ABC News is reporting that there is tentative debt deal, per “congressional sources”. Here’s the deal they are reporting, according to both Dem and GOP sources
- A debt ceiling increase of up to $2.1 to $2.4 trillion (depending on the size of the spending cuts agreed to in the final deal).
- They have now agreed to spending cuts of roughly $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
- The formation of a special Congressional committee to recommend further deficit reduction of up to $1.6 trillion (whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase). This deficit reduction could take the form of spending cuts, tax increases or both.
- The special committee must make recommendations by late November (before Congress’ Thanksgiving recess).
- If Congress does not approve those cuts by December 23, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare. This “trigger” is designed to force action on the deficit reduction committee’s recommendations by making the alternative painful to both Democrats and Republicans.
- A vote, in both the House and Senate, on a balanced budget amendment.
On both sides of the political, some are OK with it, some have a big problem with it. My problem is with the “roughly $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years. The federal budget is approaching $4 trillion dollars a year, and I do place some of that blame on Republicans (through 2006) and Bush for increasing the budget too much. Then Obama and the Dems decided to show the GOP how it is done in graduate school. $1.6 trillion is a bush league cut, one which may not ever materialize, as Bruce McQuain points out. And we have no idea how they will eventually come into play at this time, just a panel to make those recommendations.
And what would the percentage be for across the board cuts? I do not have a problem with across the board cuts. I suggest a 20% cut for next years budget, followed by at least a 20-30% cut each year till the federal budget is well below $3 trillion. The federal government should learn to do more with less. Stop shopping at Nordstrom’s and buy at WalMart. Stretch the dollar. Pinch the pennies. Realize that this is Someone Else’s money that is taken forcibly at the barrel of a jail cell. The $500 hammer may be an urban myth, but, they still spend way too much on everything. Want a hammer? Go to Sears, get a Craftsman, which has a lifetime warranty.
All cuts should come immediately, not in years 7-10, which we know will never happen. Hey, how about you give us $2.8 trillion in cuts over the next 4 years, and we’ll put those tax increases into play in years 7-10 (wink wink)?
Anyhow, Legal Insurrection wonders if we will get 72 hours to read the bill. Vodkapundit points out that this is the best doable deal (personally, I’d like to thank the GOP squishes for whining about the Conservative spending plans and not whining about the Dem ideas), and Obama would have to sign it.) The Sundries Shack breaks it down into Good and Bad. Alan Colmes’ liberal readers go off the rails. Verum Serum points out the ugly truth to all those who might complain about the bill, and John has a point.