GOP Picks Their Super Congress Members: UPDATED
McConnell and Boehner have made their choices for the very troubling Super Congress:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have announced their selections to serve on the new so-called Super Committee -- the panel called for in the debt limit bill that's been tasked with reducing deficits by at least $1.2 trillion.
McConnell's picked his Whip, Jon Kyl (R-AZ), as well as conservative freshman Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and arch-conservative Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Boehner tapped Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chair of the GOP conference, and the caucus' top message man; Dave Camp (R-MI) chair of the Ways and Means Committee, which controls tax revenue; and Fred Upton (R-MI), whose powerful Energy and Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction over just about everything other than taxes, but particularly health care.
As head of the majority party in the House of Representatives, Boehner was asked to name the committee's GOP co-chair, and for that he chose Hensarling -- an extremely conservative member who in recent weeks falsely characterized the debt limit fight as a consequence of spending policies enacted by President Obama and past Democratic congresses. By quite a ways, most existing debt is the result of GOP policies, or bipartisan initiatives like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hensarling served on President Obama's fiscal commission, headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, but ultimately opposed their recommendations, because they included higher revenues. But across the board it's difficult to fathom any of the six Republicans on the committee agreeing to significant new revenues. All of them have signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge.
We didn't get one super Progressive from the Senate side and we still don't have Pelosi's picks, but do you think Reid's picks will hold up the bill if there are no revenues added? All these Republicans have sworn their hatred for tax increases or revenue increases that in their minds---appear to be tax increases. And how is Pat Toomey?
As former President of the far right anti-tax group Club for Growth, Toomey's a lost cause. At an American Enterprise Institute event several weeks ago, he insisted zero dollars in new tax revenues. Not even if every dollar was matched by nine in spending cuts. Not even a single dollar. If all six members were like him, it would be perfectly safe to bet on immediate, unbreakable gridlock
I just don't see how this ends well for American families. Jed has some ideas on what Obama should do, but I don't see it happening.
Austerity is in with the cool kids even with new polls from CNN and Reuters coming in saying Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy.
Reuters released a poll today finding that Republicans and the Tea Party are “bearing the brunt of public blame” for the debt ceiling mess, after a period during which GOPers and conservatives refused to entertain any revenue hikes as part of the compromise. The Reuters poll also found that the public, in roughly equal numbers, wants to proceed with a mix of spending cuts (49 percent) and tax increases (46 percent).
That mirrors a new CNN poll that found that a strong majority, 63 percent, wants the new Congressional committee to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy — more than the 57 percent who want spending cuts. And Gallup today found the same: Sixty six percent want the debt reduced with high-end tax hikes, versus 59 percent who want spending cuts
There's no way Republicans raise taxes on the rich. The CNN poll is interesting because it says this:
A CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday also indicates that the public doesn't want the super committee to propose major changes to Social Security and Medicare or increase taxes on middle class and lower-income Americans.
This poll shows the confusion Americans have about government spending. Every poll we see says Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy. That's pretty easy to understand. Then they say don't mess with Social Security and Medicare. Not a shock there either, but then they still want spending cuts.
And by a 57 to 40 percent margin they say the committee's deficit reduction proposal should include major cuts in domestic spending.
But cuts in defense spending get a mixed review: Forty-seven percent would like the committee to include major cuts in military spending, with 53 percent saying no to such cuts.
Nearly two-thirds say no to major changes to Social Security and Medicare. And nearly nine in ten don't want any increase in taxes on middle class and lower income Americans.
They want cuts because the beltway media goes on and on about spending and deficits. Obama and his administration does their part by saying we have to tighten our belts and pushes his Grand Bargain, but when Americans have tangible proof on how important federal programs help their lives, they want to keep them and not cut them.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly is the latest example of this: Megyn Kelly Defends The Family Medical Leave Act
KELLY: Are you doubling down? No, no, no, no. Are you not taking those remarks back? Is maternity leave according to you a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, do men get maternity leave, Megyn? I can't believe I'm asking you this --
KELLY: Guess what, honey? They do. It's called Family Medical Leave Act. If a father would like to take three months off to take care of their newborn baby, they can.
GALLAGHER: All right, let me give you an explanation. I was drinking that day.
KELLY: Now you're more along the path I expected. Just in case you didn't know -- just in case you didn't know, Mike, I want you to know that the United States is the only country in the advanced world that doesn't allow paid -- doesn't require paid maternity leave. I happen to work for a nice employer that gives me paid maternity leave but virtually no -- the United States is virtually the only advanced country that doesn't require paid leave. If anything, the United States is in the dark ages when it comes to maternity leave and what is it about getting pregnant and carrying their baby nine months that you don't think deserves a few months off so bonding and recovery can take place, hm?
Now how does these picks by the GOP reflect what the American public wants?