Bowles-Gregg; Or, Morgan Stanley-Goldman Sachs

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 6:45 am

I guess Alan Simpson and his recurring set of bad manners has become too much of a liability to those intrepid grand bargaineers. So he’s been pulled for a reliever. Enter Judd Gregg, himself just out of the Senate.


AARP Listens to Members; Drops Falsely-Limited Survey on Future of Social Security & Medicare Benefits

By: Friday June 8, 2012 10:50 am

After pressure from activists from Firedoglake, the National Organization for Women, CREDO Action and Social Security Works, the AARP has listened to its membership and dropped its narrow survey on the future of Social Security and Medicare.

LIVESTREAM: Sen. Sanders Speaks Out Against Pete Peterson’s Fiscal Summit

By: Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:30 am

On May 15, Sen. Bernie Sanders will join with citizen groups to protest the Peter G. Peterson “Fiscal Summit” where elite power brokers including House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), former Sen. Alan Simpson, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and former President Bill Clinton will gather inside to discuss a so-called “grand bargain” budget that will cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

Sen. Conrad Explains His Bowles-Simpson Gambit

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 2:00 pm

Kent Conrad will introduce the Bowles-Simpson plan as a baseline budget today in the Senate Budget Committee. But as he plainly tells Ezra Klein, the goal is not to get a budget resolution. The goal is to create the conditions to pass Bowles-Simpson after the 2012 elections.

Bowles-Simpson Returns in Senate Budget Committee

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 3:30 pm

Kent Conrad, the retiring Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, just announced that the markup for the FY 2013 budget will commence tomorrow. And instead of creating model legislation, he will simply take the recommendations proposed by the Chairmen of the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission, popularly known as the “catfood commission,” as the baseline.

Simpson-Bowles, Magic Asterisk Resurrected for House Budget Vote

By: Tuesday March 27, 2012 2:15 pm

The House vote on the budget will not just include an up-or-down vote on the Paul Ryan version. As per custom, several budgets will get a vote that day, including proposals from the Republican Study Group, Progressive Caucus and House Democrats. But there’s another version out there, one from what I’ll term the Wanker Caucus, looking to just put Simpson-Bowles on the House floor. Enter the magic asterisk.

The Moving of the Overton Window on Fiscal Policy

By: Monday February 20, 2012 3:36 pm

I liked this Mark Thoma piece about the shifting of the Overton Window. I think I alluded to this with my story on a new round of tax cuts being humped by the GOP, and the new bipartisan consensus on the virtue of tax cuts as a stimulus measure. With the focus on tax cuts, both sides play a role in shifting the Overton Window to the right. And the result is a set of policy choices that get artificially narrowed.

Republicans Release Payroll Tax Cut Package

By: Thursday December 1, 2011 6:47 am

So let’s break this down. To pay for a tax cut that will hopefully increase consumer demand and help increase hiring, Republicans would – 1) fire hundreds of thousands of people, 2) freeze their pay (the opposite effect of a payroll tax cut, which operates as a wage increase), 3) put no-strings, volunteer peer pressure on millionaires to pay additional taxes (I’m sure there will be a high takeup for that), 4) means test a number of programs to ghetto-ize them as welfare, including unemployment benefits, which is particularly cruel, because once federal benefits kick in and you’ve been out of work 6 months, it doesn’t matter what you earned before, you’re in trouble.

Enough: Stock Market Drops Have Nothing to Do With Super Committee FAIL

By: Monday November 21, 2011 9:15 am

I tweeted last night, “When bad news from Europe tomorrow makes stocks tank, and the idiots in DC blame it on Super Committee fail, could someone correct them?” Apparently, no one told the AP or Washington Post, who insist the Super Committee Fail is driving down the stock markets.

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