Congressional Republicans opposed revenue increases to lower deficits during the debt ceiling negotiations. As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” nears its deadline, however, more Republicans have been voicing support for a large, $4 trillion, deficit reduction package that would include revenue increases. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) both showed support for such a deal in separate interviews on Sunday.
“I believe that we can create revenue out of fixing our tax code, and bring that revenue to the table, as long as our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are serious about cutting spending,” Boehner said on ABC's “This Week.”
The supercommittee was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the nation's debt ceiling. The supercommittee is supposed to craft a bill by Nov. 23 that will cut future budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The six Republicans and six Democrats on the supercommittee have reportedly been at an impasse over revenue increases. Republicans do not want to increase taxes and Democrats do not want to cut spending on entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) without tax increases on the wealthy. more >>
“I’m worried you’re going to fail the country,” Erskine Bowles told the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” on Tuesday. Bowles, a Democrat, is the former White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton and co-chaired, with former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (Wyo.), President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
The supercommittee was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to craft a bill that would reduce future budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Bowles was speaking at the supercommittee's last public hearing before its Nov. 23 deadline.
“I think that we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. I know that the fiscal path we are on here in Washington is not sustainable, and I know that each of you know it and you see it, because it is as clear as day,” Bowles said. more >>
Another credit rating's agency could downgrade U.S. credit by the end of the year, according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. An expected failure from the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” was the main reason for the potential downgrade. U.S. credit was already downgraded by Standard & Poor's in August.
“The credit rating agencies have strongly suggested that further rating cuts are likely if Congress does not come up with a credible long-run plan,” Ethan Harris, chief economist and primary author of the report, wrote.
As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed by Congress in August, the 12-member supercommittee is currently trying to craft a bill that would reduce budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. more >>
Business and labor are often at odds. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and Tom Donahue, president of the Chamber of Commerce, appeared Sunday on ABC's “This Week” to discuss their collaborative effort to encourage Congress to spend more on the nation's infrastructure. Infrastructure spending will create jobs and help American companies remain competitive, they argue.
“We can't be competitive in a global economy unless we have infrastructure that allows us to be competitive,” Trumka said.
Donahue agreed. “For the fundamental issue of let's put people to work and let's improve the nation's infrastructure, we have no objection and no differences.” more >>
AARP, a nonprofit organization representing people who are 50 and over, released an ad asking Congress not to reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits to reduce budget deficits. Concord Coalition, a nonprofit organization concerned about the national debt, called the ad “misleading, divisive and an abdication of responsible leadership.”
The ad, called “50 Million Seniors are Watching,” features a male senior saying, “I'm not a number, I'm not a line-item on a budget, and I'm definitely not a push-over. But I am a voter. So Washington, before you even think about cutting my Medicare and Social Security benefits, here's a number you should remember – 50 million. We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits, and you will be hearing from us today, and on election day.”
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “supercommittee,” is currently working to reduce current budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The supercommittee is expected to use some combination of spending cuts (including the military), revenue increases (through tax reform) and entitlement reform. Entitlements include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. more >>
Religious leaders who align themselves with the Occupy Wall Street crowd should not make claims that the nationwide uprisings have anything to do with Christianity, says the president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy.
Mark Tooley, whose advocacy group works toward reaffirming the church’s biblical and historical teachings, said in a statement from IRD that the “Religious Left” has heaped too much praise on those whose “demands range from cancellation of all debt, open borders, government control of health care and free college education, among other expansions of Big Government.”
Tooley aims his argument at leaders such as Sojourners’ Jim Wallis, who Tooley said “has lavished praise during a visit to the occupiers.” more >>