Fred Hiatt gives space to crazy old coot Alan Simpson on the op-ed page at WaPo for Simpson to do what he usually does, make stuff up about Social Security and Medicare, never mind the facts that by now he must be at least aware of.
To be sure, we are encouraged by the positive tone of the bipartisan negotiations being led by Vice President Biden. Those discussions have the potential to produce an agreement on a substantial down payment on deficit reduction. We expect that they will include a number of the recommendations of the president’s fiscal commission, which we chaired, and they can surely benefit from the work of the Gang of Six as well.
But even under the most optimistic scenario, it seems unlikely that those discussions will yield savings large enough to truly stabilize our debt, let alone make the structural reforms to our entitlement programs and tax code that we so desperately need. In short, the discussions could produce a significant step forward but will not be enough to get us to the promised land. As Chambliss has explained, that group is mostly focused on the debt-ceiling vote, while the gang has “always been more focused on the long-term issues, because [the Biden group is] not going to solve the $14 trillion debt.” Indeed, the senators have been meeting for months to develop legislation to implement and potentially improve upon our commission’s $4 trillion plan to bring the debt under control. Their discussions have been guided by the same spirit of compromise and shared sacrifice that led to the success of the commission.
That'd be the deficit commission Simpson and Erskine Bowles co-chaired, aka the catfood commission. The commission that failed. It commission did not have recommendations, the chairs did. Because they could not come to agreement on a proposal, there was only a report from Simpson and Bowles, and no commission recommendations. They didn't get the required votes for an actual set of recommendations. They didn't meet their deadline for providing those recommendations. They simply did not succeed.
Not that blatant truths will ever get in the way of the story that Simpson wants to tell. But it'd be nice if the entire Beltway didn't keep letting him pass his delusions off as reality.
(H/T Dean Baker)