November 12, 2009

Cost reduction by blackmail

There are some Senators who really don't like doing their jobs and would prefer to turn the hard work over to "independent commissions," and they're not above blackmail to further their aims. At least, so this story seems to show. What Sens. Conrad, Gregg, Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) want to do is create a budget reform commission bill which would force cuts in Medicare and Social Security, and they're saying they will refuse to allow the country's debt ceiling to rise if they don't get it. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, Treasury will be unable to issue bonds and the US will default on its debt.

Digby calls this the "catfood commission." That's a reference to the result which might occur if cuts to Social Security are made; seniors would be forced to eat catfood because they couldn't afford to buy human food. Chris Bowers calls it "a national suicide pact."

I call it idiotic. It's a group of Senators who know they can't get the votes to cut entitlements; they saw what happened when George Bush tried it. Instead they want to hide behind some supposedly-independent body and be able to say "the devil made me do it" when the commission recommends taking away benefits for seniors.

I've got a more sensible idea, and one that would probably be more popular. Let's form an independent commission to cut military expenditures. Defense is about the same percentage of the federal budget as entitlements, after all.

Posted by Linkmeister at November 12, 2009 10:22 AM | TrackBack