Uncle Sam is tapped out. President Obama's staff admitted as much with his discretionary spending freeze for 2011-2013. Exempted are the Pentagon, Homeland Security and State Department budgets.
Being a deficit hawk has been trendy for some time. Everybody's looking to larger than life Pete Peterson, including the President.
Geithner also gave a hat-tip to Peterson that may rankle some of Peterson's critics on the left, who oppose his push to cut spending on Social Security and Medicare.No doves left? Peterson must have a huge Foghorn. Someone should inform the Nobel committee about the doveless Obama administration.
"We are all fiscal hawks now because of Pete Peterson," Geithner said, at least half-joking. "There are no doves left."
The announcement came as a surprise, given Indiana Senator Evan Bayh's suggestion. Bayh said the budget was like his household checkbook, which happens to be ample and overflowing. The problem is the government checkbook is bare. It turns out corporations only like to pay big bucks to executives and board members, like Mrs. Evan Bayh. Taxes are a different story.
Update: President Obama appointed a deficit commission, headed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Mr. Bowles is a Blue corporacrat, founder of PEU Carousel Capital, and board member for Morgan Stanley, Cousins Properties and North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance. Erskine served on GM's board during its financial implosion. He provides governance for its carcass. Bowles board service garnered over $435,000 in 2008 according to SEC filings. That doesn't include his pay from Carousel Capital or the University of North Carolina, where he is President. He holds 33,000 shares of Cousins and 24,500 in Morgan Stanley stock, roughly $900,000 in combined holdings. How will this Corporacrat manage his many conflicts of interest, not mentioned by President Obama? Will he toe the PEU party line on carried interest taxation? Will he undertake the same PEU strategies as he did with Metiom? It's hard to find an ex-government official without a PEU taint.
Update 2: Bowles and Simpson spoke with Bloomberg about their commission. They plan to add corporate CEO's, who already have strategies shifting health care and retirement costs to the worker. It seems a tapped out Uncle Sam will do likewise, possibly raising the retirement age to 91 for Social Security benefits. Senate health care reform would result in 35 million fewer Americans with employer provided health insurance come 2019. The race to the bottom on worker pay/benefits, taxes and regulations continues. It seems Kent Conrad will join the August panel. He already showed his corporacratic colors.
Update 3: President Obama may appoint Andy Stern, Alice Rivlin and David Cote to his Deficit Panel. Andy Stern, head of the SEIU, stated employer health insurance was "dead and not coming back" in summer 2006. He'll be in a position to make his prediction come true. Alice Rivlin sits on the board of NYSE/Euronext. Her 2008 board compensation was $160,000 and she controls 6,696 shares of stock, worth roughly $170,000. David Cote is the CEO of Honeywell. Surely, he owns yacht-loads of Honeywell stock. Corporations and their lackeys look to lower corporate tax rates, while employees pick up more and more health care costs. The average citizen has no one fighting on their behalf.