary: simply asking the rich to pay payroll taxes on all their income, like middle class folks and poor folks already do, could make Social Security solvent without cutting benefits.

    The president doesn’t need to give in to Republicans’ hostage-taking. Congressional Republicans are beginning to feel the pressure from their rich donors to find a compromise to lift the debt ceiling, even if they don’t get the huge cuts they’re looking for. If we can get congressional Democrats to stand strong, we can force a better deal, one that protects Social Security and Medicare and does more to ensure that corporations and millionaires pay their fair share.

    We can’t let the White House cave to their demands now.

    Time is critical. That’s why it is so urgent that you call Sens. Stabenow and Levin right now. Tell them to tell the White House: no deals with deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and no deals without real revenue increases.

    Senator Debbie Stabenow
    Phone: 202-224-4822

    Senator Carl Levin
    Phone: 202-224-6221

  11. Tommy
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Obama has an out in the 14th Amendment – Section 4 – …the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. He can raise the debt ceiling and throw presidential power to an entirely new level. That’s if he had any balls. He doesn’t. So this game of chicken will continue. for the record, I am not too keen on it coming down to this.

  12. Meta
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    From Obama’s op-ed in today’s USA Today.

    Yes, we should make serious spending cuts. But we should also ask the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay their fair share through fundamental tax reform. Before we stop funding clean energy research, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don’t get. Before we ask college students to pay more, we should ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. Before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare, we should ask people like me to give up tax breaks they don’t need and never asked for.

    The middle class hasn’t just borne the brunt of this recession; they’ve been dealing with higher costs and stagnant wages for more than a decade now. It’s just not right to ask them to pay the whole tab — especially when they’re not the ones who caused this mess in the first place.

    Raising revenues: a bipartisan position

    A balanced deficit deal that includes some new revenues isn’t just a Democratic position. It’s a position that has been taken by everyone from Warren Buffett to Bill O’Reilly. It’s a position that was taken this week by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, who worked together on a promising plan of their own. And it’s been the position of every Democratic and Republican leader who has worked to reduce the deficit in their time, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton.

    There will be plenty of haggling over the details of all these plans in the days ahead. But right now, we have the opportunity to do something big and meaningful. This debate shouldn’t just be about avoiding the catastrophe of not paying our bills and defaulting on our debt. That’s the least we should do. This debate offers the chance to put our economy on stronger footing, restore a sense of fairness in our country, and secure a better future for our children. I want to seize that opportunity, and ask Americans of both parties and no party to join me in that effort.

  13. Elf
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I saw some of Good Morning America this morning. They had a segment on making toast. (I’m not making it up. I swear.) They had a video, taken from YouTube, of two dogs jumping around in the ocean surf, trying to herd sharks. And they had a story on an adorable giraffe that was born with it’s back feet on backward. I don’t know how you can say that’s not news.

  14. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    the networks have abandoned the real news…the 24 cycle of cable news sucks w/ opinions… public tv and radio are the last bastions of real news…oh and then the there is the Daily Show/ along with the satire of the Colbert Report…they deliver

  15. Caring Parent
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Since no one else has seen fit to comment on the real content on this post, I will.

    Get an air conditioner. Just one well placed unit. Think of it like a vacuum cleaner. A moderately priced appliance you use once or twice a year when you might have guests or for those times you can’t walk through your home without being covered in something that restricts breathing. It’s for the children. Our future.

    It’s an appliance, aka makes life slightly more bearable. A toaster. A washer. A fridge. An electric shaver. A furnace. A cell phone. Plastic buttons. Rubber soled shoes. Chalk. Talking movies. Domesticated animals. Blown glass. Satellite communication. The round thing on the front of wheelbarrows. Whatever we’re doing here…

    Or you can take the high road and use the reservoir of sweat collected in your navel and open pores to water your victory garden. If you do, I respect that, as long as you don’t use electrics to blog about it.

    Oooh. I just got another little burst of cool air. Oooh. Nice. Yah. Right there… Oooh … computer … microwave me a taco … ooooopphhh…. mmmmm…. more salsa … more air … mmmmmm … that’s it …. climate … climax … change!@@!

  16. dragon
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    -WDM
    I think you are jumping the gun Glen
    No. Not Glen. Especially on something that affects him as much as the long term debt deal. To really get our local watb in full blown soiled pantyland we must primary Obama with some fire breathing progressive who zero chance to win. You know someone who might do crazy things that don’t affect him at all like:

    -President Obama has successfully repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
    -Expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees.
    -Signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
    -Cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples.
    -Lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS.
    -Ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants on loans.
    -Expanded the Census to include the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship.
    -And hired more openly gay officials than any administration in history.
    -Also been more symbolic gestures, including the White House hosting an event to honor the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, announcing the first-ever transgender presidential appointee, nominating the first openly-gay man to serve on the federal judiciary, honoring same-sex couples in his Mother’s Day and Father’s Day proclamations, recording a video for the “It Gets Better” Project, and hosting Gay and Lesbian Pride Month events at the White House.
    .
    .
    .
    Now those are the things that make him wish we had McCain/Palin and help republicans win in 2012 by Primarying Obama.

  17. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    thanks Dragon…you have made my day

  18. Robert
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The capacity for critical thinking can be graphed as a bell curve, like pretty much everything else relating to individual characteristics within mass populations. The vast majority makes up that bulge in the middle. They will always be missing much of what is going on around them and instead adopting popular notions in place of a reasoned awareness. For this reason, the masses are always easily mislead. They always have been and they always will be.

  19. Kim
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that people are seriously saying that Palin/McCain would have been better for the country. And I don’t think that anyone would argue that Obama hasn’t led successfully in certain areas. What some of us Democrats are saying, however, is that we were hoping that Obama would have been more of a fighter. And, Dragon, while I find your comment funny, I think you’re missing the point when you suggest that this debt ceiling compromise won’t effect regular Americans. It will cut social security payments to retiring Americans and it will allow corporations to keep even more of their money. It shifts the burden from the wealthy, to those who aren’t as powerful, and that makes it a big deal.

  20. Glen S.
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    @ dragon

    I’m as pleased as anyone that President Obama has taken some progressive policy positions on a number of social issues, including LGBT rights.

    But, come on, look at the bigger picture: After eight years of Republican “leadership” that mostly consisted of ever-larger tax cuts and big-business deregulation coupled with an unprecedented military buildup to fight the “War on Terror,” President Obama was given an unprecedented mandate to reform our economy, our foreign policy, our politics, and our society.

    Instead, three years later, our economy continues to spiral downward — with millions of people un- or under-employed, millions of people out of (or soon to be out of) their homes — and countless individuals, families, communities, school districts, and even states under severe financial pressure. NONE of the Wall Street titans and Government officials who were/are responsible for this mess have prosecuted or punished; instead, many of them now occupy senior positions in the Obama administration.

    Now, instead of acting boldly to defend the interests of the 99% of Americans who are middle class, working class or poor — Obama has once again taken the Republican “bait” and fallen for the phony “debt ceiling” argument as an excuse to offer up TRILLIONS of dollars in cuts to federal programs that provide a lifeline for many poor, senior and disabled Americans. Virtually all credible economists say that — with our economy in such bad shape — this is the absolute WORST time to make such deep cuts to federal spending. What’s worse, President Obama actually seems to be proposing to couple those cuts with yet MORE tax cuts …

    So, call me a “watb” all you want, but these policies, being proposed by our “Democratic” president are absolute madness, and if most of them actually get passed, I can’t believe they will not spell electoral disaster for Democrats up and down the ticket in 2012.

    I hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does — I can’t imagine that whatever Tea Party genius takes over the White House in 2012 is going to have LGBT rights at the top of their “to do” list.

  21. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    funny how posters here seem to have a crystal ball…

  22. dragon
    Posted July 24, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    .
    if you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    .

    if you insist upon unnecessary drama
    .

    if you invade a sovereign debt limit plan that never attacked you.
    .
    You will be greeted as a liberator.
    .
    Grandma’s meds will pay for themselves!

  23. Mr. X
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    From Ezra Klein in the Washington Post:

    We don’t yet know what the final deal to raise the debt ceiling will be. But now that Harry Reid is developing a proposal with $2.7 trillion in cuts and nothing in revenues, it’s a safe bet that it won’t include any tax increases. Which means that whether Republicans realize it or not, they’ve won. The question now is whether they can stop.

    Originally, the Democratic position was that we should simply raise the debt ceiling. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that reduced the deficit by at least $2.4 trillion — which is the size of the debt ceiling increase needed to get us into 2013.

    Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal that reduced the deficit by about $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from taxes. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes.

    Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal brokered by Barack Obama that reduced the deficit by $4 trillion, with about $3 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and about $1 trillion coming from tax increases. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes, and it would have to be cut between the congressional leadership of the two parties. Obama couldn’t have this as a win.

    That brings us to where we are now. John Boehner is proposing a deal with about $1 trillion in spending cuts and a short-term increase in the debt ceiling and a bipartisan congressional committee charged with developing a large deficit reduction package that would be immune to amendments and filibusters and would be the price of the next increase in the debt ceiling. Harry Reid is developing a package of spending cuts that Democrats could accept and would reach Boehner’s $2.4 trillion mark.

    If you take the Republicans’ goals as avoiding a deal in which they have to vote for tax increases and denying Obama a political victory, it looks like they have succeeded. That success has come with costs — they’ve done themselves political damage, are risking a crisis that could do the economy tremendous harm, and have left the Bush tax cuts unresolved, which means they might end up watching taxes rise much higher than if they’d taken Obama’s offer — but it’s still been a success.

    The question is, what happens if they don’t stop pushing?

    Late last week, pollster Mark Blumenthal summarized the “consistent findings” from the polling on the debt ceiling. First, he said, “Americans prefer a deal featuring a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts to a deal featuring just spending cuts.” Second, “most of the surveys find strong sentiment in favor of compromise, especially among Democrats and independents.” Finally, “the surveys all show Americans expressing significantly more confidence and trust in President Obama’s handling of the issue than of either the Republican or Democratic leadership in Congress.”

    Republicans have leverage because the debt ceiling needs to be raised and it can’t be raised without their support. But they don’t have popular support behind their position or their leadership. They can push this up to the brink and win, because Democrats really, really, really don’t want a debt-ceiling crisis that could set back the economy. But if they push it over the brink, they’re likely to lose, as the public really, really doesn’t want Congress to create an economic crisis that will set back the economy, and they’re primed to blame the GOP if one does in fact come to pass.

    The rest of the article:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/wonkbook-republicans-have-won-but-can-they-stop-there/2011/07/25/gIQAFHVIYI_blog.html

  24. Paul Green
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The old white men at the top are creating a great many jobs. It seems every day I see a new man walking through my neighborhood, collecting cans, or a new woman, leaning into a car window, selling her wares. There’s a palpable spirit of entrepreneurism in the air. Or is that coal dust.

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