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The Bowles-Simpson Medicine Show Is Back in Town

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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When millions of dollars are being pumped into Washington by anti-government and anti-tax ideologues, you're bound to find Democrats willing to play along. And when your Washington press corps can't be bothered to get even the smallest details right -- well, that must mean the Bowles-Simpson Medicine Show is back in town.

It's here, folks. Journalists are still cooing over a failed proposal they're calling "moderate" and "centrist," based on the radical and unpopular plan put forward by two individuals named Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

Another budget, one that's both economically sound and more politically popular, was summarily dismissed by the same media as "partisan" and extreme.

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All the News That Fits

Republican Steve LaTourette and Democrat Jim Cooper introduced a proposal based on the Bowles-Simpson assault on the middle class. It was promptly celebrated by the press as the "responsible" deficit-cutting alternative to the radical right-wing Ryan budget -- even though it's not responsible and doesn't cut the deficit (not that deficits should be our national obsessions during this time of crisis).

By contrast, the budget proposed by the Congressional Budget Caucus did reduce the deficit, and in a way that suited the preferences of most voters -- Republican as well as Democratic, Tea Party as well as Occupiers.

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It was promptly dismissed by both journalists and the Washington elite.

Accuracy Optional

Your press corps can't even get the most basic details right: The Deficit Commission headed by Simpson and Bowles failed to agree on a set of recommendations. So Simpson and Bowles put out their own personal plan, based on ideas developed at the behest of anti-government ideologues like billionaire Pete Peterson.

Their ideas were rejected by members of the Deficit Commission, but a lot of journalists covering the budget don't seem to know that. Take a look:

Associated Press, March 28: "The bipartisan measure, patterned on a plan by President Barack Obama's 2010 deficit commission ... "

Alan Fram, Businessweek, March 29: "The measure was modeled roughly on a package produced by Obama's deficit-reduction commission."

Erik Wasson, The Hill, March 29: "a bipartisan budget plan based on the approach of President Obama's fiscal commission ..."

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Andrew Taylor, Associated Press, March: "The bipartisan measure rejected Wednesday was patterned on a plan by President Barack Obama's 2010 deficit commission ..."

Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post, March 27: "... the House could vote this week for the first time on a bipartisan deficit-cutting plan, modeled on the suggestions of a presidential commission ... "

There's more, but you get the idea.

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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