23 Feb 2011

Bipartisan Group of Six Senators Spearheading Effort to Avoid National Bankruptcy

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.

Read on at the Wall Street Journal »

Author Details
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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0 thoughts on “Bipartisan Group of Six Senators Spearheading Effort to Avoid National Bankruptcy”

  1. I am a fan of reducing the corporate tax rate while closing loopholes. And I don’t think it has to be revenue neutral either, I think it should be geared towards collecting a little more.

    On SS security, we need to actually HAVE the conversation on what “cuts” need to happen. I am skeptical that much good can be done via raising retirement ages. For many workers it won’t even be viable due to health limitations.

    What I would like to see is for a plan to be immediately implemented that makes annual changes to keep SS solvent and balanced on an annual basis. We should start means-testing and raising the income cap. But only by the amount needed to keep SS solvent for that year. I oppose any changes that make SS solvent over a longer term via the bogus accounting of a “trust fund.” 

    I really don’t want to let the government raise the cap or start means testing as a way to  produce revenue that allows the govt to avoid cuts elsewhere. If SS needs x billion dollars to be balanced for 2012, then raise the cap by exactly the amount needed to produce x billion dollars.

    I got no specific answers on medicare.

  2. cranky,

    You have good reason to be skeptical when considering changes in SS. It would be wise if you read my article at The Cutting Edge Blog linked from the main page of my web site It’s Worth an Opinion: http://worthanopinion.net.

    It explains some of the myths about Social Security and offers a simple solution which would help its solvency until we figure out where some of the money we paid in has gone.

    We must also quit referring to it as an ‘entitlement’ because it is ‘our’ money and yes, we’re entitled to it because it is ours.

    Jim Worth
    Author, “Final Audit”
    Huffington Post Blogger

    1. Find out where the money went? We know where the money went… it went into the general budget, to pay for things our representatives wanted to give to us, but weren’t willing to raise taxes enough to pay for.

      The money is gone.

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