Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Catfood Commission

Kevin Drum vs. The Catfood Commission

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It’s all right here.

To put this more succinctly: any serious long-term deficit plan will spend about 1% of its time on the discretionary budget, 1% on Social Security, and 98% on healthcare. Any proposal that doesn’t maintain approximately that ratio shouldn’t be considered serious. The Simpson-Bowles plan, conversely, goes into loving detail about cuts to the discretionary budget and Social Security but turns suddenly vague and cramped when it gets to Medicare. That’s not serious.

There are other reasons the Simpson-Bowles plan isn’t serious. Capping revenue at 21% of GDP, for example. The plain fact is that over the next few decades Social Security will need a little more money and healthcare will need a lot more. That will be true even if we implement the greatest healthcare cost containment plan in the world. Pretending that we can nonetheless cap revenues at 2000 levels isn’t serious.

And their tax proposal? As part of a deficit reduction plan they want to cut taxes on the rich and make the federal tax system more regressive? That’s not serious either.

Bottom line: this document isn’t really aimed at deficit reduction. It’s aimed at keeping government small. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re a conservative think tank and that’s what you’re dedicated to selling. But it should be called by its right name. This document is a paean to cutting the federal government, not cutting the federal deficit.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

Wednesday Night Everything

with 5 comments

* Details are emerging about Wes Anderson’s next film, Moon Rise Kingdom:

[The film] is set in the 60s. Two young adults fall in love and run away. Leaders in their New England town are sticking the idea that they’ve disappeared and go in search of them. Norton will play a scout leader who brings his charges on a search. Willis is in talks to play the town sheriff who’s also looking, and who is having an affair with the missing girl’s mother, the role McDormand is in talks to play. Murray, a regular in Anderson films, will play the girl’s father, who has his own issues.

Let Bleeding Cool have the final word for now: “The film is set in the 60s and has a script by Anderson and Roman Copolla. The potential for obsessive compulsive production design and a soundtrack full of hipper-than-thou needle drops is actually quite frightening.”

* Why Humanities? Talks from the Birkbeck College Conference. Via @traxus4420, who smartly proclaims it the “antidote to stanley fish’s studied moronism.”

* Rep. John Shimkus, candidate for House Energy Committee chair in the new Congress, explains why we don’t have to worry about climate change. New Jersey governor and potential presidential candidate Chris Christie frets that it’s all just so complicated.

* According to the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook peak oil happened in 2006. So there’s that.

* From now on, every time you say “It’s on like Donkey Kong” you have to give Nintendo a quarter.

* Holy crap: what hospitals do with foreskins. Via Kottke.

* Child abuse at 0% in lesbian households. You read that right.

What I didn’t see was a party that supports single-payer health care, free universities, the redistribution of wealth from the top one percent, an end to corporate-owned elections. I also want a party that hopes to abolish the death penalty, the internal combution engine and the U.S. Senate, an anti-democratic body that should go the way of the House of Lords. My friend and sometime editor David Fellerath quits the Democratic Party.

* Only the super-rich can save us now: PNC Bank Will No Longer Fund Mountain Top Removal.

* Ad the co-chairmen of the Catfood Commission has returned from hibernation with a triumphant plan to fix the deficit that absolutely no one likes, not even the other members of the Commission itself.