[Posted by Karl]
Daniel J. Mitchell summarizes what little we know of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Senate’s bipartisan attempt to put off dealing with our national debt. Like the Simpson-Bowles recommendations — but unlike Pres. Obama — the Gang proposes reducing tax rates, but still hiking takes by at least $1 trillion. The Gang also punts on entitlement reform — our government will magically spend healthcare dollars more efficiently (IPAB, anyone?) — and appears to leave Obamacare otherwise untouched. The Gang’s spending caps won’t apply to entitlements either. Furthermore, the Gang proposes only to slow the rate of growth of government, not actually cut it. The only cuts you can bank on amount to a mere $500 billion of the $3.6 trillion advertised (note the tax hikes are the twice as much). No wonder I’ve learned to stop worrying and love the debt bomb.
Gangster Dick Durbin (D-IL) doubts the plan could be enacted in the two weeks remaining before the debt ceiling is his, because it needs to be scored by the CBO. A senior White House official says the OMB could get it scored in time to get a deal in place by August 2, meaning that Obama would personally scrawl some figures on a cocktail napkin if it means getting the GOP to play Charlie Brown to his Lucy Van Pelt in time for football season. Remember, this is not about the debt ceiling or the debt; it’s about Obama’s re-election campaign.
Update: Conn Carroll explains that the Gangsters may be proposing $3 trillion in tax hikes. Given that it’s a $3.6-3.7 trillion plan, that would mean the $500 billion of immediate spending “cuts” would be almost all the “cuts” in the plan.