Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bad Solutions-- Whether Bipartisan Or Not-- Are Still Just Bad Solutions


THE PROBLEM SOLVERS (pretty painting by Attila Richard Lukacs)

Obama pressured Democrats into a putrid deal with Republicans (and through them, Wall Street) on the student loan debacle. Jenna Johnson reports for the Washington Post that "the deal was brokered by a bipartisan group of senators who have been negotiating for weeks, with the help of Department of Education staffers who have been camped out in their offices. On Tuesday, the senators ventured to the White House to meet with President Obama, who urged them to make a decision."
Under this new deal, finalized Thursday morning, undergraduates would all pay the same interest rate, a change from recent years when some low- and middle-income students received a lower rate. Graduate students and parents of students would have their own rates, which would be higher than those for undergraduates and have higher caps. The plan is expected to save the government $715 million over a decade, according to aides.

For the coming school year, undergraduates would see rates of 3.86 percent. That’s lower than the current fixed rate of 6.8 percent, but the new rate could go as high as 8.25 percent in future years.

Graduate students would pay about 5.41 percent for the coming year and up to 9.5 percent in the future. Loans taken out by parents for their dependent children would have an interest rate around 6.41 percent and could go as high as 10.5 percent. Right now, graduate students have interest rates of 6.8 and 7.9 percent, while parents pay 7.9 percent.
Democrats had been pushing for lower rates-- Elizabeth Warren's plan was to give students the same thing banks get 0.75%-- and Republicans have been pushing for higher rates. If the Senate passes this already horrible plan next week, it will go into a joint Senate-House Committee, where House Republicans will demand the rates go even higher. This isn't a deal, it's a surrender the Senate Democrats were forced into by Obama. Here's a statement by Jim Dean, chairman of DFA, which is pretty typical of progressive response across the board:
"The so-called 'deal' on student loans is a craven attempt to pit today's students against future students. Even worse, this raw deal is built on the backwards notion that students are merely Washington cash cows waiting for the slaughter rather than national assets to be built up and invested in. Democracy for America and its million members nationwide strongly oppose this sad excuse for a deal on student loans and the shackles of debt it imposes on future students and we intend to let the Senate know it."
But at least it's "bipartisan."

And that brings us to the No Labels clusterfuck in Washington on Thursday. Several dozen mostly conservative Democrats-- primarily New Dems and Blue Dogs with a sprinkling of bumbling and confused Dems unsure of what it means to fight for working families-- bonded with mostly non-Tea Party Republicans to push what they call a Problem Solvers approach to congressional gridlock. The group claims to be "unlike anything that has existed on Capitol Hill, where there is no forum for large groups of Democrats and Republicans to actually meet together to work through problems. Each party has its own weekly meetings, but there is no opportunity to hear from or reason with the other side. The Problem Solvers offers a new way forward. The Problem Solvers are committed to regular across-the-aisle meetings, embracing the new attitude of problem solving and being real leaders." It reminds me of Steve Israel's old Center Aisle Caucus which served primarily to serve Wall Street special interests in the name of bipartisanship. And when you examine who's already joined this band of lunk-heads you can see that that is clearly the direction. Most of the Democrats are Wall Street shills who live to sell out working families. Most of the Republicans are endangered and desperate to be seen as working with Democrats towards nonpartisanship. The House Dems:
John Barrow (New Dem/Blue Dog-GA)
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)
Julia Brownley (CA)
Cheri Bustos (IL)
Tony Cardenas (CA)
Joaquin Castro (New Dem-TX)
David Cicilline (RI)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog/Blue Dog-TN)
John Delaney (New Dem-MD)
Chaka Fattah (PA)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
Joe Garcia (New Dem-FL)
Janice Hahn (CA)
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)
Jared Huffman (CA)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Dave Loebsack (IA)
Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)
Jim Mathesom (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike Michaud (Blue Dog-ME)
Jim Moran (New Dem-VA)
Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL)
Rick Nolan (MN)
Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Jared Polis (New Dem-CO)
Raul Ruiz (CA)
Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL)
Kurt Schrader (New Dem/Blue Dog-OR)
Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ)
Basically, this is a list primarily of the Democrats who vote with the Republicans all the time anyway. There are a few exceptions, like Rick Nolan and Chaka Fattah, but most of the Democrats on this list are completely worthless when it comes to the crucial issues of economic justice. And all this... just in time for the governing elites to breath life back into Obama's cherished Grand Bargain, the ultimate sell-out of working families and the capper to Obama's wretched presidency.
“Everybody's trying to assess whether we can accomplish something that would be big,” said Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who has attended the meetings. “Big is reforming entitlements and it’s impossible to see a path where you get additional revenue without tax reform being part of it.”

This fall, the country will hit its debt limit and be unable to pay its bills unless Congress authorizes additional borrowing. Republicans plan to use the debate over raising the debt limit to force Democrats to cut spending-- a negotiation Obama has said he won’t engage in. But these meetings demonstrate that the president is in fact engaging Republicans in a broader discussion about debt and spending.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough runs point and has included Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell in the discussions. The Republicans in the group include Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Burr, said John McCain of Arizona, who also sits in.

...An administration official said White House aides have made clear to Republicans that the president’s offer from December-- including $600 billion in new tax revenue for $400 billion in Medicare and other health care cuts-- still stands.
Sounds like a bunch of rich political elites still want to start the gutting of Social Security on behalf of their liege-lords on Wall Street. Watch Chained CPI start being pushed by asskissers in the Beltway media any minute now.

Labels: , , ,


At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything above 0% is usury. As if the banks need to make money off the kids. interest, making money with money. It's like your pet rock reproducing. Naturally those with money love it.


Post a Comment

<< Home