Congressman Moore: (202) 225 2865
Senator Claire McCaskill (202) 224 6154
Emanuel Cleaver (202) 225 4535
Call the above Democrats in congress. Tell all of your friends, colleagues, relatives and every soul mate you have to call – now! I plan to be on the phone as soon as offices open up tomorrow. Congressman Moore still has a vote. Tell him to join the Democratic caucus in the House. Tell Claire McCaskill that we will remember her vote in the next election. Emanuel Cleaver is probably on our side, but call him anyway. It is really important to flood these legislators’ offices with calls.
Our Fighting President
Well finally, we are seeing our president fight. The only problem is that he is fighting with liberals and progressives. He is accusing liberals in congress and his liberal/progressive base for being sanctimonious purists. Perhaps, just perhaps, he is confusing sanctimony and purism with what has been lacking in him and blue dog/DLC Democrats – core values and principles.
So, here is what our “pragmatic” president has done in the past few weeks:
- He reached out to Republicans (again). Can we count the number of times he has tried this?
- As the Republicans continued to sneer at him, he apologized to them for not “reaching out to them.” They were very pleased with him for doing that but made it very clear that he had better continue that good behavior.
- He froze the pay of federal employees for two years. Other than bashing school teachers, it is hard to think of an easier group to single out for some bashing. Yes we can “starve the beast.”
- He agreed to continue obscene tax cuts for very upper income Americans.
- He agreed to jeopardize the Social Security Trust Fund by reducing the Social Security tax for two years.
- He agreed to an inheritance tax that is more generous than anything even George W. Bush contrived in his eight years of servicing the upper class. In case your are worried about paying tax on what someone leaves you, you can relax – unless you stand to inherit more than $5 million.
What did he manage to get in these negotiations? He did manage to get a 13 month extension on unemployment for some of the unemployed. That is good for the millions that will qualify for it but it will do nothing for millions and millions of unemployed who have been unemployed for years and years, and who could be put to work on public works projects (paid for with the $900,000,000 or $900 billion that will be lost with continued tax cuts for the rich). Essentially, Republicans were willing to throw a bone to middle and low income Americans.
The deal President Obama has cut with the Republicans isn’t just bad; it isn’t just very bad; it is so ugly that it doesn’t even merit consideration by legislators – especially Democratic legislators. The Republicans will be able to say that the tax cuts are Obama’s tax cuts and that the deficit is Obama’s deficit. Losses to the currently healthy Social Security Trust Fund will be used by Republicans and many Democrats to justify benefits reductions.
When I see David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, and Austan Goolsbee – Casper Milquetoasts all – on television with their limp justifications and tepid claims that this is “a pretty good deal – you know, the best we can get,” I feel myself getting queasy. And please spare me Larry Summers’s arrogant mug. Hasn’t he been responsible for enough economic damage?