How Dumb Are They, Don’t Ask
To understand the insanity that is the Federal Government and Deficits and Spending and Taxes The Dismal Political Economist needs to go back into some history. That history looks like this.
- In 2010 the Republicans proposed a bi-partisan Deficit Reduction Commission that would develop a Plan that would be voted up or down by the Congress.
- When President Obama accepted the idea, the Republicans immediately refused to accept their own proposal, the principle being that anything Obama supported they were opposed to, even if it was their own plan.
- Mr. Obama went ahead and created the Commission by executive order, and it became the Simpson-Bowles Commission, named after its leaders, former Senator Simpson and former Clinton White House adviser Bowles.
The commission recommended saving $3.8 trillion by raising the retirement age for Social Security, slashing spending across government and wiping out more than $100 billion a year in popular tax breaks, including the tax deduction for mortgage interest and the tax-free treatment of employer-provided health insurance. It recommended larger Pentagon cuts and revenue increases than the White House sought this month.
5. The Simpson-Bowles Commission Plan was promptly rejected. Republicans have stated about a strongly and clearly as they can that they will not accept even $1 of revenue or tax increases.
Now Congressional leaders are talking about a new committee of lawmakers that would, you guessed it, come up with a deficit reduction plan that would be voted up-or-down on by the Congress. The plan would have drastic cuts in social programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which are unacceptable to Democrats and revenue increases which are unacceptable to Republicans.
Why go through such an exercise? Because these politicians could then say they are serious, very serious about getting the deficit under control. So serious that they participated in two, not one, but two, two whole Commissions to study the problem. And if the American people want them to get even more serious, they will even consider a third Commission to study the problem after they reject to recommendations of the second Commission.