Republican House members say, "Democrats are our adversaries, senators are our enemy." I say, " On most any issue there are three choices: Right, Wrong, and Evil/Compromise." Why?
The following article attempts to report the "details" of the Gang of Six Proposal which Obama strongly supports because he wants to use it to raise the debt ceiling enough to get him past his 2012 election date.
The Headlines: Gang of Six plan punts on key details
By Erik Wasson - 07/19/11 01:09 PM ET
My comments are added.
The Gang of Six plan unveiled to senators on Tuesday punts on key details, including exactly how it would reform Social Security and Medicare, according to a detailed outline obtained by The Hill.
The plan adopts a two-track approach: a $500 billion down payment (code for do nothing) and a later reform bill generating an additional $3.2 trillion in deficit reduction (over 10 years of course). That later bill is largely left up to committees of jurisdiction, and they are only required to meet specific savings targets (pure DC gooblygook).
On healthcare entitlements, the plan would seek to hold the growth of spending to GDP plus 1 percent per beneficiary, but it largely leaves it up to committees to decide how to achieve the savings. (leaves it to a committee? good luck!).
The plan would be held at the Senate desk until a Social Security fix is found, and if that fix does not get the 60 votes required, the rest of the deficit plan is voided (but the debt limit has already been raised and tax deductions already canceled). The reform must ensure 75 years of solvency for Social Security, according to the Gang of Six, but how to achieve that is left up to the Finance Committee. If Finance cannot agree, a group of 10 senators — five from each party — can bring a reform bill to the floor (Can or will? Boy, this is tough stuff, huh?).
A $500 billion immediate down payment would be achieved through discretionary caps imposed through 2015, by instituting a new measure of inflation known as the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), freezing congressional pay and selling federal property (Immediate by 2015? (Even if this ever happened, the deficit would still increase by an additional $7 Trillion (50%) by 2015) .
The down payment would also repeal The Class Act, a long-term-care insurance plan (??????).
Chained CPI would cause Social Security benefits and tax deductions to be lowered, the use of which has been loudly opposed by seniors' lobbying groups. To address senior concerns, the plan exempts Supplemental Security Income from the shift for five years and provides a minimum benefit equal to 125 percent of the poverty line for five years.
Part One of the plan would also require the Government Accountability Office and Labor Department to find a new way to administer unemployment insurance (Doesn't get more specific than this. These guys are kicking ass!).
For Part Two (finally), the plan would require committees of jurisdiction to report bills within six months. The Finance Committee would be charged with legislating a permanent “doc fix” and fully offsetting the cost of healthcare savings. It would also be required to find an additional $202 billion in healthcare saving (What the hell is this?).
Among other committees, Armed Services would be required to find $80 billion in cuts from the Pentagon budget, while Agriculture would be required to find $11 billion in savings while protecting food stamps. The plan also requires medical malpractice reform, a nod to the GOP (I have big money that says a nod is all they will get).
The Budget Committee would be left to decide discretionary caps after 2015 and before 2021 (committees, committees, committees).
Finance would be required to reduce tax rates to three tax brackets of rates: of 8-12 percent, 14-22 percent and 23-29 percent. The current top marginal rate is 35 percent (What deductions are eliminated to get these? They are claiming $1 Trillion of new revenue. That is DC speak for new taxes.).
The corporate tax rate would be between 23 percent and 29 percent, and tax reform would cease taxation of overseas profits. (What do corporations give up to get this?)
Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) back the Gang plan and are hoping to get 60 senators to support it within the next few days. The framework could be attached to the debt-ceiling compromise.
How many times have you heard the DC term, "It is tied up in committee?" How many of the required actions in this framework require committee decisions and action? Committees are burial grounds for legislation. This is the same old kick the can of crap down the road on spending cuts while raising taxes immediately.
This is typical Washington. When no one has the nerve to pass a detailed plan, just COMPROMISE on a "framework" and announce it as if you did something. I say never agree to anything Dick Durbin and Barack Obama embrace. Tom Coburn obviously has been in Washington way too long or the Dems have embarrassing pictures. Mike Crapo is also a sponsor of Cut, Cap, and Balance. He supports this crap on the very day C, C, & B is voted on in the House. With friends like Crapo you don't need enemies. Who knows about Chambliss and who knows what Chambliss knows, but he looks like a good southern gentleman? Warner and Conrad are Moderate Socialists who compromise with moderate Conservatives to soothe their consciences. Moderates are more dangerous than Liberals, and their compromises are more evil than just being plain wrong.
Any dummy knows that the RIGHT thing to do is to reduce the size of government and reduce federal spending. The WRONG thing to do is to keep spending and increasing the 50% of Americans who don’t pay taxes reliance on government. The EVIL thing to do is to COMPROMISE. As our country drifts to Socialism all the Commies need to do is just COMPROMISE AND COMPROMISE until the nation is on its knees. Then take over the mess that’s LEFT. This Gang of Crap is just another step in that direction.
Think about it,