The House Republican bill Cut, Cap and Balance has passed the House. Now the Senate can vote down a real opportunity to do something responsible and desperately needed for the country. We’ll remember that in 2012. So attention is passing to the Gang of Six for many reasons, including Senator Tom Coburn returning to the Gang after previously walking away. Obama loves the plan – doesn’t know any details, but he has endorsed it. Reportedly, there is $1 Trillion in tax hikes.
Now, some reality. The plan has already drawn fire from the right (Senator Jim DeMint says he has “serious concerns” and Senator Jeff Sessions says the plan hikes taxes “by at least $1 trillion”), and the left (“devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid” said Bernie Sanders).
Just how deep are the Medicare and Medicaid cuts? No one knows. Those cuts will be hammered out later. See, no one knows.
The Gang of Six proposal leaves the specifics up to Congressional committees to hammer out in the future. The principles are outlined, the targets are set, but the details are to be determined at a later date and other than an “down payment” of $500 billion in spending cuts, there’s no guarantee Congress will actually act on the bigger spending cuts and revenue increases the plan promises.
…the Gang of 6 plan…raises revenue by ending tax expenditures and applying the savings to deficit reduction. House Republicans have refused to go along with this, and, I am reliably informed, shall continue to not go along with this. (One aide I spoke to today just laughed when I inquired about the Go6 plan’s chances of getting through the House).
The media isn’t talking about Cut, Cap and Balance, but they are waxing wise about the Gang of 6 plan.
Huffpo: “Senators were effusive…calling it “great”…saying it would likely gain support from a majority of the Senate.”
Yahoo New (AP) …Obama and a startling number of Republican senators lauded a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan that includes $1 trillion in higher taxes, raising hopes of a last-minute compromise…”
Can anyone explain why $1 Trillion in higher taxes raises anyone’s hopes? Can anyone explain why we should feel good about hammering out needed spending cuts, sometime in the future? Those promised cuts under Reagan didn’t happen. The promised cuts und GHW Bush didn’t happen.
Here’s the question, if Republicans are prepared to raise the debt limit in exchange for a balanced budget amendment, why would Democrats not support that plan? Why would the President of the United States say we do not need a balanced budget amendment, as Barack Obama said this week? There’s only one reason why, and that’s because their piggy bank is closed to their obscene spending habits. A balanced budget amendment is the only way to make cuts tomorrow a reality.
Related and Background: