August 03, 2011

#Debtmaggedon - the Catfood duo weighs in

What else are Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson going to say other than the debt deal didn't cut enough?

First, while rhetorically mentioning the need for more defense cuts, they don't name specifics. Not one.

Second, they repeat alarmist claims about the need to cut Social Security a lot, and soon, if we don't "reform" it. Everything on Social Security they say is a lie, other than calling for raising the cap on income subject to FICA tax. On Medicare, they're a mix of laughable and clueless:
We should ask more of health care providers and drug companies through adjustments in payment formulas and increased drug rebates for Medicaid and Medicare, more from beneficiaries through more rational cost-sharing rules that discourage the overutilization of care, and more from lawyers through tort reform. And we need to cap growth in the long run.
"Ask more"? Like "Pretty please, Blue Cross, pretty please, Merck, don't gouge the public so much? "Rational cost-sharing rules?" That's an euphemism for higher co-pays, folks. "Tort reform"? The old GOP canard, cosigned by a neolib Democrat. "Cap growth"? That means ... stop getting so damned sick?

Third, they're kind of weaselly on taxes, too:
We need new revenue to finance the increasing costs of our health care system and an aging population — but it should come from reducing or eliminating tax breaks, not from higher rates. The tax code is riddled with annual tax breaks amounting to $1 trillion — most of which are just government spending in disguise. By reforming them, we can reduce individual and corporate tax rates in a way that keeps the tax code progressive while promoting economic growth and reducing the deficit at the same time.
They don't name which ones, probably because they know the firestorm over killing the mortgage interest deduction.

Remember, though, folks, Preznit Kumbaya still wants something along the lines of what they're talking about.

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