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Let me share with you my thoughts on this useless exercise.

I was not amused listening to the speeches from the members of the deficit commission. I was saddened.

Alan Simpson opened it up in his inimitable way. He thinks he is oh so witty, oblivious to the fact that many of us find him offensive. If I wanted to be amused I would tune in to the Simpsons. Needless to say, he and Bowles belong to a mutual admiration club. This highlights the bigger problem. Forget party affiliations folks; the plutocrascy is well represented in the Democratic party. This may be the reason Obama finds it so difficult to accomplish his goals.

Dick Durbin was a surprise to me. What has he been smoking? Sometimes the human mind works in mysterious ways.

The commission failed miserably simply because, as Xavier Beccera pointed out, they chose not to look even into the root causes of the problem. Two unjust and costly wars, the relentless outsourcing of our jobs and the tax cuts for the truly rich were all swept under the carpet. Jan Schakowski to her credit brought these to the fore.

Another folly was the focus on Social Security. Ignoring the fact that the SS Trust has been used for decades as a piggy bank raided for all kinds of nefarious enterprises. Never mind the fact that Social Security has not contributed a single dime to the deficit, they made it look as though it were the culpit! We were informed that if we did nothing, by 2037 or so the fund will go minto the red, overlooking the fact that at the rate we are going the Country is not going to last that long! An analogy I am going to draw on this is that of a patient that must be operated to remove a mole when he is bleeding to death from an open artery. That my friends is a red herring.

Lastly, as some of the members of the committee pointed out, the poor and the dwindling middle class is asked to pay for all of this while the plutocrats party on! The call that making the tough choices. Tough choices for whom?

Good bye and good riddance Mrss Simpson and Bowles. You have met our expectations from you and we hope we never hear from you again.

Originally posted to NJ elitist on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 07:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These deficits are going to have be addressed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, DRo

    Look I am happy that this commision failed because I dont' think SS, Medicare, Medicaid should be slashed to the bone BUT something needs to be done because we are on unsustainable course and EVENTUALLY everything will collaspe. If we need to see what will happen look at Greece, UK. We are on a collision course and if washington dc and the politicians don't start acting like reasonable adults and make compromises that are fair, we this country will go down the tubes. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid need to be adjusted because the numbers DO NOT LIE, the money will eventually run out if we don't fix them.

  •  If people think they can just dismiss the fact (0+ / 0-)

    that the USA is on an unsustainable fiscal path to oblivion they are the one's smoking something.

    You think this is just going to go away? Dream on, or get your head out of your ass. Now I know why the Democrats chose the donkey as their emblem.

    •  so raise taxes on rich and end the wars (7+ / 0-)

      problem solved.

      •  It really is that simple (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, AnnieR

        unless you're invested in the program that many don't want to consider, let alone discuss.

        Oh, and make war profiteering really illegal while we start investing in a peace economy rather than a war economy.

        "Life is and then we tell ourselves a story." - Dr Susan Gregg LLC

        by metiche on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:16:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  your usual sophomoric unthinking (0+ / 0-)

        knee jerk reaction.

      •  Problem solved? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soccergrandmom

        Look EVERYBODY has to share the sacrifice of getting this deficit and debt under control. We all live in this country and we all have to put skin in the game to get this debt under control because we are on a collision course and if we go over a cliff EVERYBODY who lives in this country will be affected.  Raising taxes and ending these wars will not pay for the 13 trillion dollar debt we have. Something else has to be slashed and that may mean a program has to end or entitlements have to adjusted. I didnt say end, I say ADJUSTED so that it can survive in the long term.

        I am not for completely slashing SS, MEdicaid,and Medicare but we have to come to realization that those programs have to be fixed. We can pretend that everything is honkey dorey but the grim reaper is looking at us in few years if we don't start facing the cold hard reality that we are on an unsustainable path.

        The money is not there anymore and we have to face that reality. If the folks who are in charge of these programs are SCREAMING SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE THE MONEY IS RUNNING OUT and we don't take heed to that warning than we get what we deserve. I am considered a middle class person and I realize that something needs to be done or all our gooses will be cooked in the next couple of years.

        •  The Money Quote (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, tardis10

          Look EVERYBODY has to share the sacrifice

          "Life is and then we tell ourselves a story." - Dr Susan Gregg LLC

          by metiche on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:29:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  money is not finite (0+ / 0-)

          it's not running out.

          •  Are you in another world? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soccergrandmom

            Why would folks who are running these programs in DC telling us based on there projections we have to makes some adjustments down the road because more money is going out then coming in and this was happening BEFORE the recession.  Starting in 2037 SS will be going broke if we dont' make some changes. EIther raise the age by a year or make adjustment with the tax rate. Sitting back and saying Oh, money is there is having your head in the sand. That may be a long time off, but it really isn't. More states are going are trying to drop medicaid cause it killing their budget and they are in the deep red. Medicare is also collapsing cause of out of control costs. To pretend these problems aren't there is being naive.

            •  Stick that where the sun don't shine (0+ / 0-)

              End the wars and tax the rich. Done.

              "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

              by Ivan on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:45:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  PATHETIC (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                soccergrandmom

                And this why this country is going down the tubes cause we got imbecils on both sides of the political isle who continues to think everything is hunky dorey and nothing needs to be done. Taxes are going to have to go up and SPENDING IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE SLASHED!

                •  Ending the wars is "doing nothing?" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  We Won

                  Two wars is "hunky dorey?" Ending them is not slashing spending? Raising taxes on the rich is not raising taxes? I'M the imbecile? I'M pathetic?

                  "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

                  by Ivan on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 09:18:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  The CatFood Commission isn't dead (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, tardis10, We Won

    just yet. Read it here.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:12:36 AM PST

    •  Darn. I thought somewhere I heard a rock shift (0+ / 0-)

      as Alan went home to rest.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:15:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, Willa Rogers

      Durbin is voting for it?  Well I think we have a good idea of how the President would vote on it then.  He'd vote for it too.

      Betrayal doesn't even begin to describe it.

      And tomorrow Schumer is going to fix up that tax cuts bill by offering an amendment to raise the threshold to $1 million in income.

      Assholes.

    •  sounds dead from your article (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      although the other threshold, legislative language, seems unlikely considering that the panel doesn’t have that language and will disband after today.

      Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:37:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so. You missed this part here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soccergrandmom, Willa Rogers

        What Durbin is seeing is that the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad, enthusiastically voted for this bill, and the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, voted against it because it wasn’t draconian enough. So next year’s budget will take a lot of these ideas, particularly on spending cuts, and the range of discussion will be center-right to far right. Durbin must think that by voting for this, he allows himself a seat at the table, the ability to weigh in on these matters that will inevitably be at the top of the nation’s agenda.

        But in actuality, it seems that Durbin’s vote just lends seriousness to a very unserious proposal, allowing insiders to say "Well, if Dick Durbin and Tom Coburn can get together and vote for it, there must be some merit there." It also pushes the report over to a bare majority, which was one of Harry Reid’s thresholds for giving the whole package a vote next year, although the other threshold, legislative language, seems unlikely considering that the panel doesn’t have that language and will disband after today.

        Basically, progressives are going to have a fight on their hands. They’re armed with several smarter proposals for how to deal with the long-term budget. But Durbin thinking that he helped the cause by voting for a patently absurd Catfood Commission report is just silly.

        They're still going to do deficit reduction after the lame-duck session. So, when are you going to wake the fuck up, Cedwyn?

        I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

        by slinkerwink on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:43:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i didn't miss anything (0+ / 0-)

          there is a difference between what someone thinks will happen and what will actually happen.  we have no evidence that conrad particularly wants anything.  and the house has a say in the budgetary process too.  

          yes; they're going to address deficit reduction.  are you saying they shouldn't?  going after the deficit doesn't mean they're adopting the deficit commission's proposals.  

          Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

          by Cedwyn on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 10:13:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The commissions never had any power to pass (0+ / 0-)

        legislation, all they did were lay the ground for it to officially come to the legislative branch. Paul Ryan has already stated he will be incorporating 85% of it in the Republican budget.

        Deny it all you wish, the situation is REAL and will be tackled. No nation or investors are going to loan America money to build up more debt. Get real! The job reports today will hasten the reality that America is competitively falling behind the global economy.

      •  The commission is dead! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn

        Long live the commission!

        Well,maybe not exactly.But certainly deficit reduction posturing will be all the rage in the next Congress.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 09:12:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  during the closing remarks this morning someone, (0+ / 0-)

      I do not recall who, pointed out that a vote is meaningless anyway because all the vote would do is to officially send it to the House and Senate for further debate. Paul Ryan, who voted against the report because it contains Obamacare which he wants to repeal, and is in charge next year of writing the Republican budget, stated that 85% of the contents of the report would be in in his budget. he was one of the chief architects of the Pledge to America which goes much further than this report.

      So if you are thumping your chests and crowing its dead you are ALL delusional especially those who are squawking there is NO deficit or debt problem. I guess you think Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Hungary etc. are all just playing monopoly?.

      You people have gone off the deep end. Very interesting watching lemmings actually just go over the cliff.

      This is the just the beginnign a a seriosu debate in the is nation and Simpson/Bowles have drawn the lien one end and Schakowlsky.Ster/ the other.

      Draconian measure will pass and austreity measures will take effect. In Europe they took to the streets, I doubt if the same will happen here, you all will just continue catrwaulign at DK thouigh, of that I have no doubt.

      Have a nice day.

    •  Heh. Chickenshits did not even take a vote on it. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Dick Durbin supports these ridiculous proposals (0+ / 0-)

    I just tried his Washington Office and Chicago office, which are apparently deluged with calls (no doubt from outraged constituents) and couldn't get through.  Finally reached his Springfield office, which couldn't even tell me  what his current position on the tax cuts for those about $250,000 is and how he planned to vote tomorrow.  Has the world gone fucking crazy?  I can't believe what I'm seeing.  

    •  A million (0+ / 0-)

      Schumer is offering an amendment to bring that number up to a million in income.

      So the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will live on, courtesy of your Democratic Senators.

      And they will tack the unemployment extension onto it so that they'll force Pelosi's hand in the House.  She'll be forced into a position of allowing the tax cuts for the wealthy (up to a million in income, and a million a year in income is wealthy in my book) or not get the unemployment extension.

      If I were Pelosi I'd refuse to bring it to the floor, and send the Senate a separate unemployment extension bill.

      Wait and see how they message this one.  The Democrats will claim that they've only passed tax cuts for the middle class, as if a million a year in income is middle class.  Bunch of f'ing liars.

  •  Simpson and Bowles (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Willa Rogers, We Won

    go home in disgrace.

    Unfortunately, I don't think this is the last that we'll hear of their proposals.  

    But the one good thing is that for now they are officially a failure.

    •  not so at all. There were 18 members, 11 voted (0+ / 0-)

      yes, 9 no, some of the no's were because it didn't go far enough. So under anyone maths that is a majority.

      They did the job they were supposed to do which was to force the country to start taking the debt seriously. Some here obviously have wool in their ear, or more likely sawdust in their brains.

      The commission has done its job now the music really starts and the deals begin.  So instead of howling its over, start planning your strategies to influence the eventual outcome. Today the real debate begins.

  •  So the apocolypse didn't happen? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    One of the things I find annoying and disappointing about the "outrage of the day" syndrome of the liberal blogosphere, is how much outrage is directed at things that never happened, based on the certainty that they will happen.

    For months we've been told that this commission would present a proposal gutting social security, that Obama would support it and that Congress would adopt it on an up or down vote.

    People actually said they were through with Obama because they just KNEW this would all come to pass.

    Well it didn't.  

    There were so many steps where this was going to fail.  The chairs were zealots and couldn't get a vote even from their own commission.  Even if they had, Obama wouldn't have supported it, and even if he had, it never would have gotten out of congress and would have been one more forgotten commission recommendation.

    Outrage over future events that are not likely to come to pass and that never actually come to pass is stupid, and simply weakens party morale.

    •  Fool (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan, Willa Rogers

      Do you think that all the push back had no effect?

      •  You think DK prevented this? (0+ / 0-)

        Hahahahahaha!

        Social security has always been called the third rail of US politics.  Congress was never going to adopt this.

        You think bitching on a web forum is "push back"?

        Hahahahahaha!  Hahahahahaha!  Hahahahahaha!

        Who's the fool here?

        •  You're a fool (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ivan

          While you were admiring your Shepard Fairey posters, there were many groups organizing against the Catfood Commission, not just here at dkos.  One of them was AARP.  This administration got blasted from all over the country about this.  But you didn't notice.  You were busy attacking them for not genuflecting deeply enough.

    •  While I think there is merit in what you (0+ / 0-)

      are saying,it would be foolish to think that Simpson or Pete Peterson saw this as just a useless exercise. No,they well understand that you skirmish,plant seeds,keep fighting and take the long range view.That is why Democrats and anyone who genuinely cares about the future of our republic educates themselves and pushes back.Hard.Everytime.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:32:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I put Peterson and Simpson in different groups (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        Peterson has been saying the same thing for 30 years, and it's not as reactionary as Simpson.  Peterson has been complaining about this since Reagan -- who he harshly criticized.  He once summarized the Reagan administration as "borrowing a trillion dollars and throwing a party."

        Peterson's thing is simply that rich people's social security should be taxed as ordinary income.  While I disagree with some of his proposals, I don't think he's out to gut social security.

        Simpson is a mean spirited bastard who has just gotten meaner as he's gotten senile.  He actually wants to gut SS.

        Peterson will keep at this till he dies and some of his ideas probably will get adopted.  The opposition to Peterson's ideas are mostly political and tactical -- namely, that if rich people get less in SS benefits, in the long run they won't support it.  Several of Peterson's proposals would not have any effect on the benefits of people who will rely on SS.

        Simpson will continue to push for evisceration, but this defeat is pretty stunning and hopefully will discredit him.

        •  Peterson's position is evolving,I'd say. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HamdenRice

          I remember him with Reagan,too.I also recall when all Peterson wanted was to means test Medicare.But now,he and that dog & pony show he's been funding makes me far more leary of his intent.Simpson,snake that he is,seemed to me a victim of his own ignorance of how information is shared these days."Lesser people" "gov't teat"...aw gee Alan, word came across the transom that you are a mean,elitist SOB not a folksy,breath of fresh air afterall.Buh-bye.  

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 08:58:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you think of the politics vs policy? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tardis10

            Here's the thing that bothers me about the orthodox progressive position, which is on display in all the cat food commission threads.

            On the one hand everyone says, "tax the rich," or in more sophisticated comments, we need progressive taxation.  We need to tax the last dollar of the wealthy at a higher rate than the first dollar or the dollars of the middle class.

            That should apply to all income -- wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains.

            But then, when it comes to SS, we say SS payments to the rich mustn't be taxed!!!

            It's an exception to our call for progressive taxation.

            The reason isn't policy (tax policy, or SS solvency policy), it's politics.  If SS is means tested (which I oppose) or subject to progressive tax (which I'm on the fence on), then the upper classes will see it as a policy for the middle class and poor and stop supporting it.

            So it's purely a political argument.

            But the rich are no longer supporting SS anyway, right?  So why not subject it to progressive taxation above a high income level?

            It seems we're being inconsistent on this.

            •  My favorite solution would be to lose the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HamdenRice

              cap & collect on all income.(& count cap gains/dividends as income) I would then raise the benefit ceiling (modestly) and the benefit floor (less modestly).Wish I could recall the %'s,I recognize I am being vague. Every hard wonky number I've seen that does this actually shows that the percentage we'd need to collect would decrease. Significantly. That means for all classes,it becomes less onerous.Easier to continue to support.Speaking for myself,I will never forget the first time I got a check where SS wasn't taken against the whole amount.I was thrilled but then felt it wasn't really fair.

              Now,yes,doing what I've outlined above is,in effect a kind of back door means testing (as it is now),but keeping SS as "we all pay in" and "we all get back" is vital,I think. Politically,socially. SS is one of those ideas that we have pretty much done right and I want it to continue forever.
              As for the taxation angle,SS benefits are taxed now.If your retirement income from all sources is high enough. http://www.ssa.gov/... That seems OK to me,too.Those of us who are more fortunate can afford it. (although I've still years to go to SS,maybe I'll be more grasping then?)

              "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

              by tardis10 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 10:11:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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