Lame-duck dangers loom
A bipartisan group of senators is secretly swapping ideas for how to hike taxes. The goal is to raise revenues to avert scheduled spending cuts agreed to last year as part of the deal to increase the debt limit.
Calling themselves the “Gang of Eight,” the group appears to be embracing aspects of the previously failed Simpson-Bowles plan to impose a massive tax hike on the American people. Think of it as a counterweight to the efforts of conservatives to prevent automatic tax hikes while pursuing comprehensive tax reform.
Congressional Quarterly identifies as “Gang” members: Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Michael Crapo (R-Ida.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). They are meeting privately right now to craft a plan to undo defense spending cuts and hike your taxes.
Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).