Roving Gangs Of…

… “Wayward Senators”? That’s as bad as the racially tinged conclusion of that phrase in 1960s newscasts. But the Senate’s “Gang of Six” (now apparently only five) has put its oar in with a deficit reduction plan of its own. David Dayen of FDL explains the status before the Mighty Five-or-Six decided they now run things:

To the extent that there’s anything routine about the federal government’s fiscal state with just 14 days until the Treasury runs out of cash, the events on Capitol Hill appeared to fall into a pattern. The House today will pass the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act,” which would cap spending below the historical level and force a balanced budget amendment before increasing the debt limit. The Senate will reject it. Then the Senate will go forward on the McConnell-Reid plan to raise the debt limit and attach some spending cuts along with Catfood Commission II.

That was the theoretical plan, anyway. But plenty of conservatives in the House are not aboard, although it’s unclear that all of them would be needed. I’m not totally concerned about that. But the re-emergence of the Gang of Six, now Five Guys in the absence of Tom Coburn, ought to worry people.

The Six-less-one… Crapo, Coburn, Conrad and Durbin, Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss, now omitting Coburn (who now offers his own separate $9 trillion cuts)… have thrown a spanner in the already damaged works of the debt ceiling “negotiations,” and apparently according to reports Dayen has heard, Obama likes the result. What’s actually in it? Good question. Sen. Susan Collins (same link) ventures this:

They have done so much work that a lot of the issues have been gone through, and they’re in the midst of drafting statutory language. I believe it should be considered in conjunction with the debt ceiling plan.

Shorter inside reply: you, filthy peon, don’t need to know, and we’ll tell you when we’ve done the deal.

I could easily become one of those people who hate government…


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  • Bryan  On Tuesday July 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    The best deficit reduction package and fix for any ‘problems” with Social Security is get people back to work.

    Nothing else is anywhere near as effective at fixing all of our ‘problems’ at once, and fairly quickly, as getting people back to work.

    • Steve  On Tuesday July 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Bryan, I hate to say it, but the problem is that we are led by people of faith, not people who have actually studied something related to the economy. I suspect Obama actually has an abiding faith that if he can treat the federal budget just like a family budget, all problems will magically solve themselves. Republicans may believe that, or they may simply find it expedient to their own ends to pretend they do. But believers or faux believers… all of them are deceived.

      When I was a boy in school, I was taught about the Great Depression, and was told that methods had been developed to prevent something like it from ever happening again. When I was in college, my economics teacher expanded on that, and taught me the basics of the theories of Keynes… the only major economic theory ever put to a direct test in a major depression in a large nation’s economy. That set my mind at ease. That ease was premature.

      Faith triumphs over fact, six days and Sunday, and Europeans and Brits managed to dump many of their faithful overseas before our nation was conceived. So we are still contending with the faithful, especially the blindly faithful, and they punish us daily in every aspect of our lives. Dog help America!

  • MandT  On Tuesday July 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    And Obama is proposing cuts to current Social Security benefits.

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