Among the amendments to be voted on tonight and Thursday as substitutes to the Ryan budget, the one adopted by House leadership, this is one to watch. The Very Serious people love this one, because it is "bipartisan" and because it invokes Simpson-Bowles, both things that send tingles up the collective leg of the VSP.
The "moderates" in the House of Representatives, austerity fetishists all, are playing Goldilocks. The Congressional Progressive Caucus's Budget for All is just too good to "all" of us, they can't have that. The Ryan budget, and those even to the right of it, are just a little too scary for some constituents. Somewhere there must be a just right, and they think they found it in a facsimile of the Catfood Commission co-chairs' recommendation.
The proposal by Reps. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., is modeled after a much-praised plan by the co-chairmen of President Barack Obama’s 2010 deficit-reduction commission. [...]Actually, the plan is much further to the right than even Simpson-Bowles, with much less revenue, less defense cutting and deeper domestic spending cuts. That's according to analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The bipartisan measure calls for $1.2 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade, curbs on rapidly growing federal health care programs, new cuts to agency budgets and cuts to other programs like farm subsidies and federal employee pensions. It broadly mirrors a plan conceived by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, the co-chairmen of Obama’s deficit commission.
It would raise $1 trillion less than Simpson-Bowles in tax hikes. Like the Ryan plan, it cuts far more deeply into discretionary domestic spending than last year's budget agreement ($800 billion more deeply) and $100 billion more than Simpson-Bowles. The cuts to defense programs are $200 billion less than Simpson-Bowles. So that means that cuts in non-security discretionary programs are more than $300 billion larger than the already deep cuts in these programs under Simpson-Bowles.
It won't pass, but here's the problem: "[T]he measure is regarded by many experts as a template for any budget plan that might ultimately pass into law, and it broadly resembles the core concepts discussed by Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 'grand bargain' talks on the budget last summer."
Here we go again with the Very Serious People, back to the idea that what's best for the nation is making sure the lower-income and middle-class damned well suffer, calling that "shared sacrifice."
Meanwhile, how about these Very Serious People put some bipartisan effort into creating some fucking jobs?