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Rich Trumka: “We have no short-term deficit problem.”

I hear a lot of pretty frightening stuff here at the America’s Future Now conference about the looming cat food commission. Rich Trumka is right now hitting this, on a panel with Bob Herbert and the designated White House progressive shipped to conferences like this, Jared Bernstein. I feel a lot of despair over the issue. Maybe a half-dozen people are paying attention to the fact that a bunch of wealthy deficit scolds want to use a lame-duck Congress to slash Social Security or Medicare or Lord knows what.

Trumka made it very clear. “We have no short-term deficit problem.” We have a jobs problem, and we’re not doing a heck of a lot about it. And more is being done inside Washington to pay attention to the former than the latter. “The deficits facing our country right now are our jobs deficit and our infrastructure deficit.”

The panels around the deficit here have really been depressing. It is characterized as a steamroller that cannot be stopped, and there either aren’t enough people with the will or the sheer numbers to get in front of it.

Trumka closed by saying that the political leadership can allow this to happen and lose their jobs, or do the right thing. Well, we’ll see.

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David Dayen

David Dayen