Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bargain hunting

That X-Tax didn't last very long, did it?

Here's a Shorter David Brooks:
Republicans certainly have got themselves into a mess this year with the Grand Bargain and Fiscal Cliff and all. My suggestion is they should do it all over again in 2013, with a new and improved cliff.
No, seriously! He thinks they should make a reasonable deal with Democrats now, giving a little on marginal tax rates and taking a little on Social Security and Medicare (actually, raising Medicare Part B premiums from the current 25% of costs to 35% is not exactly a little), and one big ask:
the big demand would be this: That on March 15, 2013, both parties would introduce leader-endorsed tax and entitlement reform bills in Congress that would bring the debt down to 60 percent of G.D.P. by 2024 and 40 percent by 2037, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Those bills would work their way through the normal legislative process, as the Constitution intended. If a Grand Bargain is not reached by Dec. 15, 2013, then there would be automatic defense and entitlement cuts and automatic tax increases.
Indeed, why not make it an annual event? We could have Precipice Parties at popular lovers' leap locations around the country, with tailgate picnics, fireworks launched from canyon floors or riverbanks, and bungee jumping for the young folks. The whole democracy thing could take on a kind of messianic (as opposed to merely aspirational) character: we should understand that our budgetless situation is not something to whine about, but a consequence of human sinfulness, to be rectified by a Redeemer, one day.

Anyhow it will be great for Republicans, I'm sure.

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