by Paul Goldman
If Senator Tom Coburn thought he was helping Mark Warner and his fellow “Gang of Six” members, it sure doesn’t add up that way.
“It’s not a tax hike, it’s a $1.5 trillion net tax reduction,” Coburn told the National Review about how the Gang of Six proposal adds up. He said this is why Democrats and Republicans should back it.
Except for one thing: This would mean the Gang of Six plan would cut $5.2 trillion in spending over a 10-year period, MORE THAN DOUBLE what the President of the United States called totally irresponsible just a few days ago!!!!
Remember: President Obama said the $2.4 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP plan passed last night would require draconian slashes to Medicare, Social Security, the safety net of programs which are the basis of the Democratic party legacy.
Do the math: If the Gang of Six proposal does indeed have $3.7 trillion in net debt reduction over 10 years and also a net reduction of $1.5 trillion in revenue, then this means it has to slash spending by $5.2 trillion (5.2- 1.5 = 3.7).
This would be the House GOP plan on STEROIDS.
“It’s going to take some time for them to consider this,” Coburn predicts. “But with a net tax cut in it, and you get some significant spending relief, what’s not to like?” he told the National Review.
So there: He said it twice!
Sooner or later, someone has to produce the real numbers so we all can look at them.
The trouble with all the proposals is that they are based on projections over 10 years developed by making all kinds of assumptions. Frankly, it would be easier to hit the moon than the precise net debt reduction number produced a decade from now through whatever proposal is under discussion. In that regard, it is a leap of faith for the country no matter what is done.
So Coburn, rightly or wrongly, has shaken some faith in what the Gang of Six presented yesterday.
Mark Warner is a serious guy, so I think he deserves to have his proposal given serious analysis.
But Coburn now makes me wonder what the heck is going on and whether Coburn will again change his mind once he learns the true facts. He is a puzzle for sure.