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National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-Chairmen Alan Simpson (L) and Erskine Bowles (R) speak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Who really loves the idea of sticking it to seniors and poor people in the fiscal cliff curb negotiations? Well, it's of course our old friends Simpson and Bowles and their great big corporate lobbying machine Fix the Debt.

You ever wonder why they have it in for the olds and the poors? Well, take a look at this analysis by Public Accountability Initiative.

  • 38 Fix the Debt leaders have ties to 43 companies with defense contracts totaling $43.4 billion in 2012. Fix the Debt leaders profiting from defense spending include the group’s co-chairs, steering committee members, and CEO council members; they have ties to these companies as board members, executives and CEOs, and lobbyists.
  • Boeing (with $25.1 billion in defense contracts) and Northrop Grumman (with $8.5 billion) lead the pack. Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. is on Fix the Debt’s CEO Council, and Northrop Grumman board member Vic Fazio is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee.
  • Four other Fix the Debt-linked companies have more than $1 billion in 2012 defense contracts: GE ($2.1 billion), Textron ($2 billion), Honeywell ($1.5 billion), and World Fuel Services ($1.2 billion).
  • The 38 Fix the Debt leaders with ties to defense contractors drew at least $401 million in compensation from the 43 companies in 2011—an average of $10.6 million each.[...]
In case you were wondering, no, Fix the Debt is not advocating any defense cuts as a means of reducing the debt and deficit. But their "core principles" include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reforms. Go figure.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Welfare for the Rich (32+ / 0-)

    The unspoken purpose of "defense spending" is welfare for the rich. The fact that defense contractors make millions off death and destruction used to be a common topic of conversation in Civil War days. No longer: defense spending is a sacred cow.

    Way too many communities depend on what trickles down from the wealthy defense contractor. These folks don't see payments for unnecessary armament as government welfare, but it is.

    •  Not to be contrarian, but (5+ / 0-)

      defense contractors do a lot of things unrelated to weapons and wars.

      I've worked for them on projects connected to cancer research and other medical research, and for other departments of their companies that aren't connected to DoD.

      I wish we could fund the good stuff and starve the bad guys. Somebody should study this possibility.

      I suddenly started a blog. http://jglookups.blogspot.com/.

      by JG in MD on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:18:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but (0+ / 0-)

        a lot of those things are spinoffs of weapons tech that they found could be profitable in other arenas.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:08:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  More efficient (15+ / 0-)

        to directly fund the research and projects that are useful investments.  The myth of military spinoffs being good for the economy are just that: myths.  They are more a matter of recouping losses than making good investments.  The same amount of money invested directly would provide twice as much benefit or more.

        •  More efficient? Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe not, hard to say.

          Calling the benefits of military spinoffs a myth, however, is little more than propaganda.

          Civilian spinoffs from military projects benefit the economy in the same way that spinoffs from the space program do.

          If anything, they are more efficient than directly-funded research, but with a very giant if:

          If you're going to do the initial project anyway, the spinoffs border on free. Spinoffs from well-considered and well-justified military projects (and space!) are a win.

          Sometimes they are threshold crossers:

          ie, the need for, say, Velcro in the civilian market might not have been sufficiently obvious to justify the expense of developing it.  The manned space program had the need, had the talent, and had the funds.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:26:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but at less than one cent on the dollar (6+ / 0-)

        Why not just fund the NIH to do biomedical research?

        Methinks it's exactly for the reason why you posted - so that when somebody suggests cutting DOD funding shrieks come from * everywheres * - not just those that deal directly in death and destruction although they get the lion's share of the funding.

        It's really very clever insurance for the Big Time beneficiaries of defense spending to never get their funding cut.  At very small cost to their core mission.

      •  Other stuff from defense contractors... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rube Goldberg, TKO333, Subterranean

        ...include things such as the satellites that make the GPS in your cellphone work.  Yeah, the GPS system was originally put in place as a defense effort.

        For that matter, next time you read a story about someone who was rescued at sea, it's likely that they were found using an airborne radar system from one of the big defense contractors.  Or if you hear about illegal fishers being caught, chances are that those same radar systems were used in their apprehension.

        I know that my employer has also been involved with a system of satellites for monitoring the spread of deforestation.

        It's not all drones, missiles, and bombs.

        Now, I'm not saying (and I don't think JG in MD is, either) that defense contractors should be immune from cuts.  But it is useful for everyone to understand that we're talking about a lot of different projects and products, some of which do have very real social value.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:53:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As you say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexasTom

          In the 1980s and 1990s Congress provided for DoD to fund cancer research and other biomedical studies. The program has grown and matured over time; the research is important as an adjunct to NIH and a different path to the lab. Varying methods of research funding broaden and strengthen the science.

          Because I've worked with those programs and others of value, I just feel duty bound to point them out and start a discussion. 8-}

          Cutting the defense budget can and should be done thoughtfully without doing any harm to the nation. I hope that happens.

          I suddenly started a blog. http://jglookups.blogspot.com/.

          by JG in MD on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:26:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  there are also (0+ / 0-)

        projects more directly related to defense which don't involve weapons, such as equipment used for surveillance and inspection. I work on projects in that area. The uses of these may be questionable or wrong in some cases, but they may be appropriate in others, and they aren't themselves used to kill people or destroy things. They may help prevent violent incidents if used appropriately.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:36:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A damned inefficient form (23+ / 0-)

      of government welfare.  If we want to invest public funds in supporting the economy -- and we probably do -- then we  have an obligation to do it in the manner which provides the best return for our resources.  Military funding has a lousy ROI.

    •  Say what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego

      Motocycliste,

      Excuse me, but can we cut the emotional dribble here and speak in terms of logic and realism?

      I have no problem with a policy debate about if we are spending too much on defense or not, perhaps we are in certain areas. I would be fine with having that debate.

      But, let us not be so inept as to conveniently ignore that when we talk about cutting defense spending we are not talking about "making a few people less rich", we are talking about reducing the work given to defense contractors, in effect, creating less demand for their product! Now, this of course means with less demand for their product they stop hiring people and start laying people off. Now tell me, do really want that to be the outcome during the Obama Economy of jobless recoveries?

      Companies do not exist for the purpose of making people's lives better, they exist to make a profit (I suppose in that respect they make people lives better perhaps), but they are not social experiments. They are for profit entities, which depend on not having policies implemented that reduce the demand for their product. When demand for their product is reduced, they cut their staff and production so they can remain profitable with the business that has not been reduced. Why is this so confusing to so many people here?

      When President Clinton implemented the luxury tax and the yacht manufacturers laid people off and closed factories, his administration said, "Ooops" and got rid of the tax the following year. Only one little problem, once some of those companies had laid the people off and closed the factories, sold the real estate they were on, etc...some companies decided they did not want to reopen those factories and most of those people didn't get their jobs back. We have to be careful what we do, it has effects that are not always so easily reversible when some policy nerd says, "Ooops, my bad, that was not a good policy idea - lets just reverse it".

      George

  •  Nice work! (18+ / 0-)

    Going over the cliff is the ONLY way we'll get those "offense" cuts we need.

    The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:29:31 PM PST

  •  Yep, this is more about Cali/NY/Va special interes (7+ / 0-)

    than it is about building a sound economy.

  •  +/- "If We're Going to Have These Wars, We Have (23+ / 0-)

    to do something with entitlements."

    Speaker-elect Boehner, if I recall correctly.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:47:01 PM PST

  •  Spot on! Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Amber6541, corvo

    Stonewall was a RIOT!

    by ExStr8 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:48:46 PM PST

  •  The other half of the "fix the debt" crowd (29+ / 0-)

    is Wall Street CEOs like Lloyd Blankfeln, who are taking home millions, but not paying on Social Security above $110K, paying next to no taxes on capital gains, and squirreling money away in off-shore investments. But it's grandma's piddly Social Security check that should be cut.

    Blankfein is one of many Fortune 500 CEOs who joined together under the name "Fix the Debt," a campaign to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to address the federal deficit during the fiscal showdown. This group of more than 90 CEOs is pushing cuts to middle-class programs while shielding millionaires, billionaires and big corporations from tax increases.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:02:53 PM PST

  •  Blood sucking bastards (8+ / 0-)

    Of course, it's always the merchants of death who come back for more.  Heavens forbid that we would cut their dirty gun money ... whether it's the military or the equally out of control gun industry.  Filthy merchants of death.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:12:48 PM PST

  •  Good Reporting (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, 2thanks, DRo, Amber6541, Dem Beans, TKO333

    tipped and rec'd.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:10:57 PM PST

  •  Fix the Debt being cochaired by Ed Rendell (12+ / 0-)

    who never discloses that when he is on MSNBC yammering about the deficit.

  •  Sickening. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deward Hastings, corvo

    And it looks like they're going to get everything they ask for.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:32:19 AM PST

  •  Support HRES 733 (8+ / 0-)

    Contact your Congressional Rep to support HRES 733:

    H.RES.733 -- Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that any deal replacing the Budget Control Act of 2011 should contain serious revenue increases and no Medicare, Medicaid, and Social... (Introduced in House - IH)

    HRES 733 IH

    112th CONGRESS

    2d Session

    H. RES. 733

    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that any deal replacing the Budget Control Act of 2011 should contain serious revenue increases and no Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefit cuts.

    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    July 18, 2012

    Mr. ELLISON (for himself, Mr. GRIJALVA, Ms. BASS of California, Ms. BONAMICI, Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr. CAPUANO, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Ms. CHU, Mr. CLARKE of Michigan, Ms. CLARKE of New York, Mr. CLAY, Mr. COHEN, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. FILNER, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Ms. HAHN, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. HOLT, Mr. HONDA, Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia, Mr. KUCINICH, Ms. LEE of California, Mr. MARKEY, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. NADLER, Mr. OLVER, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Mr. RANGEL, Ms. RICHARDSON, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. STARK, Ms. WATERS, and Ms. WOOLSEY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Budget, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

    RESOLUTION

    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that any deal replacing the Budget Control Act of 2011 should contain serious revenue increases and no Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefit cuts.

    Whereas the start of sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the expiration of the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush may lead to a deal on taxes and spending;

    Whereas Medicare is a cornerstone of the United States health care system and a vital part of life for more than 40 million United States seniors and more than 8 million citizens with disabilities;

    Whereas Medicaid provides health and long-term care services for low-income and middle-class families with family members stricken with catastrophic illness, injury, or disability, or facing prolonged infirmity;

    Whereas Social Security provides vital protections for people of all ages in 1 of every 4 families, including 36 million retired workers, 8.6 million disabled workers, 6.3 million survivors of deceased workers, and 6.5 million children, and since it has $2.7 trillion in accumulated assets and no borrowing authority, does not contribute to the Federal budget deficit;

    Whereas unemployment levels are still unacceptably high and Federal investments in areas such as infrastructure, education, research, nutrition, housing, and services struggling people in the United States depend on grow the economy and create jobs;

    Whereas extending the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush would increase the deficit by $3.3 trillion over 10 years;

    Whereas long-term unsustainable deficits pose a threat to the social safety net;

    Whereas defense spending, not counting 2 off-budget wars, has doubled over the last decade, failing to responsibly reduce the national debt by cutting outdated defense programs and by addressing billions of dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse;

    Whereas the unbalanced `Bowles-Simpson' proposal contains unacceptable cuts of $402 billion from Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years, and substantial Social Security cuts for current and future beneficiaries; and

    Whereas working and middle class United States citizens have been working harder and harder for less and less: Now, therefore, be it

        Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that any deal on taxes and spending to replace the Budget Control Act should--

            (1) not cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits;

            (2) contain serious revenue increases, including closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing individual income tax rates for the highest earners;

            (3) significantly reduce defense spending to focus the United States Armed Forces on combating 21st century risks; and

            (4) promote economic growth and expand economic opportunity by including strong levels of job-creating Federal investments in areas such as infrastructure and education, and by promoting private investment.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:33:46 AM PST

  •  We should have listened more closely to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, rocksout, Amber6541, bewild

    Eisenhower's farewell address.

  •  Finally an explicit diary about power structure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RF, DRo, bewild

    they run the place

    our empire is in decline and the oligarchs are the richest in history

    so it is no wonder that this is going on

    playing the game of the 2 parties no longer works

    will DK realize this and truly push issues rather than just parties?

    this is an old game. I posted this before but it deserves to be seen again.

    Socrates knew that SS was on the line! (7+ / 0-)

    Socrates: First, shouldn't we explain how a democracy becomes an oligarchy?

    Adeimantus: Yes

    Socrates: The crucial step is that the rich figure out how to manipulate politics so the laws benefit them instead of the public.

    Adeimantus: So it seems.

    Plato, Republic, 550d (author's translation)

    So begins the excellent book by Keith Quincy.

    "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go from Here."

    Keith Quincy lays out how both parties have rigged government statistics to hide the truth about the economy from everyone. If the book was read by the public, they would throw out the politicians.

  •  It should not be called "Fix the Debt" ... (6+ / 0-)

    It should be called "Fix My Mansion."

    Maybe not snark.

  •  Lobbying should be a crime. n/t (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rocksout, corvo, Amber6541, bewild, mzinformed

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:41:48 AM PST

  •  Catfood Commish; SefDef Gates; Obama's friends (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    he APPOINTED THEM

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:43:08 AM PST

  •  Obama INTENDED to shoot us in the foot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:43:32 AM PST

  •  Imagine that. Poweful MIC corporations (4+ / 0-)

    attempting to influence government policy. How shocking!

  •  "Steal the Money" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Amber6541

    Or "Transfer the Wealth."

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:45:04 AM PST

  •  Pres IKE; I TOLD YOU SO in 1961 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phrogge prince, RF, tardis10, Amber6541

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:45:40 AM PST

    •  Yep,Eskow writes it plainly (6+ / 0-)

      here: http://blog.ourfuture.org/...

      So who’s really afraid of the “fiscal cliff”? These headlines offer some clues:
          Politico: “Contractors fear sequester’s impact”
          Los Angeles Times: “In defense-heavy San Diego,     ‘fiscal cliff’ threat hits home“
          Virgina Pilot: “Firms fear sequester’s impact on government contracts“
          Naples (FL) News: “Fiscal cliff: Employers, Naples defense contractors anxious for deal‘
          ABC News: “California defense contractors fear fiscal cliff“

      “We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications,” Eisenhower said of the defense lobby. “Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

      Ah,but those contractors need not worry too much...
      The latest “lucky” break for defense contractors came just today, as Senate and House negotiators from both parties agreed to protect defense contractors from some of sequestration’s worst features.

      “A leading industry organization cheered the (the) changes,” reported the Washington Business Journal,”… which softened the potential blow for contractors in the areas of workforce, compensation, and oversight.”

      Congratulations, contractors, on this unexpected stroke of good fortune. Now who’ll soften the blow for the rest of us?

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:05:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's ALL about the military & military contracts (7+ / 0-)

    From today's NY Times:

    Mr. Boehner’s statement suggested confidence that Republican leaders would have the votes to pass his plan. But lawmakers who were counting votes for the leadership said the tally was short, and House leaders were adding provisions to the speaker’s bill to mollify dissidents.

    Some Republicans, for example, objected that the plan would do nothing to prevent the automatic military cuts, about $50 billion, from taking effect in January. To satisfy Republican hawks, leaders will hold a separate vote on legislation, nearly identical to a bill passed earlier this year, that would cancel those cuts and instead shift them to domestic programs, a decision likely to amplify Democratic opposition.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:46:32 AM PST

  •  Defense Contractors stealing from Social Security (7+ / 0-)

    That's about as low as it gets.

    How I wish this topic could be covered honestly in the news media.  A lot of Americans know there's something bad going on here, they just don't know the details.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:47:39 AM PST

    •  Wait until they raid Medicare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, Amber6541

      Looks like we may not quite be done with granny starving:

      Given the pressing timetable, the two men are hoping to set the broad parameters of an agreement while taking care of urgent business like extending tax cuts for most earners, preventing sharp cuts in Medicare physician payments, and making sure millions of taxpayers don't get struck by the alternative minimum tax.

      The idea is that other steps, like overhauling the tax code and additional cuts to popular programs like Medicare would take more time and be fleshed out next year.

      you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

      by Dem Beans on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:06:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  gives a whole new slant on "FIX" the debt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, corvo, Amber6541

    defense spending isn't debt apparently, it is an investment in really rich and amoral corporations and people.  It is a shame it is one that doesn't pay off particularly well for ordinary people.  It is a bigger shame that it is so incredibly destructive across the globe.

  •  I don't know why, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Dem Beans, milkbone, Amber6541

    the response to anyone arguing against raising taxes is,

    "Wars Cost Money"

  •  Is Pelosi's money tied up in Defense Industry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Dem Beans

    corporations and contracts?

    Is anyone asking this question?

    Is this why Pelosi is playing cute with the rhetoric, trying to make a cut in benefits an attractive option?

    Is that rain that's wetting our shoes, or is it Pelosi pissing on them?

  •  I'm shocked--SHOCKED! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone, Amber6541, bewild, mzinformed

    Seriously, though, some otherwise fairly progressive Dems are in the pockets of the defense industry, because they have such a big presence in their home states. E.g. Patty Murray and Boeing, whose commercial jet and some defense systems factories are still based in WA.

    And with defense companies spread across all 50 states (although I have a hard time understanding why they have plants in Hawaii or Alaska), and lots of local jobs dependent on them, it's understandably hard to get even the most progressive Dems to support major cuts to defense programs. They'd be going up against some of the richest and most politically connected companies AND thousands of their workers in their states and districts.

    Which is why the only way this can work, not just politically but economically (to minimize layoffs resulting from cancelling defense projects), is to gradually transition defense projects to non-defense projects. It happened after WWII, and can happen again. It's not as if today's defense companies only make or have expertise in weapons and support systems.

    They have lots of experience in IT technology on the hardware and software side, power and propulsion systems, systems integration and engineering, quality assurance, manufacturing, etc.--i.e. some of the same knowledge and skills needed to successfully transition to a green energy economy. Instead of "Guns to Butter", we can have "Guns to Green".

    I don't see any other way of doing this, politically. The defense industry is simply too big and powerful to take on otherwise. Plus, it makes lots of economic sense in terms of keeping jobs, stimulating the economy and transitioning to a 21st century green energy economy.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:54:09 AM PST

  •  Free Aire Time on 1% owned corp media for 1% - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:54:18 AM PST

  •  "The Cliff" is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rube Goldberg, Amber6541

    purge the military of mercenaries.  After all, if we are going to run the government like a business, 1st order of business when money is tight is to eject all contractors and hire back in the critical ones.

    I'm just saying - get rid of all that extraneous corporate profit.

    OK, I'm done dreaming now....

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:59:50 AM PST

  •  Harumph! (0+ / 0-)

    Are you suggesting these deficit scolds are not honorable men and women?
    The nerve!

    They are patriots just like Frederick and Kimberly Kagan.
    Ya, that's the ticket...

  •  agreement from Boehner's office (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Amber6541

    Cynthia Herrle, one of Boehner's policy people was asked about the fiscal cliff before the election.  "Defense Contractors" was the first thing she said speaker Boehner was concerned about.

  •  Nothing a senior with a reverse mortgage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Amber6541, mzinformed

    and still on a diet that features cat food and tinned beans needs more than a .00001% share of a new fighter jet that will replace a nearly new one that no nation on the planet has any capability of challenging with one that could defend us against Martians if there were any.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:04:32 AM PST

  •  Ya know (0+ / 0-)

    If the debt were their single overriding concern, they would let the sequestration happen on schedule.  Every possible compromise will reduce the debt savings through either canceling tax hikes, spending cuts or both.  

    Ergo they care about something else.  Odds are good that wealthy CEOs care about things that are important to wealthy CEOs.  

    Tom Frank was a pseudo that I coined before I found out about that guy who writes books.

    by Tom Frank on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:08:39 AM PST

  •  Killing people doesn't bother them (0+ / 0-)

    They are in the business of killing people for profit. If some olds & poors have to bite the dust to swell their bottom line, how much different is that from browns & blacks?

     

    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:15:21 AM PST

  •  Ike was right, but we didn't heed his warning. nt (0+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:17:22 AM PST

  •  Strong defense vs strong odor. (0+ / 0-)

    The two need not go together.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:18:34 AM PST

  •  Million-Retiree March to DC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier

    We need to show Congress and our president that we won't tolerate their lying to us anymore.  They must stop chiseling away our social security and medicare benefits - the cost of which we were required to pay throughout our entire working lives.

    It's time for a million-retiree march on Washington.  We can stop this stealth-theft of our earned benefits if we act now.

  •  So I presume that Simpson and Bowles portfolio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    is stuffed with MIC stocks

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:22:43 AM PST

  •  can we just refer to them (0+ / 0-)

    as "Debt Contractors" then?

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:37:38 AM PST

  •  "Reforms"? (0+ / 0-)

    "But their 'core principles' include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reforms."

    Let's not cede the language of reform to the Right.

    These proposals are changes, certainly--but they are not reforms. And calling proposals to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid "reforms" unthinkingly adopts that false-equivalency, media centrism language we on DailyKos have been criticizing.

    The language of reform originally comes from challenges to established power, the Old Corruption of pre-Reform Act Britain in 1832 and similar struggles. It was not a reform when, for example, the Ramsay McDonald government in 1931 slashed UK unemployment pay by 10% at the behest of Gold Standard advocates and international bankers.

    Sadly, we live in a world of corrupted political discourse, one in which a proposal to restore racial slavery would be blandly reported by much of our press as a "labor law reform." (And I only wish that last sentence were in fact an outlandish joke.)

    Let's keep this in mind as we characterize Bowles-Simpson and similar agendas: they are not reforms.

  •  Another case for the fiscal cliff (0+ / 0-)

    It's really only a fiscal cliff for a particular subset defense contractors, barring a complete moron in charge of the Defense Department.  For the rest of government and the economy, it's a 1993-style right-sizing of government and public finance.  Of course, we could do with much bigger defense cuts than those called for in sequestration, but the fiscal cliff is a good start because the easy stuff to cut includes a bunch of overpriced equipment that doesn't work.

  •  Well knock me over with a feather! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Why is it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MacJimi

    that so many Rich Folks in America would spend the country into oblivion if it means we have more military toys than everybody else on earth but they won't open their wallets a crack to help feed a family that is in dire straits?

    •  Um, could it be that they're greedy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      strangely enough

      fucking assholes that don't give a shit about anyone else?   Their motto is "I got mine, fuck you!"

      What's the use of electing more Democrats if they're not better Democrats? Elect BETTER Democrats and the MORE will take care of itself.

      by MacJimi on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:35:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bowles has a Backpfeifengesicht (0+ / 0-)

    No idea what it is about him, but that picture just makes me want to slap him. Well, that plus his work on the cat food commission.

    This fascist kills machines.

    by drmonkey on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:35:18 AM PST

  •  What has Erskine Bowles ever done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    to get him appointed to the CatFood Commission?  At least Simpson was a known-asshole senator, and had some pedigree of public service.  WTF had Bowles ever done besides, um, nothing?

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:10:55 AM PST

  •  'Fix The Debt' is ultimately Obama's baby. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, strangely enough

    HE wanted Simpleton-Bowels.  Just more proof that's he's not a progressive.

    What's the use of electing more Democrats if they're not better Democrats? Elect BETTER Democrats and the MORE will take care of itself.

    by MacJimi on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:33:12 AM PST

  •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    I'm going to steal a lot of stuff from your resources.

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