Excuse Me?

Just in case you wondered if I was overreacting to this “deficit commission”:

But Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democratic leader, denounced suggestions of an administration VAT plan as the “musings of right-wing cable shows.”

Yeah, we’ll see. I’ll file that, right under “public option promises.”

He also admonished “bleeding heart liberals” to be open to program reductions to restore fiscal balance. An hour after the commission’s meeting, however, several liberal activists held a conference call with reporters to press for additional spending to create jobs, lower military spending, higher taxes for the wealthy and no cuts in Medicare or Social Security.

Their views were perhaps best reflected on the commission by Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. She called for more spending on infrastructure projects and education, saying that “balancing the budget or reducing the debt are, in my mind, not goals in and of themselves.”

Mr. Obama met privately with the commission members at the White House before their meeting at an executive office building across the street. In the Rose Garden afterward, he told reporters that he had insisted that everything be on the negotiating table. That admonition, he has acknowledged, also obliges him to be willing to set aside a campaign promise that all but the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans would not see their federal taxes rise in his term.

The president said that he had inherited a deficit of $1.3 trillion in 2009, with debt projected to rise by $8 trillion over the decade, and that he had taken steps to restrain its growth despite a recession. But he conceded it was not enough to avert fiscal calamity.

5 thoughts on “Excuse Me?

  1. I still say that you’re premature in bashing the commission. I don’t give a rip what they say; it’s what they recommend that I’m interested in seeing.

    I don’t really see them recommending a VAT. I also can’t figure out for the life of me how the right-wing keeps calling a VAT a leftist idea when it has been trotted out by Republicans many times over the last 20 years.

    I do think that they’ll embrace some of Pete Peterson’s meme about cutting SS and Medicare and that’s a steaming pile of crap. The fact is that there is probably a fair amount of Federal spending that can be cut but nowhere near enough to balance the budget in the near term. Tax rates will have to go up in some form or another and I don’t really have a problem with that. Marginal rates were significantly higher when Reagan came into office and a mild increase, especially for the highest brackets, is in order. Combine that with some reasonable spending cuts and an end to the Bush tax cuts and you’ll have a good start. Let’s not get all crazy or anything but we could even think about instituting single payer health care down the road for even greater savings.

  2. Commissions’ findings are nearly always predetermined by the people appointed to lead and serve on them.

    Obama has done another pre-compromise to the Right.

  3. It may be too early to bash the commission but it is not to early to fill the halls of Congress with rumblings of discontent at the thought of SSI & Medicare cuts when removal of the earnings cap would properly fund the system. And the idea of a 45% marginal rate for the top earners would please most Americans. We do believe in everybody pulling their weight.

  4. Some one-term President said, “Read my lips ….etc.” Here’s the next one.

  5. The US economy will collapse this summer. It cannot be held up anymore. A VAT will only exascerbate the problem and create an even bigger consumer spending vaccum than exists already. The oil spill will cause fisheries to close, those that remain will jack up the price of seafood sky high. Rising fuel costs (OPEC is waiting till May to spring new raises on us all) will seal the fate of millions who are presently JUST treading water. More foreclosures, hyperinflation and bread lines by September.

    And that’s the “good news” scenario.

    Mars, bitches!

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