President Obama says he sees promise in an emerging Senate fiscal plan.
It would include: 1) spending cuts; 2) revenue increases, and 3) changes in Medicare and Social Security. The last has to mean either increased payments or reduced benefits for patients or providers. Overall, this sounds like a plan in which both sides would give ground.
It will, of course, have to come after the House does its show vote on the cut, cap and balance plan. I saw economist Robert Greenstein talk about the dire effects of this ill-gotten cheap trick last night, which House Republicans are determined to approve. It would bring nothing less than a Great Depression. Tea Party House members like the Three Mouseketeers — Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack — would sacrifice the country on the altar of their protect-the-rich ideology.
UPDATE: But wait. This deficit reduction plan is not tied to the debt ceiling, which faces an Aug. 2 deadline, the Obama administration says.
Statement follows from Sen. Mark Pryor's office:
Senator Mark Pryor today made the following statement after meeting with the “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group of senators who released new details about their comprehensive deficit-reduction plan. The proposal includes $3.75 trillion in savings over 10 years.
“We’re hearing a lot of good sound bites about ways to address the debt, but not a lot of good policy proposals. The Gang of Six offers something different — a thoughtful, comprehensive roadmap that allows us to tackle the debt in a reasonable, responsible and fair manner. I may not agree with every provision, but I do like that it calls on every citizen to contribute to debt-reduction without jeopardizing safety-net programs meant to protect the most vulnerable among us.
It will take 60 serious-minded senators to pass meaningful reform. I offer my support and hope that additional senators will embrace this approach over the theatrics currently playing out in the House and Senate.”