Hint: if you are in lower 90% of income earners, just look in the rear view mirror — because S-B is about to sell you the same ideological snake oil that got America into its current economic mess.
My good friend Jeff Madrick, a old fashioned liberal in the best sense of the term, dissects the Simpson-Bowles cape-job in the article attached below.
In my opinion, the litmus test for measuring the seriousness of the Simpson – Bowles recommendations will be what if anything the commission recommends for containing the Pentagon’s out-of-control budget. At a minimum, the defense budget should be frozen (for reasons cited here) in current dollar terms until the Pentagon can pass the audits legally required by the Chief Financial Officer Act of 1990, not to mention the the letter and original intent of the Accountability and Appropriations Clauses of the Constitution — a document that every officer in the US government has taken an unconditional oath to protect and uphold.
My personal view is that the Pentagon’s budget can and should be placed on a downward path glide path of 2-3% reduction per year in current dollars. One way for doing this, while forging a more sensible and responsive national military strategy, is described here. But, of course, that kind of hard decision making is simply not going to happen in the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac. Indeed, even the generous constraint of a current dollar freeze to a defense budget, which is now at the highest level since the end of WWII, is likely to be a pipe dream, because as Jeff points out, the evidence to date suggests that Simpson – Bowles is likely to give the Pentagon a free ride … again. Maybe we will be surprised, but don’t bet your diminished net worth on it.
New Deal 2.0 11/18/2010
The enthusiasm from moderate to hardcore conservatives for the deficit reduction plan underscore what’s wrong with it.