Attacks on Social Security Are Attacks on Today’s Youth, the Seniors of 2050 and Beyond.

By: Sunday November 4, 2012 4:00 pm

Read no further if you believe that Social Security’s benefits for you future senior citizens of 2050 are going to be too generous. Read no further if you are convinced that because a subgroup of you affluent seniors in 2050 might live long and healthy lives, that everyone who is fifty years old or younger today should have their benefits cut, and their retirement age raised another two years to 69, and those changes made permanent for all future generations. Read no further if you think retirement, survivors’ and disability benefits for those entering the workforce this year should be cut 36%.


Under “Stimulus Now, Austerity Later” Plans, We’d Already Be in Austerity

By: Wednesday October 31, 2012 7:14 am

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Pete Peterson-funded front group associated with the Fix the Debt campaign, basically the biggest deficit scolds out there, wrote this piece trying to differentiate their thirst for austerity from the fiscal cliff, which is an austerity package in and of itself. They claim that it’s important to “go smart” on the deficit, rather than the big, apparently dumb cuts of the fiscal cliff.

The Very Interesting Eric Cantor Power Point on Bowles-Simpson

By: Friday October 26, 2012 1:12 pm

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has created a Power Point presentation about Bowles-Simpson, the recommendations of the two leaders of the deficit commission. And this offers a window into Tea Party preferences for the fiscal slope and deficit deals. This is actually the key swing bloc in Congress; with President Obama on board with a grand bargain, and able to sway Democrats to his side, whether or not the deal happens could depend on whether Tea Party House Republicans get behind it. And so this Power Point provides some advance notice of the preoccupations of that bloc, as represented by Cantor, who has courted the Tea Party caucus since they took over Congress, contrasting himself with the dealmaking of John Boehner.

The Machine to Cut the Safety Net Gets Started

By: Thursday October 4, 2012 10:36 am

Charlie Pierce’s big line about the debate mirrored my thoughts about how the discourse has been so narrowed by a combination of DC establishment insulation from the actual problems of ordinary Americans, and Democrats becoming the face of New Austerity.

We’ve Already Cut Spending By Almost All of the Bowles-Simpson Targets

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 11:15 am

Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has an important piece that reinforces something I’ve been saying for a long time. Contrary to the opinion of Michael Grunwald that there has been no austerity in Obama’s first term, Bernstein lays out the numbers that actually shows the austerity, in both the short- and long-term, that actually encompasses most of what deficit scolds seek in their grand bargain.

And this is actually a bad idea,.

Krugman, Five Weeks Before Election, Works to Discredit Bowles-Simpson

By: Monday October 1, 2012 7:50 am

The election is 36 days away, and most of the media are churning out their profiles of undecided voters in Ohio and polling snapshots. Only Paul Krugman has broken the illusion, moved past the election and its expected outcome, and focused on the expected policy prescription that lies ahead, the desire of most of official Washington to slash the budget along the lines of a proposal that gets far more credit than it deserves. Krugman, a voice outside Washington, has no problem explaining to everyone that the Bowles-Simpson plan actually stinks.

Deficit Spending in a Recession Is a Responsible Policy

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 9:00 am

Above is an ad put together by Republicans to commemorate the reaching of $16 trillion in overall debt, a figure that’s supposed to frighten the public. It very skillfully uses President Obama’s debt trolling against him, including his invocation of debt being “irresponsible” and his worry about “lack of confidence” wrecking the economy if the debt problem perpetuates. But the economic message is wrong.

Erskine Bowles to Treasury Rumor Picks Up Steam

By: Friday August 10, 2012 2:00 pm

Ezra Klein, who has impeccable sources inside the Administration, makes a bet that Bowles will succeed Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary in an Obama second term. And, he would be there specifically to secure a deal along the lines of the grand bargain.

Bowles to Romney: You Know Nothing of My Work

By: Friday August 10, 2012 10:00 am

Many politicians distort the truth for their benefit but Mitt Romney is rather unique in that he often makes statements that can so quickly and easily be proven false. The latest example resulted in Romney receiving the smack down from Erskine Bowles.

Truth Leaks Out: Austerity Hurting US Economy

By: Monday July 30, 2012 8:45 am

We’ve been having two parallel debates in this country, one informed by rich people who want to steal American retirement security so the rich don’t have to pay taxes on it. That side of the debate is exemplified well by Bill Keller”s embrace of Bowles-Simpson this morning. But the B-S recommendations would make matters worse, and even the WSJ is realizing that government austerity is hurting the economy.

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