Obama to Request $50 Billion for Sandy Relief

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 7:45 am

For a Congress spending every waking minute talking about deficits, they sure know how to spend gobs of money above and beyond requested budgets – as long as it goes to the hands of defense contractors. The Senate version of the defense authorization bill costs $631 billion. This is $17 billion more than the Pentagon asked for. It passed 98-0. It now goes to a conference with the bill passed by the GOP-led House, which costs $3 billion MORE. The White House threatened to veto the bill over the budget overages, which is just adorable.

Gene Sperling, First Principles and the Fictional Straitjacket

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 11:37 am

The Fix the Debt fraud of a campaign is having a roundtable summit in Washington today, because they have the money to bankroll that, and because politicians take to money like moths to a fire (hello, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa!), the whole world of deficit scolds has taken the opportunity to deliver remarks. Protesters are actually [...]

Poll: Public Will Blame Republicans If Country Starts Down the Fiscal Slope

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 10:00 am

Republicans have enough problems dealing with their own internal insurgencies, but it should be explained that their biggest problem in the fiscal slope negotiations is that the public is poised to blame them if things go awry. Four-in-ten (40%) expect that the president and congressional Republicans will reach a deal by Jan. 1 to prevent [...]

Boehner’s Counter-Offer: How About the Ryan Budget? Bowles-Simpson? Help Me Out Here!

By: Monday December 3, 2012 2:51 pm

John Boehner delivered a letter to the White House today about the fiscal slope, and I just find it to be weird. He starts off by calling the events of November 6 a “status quo election” where the American people expect a “fair middle ground” on fiscal issues (the fact that House Democrats got more [...]

The Best Antidote for the Deficit and the Economy: More Public Investment

By: Friday November 30, 2012 11:31 am

Zach Carter has a nice list of strategies that would save money for the government’s bottom line without having to either raise taxes or reduce social insurance benefits. They all have a degree of positive benefits to them, from prison reform to ending the drug war (those two are related) to cracking down on offshore [...]

Boehner Puts Chill on Happy Talk on Fiscal Slope, as Both Sides Jockey For Position

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 10:41 am

John Boehner emerged from a meeting with White House negotiators on finding a solution to the fiscal slope expressing “disappointment” with the proceedings. It sounds like Boehner wants the White House to propose both sides of the deal and let him sit on high and vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Boehner, addressing reporters after a meeting [...]

Today on the Fiscal Slopes

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 7:45 am

Politico’s VanDeAllen team have a exclusive inside must-credit-Politico rundown of the fiscal cliff talks that merely recycles known information and makes a bunch of guesses. Cut through the fog, and here’s what to expect: Taxes will go up just shy of $1.2 trillion — the middle ground of what President Barack Obama wants and what [...]

Deficit-Obsessed Media Leaves Unemployment Story at the Side of the Road

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 2:07 pm

Not to harp on Raul Grijalva, but his media critique in this op-ed is spot-on, even if you strip away the partisan lens through which he frames this. The real story is that we have a jobs shortage crisis in this country, and Republicans haven’t lifted a finger to help. Democrats have put up the [...]

Contra the Deficit Scolds, We Can Keep Medicare and Medicaid Strong Simply By Keeping Them Intact

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 1:10 pm

This diatribe bestowed upon Rep. Raul Grijalva on CNBC, which has become Fiscal Cliff TV, is really priceless, with the anchor accusing Grijalva of tanking the market because he refuses to cut benefits for poor people and seniors. The means testing angle is really a joke here, too. Medicare is already means-tested. To means-test it [...]

Obsession With Getting Republicans to Acquiesce on Tax Rates Masks Larger Deficit Reduction Agenda

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 11:30 am

The President began his public PR effort to get the top marginal tax rates back to their Clinton-era position today, but I think the way he framed his remarks does show a bit of his hand here. President Obama expressed optimism in a “framework” for deficit reduction being worked out before Washington disperses for the [...]

Bowles and Simpson Rake In $40,000 Per Speaking Engagement

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 9:15 am

Every time Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson talk about how the United States simply cannot afford to offer their citizens a modest income in retirement, they get $40,000. This is three times the amount that Social Security recipients actually get themselves in retirement, ANNUALLY. Bowles and Simpson get that for an hourlong talk. The Washington [...]

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