Free Markets, Free People

benefits

Deficit “super-committee”? Dead on Arrival

One of the smoke-and-mirrors aspect of this debt deal that experienced observers noticed immediately was the “super-committee” that would negotiate the cuts before the December 23 deadline.  If that committee doesn’t agree upon suitable cuts, then the meat-axe of across-the board cuts, mostly focused in the defense area, will take effect.

Everyone with any sense understands that part of the process of making meaningful cuts in spending and thus the debt must address entitlement spending.  But apparently the liberal left is fine with gutting defense instead. Nancy Pelosi has basically declared that any committee members she appoints will oppose all entitlement benefits cuts.

The debt limit fight is over, but the fight over entitlement programs will continue for months. In the weeks ahead, the leaders of both parties in both the House and Senate will name three members each to a new committee tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

The ultimate makeup of that committee is key. It will determine whether this Congress will pass further fiscal legislation, and, thus, what the major themes of the 2012 election will be.

At a pre-recess press conference Tuesday afternoon, TPM asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whether the people she appoints to the committee will make the same stand she made during the debt limit fight — that entitlement benefits — as opposed to provider payments, waste and other Medicare spending — should be off limits.

In short, yes.

"That is a priority for us," Pelosi said. "But let me say it is more than a priority – it is a value… it’s an ethic for the American people. It is one that all of the members of our caucus share. So that I know that whoever’s at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits."

Right.  “Benefits” make up their “value” and “ethic”, meaning  they’ll decide what you owe others and what you’ll pay for it and you just shut up, sit back and be quiet.  That’s their “ethic”.  Their “values” lie in redistributing wealth they don’t earn but they certainly find no problem in dividing yours out to those who they favor and/or who will vote for more “benefits” from your pocket book (or in this case, out of borrowed money).

Obviously Ms. Pelosi hasn’t yet quite figured out that the “benefits” that are key to her political agenda and provide her political power are no longer affordable.  Claiming she’s clueless is an insult to the really clueless of the world.   The welfare state has run out of money and all that is has promised is no longer affordable.

Until these people are replaced with people who actually understand the concept of limited government, property rights and the fact that they don’t have the right to anyone else’s earnings, nothing will change in DC or for us.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Obama administration complicit in cutting non-union GM employee pensions

Despite denials, it appears the Obama administration had a hand in cutting the pensions of non-union GM workers.  Another “unexpected” event from the transparent administration:

New emails obtained by The Daily Caller contradict claims by the Obama administration that the Treasury Department would avoid “intervening in the day-to-day management” of General Motors post-auto bailout.

These messages reveal that Treasury officials were involved in decision-making that led to more than 20,000 non-union workers losing their pensions.

Remember, this is the same administration that perverted the bankruptcy system to favor unions and essentially screw investors.  This is more evidence of the administrations concerted effort to save their prime constituency by treating non-union workers differently and using their benefits as a means of cutting costs while mostly preserving union benefits.

This came to light in Congressional hearings yesterday:

At a Wednesday hearing, the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending started pushing the Treasury Department for answers on the effects of the bailout and on how much of a role the department played in picking winners and losers.

The key point of the Wednesday hearing was to show that the Obama administration advised GM on how to eliminate the Delphi workers’ pensions. The evidence suggests Geithner’s team played a significant role in that process, despite claims to the contrary.

This despite administration testimony previously claimed no involvement:

In 2009 congressional testimony, senior Obama administration official Ron Bloom said the president told the Treasury Department to stay out of the management of these companies and downplayed any administration intervention.

“From the beginning of this process, the President gave the Auto Task Force two clear directions regarding its approach to the auto restructurings,” Bloom said then. “The first was to behave in a commercial manner by ensuring that all stakeholders were treated fairly and received neither more nor less than they would have simply because the government was involved. The second was to refrain from intervening in the day-to-day management of these companies.”

But the emails TheDC obtained show high-ranking Treasury Department officials, including Matthew Feldman of Treasury’s Auto Task Force, corresponding with senior GM officials on how to make certain decisions regarding who was going to win and who was going to lose.

You can’t put it any clearer than the Daily Caller does – this is government picking winners and losers.   Not only that, it is clear that the administration has favorites and no qualms whatsoever about throwing unfavored constituencies under the bus to ensure their constituency benefits.

Is that the purpose of government?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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