The Super Committee of the 1%
I don't know whether or not Occupy Wall Street cares about any of this detail, but it is fairly urgent and I hope that the presence of the movement may make at least some of the Super Committee think twice. Nancy Altman writes:
The 1% is using the super-secret Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. the Super Committee), to reach directly into the pockets of the 99% and steal hundreds of billions of dollars from them. This committee has unprecedented power. It has been meeting behind closed doors for weeks. Finally, though, its plans are leaking out, and they are not pretty.
In order to spare defense contractors, the pharmaceutical industry, and other fat cats, while appeasing the credit agencies, whose AAA ratings to crony-clients helped crash the economy, the Supercommittee has proposed slashing benefits for current and future beneficiaries of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, notwithstanding that the current deficit has nothing to do with these programs.
Neither Social Security, which by law, cannot borrow a penny, nor Medicare, nor Medicaid is to be found among the causes. That hasn't stopped the Super Committee, though.
The following chart shows the causes of our current deficits:
This is happening right now. We can all hope that they deadlock, and there's decent possibility they will. Or we can hope that the congress hates what it sees and simply ignores the process. But this is happening and the potential consequences for a long time to come are extreme.
The tax cuts, the wars and the meltdown are all attributable to the last ten years of fin de siècle lunacy as the conservative experiment reached its natural conclusion: gilded age economics. It took them a century to get back where they started but they did it. And now everyone is paying the price for that.
Sadly, my pathetic hope that the movement's existence would affect these out of touch millionaires is probab ly in vain:
The 1% is particularly brazen in making these destructive proposals now when the 99% are making their voices heard across this nation in a multitude of ways. On Wednesday October 26th in Washington, DC, Rep. John Conyers stood with nine other members of Congress and more than 100 seniors and supporters, to deliver more than 2.3 million petitions from the 99% along with a resolution put forward by 82 members of Congress representing the will of the 99%, with a single message: Hands Off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid!
Almost immediately after these 2.3 million petitions were delivered, the Democrats on the Super Committee completely ignored their message and pushed more cuts to the middle class and less tax increases for millionaires and billionaires than any previous "bipartisan" commission. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities the current Democratic proposal is to the "right of co-chairs of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and the Senate's 'Gang of Six,' and even further to the right of the plan by the bipartisan Rivlin-Domenici commission"
The secretive and unaccountable Super Committee is meeting behind closed doors and proposing devastating cuts that would be shouldered by the 99%. We just released new reports in all of the Super Committee states detailing the $621 billion that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid provide for real Americans in the Super Committee states.
I'm guessing they're not going to hear that any more than they hear the rumbling of people taking to the streets.