Nov 21 2011
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today reacted to the failure of the congressional deficit-cutting super committee to reach an agreement:
“The super committee was established to be a bipartisan, fast-track tool to achieve long-term deficit reduction and avoid economic catastrophe. Four months later, the ‘my way or the highway’ approach that marred the debt ceiling deliberations has apparently doomed the super committee as well.
“It is my understanding that the super committee deadlocked over the issue of whether the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans—originally enacted in 2001 and 2003—should continue. The Bush tax cuts were the single biggest contributor to federal deficits over the last decade. They were in place during a decade of anemic economic growth and rising income inequality, even before the 2008 financial crisis. These tax cuts neither paid for themselves nor created significant economic growth.
“Extending the Bush tax cuts would cost the government more than $3 trillion over the next 10 years, significantly exacerbate our long-term deficit problems and increase the gap between the middle-class and the top one percent of earners. An extension of these tax cuts essentially continues a policy that ignores the reality that over the last 10 years:
- The U.S. population has increased 9.1 percent;
- Defense and war spending has increased 74 percent;
- Entitlement spending has increased 32 percent; and
- Domestic spending has been flat.
“During the same 10 years, tax revenues have decreased 18 percent.
“I am disappointed the super committee has failed, but I cannot support an approach that favors millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. I believe a majority of the U.S. Senate would support a deficit reduction plan of $4 trillion that includes spending cuts and increased revenues. This is my idea of balance, fairness and pragmatism.
“It would be my hope that a bold and balanced plan, such as the ‘Gang of Six’ initiative, is put on the floor and given a vote. To do nothing and let sequestration occur in 2013 is unacceptable and an abdication of responsibility by this Congress.”