Friday, November 12, 2010

The Ugly Reality

While the mass media focuses on our national telenovela in Washington by kicking off the 2012 Presidential campaigns, the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs released a proposal to address our nation's government spending woes.

My initial reaction is to view this with suspicion. I don't like the sound of a lot of things in that document, but they do seem to make sense.

However, the extremes on the right and the left seem to hate it, and are furiously agitating their followers to hate it, for entirely contradictory reasons.

Which only adds to this report's credibility, in my eyes.

(HT: The Daily Dish, which is all over this story, and the reaction)



alli said...

It's not even close to credible. Just because both "sides" hate it doesn't mean it's credible.

But I think I may have already mentioned how much I hate the report and every single idea contained within it. (Hint: BURN IT WITH FIRE)

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Luckily, not everyone out there is responding with a "burn it with fire" reactionism.

You can put me in the cautiously intrigued category. Which is being fed by posts like this, this, and this.

Most refreshingly, what this proposal has done is to drive discussion towards reality-based problems and examines possible reality-based solutions. Solutions that are, in the current atmosphere, politically possible.

alli said...

I have serious problems with all three of the linked arguments.

Mostly, they boil down to what Digby said as far as the politics of this report.

I don't know how you can even claim that this report drives discussion towards reality-based problems and politically possible reality-based solutions. Nothing in the report is politically possible, and that's why this iteration of the report will never make it past 14 out of the 18 commission members. Nothing in there is reality-based, for reasons that Jon Chait can't understand because he's kinda dim and doesn't want to take Dean Baker's argument in good faith.

Social Security is fine. It has nothing to do with deficit projections, which are driven almost entirely by Medicare. Medicare garners nary a mention in the report, and they even admit that Social Security doesn't affect the damn deficit! They're just putting those recs in there because they care, god bless 'em.

The single best way to ensure long-term solvency is to eliminate the wage cap on FICA taxes. That's sort of in the plan - they only want to increase it a little, rather than eliminate it entirely.

The second best way to ensure long-term solvency is to *get more people working again.* So they can pay the damn FICA tax. The best way to do that is for the Federal Reserve to print money and pay people to build a 21st century infrastructure in this country. But none of that made it into the report.

patsbrother said...

For once we are in agreement. I was pretty sold on parts of it anyway, but when I found out everyone else hated it, I just assumed that meant it really did include good ideas.

Strangely, that seems in part the avenue I take when voting. Which means the people I vote for almost certainly lose.

But at least one is in a runoff!

Go Justice Nahmias!

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

OH NOES!! Sprout agreement rules in effect. Argument lost.

This proposal is due for capitulating failure. Any further discussion on the topic is moot.