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View Diary: Can You Accept Simpson Bowles-Sh!t and Still Call Yourself a Democrat? (251 comments)

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  •  lol. (6+ / 0-)

    BS as an illegitimate presidential commission. And presidential commissions, by and large, are just political posturing. Can you name one that resulted in an economic policy change?

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:56:54 AM PDT

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    •  The Greenspan commission (10+ / 0-)

      While you're laughing, the SS age went up to 67.

      I don't think it's funny, though, just pathetic you don't know that.

      ‎A) "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin B) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

      by priceman on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 09:15:35 AM PDT

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      •  You had to go all the way back to 1981 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rustbelt Dem, Deep Texan

        AND that commission was one of the most politically charged of our time. The outcome was concluded before the commission began if I remember correctly. Not a really good example for you argument if you ask me and it kind of highlights a point I was trying to make. You and your ilk are unwilling to cede the FACTUAL point that BS was not a legitimate commission and your one example proves the political nature of presidential commissions.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:37:14 AM PDT

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      •  I have to add, you have proven time and again how (3+ / 0-)

        little you know of politics when you make snide comments like that. Greenspan was given the report he submitted to congress and the president. It was already prepared in advance. There was no debate in the "commission". It was a foregone conclusion what was going to happen and that's because of what presidential commissions are by nature. They do one (sometimes both) of two things; provide cover for a president to do something that may be unpopular (your example) or allow a president to push a decision down the road knowing it will go nowhere (Simpson Bowles). That you don't understand that and you keep repeating misinformation and while treating Simpson Bowles as if it were a legitimate commission (unlike 1981) is what's truly pathetic.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:47:56 AM PDT

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        •  Wow Nancy Altman of SS works would differ with you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, Words In Action, pot

          that there wasn't a debate, because there was a debate in the Commission and Nancy Altman developed the amendments for the program as Greenspan's assistant. So basically you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

          ‎A) "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin B) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

          by priceman on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeaaaah. Half true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan
            Mr. Greenspan and his fellow commissioners had met for months and were secretly deadlocked, despite optimistic public statements. Members of Congress were uniformly terrified of raising payroll taxes or cutting benefits, both of which obviously had to be part of any real solution. Then, one late afternoon, Pat Moynihan (D-NY) walked across the floor to talk to Senate Finance Committee Chair Bob Dole (R-KS). I couldn't hear what they were saying, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to realize the topic was Social Security. They cut the deal in broad outline right there, fed it to Mr. Greenspan, and left the details to his Commission.

            So at the last minute, Republicans and Democrats locked arms around a plan "to save Social Security" by raising the payroll tax, to shave benefits, and to very gradually raise the retirement age on future retirees. President Reagan endorsed it, and the rest was history. Like a lot of bad economic theory, the idea that the Greenspan Commission solved the 1983 Social Security crisis has the causality backwards. Dole and Moynihan fed the deal to the Commission, not the other way around.

            From Mother Jones

            Great blog post on how the 1983 commission was a cover. But even this post, I'm afraid, perpetuates some of the myth.

            As of the beginning on 1983, the commission was all but dissolved. Understanding the dire political importance of not letting the trust fund run out of money, the White House then began a series of secret negotiations with Pat Moynihan and Former SSA Director Robert Ball (who was basically representing Tip O'Neill). I believe the White House representatives were David Stockman, Dick Darman, sometimes Kenneth Duberstein, and a fourth person.

            Once they had agreed to a basic framework, then Dole was brought in, along with Alan Greenspan, James Baker, and Barber Conable. That group of nine or ten was eventually expanded further, to make sure they'd have the support of the leadership, organized labor, and enough commissioners.

            Only then were the recommendations brought back to the commission to pass.

            Like I said. You don't understand this as well as you think you do.

            Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

            by psilocynic on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:22:36 AM PDT

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            •  I don't care what Kevin Drum says (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias, poligirl, Words In Action

              or his source. I rust Robert M. Ball and Nancy Altman who was there.

              I'm not impressed with Kevin Drum's resources on this.

              The Bipartisan Panel: Did It Really Work?

              But just in time for the latest debate, the unpublished posthumous memoir of a central figure on the Greenspan panel, Robert M. Ball, a former Social Security commissioner, has emerged to challenge the conventional wisdom about its achievement.

              In a sprightly account promoted by former staff members from both parties, Mr. Ball calls the Greenspan Commission a failure. As he tells it, only a willingness to compromise by the two principal antagonists of the time — Ronald Reagan, the Republican president, and Representative Thomas P. O’Neill, the Democratic House speaker — made it possible for Mr. Ball and a few others to salvage from the deadlocked panel a deal that raised payroll taxes and trimmed benefits enough to keep Social Security solvent.

              “A commission is no substitute for principled commitment,” wrote Mr. Ball, who died two years ago at 93. He expected that growing deficits soon would spur talk of another such panel. “Above all,” he added, “we should not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of expecting miracles from another Greenspan Commission — by deluding ourselves into believing, mistakenly, that the first one was a great success.”

              [........]

              The commission met roughly monthly from February to November of 1982 without progress. Democrats remained opposed to benefit cuts and Republicans to payroll tax increases. In the futile hope that getting away from Capitol Hill might help, the panel met in November at a Virginia hotel. December’s session lasted only minutes, though the panel’s deadline was Dec. 31.

              [........]

              Mr. Reagan extended the commission’s life by two weeks to Jan. 15, but it “was no longer functioning,” Mr. Ball wrote. “Some of its members didn’t know we were meeting.” When word leaked and reporters staked out his house before one session, Mr. Ball sneaked out the rear and slid down a hill to a car sent by the White House.

              The group reached agreement late on Jan. 15, a Saturday, and secured support from a commission majority only with White House arm-twisting.

              Wow, they met all that time with no debate at all. They just rushed through Greenspan's recommendations. BS. No one should care about what you or Kevin Drum think happened. We know from those that were there.

              ‎A) "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin B) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

              by priceman on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 12:57:45 PM PDT

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          •  And again, you are dodging the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rustbelt Dem, Deep Texan

            actual point of my original post. Simpson Bowles was not an sanction commission. They didn't have the amount of member they would need to make it a legitimate commission. You can dance around that as much as you want, but its a fact. Aren't we supposed to be fact based here? Why do you keep spreading misinformation?

            Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

            by psilocynic on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:25:43 AM PDT

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    •  The commission doesn't have to lead directly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      priceman

      to policy change. It can move the Overton Window. It can confer legitimacy on radical ideas and make them seem middle-of-the-road. I think Simpson-Bowles has already succeeded in doing that.

      Who would have thought a few years ago that a Democratic president would be willing without a fight to raise the Medicare eligibility age and cut SS COLAs - two atrocious things?

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:17:08 PM PDT

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