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AP Praises Sen GOP For Gang Of Six Support

From a not even bothering to be subtle Associated Press:

Senate GOP shows flexibility in debt, budget fight

By ANDREW TAYLOR – Associated Press
July 20, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are showing far more flexibility than their tea party-backed [sic] House colleagues as Washington policymakers seek to steer the government away from a first-ever default on its financial obligations.

There is no danger of default. But the AP refuses to stop pretending there is. But, gosh those Tea Party supporters are inflexible. (As are the five Democrats who voted for the House bill.)

By the way, why does the AP never capitalize ‘Tea Party’? Or are they talking about people who like to sit around drinking tea? The Tea Party is actually a name, is it not?

As the House doubled down on a symbolic vote to condition any increase in the government’s borrowing authority on congressional passage of a balanced budget constitutional amendment and a fresh wave of spending cuts, the warm reception by many Senate Republicans to a new bipartisan budget plan revealed a thawing in GOP attitudes on new tax revenues.

Why are votes that express the will of the people such as this one always called "symbolic"? And why is the House bill any more doomed to failure than the Gang Of Six’s proposal, which has not even been written down, let alone passed in a house of Congress?

Still, isn’t it amazing what respect even Republicans can get, as long as they are willing to string along with the Democrats on raising taxes?

By the way, as we have previously noted, the number of Republicans who are giving this "warm reception" is five. The three from the Gang Of Six, plus two more (Alexander and Hutchinson).

President Barack Obama also lauded the deficit-reduction plan put forward by a bipartisan "Gang of Six" Senate lawmakers, which calls for $1 trillion in what sponsors delicately called "additional revenue" and some critics swiftly labeled as higher taxes.

Imagine saying that reducing the tax deductions for mortgages, charitable donations, health insurance and retirement savings amounts to "higher taxes." That is crazy talk. (For the record that AP does not mention what deductions will be cut until the final sentence of the article.)

The plan by the Gang of Six is far too complicated and contentious to advance before an Aug. 2 deadline to avoid a default that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other experts warn would rattle markets, drive up interest rates and threaten to take the country back into a recession.

So even the AP admits the plan won’t be put together in time to meet the August 2nd deadline. Which means that, just like with Obama-Care, Congress will have to pass this ‘plan’ to find out what’s in it.

But its authors clearly hope it could serve as a template for a "grand bargain" later in the year that could erase perhaps $4 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade

Translation: the news media and the rest of the Democrat Party hope that the Republicans will once again let themselves be bamboozled by a bunch of vague promises in exchange for immediate and all too real tax increases and, of course, an additional $2.4 trillion in debt. What a "grand bargain"!

Now that the House has blown off steam, Obama said Tuesday that he wants to "start talking turkey" with top congressional leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Why don’t Mr. Obama and the Democrats blow off some steam by actually making a tangible proposal of their own?

A White House meeting had yet to be scheduled, though Obama seemed to hint one could take place Wednesday.

Reid has lined up behind a controversial McConnell plan to allow Obama to order up as much as $2.5 trillion in new debt without approval by Congress, which could only block the administration from issuing new debt if Congress disapproves by a veto-proof two-thirds margin in both House and Senate.

In exchange, Reid wants to attach to the McConnell plan a requirement for a bipartisan panel of 12 lawmakers to negotiate on a compromise that could come up for a vote later this year.

This ‘debt panel’ is said to be part of the Gang Of Six plan, as well. (Since there are no real details, no one knows for sure.) But isn’t that exactly what the country needs – another debt commission? They have worked so well in the past.

Besides, with the Democrat-controlled Senate calling the shots, who can doubt that his bipartisan panel will slash defense (still more), and ignore everything else? But apparently the Democrats have decided that it is easier to blackmail six Republicans, rather than taking them on as a group.

The Gang of Six plan promises almost $4 trillion in deficit cuts, including an immediate 10-year, $500 billion down payment that would come as Congress sets caps on the agency budgets it passes each year. It also requires an additional $500 billion in cost curbs on federal health care programs, cuts to federal employee pensions, curbs in the growth of military health care and retirement costs, and modest cuts to farm subsidies

"Promises" being the operative word here. All that will be immediate is the tax hikes. Besides, note the mention of "curbs in the growth of military health care and retirement costs." How come it is always the military who have to take a haircut?

Think of the trillions of dollars that could be save with an across the board curb on government employee health care and retirement costs? But that isn’t even being considered.

It also requires a major influx of new tax revenues as Congress overhauls the loophole-choked U.S. tax code. It calls for getting rid of myriad tax loopholes, preferences and deductions and using the savings to sharply lower income tax rates. But $1 trillion to $2 trillion would be skimmed off the top and used to reduce the deficit, depending on who does the calculations

Note that the Democrats are calling the deductions for mortgages, charitable donations, health insurance and retirement savings — "tax loopholes." Did you realize you were such a tax cheat?

House GOP leaders were muted in their criticism and pointed to promised reductions in income tax rates rather than the net increase in overall tax collections.

"On the positive side, the tax rates identified in the Gang’s plan — with a top rate of no more than 29 percent — and the president’s endorsement of them are a positive development and an improvement over previous discussions," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. "That said, I am concerned with the Gang of Six’s revenue target."

The tax reform outline would set up three income tax rates — a bottom rate of 8-12 percent, a middle rate of 14-22 percent and top rate of 23-29 percent — to replace the current system, which has a bottom rate of 10 percent with five additional rates, topping out at 35 percent.

Even if this should ever become law, we suspect that by the time the tax rates are to be lowered, some crisis will come along to prevent it. Meanwhile, your deductions for mortgages, charitable donations, health insurance and retirement savings will be long since gone.

Lest we forget, President Reagan gave up a large number of tax deductions, such as ‘income averaging,’ in exchange for a lower top tax rate of 28%. Those deductions are now ancient history, while the top tax rate has quickly shot back up to 35%.

And history will repeat itself, only much faster.

It would reduce but not eliminate tax breaks on mortgage interest, higher-cost health plans, charitable deductions, retirement savings and families with children.

Again, minor details the AP neglects to mention until the very last sentence of their lengthy article.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “AP Praises Sen GOP For Gang Of Six Support”

  1. proreason says:

    Tom Coburn – recent graduate of the Mitch McConnell School of Negotiations.

    • Papa Louie says:

      Sen. Coburn is also the one who insisted that Nancy Pelosi was a “nice lady”. He also said that we should stop watching Fox News because it is biased, but he didn’t say which news stations were not biased. I would sure like to know which news sources have the Coburn seal of approval and are safe to watch. … What’s wrong with Oklahoma?

    • Petronius says:

      “What’s wrong with Oklahoma?”

      It’s not in Texas.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    If you were just listening to Rush, you heard how the Ruling Class has been using the debt ceiling as a fail safe trump card to protect their debt empire since at least the 60s. During the Jimmah era, we pursued a BBA.

    I guess I have an answer now for my Dad who firmly states ‘there is no reason for a constitutional amendment, we have to manage ourselves.’ They’ve had him wired to say that for 30 years and 10 trillion dollars in new debt.

    • proreason says:

      Rush has another good point that the bill actually IS a compromise. It agrees to lift the debt ceiling.

      Too bad Liar’s Poker McConnell has already given away the store at least three times. The bill would have been a good second round position. As it stands now, it’s a historical footnote.

      After Russel Hovens great post yeaterday, a fantastic opening position would have been. “We agree that Dubya’s budget was outrageous and a huge part of the problem. We understand you only added $5 trillion in new debt because you felt like you had to. Unfortunately, the $5 trillion in new debt you added has only created millions of more job losses. No doubt you will want to go back to about the 2000 budget, but as a compromise, let’s just go back to 2008 and mimic Mr Bush’s spending. That will save about 7 trillion and we will agree to raise the debt ceiling by a couple of hundred billion if it is necessary later. But if you force us to go back to 2000, we’ll consider it, as long as taxes aren’t raised to do so. And oh yes, we’ll agree to tax corporate jets, as long as there is a commensurate reduction in the use of jets for civilian government authorities, including, of course, the use Air Force One for anything but official business.”

    • tranquil.night says:

      Should a bad plan like the Go6 deal pass, then I’m going to put together a full failure analysis on the Establishment Leadership.

      But we’ve documented the failure of our establishment leaders well now ever since eating the turd sandwich FY2011 deal. When we saw them once again descend into the dungeon without word of progress, we knew we had to look for others who would take the initiative.

      As it goes, “Fool us once..”

      5/28/11 – http://sweetness-light.com/archive/selected-news-items-for-may-28-jun#comment-201234

      “Okay, the House Republican Study Committee has put together a comprehensive list of targets regarding lifting the debt ceiling, which if we haven’t forgotten, [the first Obama deadline] was passed over ten days ago with little to no cohesive, centralized Republican demands or leadership between House and Senate [nor cataclysmic consequences]…

      If there are Republicans out there ready to go ronin like this on the leadership, they need to take their case to the national media and grassroots for broader support. Otherwise it’s symbolic and irrelevant.”

      6/23/11 – http://sweetness-light.com/archive/fed-cant-see-why-obama-nomics-is-failing#comment-202134

      Following the Weiner Roast..

      Good news is that since then it’s made the inside-the-beltway rounds and has gained lots of momentum in the grassroots media, especially after our stalwart Jim DeMint went as far as to say he won’t endorse any presidential nominee that doesn’t fight for this plan. He joined the rest of our Roughrider Cavalry in the Senate in taking the pledge to fight for all the provisions.

      The BBA is the biggest uphill battle, but it’s great to see the big guns ready for the charge, because after watching the establishment go soft on the FY11 then Ryan Budgets, it was beginning to look like the united support in the Senate for the BBA was going to be another unnecessary casualty. Keep fighting guys…

      This Cut, Cap, and Balance fight will be a lot like the battle of San Juan Hill in the war for Cuban Independence, where the Roughriders were grossly at disadvantage in terms of terrain and infantry number/power, but the hill was taken by a combination of a ‘gutsy call’ Picket-style charge by one charismatic Colonel named Roosevelt and a very effective artillery team.

      06/28/11 – http://sweetness-light.com/archive/selected-news-items-for-jun-25-jul-1#comment-202244

      “The Establishment leadership is reacting predictably, laughably claiming ‘pledge fatigue’ as if they’ve ever delivered on their promises in the first place…

      In this case I think a debt limit hike is the best choice as long as we get these firm provisions. Forcing cuts by refusing to raise the limit is just going to leave Lil’ Timmy in charge of the maneuvers, and the regime could very well let us default and blame Republicans. It’s best to define the reforms on our own policy terms. That’s the difference between a long-term Conservative Ascendancy and an unwieldy Populist Revolt.”

      I’m actually conflicted over the Bachmann bloc that didn’t end up voting for CCB. It sailed through so it was a symbolic vote representing strong principled stand that actually benefitted the overall debate through the process – the most important which was that the Republicans had the ability to wash their hands of a default through short-term spending authorizations. Michele was an outstanding and principled Congressional Representative which is why we love her.. but did she define herself as a clairvoyant executive through this process as well? I can’t hold it against her, just say ‘great job in this fight.. now we have to ask more of you.’

      7/07/11 – Obama May Let GoP Take Blame for SS Cuts (Just before the Conservative bloc revolted and negotiations broke down)

      The Ruling Class Republican leadership is doing exactly what they did during the last budget negotiations: letting us rally around a set of demands, then letting the regime demagogue and fearmonger until there’s paralysis. Then the leadership caves to the regime.

      Can we focus on new party leadership yet? They are never going to get ahead of the regime’s premises. No desire to, they probably agree with many.

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    Memo to McConnell: “Jesus May Forgive You But America Won’t”.

    They really don’t know what they’re doing. And they really have no idea how hard they in Washington will fall. They have no clue.

  4. canary says:

    FOXnews: Coburn Ups Ante in Debt Ceiling
    Standoff, Pushes Plan to Save $9 Trillion

    By Jim Angle July 18, 2011

    Published July 18, 2011

    This a real picture of Senator Coburn in action holding an enormous Back in Black book to his colleagues.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/18/coburn-ups-ante-in-debt-ceiling-standoff-pushes-plan-to-save-trillion/#ixzz1SgIwNAvB


    In defense of Senator Tom Coburn, he came up with a proposal in book form to cut 9 Trillion dollars.

    He also has been one of the most outspoken Republican Senators to confront Obama and his administration. Especially when it comes to media risking bashing.

    Coburn fought publicly and literally stood up to Obama in meetings on Obama Health Care.
    Coburn was first to call them death panels. The Dems labeled him “Dr. No.”

    He fought more than the others against the Federal Stimulus handouts; and continues.

    It was Tom Coburn who drilled and wanted to stop Obama’s Supreme Court Justices picks.
    Where was his backing by the rest of the GOP Senators. He’s been labeled “Dr. No”
    He worked harder than the other GOP to stop Obama’s SCOTUS picks.

    As far as calling Pelosi a nice person, Senator Coburn was just being polite as Coburn spoke out strongly calling Obama/Pelosi Health Care (he actually read it) and spoke out more than the other politicians in that it meant “death panels.”

    Pelosi is a drooling, fondling, White House slut. Probably why she insisted on a private jet at taxpayers expense.
    I think her role in left-wing is to sleep with as many politicians as she can for later leverage. Yes, a left-wing conspiracy. lol.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Sean hit Coburn pretty good over the timing of the Gang of Six plan undercutting the CCB debate. Tom also conceded the discordance in the leadership, but said something interesting and I thought fairly Freudian “I tried to put off the release of our plan as long as I could.”

      He was able to sell Sean a little too well on his tax reforms though, because he was obfuscating on some of the details and emphasizing his long-term goals that are not relevant in the current political atmosphere (and they call the Tea Party unpragmatic). In theory and principle, reforms in the tax code will create a simpler environment which will encourage growth, but the ways in which it’s being executed in the Gang of Six plan at least (I don’t know enough about Coburn’s entire plan) are redistributionist.

      As Steve perfectly put it as usual: “Note that the Democrats are calling the deductions for mortgages, charitable donations, health insurance and retirement savings — ‘tax loopholes.’ Did you realize you were such a tax cheat?”

      That’s why DeMint (bless him) correctly identified the Go6 plan as a non-starter and not applicable to the current political debate over the August 2nd deadline, besides the fact that it can’t be realized in bill form by then (without the stop-gap extension which I expect we’re going to get very soon now that Bam is abandoning the August 2 deadline to bury CCB quickly).

    • proreason says:

      Mortgage Deduction – check
      Health Insurance Deduction – check
      Charitable Giving Deduction – check
      401K Deduction – check

      yep, that pretty well ends the reign of the imperialist middle class in America.

      Medical Deductions, of course, were effectively eliminated with Obamycare. That leaves the deductions for Real Estate and State Taxes. I suspose those would be too great a threat to the SEIU members who adminster local taxes. .

  5. BigOil says:

    What could be more aptly named then the bipartisan ‘gangs’ of Senators that band together to churn out nation destroying compromise bills. Their legislation is a literal mugging.

  6. Petronius says:

    Always good to see our Republican Senators leaning forward in their foxholes.

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