In an 11-7 vote, President Obama's fiscal commission on Friday failed to adopt a sweeping plan for reining in the federal budget deficit.Ah yes, the thugs that voted for the heavily flawed plan were either Blue Dogs like Conrad, Corporation heads and of course the hardcore/neocon R's on the panel. Hopefully this ends that worthless panel of backwards thinkers who were willing to fuck American's at every turn without even looking hard and long at the bloated Defense Budget...or gawd forbid...raising taxes! I like this explanation of what went wrong:
The panel had been working since February on a plan that would cut nearly $4 trillion in deficit spending over the next nine years and reduce the federal debt to 40 percent of gross domestic product by 2035.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had agreed to bring the deficit recommendations up for a floor vote in Congress, but only if the proposal had the support of 14 members. The commission came up three votes short.
Voting in favor of the plan were the commission’s co-chairmen Sen. Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff to President Clinton.
Among the Senate members of the panel, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) voted “yes,” while Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) voted “no.”
From the House, Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), David Camp (R-Mich.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) all voted against the plan. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee who lost his reelection bid in November, was the only House vote in favor.
Of the non-congressional members, David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell International, Ann Fudge, the former CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and Alice Rivlin, the former director of the Office of Management & Budget, voted “yes.” Former Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern voted “no.”
Why? Because three decades of neoliberal market ideology have persuaded Republicans and Democrats alike that government is our enemy and that the public purposes it pursues are illegitimate; and that, Q.E.D, collecting taxes to pay for such purposes is a form of theft. Americans don't just oppose high taxes (high taxes were when the rich paid 85 percent or more back in the Eisenhower era), they oppose taxation per se. In principle. Which principle? The principle that government is illegitimate, politicians are outlaws so taxes are (literally) highway robbery.If you want a lifestyle that includes taking care of Veterans, the elderly, educate the masses and care for the disabled, it's going to cost money. If you want a country where the infrastructure isn't falling down around us, it costs money. And if you want to fund two friggin endless wars...yes, it costs money.
We thus frame the "hard choices" as choices between which expenditures to cut rather than between which taxes to raise. But the really hard choice is surely about whether or not we want to pay for the society we want to live in.