Nancy Pelosi, Richard Trumka, and Grover Norquist Band Together to Prove that Deficit Reduction is Very, Very Difficult

Yesterday afternoon, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the two co-chairs of the president’s fiscal commission, released a proposal for reducing the deficit and stabilizing the national debt. The plan, which is not the official plan but a draft put forward solely by the two chairmen, slows the long-term growth of Social Security benefits, cuts defense spending, attempts to toughen the PPACA’s Medicare cost-controls, and gets rid of popular tax breaks, like the mortgage interest tax deduction.

Outgoing Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi doesn’t like it one bit. She said the proposal was “simply unacceptable.” Nor does AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka, who declared that Bowles and Simpson had just told working Americans to “drop dead.” So is the proposal a win for the right? Not according to Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, who warned that any politician signing onto the plan would be violating his group’s no-new-taxes pledge. And this is just in response to a draft proposal by the two co-chairs—a draft that has not been endorsed by the president, or Republican leadership, or even by the other members of the commission.

I don’t want to suggest that there aren’t legitimate objections to some of the ideas in the proposal. I have a number of objections myself. But if the reaction to the co-chairs’ draft is any indication, a commission that was designed to help find a bipartisan consensus has succeeded mostly in sparking bipartisan opposition. Just in case you were still wondering why deficit reduction is so hard, well, now you know.

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  • Almanian||

    *shocked face*

    Wha..who...I just...I can't believe this is the initial response!

    Are you quite sure this is accurate, Peter?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Like I said in the Morning Links... they are going to reject any suggestions that doesn't involve SPENDING MORE MONEY ON SHIT.

  • Steve||

    Gotta do SOMETHING with all that new money we're printing. WEEEE!!!

  • Paul Krugman||

    But it's *okay* to print new money. Because I said so.

  • shrike||


  • shrike||

    (damn threading - that was supposed to be its own thread)

  • The Gobbler||

    Would't that be for Max?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So Nancy Pelosi, Richard Trumka, and Grover Norquist walk into a bar...

  • ||

    ... the bar explodes. The world experiences a brief period of mourning that is drowned out my cheering. New idiots take over.


  • Brett L||

    This is good, it means everyone's ox is getting gored. Let's do it.

  • ||

    "Thou shalt not touch mine.

    Make HIM pay for it."

  • ||

    We won't tax you
    We won't tax me
    We'll tax the man
    Behind the tree

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...gets rid of popular tax breaks, like the mortgage interest tax deduction.

    Why can't they come to their senses when I'm on the other end of my mortgage? I demand to suckle at that teat a little longer!

    The rest of those cuts, though... You people should just suck it up and accept tough choices need to be made.

  • ||

    Why can't they come to their senses when I'm on the other end of my mortgage?

    My house is about to become a business expense for my new consulting service.

  • you mean...||'s not already? My, but aren't you the good little taxpayer.

  • ||

    The lamentations of the women are music to my ears.

  • Proud Cimmerian||

    Especially after crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you!

  • ||

    The New York Times' editorial board (in a piece you'll have to find all by yourself) is outraged and dumbfounded that these penurious bastards could possibly expect the federal government to squeak by on a mere 19% of GDP.

  • ||

    Actually it's 21%

  • David Rollins||

    I can see why the Dems would oppose raising the retirement age and lowering the marginal tax rate...but eliminating the mortgage interest deduction? A boon to renters (Dems). Not sure why they'd oppose that.

    But then I don't know why Norquist would oppose it, either. Someone please post his reasons / speculation.

  • ||

    A boon to renters (dems), but a bane to owners (independents).

  • ||

    A bane to mortgage brokers (contributors)

  • Wesley||

    I'm guessing that Norquist's opposition is mostly to the $.15/gallon increased gas tax proposal. I think the income tax proposals are a step in the right direction.

  • David Rollins||

    a fifteen cent gas tax? must have missed that detail. No fucking way I'm behind this gas is what separates us from the Eurotrash and makes this country great.

  • ||

    OBAMA goes about his business by speaking the lie. That he comes "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and he spoke as a dragon and tells us that he was a false prophet, a prophet being one whose calling it is to speak and to teach. The armies of the world may have guns and tanks and bombs to bring people into submission; but the power of speech and ideas is a mighty power. In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God, the devil used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: "You will be like God." Now he uses a "dragon" who speaks crafty, lying words. His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric. The content as well as the form of his speech will attract. Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate. But he is a liar. He adds dashes of truth to the mix, so that his lie tastes like truth. He will use all the right catchwords, using the language of the church, even throwing in a Bible text or two. But he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
    OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach -- men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT�..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets�..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.===For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.===I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the aka red ink obama.=== Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama's India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER === .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?
    4. Bilderberger influence,president George W. Bush says he was "blindsided" by the financial crisis that shadowed his final months in office, but adds that the Democratic-controlled Congress shares some of the blame. -

    Now that the agenda for global government and a centralized world economic system is public and out in the open, the importance of the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference rests on grooming political candidates. The lion’s share of Bilderberg’s 2010 agenda has already been announced by its members weeks before – it will revolve around a potential military strike on Iran as well as the future collapse of the euro.The Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest.

    ----- Bilderberg group in United States-------
    George W. Ball (1954, 1993),[13] Under Secretary of State 1961-1968, Ambassador to U.N. 1968
    Sandy Berger (1999),[14] National Security Advisor, 1997–2001
    Timothy Geithner(2009),[15] Treasury Secretary
    Lee H. Hamilton (1997),[1] former US Congressman
    Christian Herter,[16] (1961, 1963, 1964, 1966), 53rd United States Secretary of State
    Charles Douglas Jackson (1957, 1958, 1960),[17] Special Assistant to the President
    Joseph E. Johnson[18] (1954), President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Henry Kissinger[19] (1957, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2008),[20] 56th United States Secretary of State
    Colin Powell (1997),[1] 65th United States Secretary of State
    Lawrence Summers,[15] Director of the National Economic Council
    Paul Volcker,[15] Chair of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979–1987
    Roger Altman (2009),[15] Deputy Treasury Secretary from 1993–1994, Founder and Chairman of Evercore Partners
    [edit] Presidents
    Bill Clinton (1991),[21][22] President 1993-2001
    Gerald Ford (1964, 1966),[4][23] President 1974-1977
    [edit] Senators
    John Edwards (2004),[24][25] Senator from North Carolina 1999-2005
    Chuck Hagel (1999, 2000),[26] Senator from Nebraska 1997-2009
    Sam Nunn (1996, 1997),[1] Senator from Georgia 1972-1997
    [edit] Governors
    Rick Perry (2007),[27] Governor of Texas 2000-current
    Mark Sanford (2008),[28] Governor of South Carolina , === The United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware? === The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.== The Bilderberg Group in which he accuses them of manipulating the public "to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self."

    Repost this if you agree, THE END OF AMERICA.

  • ||

    And my comments get flagged as spam by the filter (fuck you third party spam filter) if I use my primary e-mail address.

    Go figger.

  • Cyto||

    It's funny because it's true!

  • wackyjack||


    Baskin Robbins flavor or the First Vag nickname?

  • ||


  • Red Rocks Rockin||


  • Dude!||

    Nobody expects THE COMMANDER!

  • ||

    Are you a LITTLE BOY, Pro Liberate? I love to do "special" things to LITTLE BOYS.

  • ||

    Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.==="pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social hate ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half LIES, and the other half RACIAL. How can one expect THE USA to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit� The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned., THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets////////07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press” THEN Senator //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, was asked about his stance on the
    American Flag.

    General Bill Ginn USAF (ret.) asked //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played. The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171 “…During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, ‘Stand and Face It’.”

    NOW GET THIS!! – - – - -
    ‘Senator’ //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, replied:

    “As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides”.
    “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression..”
    “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”


    //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails – - – perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments.”

    “When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.

    “Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path… My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America “INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.//////For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER, ((THINK ))

  • ||

    There are organizations that provide free (to you) mental health services.

    I strongly urge you to avail yourself of the services these organizations provide.

  • Raven Nation||


  • Jeffersonian||


  • Raven Nation||


  • Citizen Nothing||

    There's this crazy guy in a park I walk through each day whose rant is something about demons, the military and aliens (illegal or extraterrestrial, I don't know).
    Recently the dude got himself an earpiece, so now it looks as if he's talking to someone other than himself on a cell phone.
    Crazy like a fox. A very crazy fox.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And now I'm thinkin', maybe someone should start a charity that provides fake earpieces to homeless schizophrenics. They'd still be crazy, but they wouldn't look so crazy.

  • ||

    Someone is off of his Lithium again.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Do tell.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka, who declared that Bowles and Simpson had just told working Americans to “drop dead.”

    Behold the wonders of the liberal mindset. If somebody doesn't get the same level of handout of other peoples money that they previously did, that constitutes telling them to "drop dead".

    And what's with this "hard-working" crap. I get tired of hearing that BS from liberals trying to play the class warfare game.

    They try to set themsevles up as the arbiter of who "really" earned their money and who didn't. Anyone who isn't part of their targeted constituency group isn't "hard-working" and it is therefore right and proper that they be mugged by the government on behalf of the "real" hard-workers.

    It's funny though how all those "real" hard-workers seem to continually need the benevolent hand of comrade Trumka and his ilk to sustain themselves.

    Sounds like maybe they aren't quite so "hard working" after all.

  • ||

    It's just the mirror reflection of the conservative mindset, which holds that certain people's earnings should be "free from tax" while "immoral" people like single people, gays, etc. should have to pay disproportionately higher taxes to fund lots of free stuff for "moral families."

    Same shit, different rationale.

  • Cytotoxic||

    True, but one side is doing a much better job of driving America into bankruptcy.

  • ||

    If the COMMANDER says it, I naturally assume it's true.

    Sing, COMMANDER!


  • Jeffersonian||

    This proposal has some real problems, not the least of which is Congress actually implementing the spending "cuts" when the wailing of the parasitic class begins.

    I like Dan Mitchell's idea better: Just freeze federal spending. Not a dime more for a decade. In five years, the budget is balanced and then we start showing a surplus, with which we begin to pay down this massive debt.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This proposal has some real problems, not the least of which is Congress actually implementing the spending "cuts" when the wailing of the parasitic class begins."


    Just look at the history of past deals that were supposed to include both tax increases and spending cuts.

    The tax increases always get enacted but the spending cuts never seem to materialize.

  • Rrabbit||

    Just freeze federal spending. Not sufficient. At minimum, you'd have to first cut it down to something like 2006 levels, and then freeze.

  • Draco||

    Jeffersonian, why on Earth would you ever want to "begin to pay down this massive debt?"

    In a growing economy, deficits will need to be continuous (it's how we create the additional money necessary to circulate in that ever increasing economy), and thus the debt will need to increase forever, to infinity. It's a very simple conclusion based on the way our monetary system works.

    Never forget that every dollar used to "pay down the debt" (at the Federal level) is one dollar removed from the private sector. Conversely, every dollar added to the debt is one more dollar added to the private sector. This is fundamentally and axiomatically and obviously true once you understand the way finance works in a fiat currency economy.

    Why on Earth would you want to pay down the Federal debt?*

    If I can find the time, I'll post something on my blog this weekend to explain further, but you can always search out Warren Mosler's blog to learn more.

    *Please note that this isn't at all the same question as why a household would want to pay down its debt. A household doesn't issue fiat money.

  • ||

    so now it looks as if he's talking to someone other than himself on a cell phone.
    Crazy like a fox. A very crazy fox.

    Now fox know where chickens hiding!
    Voices tell him.

  • ||

    I'm trying to envision how a "cap and trade" scheme for the various parts of the federal government would work.

    I'm not there yet.

  • ||

    ----- Bilderberg group in United States------- c...

    "I have here, in my hand, a list!"

  • ||

    Spend less. A lot less. Enough to totally eliminate deficit spending and to take overall spending--ALL OF IT--significantly below revenues. Some savings to benefit taxpayers in tax reductions (thereby boosting the economy), more savings to reduce the debt.

    If no one is willing to do it, appoint me Budget Nanny, and I'll do it.

  • robc||

    Ive seen enough tv to know that * Nanny must speak with a british accent.

  • ||

    So you think Julie Andrews can handle this important position?

  • robc||

    Is commander going to keep this up? I thought he was drive by the other day. My incif file needs to know.

  • Ray||

    I don't agree with all of it - for example, I don't like the gas tax and payroll tax hikes, but overall it's excellent as a package and I would vote for it in a heartbeat. Sorry Grover.

  • alan||

    I don't agree with all of it - for example, I don't like the gas tax and payroll tax hikes, but overall it's excellent as a package and I would vote for it in a heartbeat. Sorry Grover.
    reply to this

    Those taxes can be offset by a steeper cut in federal employees. A mere ten percent is not much of a whack at the problem given how much the federal 'workforce' expanded under Bush (ironically hated by the majority of those shiftless bastards in spite of the fact he was the second coming of LBJ).

  • ||

    Same. I think a better plan could be made, but if it's this or business as usual, sign me up for this

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Gas taxes are supposed to be a user fee for using the roads.

    The principle has been diluted enough by stealing highway trust fund money for mass transit boondogles, etc.

    It shouldn't be diluted any further by increasing gas taxes for "deficit reduction"

    Also it gives too much of an opening for the eco-socialists wackos who want to artifically raise the costs of fossil fuels to make the higher costs "alternative" energy sources they like look cheaper by comparison.

  • ||

    the increase of 15 cents just about puts the gas tax where it was 15 years ago.

  • alan||

    Man, I wonder how you get on the inside of the Bilderberg. Commander makes them sound like they know their shit. Why would I prefer the idiots that get elected through the incompetent democratic system when there is an alternative like the Bilderbergs to support? Thanks for pointing the way, Mr. C!

  • Tanya||

    Why isn't Norquist in jail, exactly?

  • Pinochet||

    Why are you still breathing? I had your cell eliminated months ago.

  • prolefeed||

    I can see why the Dems would oppose raising the retirement age and lowering the marginal tax rate...but eliminating the mortgage interest deduction? A boon to renters (Dems). Not sure why they'd oppose that.

    But then I don't know why Norquist would oppose it, either. Someone please post his reasons / speculation.

    The Democrats would love to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction -- they're secretly for anything that brings more money into the hands of government -- but they're afraid of the backlash from the public, and would like to find stealthier tax hikes.

    The unions are probably all for ending the tax break, since they aren't running for office, though they'd like to sneak in an exemption for union members.

    Norquist is against eliminating the mortgage tax deduction because it is a tax increase. If the elimination of the deduction was coupled with an across-the-board cut in marginal tax rates so the net result was lower taxes overall, he might be for it, though he can be kind of a nutjob on this topic.

  • ||

    Well there is accross the board lowering of marginal tax rates, although, the net effect is still a tax increase.

    But I'm probably ok with that if it still gets me 75% in cuts for every 25% in tax increases.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Mortgage interest deduction is NOT a tax break. It is a subsidy that contributed to the housing bubble.

  • 0x90||

    Please explain how any tax deduction can be described as a subsidy.

    (note that I am not offering an argument, either for or against, the deduction)

  • ||

    because everyone else's taxes have to go up for make up the difference (or more money has to be borrowed).

    Let's take a simple example, say a 15% tax rate is needed to raise 1t to cover 1 t in expenses,

    Now we give home owners a tax deduction of 100b.

    So to cover that either tax rates neeed to go up to say 16% or 100b in has to be borrowed now (which results in taxes going up even more later)

    so now renters taxes are going up to give a tax break to home owners. IE a subsidy.

  • 0x90||

    That is not a description of a subsidy.

    And you are ignoring the fact that rent prices are a function of the landlord's cost of doing business; the interest on rental property is deductible as a business expense, and this is naturally reflected in the rent price.

    Contrary to your assertion, the mortgage deduction serves to move homeowners toward parity with the renters, as regards total costs attributable solely to taxes.

  • ||

    I'm going to assume you are not being delibratly obtuse, so I will try again.

    Rent prices have nothing to do with it. With a mortgage interest deduction a renters INCOME tax is higher, thus meaning that renters (lower income people normally) are subsidizing home owners (higher income peoples) home.

    Let me try it a differnt way. If we gave all home owners $5000 and then increased the taxes of ALL tax payers to pay for it, would home owners being getting a subidy?

    In effect that's what the mortgage interest deduction is doing.

  • 0x90||

    Giving homeowners $5000? Yes, that would be a subsidy.

    And your hypothetical is incomplete; you are forgetting about the $5000 that is also being given to renters, indirectly, through their landlords. That is why rent prices have everything to do with it. We are talking about cost of living, not just income tax rates.

  • prolefeed||

    Why isn't Norquist in jail, exactly?

    This pesky thing called "due process" that SCOTUS hasn't gotten around to completely gutting yet.

  • ||

    Here's the thing, Grover. Debt is really essentially a tax anyway, just deferred, plus interest payments. So we can either pay for pointless bureaucracies now with raised taxes, or we can pay them either via fake price deflation or future taxes. In the end on tax increases it looks like a wash, although the gas tax is as regressive of a tax as one can get.

  • ||

    Er, price INFLATION

  • ||

    The same politicians who complain about raising the retirement age, are the same ones who never retire, and have to be taken out the Capitol in a pine box.


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