With the March 1 sequester just around the corner, Alan Simpson(R) and Erskine Bowles (D) are resurfacing with a new take on their fiscal commission’s budget plan from 2010. How this planned revision will go over remains to be seen.
The last time Simpson-Bowles was the topic of discussion, both Republicans and Democrats had issues because of the deep cuts and revenue increases. Barak Obama all but dismissed it and did not even attempt to take the suggestions into consideration.
The new revision which surfaced this week proposes to cut the U.S. deficit by 2.4 trillion dollars over 10 years with a combination of spending cuts, tax reform, and a healthcare overhaul. One-fourth of the 2.4 trillion in deficit reduction would come from healthcare reforms and another fourth from tax reform. The rest would come from mandatory spending cuts, lower interest payments and a tougher cap on discretionary spending. It also tackles Social Security and its solvency. All in all the plan would try to keep the nation’s debt under 70 percent of gross domestic product in a decade, and to keep lowering it in the following years.
Let’s face it. If the sequester goes into effect, the spending cuts will be a drop in the bucket toward solving the real problem. What Washington needs to do is “man-up” for once and take some of the suggestions from Simpson-Bowles and put them into action. After all, Obama appointed them to come up with a solution.
However, it looks like Simpson and Bowles are just talking to a brick wall. On Fox Business Channel, Dagen Mcdowell and Connell McShane said that these two guys were leading a two man parade, with Dagen adding, “As my dad would say, it’s a pretty sorry parade.” That seems to be the case, with neither the Democrats nor Republicans willing to sit down and actually put some of these measures in place.
My take on this is that the Democrats and Obama don’t really want to solve the deficit problem at all. How many times during the last few weeks have Obama and the talking heads basically come out and said, “We don’t have a spending problem, we have a deficit problem.” Or “It’s a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.” They are trying to convince the American people that a $16 trillion deficit doesn’t make any difference at all! I suppose that by repeating it over and over to the lame stream media they hope that they can trivialize it and it will become a non-issue.
Perception is reality and if this mantra is continually echoed over and over, pretty soon the public will get so used to hearing these huge numbers it won’t resonate with them anymore. After all, look at the stock market; it reached new highs and who knows where it will go next? How bad can things be? No one is mentioning however that the Fed is pumping money into the economy on a monthly basis via QE3. Somehow that never comes up.
Simpson and Bowles are out there in earnest with some real solutions to a growing problem, but somehow Obama, the media and Congress are ignoring their advice. These two gentlemen are leading the parade but unfortunately no one is showing up to cheer them on.
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