Even the so-called budget cuts we've lionized throughout the various continuing resolution debates have ended up being net increases because Congress insists on defining spending cuts not as actual cuts, but as decreases in the rate of spending increases.
The plan is also vague in establishing savings targets for Medicare and Medicaid instead of specifics -- other than a promise to delegate their definition to yet another committee.
And did you know that the plan not only doesn't give us any details on how it would make Social Security solvent over 75 years but also defers addressing the issue until Phase One of the bill passes the Senate. Even more ominous is the proviso that if the Social Security reform aspect is not ultimately passed, the entire deficit reduction plan becomes a dead letter. Why couldn't Obamacare have had such a glorious provision?
As you might expect from any plan liberal Democrats embrace, this would make our already progressive tax code more progressive. The plan aspires to retaining the code's progressivity or enhancing it. Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell calls it the "progressivity mandate," which "implies very bad things for the double taxation of dividends and capital gains." It apparently targets IRAs and 401(k)s.
While most Americans are worried about reducing our national debt and getting America back to work again, Democrats (and a handful of collaborators in the GOP) are busy ginning up more class warfare and stoking the flames of envy rather than inspiring Americans to contribute to and help enlarge the production pie.
Much of this seems complicated, but when you boil it down, all you need to understand is that we need real spending cuts and caps, not decreases in the rates of spending hikes, real structural entitlement reform, not mere feckless, meaningless tweaking, and growth-oriented tax policies.
The Gang of Six's plan fails to meaningfully satisfy any of those requisites and would ensure our continued path to fiscal destruction. Why can't these people embrace Ryan's plan? Why?
But no big deal. Without real reform, our national debt will only be larger than our entire economy within a decade. Not to worry: Before this column is printed, they'll have something new for us to consider.
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