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Super Congress in Session - More of the Cruel Charade

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The jaundiced view assumes a ringer among the Democrats, someone who will give in to heavy cuts in Social Security and Medicare. While Senator Baucus shows strong support for banking and corporate interests and might be pegged as the cross over vote, he strongly opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare suggested by Obama's deficit reduction commission chairs (see December 2, 2010).

A better method of analysis involves looking at the crucial votes by members, the votes that got us into trouble with the federal debt.

The Iraq war and the Wall Street bailouts are the twin pillars of our current troubles. According to figures from the 2012 US Budget (Office of Management and Budget), the total cost of the Iraq was through 2010 was $6.1 trillion (see graph here).  Imagine the impact of $6.1 trillion worth of support for Social Security and Medicare, repairing infrastructure, and deficit reduction.

The cost of the bailouts is still being racked up. The SourceWatch Wall Street Bailout table shows that $4.7 trillion disbursed, $3.2 trillion was repaid, and $1.5 trillion is still outstanding.

Support of The Money Party agenda of endless war and bailouts for the wealthiest institutions and individuals represents the essence of our budget troubles. Liberal and conservative voting records are meaningless unless those voting are graded on their efforts against the wholesale looting of the US Treasury.

The real rating scale for members of the Super Congress committee is their record on the Iraq War authorization and the 2008 bailout that created a river of cash for Wall Street. Eight members were in lock step support of the Iraq War and the bailouts. Two opposed the Iraq war very early, Murray and Van Hollen. Hensarling, the Texas Republican, voted against both bailout bills in the House. Becerra was at zero for The Money Party opposing both the war and both House bailout bills (See voting record chart).

The committee members are ten to two in favor of bailouts and nine to three in favor of Iraq. Why should we expect anything to come out of this process other than a reaffirmation of the status quo?  War and bailouts (corporate subsidies) will be left alone. It's a stacked deck. These legislators delivered before, they'll deliver again. They know who they work for. The best we can hope for is a deadlock and no action.

Here is a solution

The Super Congress committee is tasked with reducing the national debt by $1.5 trillion over ten years.  The Wall Street crowd owes Treasury and the Federal Reserve $1.5 trillion for the bailout (Appendix I).  Give them three years to pay it back.  Conduct a comprehensive audit of supposed repayments to date and add any shortages.  Apply that amount to the deficit and there is no need for a Super Congress to denigrate democracy, harm citizens, and engage in revolting histrionics on Capitol Hill.  The ten year goal of $1.5 trillion would be taken care of in three years with no threat to Social Security and Medicare.

This type of solution explains why Congress and the White House created the tightly structured Super Congress in the first place.  It's The Money Party protection racket in full swing.  Set up a needless goal, bar any discussion of real solutions, and make the public pay for it.  Same as it ever was"


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Appendix I

Bailout recipients owe the US Treasury about $0.5 trillion and the Federal Reserve another $1.0 trillion.  That money should go directly to the deficit reduction, eliminating the charade of the Super Congress.  The Fed put out $4.0 trillion to save Wall Street and the big banks. It has nearly $3.0 trillion of assets.  It can afford this with the right structure or the system can just consider it a franchise fee.  If the Fed can't handle it, Congress can legislate it out of existence and create a Bank of the United States or a network of 50 state banks with a limited Fed for the money supply.  The assets of a truly national bank would make it viable instantaneously.

Appendix II

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This group of 12 has already received nearly $1 Mi... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Sep 16, 2011 at 6:30:00 AM
This is my body, my life, my hope, my dreams, that... by Ned Lud on Friday, Sep 16, 2011 at 6:33:51 AM
Michael:Thank you for another terrific column. Wil... by Andrew Kreig on Friday, Sep 16, 2011 at 12:31:51 PM
As time goes on the USG increasingly adopts the fo... by bogi666 on Saturday, Sep 17, 2011 at 9:53:20 AM