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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:15 PM

There Was No Bowles-Simpson Commission Report

There Was No Bowles-Simpson Commission Report

Monday, 27 February 2012 05:16

The New York Times badly misled readers by repeatedly referring to a report of the deficit reduction commission led by former Senator Alan Simpson and Morgan Stanley Director Erskine Bowles. There was no report from this commission.

The report discussed in this article was exclusively the report of the co-chairs. It did not receive the necessary support of 14 members of the commission that would have made it an official commission report,
a point noted only in passing toward the end of the piece.

This mis-characterization is extremely important in the context of the piece, because the main point of the article is that President Obama ignored the report of a commission he appointed. Since this commission did not approve a report, the premise of the article is wrong.

The piece also misled readers when it asserted that, "benefits for an aging population soon would increase deficits to unsustainable levels." In fact, the main problem is rising private sector health care costs that were projected to make Medicare and Medicaid unaffordable. The increased costs due to aging alone are quite gradual and affordable.

more:
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/there-was-no-bowles-simpson-commission-report?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29


UPDATE:
There WAS A Report?
(I am confused-YOU decide)
http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf

21 replies, 5379 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply There Was No Bowles-Simpson Commission Report (Original post)
kpete Feb 2012 OP
JoePhilly Feb 2012 #1
Faryn Balyncd Feb 2012 #2
JDPriestly Feb 2012 #7
closeupready Feb 2012 #15
safgertrt Feb 2012 #3
unkachuck Feb 2012 #4
bluestateguy Feb 2012 #5
truedelphi Feb 2012 #8
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #6
truedelphi Feb 2012 #9
WCGreen Feb 2012 #10
truedelphi Feb 2012 #21
TrollBuster9090 Feb 2012 #11
MannyGoldstein Feb 2012 #12
Yo_Mama Feb 2012 #13
MannyGoldstein Feb 2012 #14
xchrom Feb 2012 #17
Yo_Mama Feb 2012 #18
xchrom Feb 2012 #20
Alcibiades Feb 2012 #16
SunSeeker Feb 2012 #19

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:26 PM

1. You are ruining manufactured outrage with FACTS!!!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:39 PM

2. Mischaracterization (specifically, trying to pass off RW propaganda as "news") is about 95% of ...



...corporate news these days.

The reality, of course, is that Social Security is the ONLY federal program to have a surplus ($2.3 trillion) and the deficit in the general fund has been caused by continued reliance on raiding this surplus so that the income taxes, which by all rights should pay for general fund expenditures) of the 0.01% could be slashed to historically unprecedented, unsustainable levels.

Neither party wants to pay back the funds that the SS Trust Fund has loaned to the Treasury to finance the deficit, and which the Trust Fund now needs to pay the benefits of those who have fully funded their retirement (until 2037 with no changes whatsoever, and which can easily be extended to PERMANENT solvency by making the simple change of raising the FICA tax ceiling of $106K.

Instead, both parties want to cut the paid-for SS benefits of the Middle Class so that the 0.01% can continue to pay far lower tax rates than the middle class, lower tax rates than Warren Buffet's secretary.

But instead of reporting these facts, corporate "news" just repeats Fox's lies.














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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:39 PM

7. Thank you, Faryn Balyncd

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:01 AM

15. There we go, this is the answer. Bunch of liars, "we can't afford ..." Yes, we can.

nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:22 PM

4. "The New York Times badly misled readers..."

 

....lying corporate scum....and they want us to pay money for crap like that?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:26 PM

5. Nor does anybody care outside of the Beltway, the think tanks and the newspaper editorial boards

nt

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:23 PM

8. Your words fairly sum it all up.

And since we all "know" that the economy is coming up roses, so what!?! <sarcasm meant>

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:30 PM

6. Follow the dollars. Less Medicare means more federal money

to give to Banksters, means a richer Wall Street (at the expense of a poorer Main Street) means more advertising revenue for a paper in NYC.

If you are the NYT editorial board, you like anything that gives more taxpayer money to the Banks. Even if it means premature death for the elderly.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:26 PM

9. I stopped reading the NYT because its editorials and its hand chosen

Letters to the editors were all proclaiming the eternal "good" of the Big Financial Players.

NYT is to news as dogs are to cats.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:12 AM

10. The only thing in defense of the NYT is that it is a company town paper and the main

industry in NYC is entertainment and financial firms.

Both are covered by the NYT to make them look favorable to the outside world who depend on these two economic giants.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:27 PM

21. I am sorry, but the entire philosophy of what constitutes real journalism does not

mean that any journalist or any news media entity near a power center gets to slant its news and editorialize inside its news pieces, for the sake of protection of the local industries.

In fact, due to the excesses of industries, a journalist and a news media has more responsibility per covering the local power base than otherwise.

Should a coal town news paper not cover the flagrant violations of the local mining company?

If we excuse the news media with the thinking that, "Gosh oh gee, these editors and journalists have to rub elbows with the hoi polloi of that industry when they go to parties and other social events, so of course they should be nice to them in covering the new," then we don't really have journalism. We simply have news hacks.



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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 05:49 AM

11. Untrue! Simpson and Bowles have completed their report and submitted it electronically.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:20 AM

12. The NY Times is CORRECT. Or the White House is lying, too.

The Moment of Truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

A majority of the commission voted for the thing.

It even has the White House seal on the front cover!

Speaking of the White House, THEY refer to it as the Fiscal Commission Report. From the 2012 Budget:

The Fiscal Commission’s report opened a debate on many of these topics, such as tax reform and Social Security. The President hopes to build on the work they did to create space to discuss these issues, and begin a process of reform that results in putting the Nation on sound fiscal footing, creating the conditions for long-term economic growth, and doing both in a way that remains true to our most deeply-held values.


(Notice above that, again, Obama is using his hand-picked anti-Social-Security commission as an excuse to continue his assault on Social Security! Shame!)

So while the White House and its flacks might want to pretend that Simpson-Bowles didn't exist, now that election time is here and the 99% are finally realizing how badly they're getting crushed, it certainly did exist in all of its dark majesty.

It's true that they didn't have enough commissioner votes to have their report automatically be subjected to an up-or-down vote in Congress, but that's different than what the OP claims.

So, I request that either you alter this post, or add a post to similarly call out the White House as liars.

Thanks.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:01 AM

13. False, surely?

This is the website of the commission:
http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/

November 10th was the release of the cochairs' proposal. The final report was released Dec 1st.
http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf

The final vote was 11-7 in favor.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/03/us/politics/deficit-commission-vote.html

This fell short of the 14 vote margin needed for Congress to directly take it up, but that was never binding anyway.

The member statements in January have some alternative suggestions that are quite interesting:
http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/MemberStatements.pdf

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:04 AM

14. Thank you!

I'm totally fed up with Third-Way revisionist history.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:15 AM

17. indeed. i wish you would make an OP out of both the times piece and the facts you present? nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:58 PM

18. Why don't you?

This topic induces depressed ponderings on the "dark majesty" of it all in my soul.

Since the final report of the commission, we have apparently strayed into cutting SS revenues over the long term, which makes the entire picture worse but also suggests to me that we are really adopting something far worse than the plan(s) proposed by the commission.

On page 48 of the final report the SS discussion begins. Since that time, the projections have worsened sharply for SS (for instance, we are not running a pay-go surplus in 2012 - now we are projected to run a pay-go deficit straight on through until the next demographic swing.

One thing that causes me to want to cry, wail and sob is that the report was more liberal with poorer retirees than our new proposals:
http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf
The Commission proposes a balanced plan that eliminates the 75-year Social Security shortfall and puts the program on a sustainable path thereafter. To save Social Security for the long haul, all of us must do our part. The most fortunate will have to contribute the most, by taking lower benefits than scheduled and paying more in payroll taxes. Middle-income earners who are able to work will need to do so a little longer. At the same time, Social Security must do more to reduce poverty among the very poor and very old who need help the most.

and
RECOMMENDATION 5.2: REDUCE POVERTY BY PROVIDING AN ENHANCED MINIMUM BENEFIT FOR LOW-WAGE WORKERS. Create a new special minimum benefit that provides full career workers with a benefit no less than 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and indexed to wages thereafter.

Social Security reform must ensure that the program can continue to meet its basic mission: to prevent people who can no longer work from falling into poverty. The Commission recommends creating a new special minimum benefit which provides full-career (30-year) minimum wage workers with a benefit equivalent to 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and wage-indexed thereafter. The minimum benefit would phase down proportionally for workers with less than 30 but more than 10 years of earnings.

RECOMMENDATION 5.3: ENHANCE BENEFITS FOR THE VERY OLD AND THE LONG-TIME DISABLED. Add a new “20-year benefit bump up” to protect those Social Security recipients who have potentially outlived their personal retirement resources.


The report also suggested hardship exemptions to increased age requirements, etc. The report paid for all of this by cutting benefits to top-income retirees.

It seems to me that our public dialogue is veering toward the ever more unrealistic and hypercapitalistic. When the proposals of the Catfood Commission start looking Marxist in comparison to current Democratic actions, I find myself existing in a state of stunned and appalled horror.

Since that report was released, we adopted a payroll tax cut that gave massive dollar rebates to high earners, RAISED FEDERAL TAXES ON THE BOTTOM 40% of WAGE EARNERS, cut unemployment benefits to those who cannot possibly find jobs or jobs at living wages, and enacted a law that cuts food stamps in 2014. Shoot me now, I cannot bear to contemplate what we are doing.

This report did not contemplate correcting the deficit on the backs of the poor and ill. Our current tactics are to do just that. Our current tactics will of course fail, but it seems likely that by the time the failure is obvious, the eventual cuts will have to be more massive.

All I see is that the US veers ever further into the realm of a "winner-takes-all" society. Even long-time Republican voters I know seem appalled at what we are doing.


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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:28 PM

20. I wish I had words of consolation or to say you're wrong.

But I have neither.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:09 AM

16. I read the NYT piece

and the report of the co-chairs. The other bit they conveniently leave out is the part about the tax cuts contained in the report, which included a top tax rate of 24%.

Tax cuts have been tried as a means to reduce the deficit, and it should have surprised no one that they failed. So why did Simpson-Bowles include them? No idea, unless it's simply more trickle-down nonsense. It was clearly beyond their mandated mission.

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Response to Alcibiades (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:07 PM

19. This "report" was little better than the Ryan Plan.

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