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Michigan GOP congressman vote for ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday evening passed HR 2560, also known as the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, by a 234-190 margin with every Michigan Republican in the chamber voting for the bill.

The bill would force massive cuts in federal spending to bring the budget down to a maximum of 18 percent of the previous year’s Gross Domestic Product. It also makes it far more difficult to raise taxes, or even eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies, by requiring a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress for any legislation that does so. In addition, it would condition an increase in the debt ceiling on the passage of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities put it, the bill would “require a balanced budget every year while effectively barring any increases in revenues.” The CBPP also says the bill would slow economic growth and destroy jobs:

The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year that starts 75 days from now, despite a 9.2 percent unemployment rate. These cuts would equal 0.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 2012 and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.

The bill overturns a feature of various bipartisan budget laws over the past quarter century, by subjecting programs for the poorest Americans to the specter of meat-axe across-the-board cuts. It does so even as it protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue.

The bill is not expected to pass the Senate and President Obama has said he will veto it if it does.

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