The dynamic duo of deficit hysteria are at it again. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have put out yet another deficit reduction proposal calling for $2.5 trillion in reductions.
Not surprisingly their plan includes cutting Medicaid, raising the Medicare retirement age, adopting the Chained-CPI for Social Security, and cutting military pensions.
This is effectively Simpson and Bowles’s response to President Obama’s pre-compromise budget and it proves why the strategy was misguided. The supposed justification for the Obama budget was to win over the “Serious People” by showing he was willing to to make the tough choices while the GOP isn’t.
Instead of fully embracing Obama’s budget and attacking the Republicans for not getting onboard, the professional deficit hysteria industry chose to declare it insufficient. It is not serious enough because it doesn’t contain enough terribly designed policies that hurt regular people, like raising the Medicare age.
Obama moved to what the Serious People claimed was the “center” and almost immediately the people who make a living off blaming both sides and/or hyping deficit concerns started to redefine the “center” as even further to the right. The fact that this “center” has no support among regular people is almost completely ignored.
Photo by Dave Robinette under Creative Commons license