Paul Krugman, of course, is calling the plan a catastrophe:
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
What really bothers me the most about this plan, other than the fact it gives Republicans everything they want, and is being forced down our throats as a result of a manufactured shock doctrine of a crisis, is the "Committee" being formed to enforce deficit reductions. If the rank and file of Congress go along, this Politburo (comprised of a dozen legislators, equally divided by party and chamber) will have until Thanksgiving to come up with more cuts. Their decision will then be fast-tracked through the legislative process without debate.
The White House spin on the committee is that it will not be allowed to touch Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and programs for the poor, Pell Grants or burden working families and the middle class. If the Republicans don't make cuts, an automatic trigger cutting Defense will be their punishment. If the Democrats don't get with the program, there will be cuts to Medicare providers. This seems like a gimmick in both instances. Defense always has a way of getting itself funded through back channels. CIA, anyone? State Department and its mercenaries and security forces? Of course, we won't cut off Medicare. We'll just lower payments so much that providers will no longer accept Medicare patients.
Another thing to really hate is that the package not only does nothing to address a defacto 20 percent unemployment rate -- it contains absolutely no provisions to extend unemployment benefits.
Cynical, pathetic, abysmal, crapola, hellish. All the negative words in the lexicon do not do our elected officials justice. Even Bernie Sanders is calling for shared sacrifice, when we all should be clamoring for shared prosperity. More later. And please weigh in. The comments sections of the NY Times are constipated with all the reader outrage waiting to erupt, but there's plenty of room here to vent, as well as over at RealityChex.com.