Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Senate Democrats: Leader Harry Reid- 'Speaker Boehner's Plan is Not a Compromise'

Source:Senate Democrats- Senate Leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) talking about House Speaker John Boehner's (Republican, Ohio) debt reduction plan.

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells reporters, House Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt ceiling "was written for the Tea Party, not the American people." 

From the Senate Democrats

Neither the debt plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner or Senate Leader Reid will pas in the other chamber. Meaning the Boehner plan is DOA in the Senate. And the Reid Plan is DOA in the House and probably won't even pass in the Senate, because probably the entire Senate Republican Conference will vote against it because it's not the House GOP plan. And a lot of the Senate Democratic Caucus will vote against it, because the Reid plan doesn't have revenue increases in it. Even though it does have defense cuts in it and has nothing, but budget cuts in it. 

My main issues with both leaders plans it that they don't have revenue raisers in it, no tax hikes on the wealthy or closing of tax loopholes. At least the Reid plan has defense cuts in it and cuts defense in a way that doesn't hurt our national security by using the revenue from ending military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and using that revenue to pay down the debt. Instead of putting it back in the defense budget or spending it on other areas in the Federal Government. 

I'm at the point now that I would settle for a debt ceiling plan that yes has budget cuts in it including in defense but everywhere in the Federal Government. That has entitlement reform in a way that doesn't hurt anyone that actually needs those programs. And I would accept just closing tax loopholes: over 3000 of them according to the Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission. We could raise 100B$ a year or more to pay down the debt and deficit, just by closing the loopholes. 

With a good tax reform plan, we wouldn't need to raise taxes on anyone to pay down the budget deficit and get the national debt under control. For example we could still keep the Home Mortgage Deduction, but end that deduction for second homes like vacation homes. We could raise a lot of revenue there, as well as wiping out fraud in Unemployment Insurance. Like for people collecting it, but not actively looking for work, or ending Food Stamps for people who aren't eligible for it. Or overpayments in Medicare and Medicaid. 

We can reform our entitlement programs without hurting people that actually need them. Requiring wealthy people to pay more into Social Security and Medicare and collecting less of it. And use those savings to help pay down the debt and deficit. 

I believe Speaker Boehner is trying to put together a proposal that could get more support than previous debt proposals from the House. And that Leader Reid is trying to see where the actual support for these debt proposals are especially in the Senate. Including on his own proposal which he finally put on the table. 

My other issue with these debt proposals is that they are both temporary, meaning Congress and The White House will have to deal with this issue in a few months. It's time to have a debt plan that Congress can agree on that gets us past this issue so they can move on to other things.

Liberal Democrat

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