The Grand Scam Part II
The plan that was so bad, it was rejected by it’s own committee has now been reproposed in an even more regressive form by its two irrelevant sponsors.
The new configuration even more clearly reveals the real purpose of the plan – a brazen giveaway to the very same irresponsible corporate oligarchs that created the crisis in the first place. Only in post-Reagan America do economic criminals not only evade justice, but continue to be rewarded for their mismanagement. As the Daily Kos puts it:
The real agenda behind the Catfood Commission leaders, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, has now been revealed with a Simpson-Bowles 2.0 plan, which they’re proposing as a grand bargain alternative to the sequester. Where in the original proposal, they had to work with others—including some genuine Democrats—to create their plan, this is all them and their Fix the Debt corporate bigwigs. Accordingly, whereas the original had a roughly one-to-one spending cuts to new revenue formula, this one is three-to-one cuts to revenue.
After hammering out the sequester with the White House, a triumphant sounding John Boehner said he was satisfied that he’d gotten “everything that he wanted.” After he’d lobbied for it, the House then foisted it on the country by an overwhelming majority of Republican votes, it seemed that their plan was to exploit it for political capital rather than the intended result of forcing them to work out a balanced compromise. The gamble they were willing to take was that they could point a finger at the President for the sake of future electoral victories. The House’s miscalculation is twofold – first, the public isn’t likely to be so easily manipulated into overlooking their political mechanations; and second, the economic toll will be too great to be make the gamble worthwhile.
But beyond the economics, the sequester game gives cover to a rather brazen underlying economic agenda. A look at Simpson Bowles II reveals the real back story
I’ll See Your Sequester, and Raise You Double
The plan’s $2.4 trillion in new savings over the next decade actually doubles the sequester. The plan amounts to another product of the Fix the Debt lobby, characterized by Meteor Blades as “a corporate lobby whose proposals for dealing with the nation’s public debt include giving some of the most profitable corporations a tax windfall of $134 billion on their foreign earnings, much of which is now held in overseas tax havens.” e
And the slight of hand is this: This corporate giveaway plan is achieved through huge cuts on domestic spending, including Medicare and Medicaid spending.
As irrelevant as Simpson and Bowles may seem, and as unpopular as their recommendations are, don’t sell it short. The media takes these two seriously, and the corporate sponsorship behind the plan represents the most powerful and insatiable economic interests in America.