Those grown-ups are so bad at keeping secrets from us kids! But lookee here - I found a layaway receipt in Mom's purse for something called Lame Duck Austerity Surprise and on the back in pencil it says in little tiny letters Simpson-Bowles.
Even though it's supposed to be a surprise, they still can't stop themselves from leaving little hints all over the place. It's gonna be hard to act all astonished and all when they finally open up the big box under the tree and roll the video camera for our reaction.
Sorry, we're not going to Disney World.
But, we ARE going to our swell new bi-partisan theme park New Dickensia courtesy of Democrats and Republicans together giving us tickets on the Simpson Bowles Express. It'll be fun - we'll all get to re-enact the class divides of the Victorian and Gilded Ages and scrabble for jobs, food, shelter and medicine on below living wages with no safety nets.
Anyway, here just a few of the clues Daddy and Mommy (the "Adults") have been carelessly leaving around. All the articles are recent and just a tiny bit of the drumbeat being heard if you both watch and read what the media and the pols are pushing-
From Businessweek :
Simpson, Bowles,See Recession, Inflation Without Action
Simpson and Bowles are currently working with 47 senators of both parties and members of the House to reach an agreement on a new plan to improve the U.S. economy, Bowles said. An agreement is possible during the lame duck session following the November elections, he said.From WSJonline:
WSJ - Simpson-Bowles Comeback?
With President Obama's numbers sagging in the polls and Democrats needing a momentum booster, look for the White House to resurrect the 2011 Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission recommendations in the weeks ahead. That is where Senate Republicans are convinced Mr. Obama is headed—and it has them worried.From Huffington Post:
Eskow:December Surprise? From Rubin To Pelosi, Wall Street and DC Dems Push Post-Election Austerity
Pelosi and Durbin, along with Rubin and Dimon, are pushing a misguided austerity plan that's being planned as a "December surprise" for the American people. Anybody who cares about our economic security - or the future of the Democratic Party, for that matter - should be trying to stop them.From Columbia Journalism:
CJR: A Grand bargain on Entitlements? (Note: This entire article is filled with "smoke signals" from the likes of Mark Udall, Tom Brokaw, and others)
Pelosi never did directly answer what she thought Simpson-Bowles meant for Social Security and Medicare. She did engage in subtle beltway signaling, substituting buzzwords like “job creation,” “priorities,” and achieving a “balance,” all the while allowing her words to convey that the Dems who mattered were now on board to pass the Simpson-Bowles plan, a blueprint for deficit reduction crafted by a bipartisan commission appointed by the president in early 2010 to devise a plan for the deficit. The commission was headed by former Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Their plan did not receive the fourteen votes from the eighteen-member commission that were necessary for Congress to consider it. But it has since moved to the national agenda anyway.I could have excerpted quotes from dozens of other articles and editorials all seemingly coming together to push some version of Simpson-Bowles on the American electorate whether they like it or not.
My single biggest complaint about Simpson-Bowles is that, number one, it doesn't exist. There was never a report and recommendations agreed to by the requisite number of members of the commisssion. Simpson and Bowles themselves then took it upon themselves to draft their very own special version of what they thought the committee report should be.
Alan Simpson is a crank and an idiot who misinforms and misrepresents Social Security at every turn and is probably the LAST person Americans should be turning to for ideas about how to reform the system.
But aside from all that, we are not getting any type of the honest debate and information we should be getting from our politicians and our media. Americans know that they are not the cause of the financial melt-down and implosion but that they are asked over and over again to bear a disproportionate amount of the of the bill run up by our banking elites and paid for political minions. NeoLibs and Republicans unite to stick the lower, middle and working classes for the tab of a banquet where we ate nothing yet got stuck with the dirty dishes.
It is important to be very aware of the fact that the major tool being used by people who would like to shove austerity down our throats are insincere concerns about future generations of Americans. These shills and bloviators constantly refer to "our grandkids". In another diary, really more of a rant from a few days ago, I wrote that:
I really get pissed off at the very cynical ploy of the TPTB using the grandchildren as human shields while stripping their grandparents and parents of their assets, hopes and dignity under the rubric of "If we stick it to you, maybe their lives will suck less."
We all know that their lives will suck more, once we have finally dismantled the structures of the New Deal and the Great Society and replaced them with New Dickensia.
To end, I would like The Powers That Be, particularly the DEMOCRATIC Powers That Be, to note that I really would prefer a gift certificate for Christmas and not the Grand Bargain hiding under the bed waiting to be unveiled around the holidays. Sorry I peeked.