"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coburn Rejoins Gang of Six, back from the brink?

Could we finally have a plan that will work?  With Dr. Coburn rejoining the Gang of Six, wouldn't be surprised as he always puts what is best for America first.  He is not an arrogant person but has his priorities straight.  In fact, he may be one of least arrogant people in the Senate.  We are happy to see this glimmer of hope because it is more obvious by the hour that the House Plan which we applaud will not get passed in the Senate and will be vetoed by Obama if it did pass.  We hope to see that passed in the future as we need a balanced budget to keep this from happening again. 

This debt crisis has to be a bi-partisan deal to get things worked out.  Looks like the plan could be the foundation for an agreement.  Every last member of Congress needs to keep an open mind on the proposal and ask themselves if this is better than default.  We think it is and a start on cutting the deficit.

CNN Breaking News Email, 19 Jul 2011, 12:55 (CDT):
President Obama says that deficit reduction proposal presented by bipartisan group of senators offers "potential for bipartisan consensus" for getting an agreement on raising the country’s debt ceiling and reducing the country’s long-term debt.

Obama was reacting to a plan by what had been known as the "Gang of Six" that the president said included spending cuts and "modifications" to Medicare and Social Security and increase revenue through tax reform. The U.S. will hit its debt ceiling on August 2 and Obama characterized negotiations as in "the 11th hour." The president said, "We don’t have any more time for symbolic gestures or posturing."
Some continue to hide their heads in the sand and say it makes no difference if we default and refuse to look at any plan.  Most people with common sense are not willing to take that chance as the credit of the United States and our ability to pay the bills is too important to leave to chance.  Why would anyone want to take any chance on destroying the credit of the US to score political points?  We didn't get to this situation over night and it is not going to be remedied over night.  That's a fact that people need to face. 

Both parties are responsible for the deficit but Democrats have to assume the full blame for the last two years when they were in full control of Government and the deficit grew so much more than in the past after Obama became President in January 2009.  It is an undeniable fact that the run away spending of Obama and the Democrats who firmly controlled Government in 2009-2010 put us in this position today to have raise the debt ceiling. 

If this Gang of Six plan pulls us back from the brink, then all Americans should applaud this group for having the courage to stand up to both parties and do what is right for America!

Coburn told the group that he was 'back,' which prompted a round of applause.
AP Photo Close

Coburn Rejoins Gang of Six, back from the brink?

By MANU RAJU | 7/19/11 10:17 AM EDT Updated: 7/19/11 12:16 PM EDT
The once moribund Senate “Gang of Six” regained new life Tuesday after Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn unexpectedly rejoined the group — and more senators are now coalescing around a new proposal that would cut the debt by as much as $3.7 trillion over the next decade.

Other top senators are also getting behind the plan, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, who told a group of senators Tuesday he would back the Gang of Six’s proposal, sources say. The fast-moving developments mean that elements of the proposal could influence the stalled talks to raise the debt-limit before the Aug. 2 deadline.

According to a copy of the plan, obtained by POLITICO, the group would impose a two-step legislative process that would make $500 billion worth of cuts immediately followed by a second bill to create a “fast-track process” that would propose a comprehensive bill aimed at dramatically restructuring tax and spending programs. The plan calls for changes to Social Security to move on a separate track, and establishes an elaborate procedure for considering the measures on the floor.

The $500 billion in cuts would come from a range of sources, including shifting to a new consumer price index to make cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security. The plan would impose statutory spending caps through 2015, freeze congressional pay and sell unused federal property.

To enact a comprehensive deficit plan, the group calls for congressional committees to report legislation within six months that would “deliver real deficit savings in entitlement programs over 10 years,” the plan says.

It calls on the Finance Committee to permanently reform or replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate - an outdated formula aimed at determining the amount to reimburse doctors for treating Medicare patients - by $298 billion.

The Finance Committee would be instructed to deliver “real deficit savings” through simplifying the tax code and raise as much as $1 trillion. It would do this by establishing three tax brackets with rates of 8-12 percent, 14-22 percent and 23-29 percent. It would permanently repeal the $1.7 trillion Alternative Minimum Tax. And it calls for establishing a single corporate tax rate, between 23 percent and 29 percent, and to move to a competitive territorial tax system.

Excerpt:  Read more at Politico
Simplifying the tax code would be worth all the political posturing if this bill passes.  Love the idea of the new rates and other changes that will simplify filing taxes.  This is one huge plus!

Shortly members of Congress will have the opportunity to vote on this plan and the members need to ask themselves which is best for America -- default or a plan that starts cutting the deficit, makes changes to Medicare, and simplifies the tax code.  We think there is only one choice and that is to give the Gang of Six and their plan a chance.  After 2012 and with a new President, the House Plan of Cut, Cap, and Balance can become reality.  Small steps in the right direction start with the Gang of Six and their proposal and big steps come in January 2013 with the House Plan of Cut, Cap, and Balance. 
Gang of Six, back from the brink?

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