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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The whole point of the Deficit Commission
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Monday, September 06, 2010

The whole point of the Deficit Commission

even though glenn didn't post this with a specific focus on labor day, having in mind instead a snide tribute to the honesty of alan simpson, it's still highly apropos for today's national holiday...
The whole point of the Commission is that the steps which Washington wants to take -- particularly cuts in popular social programs, such as Social Security -- can occur only if they are removed as far as possible from democratic accountability. As the economist James Galbraith put it when testifying before the Commission in July:

Your proceedings are clouded by illegitimacy. . . . First, most of your meetings are secret, apart from two open sessions before this one, which were plainly for show. There is no justification for secret meetings on deficit reduction. No secrets of any kind are involved. . . .

Second, that some members of the commission are proceeding from fixed, predetermined agendas. Third, that the purpose of the secrecy is to defer public discussion of cuts in Social Security and Medicare until after the 2010 elections. You could easily dispel these suspicions by publishing video transcripts of all of your meetings on the Internet, and by holding all future meetings in public . . .

Conflicts of interest constitute the fourth major problem. The fact that the Commission has accepted support from Peter G. Peterson, a man who has for decades conducted a relentless campaign to cut Social Security and Medicare, raises the most serious questions.

That's why Commission co-chair Alan Simpson -- with his blunt contempt for Social Security and and other benefit programs (such as aid to disabled veterans) and his acknowledged eagerness to slash them -- has done the country a serious favor. His recent outbursts have unmasked this Commission and shed light on its true character. Unlike his fellow Commission members, who imperiously dismiss public inquiries into what they're doing as though they're annoying and inappropriate, Simpson -- to his genuine credit -- has been aggressively engaging critics, making it impossible to ignore what the Commission is really up to.


One of the most significant developments in the U.S. is the rapidly and severely increasing rich-poor gap. A middle class standard of living is being suffocated and even slowly eliminated, as budget cuts cause an elimination of services that are hallmarks of first-world living. Because the wealthiest Americans continue to consolidate both their monopoly on wealth and, more important, their control of Congress and the government generally, we respond to all of this by enacting even more policies which exacerbate that gap and favor even more the wealthiest factions while taking more from the poorest and most powerless. And now, the very people responsible for the vulnerable financial state of the U.S. want to address that problem by targeting one of the very few guarantors in American life of a humane standard of living: Social Security.

i would ask just exactly when my country became the bought and paid for property of our super-rich elites but that would be seriously disingenuous on my part... it's been going on for the better part of my nearly 63 years... it's just taken me well over 2/3 of that for me to see it for what it is...

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