I get so damn sick and tired of listening to the little guy, the vulnerable, the veteran – I am a veteran, and the seniors and this and this and this and the meanwhile this country is headed for second-class status while everybody just babbles into the vapor.
I think we are sick and tired of hearing from Mr. Simpson.
It will be a Democratic Congress and President that will destroy the social safety. Ryan Grimm at Huffington Post reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supports the Simpson-Bowles plan:
During a recent press conference, and again during an interview with Charlie Rose, the California Congresswoman said that she would support what’s known as the Simpson-Bowles plan, a budget proposal that was created by the co-chairs of a fiscal commission set up by President Obama (dubbed the “Catfood Commission” by progressives). The plan was rejected by members of the commission, failing to win the necessary votes to move to a vote in Congress. Yet the co-chairs — former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Morgan Stanley director Erskin Bowles, a Democrat — have worked recently to revive it, and the political class speaks of it as if it passed and is an official recommendation of the commission.
At the end of March, a version of the Simpson-Bowles plan was given a vote on the House floor. It was annihilated, 382-38, with Pelosi and most Democrats voting against it.
But Pelosi, the day after the vote, said that she could still support the plan if it stuck more closely to the original version put out by Simpson and Bowles. “I felt fully ready to vote for that myself, thought it was not even a controversial thing … When we had our briefing with our caucus members, people felt pretty ready to vote for it. Until we saw it in print,” she said. “It was more a caricature of Simpson Bowles, and that’s why it didn’t pass. If it were actually Simpson-Bowles, I would have voted for it.”
Yet when the Simpson-Bowles plan had been originally unveiled, Pelosi called it “simply unacceptable.”
In early April, Pelosi was asked about her initial opposition. “My problem with it was what it did as far as Social Security is concerned. Apart from that we said, there’s a lot to work with,” she told Charlie Rose. “It was a good framework in terms of revenue and in terms of cuts, in terms of defense spending and the rest. It was very bold.”
The Simpson-Bowles plan is a mix of tax increases and spending cuts that trims four trillion dollars off the deficit in ten years. Its cuts to social spending and entitlement programs made it “simply unacceptable” to the Democrats’ liberal base almost as soon as it was announced. Pelosi’s rhetorical retreat from that hard-line position has progressives worried they’ll have nobody left to defend the social safety net, even Medicare and Social Security.
All you need to know? Pete Peterson lives for one reason only – to kill off Social Security. Every crazed billionaire has a project. This is his. (No exaggeration; check the link. It’s an excellent William Greider piece.)
From the “Summit” invite (but click fast; pages that name these names disappear fast at the “Summit” website). The underscoring below is mine:
PETERSON FOUNDATION TO CONVENE 3RD ANNUAL FISCAL SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON ON MAY 15
Participants to include President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chair Alan Simpson
NEW YORK (May 08, 2012) – Against the backdrop of the upcoming elections, and with a series of key fiscal deadlines approaching at the end of the year, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit: America’s Case for Action will feature the nation’s leading experts and elected officials in discussions about the fiscal, economic, and political crossroads facing the country. …
This year’s summit will explore opportunities for compromise and establish the urgent need for action on these challenges, as well as highlight the voices of engaged citizens from across the country. The 2012 Fiscal Summit will work to generate the momentum necessary to motivate lawmakers to take action essential to preserving the American Dream.
Two videos that Gaius featured are significant because as he points out President Barack Obama is on the same page Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan and Pete Peterson.
5-25-2011 Leaked cell phone footage of Bill Clinton cozying up to Paul Ryan. The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.
Barack Obama’s speech on April 5, 2006 at the launch of The Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project where Obama says that “most of us are strong free traders” and praises the goals of the Hamilton Project.
The real Grand Bargain isn’t between the Dems and Republicans. It’s between both of them and you. They’re offering to sell out your children’s Social Security, in exchange for letting you keep your own.
“For millions of older Americans, every day gets a little harder.
Even though the costs of medication, transportation, and utilities are rising, we have already denied seniors a modest Cost of Living Adjustment to their Social Security payments for two years.
The war in Afghanistan costs the taxpayers $190 million PER DAY.
We will continue to spend $1.3 billion every week on war in Afghanistan for the indefinite future while we force our seniors to make tough choices between their medications and their food; their rent and their heat; their phone and gas for their car.”
Laura Flanders of GRITtv.org talks with economist & Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington Dean Baker about the Obama Administration deficit commission‘s recommendations for massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, and with UK journalist Laurie Penny about the growing street protests in London last week. Flanders also talks here with Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water and about the corporate push to privatize water:
“It’s the wrong answer to not a problem,” says Dean Baker of the report out last week from the leaders of Obama’s deficit commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The report, which recommends massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, has been roundly criticized by progressives for its targeting, but Dean notes that the biggest problem with it is that without the health care crisis we still have, we wouldn’t have deficits in the first place.
He joins us via Skype from Washington, D.C. to talk about the commission, the latest action by the Fed, and what can really be done to balance the budget–and why we should be much more focused on creating jobs and really reforming health care than on slashing programs that benefit us all.
“It’s fair to smash up someone’s future but not to smash up someone’s lobby,” notes UK journalist Laurie Penny of the student protests in London last week, now being branded as “violent” and “out of control.” Aside from one person who dropped a fire extinguisher off a building, she points out, the protests were free of violence against people, and property damage needs to be put in the proper perspective.
Laurie joins us via Skype from London, where she attended the protests and covered them for The New Statesman, where she is a columnist, to provide some perspective on misunderstood events–and to fill us in on why they’re said to be only the beginning.
“We’re on a collision course with our finite supply of water,” says Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water. It’s not just that the supply is limited, she notes, it’s our growing population, increased personal use, and climate change that are all playing into what journalist Anna Lenzer calls “the coming shock.”
Susan and Anna join us in studio to discuss water: why we’re limited, why privatization and drinking bottled water isn’t the solution, and why the problem has a better chance of being solved when people work together rather than have decisions imposed by private corporations.
Last week I livestreamed the first closed door meeting of the president’s fiscal commission. I did this out of frustration that we received no response to a letter that we sent from 81 organizations representing over 61 million Americans, asking that all the work of the commission be done in the open. Letters were also sent by Chairman John Conyers and Minority Leader Boehner asking for transparency.
The move only heightens suspicion that rather than forging a national consensus on future spending priorities, the commission’s work will consist of backroom dealings in which members of the Washington aristocracy find high-minded excuses for cutting the social safety net.
You can watch the highlights of our previous livestream here