As we've already pointed out here at C&L, President Obama has appointed a deficit commission and I agree with Susie, I don't trust any of these people, or their agenda.
Dylan Ratigan used the ongoing turmoil in Greece to play deficit hawk with Rep. Paul Ryan just as Judd Gregg did on Morning Joe not long ago. Seems to be a running theme with these right wingers. Goldman Sachs goes in and destroys Greece's economy just like Wall Street has done to the United States and use the public outrage there over what happened to justify "entitlement reform", or in other words, destroying the social safety net.
Ratigan just like Tweety is all over the map and you never know what you're going to get out of him from segment to segment. He went from talking sense with Bernie Sanders about auditing the Fed to this nonsense with the new GOP golden boy Ryan. Watching this made me angry enough to feel like going into full a full Mike Malloy mode cursing rant but I'll share with you what Dan Froomkin had to say about this deficit commission instead since I find his criticisms quite a bit more productive than ranting about how craven these people are if we're going to push back on this nonsense.
They come off as so reasonable, so high-minded, so balanced in their thinking.
They are the pillars of the Washington establishment, and they were everywhere you looked at Wednesday's gala "Fiscal Summit" organized by corporate-takeover mogul Peter G. Peterson's eponymous foundation. (C-SPAN has it all on video.)
Listen to them and they will tell you how troubled -- how very, profoundly troubled -- they are by the nation's rising debt and dangerous fiscal path. They will tell you very self-righteously how you should be troubled, too. And they will tell you that, fortunately, they know -- in fact, "everybody knows" -- what is best for all of us.
And yet, the illusion of beneficence shatters the minute they get into the details. Because beneath their moving platitudes, the only concrete deficit-reducing proposal that they all agree on involves cutting Social Security payouts, in part by raising the retirement age.
...That $2.5 trillion Trust Fund is the repository of payroll taxes paid by generations of working Americans, and the government bonds it holds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America. But to Peterson, that doesn't count, because the actual money that was paid in has been spent on other things and the government, to pay it back, would have to find the money somewhere else -- maybe in taxes, maybe by borrowing more money.
So while he won't say it in so many words, Peterson is essentially advocating for the U.S. to default on its debts -- not to the Chinese, of course, (that would "reduce investor confidence"), but to the American working people.
And although he won't say it in so many words, Peterson's message to the retirees, widows and orphans who depend on Social Security is: Sorry! We already spent all your money feeding the military industrial complex and paying for tax cuts for the rich and so on. We don't owe you a thing.
Doesn't sound so high-minded now, does it?
And consider the track record of these pillars of the Washington establishment. Many of these men, far from deserving trust and respect, should actually be disqualified from setting public policy.
Go read the rest here. Froomkin is spot on with his criticisms. These people who are never going to have to worry about their own economic security just love telling the rest of us how we'd better suck it up after they've allowed Social Security to be raided and after we've had the biggest redistribution of wealth since the Gilded Age. If President Obama thinks the American people are going to go along with this commission and the Paul Ryans of the world, he's going to find himself in the same place George Bush was after he tried getting the public to support privatizing it.