Crowley: Political Leaders Should Listen To Deficit Commission Even If Voters Hate Their Recommendations

While discussing America's current economic situation and whether voters think it's going to improve or not on CNN's Your Money, panel member Candy Crowley made this bizarre statement as to how our political leadership should react to the
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While discussing America's current economic situation and whether voters think it's going to improve or not on CNN's Your Money, panel member Candy Crowley made this bizarre statement as to how our political leadership should react to the recommendations from the Catfood commission's co-chairs, Simpson and Bowles.

CROWLEY: Well, they're going to try next year. I mean, here's the problem. Everybody talks about reducing the debt and reducing the deficit, which are two separate things. But nonetheless, we've had this debt commission come and say, well, here's how you do it. And there's just three big ticket items, right? Federally funded health care, the Pentagon and Social Security. Well, you know, what you need here are three politicians, the Speaker, the Majority Leader in the Senate, and the president who don't care about re-election to kind of try to lead this. Because when you look at all the polling, the public is not for cutting any of those or changing the benefits.

MARTIN: There you go.

CROWLEY: And you can't get to it any other way.

First of all, since when do any politicians not care about being reelected? Sadly it seems to be all they care about too often and raising money to do it rather than looking after their constituents. Second, the "everybody" that's obsessed with deficit reduction are not the American voters, but our beltway Villagers and the politicians who have decided to use this opportunity for some good old Shock Doctrine type changes to our social safety nets.

Next we get Crowley saying we need to address "federally funded health care", by which I assume she means Medicaid. Of course no mention there that the reason it is so expensive is the government is paying for the oldest and sickest patients while the insurance companies get to make a profit off of the rest of us and how opening that system up to everyone would make it viable and allow the rest of us to quit making the insurance company CEO's rich.

And I'd love to know what polls she's looking at that say voters don't want any cuts to the Pentagon and how they were worded. Since spending on the military and defense have more or less been used as a jobs program it would not surprise me to see polling that suggested voters did not want specific programs cut that benefited their areas of the country economically. Our military industrial complex has made sure that the benefits of keeping it in place are spread around to as many Congressional districts as possible intentionally so there's never enough wide spread opposition to different programs to see the hatchet come down on that budget.

And last of all, Crowley admits that making cuts to Social Security might be political suicide for anyone that does it, but thinks it's some sign of leadership that any of them are willing to do it. And what is absent in her argument here? Increasing taxes to keep Social Security solvent past 2037 and the fact that Democrats are acting like scared sheep on tax increases to make that argument and lacking the leadership to be honest about what would fix it without inflicting the pain on the working class.

She also more or less admits that Social Security is not a part of the problem with the deficit but conflates the issue so badly with her doublespeak on deficit and debt and what's actually contributing to the problem with the federal budget that most of the viewers would not realize that after listening to her.

Why Crowley is even a part of a discussion on economics on this show in the first place is beyond me, but I could say the same thing about the rest of them as well. Sadly this is the type of discussion which happens day after day on our cable "news" shows that do little or nothing to inform the public of what's needed to get our economy growing again, which is to start making the rich pay their fair share in taxes, quit rewarding companies for outsourcing jobs, level the playing field for American workers with our trade laws and do something to reverse the trend where the the upper 1% control all of the wealth in America. I'm all for tax cuts for corporations that get rewarded for actually putting Americans back to work and not shipping our jobs overseas or just fleecing the public like our insurance industries.

This ended up being just another really dishonest discussion about what's causing our economic woes and what to do to fix them that we're sadly seeing day after day by our chattering class in the media.

Full transcript from CNN of the exchange above.

MARTIN: The bottom line is - what I keep going back to, you can't sit here and keep talking about deficit, deficit, deficit when the tax cuts speak to increasing the deficit. And then you say but keep the tax cuts will also cut the deficits.

VELSHI: Unless - unless - interesting point that you both are making. Candy, unless there's only one way to cut taxes and cut the deficit at the same time and that is with economic growth. If this - if this -

MOORE: That's right.

VELSHI: -- economy were to grow faster than it's growing right now, you can have your cake and eat it, too, but it's not. So this puts everybody in Washington into a difficult and precarious position. I mean, Roland makes the point, Candy, that it's a percent or two percent of the population but it's disproportionately a job creating one or two percent. So how do you square the circle?

CROWLEY: Well, they're going to try next year. I mean, here's the problem. Everybody talks about reducing the debt and reducing the deficit, which are two separate things. But nonetheless, we've had this debt commission come and say, well, here's how you do it. And there's just three big ticket items, right? Federally funded health care, the Pentagon and Social Security. Well, you know, what you need here are three politicians, the Speaker, the Majority Leader in the Senate, and the president who don't care about re-election to kind of try to lead this. Because when you look at all the polling, the public is not for cutting any of those or changing the benefits.

MARTIN: There you go.

CROWLEY: And you can't get to it any other way.

MARTIN: And, Ali - and, Ali, a critical point -

MOORE: And, Ali, can I -

VELSHI: Stephen, go ahead.

MARTIN: - we also see when it comes to these politicians as well, and that is you now have all the politicians who keep saying Washington can't create jobs. And so think about it. We keep saying what will Washington do, when we just saw an election where we have all of the people saying -

VELSHI: All right.

MARTIN: Washington can't create jobs. OK. Then what is it?

VELSHI: And, Stephen, last word on that.

MOORE: The last word, this is a personal finance show, YOUR $$$$$. One of the things people have to realize, if we don't get this tax issue resolved in the next week or so, that everyone's taxes, not just rich people, Ali, on January 1st go up. And for a middle class family, you're talking about $2,000 or $3,000 more per year. The IRS, by the way, says they're not - they don't have time now to change the tax forms.

MARTIN: Two-fifty and less. That's the answer, Steve.

VELSHI: All right, guys.

MOORE: You can't shake it from there, Roland.

VELSHI: Good discussion. Thank you, all of you. Thanks, Candy -

MARTIN: That means your taxes and my taxes will go up, Steve.

VELSHI: -- and Roland and Stephen.

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