"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gang of Six - The Flim-Flam Men


Bumped to the top.   Now Hugh Hewitt weighs in on the "Gang of Six" plan:
The half-baked "proposal" is a thinly veiled, massive tax hike which will never ever get through the House of Representatives as it would spell economic disaster for the country and political catastrophe for the GOP.  It is hard to fathom what these senators are thinking, but the days of "trust us" are long gone, and if even one Republican standing for election in 2012 votes for this I will be shocked, and they will almost certainly be primaried.

The conservative base and Tea Party activists did not send a House Republican majority back to D.C. to raise taxes.  How anyone could miss this fact is beyond me, but obviously some have.

Really, how hard can this be to understand: Cut spending and do nothing but cut spending until the budget is back at 19% of GDP, and then if the Congress can pull that off, get to tax simplification.
What we need is to lay out specific cuts that we would make and demand that the President and the Democrats do the same.   Period.


James Capretta at National Review Online calls the "Gang of Six" plan the "worst plan ever."   Here's the money quote:
If this “reconciliation”-style package of tax and entitlement changes gets supermajority support in the Senate, then the Senate would move on to the third part of the Gang of Six proposal: a Social Security reform package that closes the long-term financing gap. Again, with Democrats in control of the Senate and the writing of legislation, this almost certainly would mean another large tax increase. The Social Security plan would then be attached to the legislation containing the other tax and entitlement changes, and sent to the House (probably on a take-it-or-leave-it basis).

In short, the Gang of Six has essentially offered a plan in which Republicans would hand over control of the budget process to Democratic senators and hope for the best. Enough said.

When I hear the word "bipartisan," I think:   "The GOP just got rolled."   Apparently the "Gang of Six" in the Senate have put together a plan that the President thinks is close to what he wanted, including tax increases (disguised as tax reform/tax simplification) and a nod toward entitlement reform (vague promises of gaining efficiencies in Medicare) and some "immediate cuts" (that aren't immediate, and likely aren't cuts), along with a promise of new commissions to study further cuts.   Yuck!   Our rule should be:  if the socialist demogogue BHO likes it, it's bad.

As always, Mark Steyn cuts to the chase:
Americans who care about the solvency of this nation ought to be seriously annoyed at the contempt for them shown by the Gang of Six “plan,” which even by the standards of “bipartisan” deal-making is a total joke.

Even if you take seriously their figure of $3.7 trillion in savings over ten years, that represents a clawback across a decade of about two years of current deficits.
If you take Jeff Sessions’s figure of $1.2 trillion in savings over ten years as being closer to the mark, that takes a decade to reverse about three-quarters of the 2011 deficit.

Neither of these numbers is sufficient. Both lead to national suicide.

If you take the Gang’s figure of half-a-trillion dollars in immediate “aggressive deficit reduction” seriously, that represents about what the U.S. government borrows every four months. What’s “aggressive” about that? And what’s immediate about it? It’s all unspecified “discretionary spending caps” and “process reforms” that will collapse like soufflés ten minutes after the signing ceremony. Obviously it’s appealing to Democrats: It accepts their view that 25 percent of GDP should be the new baseline for national (“federal” no longer seems quite the word) government spending. But what’s in it for Republicans?

We are sending a consistent message to the world that the political structures of the United States do not allow for meaningful course correction. That does far more damage to the “full faith and credit” of America than failing to hike the debt ceiling.

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