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Sunday, July 29, 2012

'Deficit Debate Driven by the Wealthy'

Michael Hiltzik says the Simpson/Bowles deficit reduction plan is "really a guide to cutting services and benefits for the working and middle class while protecting the interests of the wealthy":

Deficit debate driven by the wealthy, by Michael Hiltzik, Commentary, LA Times: ...The fiscal cliff is supposedly what lurks at the end of this year, when billions of dollars in tax cuts expire and government spending cuts mandated by the big deficit deal in 2011 kick in. According to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, the combination of a steep increase in the tax bite and a steep reduction in spending across the board could cut economic growth in 2013 to 0.5% from a projected 4.4%... The CBO says that by any traditional reckoning, that would mean recession.
Only a political structure in the grip of hopeless insanity would allow that to happen. That's why the Washington observer class still expects Democrats and Republicans to reach a deal eventually...
Yet there's still reason for most Americans to fear the deal-making aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff. For one thing, the debate seems increasingly to be driven by the wealthy, who can be trusted to protect their own prerogatives while declaring everyone else's to be wasteful. Just two weeks ago, a squadron of CEOs and bankers, including Dimon and hedge fund billionaire Pete Peterson, lined up behind a campaign to impose adult supervision on our squabbling Congress.
Their working brief is a document grandiosely entitled "The Moment of Truth."It's a deficit-reduction plan cooked up by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles, an ex-investment banker claiming Democratic Party cred from his nearly two-year stint as chief of staff in the Clinton White House. ...
In any environment of serious debate, Simpson-Bowles would be dismissed out of hand. ... "The Moment of Truth" bills itself as a roadmap to deficit reduction, but it's really a guide to cutting services and benefits for the working and middle class while raising revenues only modestly, if that. ...

    Posted by on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 09:11 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (25)


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