Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Race to the Bottom Continues with Call for Immediate Reform to Medicare & Social Security

The Bipartisan Policy Center and ex-Senator/Senior Fellow Pete Dominici called for:

"... creating a commission, outside Congress, empowered to make recommendations on a global solution to deficits, including tax reforms, entitlement changes, and new ways of measuring and controlling government finances, and compel Congressional Action on such recommendations. It urges immediate reform to Medicare and Social Security in order to bring solvency to those systems long-term. The report embraces comprehensive tax reform to make the system more streamlined, understandable, equitable and competitive while also generating adequate revenues."
Another extra-Congressional body? America's elected leaders can't find the will or means to do their job.

The race is on to the lowest global common denominator on taxes, worker pay/benefits, and publicly funded retirement programs. As employers and the government do less, that leaves the individual paying more. Who is ready for it?

The Bipartisan Policy Center was started in 2007 by ormer U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchel. It utilizes principled compromise, when it is not employing compromised principles, like working for lobbying firm Alston & Bird but not declaring oneself a lobbyist.

A look at the contributors to the analysis reveals:

The policy recommendations in "Drowning in Red Ink" were gathered from the insight and comments of the following budget experts who served on the speakers panel of the BPC symposium: U.S. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; former Congressional Budget Office Director Robert Reischauer, President of the Urban Institute; former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of DHE Consulting LLC; former Senate Budget Committee Staff Director G. William Hoagland, now Vice President for Public Policy at CIGNA; former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, C. Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; and former Comptroller General of the U.S. David Walker, now President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Pete Peterson made billions from his private equity deals. The Bush tax breaks and preferred taxation on carried interest were boons to his personal finances. He leads the call to cut entitlements, while holding the line on taxes for corporations and the wealthy. Immediate cuts to Medicare and Social Security make sense to this group. What about the electorate?

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