Today At The Virtual Summit: Debt Commission Secrecy, Social Security Scapegoating and VAT Warnings

Bill Scher

Today at the Virtual Summit on Fiscal and Economic Responsibility for People Who Did Not Wreck the Economy hosted by Campaign for America’s Future…

Can We See The Debt Commission?: Rep. John Conyers demands that the President’s newly formed debt commission hold every single meeting in the public.

We need transparency to make sure that the members of the Commission don’t buy into the right-wing myths being put forward by CNN, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and others that want to convince the American people that creating jobs and fighting poverty will damage the economy, that Social Security is going broke, and that achieving fiscal stability means cutting Medicare benefits for our seniors.

The large majorities of Americans who oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare haven’t bought into any of those distortions and neither should the members of the Commission. By opening up these meetings and shining sunlight into their deliberations, we can ensure that they won’t.

Watch Out For The VAT: Robert Borosage warns that there’s an “elite consensus” looking to ram through a regressive value-added tax:

The VAT is essentially a hidden sales tax, levied at each stage of a product’s production. Conservatives, who, unlike Dick Cheney, believe deficits matter, accept it because it is regressive, taxing spending, not investment or wealth. Liberals accept it because it is hidden, and could generate a lot of revenue.

The debate has already begun around the VAT. John McCain, in his new guise as conservative partisan, brought a resolution to the Senate denouncing the VAT as a “massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income.” Eighty-five Senators voted for the non-binding resolution, including all six members of the President’s Commission. The administration has since denied that it has any designs on a VAT. But these protestations are simply reflections on how serious the move towards a VAT has become.

Social Security Is Not The Problem: Kim Wright pushes back on the perennial scapegoating:

To the contrary, Social Security’s trust fund surplus has been used for years to help balance the federal books. Without it, things would look much bleaker. Yet, the economic recession and the deficits it has caused have given Social Security’s foes a political opportunity to “go where the money is” to trim rising deficits.

And there’s much, much more at the Virtual Summit, all this week and next. Check it out at OurFuture.org/virtualsummit.

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