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.