| The complete rejection of common-sense Keynesian economic measures is almost here. Republicans have hijacked any reasonable conversation regarding how to fairly tax the enormous wealth of our most successful citizens and corporations. Wealth, by the way, they would not have without the infrastructure and laws and workers they so despise.
Most Democrats have shown the backbone of a jellyfish these last few decades, and with our current Towers of Pudding in the U.S. Senate being joined by Economic Austerians Polis, Lamborn, Coffman, Gardner, and whomever else, the Great, Exceptional, World-Leading United State of America is preparing to cement into place the last of the austerity measures required to kill the Middle Class and suspend our Great Egalitarian experiment via the mechanisms of the unelected and unaccountable Simpson-Bowles debt commission:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spoke in front of the Council on Foreign Relations Wednesday, and he gave what amounts to an endorsement of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan.
Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations Wednesday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the debate about the path to fiscal responsibility "really began with Bowles-Simpson and that's where it's going to end."
He added that while the president's Fiscal Year 2013 budget "differs in slight-in small respects from that basic framework, [it] is very close to that basic design. That's the neighborhood in which we've planned to govern."
The Administration's budget for FY2013 indeed includes a $4 trillion deficit reduction package, and the major complaint that President Obama has had for Bowles-Simpson is that it cuts defense spending too harshly. In February, Geithner echoed that criticism, but did add that the cuts to Social Security were not preferable to him.
The lame duck session has so many fiscal issues expiring at the same time that many view it as an opportunity to put together the long-sought "grand bargain" on deficit reduction. Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have recently come out of their shells and resumed a high-profile media tour in an effort to get their framework into the discussion for the lame duck session. The Bowles-Simpson plan does include tax increases of hundreds of billions above the Bush tax cut rates, albeit lower than what would occur if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to completely expire.
Because of this, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi have embraced Bowles-Simpson to tease Republicans for their opposition to higher tax rates. But that also puts Democrats on the hook for embracing cuts to the social safety net, including Medicare and Social Security. And on Wednesday, Geithner said that Bowles-Simpson is "the only path to resolution politically [and] growing essentially economically, and I think that's where it's going to end up." He didn't make the caveats on Social Security or other entitlements.
I usually laugh at the "both sides do it" formula whereby people can blame both Democrats and Republicans for any particular problem, but this truly is a bipartisan blow that will take decades for the Middle Class to recover from.
All the while, our leaders on both sides, the rich, the corporations will be feasting on caviar and champagne and laughing at the dupes who let this happen.