Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fiscal Irresponsibility

Apropos of the above... Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the president's budget commission... were on Charlie Rose for the entire hour last evening and it was compelling television.  The co-chairs released their budget/deficit reduction suggestions last week, which feature $200 billion in budget cuts, tax reform proposals, and a host of other ideas.  Bowles and Simpson were on Rose's program less to defend their suggestions... which have taken fire from both sides of the aisle... and more to discuss the dire necessity to get the budget under control, as if any sentient being doesn't realize the gravity of the situation.  I'd love to give you a specific link to the discussion, Gentle Reader, but it appears Mr. Rose hasn't updated his web site today.

I've read the Bowles-Simpson proposals and I'm on-board with them.  One of the interesting things about the proposals the chairmen put forth is the fact everyone sacrifices in order to correct the country's financial imbalance.  None of America's Sacred Cows are exempt from strong medicine and that is as it should be.  The other thing that interests me is the reaction of the Usual Suspects... which is to say the Left went totally ballistic, as evidenced by Nancy Pelosi's comment that the recommendations were "simply unacceptable."  You KNOW the co-chairs are on the right track if Nancy hates what they're doing.  The Right has its issues with Bowles-Simpson, too, but they are mild compared to the keening wails on the Left.

So.  The commission's official report is due by December first and the Bowles-Simpson suggestions are NOT the official recommendations... they're billed as "conversation starters."  It remains to be seen what the commission will actually SAY, given that 14 of its 18 members must agree on the specific proposals that will be given to the president.  The commission's liberal democrats have already gone on the record as opposing what the co-chairs suggested last week.  This should be interesting.

Which brings us full-circle in reference to the 'toon above.  If Congress had behaved in a fiscally prudent and responsible manner for the past 75 fucking years we wouldn't BE in this boat.

Update, 1345 hrs:  The complete video of last night's Charlie Rose episode is up now.  I still can't give you a specific link but it's on the main page as I write.  HIGHLY recommended... I cannot possibly over-emphasize that point.


  1. Amen, on the trenchant observation made in your closer.

  2. Ditto that, Sully.

    I haven't read the entire proposal, but I like what I've heard so far.

    I heard some pundit or another opine this morning that the current Congress is "the most successful since the Johnson administration." Well, that just speaks volumes, doesn't it?

  3. Jim: Thank ya!

    Moogie: The proposal and a supporting PowerPoint file are at the PBS link in my second graf. It only takes about a half hour to read through the whole thing, slightly more if you stop to think about what they're saying. The military is gonna be VERY upset... one of the proposals is to delay paying military retirement benefits until the retiree reaches age 60. Like I said... EVERYONE sacrifices.

  4. Here in OK, Senators Inhofe and Coburn, both Republicans, seem to be at odds over government earmarks. Coburn want to do away with them, and Inhofe is unwilling to do so. It seems once you get used to getting money from the government, it is hard to give it up.

  5. Paragraph number four. On Target!!!!

  6. Your last is spot on. And, of course there is wailing and gnashing of teeth on the left. Cut pork and pet projects and they lose their base. Besides, it's pretty damned clear they still don't get it. Just look at who go elected as the House Minority Leader.

  7. Glenn: Thanks.

    BR: You act the Dims electing Pelosi is a BAD thing! Heh.

  8. Lou: I have mixed emotions about earmarks. But not about the ABUSE of earmarks.

  9. The Reserve Component already has to wait til 60 to draw retirement. It's an extra reason to celebrate.

  10. Ya, I knew that, Moogie. I sure am glad **I** didn't have to wait, tho. I would have wound up working until I was 60 instead of "goin' early." Yet another window I managed to slip thru.

  11. Buck, I don't consider it to be a bad thing at all. Just further proof that the dimwits "just don't get it".

  12. Well, some of 'em got it. I read there were 30 or so in their caucus that voted against Nan. I'm glad to see her botoxed face as Minority Leader, tho. She's a symbol of EXACTLY what's wrong with the Donkey Party. We're on the same page.

  13. I've asked to meet with the President, but so far no luck...

    Anyway, my solution is, that as the national debt goes past One Trillion, a National Sales Tax kicks-in on all non-food items. The sales tax will be at a rate that the debt will be paid off in five years.

    I have my Power Point all ready.

    Note, at 13 Trillion in debt, the interest rate of the sales tax will be significant, so you might want to get onboard early with this...

  14. Re: "Territorial System"

    Definition: The U.S. should tax corporations only on the income produced inside this country.

    I know I'm nit-picking proposals, but I can't resist.

    God bless these guys, but I guess I flunked Economics. Right now the corporations are moving offshore. If we cut their taxes by the amount they move offshore, what reason would they have to stay here.

    Now, I know they propose reducing the corporate tax, and maybe this will keep them grounded a bit, after all, Ford in Mexico is spending billions on machine guns to protect their assembly lines, but reducing corporate taxes by 4% doesn't seem like a big enough trade-off to me.

  15. I know I'm nit-picking proposals, but I can't resist.

    But the Simpson-Bowles proposal is head and shoulders above the current situation. It doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell, tho... from what I read. NO one... no politician, that is... likes it, so I'm thinkin' they must have done good.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.