From Jared Bernstein, an important reminder that we’ve been doing what the deficit hawks want and it hasn’t been working:
Well, I spent the morning in a taped discussion with Senator Alan Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles fame (he said his name should go first so as to avoid the unflattering acronym if you go the other way). One of the points I tried to bring to the discussion—which I’ll post once it’s public—is that we’ve actually made progress, especially from his perspective, on spending cuts in the budget.
These developments are poorly understood by those—most vocally, SB advocates—who continuously inveigh that we’re not “serious” about cutting spending. In fact, that’s the only thing we’ve been “serious” about so far, such that we’ve actually achieved 70% of the discretionary spending cuts called for in the SB budget plan. This does not count war savings, nor does it include savings on interest payments, which would add another $250 billion to the savings.