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National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-Chairmen Alan Simpson (L) and Erskine Bowles (R) speak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The Village's slipperiest idiots, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
Well, isn't this nauseating?
WASHINGTON — Theirs is an improbable buddy act that is making for unlikely entertainment from campuses to corporations on a most serious subject: the federal debt. The proof of their appeal: some business groups pay them $40,000 each per appearance. Really. To discuss budgets and baselines.

Ladies and gentlemen, coming soon to your city or town (if they have not been there already, and maybe even if they have) are the latest odd couple of politics: the 67-year-old Democratic straight man, Erskine B. Bowles of Charlotte, N.C., and his corny 81-year-old, 6-foot-7 Republican sidekick, Alan K. Simpson of Cody, Wyo.

Since the perceived failure two years ago next week of the bipartisan fiscal commission they led for President Obama, they have been on the road, sometimes solo but often together, perfecting a sort of Off Broadway show that has kept their panel’s recommendations alive, and made them a little money as well.

That failure wasn't so much "perceived" as real. They failed to come up with a plan that the necessary majority of commissions members could agree to support. They also failed to come up with an actual, credible, specific plan. Their Medicare reforms didn't do anything more than the Affordable Care Act. They didn't have solid tax reform, just recommended lowering marginal tax rates for who knows what reason. They dragged Social Security—not a deficit contributor—into the mix unnecessarily, recommending raising the retirement age, again no good reason other than a deep commitment to punishing old people.

But that's not all there is in this glowing little tribute to the two from Times reporter, Jackie Calmes.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bowles and corporate executives he helped recruit to a “Fix the Debt” campaign met privately at the White House with six senior administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

The commission’s report “could have just been put into the dustbin,” said David M. Cote, the chief executive of Honeywell and a panel member. “Instead,” Mr. Cote added, “it’s become the basis for all of this discussion.”

It's the basis for all this discussion because Bowles, Simpson, Cote and a whole mess of extremely wealthy CEOs of massive companies have accumulated $60 million to create their Fix the Debt campaign, the campaign that would create a massive windfall for these CEOs by preserving their tax cuts and by providing even more corporate tax breaks. Oh, and they'll pay for it by slashing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Yeah, that part is left out of this glowing homage to these two characters, which has been the case for just about every piece of traditional media coverage of these two for the past two years. Because the Very Serious People want to believe that these to D.C. fixtures are Very Serious, too. But, as Paul Krugman reminds us, these "are the same people who told us that Paul Ryan was the answer to our fiscal prayers."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bowles supporting Ryan's budget... (8+ / 0-)

       

    "I’m telling you, this guy [Paul Ryan] is amazing. I always thought I was okay with arithmetic. This guy can run circles around me. He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by four trillion dollars," Erskine Bowles, Sept. 2011.
    Bowles and Simpson also supported several candidates during the election--in effect, purchasing congressmen who support their corporate plan, many lost.

    But the support of a teabagger in NH over a good progressive candidate took the cake.

    Fix the Debt using Frank Luntz. The campaign's website reveals that the Bowles-Simpson multi-million dollar promotion--supported by the Wall Streeters that drove the world economy over the cliff in 2007--are using Frank Luntz's analysis to prop up their propaganda. http://www.fixthedebt.org/....

    The President knows what Erskine Bowles said about him; backhandedly blaming the President for his catfood not passing out of committee.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:56:55 AM PST

    •  if progressives were smart they would be making (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7

      Bowles support of the Ryan budget front page news.

      "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

      by justmy2 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:28:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was the Democratic Leader who invited them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7

        ...to the world stage and legitimized them in the first place. And continues to do so.

        That is key information that should be part of the calculation in determining what is going on here and what the ultimate goals are.


        A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

        by Pluto on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:12:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Simply put, why are we engaging in an argument (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Icicle68, Pluto, Mage11an

          that says government is bad...spending is bad?
          Need more money after being ripped off for $16tn, get it from the takers.

          "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

          by smiley7 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:26:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly - take it back (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            We should look at much of the deficit post-W as money we didn't have being given to the 1% - who don't need it.  We should be casting the budget debates - especially revenue raising and debt / deficit fixing - as taking back what shouldn't have given out in the first place.

  •  There has to be something about SS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, aliasalias, DRo, Ralphdog

    that I'm missing. It has nothing to do with the debt or deficit, so why are so many Republicans so dead set against it. Privatizing was obviously an attempt to gain access to the trust fund for Wall st. but raising the retirement age makes no sense.

    Anyone have a clue?

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:04:04 PM PST

    •  They are attempting... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer, DRo

      ...to use this opportunity to destroy a signature Democratic achievement.  

      I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

      by boran2 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:50:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is only possible if Democrats are involved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sceptical observer

        and many are enemies of Social Security.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:07:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! WTF is that about?!? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, zaka1, deben, cybersaur, aliasalias

          We are used enough by now to thinking of Republicans as enemies of working people and any notion of social progressivism.  But Medicare and Social Security are landmark Democratic achievements, have been wildly popular since their inception, and comprise the basis of life itself for millions of senior citizens.  What on the EARTH are Obama, Durbin, and all these other Democrats thinking in their blind insistence on putting them on the chopping block?  

          These people are not just unrecognizable as progressives; they're unrecognizable as members of any Democratic Party I ever saw before they came on the scene.  How did this happen?  

      •  And prove the social safety net doesn't work. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sceptical observer

        They don't give up, and dems Are idiotic if they walk the plank for them.

        "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

        by justmy2 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:30:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This was just (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, rlochow, DSPS owl

        posted at HP:

        Obama administration proposal delivered Thursday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that offered to avert the fiscal cliff by raising $1.6 trillion in new taxes, in exchange for some $400 billion in cuts to entitlement programs to be negotiated next year.
        Cutting social programs is exactly what the Democratic party is offering.  For the life of me I can't see how these cuts are going to raise revenue to pay the debt.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:08:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Destroying SS has been Republican wet dream since (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer

      ...1936 when it was implemented.

      They know damn well it's been extremely successful at alleviating what had been horrific levels of poverty among elderly Americans, and as a result hamstrings their efforts to win all of the senior vote.

      That and their corporate masters loathe Social Security, and lay awake at night salivating at the prospect of that enormous revenue stream being diverted into the bowels of Goldman-Sachs.

    •  You mean it had nothing to do with the (0+ / 0-)

      deficit.  The income lost from the payroll tax "holiday" has to be made up out of the general fund.  Assuming that is allowed to expire then SS will no longer contribute to the defecit.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:32:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This just made my blood boil (6+ / 0-)

    This and another NYT article touting the perceived ok-ness of cutting out mortgaga deductions, stating that the real estate industry would oppose it mightily.  Again, it only matters what the large industries and corporations think and do about things, not how it affects the "little people".  They want to cut medical deduction, real estate deduction, everything that helps the non-rich get half a break in this very expensive world.  I'm sick and tired of it.  Oh, and yesterday saw a clip on Hardball, I think, of Dick Durbin saying "everything" must be on the table, absolutely "everything".  Why are we held hostage to "thinkers" like Paul Ryan, while true thinkers and experts like Paul Krugman are barely noted.  I have had it with this dog and pony show.

    •  Yes! A country EXISTS for its CITIZENS. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mage11an

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:19:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And a country is great BECAUSE of its citizens (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101

        It needs to be loudly pointed out whenever someone talks about American exceptionalism or American greatness that it was the efforts of all Americans that made us great.  To borrow from a post I saw elsewhere - The 1% aren't the cause of American greatness (or American prosperity) - they are the result of it.  They have simply figured out how to appropriate a larger and larger share of a pie that we all baked together.

  •  Nauseating, for sure. (0+ / 0-)
    business groups pay them $40,000 each per appearance
    And they want to cut SS that people live on.  Their guest appearances would pay three folks SS for a year!!!

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:41:45 PM PST

  •  Remember Dick Morris also worked for Clinton (0+ / 0-)

    Erskine Bowles became a very serious person because of what and why?  

  •  The Traveling Bowles Movement Road Show (8+ / 0-)

    stops by my place of work next Friday. I didn't realize we spent $40K of the company's money on the freak show. Not that we can't afford it, hell, it's probably a rounding error on the toilet paper budget, but it still galls me.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:45:17 PM PST

    •  You gonna go? (4+ / 0-)

      In your shoes, I'd have a question or two for Erskine and Al.  

      •  I only found out about it yesterday and have (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, Pluto, divineorder, deben

        a prior commitment with my family. I'd love to drop a bomb on him, like "Since Social Security doesn't contribute one penny to the debt why are there any plans to lower benefits?"

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:06:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They don't see social security that way. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101, ontheleftcoast, divineorder

          We have to borrow money to make those payments. That fund was never sequestered and no one has any plans to do so. In practice, SS revenues have been part of the general fund as long as anyone can remember.


          A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

          by Pluto on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:17:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We overpayed since 1984 and now they are keeping (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, zaka1

            our money.

            -- We are just regular people informed on issues

            by mike101 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:22:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'd whip out my pay stub and point to the line (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, zaka1, deben

            that shows a SEPARATE line for Social Security payments. "See, Mr. Bowles, right there -- a separate fund. You can call it flapjacks for all I care but it is NOT part of the budget deficit"

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:23:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can whip it out all you want. (0+ / 0-)

              The fact that it was co-mingled with the general fund lays down an historic foundation of wide-spread acceptance.

              That's how they see it -- and that's how the budget looks on paper.


              A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

              by Pluto on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:31:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm glad you explained this. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto

                I really had wondered what led Simpson-Bowles and their ilk to insist that Social Security was some sort of cost center.  And I absolutely believe you when you say this is how they see it.  

                But it's still a transparently bad, inadequate, disingenuous explanation.  Their only justification for it is Congress having historically played (and continuing to play) a dishonest accounting game with the fund.  Doubtless some people will be fooled by it -- but not everybody, and hopefully not a majority.  

          •  Who cares how they see it? You? Surely not.... :) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7, Pluto
            Sorry, Erskine, America Rejected Simpson-Bowles
            John Nichols on November 29, 2012 - 8:46 AM ET
            SNIP
            Before the November 6 election, Simpson and Bowles went out of their way to highlight the candidacies of politicians who supported their approach—New Hampshire Republican Congressman Charlie Bass, Rhode Island Republican US House candidate Brendan Doherty, Nebraska Democratic US Senate candidate Bob Kerrey. Bipartisan endorsements were made, statements were issued, headlines were grabbed and…

            The Simpson-Bowles candidates all lost.

            Americans are smart enough to recognize that Simpson-Bowles would stall growth. And they share the entirely rational view of economists like Paul Krugman.

            “Simpson-Bowles is terrible,” argues Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner for his economic scholarship. “It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important. It offers nothing on Medicare that isn’t already in the Affordable Care Act. And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen—completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated, while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.”

            On election night, Peter D. Hart Research Associates surveyed Americans with regard to key proposals from the commission. The reaction was uniformly negative.

            By a 73-18 margin, those polled said that protecting Medicare and Social Security from benefit cuts is more important than bringing down the deficit.

            By a 62-33 margin, the voters who were surveyed said that making the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes is more important than reducing tax rates across the board (62 percent to 33 percent).

            But that’s just the beginning of an outline of opposition to the Simpson-Bowles approach.

            To wit:

            SNIP

            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

            by divineorder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:27:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If we are talking reality here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              ...the Simpson Bowels Report was never rejected by anyone who mattered. Just before it came out, I wrote a piece entitled "The United States of Austerity." It was an analysis of the inevitable -- not because of ideology but because of economic reckoning.

              The US is hanging on by the fingernails to the petro dollar. That really is the bottomline. We'll throw anything or anyone down that black hole to make sure oil is priced in dollars. That is all we got left on the world stage that makes us a player. If you think it all the way through to the end, you'll come to the same conslusion.


              A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

              by Pluto on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:39:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  calmes (3+ / 0-)

    is such a joke.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:46:54 PM PST

  •  Idiots? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, chuckvw

    $40K an hour and free dinner.

  •  Putting the vulnerable at risk is wrong solution (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, tikkun, chuckvw, Pluto

    Putting the most vulnerable people at risk is the wrong response to the fiscal situation.  These, and other  proposed cuts, will cost jobs.  
    Democratic Socialists of America (www.dsausa.org) argue
    We should  reject the “fiscal cliff” hysteria of the corporate establishment and the pressure for a “Grand Bargain” that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. While unemployment remains high and economic growth slow, the government should not impose austerity measures that reduce essential programs that benefit the middle and working classes and that further shred the safety net for the most vulnerable. Rather, government policy should prioritize investments in job creation, public education and healthcare reform, while raising essential revenues by taxing the large corporations and wealthiest citizens who can afford to pay…

    We should oppose the notion that some “unified” fiscal cliff must be addressed in the lame-duck session of Congress. It is in fact a “fiscal obstacle course” that Congress should address without panic early in 2013, while heeding the election results. A progressive solution would include restoring all automatic domestic cuts, while making more strategic and deeper cuts in defense procurement spending. The revenue for expanding domestic social welfare spending can be raised by ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and corporate tax-giveaways, while instituting a modest financial transaction tax on stock and bond transactions

  •  UMMM -- not seeing any of Simpson-Bowles (0+ / 0-)

    in President Obama's proposal to the Republicans . .

  •  Breaking, if individuals contribute to the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, chuckvw

    Fix the Debt Campaign, they get a new refrigerator and long-lasting life with paved gold streets and ....and.....and.....hum...virgins? :)

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:55:41 PM PST

  •  Why do we keep hearing about the Bowles Simpson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OjaiValleyCali

    Commission report as if such a thing actually exists? There was NO report. The commission's guidelines required any report to be signed by at least 14 of the 18 members. All we're getting is the cockamamy opinions of two old coots.  Because they fail to mention that little fact, they fail to meet any definition for intellectual integrity I've ever heard or read.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:58:28 PM PST

    •  Forgive me, the following post will take space, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, divineorder, Russron, Mage11an

      but it answers your question...

      The Campaign to Fix the Debt
      CEO Fiscal Leadership Council

      Bill Ackman, Founder & CEO, Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P.
      Samuel R. Allen, Chairman & CEO, Deere & Company
      Richard Anderson, Chief Executive Office, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
      Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corp.
      Doug Bergeron, CEO, VeriFone Systems, Inc.
      Mark Bertolini, Chairman, CEO & President, Aetna, Inc.
      Leon Black, Chairman & CEO, Apollo Global Management, LLC
      Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
      Glenn Britt, Chairman & CEO, Time Warner Cable Inc.
      Greg Brown, Chairman & CEO, Motorola Solutions, Inc.
      Nicholas Calio, President & CEO, Airlines for America
      Russell Carson, Co-Founder & Gen. Partner, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe
      Marc Casper, President & CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
      John Chambers, Chairman, President & CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.
      David Cote, Chairman & CEO, Honeywell International Inc.
      Alexander Cutler, Chairman & CEO, Eaton Corp.
      Richard Daly, CEO, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
      D. Scott Davis, Chairman & CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc.
      Steven A. Denning, Chairman, General Atlantic, LLC
      Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
      Scott Donnelly, Chairman, President & CEO, Textron Inc.
      Craig Duchossois, CEO, The Duchossois Group, Inc.
      Brian Duperreault, President & CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
      Larry D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock, Inc.
      Martin L. Flanagan, President & CEO, Invesco Ltd.
      James Frank, President & CEO, Wheels, Inc.
      Kenneth Frazier, Chairman, President & CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.
      Paul Fribourg, Chairman, President & CEO, Continental Grain Company
      Daniel Fulton, President & CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company
      Robert Gasser, President & CEO, Investment Technology Group, Inc.
      Donald Gogel, Chairman & CEO, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC
      Evan Greenberg, Chairman, President & CEO, ACE Limited

      CEO Fiscal Leadership Council (continued)
      Robert Greifeld, CEO, The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc.
      Kirk Hachigian, Chairman, President & CEO, Cooper Industries, plc
      Ken Hicks, CEO, Foot Locker, Inc.
      Glenn Hutchins, Co-Founder, Silver Lake
      Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric Company
      John Ingram, Chairman & CEO, Ingram Content Group, Inc.
      Dr. Paul Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, Qualcomm Inc.
      Thomas M. Joyce, Chairman & CEO, Knight Capital Group, Inc.
      Mel Karmazin, CEO, Sirius XM Radio Inc.
      Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman, President & CEO, Executive Council, Alcoa Inc.
      Jack Leslie, Jr., Chairman, Weber Shandwick Worldwide
      Robin Lineberger, CEO, Deloitte Federal Government Services
      Andrew Liveris, Chairman, President & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company
      Gary Loveman, Chairman, President & CEO, Caesars Entertainment Corp.
      Eugene Ludwig, Founder & CEO, Promontory Financial Group
      Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President & CEO, Macy's, Inc.
      Frederick C. Maynard, III, Managing Director, HarbourVest Partners, LLC
      Lowell McAdam, Chairman & CEO, Verizon Communications Inc.
      Michael McCallister, Chairman & CEO, Humana Inc.
      William McCracken, Chief Executive Officer, CA Technologies, Inc.
      John McGlade, Chairman, President & CEO, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
      W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President & CEO, The Boeing Company
      Thomas L. Monahan, III, Chairman & CEO, The Corporate Executive Board Company
      Robert Moritz, Chairman & Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
      Brian T. Moynihan, President & CEO, Bank of America Corporation
      Duncan L. Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext
      Douglas Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc.
      Joe Payne, Chairman & CEO, Eloqua
      George Paz, Chairman, President & CEO, Express Scripts, Inc.
      Joseph Plumeri, II, Chairman & CEO, Willis Group Holdings plc
      Thomas J. Quinlan III, President & CEO, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company
      Walter Rakowich, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Prologis, Inc.

      CEO Fiscal Leadership Council (continued)
      W. Russell Ramsey, Chairman, President & CEO, Ramsey Asset Management
      James Robinson, III, Founding General Partner, RRE Investors, LLC
      Brian Rogers, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer, T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
      Tom Rogers, CEO & President, TiVo, Inc.
      Steven Roth, Chairman, Vornado Realty Trust
      Edward Rust, Jr., Chairman, President & CEO, State Farm Mutual
      Gregg M. Sherrill, Chairman & CEO, Tenneco, Inc.
      Arne M. Sorenson, President & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
      Jerry Speyer, Chairman & Co-CEO, Tishman Speyer
      Paul Stebbins, Executive Chairman, World Fuel Services Corporation
      Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO, AT&T Inc.
      Linda Stewart, President & CEO, Interaction Associates
      Thomas F. Steyer, Founder & Senior Managing Member, Farallon Capital Mgmt., LLC
      Andrew Tisch, Co-Chairman of the Board, Loews Corp.
      James Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Corp.
      Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
      Mark Walsh, Chairman & CEO, GeniusRocket
      Gregory Wasson, President & CEO, Walgreen Co.
      Wendell Weeks, Chairman & CEO, Corning Inc.
      Michael White, Chairman, President & CEO, DIRECTV
      Robert Wilmers, Chairman & CEO, M&T Bank
      Thomas Wilson, Chairman, President & CEO, The Allstate Corporation
      Kathy Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City

      Corporate Members
      UnitedHealth Group
      Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
      Business Leaders Council
      Lee Sanford Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital Ltd.
      Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital
      David Belluck, General Partner, Riverside Partners, LLC
      Peter Beshar, Executive Vice President & Gen. Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
      Andy Bluhm, Founder & Principal, Delaware Street Capital, LLC
      Ted Buerger, Chairman, AmericanTowns.com, LLC
      John Burbank, Founder & CIO, Passport Capital, LLC
      Bob Cummings, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan
      Boykin Curry, Managing Director, Eagle Capital Management, LL
      Timothy Fisher, Senior Vice President & Director, The Hillman Company
      David Gasson, Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications, Boston Capital
      Donald Graham, Founder, The Graham Group
      Bruce Heyman, Managing Director, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
      Philip Howard, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
      David Knowlton, Managing Partner, Three Ocean Partners, LLC
      Nancy Maffucci, Executive Vice President of Global Communications, Wunderman
      R. Tim McNamar, President, E-Certus Software, Inc.
      Lenny Mendonca, Director, McKinsey & Company
      Allen Parker, Deputy Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
      Chris Pinney, Senior Vice President, Alliance for Business Leaders
      Bob Pozen, Former Chairman, MFS Investment Management
      Brenda Gray Reny, Chief Operating Officer & Managing Director, Daintree Advisors
      Roger Sant, Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus, The AES Corporation
      Ivan Seidenberg, Former Chairman, Verizon Communications, Inc.
      Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corp.
      Bill Staton, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Staton Financial Advisors, LLC
      Stuart Match Suna, President, Silvercup Studios
      David Thomas, Managing Partner, Court Square Capital Partners
      Michael B. Wisenbaker, President, Peregrine Group
      Gary Wilson, General Partner, Manhattan Pacific Partners

      FOUNDERS
      ERSKINE BOWLES
      AL SIMPSON
      CHAIRMEN
      JUDD GREGG
      EDWARD RENDELL
      STEERING COMMITTEE
      PHIL BREDESEN
      DAVID COTE
      PETE DOMENICI
      VIC FAZIO
      JAMES B. LEE, JR.
      JIM MCCRERY
      SAM NUNN
      JIM NUSSLE
      MICHAEL PETERSON
      STEVEN RATTNER
      ALICE RIVLIN
      ROBERT ZOELLICK

       Didn't we just spend 16 Trillion dollars bailing these chieftains out?

      That's $16 Trillion

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:07:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shhh... faux fiscal crisis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, divineorder, RJDixon74135

      is a land of pretty, magical cash points for the 1%. Congressional and administration pixies love these two grand wizards who can turn our hard earned money into swiss finishing schools, 20,000 square foot pied a terres and horse stables... and still have enough to sprinkle platinum dust on Village revolving doors!



      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:11:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find it very hard to be able to forgive Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, chuckvw, Russron

    giving these failures a forum.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:05:07 PM PST

  •  The con job here is such abiding emphasis on ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MufsMom, chuckvw, ferg, mike101, OjaiValleyCali

    ... the deficit and debt, the nation's No. 1 priority according to the Simpson/Bowles band of Unhappy Accountants.

    Yes, we do have a problem with growing Federal debt. And Yes, we should address it in a responsible way. That is, in a more responsible way than those who created it in the first place (unfunded wars, a pharma giveaway and unwarranted tax cuts, followed by sleeping at the switch of regulation of the financial industry).

    But the deficit and debt are at least fourth tier priorities. First is restoring economic growth. Second is domestic jobs, with infrastructure as a fine way to start. (We don't have to call it stimulus. It's economy-buttressing and, after all, potholes and weakening bridges affect Rolls Royces as much as Fords.) Third is protecting and securing our safety nets, including implementing Obamacare and working on Medicare funding (which also addresses some deficit issues), not all of which have to be done in the next year or two. Fourth ... cuts in the military budget (let's vow to not call it the "defense budget") and domestic spending, beginning with thorough program analysis rather than across-the-board slashing.

    (N.b. Tax reform is not on my list. On the other hand, if the GOP wants to do it, let 'em try to fashion a set of reforms that will stick through a vote on the House floor. "You first, Gaston." Then, we'll see what they've produced and how much revenue tax reform actually delivers to address what the GOP has said is its No. 1 priority ... the deficit/debt! What?, you ask, doesn't the GOP want tax reform to be revenue neutral? Yes, I answer, but why? Why should it be if the deficit and debt is such an overarching problem?)

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

    by TRPChicago on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:07:35 PM PST

  •  The fix is already in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    we are about to get stiffed.

  •  If it was Bowless Simpson = B.S. (0+ / 0-)

    They intentionally called it Simpson Bowles, as calling it Bowles Simpson would have forced everyone to accept that it's Bull Shit!

  •  The other commission report (0+ / 0-)

    As the S-B commission members couldn't agree on a report, Bowles and Simpson issued their recommendations as individuals.

    There was another individual deficit reduction plan from a commission member. You'll find it here.

    Funny how this one never gets mentioned in news stories, isn't it?

    Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

    by John Q on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:05:55 PM PST

  •  fuck simpson bowles (0+ / 0-)

    they are history.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:25:30 AM PST

  •  Right wing lie, picked up by "liberals" (0+ / 0-)
    In blindly embracing, say, the teachers’ union in the face of overwhelming evidence that public education needs a jolt
    The jolt has been more like electrocution.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:22:02 AM PST

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