Debra J. Saunders

In other words, Norquist persists by ignoring the fact that there are more Democrats than Republicans in the Senate and there's a Democrat in the White House.

Coburn Communications Director John Hart noted, "Grover's pledge has become the security blanket of American politics that helps Republicans feel secure and innocent while borrowing and spending. His brand of tax-cut-and-spend Republicanism, however, is fighting a losing battle against math. We're running out of places from which to borrow."

Or as the National Review's Kevin D. Williamson opined, "Norquist should call his outfit 'Americans for Tax Deferral'.'"

The left has its Grover Norquists, too.

Last week, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced a bill to require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate for any measure that would cut Social Security benefits.

Boxer argued that Social Security is "in surplus" -- true technically, but you have to ignore the math. Washington already spent the surplus. Last year, Social Security paid out some $37 billion more than it took in. Boxer seems to think that a two-thirds requirement will prevent a return to the days when people jumped out of windows because they couldn't make ends meet.

Please. Reformers are floating a proposal to raise the retirement age from age 67 to age 68 by 2050 and 69 by 2075. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told the Washington newspaper The Hill, "If you change it a month a year beginning in the year 2014, it's benign, relatively benign ... The earlier you make the changes, the easier they are."

The Sanders-Boxer measure "makes it harder to have a comprehensive deal," Josh Gordon, policy director of the fiscal watchdog Concord Coalition.

Senate rules already require 60 votes to get a full floor vote. Only treaties have a two-thirds mandate.

President Obama might as well be a potted plant on this issue. And thanks to partisans like Norquist and Boxer, Washington continues to delay the day of reckoning.

Political conventional wisdom has blinded them. They dare not give an inch. They cannot propose anything difficult. They cannot solve problems.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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