More Tricks than Treats in Democrats' Deficit Reduction Plan
The Democrats are getting into the spirit of the season and putting out a deficit reduction plan just in time for Halloween. This isn't surprising. After all, congressmen are, at bottom, a lot like little kids. They are irresponsible, spoiled rotten by perks, oblivious to the consequences of their actions, and whine when they don't get their way. This makes Halloween the perfect time to issue a deficit reduction plan that doesn't have a ghost of a chance of passage, while scaring the heebie-jeebies out of seniors with proposed cuts in Medicare benefits.
The plan is short on specifics, except for the Medicare cut of $400 billion split between reductions in benefits and cuts to health care providers. Where the rest of the $2.6 billion will come from -- including a promised increase in revenues -- only the zombies know at this point.
To top it off, the plan proposes between $200 and $300 billion in new stimulus spending. And you thought that this was a deficit reduction measure? Silly, you. Just close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and whisper: "The stimulus will be offset by reductions in interest payments from ... reducing the deficit."
Follow the logic: a plan to reduce the deficit includes spending increases that are going to be paid for by less money spent servicing the debt because the deficit is going to go down ... except when it goes up because of the spending increases.
My head hurts.
The Democrats made this proposal at a hush-hush meeting of the super secretive deficit-reduction supercommittee. It's called a supercommittee because ... well, because that's what Congress is calling it. Considering the lineup of political hacks, non-entities, and near half-wits who make up its membership, there doesn't seem to be anything "super" about it. Any committee that features John Kerry as one of the leading lights can lay no claim to "super" anything except perhaps "super boring." And to give you an idea of the supercommittee's leadership, co-chair Senator Patty Murray, who made a name for herself by praising Osama bin Laden after 9/11 for building schools and medical facilities, is in the top tenth percentile of dumbest people in Congress.
Since cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget over a 10-year period would appear to average folk as something of a no-brainer, perhaps that's why Harry Reid named her to the committee? Sorry, no. There is never such a thing as a "no brainer" when it comes to separating Congress from its addiction -- the absolute necessity of spending every dime it can get its hands on and when that runs out, spending your children's dimes, and the dimes of their children.
Besides, it's not about cutting anything. The reason for the supercommittee, you will recall, came about when an agreement was struck to raise the debt ceiling. In return for lifting borrowing limits above $15 trillion, Congress agreed to form a committee that is supposed to save it from its own worst impulses. The supercommittee comes up with $1.2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years and Congress approves the package or else; that is to say, or else there will be across the board cuts in everything from defense and Medicare to cowboy poetry festivals. Why Congress has to point a gun at its own head to act responsibly is a mystery. It's like the scene in Blazing Saddles where black Sheriff Bart is about to be lynched by the good townsfolk when he points a gun at his own head and says, "One more step and the ni***r gets it." The townsfolk were fooled. Does Congress expect the same of the voters?