While the Tea Party amateurs in the House pretend to be congressmen and women by enjoying their political theater on Cup, Cap and Balance, because Speaker Boehner is powerless to stop them. It’s a real low for Mr. Boehner, but even Pres. Obama understands he’s screwed, as our House conservatives who have proven once again that campaigning to please their constituents is more important than our country’s financial health.
Pres. Obama spoke before the White House briefing to say there has been movement in a proposal from the Gang of 6 (now reportedly 7). It’s a bipartisan plan that’s “broadly consistent with the approach that I’ve urged,” though as a “fail safe,” the McConnell proposal is also being formulated too.
Sen. Mark Warner tweeted this FNC link that has some details:
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she was “very encouraged,” and said she would be “reviewing the details.” The centrist Republican voiced the mood of many leaving the room, saying, “More than 50 senators went in and out of the room. Everyone felt a sense of relief.”
The plan raises about $1 trillion in revenue through closing loopholes and ending tax breaks, with some of it used for deficit reduction and most used for rate reduction through tax reform. As it would take time to enact such changes, the plan calls for an immediate $500 billion in spending cuts, something both Conrad and Coburn called “a downpayment.”
And though the plan would likely anger many Republicans and outside anti-tax groups, members were quick to note that though some revenue would be used for deficit reduction, because they do away with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), among other measures, the plan would represent, in total, a “1.5 trillion tax cut,” according to Conrad.
UPDATE 2: MoveOn.org statement from Justin Ruben, Executive Director, on proposal:
“While details are sketchy, the “Gang of 6” proposal appears to ask seniors, the middle class and the poor to bear the burden of deficit reduction, with cuts to Social Security benefits, billions in stealth cuts to be named later, and no real effort to make corporations and millionaires pay their fair share. MoveOn’s 5 million members are counting on Leader Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and other Democrats to stand by their promise to reject any benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare. We cannot allow a minority of Tea Party led Republicans in the House to hold our nation’s economy hostage in order to protect tax breaks for the rich and corporations, while forcing cuts to programs families depend on. The President and Democrats in Congress must stand up for everyday Americans and not give into politicians more interested in protecting their corporate backers than ensuring our economy recovers.”
UPDATE: Here’s the summary:
A BIPARTISAN PLAN TO REDUCE OUR NATION’S DEFICITS
This bipartisan, comprehensive, and balanced plan consistent with the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission that will:
- Ã‚Â· Slash our nation’s deficits by $3.7 trillion/$3.6 trillion over ten years under CBO’s March 2011 baseline, or $4.65 trillion/$4.5 trillion under the original fiscal commission baseline (which used the President’s 2011 budget request as the starting point for discretionary spending).
- Ã‚Â· Stabilize our publicly-held debt by 2014.
- Ã‚Â· Reduce our publicly-held debt to roughly 70% of our economy by 2021.
- Ã‚Â· Impose unprecedented budget enforcement.
A COMPREHENSIVE AND BALANCED PROPOSAL
The plan uses a two-step legislative process: (1) an initial bill that makes immediate cuts; and (2) a process for a second bill to enact comprehensive reform and put our nation on a stable fiscal path. The plan would:
Immediately implement aggressive deficit reduction down payment
- Ã‚Â· Cut deficits by $500 billion.
Dramatically cut discretionary spending
- Ã‚Â· Cut nonsecurity and security discretionary spending over 10 years.
- Ã‚Â· Maintain investments that encourage economic growth, strengthen the safety net for those who truly need it, and preserve a strong national defense.
Carefully strengthen the solvency of our most important entitlement programs
- Ã‚Â· Spend health care dollars more efficiently in order to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, while maintaining the basic structure of these critical programs.
- Ã‚Â· Fully pays for SGR (the “doc fix”) over 10 years.
Fundamentally reform our tax code
- Ã‚Â· Reduce marginal income tax rates and abolish the $1.7 trillion Alternative Minimum Tax.
- Ã‚Â· Encourage greater economic growth.
- Ã‚Â· Enhance the competitiveness of American businesses and workers against global competition.
- Ã‚Â· Reform spending through the tax code to eliminate investment distortions and tax gaming.
- Ã‚Â· Change the debate about taxes in America from rate levels and carve outs to competitiveness, fairness and growth.
- Ã‚Â· If CBO scored this plan, it would find net tax relief of approximately $1.5 trillion.
Strictly tighten the government’s budget processes
- Ã‚Â· Impose spending caps and security/nonsecurity firewalls.
- Ã‚Â· Sequester accounts at the end of the year to recoup any excessive spending by Congress.
- Ã‚Â· Restrict the use of emergency designations that circumvent the spending caps.
- Ã‚Â· Prevent Congress from exceeding the caps by requiring a stand-alone resolution subject to a 67-vote threshold, in order to isolate that vote to increase the deficit from any other policy items.
Reform Social Security for future generations
- Ã‚Â· Ensure 75-year solvency of Social Security and provide for a decennial review of the program to ensure it remains solvent.
- Ã‚Â· Reform Social Security on a separate track, isolated from deficit reduction “” any savings from the program must go towards solvency.