A debt deal and a middle squeeze
August 1st, 2011
06:10 PM ET
10 years ago

A debt deal and a middle squeeze

Washington (CNN)-With "sacred cows" on the table for both parties in the debt deal brokered between Democrats and Republicans, it's no wonder protests are drowning out cheers.

But the loudest protests are being hurled on the same side of the aisle, as Democrats accuse their own leaders of "capitulating" while Republicans say their leadership has accepted a deal that doesn't do enough.

So who may be feeling the biggest squeeze from the debt deal-which forced both sides to compromise? The middle.

In statements released today, groups from the far left and right voiced their displeasure over the agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling and tackle the deficit at the same time. The bill has not been passed, but will be taken up by House of Representatives first, followed by the Senate.

And though many have said tea party members were the biggest winners of the debt deal for forcing Congress to tie deficit reduction with a debt ceiling increase - a feat never accomplished before - Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, expressed plenty of discontent with the deal Monday.

"I am not satisfied with this," she said in an interview on Fox News. "We're sick and tired of things going on behind closed doors and then [bills] being crammed down our throats at the last minute."

The influentially conservative Club for Growth took Kremer's sentiments one step further in a statement expressing "concern" for the "lack of guaranteed future spending cuts," and "a commission that could still recommend job-killing tax increases." Stung that a balanced budget amendment was not included in the deal, the Club for Growth urged members to oppose the deal.

And the Heritage Foundation blasted the fruit of Speaker Boehner's efforts as "insufficient." Citing the possibility that a "'super committee' tasked with brokering a grand bargain" will implement "massive tax hikes, massive defense cuts, or both," the group declared, "Heritage Action opposes the Budget Control Act of 2011."

On the other side of the aisle, the progressive Campaign for America's Future also urged a "no" vote for the "raw deal" to raise the nation's debt ceiling from Democratic caucus members. And the co-director of the organization, Robert Borosage, called tea party members "terrorists" who were willing to "hold the economy hostage to get their way."

"The raw deal will impede any recovery. It precludes any serious action on jobs from the federal government," he said in a website post. "The terms of the agreement are complicated, the capitulation is clear."

Justin Ruben, executive director of Dem super group MoveOn.org, said the debt agreement was a "bad deal" all-around. Envisioning damage to economic recovery, the middle class, and the long-term budget, the group claims seniors and the middle class will "bear the burden of the debt deal."

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee summed up the thoughts of angry Democrats in a written statement.

"This deal will kill our economy and is an attack on middle-class families." Asking Democratic members of Congress to oppose the bill, the PCCC blasted the deal for asking "nothing of the rich" and subjecting the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for spending cuts.

"Democrats should focus on jobs-not cuts-in order to grow our economy," the statement said.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Club for Growth • Congress • Debt • Deficit • MoveOn
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    This must be gamesmanship...this deal can't be this good. Both parties pissed off because of what's in it??? Come on...don't believe the hipe!!!

    August 1, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. dd

    All i can say is none of this was necasarry to begin with! no reason to tie the debt cieling to anything else. congress should be doing their jobs and holding our country hostage over that is pathetic!

    August 1, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Mike kerns

    When Republicans complain about job killing taxes. Translated into common English means super elite wealthy should not have to pay there fair share in taxes and the only jobs killed will be Republican politicians who did not protect. The corporate interest.

    August 1, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Dennis

    So they way it sounds to me is. People like my self who work every hour possible to strugle to pay our bills continue to pay more taxes than the wealthiest 2%. I don't understand why Republicans can't make the wealthy pay their taxes. And why is it so hard to cut spending. Why do we have to pay to educate people from other countries. And why are American companies allowed to get rich off Americans when they can't build their products here in the USA. I hate buying things not made in the USA but what choice do we have. I really don't understand politics but to me the politicians look like a bunch of idiots. Making all of us look like idiots. We are supposed to be the biggest country in the world why are we even in debt. Bring jobs back to America that is what we need. If people are working making money. Then people will be spending money.

    August 1, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    People need to wake up to just how dangerous the GOBPbaggin' teatards are. They are extreme rightwing radicals who care only for the greedy and not the needy. They are willing to destroy the US and the world economy to further their cult of corrupt corporatism. Moderate Republicans and the Democrats need to develop a spine and confront the un-American traitors on the right.

    August 1, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. S. In California

    This is a "bad deal". The rich continue to thrive while the rest of us suffer. Excuse me if I don't feel like celebrating.

    August 1, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Pam Thompson

    Why in the world are these people even considering cuts to domestic programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Vetetans' benefits? We're sending billions, if not trillions, of dollars overseas. Why not make the necessary cuts in FOREIGN AID? Why do we have to support the whole world when we can't even support ourselves???

    August 1, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Laurence Miller

    The system we use to pick a jury should be adopted to pick our representatives in house and senate with the paychecks to boot!

    August 1, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |