| Senator Michael Bennet is deficit hawk trying to prove his Austerity/Republican bona fides by continuing to whine about our nation's debt.
For anyone who follows the news closely, they would know the debt is decreasing rapidly and is in no way, shape or form a significant long-term problem for us. Many, even those who do follow the news, might be surprised to know the United States had a budget surplus last month:
The US government budget showed a surplus in January for the first time since September as the overall budget deficit trended lower, Treasury Department data shows.
The federal budget had a surplus of $US2.9 billion, the biggest January surplus in five years, the Treasury said.
Yeah, I was surprised when I read it, too.
But I have the feeling Michael Bennet wouldn't be satisfied that the economy was correcting its imbalances as it slowly grows and adds jobs:
"Washington needs to have a broad and serious conversation about our nation's deficits and debt. We need a bipartisan (1) and comprehensive deficit solution that builds on the work done by the President's Fiscal Commission that materially addresses the problem, ensures we're all in it together and is bipartisan (2)."
And for someone who complains that Washington is broken, he sure does want to be bipartisan with the party that has done the most to break its role in our representative democracy: REPUBLICANS.
- Senator Michael Bennet, Bipartisan Fetishist
He wants bipartisanship so bad he mentioned it twice in his little quote on his Senate web page, and is surely more in agreement with NY Times right-wing hack David Brooks, who also constantly decries the lack of bipartisanship, than his reality-based colleague Paul Krugman.
So who fits the bill for Bennet's ideal solution to our nation's budget issues? Erskine Bowles and known liar Alan Simpson; their first failed attempt at a deficit reduction plan - B.S. 1.0; their second - B.S. 2.0, and Fix the Debt - yet another front group founded by self-appointed Social Security Annihilator Pete Peterson:
Most commentators paint Fix the Debt as a billionaire-led, CEO-led operation to kill (or at least seriously maim) the social programs by delivering one blow after another. But Fix the Debt is also a bipartisan operation. Take a look at the great research done by the true-progressive watchdog group SourceWatch and PRwatch, the good folks who brought you ALECexposed.
From their new Fix the Debt portal, we find this about Fix the Debt and its leadership (my emphasis everywhere and some reparagraphing):
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy - in partnership with the Nation magazine - exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.
Fix the Debt is led by the president of the CRFB, Maya MacGuineas. Erskine Bowles, and Alan Simpson are listed as its "founders." Michael Bloomberg, Judd Gregg, and Ed Rendell are listed as its "co-chairs." There is an 11 member steering committee.
A fine mix of perps. Erskine Bowles is a Clinton man. Bowles and Simpson are Obama men, hand-picked by our president to lead his personal "fix the debt" commission, aka the Catfood Commission. Judd Gregg was the Republican that Obama wanted to install in his first-term cabinet as Secretary of Big Money. (Scorecard note: When you hear Simpson-Bowles, you should see Barack Obama. In my mind, they are his surrogates, his water-carriers, just as he and Bill Clinton are Pete Peterson's water-carriers.)
Finally, Ed Rendell is not a liberal, but he plays one on TV, thanks to the always generous face-time offered him by MSNBC's supposed liberal program hosts.
Ed Rendell is a co-chairman of Fix the Debt. In media appearances, he is only introduced as the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011), yet he has extensive corporate and financial ties.
There's more at the Americablog link, but Rendell is a corporate lobbyist of the most vile kind, a affable Fix the Debt lobbyist who also wants to cut Social Security, and an inescapable face on the cable news shows.
Conveniently, Fix the Debt and its bipartisan board fits Michael Bennet's strict definition of a solution to a 't':
1) it's Bipartisan. OMG!!!!!11!11! Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo!
2) it has structural, long-term economic adjustments to our budget, though none that the public really supports.
3) and it cuts Social Security with Democratic support that is completely unaccountable to voters.
If Fix the Debt succeeds in its primary mission to cut Social Security, Michael Bennet will be quite proud of the accomplishment.
I think he should reject it wholeheartedly and start doing the people's work, not the work of the 1%-ers, who will never have to worry where their next meal comes from, whether they'll be able to get in to see the doctor, or whether they should pay the rent or buy their prescription heart medicine.