On the very first day that the new larger House Republican majority got to work, it made a move that could mean some 11 million people who receive Social Security disability benefits will see their lifeline benefits cut by 20% in 2016—or even cuts to Social Security retirement benefits for everyone.
The Wall Street Journal reported on June 18 that federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are collecting evidence for a grand jury probe into whether Republican congressional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee tipped Wall Street traders off about changes in health care policy.
As of today, it is clear that the Republican Party and the Tea Party have become one and the same when it comes to federal fiscal policy. House Republicans have decided that they will shut down critical public services, stiff public servants, hold America’s credit rating hostage and kill off jobs because they are upset that President Obama decisively defeated Mitt Romney last November. That some Republicans are participating in this fiasco against their better judgment does not obscure their responsibility. All responsible voices must speak and act against policy making by hostage taking.
Some news outlets have suggested that Republicans have changed their position on taxes after their resounding defeat on Tuesday. This is not the case. Republicans are still demanding lower tax rates for the richest 2% of Americans, paid for by cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Yesterday, the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, said that Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.” But this is the same position Republicans have staked out for more than a year.