The Three Mouseketeers of Arkansas — U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack — voted to wreck America tonight by endorsing a gimmicky bill that, credible economists say, would drive America into a deep recession. The Mousketeers, playing childish games, know the Senate won't permit it, but they hoped to score some electoral points with stupid people with their draconian budget cuts, caps on spending that would end Social Security and Medicare in time and a balanced budget amendment that would make all but world-ending crises beyond solution by Congress.
The vote was 230-194.
I am pleased and slightly surprised to say U.S. Rep. Mike Ross didn't cross over on this vote, though he remains wrong-headed on the balanced budget amendment portion of the legislation. His release afterward:
U.S. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott today voted against the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, H.R. 2560, a Republican spending package he said was so ideological and impractical that it would be disastrous for working families and seniors. Ross said the bill would force radical cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“I have long supported and voted for spending cuts, but this bill was crafted with pure political motives and is not a real or practical solution to our nation's fiscal crisis,” said Ross. “Once again, Republican leaders are trying to impose radical spending cuts on the backs of working families and seniors, while exempting big, multinational corporations and their executives. My constituents didn’t send me to Washington to play partisan games — they sent me to fight for them and to find commonsense, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s most serious challenges. That’s exactly what I’ll continue to do as their Congressman.”
H.R. 2560 would require Congress to immediately cut spending at the levels included in the House Republican budget written by Paul Ryan that would have privatized Medicare. It would cap spending at such levels that it would require massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The bill also includes a balanced budget amendment that imposes a spending cap of 18% of GDP within the decade, when federal spending has not been 18.0% or less of GDP since 1966 — when the very first enrollees were first entering Medicare. There are now 46 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, which means an 18% of GDP spending cap would inevitably lead to drastic Medicare cuts.
“I have long supported a balanced budget amendment, but a reasonable one that protects working families and seniors,” said Ross. “We need to deal with our debt limit and stabilize our economy instead of wasting precious time on legislation that is both unrealistic and unreasonable. Instead of trying to legislate pure ideology, let’s stop the partisan bickering, work together and find a fair and reasonable solution to our fiscal crisis. It’s time to get this done so that we can focus on our economy and start putting more Americans back to work.”
Oh, in addition to everything else, the bill would prevent raising the debt ceiling for a good while. That means a default on U.S. securities and a stock market crash of enormous proportions.