| As Republicans happily prepare to do real harm to the fragile economic recovery while at the same time attempting to blame the President for any and all affects (No, both sides don't do it) of one of the few bills this lame-assed Congress has been able to pass, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson rear their zombie heads with a New and Improved! B.S. 2.0 that oh-so-conveniently moves the budget goal posts further to the right. Evidently, the only mandate we can take from the last election is that progressives can't win for winning.
Old Mrs. B. and S. have added more cuts and asked for fewer revenues in the latest version of their infamous plan to balance a slowly disappearing budget deficit.
Digby has a few tasty nuggets from America's leading Deficit Scolds:
The plan roughly represents the ideological midpoint between the Obama and Boehner fiscal cliff blueprints - which is why the plan is so heavily tilted towards cuts. (This "ideological midpoint" is the exact spot at which Democrats will claim a victory for the world's most famous, and least productive sixth man: bipartisanship. -ed.)
As Kevin Drum notes, this is particularly odd, given that spending cuts have already been "75 percent of the deficit reduction we've done so far."
Greg Sargent further points out how this so-called "center point" actually represents a major move to the right:
[T]he Boehner fiscal cliff plan raised taxes only on income over $1 million; the Obama offer raised taxes only on income over $400,000.
Both of these are to the right of the balance Obama just won an election on: The expiration of the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000.
Of course, Democrats are afraid to claim their recent mandate while Republicans boldly ignore it.
Did I say we Dems can't win for winning?
Digby, on the unstoppable force that is Austerity:
That tax reform zombie is the undead step-child of supply-side economics, that last magical thinking economic plan that promised to raise revenues by lowering them.
It won't work any better this time, but damned if they aren't going to keep trying.
So even as we've already taken big chunks of cuts out of the budget, everyone* still says we need balance, oh, and yet more bipartisanship. Here's Michael Bennet harping away like he's been in DC for a hundred years:
A comprehensive approach should meet three standards. It should substantially reduce the deficit, it must demonstrate that everyone is in it together and it must be bipartisan.
No mention of reality or facts by our senator. But boy, does he get a nickel every time he says "bipartisan"?
So we've already taken big cuts, yet the plans keep moving to the right for the further benefit of the wealthy and stock-option-endowed. Where's the "balance" everyone keeps urging?
It's in the Progressive Caucus plan that's on the table in the House, yet almost surely not supported by self-proclaimed caucus member and Third Way
honorary hypocritical chair Jared Polis:
There is actually a liberal position in this debate, and it isn't the one held by Obama. As you may recall, House progressives recently released their own blueprint for Round 3 of deficit reduction; it proposed some $948 billion in new revenues, derived entirely from closing loopholes and deductions enjoyed by the rich.
The result of this plan, if enacted, would be that overall, our short term fiscal problems would have been resolved through roughly equivalent spending cuts and tax hikes - which is to say, through roughly equivalent concessions by both sides.
Unfortunately, due to Washington, DC's, super-collider-like momentum, a willful ignorance by our representatives of specific facts in the budget "debate", and the abject fear Democrats have of being called "soft on defense" the truly balanced approach to closing the deficit without harming the Middle Class will probably go no where.
And we'll have several prominent Colorado Democrats to thank for that.