Grand bargain = big disaster
The “Gang of Eight” senators working on a proposal to immediately hike taxes and propose long-term cuts to spending has entered another week. This week the Gang met secretly in Mount Vernon for three days of non-transparent negotiations for a lame-duck deal on taxes and spending. Members of this gang include Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).
According to The Washington Post, earlier this week “seven of the group’s eight members met with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who led the president’s deficit-reduction commission, according to sources familiar with the meeting. (Durbin did not attend the meeting but participated remotely.) The Simpson-Bowles plan inspired the original Gang of Six’s $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction proposal, which combined entitlement and spending cuts with $1 trillion in new tax revenue, assuming the Bush tax cuts for those with incomes more than $250,000 would expire.” The phrase “$1 trillion in new tax revenue” is code for “a $1 trillion tax hike on you, the taxpayer.”
Conservatives are worried that politicians will violate the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge during a lame-duck session of Congress. Reports indicate that they may use the guise of tax reform in a manner that nets the federal government more and more of your money to squander. This idea is expected to get some floor time during the lame-duck session, when many members will be serving after being kicked out of office by the voters. Expect a terrible deal to be cut by both parties if this deal comes to fruition.
Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).