Sens. McCaskill (D-MO) and Corker (R-TN) have developed legislation enforcing "global spending caps" on our government. Ever impose a global spending cap on your own spending? One that never got derailed by unforeseen circumstances? I thought not. And of course Sens. McCaskill and Corker won't raise revenue, even though that's part of the deficit problem, too. But it gets worse: they've based their caps on 1970s spending levels. Remember how far a dollar went in the '70s? Doesn't go that far now, does it? So does using forty-year-old spending levels to determine current spending levels seem like a good idea to you? I thought not. Cutting-and-running isn't the way to deal with the deficit. Way number one is to raise revenues. Way number two is to actually look at the budget and see what works and what doesn't. With these clowns in Congress, I can see why we'd be tempted to impose arbitrary caps. But using a sledgehammer to do the work of a scalpel, or even a butcher's knife, is a dumb idea. NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you oppose these Draconian and arbitrary spending caps.
Meanwhile, Consumers Union helps you tell the Senate to vote "no" on Paul Ryan's budget bill, which privatizes Medicare. And does it badly, I might add -- still gives seniors a voucher totaling the amount our government spends on them (on average), then tells them to buy private health insurance with it, insurance that will likely be several times as expensive. Hmm, government doing the same job private insurers do, and doing it more efficiently -- yeah, that sounds like something we'd want to stop doing. Now I've heard some good liberals saying we ought to tell our Republican Senators to vote for the plan, so they lose next time they're up for re-election. I can't always tell if folks are joking, but if they're not, that's not the way to go. The way to go is always give your honest counsel to your Congressfolk. It doesn't matter what party they belong to or who their corporate paymasters are -- they're supposed to do the will of their constituents. I have consecrated my life to this principle, and I'm determined to see it work.
In other news, Senate Republicans have just about given up on blocking a possible Elizabeth Warren nomination to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- could it be because she seems to win folks over pretty well? -- but now they're saying they won't confirm anyone until the CFPB is "reformed," i.e. gutted. Our Reps and Senators have done a pretty good job "forgetting" that the banks nearly destroyed our economy in 2008 and that we still haven't recovered from the damage. The people haven't, though, so USPIRG helps you tell your Reps to reject efforts to defund or defang the CFPB. (If you want to follow up with a phone call, USPIRG helps you do that, too.) And personal to the banksters spending millions lobbying our Reps to destroy the CFPB: think you might, maybe, hire people with that money?
Finally, I have a pair of action alerts relating to the House's latest effort to gut the Clean Air Act, one from the Environmental Defense Fund and another from the Alaska Wilderness League. For the EDF, the news hook is American Electric Power (or AEP), which is also throwing millions of dollars at our Reps and Senators in order to get more pollution-friendly environmental regulations. I guess they don't want to hire people with their unearned largesse, either. Not only that, AEP apparently also wrote the House's latest anti-air bill. Government must be a nice gig, when all you do is let your corporate paymasters write your bills. For the Alaska Wilderness League, the news hook is Shell Oil's fervent desire to drill for oil in the Arctic. Thinking it'll all be OK, that nothing really lives up in those cold, cold waters? Think again: creatures do live up there, and we don't know a whole lot about them, and cleaning up a spillageddon in the Arctic would be even harder than it was in the Gulf.