Jim Galloway’s Political Insider blog will return later this week.
Some additional points on the deficit reduction plan by U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and the Gang of Six:
– When U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., withdrew from the bipartisan effort to reduce the deficit after five months of negotiation, many in Washington pronounced the Gang of Six dead – or at least, irrelevant. Which in D.C. is worse than dead.
But on Tuesday, there was Coburn in the members-only briefing of the Senate, endorsing the proposal. What brought him around? For one thing, an increase in 10-year savings from Medicare and Medicaid, from $370 billion or so to $500 billion. Just how those savings will be accomplished are details that would be left to the proper Senate committee.
– Look for a good deal of emphasis today on making Democrats more comfortable with the Gang of Six plan. “Balancing the deficit on the backs of the elderly” is the slogan they’re vulnerable to. Proponents today are emphasizing that savings from Social Security reform – means testing is a possibility – are to be plowed back into the Social Security system. They wouldn’t be applied to the deficit.
– The silence – so far — from the House Republican side is a sign that the Senate venture is being taken seriously. Certain elements of the GOP base and the tea party, of course, are another matter. One Tweet from this morning from Adairsville Rob to U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, who was celebrating his Tuesday vote for the GOP caucus’ cut-cap-and-balance plan:
Thank you, sir! Now PLEASE run against Saxby Chambliss! Pragmatism is killing the Republic!
That is a thought certainly worth discussing.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider