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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Bowles Simpson Commission Did NOT Issue a Report

The Bowles Simpson Commission Did NOT Issue a Report

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 04:22

Why does the media keep telling us that the Bowles-Simpson commission issued a report when it clearly did not. If we go to the commission's website and read its bylaws we can quickly find:

"The Commission shall vote on the approval of a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve the objectives set forth in the Charter no later than December 1, 2010. The issuance of a final report of the Commission shall require the approval of not less than 14 of the 18 members of the Commission."

In fact, there was no vote on anything by December 1, 2010 and there was never a report that received the approval of 14 of the 18 commission members. Therefore, there was no report of the commission. That's pretty simple, isn't it?

Then why does the NYT refer to:

"the proposal by President Obama’s fiscal commission led by Erskine B. Bowles, the Clinton White House chief of staff, and former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a Republican."

The plan being referred to in this piece was a proposal of the co-chairs, it was not a report of the fiscal commission.

Come on folks, we know that a lot of powerful people in Washington like this plan. (According to reports, they have a full hand-written copy kept in a gold laced tabernacle in the penthouse at the Washington Post.) It is widely praised in Wall Street circles as well.

But the plan's advocates should have to push their plan the old-fashioned way -- work for candidates who support the plan, give money to their campaigns, buy billions of dollars of deceptive TV ads -- they should not use the news section of the NYT to give the Bowles-Simpson plan more credibility than it warrants. 

Comments (3)Add Comment
Good Cop Bad Cop: The Fix is In, America Loses Either Way
written by Last Mover, October 02, 2012 5:27
As Krugman just noted in his NYT blog, in anticipation of an Obama win, Senators are already scrambling to formulate for Obama's acceptance and implementation a version of the Bowles-Simpson recommendation.

The fix is in no matter who wins, Obama or Romney. For example as polls shift for Obama, Paul Ryan's political role as good cop shifts accordingly to bad cop, played out as he is ceremoniously outed as a fraud by his own side, despite that he will undoubtedly fall on his sword in a last act of sacrificial glory should Obama win, secretly filled with glee on the way out.

Good cop bad cop = no cops on the beat.
Would someone remind me?
written by bailey, October 02, 2012 6:10
Who formed the Bowles-Simpson Commission?
There were two reports
written by John Q, October 03, 2012 5:05
Members of the commission issued two reports. The disastrous one from Bowles and Simpson, and the more sensible one from commission member Congresswoman Pat Schakowsky.
funny how the latter report gets no press mention, isn't it?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.