Simpson-Bowles are at it again!
Today, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles will put out a new deficit-reduction plan. The pair served on President Obama's fiscal commission in 2010, and presented a plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff – a plan that was so focused on austerity, that 350 economists co-wrote and published a letter rejecting it. And Simpson-Bowles are at it again.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new plan will aim to reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion over 10 years, and include $600 billion in spending cuts to programs like Medicare and Medicaid. That's $200 billion more cuts than Obama said he's willing to accept in any plan. When Simpson-Bowles released their original plan, The AFL-CIO said “there's nothing 'fair and balanced' about the Simpson-Bowles budget plan...” and that it would, “ultimately increase unemployment, cut Social Security, tax workers' health benefits and scapegoat federal employees while giving more tax breaks for sending jobs overseas.”
This new plan is likely just a carbon copy of the first, and it's exactly the opposite of what we need to do to fix our economy, and grow the middle class. President Obama acknowledged this during his State of the Union speech saying, “we can't cut our way to prosperity.” That's right. Because no nation, in the history of the world, has ever cut its way to prosperity. And we shouldn't even worry about deficits at a time our economy is still struggling.
Stop the Republican austerity. Call Congress today and tell them to reject the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan.
what's wrong with these people. we need to create jobs that will improve our infrastructre. How about jobs for roads, bridges, railroads, electric grid, etc.
Once again, the White House lacks leadership and voice on this Country's budget issues. Great Britain going through a double-dip recession, Spain and Greece have shown that austerity policies will not get the job done. People tout Simpson Bowles as a solution when it is a hodge-podge of cuts and offers no solutions. We don't have a spending problem - we have a revenue problem. I agree that programs should always be evaluated for effectiveness - just as weapon systems should be and be eliminated if it is not the best way to spend tax payer dollars. But if, corporatations want to be people they can pay the 28% tax rate like the rest of the Middle Class.
These two old men are pitiful. They should join Romney in the old politicians' home.
Just for the irony, I think you will actually agree with me when I say we have a spending problem not a revenue problem. We need to spend more and the revenue will take care of itself. Of course to make it effective we need tariffs, enforcement of the anti-trust laws, stop issuing of waivers to the buy American Act of 1936, reduction of H1NB visas etc
I think it is clear America has a spending problem. You just borrowed 6 trillion dollars from China. Where did it go? There is just as many people out of work now as there was when Obama was elected. Well at least there is a lot more Chevy Volts driving around. Well OK a couple.
The current version of Austerity is the most ridiculous concept the Plutocrats have ever proposed to be used against We the People, since the words, "Let them eat cake!" were uttered by a fool.
Here's an Austerity plan that would work! Budget cuts? Sure! This is what you cut:
1. Military Defense Spending. Bring all of our troops home and close every foreign base in the world. Reopen all closed domestic bases and station all the troops in or near their home town. End all military contractor spending. Cut the Pentagon budget by 80% and insist that any defense spending buys only American parts and services. Mandate that American solders are stationed only in American cities, so that their paychecks get spent in American businesses only.
2. End the War on Drugs and release from Prison all non-violent offenders. Disband the DEA, and retrain and permanently layoff the vast majority of Prison guards. Turn the empty prison space into classrooms for guard retraining and homeless shelters.
3. Medicare for All. Use the vast surplus from the first two actions to pass Single-Payer Health Care. Re-institute publicly funded Mental Institutions, Hospitals, and Clinics. Expand Medicare to cover every citizen, and raise Social Security benefits to a decent living wage.
4. End Free Trade. Tax imports and use the revenue to stimulate domestic small business's with federal loans.
5. Campaign Finance Reform. End the billions of dollars squandered in buying elections by limiting campaign finance to only publicly available funds. Place all candidates on a level playing field and sponsor televised public debates where candidates have to answer random questions over the telephone from random citizens instead of a sponsored monitor. Demand non scripted debates.
6. EDUCATION! Demand that every surplus dollar that is left over after this sweeping Austerity proposal--and there will be trillions of them--be earmarked for EDUCATION ONLY!! Make sweeping reform to Education that increases Teachers salaries and benefits to attract only the best and most talented individuals to the job. Pay the Teachers the same salary that are currently payed to the most talented defense contractors. DEMAND IT!!
That's a plan for Austerity that will work!
Polls repeatedly show that 7 out of 10 citizens are against all so called entitlement cuts. The same numbers are in favor of lifting the cap on Social Security. Ditto for increasing taxes on the super rich to reduce the deficit. I don't know how Simpson and Bowles view democracy or their role in trying to be economic advisors in a Democracy, but I do know their plan represents egocentric austerity politics favored by a slim minority at best. In other words, a complete waste of time and money.
Of course not giving the slightest damn about what we the vast majority want, Boehner recently made the comment that debate about closing tax loopholes for the super rich is now off the table. This tells me that Sake soaked Kamikaze Boehner is getting ready to climb into his sequestered Zero and fly it directly into our economic recovery. This also tells me that the war is just about over and reconstruction of the Republican Party won't be necessary. There will not be anything left to reconstruct!
DAnnMarc: I'm in agreement with your plan, but might I add number #7, a massive public works program aimed at the creation of a national green energy grid, and with this we can phase out the Kochs! We're paying for their political contributions spending at the gas pumps right now.
Ahh! 2950-10k You took the words right out of my mouth. Here's
#7. Green Energy Grid. A public works program. Here's my proposal!
The real solution to climate change and energy is HEMP.
Marijuana Prohibition Harms The Environment!
FOR ECOLOGY, PEACE, AND FREEDOM!
HEMP FOR ECOLOGY: Hemp is a soil building plant that is excellent in crop rotation and unlike cotton and corn, does not require heavy fertilization or pesticide use. It grows in any season, in any soil or weather condition, in all fifty states, and its only enemy is the United States Government. In fact, an organic pesticide spray is derived from the plant.
HEMP FOR PAPER: Hemp saves forests. In a 20 year period, one acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 4.1 acres of forest. Paper made from hemp lasts many times longer than that made of wood pulp, without deteriorating. It does not require dangerous chemicals like wood, and has been called the "archivist's perfect paper"
HEMP FOR HEALTH: Hundreds of medical uses of Hemp include treating back pain, asthma, emphysema, glaucoma, epilepsy, cancer, nausea, insomnia, muscle spasms, migraines, tumors, stress, depression, dementia, senility, and anorexia. It is an antibiotic, and expectorant, useful in muscle ointments and to treat arthritis and rheumatism.
HEMP FOR CLOTHING: Fabrics made from hemp are warmer, softer, stronger, more water absorbent and last 26 times longer than cotton.
HEMP FOR HOUSING: Hemp could be pressed into pressed board, particle board, concrete construction molds, paneling, and plywood, with a process developed by Mansion Industries called Environcore. This material is cheap, fire resistant and has excellent thermal and sound insulating properties. Homes can be carpeted with Hemp rot resistant carpet backing (free of poisonous chemicals, plumbed with plastic PVC plumbing pipe, and wired with plastic wire insulation. We could envision a future with no homeless people, and plentiful affordable housing for all.
HEMP FOR FUEL: Hemp is the perfect natural substitute for petroleum. Hemp herds are 77% cellulose and its per-acre output of biomass fuel is about 10 times more than corn, the next best source of fuel on the planet. We could replace nuclear energy and fossil fuel, without any offshore drilling or risk of oil spills, by using Hemp biomass that has been processed with a pyrolytic converter to make charcoal, methanol, methane gas, and gasoline. In turn, any of these can be burned to generate electricity.When fuel burns, it produces CO2 (the cause of the Greenhouse Effect); but, during the growth cycle of a plant, photosynthesis produces oxygen and removes CO2 from the air. Hemp, unlike fossil fuels, actually cleans the atmosphere. Equally important, it does not contain sulfur, the major cause of acid rain.
HEMP INSTEAD OF PLASTIC: The stems of the hemp plant offer a completely biodegradable alternative to plastic and can be made into either regular or "biodegradable" plastic.
OIL IS OBSOLETE
NO WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Good luck on getting anything getting passed in Washington that even has the remote smell of Marijuana in it. I am not saying you are advocating Marijuana, it is just the idiots in Washington will never agree on any solution that might give the idea they are for Hemp in any form, since it is associated with Marijuana in the little minds of the public on the right and on the left.
Kend - It is clear you being a Canadian and a Conservative, you will continue to take cheap shots at the present President and the Democrats in Washington or in any other place they may hold office, without any sustenance or real solution. As far as raising revenue, the President and the Democrats in Washington accepted an extremely low tax increase on Capital Gains and allowed the 2% deduction on the payroll tax to end, and they played right into the hands of the wealthy Americans who own the Conservative Republicans in Washington and all the State Governments around the country. Either they, the President and the Democrats knew accepting this position would finish any real chance to raise revenues in the near future, at least while the Republican Puppets run the House or they (Obama and the Democrats) were just plain ignorant to settle the taxation debate before resolving the other cuts that Sequestration would bring or they were just outsmarted by the Republicans. Obama and the Democrats knew once they agreed on this agreement to only raise the Taxes on the Wealthiest by only 5% on the earnings from Capital Gains they would no longer have any leverage to deal with the Republican Puppets who want cuts to the deficit by destroying social programs like Obama Care, Medicare, Medicaid and other needed programs that help the elderly, poor and disabled citizens. Rep. Boehner stated today that the raising revenues had already been settled and it was time to talk about cuts to social programs. I noticed he and his cohorts had been busy making the rounds on the news circuit to lobby Americans that cuts to Military Programs was not the right thing to do for America and our security. So basically the Republicans and the Wealthy have been given the gift they have been trying to get from Washington, which are cuts to Social Programs. Either both Obama and the Democrats are completely incompetent in their dealings with the Conservatives or they wanted the cuts all along, but were afraid if they agreed to give into the Right their base would desert them in the 2014 elections. I believe it was the latter of the two and Obama has sold out his supporters once again. Not a big surprise from a guy who acts more like a Republican in his policies than the Republicans do! So all the noise about Simpson and Bowles is not even worth discussing, the whole deal has been done in Washington and the Republicans know they can just sit back and let the cuts happen or the President and the Democrats will cave in again, like they did on the issue of raising revenue by increasing the taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which the Republicans cry they already did by the Large 5% increase on Capital Gains. And unfortunately\the real game is over and the Republicans have won, due to a spineless President and his cohorts in the Democrat Party. The only question left is how far Obama and the Democrats will go when they start scraping the social programs they swore they would never allow to be cut. My guess the President and the Democrats will give the whole social platform away and come up with a deal to save the Military Industrial Complex and all those millions they will get in the form of political donations from their masters that run Washington and the Military...Again the Republicans and their wealthy masters have won and again the American People will be held in a state of ransom, while Obama gives it all away during his second term. What a joke Washington has become, they do not even bother to hide their disdain and contempt for the middle class and the poor in our country, because they know we are now powerless to do anything about what is happening in the Capital of our Country. I just wish Hartmann would at least give a little effort when it comes to his blog; it is the same old story over and over again. And for those who feel it is important to keep ranting about a lost cause, you are truly in denial of what has happened and what will happen in this country of ours.
Ken Ware Wrote:
"Either both Obama and the Democrats are completely incompetent in their dealings with the Conservatives or they wanted the cuts all along, but were afraid if they agreed to give into the Right their base would desert them in the 2014 elections. "
I wish I could argue with you. Unfortunately, I have drawn the same conclusions myself. I pray you and I are wrong.
BTW. Good to have you back Ken.
DAnneMarc -- You must have missed Thom's discussion of the Value Added Tax. There have been other discussions of it in the media lately. I had heard of it in college (in the early 80s) so it's been around for a long time. The more it is discussed, the more awareness will be raised.
DeAnneMarc - How do you like the idea of our children speaking Chinese as a first language in 25 years? There are legitimate enemies out there that you seem to overlook by suggesting we close all our bases around the World. We need to re-evaluate our military not destroy it. We need to invest more in our internet technology capabilities in the military and as a nation and reduce the spending on hardware. With the exception of ending the war on Hard Drugs, I believe you are voicing what most Americans have been calling for. Even Obama could not get a single payer health care program through and he had the Senate and the House for the first two years in office or he did not want to. With the cuts to Medicare, many doctors in California have had second thoughts about accepting new patients, especially those in medical fields that are specialists. I have friends and relatives that use Medicare and have had conversations with their doctors that are Specialists in specific fields and the feedback they get is not looking good for older Americans that are retired and require the services of these doctors such as Orthopedists. Urologists and the alike that treat ailments that affect older (and young) people as our population of retired baby boomers grows year by year. So be careful what you wish for, the Affordable Healthcare Act is also having problems and issues since Obama was not able to correct the "Bugs" in his bill that he said he would correct in his second term. And since the Republicans own the House those corrections never took place. Here in California (and I know you are also are a Californian) the Insurance Companies have been able to raise the premiums on many policies by as much as 20%, because of loop holes that were not corrected by the Obama Administration and the Dem.'s in Washington. But, I do agree we need a good National Health Care Act that is not flawed like the one Obama pushed through by a squeak. We all have a wish list to fix the woes of our country and her citizens...Have a good evening and a great day tomorrow.
Good points Ken.
Except for Military cuts. Our grotesquely opulent defense budget has done nothing to stop our dependence on Chinese loans or products. In fact, it gets progressively worse as we expand our military presence in foreign countries. Military spending does nothing to enhance the security of the United States. Quite the opposite. It must go!
Other than that little detail we are in total agreement. You too have a great evening and tomorrow. We will all need our strength tomorrow! Take care!
Smoke and Mirrors: Obama DOE Fracked Gas Export Study Contractor's Tobacco Industry Roots
DAnneMarc - The Pentagon and the White House have recognized a real threat to our way of life and that threat is China. They are presently shifting resources to the China Sea, Korea, Japan and Australia. The threat that the Cold War posed has faded into history, but it has been replaced by another Communist threat, China. We like to see China as a trading partner who provides cheap goods (at the cost to the American Worker) and buys our Treasury Notes. They realize that their economy and financial stability is dependent on our buying their goods, thus this has made them a Super Power economically and as a military power. But do not be deceived by their facade, they are still a nation that has plans of domination of their region. We have signed treaties with all the above named nations and we are obligated to respond militarily if they should infringe on the sovereignty of our allies. A non-nuclear confrontation with China is still a scenario that Washington and the Pentagon have prepared war plans for, in the event it is necessary to defend those we have signed military treaties with us and would defend them if needed. China and Japan have come close to a confrontation over the Islands the Japanese and Chinese both claim as their own. The only reason I bring this up is I believe we can cut some of our military expenses, but we need to be ready for war if we are called on to do so. One thing history has taught us, is no matter how unthinkable war might be, we can never rely on the opposing force to think in a like manner, therefore we must be ready to defend ourselves and our allies in every conceivable scenario of war. We thought it would be insane for Germany and the Nazi's to attack all of Europe one piece at a time, but they did it. We thought the Japanese would never attack us, but they attacked us and we were not ready. Let’s just hope for peace and hold out a hand of friendship, while always holding a hammer of war in the other, in order to protect and defend our way of life. No matter how bad we perceive Washington to be, the rule of another nation would be much worse. I have seen War and it is ugly and should be avoided if at all possible. But to be unprepared for War would be even worse. Therefore I believe we can cut our military spending to a reasonable cost, but we should never cripple our ability to defend ourselves and our allies in all theaters of the World. The time has long passed where we can see our physical boundaries as the only place we have to defend from an enemy that sees no boundaries, like China and North Korea. I am not making them the Boogey Man that we have to fear to keep our military strong, we need a strong military so no other country perceives us as a weakened country and might make the mistake of pushing us or our allies to the brink of having to fight a non-nuclear or conventional war against them. Leaders in the past have made such a mistake and it led to two World Wars and hundreds of millions of lives were lost, not to mention the undeclared wars we have fought in. We too have made the mistake of thinking our military strength would prevail and we wasted many lives on both sides. Hopefully we have learned our lesson concerning war, but we can never allow another country to think they could defeat us or our ability and willingness to wage war if needed. Also, I think it is time Europe started spending more of their resources to protect Europe and we spent much less. We have already closed 2/3 of the bases that were operational during the Cold War, and we should also expect countries like Japan and South Korea to finance more of the military costs we are paying for at the present time. We can agree to disagree.
Ken Ware- As I've said many times: if the Almighty American Empire weren't such a bully on the world stage, we wouldn't have all these "legitimate enemies".
As to the subject at hand, Simpson-Bowles is a tragic farce. As always, the Teapublicans are hell-bent on making us small fry pick up the tab for their gluttonous excesses, militarily and otherwise. And Thom, you bet I'll call my senators tomorrow, and urge them to vote against it! For what it's worth... - Alice I.W.
Using the CPI Infiltrator calculator program on the Internet and the estimated cost of the Depression years from 1934 to 1942 when the effect of WW II indebtedness became appreciable, the estimated cost of the Great Depression is estimated at $57B., Inflating this to 2012 means that the Great Depression calculates to $802.87 B or comparable to the cost of TARP. You may want to use different estimates.
Using the same technique on the estimated cost of WW II debt in 1945 of $386 B. and the same CPI Calculator. the WW II indebtedness today would be $5.045317 T which is less than the cost of the two off-budget of the Bush wars. You may want to use different estimates.
My reading of the US Constitution does not require the President or the Administration to submit to Congress an annual proposed budget. It is good business practices but has no bearing on Congresses Constitutional mandate to appropriate funds to be paid by the Administration. Any debt contracted by the US is therefore a requirement of the Administration to float loans (issue bonds or warrants) when Congress has not created tax revenues to pay their appropriations. Since the Constitution mandates that appropriation shall pay obligations of the US Government, The Administration does not establish the debt, Congress does.
With regard to the confirmation of officers of the Administration by the Senate, in cases where the Senate has "gone on vacation", the president should use the provision of Article 2, section 3 of the Constitution to convene the Senate to act on necessary business of Government. If a quorum of the Senate does not appear, the president should declare that the Senate has effectively recessed and therefor he may, under Article 2 section 2 , appoint the required officers of Government.
Another Soldier, Another Sucker.
War begot War begot War begot...Would you agree with this KEN WARE???
You Ken are certainly well versed in the game (strategy) but in the end war will be the demise of everyone. War has already killed hundreds of millions just in our life time...Not just soldiers, but innocent people, whoes lives are underminded as "collateral damage", and then further insultes us through ill generalizations, such as "the ends justify the means". BULLSHIT!
Howard Zinn (a WWII Bombadire Pilot, American History Teacher, and Author) hit the nail on the head when he wrote in his book "Passionate Declorations; essays on war and justice" about how war does not create or protect freedom; it actual raises contempt and fuels the seeds of future wars. He went on to say how stopping Hitler was the right thing to do but questions the "excessive" bombing raids of the U.S. Raids that bombed entire towns and villages where thousands of innocent people lived. And in his book "The Bomb" he talks about and questions the dropping of the second Atom Bomb. In fact both bombs were excessively unnecessary...Instantly killing over one million innocent people. In the days that followed the death toll would near two million people. And the years to follow would equate to even more.
The sad truth is...Japan was ready to surrendor, but the U.S. being the meathead bullys had to prove a point...Which then launched us into an Prick Waving Contest...I mean "arms race". Now here we are 100 wars later and still no peace, just more dead bodies and debt.
When will greedy war-like mongers stop cheating peaceful people out of life.
LIFE IS NOT CHEAP...STOP WARRING!
War Is Not The Answer.
Thom, it's nice to quote the President with “we can't cut our way to prosperity.” But it's empty, meaningless rhetoric.
The bottom line on sequestration is, HE SIGNED THE BILL. He made it law in 2011. Even if he were any kind of negotiator (he's not - he's never been up to the job, IMHO), he signed a dumb bill because he thought it was politically expedient to do so.
We have Bernie Sanders, we have Elizabeth Warren - and that's about it. Harry Reid's a bad joke. Those of us who have to live with the consequences of what these rich people foist on us have virtually no say, certainly no clout, in Washington.
Barack Obama enthused millions of people - then disgusted us with politics. It's not that he's done no good at all - the ACA is a solid baby step forward on a huge issue. But Guantanamo is still open, our drones still kill children, the Patriot Act is intact, whistleblowers are jailed, and banksters get off scott-free. We're still in Afghanizstan, we're still the biggest bully on the block, our infratructure is decaying, we've fallen behind the world in transportation and energy - and there are no jobs. We're all working multiple part-time jobs with no benefits in Obama's America. We will not remember him fondly.
So, he's right about not cutting our way to prosperity - but that's exactly what he signed on to do. No credibility, no hope for the country.
You should listen to Bernie more.
He has stated that 93% (of that 6 trillion; I know it was acutally 93% of new income which only accounts for some of the 6T) went to the top 1%.
With regards to the number of jobs staying the same, it was a major effort to make that good.
The economy was losing 700,000 jobs a month when Obama came into officeObama's economic plan with republican obstruction gains 110,000 jobs a month (current situation)A key element of the republican obstruction was the laying off of public workers by republican governorsOf course they said it was to balance their budgets. The budgets that were thrown out of wack by tax cuts for the rich.Obama's economic plan without republican obstruction would have gained 250,000 jobs a monthBernie's number of 55,000 factories closed due to the economic policies of Bush (Romney-lite) is the scariest number to me.
Mr. Hartman, isn't former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson the same person who fought against imposing sanctions on his ( and fr. U.S. Senator Robert Dole's ) friend the late Saddam Hussein after the Halabja genocidal attack on March 16, 1988 in which between 3,200 - 5,000 Kurds were killed , and 7,000 - 10,000 kurds were injured from the use of chemical weapons. Then U.S. Senator Simpson didn't want U.S. sanctions to be imposed on Saddam's Iraq because he wanted U.S. farm credits to continue to be given to Iraq so that Saddam could use those farm credits to purchase Wyoming grain ,wheat , etc. from agri- businesses which were HEAVY campaign contributors throughout his ' career ' as a U.S. Senator . There are actual photos of former U.S. Senators Simpson and Dole when they went to visit Saddam in order to offer their and President Ronald Reagan's continued financial, as well as, so-called ' DUAL USE ' technological ,ie.. products to develope chemical weapons , support .
Ken Ware ~ I agree we need to defend ourselves. However, leaving our Country to do it is Bull Shit! We must defend ourselves with rationality and not paranoia. We must put ourselves into the shoes of our adversaries and think before we strike. China's military incursions are not aggressive actions; but, reasonable reactions to our provocative behavior. We must remember when we speak of China we speak of the oldest recorded history and Culture on the planet. Compared to their collective Cultural Power we are meniscus overzealous spoiled infants.
China has already proven itself superior to us many times over. Their system supports much more people with living wages than ours. Their health care is extended to everyone and they have managed to beat us in their infrastructure and their GDP. They have no need to defeat us militarily. We have already been defeated economically. All China represents to us is a good example in how to take care of ourselves, how to manage our economy, how to develop our business, and how to "conserve" our wealth.
My wife and I recently tried to purchase some of the local discount Real Estate that was left over after the recent housing market bust. Anything we bidded on was grossly out bidded by Chinese Investors. The Chinese are very smart. They know that it is smarter to invade a country by buying it then bombing it. That way you don't have to rebuild. Just renovate, paint, and flip.
Ken, with all due respect, we've already lost to the Chinese by mismanaging our governance and business. Our Military is not going to stop the invasion. Anything we pump into that dead end is going straight down the drain. The best we can do is follow the lead of our new Masters. Personally, I welcome the Chinese. They know how to get things done without killing people or destroying things. They know how to make money; and, they know how to live on a budget. They also know how to care for their people. We can learn a lot from them. Incorporation of their Culture into our own could advance our people thousands of years in a generation. Personally, I look forward to learning Chinese. Right now, I'm practicing cooking with a wok, and eating with chop sticks. I'll post my tips after I perfect them.
By the way. I'm taking a break from this blog till March 2nd. Look forward to seeing you all then. Meantime, I've updated my HEMP blog with a higher quality version of my banner. You should be able to read this one.
Take care everyone. Love ya!
Tom-I agree with the whole Simpson-Bowles roadshow. But how about this - is there a way we can contact all of the Sunday talk shows to inform them that there are probably other senators, congress people who will appear on TV other than McCain, Graham and Gingrich? Really, one or all of them are on every single week and it's getting very old hearing old grumpy McCain and his "cover up" allegations on Benghazi and his buddy, Graham, whining about the same thing. And Gingrich - since when is he still relevant? He is treated as an elder statesman, when in fact, he was drummed out of office on ethics problems. And we don't even need to talk about his holier-than-thou self when he is a serial adulterer. Anyway, end of rant!