The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.
Parade Magazine, in its 7/4/10 “Intelligence Report”, printed an interview by Steven Beschloss and Janet Kinosian titled, “Can These Men Fix the Deficit?” The men are Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff, and Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senate whip. Today, Messrs. Bowles and Simpson are co-chairs of President Obama’s National bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Here, with my comments, are what they said:
BOWLES: “If we don’t solve the (federal) debt problem, we will be paying $1 trillion in interest in 2020. That’s money we can’t spend on Social Security, Medicare, education, infrastructure or innovation to make sure America is competitive in a global economy.”
RMM: “Of course, he’s dead wrong. America is a monetarily sovereign nation. Future spending is restricted neither by past spending, by debt, by deficits nor by tax collections. That $1 trillion in interest will function as an economic stimulus. This is classic cognitive inconsistency. Mr. Bowles believes the government cannot do what he sees with his own eyes, the government actually doing, i.e spending trillions on stimulus plans, despite debt that has grown more than 1,500% in only 30 years. In addition to cognitive inconsistency, he suffers from anthropomorphic economic disease – the mistaken belief that the government’s finances are like yours and mine.
BOWLES: “We’re looking at how we can reduce discretionary spending – things like education, transportation, the military, homeland security – and mandatory spending which includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We also need to raise revenue.”
RMM: He believes that cutting back on education, transportation, the military, homeland security, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while raising taxes, will “make sure America is competitive in a global economy.” The notion would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.
SIMPSON: “We’re not going to cut Social Security – we’re going to stabilize it. None of the ideas that have been presented will affect anyone over the age of 58.”
RMM: “Stabilize” is political double talk for, “We are going to cut Social Security for everyone 58 and younger.”
SIMPSON: “As it is, it (Social Security) can’t sustain itself.”
RMM: Ah, the old (and false) “unsustainable” claim.
BOWLES: “We’re going to work our hearts out succeed.”
RMM: In their world, “Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” are code words for austerity, which always causes recessions and depressions. Heaven help us from those who have power, yet cannot learn.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity