Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dysfunction junction

One and a half months into the new year and our virtually useless Congress is poised to maybe pass one crap bill:
A tentative deal reached by senior House and Senate leaders, which appears poised to pass absent a last-minute snag, would prolong a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans, extend unemployment benefits and forestall rate cuts to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Under the plan, a 2-percentage point payroll tax cut would be extended until the end of the year — and the $100 billion cost would be added to the deficit. Unemployment benefits would be extended for the next 10 months and doctors who treat Medicare physicians would avoid seeing their payments cut. Those two provisions would cost about $50 billion and be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.
And how are our Congressional professionals planning to pay for their idiot deficit demagoguery? Well they'll bang the rank and file federal workers for pension costs. Cut the timeline for unemployment benefits while the unemployment rate is still almost 9% and "cut $5 billion from a fund created by the Obama health care law aimed at promoting healthy living and curtailing chronic diseases." Because you know, promoting unhealthy living and encouraging the proliferation of chronic diseases is going to save a ton of money. Hell, if enough people die from say cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it could solve the "legacy entitlement" problem in a New York minute.

On the bright side, the deal drops the GOPers lamebrained demand to drug test for jobless benefits. But notably missing from the negotiations is any suggestion instead of robbing working class Peter to pay working Paul, that perhaps the crony capitalists who engineered our current financial ruin with their creative investment instruments might offset the cost themselves instead of pouring their illicit profits into SuperPACs to further rig the game.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home