A selection of public grievances in this first fortnight of the first season of Sequestivus. Motivated by a common desire to moderate or replace some of the sequester cuts, budget proposals are being prepared and presented by Senate Democrats and House Republicans. Unsurprisingly, they look nothing alike. Surprisingly we may actually get a compromise Grand Bargain that puts us on a sustainable fiscal path. The only certainty is that the airing of grievances will continue for the foreseeable future.
Archive for the 'Deficit' Category
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities still blaming Bush tax cuts for deficit even though they expired.By mw | Related entries in Budget, Bush, Debt, Deficit, Divided Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Obama
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities are still calling the tax cuts and war expenses a “Bush Legacy” and attributing most of our current and future debt and deficit to GWB. They are simply not acknowledging the facts. The argument itself and the dubious premise are exactly the same as when first presented three years ago. What has changed are the facts about who is the author and owner of the policies they are tracking. And by ignoring these facts, the CBPP has moved from a dubious, “disingenuous” argument to outright misrepresentation and falsehood.
The “sequester” is not a crisis. The “sequester” is not the problem. The real problem is the massive growth in federal spending creating unsustainable deficits and debt that will be shouldered by generations to come. The “sequester” is a solution to a real problem facing America. That said, the “sequester” is not a great solution.The sequester cuts are not a smart way to address the spending problem. The sequester cuts are not adequate to solve the spending and unfunded liability disaster that looms in our entitlement programs. But the odds of getting anything smart out of this administration or this congress that makes even as little impact as do the sequester cuts are vanishingly small. Since it’s a bad bet to rely on our leaders for smart significant cuts, let us at least bank the cuts they already passed.
In the 1992 presidential campaign, James Carville’s motivational meme “It’s the economy, stupid.” perfectly encapsulated the key issue of the election. In 2012 “It’s unsustainable, tuip”. You may not like the Romney/Ryan plans for dealing with our unsustainable spending, debt and entitlements, but at least it is a substantive plan and they are willing to talk about it during this campaign. If the Democrats and the Obama administration have a sustainable fiscal plan for the United States government I don’t know what it is, and they sure seem reluctant to talk about putting anything meaningful on the table. The easiest thing for the President to do would be to embrace the Simpson-Bowles plan. It was his commission. It was his idea. If the 2012 presidential election comes down to a choice between a candidate with a serious plan to get us out of this morass vs. a candidate that appears to ignore it – the man with the plan wins.
This generational Ponzi scheme, like all Ponzi schemes, will work only as long as enough new suckers can be found to “invest” so that the older “investors” can cash out. The Greatest Generation kicked off the con with Social Security and added Medicare, but they understood the game. They made a lot of babies – the Boomers – so it is/was relatively easy for us to pay off their benefits. We Boomers expanded Medicare and added prescription benefits, but we’ve barely made enough Gen-X babies to pay for it. Still, thanks to the Millennials, it looks like we may squeak through and get most of our payoff. The Milliennials can take credit for piling on the additional Obamacare benefits, as they are the ones that elected him. But they are just not making enough babies to have any hope of securing their entitlements from the next generation. Suckers.
Conventional Wisdom in both main stream and non-traditional media have passed judgement on both the debt ceiling legislation and the bipartisan deficit reduction super committee it begat. Conventional Wisdom informs us that we have seen this movie before and we know how it ends. Conventional Wisdom tells us the bipartisan Super Committee will fail. Problem being – Conventional Wisdom is wrong.
The compromise will include some formula for revenue increases, (probably in the form eliminating deductions while reducing rates), it will include cuts to the military, and it will include deep meaningful and substantial cuts in spending in the overall budget. And the compromise will be agreed on the brink of default to no one’s satisfaction. In the meantime, we have six weeks of Kabuki theater to enjoy while the eventual compromise is hammered out. Both tribes will have ample opportunity to point at the feckless hypocrisy of the other. Enjoy the show.
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) just may have come up with something to bridge the gap between Dmes and the Repubs on the debt ceiling negotiations. It even has Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) coming back to the table… “The plan has moved significantly, and it’s [...]
This is one of those times that I don’t know if this is a brilliant political move or absolutely foolish. Wash Post has details… It works like this: The plan “would give the President the ability to request smaller increases in the debt ceiling — coupled with proposed spending cuts of at least $2.5 trillion [...]
It was forceful, it was direct and it was very pointed in putting the lie to the Ryan’s budget cuts that don’t include any revenue plans. And let me say this for the record…Ryan’s plans are cruel. He had a chance to lead on this, but he failed. In any event, Obama said that EVERYTHING [...]