Obama's proposed tax cut deal, dubbed "bailouts for billionaires," effectively ends the Build America Bonds program. That’s the program which makes it easier for states to borrow money to cover their budget shortfalls—estimated at $140 billion just next year. When the credit of states dries up, the states won't be able to meet their obligations, such as retirement benefits to public sector workers. As Laura Flanders writes in the Nation, “public employee retirement benefits will probably be the first to go — estimated at $750 billion to more than $3 trillion.”
Reuthers' Pethokoukis notes that legislation amending bankruptcy law is in the works, possibly permitting states to declare bankruptcy. “That’s why,” says Pethokoukis, “the most intriguing aspect of President Barack Obama’s tax deal with Republicans is what the compromise fails to include — a provision to continue the Build America Bonds program.”
Flanders reports that a former Wall Street trader, Bruce Krasting, called the failure to renew a huge oversight and wondered how legislators “could have blundered on this?”
“It’s not a blunder,” writes Flanders. It’s intentional union-busting pension-theft that will first be felt in the states. “We’ve seen this strategy from the right before — move the action to the states, in the media dark,” she writes. “And typically it works.”
A very finely tuned Republican strategy to bust the states, bust the state unions, and leave state pensioners without any pension. All so billionaires can benefit from $600 billion in tax cuts and the Republicans can put us back into the 1920s and the beginning of a great depression.
Please call your Congressperson. At least insist that whatever emerges from Congress includes the Build America Bonds program. Or better still, tell her or him to fight to stop extending tax-cuts for the very wealthy.