Democratic Party ‘Mainstream’ Prefers ‘Balance’, As Only Max Baucus Can Deliver
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took little time in announcing he would be naming Senator Max Baucus as one of three Democrats (including Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. John Kerry) to serve on the “Debt Super Committee”.
Matthew Yglesias assures Liberals there’s little to worry about with regards to Baucus. His rationale is that there’s little disagreement between moderate and liberal Democrats on the “core issue” facing the super committees:
In general, people should remember that while an important cleavage exists between moderate and liberal Democrats about the desirability of cutting Social Security spending, there’s really very little disagreement about the core issue facing the super committee, which is whether Democrats should agree to far-reaching domestic cuts without any offsetting tax hikes. Baucus is firmly within the party mainstream in demanding balance.
In other words, both moderate and liberal Democrats alike agree that far-reaching domestic cuts are okay AS LONG AS Republicans agree to impose tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. I.e. it appears (according to Yglesias) we’ve all bought into Obama’s “shared sacrifice” spiel: that it’s okay to impose austerity measures on average Americans or even the most vulnerable Americans during a severe recession, as long as the wealthy throw some “tip money into the jar”. And we can be assured that Max Baucus will not bend on this ‘mainstream’ Democratic Party ‘balance’-principle.
Meanwhile, CNN just released a new poll today that reveals the complete opposite about the ‘mainstream’ Democratic Party:
Breaking the CNN Poll results down:
Should increases in taxes on businesses and higher-income Americans be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 80% Yes, 19% No
Liberals: 82% Yes, 17% No
Moderates: 74% Yes, 25% No
Should major cuts in spending on domestic government programs be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 39% Yes, 58% No
Liberals: 40% Yes, 58% No
Moderates: 52% Yes, 44% No
Should major changes to the Social Security and Medicare systems be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 28% Yes, 71% No
Liberals: 30% Yes, 70% No
Moderates: 30% Yes, 69% No
It would appear from the numbers above that Democrats (as an ENTIRE group) don’t buy into Obama’s concept of ‘shared sacrifice’ or ‘balance’. A clear majority DON’T EVEN WANT major spending cuts in domestic government programs TO BE ON THE TABLE. They want the Super Committee to focus entirely on revenues, and they want those revenues to come from corporations and the wealthy.
And let us not forget Sen. Baucus’s track record. Here is a Senator who was instrumental in overriding the will of the American people on healthcare reform (and was rewarded handsomely by the health insurance industry & BigPharma for his efforts).
Now, it’s true that the Senator has made a few surprisingly encouraging statements in defense of Medicare and Social Security recently. But after the healthcare reform debacle, we all know a thing or two about Baucus’s integrity.
New Study: The American Public Prefers LIBERAL Policies Which Would Cut Budget By $437 Billion
A recent study entitled “Competing Budget Priorities: The Public, The House, The White House” by the University of Maryland’s Program For Public Consultation reveals that on nearly every single budgetary issue a majority of Americans were polled as preferring policies which would be classified as ‘liberal’.
The study compares the different budgetary priorities of: 1. the American public, 2. the Obama administration and 3. the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Here’s a few of their key findings, outlining their budgetary preferences:
American public would cut by 18% (or $109.4 billion)
President Obama would increase by 4% (or $23 billion)
Republican-led House would increase by 2% (or $9 billion)
Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy Spending:
American public would increase by 110%
President Obama would increase by 44%
Republican-led House would cut by 36%
Pollution Control Spending:
American public would increase by 17%
President Obama would cut by 13%
Republican-led House would cut by 39%
Job Training Spending:
American public would increase by 130%
President Obama would cut by 3%
Republican-led House would cut by 47%
Higher Education Spending:
American public would increase by 92%
President Obama would increase by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 26%
Science Research Spending:
American public would increase by 5%
President Obama would increase by 11%
Republican-led House would cut by 12%
Economic Support Fund Spending (Foreign military aid to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt & Israel for ‘strategic purposes’):
American public would cut by 23%
President Obama would cut by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 6%
Humanitarian Assistance (to Foreign Countries):
American public would increase by 18%
President Obama would cut by 8%
Republican-led House would cut by 17%
– American public would increase taxes to provide an additional $292 billion in revenues annually (w/ $155 billion of that amount coming from raising income taxes on those making above $100k per year).
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2012 would generate an additional $62.5 billion in revenues annually.
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2015 would generate an additional $97.2 billion in revenues annually. (NOTE: the increase in revenues between 2015 and 2012 is due to the fact he again promises to end Bush tax cuts on those making above $250k/year in 2015).
– Republican-led House proposes NO tax increases on anyone (including wealthiest 2%) thereby generating $0 in additional revenues.
So how would each of the three groups fare (in terms of the annual budget) if their preferred policies were implemented?
The overwhelmingly LIBERAL policy preferences of the American public cuts the budget by a whopping $437 billion for 2015.
If Obama hadn’t broken his campaign promise, and allowed Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to elapse, he would have cut the budget by $28 billion. Since he pressured his party to extend Bush’s tax cuts, he for now at least will actually increase spending by $37 billion.
The Republican-led House called for an additional $61 billion in spending cuts, with no increases in revenue (tax increases) which would cut the budget by $61 billion.
What this study shows is that if our democracy actually worked, and our public representatives actually legislated the will of the AMERICAN PEOPLE rather than those of the moneyed special interest groups who line their pockets, our country wouldn’t be in the dire financial straits it now finds itself. It also shows that progressive policies are far more fiscally sound than those proposed by conservatives.
Here’s a fabulous debate between MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur and conservative UMD Economist Peter Morici on the study’s results (broken down above). Watch Morici get flustered as he continues to try to push the tired old MSM ‘mythical middle’ narrative, despite the proof staring him right in the face.