Former Bush economic advisers pan Gang of Six proposal

posted at 11:45 am on July 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

“Proposal” might be giving it more credit than it deserves at this point.  Right now, the Gang of Six entry into the deficit reduction/debt ceiling debate better resembles a statement of principles with few specifics, which is one reason why no one expects the Go-6 to have a bill ready for a vote for weeks or perhaps even months.  Barack Obama has already begun hedging his “no short-term debt ceiling increase” pledge in order to accommodate the Go-6 team.  Right now, there isn’t even enough specifics for the CBO to score the plan to determine whether it actually accomplishes what its backers claim.

To say that the Go-6 is getting mixed reviews among conservatives would be a rather generous assessment.  Still, the plan has drawn some praise on the Right, most notably from Larry Kudlow at National Review, who calls it “pro-growth”:

The best part of the Gang of Six plan is a reduction in the top personal tax rate from 35 percent to a range of 23 to 29 percent. For businesses, the rate would drop in the same manner. And thecorporate tax would be territorial rather than global, thereby avoiding the double tax on foreign earnings of U.S. companies. Finally, the plan would abolish the $1.7 trillion alternative minimum tax.That’s huge. It’s another pro-growth tax reform.

In a more perfect world, the Congressional Budget Office would score the pro-growth incentives of lower marginal tax rates in terms of a tax-revenue increase. That’s the history stretching back to JFK, Reagan, and George W. Bush circa 2003.

And right now, the Gang of Six package is the first real pro-growth tax reform of all the debt-ceiling plans. It acknowledges the need for a growth element in order to solve our budget bankruptcy and limit spending, deficits, and debt. It would boost the economy and broaden the base (by reforming or limiting numerous deductions). As a result, more income would be taxed at lower rates in a rising economy, throwing off a hell of a lot more revenues than we’re getting today. Rising revenues from lower tax rates are a good thing.

Kudlow acknowledges that the plan falls short in other areas, but argues that it’s good enough to be given a chance to work:

In the Gang of Six plan, there are a lot of planned spending cuts across-the-board for all the cabinet departments. There is spending-cap enforcement. And, importantly, the plan would repeal the CLASS Act, an Obamacare entitlement for long-term health-care insurance that would exponentially elevate future federal spending. This would mark the first step toward undoing Obamacare.

But — and I acknowledge this weakness — the health-care savings look inadequate and murky. And the Social Security reform is completely unknown. The cut-and-cap Paul Ryan budget, which would reduce spending by $110 billion in 2012, or $6 trillion over ten years, looks a lot more powerfulthan the Gang of Six proposal. Ditto for the Ryan domestic discretionary budget cut of $76 billion in 2012, which stretches out to $1.8 trillion in ten years. And of course, I acknowledge that two-to-one or three-to-one formulas for spending cuts and tax increases have always broken down in the past. You get the taxes but not the lower spending.

Chuck Blahous argues that the Social Security reform isn’t just unknown, it actually erects barriers to later SocSec reform:

The text of the Gang of Six document offers obeisance to a talking point that has become common on the political left: that Social Security is not really a part of our broader deficit problem, so there should be no discussion of Social Security reform in a deficit reduction context. Specifically, the document states that Social Security reform should be “isolated from deficit reduction” and proposes a procedure by which Social Security reform would be considered “if and only if” a comprehensive deficit reduction bill has “already received 60 votes” in the Senate. It further requires that the Social Security reforms themselves must receive 60 votes. This approach contains several problems.

First, Social Security is a significant contributor to the current federal deficit, and current policies are intermingling Social Security finances and the general government accounts in an especially direct way. This year, for example, incoming program taxes will fall short of benefit payments by more than $150 billion. This is in part because Congress recently cut the payroll tax and transferred general government revenues to the Trust Fund to make up the difference (though Social Security would still have added to the deficit even without this action).

If bipartisan reformers do not confront these realities, they will not be able to counter existing factual confusion and explain the reality of Social Security’s current cash shortfall, its relationship to the larger budget, and the ramifications of further subsidization of Social Security from the general fund (not only occurring this year, but being proposed by some for extension into next year). Second, while reformers should perhaps favor “separating” Social Security if this expedites action, this framework does not so expedite. It instead indicates that Social Security reform should only proceed if broader deficit reduction is voted through first. This is highly problematic for a program with its own shortfall to resolve irrespective of problems elsewhere in the budget.

Blahous calls the Go-6 proposal “a step backward” for Social Security reform — and he was a defender of the Simpson-Bowles plan earlier this year.  Blahous gives five substantial reasons to oppose the Go-6 plan, but another former Bush economic adviser, Keith Hennessey, gives 17 of them.  Here are a few:

4. It is a huge net tax increase.

The Gang of Six plan would increase taxes by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years relative to current policy. That’s roughly a 6.5 percent increase in total taxation.

Put another way, the Gang of Six plan raises taxes $830 B more than would President Obama’s February budget.

To those who like the promise of low statutory tax rates – the benefits of low marginal rates are far outweighed by the increase in average effective rates. This is a massive hidden tax increase.

5. It’s a far worse trade than Bowles-Simpson.

The fundamental trade of the Bowles-Simpson group was higher net taxation in exchange for (huge long-term spending reduction, especially in entitlements + fundamental structural entitlement reform + pro-growth tax reform).

The Gang of Six plan drops the first two elements of that trade, the huge long-term spending reductions and the structural entitlement reforms. It instead purports to offer pro-growth tax reform in exchange for much higher net tax levels. It offers trivial spending cuts, no flattening of long-term entitlement spending trends, and no structural reform to the Big 3 entitlements. That is a terrible trade, and far worse than Senators Durbin and Conrad agreed to in Bowles-Simpson. Why did the Republicans in the Gang take a deal far worse than Bowles-Simpson?

6. It trades a permanent tax increase for only a temporary respite on spending.

The plan proposes permanent increases in net taxation levels in exchange for a temporary slowdown in spending. The entitlement spending line would be shifted ever so slightly downward – there would be no long-term “flattening of the spending curve.” The Gang tries to address that through a poorly-defined process to slow health spending growth that offers no specific policy changes and promises only to “require (future) action by Congress and the President if needed.” That sounds awfully familiar (see: Medicare funding trigger, turned off by Democrats in 2009).

The consequence of this would be kicking the can down the road. Deficits would be smaller for the next 5-10 years while the higher tax levels offset entitlement spending growth. But since the plan does nothing to flatten the curve of Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid spending, 5-10 years from now we will be right back where we are now, but with higher levels of taxation. We will again face huge and growing future deficits, driven by unsustainable entitlement spending growth.

Then we’ll repeat this game all over again. Raise taxes once again to buy another decade or so. The Gang of Six plan raises taxes and hands off an unsolved entitlement spending problem to the next generation.

We need a solution that caps total government spending at some share of GDP. Cut, Cap, and Balance sets a limit of 20% of GDP, which I like.  Bowles-Simpson raised taxes and moved toward a spending cap (but not far enough). The rumor at the time was that the Bowles-Simpson group was working toward a 21% cap. The Gang of Six plan raises taxes but does nothing to change the underlying spending trends. I hate the tax increases in Bowles-Simpson, but at least it moved in the direction of a permanent spending fix.

Hennessey echoes Blahous on the plan’s interference on entitlement reform, not just Social Security but also Medicare and Medicaid:

8. It precludes structural reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.

The Plan says “while maintaining the basic structure of [Medicare and Medicaid].” That language precludes needed fundamental reforms to these programs, as contemplated in Bowles-Simpson, Rivlin-Ryan, or the House-passed budget resolution. We need structural reforms to these programs to flatten their long-term spending trends.

This plan doesn’t even include the modest Medicare eligibility age increase proposed by Sen. Lieberman and endorsed by the President.

After reading through Hennessey’s and Blahous’ detailed objections, I doubt that conservatives would get behind the Go-6 plan.  Since the Senate isn’t likely to pass the CCB bill that came out of the House — Harry Reid’s scheduling of the vote is a pretty clear indication that he can defeat it — that’s probably going to leave us with the McConnell plan.  At least that keeps the issue of structural reform and deficit control on the table, rather than providing a false “solution” that will fall apart like a cheap suit within the next couple of years.

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good enough

Yea well…I’m tired of these “good enoughers”. Time to cut the government off from the spigot. Not more new taxes and stop trying to take away our mortgage deduction….Yea, I’m looking at YOU Coburn.

jawkneemusic on July 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Hennessey echoes Blahous on the plan’s interference on entitlement reform, not just Social Security but also Medicare and Medicaid

A word to the wise: The money spent on social security, medicare, medicaid, plus interest on the debt is closing in on 100% of tax revenues.

Vashta.Nerada on July 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

BTW, I heard Jeff Sessions last night explain that the plan expected to pass the Senate is 1 for 1, meaning that there will be $2.5 trillion in new taxes for a promise to vote later on up to $2.5 trillion in reductions of growth of programs, and a debt ceiling increase of $2.5 trillion, so it will allow DC to skate past the 2012 elections.

Vashta.Nerada on July 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Frankly I do not give a flit about ‘savings’ ten years from now, I want cuts NOW! There is no reason to think a congress ten years from now will even see to it this gets done at that time. bho just wants something done stat so he and mo can go to the bd party/vacation/raising campaign money/golf and get out of dc!
L

letget on July 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Obama’s latest crisis is at least providing textbook examples of political smoke-and-mirrors games.

We need to pass the bill so the public can find out what’s in it.

Drained Brain on July 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM

And the hits just keep on comin’

cmsinaz on July 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Gang of 6 people realize not only isn’t this anything more than Senate Chatter. The actual proposal doesn’t even have a name so they have to use the group’s name that is chattering about it, there is no Senate budget plan.

This isn’t going to pass the Republican House majority. That means it’s nothing more than misdirection in the media cycle meant to deflect attention from the FACT that neither the Democrats or the President, have a budget plan they can offer up for debate and passage.

The Senate looked at the House actually producing legislation, and they realized that their bosses were watching “The American People” So they had to offer something up to make it look like they are working, and actually doing their jobs.

This is the pathetic attempt by the people in the Senate to persuade us all, they are doing anything at all about our ballooning federal debt.

I read that my Senator John Cornyn is actually working on a similar bill in the Senate as the one that passed the House…Be still my beating heart, he’s actually going to perform his duty instead of rubber stamping legislation, for the administration for a change.

Color me under impressed by the United States Senate. Debt ceiling crisis, what debt ceiling crisis SARC.

Dr Evil on July 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Blah, blah, blah – spending will be cut sometime in the future if you buy me a hamburger today.

these people truly are idiots.

Monkeytoe on July 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Go Gang of 234!

jeffersonschild on July 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM

The gang of 6 plan is just a ploy to fool the public. Cut spending now!

jeffn21 on July 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Since the Senate isn’t likely to pass the CCB bill that came out of the House — Harry Reid’s scheduling of the vote is a pretty clear indication that he can defeat it — that’s probably going to leave us with the McConnell plan.

The CCB has a better chance passing in the Senate than the McConnell/Reid plan has in passing in the House:

A letter being circulated by freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.) could effectively take the contingency plan being crafted by Senate leaders Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.)…completely off the table in debt-ceiling negotiations.

It’s the CCB or no ceiling raise. It’s Obama/Reids choice.

Weight of Glory on July 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Bachman isn’t the only one getting migrains. I’ve had a perpetual headache from all of this, since November 2009. *siiiiiiiiiiigh*

capejasmine on July 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Blah, blah, blah – spending will be cut sometime in the future if you buy me a hamburger today.

these people truly are idiots.

Monkeytoe on July 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Exactly… And I don’t trust Obama to keep his word. Afterall, he has lied about everything else.

Didn’t he just promise to keep the tax rates current back in January and now he is trying to raise taxes? They think we are idiots!

jeffn21 on July 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Why aren’t we on the phones urging our senators to vote for CCB? Or at least work on amendments so that it could go to conference. Why do they have to start from scratch? They seem to be handling this situation different from any other bill.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Put another way, the Gang of Six plan raises taxes $830 B more than would President Obama’s February budget.

Uhh…what?

I think I’ll go hide now, these effwits aren’t serious which means we’re screwed.

Bishop on July 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Many have been. I’ve called Sen. Cornyn and Sen KB Hutchison all week. I’ve also been calling Boehner’s office all week to encourage him in supporting the House Freshmen. I called Sen. Saxby Chambliss this morning to encourage him to leave the Gang of Six and support Cornyn with the CCB plan in the Senate. Keep calling. Keep the pressure up.

Weight of Glory on July 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Since the Senate isn’t likely to pass the CCB bill that came out of the House — Harry Reid’s scheduling of the vote is a pretty clear indication that he can defeat it — that’s probably going to leave us with the McConnell plan.

The McConnell “plan” is never going to pass the House. Any Republican voting for that crap will get primaried, and I will gladly donate to the challenger.

Norwegian on July 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Harry Reid’s scheduling of the vote is a pretty clear indication that he can defeat it

I know I’m not the only one hoping that some of those D Senators up for reelection would throw a temper tantrum by passing CCB.

txhsmom on July 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Guys please help me with this. When we are running 1.5 T deficits every year, how does any cuts/savings that are less than 10 T over a decade help? The argument seems to – yes the government will grow but at a slower pace. Besides who has confidence in any promised cuts in future? I think the discussion should only be about remainder of this year and 2012.

antisocial on July 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Here’s what I don’t get about this thing: If it reduces the top tax bracket and raises revenues through a broader base as conservative backers say, why in the world would Durbin sign on to it? And if it raises revenues greater than Obama’s February budget debacle, why would come back and Coburn sign on to it?

BKeyser on July 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Why aren’t we on the phones urging our senators to vote for CCB? Or at least work on amendments so that it could go to conference. Why do they have to start from scratch? They seem to be handling this situation different from any other bill.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I called Cornyn, his line is busy so I sent an email.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Obama & his minions are doing everything they can to wreck this country.

The National Labor Relations Board is poised to issue new union-election rules that will significantly increase the number of unionized workplaces while at the same time severely restricting employers’ involvement in the determination to unionize their businesses and forcing employees to make an uninformed choice regarding the decision to unionize.

INC on July 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

BTW, I heard Jeff Sessions last night explain that the plan expected to pass the Senate is 1 for 1, meaning that there will be $2.5 trillion in new taxes for a promise to vote later on up to $2.5 trillion in reductions of growth of programs, and a debt ceiling increase of $2.5 trillion, so it will allow DC to skate past the 2012 elections.

Vashta.Nerada on July 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Whenever I hear or read the phrase, “with a promise to vote later on up to ___$trillion in reductions of growth of programs…”

I know that it’s another hijack.

How many times have we heard this “promise” of various concessions or helps AFTERWARD if and only if we agree to submit to bad things in the present? Somehow, that later time with that “promise” is never fulfilled.

Lourdes on July 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Do not trust the Old Croney’s Plan for Taxation without Representation.

They are legislating against the will of the people.

/I’d love to grab Mich McConnell’s turkey goggle and shake it so that he understands he’s on the wrong side.

Key West Reader on July 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I put this in the headlines, but here it is again–from Investors Business Daily:

Editorial: Gang Of Six Plan: A $3.1 Tril Tax Hike

No wonder President Obama has so heartily endorsed the “Gang of Six” deficit plan. Just like everything Obama has offered so far, it’s short on details and long on tax hikes.

Soon after the “Gang of Six” — a bipartisan group of senators that has been trying for months to put together a deficit reduction plan — issued its new proposal, President Obama praised it as “a very significant step” that represents “the potential for bipartisan consensus.”

What it really represents is Washington at its worst.

The “plan” Obama was praising isn’t a plan at all, but a few pages of bullet points with vague concepts, promises of future cuts, and confusing, and at times contradictory, numbers.

And what details it does contain show that the gang has employed some of the most egregious budget tricks available to make the spending cuts look bigger and tax hikes smaller than they actually are.

INC on July 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Grover Norquist just came out against the Gang Plan.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Why aren’t we on the phones urging our senators to vote for CCB? Or at least work on amendments so that it could go to conference. Why do they have to start from scratch? They seem to be handling this situation different from any other bill.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Do you really believe Dick Durbin is interested in anything I have to say?

Knucklehead on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Why Is the President So Adamant on Raising Taxes?

But Obama’s tax obsession becomes understandable when you realize the long game he’s playing: Big Taxes to fund Big Government. Decade after decade. . . . On everybody. And if we have a debt crisis, maybe those tax increases come sooner rather than later….

Tax changes have very large effects: an exogenous tax increase of 1 percent of GDP lowers real GDP by roughly 2 to 3 percent….

INC on July 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Right now, there isn’t even enough specifics for the CBO to score the plan to determine whether it actually accomplishes what its backers claim.

So what. That didn’t stop Obamacare.

BacaDog on July 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Do you really believe Dick Durbin is interested in anything I have to say?

Knucklehead on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I’m sure if you give him a donation he’ll listen to you.

Key West Reader on July 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

4. It is a huge net tax increase.

The Gang of Six plan would increase taxes by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years relative to current policy. That’s roughly a 6.5 percent increase in total taxation.

Put another way, the Gang of Six plan raises taxes $830 B more than would President Obama’s February budget.

And that is very bad.

I wonder if anyone among the GOP and possible ‘conservative’ Democrats has put Obama under any pressure with demanding he answer this: “Just WHY is your primary goal to raise taxes and to not reduce spending?”

That in a nutshell is really the issue. Obama/The Left are driving the “we want higher taxes for other people” routine (none of the wealthy among the Left, including Obama as he brags often about his disposable wealth, is sending in more than their accountants tell them they must — they could be writing big checks all the quarters long but aren’t).

Yet they refuse to reduce spending.

Obama’s obligated by his current job to pay the national debt. If he doesn’t do that, then he has both defaulted on the debt and failed to do his job, one of his few primary duties required by the Constitution being to pay the national debt. All he has to do is reduce spending yet he refuses. It looks to me that Obama WANTS the nation to default and he’s busier working on his blame-routine for afterward.

Lourdes on July 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Just say no to any ‘promises of future spending cuts’

cmsinaz on July 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

BTW supposedly the way entitlement spending is cut the Gang of Six plan is that they will reduce Doctor and Hospital payments for Medicare. Hello. In Biden’s gang, Obama asked for money to pay for the Doc fix and calls that spending plan with cuts. They are talking out of both sides of their mouths. I know, I know, what is new with that.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Grover Norquist just came out against the Gang Plan.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I’m no fan of Norquist but when it comes to taxes, he does *get it*: reduce taxes, don’t raise them. His one-trick talent, however, but it’s a keen talent, nonetheless.

Lourdes on July 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Knucklehead on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

In your case you’ll just have to take whatever entertainment value there is in annoying them. I will consider it a bonus when I call Bill Nelson’s office.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Everyone knows that the way you help an alcoholic is taking away is whiskey…and giving him a keg of beer instead /sarc

gwelf on July 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Just say no to any ‘promises of future spending cuts’

cmsinaz on July 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Yeah, you said it.

Lourdes on July 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Last I heard,our fearless leader is for the crock of 6????!!! Run the other way R’s.One thing is for sure,the ones not up for reelection won’t care what we think.

ohiobabe on July 21, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Do you really believe Dick Durbin is interested in anything I have to say?

Knucklehead on July 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

If you are from Illinois, don’t you have a Rep Senator? Call him on the carpet. I have one for the Gang Plan and one against it, I emailed the one against it to try to stiffen his spine and get the CCB to the floor for a vote. Not to be in your business, just sayin, your call is not useless.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

The way to address the out-of-control debt problem is to cut spending NOW! Tell each department to cut spending by a certain percentage and make do with what is left. Take a look at the committments that have been already appropriated and cut back or cut out those fundings. The cupboard is bare.

I’m glad that you posted the Hennessey link, Ed.

No increase in the “credit card” limit will solve the debt problem. It only further puts us into debt. ObaMao and his enablers are killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

onlineanalyst on July 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

BKeyser on July 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Here’s how I read it. The idea was to isolate the House as not part of the solution, period. Having been isolated, the center would shift to the Senate, where the Dems and Obama hold the ground. After that happend the hope was for the Senate to run the clock out, while Obama made it look as though “serious” negotiations were taking place. Once the time was up, and we were at the 11th hour, plan ‘Z’(McConnell/Reid) would be adopted as a way to avoid the end of the world. All this required that the House play ball by not passing anything that they were told would never pass the Senate. Well the House didn’t play ball. They passed CCB/BBA in the House with bipartisan support which raised the debt ceiling while capping the growth of government. At the same time the House Freshmen were signaling to the House leadership that the McConnell plan was DOA in the House. Since the McConnell/Reid plan was all the Senate had, the House’s strong rejection of it spooked them. Understanding that the optics were now the House having taken the lead, and the Senate has actually been isolated, the Dems. and Obama quickly adopted a plan that was literally useless, as if it was their plan ‘A’ all along. Since it’s useless, Obama has been walking back his statement on short term resolutions in order to buy more time to try to shift things back to the Senate. But that ship has sailed and now the Press/Obama/Dems are trying to make it a choice between two dead plans. The House GOP has done very well in shifting this, and they have a very strong plan. If the leadership in the Senate would just get two Republican members of the Go6 to leave and join the Senate effort on the CCB, I think we’d actually get it passed in the senate, contrary to what everyone is saying. Those are my thoughts.

Weight of Glory on July 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

from Investors Business Daily:

Editorial: Gang Of Six Plan: A $3.1 Tril Tax Hike

INC on July 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again, the Republicans rush in to ruin a win. This is exactly what Obama/DNC is going to use to campaign upon: “they raised your taxes”.

Lourdes on July 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Guys please help me with this. When we are running 1.5 T deficits every year, how does any cuts/savings that are less than 10 T over a decade help? antisocial on July 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

They think the sheeple are too stupid to catch that the tax increases will come right now, but the “reduction in growth of federal programs” will be kicked down the road, passed to a commission, and never take effect. The MSM will carry water for the Gang and Obama.

Wethal on July 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I called Cornyn, his line is busy so I sent an email.

txmomof6 on July 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Cornyn’s solid. According to his Houston office is a strong proponent of CCB and is a co-sponsor in the senate. He said the right things yesterday on Laure Ingraham too. No new taxes. lower rates spread wider.

DanMan on July 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM

I called Senator Franken. I don’t think we can count on his support.

Bishop on July 21, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I call Bill Nelson’s office.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Are you even able to get through?

Key West Reader on July 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM

A word to the wise: The money spent on social security, medicare, medicaid, plus interest on the debt is closing in on 100% of tax revenues.

Vashta.Nerada on July 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

In O’Keefe’s latest in the Medicaid series, he presents as a gang of IRA terrorists, wounded, just off a plane from Ireland. Of course he and his gang is duly processed for Medicaid treatment. It appears no story is too outrageous to qualify for Medicaid.

There is huge fraud in Medicaid, and SS Disability that needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Who knows what the real baseline is.

slickwillie2001 on July 21, 2011 at 12:57 PM

BTW, I heard Jeff Sessions last night explain that the plan expected to pass the Senate is 1 for 1, meaning that there will be $2.5 trillion in new taxes for a promise to vote later on up to $2.5 trillion in reductions of growth of programs, and a debt ceiling increase of $2.5 trillion, so it will allow DC to skate past the 2012 elections.

Vashta.Nerada on July 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

So not quite as good as the 2:1 deal we got with GHW Bush in charge?

How did that work out again?

http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2011/07/08/why-the-gop-should-reject-tax-increases-in-one-chart/

Oh yes, all the tax increases, none of the spending reduction (according to the CBO numbers after the fact).

But Kudlow believes they’ll let us kick the football this time? That’s a good plan? Fine…

When you find out they lied and your reaction is “AAUGH!” don’t come crying to me. I’ve already seen this cartoon many many times.

http://www.free-extras.com/images/charlie_brown_football-5357.htm

gekkobear on July 21, 2011 at 1:41 PM

“A solid B+” – Kudlow

Excuse me for saying this, but Kudlow isn’t an analyst – he’s a cheerleader.

Pablo Snooze on July 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Key West Reader on July 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Sorry about the delay, I was running errand. I called his Jacksonville office.

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Whenever you see “gang of” in some congressional initiative it simply means that the Republican and Democrat parties, officially, don’t want to put their names to it, but are allowing various “maverick” politicians 5 minutes of dubious fame. The parties want to appear to be working together (by proxy), but can disown the whole thing at a moment’s notice when it goes south.

This is not serious.

virgo on July 22, 2011 at 1:25 AM