We can all tabulate, with laughable ease, the foul details of this most recent debt limit "deal," but I note that the biggest part of the "deal" kicks the can down the road -- specifically, to Thanksgiving, by which time a 12-member "Super Congress" (by God, that sounds even worse than a regular Congress!) will have to figure out how to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. And here I sense opportunity. We've got three and a half months to tell them what to do. Here's what I'm going to tell them:
End all the frickin' wars already. Bring back the Estate Tax at pre-Bush Mobb levels. Tax income over $1 million at 91%, just like Eisenhower did. Tax dividends and capital gains as income, just like Reagan did. Let Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs, just like private insurance companies and the Veterans Administration do. Close the carried interest loophole that lets hedge fund managers pay well below the top tax rate on their billions in unearned largesse. Tax all stock trades at one percent (which, alone, would raise over half a trillion dollars a year). Require folks to pay payroll taxes on income over $107,000. End offshore tax havens for corporations (the so-called "Cayman Islands loophole"). Close the corporate tax loopholes that allow bailed-out banks to pay nothing in taxes for entire calendar years.
And here's what I'm going to tell them not to cut: the corporate tax rate, Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, Medicaid benefits, education, the FDA, the EPA, the CFPB, or anything else that helps give good Americans a shot at a better life.
Now you may well be saying to yourself: self, this Super-Congress is going to be rigged from the start, with fire-breathing, government-hating Republicans and moderate, let's-just-all-get-along Democrats. And that's almost certainly the truth! But who cares? Representatives are supposed to represent, hence the word "representative." Senators are supposed to represent, too, because the people vote them in. If our nominal representatives come to understand that this is our will -- and, frankly, I've seen nothing to suggest that it's not -- then they will do it. We may have to tell them a million times. We may have to call them every day and tell them; we may have to go to their offices and tell them; we may have to go to Washington and tell them. But if we tell them enough times, they will do it, if for no other reason than that they're afraid for their jobs. Good luck and God bless.