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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 16, 2012

 
The Walking Dead Deal

by digby

Is there no one in America who can stop this zombie Judd Gregg is so in love with?

There is a great deal of discussion about how, after this November’s election, there will occur in December the Mother of All Lame-Duck sessions by Congress. There is considerable legitimacy to this expectation.
[...]
Two major events will occur at the beginning of 2013 with consequences that may force Congress to act.

First is the sequester imposed by the budget deal that led to raising the debt ceiling last year which will force a cut of approximately $500 billion to $600 billion over the next 10 years in defense spending on top of the already significant cuts put in place from last summer. This is coupled with a significant further sequester on non-defense discretionary spending. Almost everyone realizes that with soldiers in the field, the defense cuts forced by the sequester would be dangerous and inappropriate.

Second, the Bush tax rates are scheduled to expire, which would cause a tax increase affecting all Americans who are productive to the tune of between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion.

These two events, if allowed to go forward as proposed, would bludgeon the economic recovery and almost assure a relapse of the economy into some level of contraction, possibly even a renewed recession.

While the debt reduction that would result from these spending cuts and tax increases is needed to reduce our disastrous debt course, the manner in which they will occur will be counterproductive and would actually aggravate, to a large degree, the long-term debt problem by slowing economic growth.


Right. The deficit would be closed by allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire. In other words it would take our tax rates back to where they were in 2002. Which I would think politicians in both parties could be thrilled about because they could then go on a frenzy of new tax cuts for the middle class and be big heroes. And O suppose they would do just that if it didn't disturb the corporate masters. For good reason they fear that in the end they might be forced to spend what amount to tip money in higher taxes and they aren't taking any chances. Indeed, they are insisting that they pay less.

And anyway, where's the fun in any of this if they can't force average working Americans to sacrifice what little security they have in life:

The only viable, bipartisan vehicle that has been put forward to produce such an orderly reduction in our debt is the plan offered by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget does a great deal, but it is partisan and therefore not legislatively viable. President Obama has proposed a few ideas, but they are also partisan and not viable.
Gee, I wonder which plan Judd Gregg proposes?

The Simpson-Bowles commission should reconvene before the crush of the lame- duck session. It should start where it left off with the fiscal menu it put on the table to cut $4 trillion from the debt over 10 years.

It should, however, be ready to expand beyond its original proposal, incorporating ideas from the president and Ryan, and adjust and update the original proposal. It should prepare a template that will give this lame-duck session, on which political pressure will be intense, an opportunity to act outside the partisan boxes that will frustrate serious action.

Very Serious Action. And I think you know what that means.

As I have been saying for months, pray for gridlock. Any plans along these lines are lethal for average Americans. (And keep in mind that Judd Gregg was President Obama's original choice for commerce secretary...)

Update: In case anyone's mistaking Gregg for an honest broker, recall this. He's a full blown deficit hysteric.

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