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A Public Service Reminder: Simpson-Bowles Is Terrible

As you hear the "Simpson-Bowles" mantra escalate in the weeks and months to come, Paul Krugman wants to remind you: Their ideas are terrible. (AP)Nate Silver gives Mitt Romney a 16 percent chance of winning, and gives Republicans a 22 percent chance of taking the Senate. A month is an eternity in politics, it ain’t over until it’s over, yada yada, but the main suspense right now is whether the Democrats can retake the House — I’m eagerly waiting for Nate’s take.

And what this means is that in DC thoughts are turning to … Simpson Bowles.

You know what will happen if the expected result materializes and Obama is reelected: all the Very Serious People will clamor for him to return to the pursuit of a Grand Bargain, built around S-B.

So, a public service reminder: Simpson-Bowles is terrible. It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important. It offers nothing on Medicare that isn’t already in the Affordable Care Act. And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen — completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated, while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.

Yes, I know, inside the Beltway Simpson and Bowles have become sacred figures. But the people doing that elevation are the same people who told us that Paul Ryan was the answer to our fiscal prayers.

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