Progressives React Against the Debt Deal: This Won't Create Jobs

The GOP pushed the debt ceiling compromise to its furthest extremes, and Obama's deal agreement has left a lot of progressives feeling abandoned. For one: the debt deal will not create jobs. As Vice President Biden's former economic adviser Jared Bernstein told Politico, "Washington is now focused exclusively on austerity, which we know doesn't create jobs. It's unbelievable."

Meanwhile, Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, was less incredulous than furious. "This deal trades people's livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it," he said.  "The Democratic Party, no less than the Republican Party, is at a very serious crossroads at this moment.... We have given much and received nothing in return. The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want." Nancy Pelosi, for her part, thinks the House Dems might not go for the deal. 

As a chorus of Democrats grouses over what is perceived as Obama's "caving," progressives in the streets are making their opinions known.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent much of Sunday negotiating behind the scenes, lobbying against entitlement cuts and ensuring that raising taxes on the rich or closing corporate loopholes weren't explicitly excluded from the deal, according to congressional sources. [...] came out in opposition, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said 200,000 Obama 2008 supporters might withhold their support this time in protest.

Monday afternoon, MoveOn released a strongly worded statement in opposition to the deal. Full text:

“This is a bad deal for our fragile economic recovery, a bad deal for the middle class and a bad deal for tackling our real long-term budget problems. It forces deep cuts to important programs that protect the middle class, but asks nothing of big corporations and millionaires. And though it does not require cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid benefits, it opens the door for these down the road via an unaccountable Congressional committee. We surveyed our 5 million members and the vast majority oppose the deal because it unfairly asks seniors and the middle class to bear the burden of the debt deal.  Congress should do what it should have done long ago and what it has done dozens of times before – pass a clean debt ceiling bill.”

Read the full story at Politico.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 1, 2011, 4:15am