(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
From USA Today:
Erskine Bowles realized how tough his task will be leading President Obama’s War on the Federal Budget deficit when he told his 90 year old mother of his appointment.
She was proud of him. Then she said, “Don’t mess with my Medicare.”
Yet the only solutions capable of raising enough money are politically dangerous …: tax increases and major reductions in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
We can’t do this without a lot of pain
And so the drumbeat begins.
Says former senator Alan Simpson:
I’ll be called the Republican toady. I don’t give a crap.
Ben Bernanke says:
To avoid large and unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will ultimately have to choses among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as SS and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense or some combination of the above.
Also according to USA:
So far this fiscal year, the debt held by the public – not including the debt the government owes itself is 58% of the national economy.
Italy’s is 113%; Japan’s is 105%; Britain France and Germany are between 62 and 70%.
Spending that benefits future generations should not be sacrificed – it can boost economic growth, which would make the debt a lesser percentage of the economy.
Says Dean Baker –
The idea that we’re on a precipice and about to fall off a cliff – we’re nowhere close to that.
OMG, William Novelli actually says:
The biggest revenue boost would come from eliminating the Bush tax cuts passed by Congress in 2001 and 2003. If all of them were wiped out, the government would collect about $2.8 trillion more in taxes over the next decade, according to the CBO.
I have a question for Erskine: Should your government pension be cut for the good of the country? What’s good for your 90 year old mother, after all. Do you have any residual government medical benefits? Will those be cut?
As to the nonsense of Alan Simpson: Don’t make me laugh. Republican toady – please, the whole debt commission is made up of conservative to centrists and that includes Dick Durbin. As well, they most likely are the beneficiaries of bush tax cuts, so how is that not a conflict of interest.
Ben Bernacke: Wait – wasn’t he in charge of stuff when the faux depression came down hard on Americans. So, we should listen to him because…. and come on Ben, you know there won’t be any defense cuts that really matter. We do.
And thank you President Obama for the people you have appointed to this commission: it speaks volumes for you.
Young people are especially vulnerable to the soaring debt.
Your future is being mortgaged at record rates.
Things are being done to you, not for you.
So says David Walker, Peter Peterson’s mouthpiece.
Among those things being done to all of us are two insane wars and privatization of our Defense budget – though – wait, I don’t see that mentioned by David. And, one might argue a wedge between the generations once suggestions are made at what age we cut off traditional SS and begin whatever the hell they will come up with (witness the health bill). That should make young people happy – the thought that somehow they are paying into a system that will not benefit them.
This is the beginning of a long propaganda war. I do note that conservative think tanks were in the lead in this particular article and no doubt will continue to be paid well to continue the drumbeat. There was one one-line quote from Dean Baker, a leading liberal economist. (surprised?) They may win. They got away with everything so far – wars, economic meltdowns, paying outrageous bonuses to the very people who are responsible for America’s painful realization that we really have no one – I repeat no one – watching out for us.
Pay back what you borrowed from your citizenry, you sobs.
UPDATE: check out Ian Welsh’s 4/14 blog – he lists the speakers/committee at the 4/28 conference. And check out billy blog (Bill Mitchell’s blog). We all have to become educated as to these issues to survive.