I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting really tired of watching a bunch of extremely rich pundits sit around and tell the rest of us that there just hasn't been enough shared sacrifice from the working class, the elderly and the poor yet in order to solve our deficit problem. But that's exactly what the viewers are treated to day after day on MSNBC's three hour long Villager conventional wisdom regurgitation-fest called Morning Joe.
This Wednesday was no exception and immediately following the so-called "fiscal cliff" debacle coming to a conclusion, and the pundits on there didn't miss a beat with demands that President Obama had better get out there and use his bully pulpit to explain to the American people that we're all just going to have to be willing to give a little more in order for Republicans to not kill the hostage called the world's economy over this upcoming debt ceiling standoff.
This week we had Tom Brokaw going on Meet the Press and telling everyone that there's nothing wrong with raising the retirement age for Social Security and telling the lie that Americans are living longer. It's little wonder he'd have that view since he's not ever going to have to worry about his retirement security. And yes, rich people like himself are living to be older. Not so much for most of the rest of us.
If these guys want to go on the air and pontificate about how we ought to get a pound of flesh out of the working class, I think their salaries and net worth ought to be displayed right under their names in the chryon for the viewers. Maybe they'd feel a little differently about their opinions.
According to Forbes, Brokaw has an estimated net worth of $70 million.
I'm not sure what some of the others who were on there this Wednesday like David Walker, Chuck Todd, Dan Senor, Richard Haas and Mark Halperin are worth, but I'm pretty sure they're all being paid really well and aren't worried about relying on Social Security for a comfortable retirement as well. But every one of them was joining in on carping about the deficit that none of them cared about it when Bush was blowing holes in it a mile wide with tax cuts and wars that weren't paid for. Deficits only matter when Democrats are elected as president.
And as far as Walker's claim that his group has gone around the country and gotten a positive response from ordinary people as they explained to them that they need to cut our social safety nets in order to balance the budget, well, that's not the experience our own Susie Madrak had when she went to one of them. As she noted:
You know what most of them wanted to do? Soak the rich -- and cut defense spending. [...]
I thought maybe it was just my table, but when they tabulated the results, it was pretty much the same throughout the crowded ballroom of several hundred attendees.
And of course absent from this conversation was any discussion about what to do to get Americans back to work. If we were at full employment and had some sort of decent economic growth in the United States, this deficit problem would take care of itself because we'd have more people paying taxes.
They also keep pretending like Social Security adds to our deficit. It doesn't and it has a surplus. And if they want to solve the problem with Medicare, we need to fix our health care costs over all. We pay way more than any other developed country with worse outcomes and putting seniors into the private insurance market doesn't solve the problem. It just shifts the costs around and drives them up. But you won't hear that discussion while they're pounding their fists about lowing the deficit.