The debt reduction proposal issued Thursday by the group of three Democratic and three Republican senators — known as the “Gang of Six” — won guarded optimism from some conservatives, but damnation from others.
In a statement to The Daily Caller, ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell promised retribution against any Republican who supports the deal, which would allow for an increase to the country’s debt limit.
“Conservatives will stand together to say the Gang of Six plan is dead on arrival and so is any effort to pass a short-term extension that only kicks the can down the road and does nothing to solve the problem,” Bozell said.
Bozell continued: “Should the Gang of Six plan pass, those fake ‘conservatives’ who supported it will walk the plank. That’s a promise.”
While Bozell emphasized the need for a long-term solution, other conservatives opposed to the proposal cite cuts to the defense budget and “tax hikes” by virtue of allowing Bush-era reductions to expire.
The Heritage Foundation cited House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s concern that “the Gang of Six proposal will cut almost $900 billion in national security spending over a decade and implies that the national security accounts will absorb nearly half of all federal budget discretionary cuts.”
Former Bush speechwriter Marc A. Thiessen argued that the proposal includes a massive tax increase. By allowing previous tax cuts to expire, Thiessen said that taxes will increase $4.5 trillion, and will be offset by only $1.5 trillion in new cuts. In a Washington Post op-ed he dismissed the notion that the Gang of Six “calls it a tax cut.”
Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union said in an email to TheDC, “The limited details could be read as providing an even worse deal for taxpayers than the deficit reduction commission’s report from late last year.”
Sepp said that “the Gang of Six document could be christened, ‘Duck, Dodge, and Weave.’”
CNBC host Larry Kudlow and anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, on the other hand, have cautioned against knee-jerk opposition to the proposal. Norquist surprised many on Thursday by saying that allowing tax cuts to expire wouldn’t necessarily equate to a tax increase.