Obama, Simpson-Bowles Duel of Austerity Plans
February 20, 2013 • 11:23AM

President Obama and his Golems — the austerity freaks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles — traded proposals today for deep cuts in entitlement programs which keep senior citizens alive, all the while attacking "Congress" for failing to be as "smart" about austerity as these three claim to be.

Simpson and Bowles were guest speakers at the Politico Breakfast event, and released new and more vicious demands for cuts of $2.4 trillion (2014-2023) over and above the estimated $2.7 trillion in cuts/caps/tax increases already enacted since the end of 2010. And that $2.4 trillion they crave to cut does not include cutting down Social Security, which they propose to do "on a separate track" through applying the chained CPI to benefits and raising the age of eligibility for them. Their very long release, reduced to a word, calls for cutting EVERYTHING, even including infrastructure spending, which most austerity proposals claim to be "saving" for. Simpson and Bowles demand that the surface transportation acts be funded by Federal gas tax revenues and nothing else, a cut of roughly 20%. They want to eliminate the most common tax deductions. They demand cutting of Medicare and Medicaid payments ("Require additional reforms of federal health care programs if necessary to limit the growth of the per beneficiary federal health commitment to close to GDP growth, by 2018").

"Go big or go home," blustered Simpson about their savage new plan, as both he and Bowles competed in attacks on the "dysfunctional Congress" and appealed to populist rage about the economic collapse. If we could just lay everybody off, they seemed to be promising, then we could create real jobs!

Obama invented Simpson and Bowles, naming them to head the Presidential "Catfood Commission", just as he invented the idea of the sequester. Today, in a staged Washington speech with some police, fire, and med techs collected to stand behind him, Obama tried again the well-exposed lie that he thinks the "Congress's sequester" is a terrible idea. "Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf. And as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this — not well thought through, not phased in properly — changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world."

Obama was describing the results of his own "sequester."

And now, like Simpson and Bowles, he wants to cut entitlements. "I am willing to cut more spending that we don't need, get rid of programs that aren't working," Obama said. "I've laid out specific reforms to our entitlement programs that can achieve the same amount of health care savings, by the beginning of the next decade, as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission."

We need to throw Obama — and thus his Golems — out of Washington.