Consensus Unlikely on Catfood Commission; Health Care the Stumbling Block

By: Friday November 19, 2010 2:20 pm

The latest leak out of the Catfood Commission is that the participants just can’t seem to agree on anything, with just 11 days to go until their report is due.


Raising Social Security Retirement Age Could Cause Spike in Disability Payments

By: Friday November 19, 2010 7:00 am

The purpose of raising the retirement age, we’re told, is to increase cat food sales save money and put Social Security on a path to long-term solvency. But the bean-counting geniuses Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson didn’t take one thing into account: it could actually cost more to the system if people go on disability in those later years because they’re unable to work. And this wasn’t the National Hippies Foundation who made this assessment, it was the Government Accountability Office.

The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security’s finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded.

Framing the Schakowsky Deficit Reduction Plan

By: Wednesday November 17, 2010 2:00 pm

The basic difference between Schakowsky’s plan and Bowles-Simpson is not that it relies more on revenue-raisers than spending cuts – although conservatives will surely highlight this – but who bears the brunt of the pain.

Domenici, Rivlin Offer Another Deficit Commission Report (When We Need a Growth Commission Report)

By: Wednesday November 17, 2010 11:45 am

We definitely needed another greybeard panel to tell us all to sacrifice to “get our fiscal house in order.” And that’s what we got today, with the Domenici-Rivlin Bipartisan Policy Center report on debt reduction. Pete Domenici is the former Republican Senator from New Mexico who at the end liked to walk around Congress in his pajamas; Alice Rivlin is the deficit scold Democrat who’s a member of the Catfood Commission, providing a report that is basically similar to the Bowles-Simpson report.

Schakowsky Releases Progressive Deficit Reduction Plan

By: Tuesday November 16, 2010 3:45 pm

I’m pleased to see Jan Schakowsky, a member of the Catfood Commission, release her own deficit reduction plan, and in a way I’m also not pleased by it. It’s certainly better than useful idiots like Mark Warner saying “do the math” in order to cut Social Security. And it’s better than the greybeard panels that are stalking horses for entitlements and defenders of the rich. In the main, I like Schakowsky’s plan, though obviously everyone could add and subtract their own bits. But the problem is that a “deficit reduction plan” doesn’t address what actually causes deficits: namely, recessions.

Bowles-Simpson: The Unequal Marriage of Reaganomics and Rubinomics

By: Monday November 15, 2010 3:45 pm

The Bowles-Simpson plan isn’t a fair and equitable way to reduce the long-term federal deficit, whatever its co-authors might claim. In fact, it’s the biggest proposed experiment in supply-side economics since early Reagan.

Helpful Bernie Sanders Is Helpful!

By: Friday November 12, 2010 6:01 pm

Bernie Sanders will ride to the Catfood Commission’s rescue with some deficit reduction ideas of his own.

Hail Mary! Co-Chairs Spin While Deficit Commission Staggers Toward Deadlock

By: Friday November 12, 2010 1:45 pm

I’ve been saying for months that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is probably doomed. The co-chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, appear to agree.

So my first real question is, What have these people been doing with $500,000 of the taxpayers’ money for the past nine months?

Pete Peterson’s Purchase of Cat Food Commission, Media Pays Off

By: Thursday November 11, 2010 6:00 pm

I wanted to highlight something about the Cat Food Commission to permanently shrink government, something we’ve all known about, but which hasn’t been laid out in specific detail in a while. This Presidential commission has been borrowing paid staffers from groups that are ideologically committed to destroying the social safety net in America. This hasn’t been well-reported in the traditional media until today.

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