1. There are no good choices for this commission. It is designed to protect members of Congress from the electoral repercussions of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, something that 82% of the country vehemently opposes. A full 60% of the country think the wars are responsible for the deficit, but the money for war will not be touched. The committee exists solely to impose the will of a small minority of oligarchical elites on the nation, and rob millions of Americans of the retirement insurance they have been faithfully and honorably been paying into their entire adult lives. The fact that the committee exists at all represents the breakdown of the social contract.
2. The US government is the largest contractor in the world. Lockheed Martin: $16.7 billion in 2010. Boeing: $10.5 billion. Hewlett-Packard: $2.3 billion. IBM: $1.8 billion. These companies spend millions each year bribing elected officials for for pennies on the dollar in exchange for these contracts. They do not want to be the one on the chopping block. Appointing the Chair of the DSCC to the committee — whose job is collecting campaign contributions on behalf of Senate Democrats — is like putting up a “for sale” sign. Democrats would be screaming bloody murder if John Cornyn were appointed. Greenberg-Quinlan-Rossner polling finds that the only message polling well for Democrats right now is “reducing the influence of lobbyists and money in Congress.” Way to go with the optics, Harry Reid.
3. Jon Kyl is the Senate Minority Whip. Kyl walked out of the Biden talks with Eric Cantor in order to force Obama to take ownership of the deal. Toomey is a member of the Tea Party who authored a balanced budget amendment and will vote for increased revenues when hell freezes over. Rob Portman is a former budget director under George Bush. Dave Camp and Jeb Hensarling are Catfood Commission I retreads. Fred Upton’s niece is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.
4. The Democratic House appointees will be meaningless. With three Democratic “grand bargain” Senate appointees, there is already a strong majority in favor of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits.
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3. None of these 6 Senators is up for reelection soon, and the House members are in safe districts (notice no Paul Ryan). That exacerbates the anti-democratic nature of (1) above.
The only thing these committee members are going to respond to is is their fellow members of Congress who are up for reelection. They need to start telling them that they will be the ones will who bear the burden of whatever decision the committee makes, but they’re all in the throes of an austerity fit. They need to hear from you.
At FireDogLake, we’re running a new round of online ads on Facebook and Google targeted to voters in ey 2012 swing states. Some of these ads are about opposing the coming benefit cuts from the Super Congress, and joining our pledge to oppose anyone who votes for them.
Others are focused on individual members of Congress to pressure them not to vote for the Super Congress’ final recommendations, and let them know members know what the consequence will be in 2012 if they do. Click here to see some of the ads and consider chipping in $15 or more to help us get them online, in front of as many voters as possible.