On the eve of his planned presentation at Boston’s Symphony Hall, self-proclaimed “deficit hawk” Erskine Bowles has joined partner-in-crime Alan Simpson in putting out a new version of their federal budget plan. Though the details of the proposal have yet to be fully explained, one thing is clear: if you liked the cuts to vital services Simpson and Bowles proposed in their first draft, you’re going to love Simpson-Bowles 2.0.
The original Simpson-Bowles plan promoted nearly $2.9 Trillion in spending cuts and $2.6 Trillion in new revenue as a way to reduce the deficit, roughly a 1-to-1 ratio of cuts to revenue. Their new recipe calls for only half the revenue – an estimated $1.3 Trillion – and makes up the difference by demanding a huge $3.8 Trillion cut to Medicare, Social Security and other critical programs. For those keeping score, that’s a 3-to-1 ratio of program cuts to revenue.
To put this massive cut into perspective, Simpson and Bowles now believe we should slash the programs American workers and seniors depend on by $500 to $700 Billion more than what even Republican House Speaker John Boehner has called for. Talk about out of touch!
In case you missed it, Simpson and Bowles have already stated where they want all the savings to go – and interestingly, it’s not towards debt reduction. The dynamic duo founded a corporate front group called ‘Fix the Debt’ that has spent upwards of $100 million on it’s campaign to slash Social Security, cut Medicare, and raise the retirement age for seniors. But despite the group’s name, little if any of the savings would go toward the national debt. Instead, ‘Fix the Debt’ plans to use our tax dollars to pay for billions in tax giveaways for major corporations like Bank of America, GE and Verizon.
The ‘Fix the Debt’ corporate welfare scheme has drawn demonstrations across the country in recent months, and you can bet there will be an uptick in activity now that their founders have called for more drastic cuts to the programs low-income and middle class families depend on. Earlier this week, Simpson and Bowles were met with protests as they introduced their new plan in Washington, DC, and confrontations are expected to spread nationwide this Wednesday, February 20.
MASSUNITING certainly won’t let Erskine Bowles off the hook when his baloney-peddling tour comes to Boston Wednesday evening. You can sign up to join us here.