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The Chairs of President Obama's Debt Commission Weigh In

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
edited November 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
shryke couldn't make this thread, so I've done it for him. Here's what he posted in the Lame Duck thread:
shryke wrote: »
The Fiscal Commission has finally produced ... something. Sorta:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/11/the_fiscal_commission_reports.html
The fiscal commission is not going to manage to get 14 of its 18 members to agree on a plan to balance the budget, as was the original intent. That means, among other things, that it isn't assured a vote in Congress. But it doesn't have any intention of going quietly into the night. Today, the commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, are releasing their chairman's mark.

What's the chairman's mark, exactly? In Congress, the chairman's mark is somewhere between a discussion document and a piece of legislation that the chairman of a committee releases to give the members a sense of where his or her thinking is. This seems to be much the same: It's a full plan to balance the budget, but it doesn't have the votes of the commission's members, much less the force of law or congressional process, behind it.
The recommendations are fairly radical: The co-chairs freeze 2012's discretionary spending at 2010's levels -- and then start cutting it back further. By 2015, they project discretionary spending will be more than $200 billion less than the president's budget currently envisions. They raise taxes, but rather unexpectedly, cap the revenues the tax system can generate at 21 percent of GDP. They also offer a number of options for tax reform, including one that eliminates all tax expenditures (including the mortgage-interest deduction, the exclusion for employer-based health care, and more) and brings the top rate down to 26 percent. Social Security comes in for both benefit cuts and tax increases -- though there are substantially more of the former than the latter. There are a number of Medicare reforms.

The co-chairs project that the deficit will fall to 1.6 percent of GDP by 2020 if the recommendations are implemented. The vast majority of those savings come from cuts in spending. Tax increases are a relatively minor contributor

Here's the thing itself: http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/news/cochairs-proposal

Now, as a pretty hardcore liberal, this plan should go die in a fucking fire. Some highlights from TPM (by way of Digby)

# The co-chairs suggest capping both government expenditures and revenue at 21% of GDP eventually.
# Freeze federal worker wage increases through 2014; eliminate 200,000 federal jobs by 2020; and eliminate 250,000 federal non-defense contractor jobs by 2015.
# Establish co-pays in the VA medical system and change the co-pays and deductibles for military retirees that remain in that system.
# Eliminate NASA funding for commercial space flight.
# Require the Smithsonian museums to start charging entrance fees and raise fees at the national parks.
# Eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which many conservatives suggested in the wake of the firing of former NPR contributor Juan Williams.
# Reduce farm subsidies by $3 billion per year.

To which I respond:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2YK7pADmWU

Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
enlightenedbum on
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Posts

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It was pretty much expected this commission was going to give complete bullshit back.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I'm surprised they didn't go even further.

    "Really we should just cut taxes on the top bracket to 0% since they create all the jobs, obviously that will lead to the most jobs, to thank us the middle class can pay extra taxes to compensate"

    override367 on
  • adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Yeah, we should definitely cut the federal payroll..

    And replace them with more expensive private contractors. :rotate:

    adytum on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I always start my debt reduction efforts by capping my revenue.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    You know, it is possible to balance the budget without ass raping the American citizens.

    Should I fax that to them?

    MagicPrime on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It was pretty much expected this commission was going to give complete bullshit back.

    Well, yes, liberals did expect that. We were right again!

    Will someone start listening to us? We have remarkably perceptive political instincts.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    What's federal revenue at? 7.2% of GDP?

    I mean you can't squeeze blood from a stone while also outspending the entire world in military expense

    override367 on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    The best strategy to reduce unemployment is to fire a quarter million federal workers.

    Fuck this commission and fuck the conservative jackasses who chair it. And Obama should be fucking ashamed of himself for appointing the most blatantly biased conservatives to it.

    wwtMask on
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  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I would consider reductions to farm subsidies (or, preferably, a more nuanced approach that cuts farm subsidies to agribusiness and retains some farm subsidies to actual family farms) to be the lone diamond in that giant pile of terrible recommendations.

    Yes, let's solve the deficit by lowering the top tax rate even further. Genius!

    Lawndart on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    This needs a quick repost of the hacks on this commission: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/meet-the-16-men-and-two-women-who-could-determine-the-fate-of-social-security.php

    And enlightenedbum's insightful breakdown:
    Let's assume the 8 GOP members are for cutting social security and will never endorse a tax increase (surprise! they won't).

    For reference, they are:
    Alan Simpson, asshole
    Dave Cote, Honeywell International
    Paul Ryan, Randian idiot
    Jeb Hensarling, Texan
    Dave Camp, huge asshole from Michigan
    Judd Gregg
    Tom Coburn (seriously)
    Mike Crapo

    Democratic members:
    Max Baucus, conservative Democrat owned by lobbyists
    Kent Conrad, conservative Democrat owned by lobbyists
    Dick Durbin, hooray!
    Erskine Bowles (co-chair), extremely conservative Democrat
    Alice Rivlin, [strike]moderate to liberal Clinton OMB director[/strike]Actually another deficit hawk [edit by Shryke]
    Andy Stern, labor leader
    Ann Fudge, businesswoman, fiscal conservative
    John Spratt, conservative
    Xavier Becerra, fairly liberal
    Jan Schakowsky, yay!

    Liberals can count on Stern, Durbin, Schakowsky, Becerra, and hopefully Rivlin. The others are budget hawks who don't give a shit about working people. Conveniently, five is enough to veto things so they don't automatically go before the Congress, but still.

    EDIT re link below: Yeah, I thought I was being optimistic about Rivlin.

    Mysteriously, 4 nays from the liberals is just 1 less then is needed to stop the commission from recommending anything.

    shryke on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    I would consider reductions to farm subsidies (or, preferably, a more nuanced approach that cuts farm subsidies to agribusiness and retains some farm subsidies to actual family farms) to be the lone diamond in that giant pile of terrible recommendations.

    Yes, let's solve the deficit by lowering the top tax rate even further. Genius!

    They can cut NASA funding to commercial spaceflight programs, too.

    hell, they can scrap NASA and start over in 10 years for all I care.

    Feral on
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  • pslong9pslong9 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Well, reading through the full list of points from TPM, there look to be some things I agree with, and others I don't. As they said, no matter what, making these cuts are going to be painful to someone. Cutting defense spending? Sure. Increasing the wage ceiling that can be taxed by SS? Sure. Eliminating the Office of Safe and Drug-free schools? Sure - I don't see why that should be a federal office. On the other hand - Eliminating subsidized student loans? Bad idea. Eliminating funding to CPB? Have they seen the news and critical programming that isn't from PB stations? If anything, we should be increasing CPB's funding. Though if the federal government steps out, I imagine other foundations will fill that gap.

    I do think our tax code could be much simpler and a lot of subsidies could be removed, but I have no idea if the suggested ideas are improvements or not. And the suggested rates seem awfully low. As I see it, we have both a spending problem (primarily that we're spending money in the wrong places, though we are spending too much as well) and a revenue problem. Taxes need to go up. Simple as that. And they need to go up on the people whose incomes have risen tremendously since the 1980s, and not on the people who have seen their incomes stay pretty much constant since then.

    But yes, those of us who are in favor of investing in our country with infrastructure and education, and eliminating defense spending, and wanting to raise taxes on the 20% who have 85% of the wealth while the bottom 40% have close to 0%, are not going to like a lot of what's in here.

    pslong9 on
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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    How in the hell is a revenue cap going to help with the deficit?

    Not that I expected anything other than crypto-capitalist gibberish from this commission anyway, but seriously.

    It's like they weren't even trying to hide their desire to destroy the country.

    OptimusZed on
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Welcome to Styrofoam Sammich's FOX NEWS COMMENT THEATER

    I'm your host, and today we'll be going over some of the best comments from the article on Foxnews.com about the findings of Obama's Deficit Commission.

    Instead of politicians and high muckity mucks studying this problem, how about getting ordinary citizens involved. You would be surprised at how ordinary people can come up with great ideas. WE don not have a political agenda other than saving our nation. History, tells us Congress, as a whole does not.
    Stop all foreign aide, put our elected officials on Social Security, even those who have retired, cut the ear marks, bring out troops home and WE CAN BALANCE THE BUDGET! Here they go again, screwing with the seniors. Didn't they get the message from the Mid Term elections?
    obama and his fugly wife could lay off the traveling monarch parade. pelosi could quit with the party plane rides.
    Implement the Fair Tax and cut the DoE, DoEd, all the national endowments (arts, science, etc), stop paying people not to work, abolish federal employee unions, and repeal health care.
    Not good enough, here are my recommendations Obama and Eric Cantor for saving a bunch of money:
    1. Eliminate the Departments of the Interior, Homeland Security, IRS, Post Office, Agriculture for starters.
    2. 50% Salary Reduction for the President, his staff, congress and government lackeys.
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!
    4. Ban all lobbyists and former lobbyists from the capitol and WH.
    5. Sell Air Force One and the support fleet for the entourage. The president can use a chartered jet.
    6. Get rid of this idea that the Speaker of the house qualifies for a tax payer funded private jet, neither Pelosi or Boehner need this, their work is in Washington!
    7. Stop all re-modeling renovation projects pending in the WH and save the costs until repair is undisputed.
    8. Legal penalties for earmarks.
    9. If a bill has riders, it is to be re-written.
    10. End the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) billions in cash giveaways to redundant agencies -Goodwill, DES, PICS, Job Service - all duplicating each other's services - resume writing and job search. A news paper and a friends computer will accomplish the same result. After all, there has to be a job out there before these agencies can do any good!

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Whoa they want to eliminate subsidized student loans?!

    What is this shit? The US is already way the fuck behind its peers in letting people go to school and come out of it in some sort of condition where they might one day pay back their loans.

    That's fucking lunacy in 2010

    override367 on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Whoa they want to eliminate subsidized student loans?!

    What is this shit? The US is already way the fuck behind its peers in letting people go to school and come out of it in some sort of condition where they might one day pay back their loans.

    That's fucking lunacy in 2010

    I read that and thought I was seeing things; glad to see I am not the only one who is perplexed

    "glad" and "perplexed" may not be the correct words there

    Arch on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Not good enough, here are my recommendations Obama and Eric Cantor for saving a bunch of money:
    1. Eliminate the Departments of the Interior, Homeland Security, IRS, Post Office, Agriculture for starters.
    2. 50% Salary Reduction for the President, his staff, congress and government lackeys.
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!
    4. Ban all lobbyists and former lobbyists from the capitol and WH.
    5. Sell Air Force One and the support fleet for the entourage. The president can use a chartered jet.
    6. Get rid of this idea that the Speaker of the house qualifies for a tax payer funded private jet, neither Pelosi or Boehner need this, their work is in Washington!
    7. Stop all re-modeling renovation projects pending in the WH and save the costs until repair is undisputed.
    8. Legal penalties for earmarks.
    9. If a bill has riders, it is to be re-written.
    10. End the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) billions in cash giveaways to redundant agencies -Goodwill, DES, PICS, Job Service - all duplicating each other's services - resume writing and job search. A news paper and a friends computer will accomplish the same result. After all, there has to be a job out there before these agencies can do any good!

    This is a pretty accurate view into a tea partier's mindset. They want the US to have the same government a third world country does, however believe magic and jesus will keep the citizenry from becoming third world citizens.

    override367 on
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Cornfield? Cornfield.Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Unless I'm reading TMP's summary incorrectly the goddamn tax-bracket suggestions are absofuckinglutely insane.
    TMP wrote:
    • In their first plan, called "The Zero Plan," they suggest reducing the tax brackets to three personal brackets and one corporate rate while eliminated all credits and deductions. Without any credits or deductions (including the ETIC and mortgage interest deductions), the 3 tax rates would be 8, 14 and 23 percent.
    • In their second plan, they would increase the personal deduction to $15,000, create 3 tax brackets (15, 25 and 35%); repeal or significantly curtail a number of popular tax deductions (including the state and local deduction and the mortgage interest deduction); and eliminate other tax expenditures.
    Abwah?!

    iTunesIsEvil on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Not good enough, here are my recommendations Obama and Eric Cantor for saving a bunch of money:
    1. Eliminate the Departments of the Interior, Homeland Security, IRS, Post Office, Agriculture for starters.
    2. 50% Salary Reduction for the President, his staff, congress and government lackeys.
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!
    4. Ban all lobbyists and former lobbyists from the capitol and WH.
    5. Sell Air Force One and the support fleet for the entourage. The president can use a chartered jet.
    6. Get rid of this idea that the Speaker of the house qualifies for a tax payer funded private jet, neither Pelosi or Boehner need this, their work is in Washington!
    7. Stop all re-modeling renovation projects pending in the WH and save the costs until repair is undisputed.
    8. Legal penalties for earmarks.
    9. If a bill has riders, it is to be re-written.
    10. End the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) billions in cash giveaways to redundant agencies -Goodwill, DES, PICS, Job Service - all duplicating each other's services - resume writing and job search. A news paper and a friends computer will accomplish the same result. After all, there has to be a job out there before these agencies can do any good!

    This is a pretty accurate view into a tea partier's mindset. They want the US to have the same government a third world country does, however believe magic and jesus will keep the citizenry from becoming third world citizens.

    Its all herp derp and political buzzwords.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Serfs don't need college education, duh.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2010
    Well, Bush and Obama's Secret Service protection ends after 10 years. Clinton is the last lifetime protected. The 90s beat that commenter to the punch?

    FyreWulff on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I edited the title to be slightly more accurate. This is not the full commission's work, just the assholes who chair it.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • xraydogxraydog Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    # Eliminate NASA funding for commercial space flight.

    This is hilarious. If you've been following NASA news over the past few years you realize the GOP only believes in capitalism within the atmosphere.

    xraydog on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Well, Bush and Obama's Secret Service protection ends after 10 years. Clinton is the last lifetime protected. The 90s beat that commenter to the punch?

    The difference is the comment is pretty much saying the president should be shot if the public disagrees with them.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    If a man can't survive a gunshot to the chest, give his attempted assassin a solid thrashing with his walking stick, then deliver a non-telepromptered speech while bleeding from the wound, he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency!

    Lawndart on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2010
    Also Goodwill, Salvation Army stores, and all those other places do more than resume writing and searching. Off the top of my head, Goodwill provides work training, and the Salvation Army gives jobs to people that would have a hard time getting a job otherwise (people in the ARCs, and halfway house graduates)

    The only place I know of around here that is pure "resume writing/job search" is Nebraska Workforce Development. And they're operating on a less-than-shoestring budget.

    FyreWulff on
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    If a man can't survive a gunshot to the chest, give his attempted assassin a solid thrashing with his walking stick, then deliver a non-telepromptered speech while bleeding from the wound, he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency!

    Exactly

    Arch on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    If a man can't survive a gunshot to the chest, give his attempted assassin a solid thrashing with his walking stick, then deliver a non-telepromptered speech while bleeding from the wound, he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency!

    I'd be fine with President for Life Zombie TR.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    The only place I know of around here that is pure "resume writing/job search" is Nebraska Workforce Development. And they're operating on a less-than-shoestring budget.

    I propose the term 'aglet'.

    Captain Carrot on
  • pslong9pslong9 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Do you need a shower, Styrofoam? I know when I read crazy that strong, I feel like I need a shower just in case some of it got on me.

    I like "sell Air Force One and get a chartered jet instead". Yes, that will save money. Also, I like the post arguing for implement the FairTax (which greatly decreases revenue and puts too much of a burden on the lower class), cutting the national endowments (there goes all cultural and scientific advancements), cutting unemployment benefits (because all those people are sitting around because they don't want a job), and repealing the health care reform (which the CBO says will decrease the deficit in the long term).

    pslong9 on
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  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Space flight is one of those extreme and rare cases where private industry really picked up slack when government started to grind up with stupid partisan bickering.

    Even without financial help from NASA, the need to put more crap in to space isn't going to decline. The incentive is already there.

    MKR on
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Oh also I don't feel too good about making the smithsonian charge people

    Arch on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Arch wrote: »
    Oh also I don't feel too good about making the smithsonian charge people

    Not to mention it would mean fuck all for the deficit.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Arch wrote: »
    Oh also I don't feel too good about making the smithsonian charge people

    Not to mention it would mean fuck all for the deficit.

    Hence why I don't feel too good about it

    Its like...let us get some pocket change and who cares about the poor wanting to see a museum?

    Arch on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Do these guys just not give a shit about the United States beyond purely economic terms?

    I mean, even the poorest nations on earth have national treasures and monuments that are there as a symbol of national pride, you'd think our parks and the smithsonian would be examples of such things here. Charging to get in just seems wrong to me, it's a monument to the achievements of our country and should belong to the people, all of them.

    override367 on
  • LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    If a man can't survive a gunshot to the chest, give his attempted assassin a solid thrashing with his walking stick, then deliver a non-telepromptered speech while bleeding from the wound, he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency!

    I'd be fine with President for Life Zombie TR.

    Teddy would not be a zombie.

    The moment he emerges from his grave, he will be enveloped in a blazing light which will restore him to the peak of health.

    Also, render him ageless and immortal.

    A single, resounding shout shall be uttered from his mighty throat:
    "BULLY!"

    He will then wrestle to the ground the nearest bear, freeing it after showing it what's what

    Lanz on
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Would like to emphasis this gem from fox news comments
    3. Elimination of secret service for present and past presidents - they show reap what they sow!

    If a man can't survive a gunshot to the chest, give his attempted assassin a solid thrashing with his walking stick, then deliver a non-telepromptered speech while bleeding from the wound, he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency!

    I believe you are combining Jackson and Teddy.

    Fencingsax on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Yeah, TR didn't rock a cane.

    Deebaser on
  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    well

    I'm glad I already finished college

    also you should change the comment on that jeb guy to "name is jeb"

    Jars on
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