Very interesting post that is all over Twitter, from the Wall Street Journal. Talks about the courageous group of mostly moderate senators who are trying to piece together a package that will do what neither the President, or the GOP leadership is willing to do… pass legislation that will actually put us on a path away from national bankruptcy.
Here’s the deal that’s in the works: Mr. Warner is one of six senators—three Democrats, three Republicans—who are trying to put together legislation that would commit to law the cuts in federal deficits set by a commission Mr. Obama established last year to find a way to curb federal red ink.
The debt commission’s final report said that making the deficit cuts it envisions requires three big things: cutting discretionary spending (House Republicans are showing the way on that right now); limiting the growth of entitlements (read Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid); and enacting a broad tax reform that would raise more revenue by simplifying the tax code and killing off deductions and credits while lowering rates overall.
That blueprint got the support of a majority of commission members, but not the number required to force Congress to vote on the blueprint. So Mr. Warner and friends are considering legislation that would, in effect, put the debt commission’s plan into law. Its limits on spending and tax revenues would be set as legal targets; if Congress failed to pass legislation to meet them, across-the-board spending cuts and reductions in tax deductions would kick in automatically.
This grand idea faces two big obstacles. Democrats will be tempted to flee because their liberal base can’t countenance the idea of reductions in Social Security, and Republicans will be tempted to flee because their conservative base will see a tax reform that raises more revenue as a violation of its no-tax-increases orthodoxy.
Only in the world of politics would a rule saying we shouldn’t forever spend more than we take in be controversial. In coming years, centrists and moderates are going to have to back these six senators when the ideologues in their respective parties go after them for not towing the line.