Some things sound like a good idea that really aren’t. A deficit reduction committee is one of them. Sure, we all agree that Washington spending is out of control and something should be done. But putting a bunch of politicians in a room to fix the problem they caused is more likely to create new more problems, than to solve the old ones.
As the Wall Street Journal explains,
Call it the Political Cover Commission. Democrats leaked word on Tuesday that they had agreed to this creation, which is part of their election-year turn from health care toward the economy and the appearance of “fiscal discipline.”
A gang of 10 Democrats and eight Republicans would be charged to come up with ways to reduce the deficit. The idea is for everyone to hold hands and agree to raise taxes and cut entitlement spending together, so neither party gets the blame. Congress would have to vote up or down on the package as a whole.
We can see why Democrats would love this idea. In the past year they have passed: a $447 billion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2009, a $787 billion stimulus, $3 billion for cash for clunkers, $75 billion in mortgage assistance, $34 billion for children’s health care (Schip), $30 billion in anticipated auto bailout losses, with another nearly 11% spending increase teed up for fiscal 2010 for domestic programs. This party was fun, but now comes the headache (see Massachusetts) and the need for GOP tax partners.
That’s the problem: there’s just about no chance that the guys who just pushed through all of this new spending are going to cut spending. They may trim a few billion here and there, but this is really about tax increases, which is the wrong way to fix our budget mess.
The good news is that increasingly Americans see such efforts would what they are. They won’t be fooled by a “budget deficit commission” that is really just a way to hoist tax increases on the public.