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jimM47
11-10-2010, 08:38 PM
Fiscal Commission releases (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/us/politics/11fiscal.html?hp) proposal (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/deficit-commission-co-chairs-simpson-and-bowles-release-eye-popping-recommendations.php): Cut Entitlements, Cut Defense, Cut Discretionary Spending, Cut Tax-Code Spending, Lower Marginal Tax Rates (http://www.google.com/images?q=thumbs+up), Raise Payroll Tax Ceiling, Increase Gas Tax. Congressmen Wary, Liberal Groups Displeased, NeoCon Hands Blinking (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074812/), Women, Minorities, Hardest Hit (http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=world+ends+women+minorities+hardest+hit)!

Post your love, hate, apathy, predictions or additional info before our dysfunctional politics render the whole thing moot.

stephanie
11-11-2010, 10:44 AM
To clarify:

The chairmen of President Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt outlined a politically provocative and economically ambitious package...

“It’s time to lay it out on the table and let the American people start to chew on it,” said Alan K. Simpson, the former Republican Senate leader who is one of the co-chairmen, along with Erskine B. Bowles, who was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.

Their outline will be the basis for negotiation within the commission, which has a Dec. 1 deadline for submitting a final plan.

In other words, this is not yet the Commission's plan. It's a tactical effort by the chairmen to get discussion started and probably to influence the final plan or some other similar goal.

I'm pointing this out because it keeps getting talked about as if it's something it's not.

AemJeff
11-11-2010, 11:11 AM
To clarify:



In other words, this is not yet the Commission's plan. It's a tactical effort by the chairmen to get discussion started and probably to influence the final plan or some other similar goal.

I'm pointing this out because it keeps getting talked about as if it's something it's not.

That last point seems important since it doesn't seem that the details, as I've seen them so far, make any concessions political reality. The thing reads like a trial balloon, or an opening argument.

bjkeefe
11-11-2010, 05:16 PM
That last point seems important since it doesn't seem that the details, as I've seen them so far, make any concessions political reality. The thing reads like a trial balloon, or an opening argument.

Yep. I saw something somewhere yesterday about this thing not being important for coming up with fiscal solutions, but with political ones, and on that account, it seems to this point like an utter failure.

Therefore, we will let Riley Waggaman (http://wonkette.com/429883/ingenius-fiscal-commission-smithsonian-pandas-to-blame-for-national-deficit) summarize our feelings so far:

Your Wonkette recently suggested that our new Orange Overlord should privatize the Smithsonian (http://wonkette.com/428855/johhny-cashs-daughter-hates-john-boehner-on-twitter), because that’s what Alexander Hamilton kept blogging about, in the Federalist Papers. Well, good things come to those who wait (for the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to release their draft proposal)! Yes, this wise bipartisan commission of maggot-brained failures wants the government to “reduce funding to the Smithsonian and the National Park Service and allow the programs to offset the reduction through fees.” That’s not quite privatization, but the proposal also recommends severe cuts to Social Security, so it’s safe to say that reducing the deficit has already become a very successful bipartisan paint-huffing effort. Nancy Pelosi took a quick timeout from watching House Democrats fight over who gets to be S&M Whip to state that this draft proposal (http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/128713-pelosi-left-rip-proposal-from-debt-commission-chairmen) is “simply unacceptable.” But everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi is a hippie. Feeding the woodland creatures at the National Zoo every other week would allow us to build more laser-guided Zeppelins, since the 2011 defense budget (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States#cite_ref-Higgs_5-1) is only one trillion dollars. And don’t even think about cutting military spending so that children can go to museums or maybe even have basic health care. You want to cut Our Defense? The war merchants who run this sad country do not care for this idea. [Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2274458/)/Ezra Klein (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/11/there_is_no_report_from_the_fi.html)/The Hill (http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/128713-pelosi-left-rip-proposal-from-debt-commission-chairmen)]

But not to worry! Because not too long ago, when the Crown Prince and the Clown Prince were ridin' around in a Ford F-250 to set the stage for Scott Brown's Ascension into Last Year's Savior of America, they saw a turkey (http://wonkette.com/429873/lone-hen-turkey-saves-america-in-george-w-bushs-new-memoir)! On the road! And?

Suddenly I felt the crown prince’s hand grab my arm. “My brother,” he said, “it is a sign from Allah. This is a good omen.”

So, as long as our actual ruler is happy, we should be, too.

rcocean
11-11-2010, 09:54 PM
Post your love, hate, apathy, predictions or additional info before our dysfunctional politics render the whole thing moot.

The whole thing is simply insane, which doesn't mean large parts won't be passed by congress and signed by BO, with all the Limousine liberals cheering on. Basically, the biggest problem in the budget - Medicare - gets a pass AND everyone else - especially the Middle Class - is supposed to suffer more so the Rich and Wall Street won't have to pay more taxes (even though the Top rate was 50 percent under Reagan). I mean its bizzare, any knowledgeable person understands that freezing federal pay or making people pay more for the Grand Canyon is a meaningless drop in the bucket.

But Barrack Hussein knows he can sell out the poor, working class and middle class and they'd still vote for him - along as he's pro-abortion and hates Sarah Palin. So, who know's what will happen.

stephanie
11-12-2010, 11:23 AM
The whole thing is simply insane, which doesn't mean large parts won't be passed by congress and signed by BO, with all the Limousine liberals cheering on.

I doubt it, but it's not even a proposal currently.

As for the rest, the fact that people with your views are loyal Republicans (even attacking other Republicans as RINOs) is one of the major reasons you don't have anyone fighting for your interests on this, if that is how it turns out.

It's certainly not going to be the Republicans who stand up for your economic POV, and when the Dems do (as the much despised Krugman has, among others), the people you cheer on will use it against them.

rcocean
11-12-2010, 04:21 PM
I doubt it, but it's not even a proposal currently.

As for the rest, the fact that people with your views are loyal Republicans (even attacking other Republicans as RINOs) is one of the major reasons you don't have anyone fighting for your interests on this, if that is how it turns out.

It's certainly not going to be the Republicans who stand up for your economic POV, and when the Dems do (as the much despised Krugman has, among others), the people you cheer on will use it against them.

False. Most RINO's are what used to be called in more honest days, Liberal or Rockefeller Republicans. Liberal on social issues, conservative on economic issues. Most of them are/were well-to-do-types like Jeffords, Whitman, Castle, or Specter (whoops he's a Democrat now, I forgot) - and generally support things that help big business and the chamber of commerce. Normally, they only fall out with the "Club for Growth" crowd because they support big new Liberal program X, or because they don't want to *cut* taxes. They aren't "populist" by any means. Which is why they usually support illegal immigration, free trade, TARP, getting rid of Corporate income tax, financial deregulation, and cutting SS even more than the normal Republican.

BTW, many average people voted Democrat for years and finally stopped doing so because the Democrat populist rhetoric was never implemented. Obama's betrayal of the working class is simply a rerun of Clinton betrayal and before him Carter. The Republicans have played the same shell game (See "Whats the Matter with Kansas") on social issues. Given Obama's support for the Bush tax cuts and his fervent support for "TARP", "free-trade" and "open borders" - I have no confidence he will oppose any legislation that comes from this crazy commission.

bjkeefe
11-13-2010, 04:15 AM
Krugman's first takes:

A blog post posted 10 Nov 2010, "Unserious People (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/unserious-people-2/)," beginning:

OK, let’s say goodbye to the deficit commission. If you’re sincerely worried about the US fiscal future — and there’s good reason to be — you don’t propose a plan that involves large cuts in income taxes.

A column, posted 11 Nov 2010, "The Hijacked Commission (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/opinion/12krugman.html)," beginning:

Count me among those who always believed that President Obama made a big mistake when he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — a supposedly bipartisan panel charged with coming up with solutions to the nation’s long-run fiscal problems. It seemed obvious, as soon as the commission’s membership was announced, that “bipartisanship” would mean what it so often does in Washington: a compromise between the center-right and the hard-right.

Ocean
11-13-2010, 02:50 PM
Krugman's first takes:

A blog post posted 10 Nov 2010, "Unserious People (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/unserious-people-2/)," beginning:



A column, posted 11 Nov 2010, "The Hijacked Commission (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/opinion/12krugman.html)," beginning:

I suppose that we still don't have enough information to start to get too alarmed. But it looks like we do have enough information circulated to start to get a little alarmed. I mean, let's be serious for a moment about what is rumored. Cutting mortgage interest deductions? Cutting health benefits exemptions? All that in order to cut taxes for all income brackets with a huge tax cut for the highest brackets and corporations?

This sounds like a distasteful joke. Or something that if passed anywhere near what it's being discussed right now, should be vetoed. Are we trying to turn this country into a feudal system?

The thought is so creepy that it becomes revolting.

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 05:34 PM
The NYT has a fun interactive thing (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html) that lets you play with the numbers being bandied about by the Catfood Commission. Even if you don't want to get your full Peter Orszag (Mitch Daniels) on, it's still worth a look to get a sense of proportion of the various proposed spending cuts and new taxes.

You will probably not be surprised (or if you will be, good!) that some of the items generating the most noise among our newly elected Republican overlords ("Cut pay of civilian federal workers by 5 percent," "Eliminate earmarks," "Reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent") have the least to do with the bottom line.

(Attrib: "Catfood Commission" first heard from Atrios (http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aeschatonblog.com+Catfood+Commissio n).)

Ocean
11-14-2010, 06:04 PM
The NYT has a fun interactive thing (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html) that lets you play with the numbers being bandied about by the Catfood Commission. Even if you don't want to get your full Peter Orszag (Mitch Daniels) on, it's still worth a look to get a sense of proportion of the various proposed spending cuts and new taxes.

You will probably not be surprised (or if you will be, good!) that some of the items generating the most noise among our newly elected Republican overlords ("Cut pay of civilian federal workers by 5 percent," "Eliminate earmarks," "Reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent") have the least to do with the bottom line.

(Attrib: "Catfood Commission" first heard from Atrios (http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aeschatonblog.com+Catfood+Commissio n).)

I solved the deficit! :)

operative
11-14-2010, 06:05 PM
I think it's kinda funny that when the commission was first announced, it was most heavily criticized by the Rush Limbaughs of the world. Now that their findings are coming out, it's the left that's taking aim.

I'll wait on the final release before stating my take though.

Don Zeko
11-14-2010, 06:06 PM
IIRC, the proposed commission was dismissed by a lot of Liberal writers when it was announced and when various inklings of what it would propose leaked out.

operative
11-14-2010, 06:11 PM
IIRC, the proposed commission was dismissed by a lot of Liberal writers when it was announced and when various inklings of what it would propose leaked out.

Ah, ok. I only remembered the bits from conservatives (particularly Limbaugh since he coined the term 'irksome bowels', which perhaps the left will start using now).

Don Zeko
11-14-2010, 06:12 PM
Ah, ok. I only remembered the bits from conservatives (particularly Limbaugh since he coined the term 'irksome bowels', which perhaps the left will start using now).

Whether or not we share his disdain for the commission, I somewhat doubt that many liberals will start adopting Rush's nicknames for things.

operative
11-14-2010, 06:17 PM
Whether or not we share his disdain for the commission, I somewhat doubt that many liberals will start adopting Rush's nicknames for things.

Hey, it's bipartisanship in some bizarre bastardization of the term.

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 06:30 PM
I solved the deficit! :)

Publish, woman. Publish!

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 06:32 PM
IIRC, the proposed commission was dismissed by a lot of Liberal writers when it was announced and when various inklings of what it would propose leaked out.

Yep. See "Catfood Commission," mentioned above (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=188445#post188445), just to name one.

Ocean
11-14-2010, 06:51 PM
Publish, woman. Publish!

I did, man!

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 07:07 PM
I did, man!

Link or it didn't happened.

Ocean
11-14-2010, 07:15 PM
Link or it didn't happened.

I got a surplus of $60 Billion by the year 2015 and $100+ Billion by the year 2030. The surplus will be used to revamp some health care gaps.

( http://www.spartantailgate.com/forums/images/smilies/rumor.gifI don't know how to provide a link for this... )

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 07:36 PM
I got a surplus of $60 Billion by the year 2015 and $100+ Billion by the year 2030. The surplus will be used to revamp some health care gaps.

Ocean for President!

( http://www.spartantailgate.com/forums/images/smilies/rumor.gifI don't know how to provide a link for this... )

If you saved the PDF of your mastery, you can upload it to, among other sites, ImageShack (http://imageshack.us/), and then post the link here. Or, just email it to me, and I will, if you like.

Ocean
11-14-2010, 07:42 PM
Ocean for President!



If you saved the PDF of your mastery, you can upload it to, among other sites, ImageShack (http://imageshack.us/), and then post the link here. Or, just email it to me, and I will, if you like.

Okay, I figured it out. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p1j6q2) But we'll have to hire someone who knows about this stuff to fine tune... ;)

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 08:26 PM
Okay, I figured it out. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p1j6q2) But we'll have to hire someone who knows about this stuff to fine tune... ;)

Glad to see you hate old people. ;)

Why didn't you add the bank tax (last item), and really put us back in the black?

Ocean
11-14-2010, 08:35 PM
Glad to see you hate old people. ;)

Why didn't you add the bank tax (last item), and really put us back in the black?

I don't hate old people.

But we are in the black. I would probably change a few things if I looked at it again, or if I gave it some thought. It was my first draft after all.

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 10:20 PM
... I am afraid John Quiggins is all too correct (http://crookedtimber.org/2010/11/14/one-dimensional-chess/).

[Added] And note the first part of his comment #29 (http://crookedtimber.org/2010/11/14/one-dimensional-chess/#comment-338593).

bjkeefe
11-14-2010, 11:50 PM
Some 'heads are talking:

Henry Farrell:

Cultures of Impunity

Matt Yglesias (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/the-luck-of-the-irish/) on the horrors of the Irish economy.[1]

Today of course Ireland is a total disaster. I wouldn’t try to blame their property crash on low tax rates. But by the same token a frightening number of pundits went “all-in” on the idea that Ireland’s conserva-friendly tax policies were behind a boom that was in fact driven by a real estate bubble.

I personally would try to blame a fair chunk of Ireland’s property market crash on low corporate tax rates.

The rest (http://crookedtimber.org/2010/11/09/cultures-of-impunity/).

P.S. Click over to Matt's post, too, because how can you not want to read something starting like this?

Here’s Chris Edwards, director of tax policy at the Cato Institute and author of Downsizing Government writing at National Review online in March 2007 about how everyone would be more like Ireland (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8136) if only they listened to rightwing economic policy:

Henry again:

And as Matt notes, there has been a quite remarkable disinclination among American pundits, who were touting Ireland as a model for Europe a few years back, to publicly revisit their arguments. He mentions several Cato scholars in this regard; I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Thomas Friedman also deserves calumny to be heaped upon his head for this remarkable piece of globollocks (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/opinion/01friedman.html) about how ‘the only question is when Germany and France will face reality: either they become Ireland or they become museums.’

Don Zeko
11-15-2010, 02:04 AM
Well I never....Imagine, Thomas Friedman saying something that seemed reductive and probably wrong at the time but which, with the benefit of hindsight, turns out to be vastly more wrong and stupid than it first appeared. I'm shocked.

bjkeefe
11-15-2010, 03:08 AM
Well I never....Imagine, Thomas Friedman saying something that seemed reductive and probably wrong at the time but which, with the benefit of hindsight, turns out to be vastly more wrong and stupid than it first appeared. I'm shocked.

LOL!

Florian
11-15-2010, 03:42 AM
Thomas Friedman has been lecturing continental Europe on its economic shortcomings, above all the French, ever since I can remember... ever since he became the pop prophet of globalization and its marvels. His anger with the froggies became incandescent when Chirac demurred at following Georgie and Dickie in their extraordinary adventures in the Middle East.

So much for independence of thought in the columns of the "newspaper of record."

Don Zeko
11-15-2010, 09:39 AM
So much for independence of thought in the columns of the "newspaper of record."

I completely agree, but isn't this old news? I mean, they gave Bill friggin Kristol an op-ed column.

chiwhisoxx
11-15-2010, 10:31 AM
I completely agree, but isn't this old news? I mean, they gave Bill friggin Kristol an op-ed column.

Not to mention Paul Krugman! And Maureen Dowd!

Don Zeko
11-15-2010, 10:43 AM
You don't really think that Krugman's comparable to Dowd, Kristol, or Friedman, do you?

stephanie
11-15-2010, 12:01 PM
False.

Feel free to point me to the Republicans who are fighting for the economic interests you are talking about, then.

Your personal definition of "RINO" doesn't answer this at all. Pointing out that you are kicking certain types of Republicans out of the party identifies one cause of a change in the Dems, but does nothing to suggest that the Republicans are remotely in line with the economic views you have expressed, let alone that the pressure to keep taxes low, especially on the rich, to cut SocSec, all the rest, are coming from Dems.

You are a poster child for the theory that the Republicans can push their economic agenda successfully by convincing people who disagree with it to vote for them anyway, based on some cultural narrative.

BTW, many average people voted Democrat for years and finally stopped doing so because the Democrat populist rhetoric was never implemented.

Clinton and Obama are in a Democratic Party which is influenced by the expelling of Rockefeller Republicans from the Republicans and the exodus of a number of working class Dems based on culture war rhetoric or their buying into Reagan era economic narratives. Either way, the result is that we don't have a party that's got much incentive to fight for working class interests. The Dems piss off part of their voters without any gains from people like you, and the Republicans because they don't believe in it and why would they.

The fact is that if the Dems fight for the kinds of tax and Soc Sec policies you keep ranting about, the Republicans slam them for being fiscally irresponsible and class warfare and all the rest (all the things that even a moderate like Clinton got), and you (and others like you, if you still exist in any significant numbers) probably cheer them on. That's why our policies are the way they are and raising the retirement age is probably more likely than any significant change (other than making it flatter) in the tax rates.

That you blame the Dems for this while calling other Republicans RINOs, in complete denial of the fact that the economic policies you dislike are the heart of Republican politics (not just taxes and SocSec, but free trade, and -- lip service aside -- immigration too, if you look at what every Republican administration has actually done), is just odd and absolutely to blame for the fact that it's likely that there's an insufficient political base and will to fight for your interests.

stephanie
11-15-2010, 12:06 PM
I suppose that we still don't have enough information to start to get too alarmed.

I'm still here and not alarmed. So far I don't think a majority of the commission is likely to sign on to a number of the most disturbing things, let alone Congress (or Obama).

The mortgage interest thing (for just one example) is just nuts at this time. I think there's a valid argument that it's not the best policy, but getting rid of it to cut the rates in the way proposed slams middle class homeowners at an obviously terrible time.

chiwhisoxx
11-15-2010, 12:33 PM
You don't really think that Krugman's comparable to Dowd, Kristol, or Friedman, do you?

In what way? I think he's smarter but nastier and more tendentious. Arguing with liberals about Kristol isn't something I have the patience for anymore. And I'm sure we could come to an agreement about the vacuousness and stupidity of Dowd and Friedman.

bjkeefe
11-15-2010, 08:00 PM
I see that occasional B'head and heretofore insufficiently pure conservative Ross Douthat has weighed in on the Catfood Commission's proposals.

Mr. Riley has more to say in response (http://doghouseriley.blogspot.com/2010/11/boy-thats-totally-unexpected-vol.html), and I encourage you as always to read what he has to say, but I'd like to pose a question here that I posted in Comments over there:

I'm fascinated that [Ross] thinks the "home-mortgage tax deduction" is among the short list of things that "represent the American welfare state at its absolute worst."

Wonder when this became a thing for guys like him.

I mean, there's probably, in theory, an argument to be made about why mortgage interest never should have been tax deductible in the first place, but unless I've imagined political rhetoric over the past few decades, hasn't the goodness of home ownership been praised by the pretty much everyone not way out on the edges? And how isn't suddenly eliminating this deduction not going to be seen as "raising taxes on the middle class?"

Oh, wait, I get it. You badger the spineless Dems into doing it, and then you accuse them of doing it come 2012.

Forget I asked.

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 04:03 AM
From Pareene's Monday link dump (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/15/monday_link_dump/index.html):

• It is time for serious people to take a serious stand in favor of responsibility and sacrifice, which means poor people are going to take it on the chin again. (http://www.theawl.com/2010/11/when-they-say-everyone-must-sacrifice-they-mean-poor-people)

• Even "serious," moderate Brookings has issues with the Bowles-Simpson plan. (http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/1112_deficit_aaron.aspx)

Also, via the first of the quoted links, this, from Dean Baker (from Josh Cohen's webzine!): "The Deficit Commission’s Parallel Universe (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR35.6/baker.php)."

bjkeefe
11-20-2010, 05:04 AM
... please remember that "Banana Republic (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/19/nick-kristof-doubles-down/)" is not just a store that has nice shirts.