Economist’s View link list
Economist View provides a few reactions to the The Fiscal Commission’s “Report”:
- NY Times: Panel Weighs Deep Cuts in Tax Breaks and Spending
- Real Time Economics: Deficit Commission’s $200 Billion in Proposed Spending Cuts
- Paul Krugman: Unserious People
- Brad DeLong: Yes, the Entitlement Commission Was an Unforced Error by the Obama Administration
- Ezra Klein: The fiscal commission reports — sort of
- Ezra Klein: There is no report from the fiscal commission
- Andrew Leonard: A truly radical debt reduction scheme
- Felix Salmon: The deficit commission’s plan
- Dean Baker: Statement on Deficit Commission Proposals
- Richard Green: One hand clapping for the Deficit Commission Co-chairs’ powerpoint
Better yet: Eliminate the CIA, who were dumbfounded with the collapse of the Soviet Union, had no clue to 9/11.
Eliminate the Dept of (Indoctrination and Propaganda) Education. Put education
back in control at the state and local level, where it belongs.
Eliminate the IRS. No more federal Eincome tax, go to a federal sales tax.
Eliminate the professional armed forces, we can’t afford it and it has never won a war. Return selective service.
I hope we did not pay these jokers to come up with this POS report.
I think they propose a 15 cent increase in the federal gasoline tax. I would rather see the tax applied to imported oil. It would be a boon to domestic oil production which would in turn stimulate employment. Either way it would be a subsidy on non oil energy production and a regressive tax, but I have long advocated that the poor have to pay something towards running the country. Ending agriculture subsidies is a good idea, but an even better idea would be to cap the amount of the subsidy that any farm, corporation, partnership etc can earn. Protecting family farms is not an awful idea–it does employ people–but handing out millions to large corporate entities is not a great thing and threatens the safety of our food supply both in terms of illness and famine. I would rather see the deduction for children phased out, than mortgage interest and I would rather see both eliminated before the deduction for state income and property taxes–this appears to be a direct shot at the blue states which tend to have higher income and property taxes than the red states. Cuts in defense spending would be a wonderful thing, but we do still have 2 foreign wars and I do not see that it should be on the backs of punishing our vetrans. I have been opposed to the professional military since its inception for reasons unrelated to cost, but that pales in comparison to my opposition to military private contractors which of course are exempted by the chairman–It is certainly the Catfood Commission, but could also be called the Rich and Powerful Lobby. I would leave social security alone although if it would be revenue neutral I would exempt the employer’s not the employee’s share of the first $15-20K of wages per employeee and pay for it by removing the cap on the employer’s share, but not the employee’s share. The idea is to make it more costly to pay obscene salaries to people like CEO’s and at the same time reduce the expense of adding workers at the bottom of the income scale. At the end it all comes down to income inequality and as best I can tell the chairmen want to exacerbate it, not reduce it. Certainly, it has nothing to do with the deficit or the debt. As to medical expenses, Obama and the Democrats had their chance and blew it.
We probably paid them well. It looks like they subcontracted to Peterson for free and partied instead.
My initial thoughts as to what this proposal is about: New Deal elimination, flat tax
Here is my take to add to the list
In case there was any doubt as to how far to the right the NY Times has itself “tacked” read this paragraph carefully. “Mr. Obama created the commission last February in the hope it would provide political cover for bold action against deficits in 2011. His stance now, in the wake of his party’s drubbing, will go a long way toward telling whether he tacks to the political center — by embracing such proposals — or shifts to the left and leaves them on a shelf.” The reporter(?) Jackie Calmes has concluded that the Chairs’ proposals are in the reasonable center, “whether he tacks to the political center — by embracing such proposals” Keeping in mind that Alan Simpson had already played his Peter Peterson membership card in his publlic displays of hubris and that Erskine Bowles is a well employed, though not too over worked, Board member of JP Morgan Bank to the tune of $300,000 four attending a few meetings, how do these two qualify as representatives of the center of any ideology less right wing than the John Birch Society?
Also: Write to your local congressional creatures, both Senators and House reps. Say it nice, but, but say it and even repeat yourself through having your frineds, relatives and neighbors say it as well. “The Commission report is a canard prepared by operatives of the corporate right wing. Stand up for the working middle class and strike it down.” Here is a letter I sent to my two Senators and House rep. It’s an example of what they need to hear, but they need to hear it repeatedly.
I hope that you will be standing tall against the current forces of deception that are campaigning hard to destabilize Social Security as we know it. The SS program works very well and has been doing so since its inception. The program is in the black and only a deceitful campaign to destroy the program presents it any other way. The Trust Fund is real and is a debt to the system as well as the program’s “savings account” upon which if draws when receipts from FICA are insufficient to cover benefits. Do not conflate Social Securities solvency with the deficit condition of the general budget or the Medicare program. The Peterson Foundation is leading this deceptive attack on the sanctity of Social Security in a brazen attempt to weaken that system and move ever closer to a privatization scheme. The so-called bipartisan Deficit Commission, correctly maligned as the Cat Food Commission, is stacked against Social Security. It’s Chairmen’s preliminary recommendations are absurd if the purpose of the Commission is to genuinely find a means by which to balance the general budget. It lacks even face validity. That is not surprising as its two Chairs have previously expressed their individual biases. Mr. Simpson has been publicly derisive of the Social Security program. Mr. Bowles is a hand maiden to the investment banking community serving as a Board member of JP Morgan bank and receiving compensation of $300,000 for attending several Board meetings each year. That’s bi-partisan?? Only if one considers right of center and far right as the measure.
I’m looking for you to play a more significant role protecting the interests of working middle class Americans in any effort to “adjust” Federal spending, taxation and Social Security.
Federal gas tax is 18.3 cents per gallon. That’s cents, not percent. so a 15% increase would add, what, 2-3 cents per gallon? Gas pumps used to have signs showing state and federal taxes, but they disappeared when gas went to $5 a gallon in L.A. I think an initial 15% per gallon gas tax would do wonders for the deficit. 15% of 18.3 cents, not so much.
I can’t imagine any scheme designed to more undermine support for Social Security than one that calls for earners in the top 50% taking a cut even from the projected cut.
Well yah, that’s the general idea. As long as SS remains what’s always been–a universal insurance plan–there will be general support for it, as Dubya discovered five years ago. So it has to be turned into something resembling a welfare plan because otherwise how else can it be discredited?
Get with the program, people!
i dunno, anna,
you have to think of the moral anguish they went through deciding to raise the retirement age of people who have to work for a living. Even though those people would be glad to pay for the extra years of retirement if they knew how easy it was going to be to afford it.
If the problem is too high marginal tax rates this might be a solution, but if the problem is an insufficiently progressive tax system, this represents a step backwards. I think the latter is the case.
I think you are right.
But rather than focus on “insufficiently progresive,” i”d say the problem is simply that the people don’t want to pay for what they get… at all tax levels. That is understandable, but it won’t work.
We need to pay our debts… a return to pre bush tax cut at all income levels would do it. Then we need to elect congressmen who can do a better job of matching taxes to things the government needs to do.
We can’t keep playing the game “tax cuts will pay for themselves,” or “fine tuning the tax code will incentivize work and investment.” It hasn’t worked. One time “stimulus” tax cuts, or government spending above receipts, will jump start an economy under some circumstance. It won’t work under “all” circumstances. That’s like deciding that becasue a cup of coffee helps you get started sometimes, you should never eat or sleep but just drink coffee all the time. And when that stops working, you can always smoke crack.