Thoughts on moving forward from the "Budget Control Act"

It's clear that Republicans intend to use the Super Committee process to go after Social Security and Medicare. See the following from the Alliance for Retired Americans:

Social Security and Medicare escaped a first round of budget cuts in the debt ceiling agreement reached earlier this week in Washington, but future threats loom on the horizon for these two programs. The agreement, which became law on Tuesday, extends government borrowing power into 2013, immediately cuts $400 billion in spending, and cuts $1 trillion in discretionary spending by 2021. Prior to the vote, Alliance members sent nearly 5000 e-mails to Washington, urging lawmakers to not cut Social Security or Medicare.  Medicaid also escaped cuts.

Troubling, however, is that the new law creates a so-called “Super Committee” on Capitol Hill to find an additional $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by Thanksgiving.  Media accounts have suggested that Social Security and Medicare could be top targets for this new panel, including lower Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs), an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, and higher Medicare co-pays and premiums.  The 12 members of this panel are expected to be named in the coming weeks.  If the committee cannot reach an agreement – which would have to be approved, without amendment, by Congress and signed by the President – a “trigger” mechanism in the new law would automatically cut $1.2 trillion from federal agency budgets.  Social Security and Medicare benefits would be exempt; however Medicare reimbursements to medical providers would be cut.

“Even though we averted a government default, and no Social Security payments were delayed, retirees should not think that this crisis is over.  We need to keep a close, wary eye on this new congressional panel.  We cannot allow those who have never liked Social Security or Medicare to use this budget climate as political cover for attacks on programs that help millions of Americans,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling.

Immediately after the agreement was reached, Alliance state and national leaders held a conference call to plot strategy for the next round in this debate.  On Tuesday, Easterling and Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle joined labor leaders at the White House for a private meeting with President Obama, discussing issues important to workers and retirees.  Thursday, Maryland/DC Alliance members hosted U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of both the Senate Finance and Budget committees, at a senior center.  Today, Arizona Alliance members are meeting with U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  Easterling will discuss the debt deal with Virginia AFL-CIO members tomorrow, urging them to form a Virginia chapter for the Alliance.  Earlier this week Alliance President Emeritus George J. Kourpias gave an update to Machinists Union members.

Just one day after the debt ceiling agreement became law, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) gave an early indication of the direction the House leadership would like the “Super Committee” to take.  Cantor told the Wall Street Journal that our nation needs to, “come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that, frankly, are not going to be kept for many.”

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  • It shows that people better be ready to stand up and not just run their mouths. This means you "professional left."

    Posted by la rosa, 08/05/2011 7:09pm (6 years ago)

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