From ‘Grand Bargain’ to ‘Grand Collusion’
April 26, 2013
ON APRIL 10, PRESIDENT Obama released his formal budget for Fiscal 2014 beginning this October. Liberals should not act shocked and surprised: Obama’s repeated offers to cut
Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, and other yet undefined Medicare measures, are a
continuation of his practice and approach for the past two years.
The budget will usher in the final stage of negotiations over the proposed deficit cuts —
Austerity American Style — that began with the recommendations of Obama’s Deficit Cutting
Commission, referred to as the Simpson-Bowles report, that was made public in November
The Simpson-Bowles Commission — chaired by arch-conservative retired Senator Alan
Simpson, and Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, now investment banker Erskine Bowles — proposed an
approximate $4 trillion cut in U.S. deficits and debt for the subsequent decade. Their report has
been the ‘template’ for deficit cutting negotiations ever since.
Issued around the time the Teapublicans took over the U.S. House of Representatives in late
2010, the report was offered by the Obama administration as the basis for negotiating a “grand
bargain” of $4 trillion in deficit cuts in summer of 2011. The $4 trillion target was agreed by
virtually all parties in Congress and the administration at that time — and ever since. The only
difference was, and remains, “the mix:” how much in spending cuts vs.
[This article was written by Paul Prescod for the Solidarity Political Committee. For information on the April 20 Ecosocialist Conference in New York City, please see their "call to conference" here. A statement by Solidarity’s Ecosocialism Working Group on the Superstorm Sandy disaster is online at the Webzine, as well as an announcement by Nick Davenport of the “Ecosocialist Contingent” here.]
EARTH DAY BEGAN on April 22, 1970 as an environmental teach-in modeled after those on the...
Is it the stupidity of dysfunctional bureaucrats? The tactical blundering of a likeable president facing an irreconcilable congressional divide? Or is this the cleverest maneuver yet from the self-proclaimed defenders of democracy and the American quality of life? My vote is for clever.
For the moment we are talking about the Sequestration crisis, just the latest of what president Obama himself called many manufactured crises in his inauguration speech. Though it may seem like he is distressed...