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A Blow Job For Bowles (And His Sidekick)

Let me start by immediately apologizing for using the description of a sexual act in a headline and, particularly, in reference to an article written by a woman transcriber of press releases (formerly knows as “journalists”). Apology now behind me, I can go back to the point: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson could not have paid enough money to get the kind of fellatio that they were blessed with by Jackie Calmes of The New York Times — the paper, by the way, that is making it a habit of putrid reporting about the phony debt and deficit “crisis”.  I suppose having been a cheerleader for the Iraq War, to devastating effect to the country’s bank account (not to mention devastating to the families of all the dead people killed because of the immoral war), The Times just feels obligated to find something else to trumpet…phony as it may be.

Here is the reportorial sex act:

Theirs is an improbable buddy act that is making for unlikely entertainment from campuses to corporations on a most serious subject: the federal debt. The proof of their appeal: some business groups pay them $40,000 each per appearance. Really. To discuss budgets and baselines.

Ladies and gentlemen, coming soon to your city or town (if they have not been there already, and maybe even if they have) are the latest odd couple of politics: the 67-year-old Democratic straight man, Erskine B. Bowles of Charlotte, N.C., and his corny 81-year-old, 6-foot-7 Republican sidekick, Alan K. Simpson of Cody, Wyo.

Since the perceived failure two years ago next week of the bipartisan fiscal commission they led for President Obama, they have been on the road, sometimes solo but often together, perfecting a sort of Off Broadway show that has kept their panel’s recommendations alive, and made them a little money as well.

You get the picture: the two men, pushing against all odds, are continuing their valiant push to save the nation. It has the usual humorous anecdotes because, well, isn’t Simpson just so funny and folksy?

The rubbish, the rubbish.

Nowhere in the article do you find any mention of the fact — because this would never occur to a transcriber of press releases — to write about the true ideology of these two guys: one, a long-standing corporate hack (Bowles), the other a person who has devoted his entire political life to privatizing Social Security.

If the lazy transcriber of press releases had just done a little homework, then, she would have learned that Alan Simpson’s views on the deficit “crisis” are well-known, as is his fondness for Social Security. It isn’t just his most recent description of Social Security as “ a milk cow with 310 million tits.” For years, he has had a mission to turn Social Security money over to Wall Street. In 1994, as a member of Bill Clinton’s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform (there is that word “bi-partisan” again — which was as phony then as it was now: there were not opposing world views duking it out), he pushed for benefit cuts and partial privatization. Here is an example of Simpson’s views during a back-and-forth with Robert Reischauer, who was then the director of the Congressional Budget Office:

Simpson: What will get us home is dealing with the years in the future, changing some of the figures of Social Security, phasing in
retirement dates, changing retirement dates, doing something with COLAs. Those things could get us there, couldn’t they?”

Reischauer: “They could.”

Simpson: “You think they could get us there?”

Reischauer: “I just said they could. You mentioned a pretty extensive list there of some pretty severe changes.”

Simpson: “Without, quote, ‘cutting a benefit,’ unquote.”

Reischauer: “Well, I don’t want to get into semantics here on what is cutting a benefit. But if I were a 65-year-old person who was told that they couldn’t receive benefits until they were 70, I might regard that as a benefit cut.”

The exchange is revealing because Simpson clearly was looking for a way to fool and mislead the public: crippling Social Security but selling it
to the people as not actually a cut in benefits. He was looking for a way to scam the voters. Upset that the Commission ended up failing to come to a consensus, he tried—without success—to push cuts via Congressional legislation.

As for Bowles, he sits on corporate boards and is also a member of the Business Council, which lobbies for business interests and was particularly aggressive in trying to scuttle any significant Wall Street reform.

More important, the article accepts, from beginning to end, that there is a crisis — which there simply is not, not the phony “fiscal cliff”, nor the longer term deficit or debt “crisis”.

The irresponsibility of this article is an outrage — but it, unfortunately, fits the mold of 99 percent of the garbage written by the transcribers of press releases. Really, they’ve given up any sense of pride. Perhaps, though, they deserve each other: two corporate hacks flying first class, being paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak about their mission — which would drain thousands of dollars from the bank accounts of seniors and do great harm to the economy, all aided and abetted by a hack from The Times.

 

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