Posted on | December 3, 2012 | 22 Comments
No sooner had Glenn Reynolds suggested in his USA Today column:
1. Adopt the Bowles-Simpson Plan. The plan was the product of a bipartisan commission, chaired by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, appointed by President Obama to address America’s ballooning deficits and national debt. Most experts agree that it’s a pretty good plan. President Obama didn’t like it because it shrinks government too much.
Tough. It’s a plan, which is more than President Obama has offered, and from a bipartisan commission he appointed. Can Obama get away with vetoing that? Can Senate Democrats get away with rejecting it and bringing on the automatic cuts and tax increases of the sequester? Doubtful. Plus, though the press tends to cover for Obama and blame Republicans, media types love Bipartisan Commissions.
. . .then they went with it:
In the latest in a tit-for-tat between Capitol Hill and the White House to avert the fiscal cliff, House Republican leaders sent President Barack Obama a $2.2 trillion counteroffer on Monday — but it doesn’t hike tax rates on the wealthy or deal explicitly with tricky issues like the debt ceiling and the sequester.
After days of Democratic criticism that they lacked a plan, the Republican leadership endorsed a framework first outlined last year by Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who led the president’s debt reduction committee.
The proposal, unveiled by senior GOP aides Monday during a briefing in the Capitol, assumes $800 billion in fresh governmental revenue through tax reform, $600 billion in health savings and changes to an inflation formula that determines benefit levels across government programs, including Social Security.
There’s also $600 billion in other savings, split evenly between mandatory and discretionary spending.
Why I’m so flippant about this farce, starting with this post title, is that the actual problem is concentrated power and nothing whatsoever in this farcical kabuki seems to consider that:
he Obama administration’s opening bid on Thursday in negotiations to avert a year-end fiscal crunch included a demand for new stimulus spending and authority to unilaterally raise the U.S. borrowing ceiling, a Republican congressional aide said.
The proposal, made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to congressional Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, was seen as offering little the Republicans could agree to and was greeted with laughter, the aide said.
I’m not ready to quit yet, but I do grow to understand those who’ve just punted, given up, and said “Up this noise.”
GOP: we’re on a suicidal course. Articulate an alternative, federalist, Constitutional course. What part of “the course we’ve steered the last century has Got. To. Go.” eludes you?
James Pethokoukis at AEI has more.