Obama Team's Deficit Cutting Proposal: Benefit the Few, Harm the Many - by Stephen Lendman
Some background. In his January 27 State of the Union address, Obama announced plans to "freeze government spending for three years," starting in 2011, saying he'd establish a bipartisan fiscal commission by executive order to cut the deficit by imposed austerity. In other words, harm the many by social spending cuts, including Social Security and Medicare, not defense, banker handouts, other corporate favorite subsidies, or the rich.
Then on February 18, a White House press release announced the commission's establishment - a "bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF)," co-chaired by two deficit hawks, former Senator Alan Simpson (R. WY) and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, heading an 18-member team stacked with like-minded members. Their mandate: slash Medicare, Social Security and other social spending. Fiscal austerity for the many, unlimited wealth opportunities for the few, an agenda from hell.
On November 10, New York Times writer Jackie Calmes headlined, "Panel Seeks Social Security Cuts and Tax Increases,' saying:
Obama's commission presented "a politically provocative and economically ambitious package, (igniting) a debate that is likely to grip the country for years." Among others, its proposals include:
-- ending or capping middle class tax breaks, including deductions for home mortgage interest and tax-free employer provided medical insurance;
-- taxing capital gains and dividends the same as ordinary income; long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are currently taxed at 15%;
-- lowering income tax rates dramatically to 9, 15 and 24%, down from six current brackets ranging from 10 - 35% for income over $373,650;