Just about the only specific piece of the Gang of Six proposal, as explained well by Rep. Peter DeFazio above, is the move to chained CPI, a benefit cut for Social Security, veteran’s benefits and any program with a cost of living adjustment, along with a regressive tax cut. So that should give you a flavor for the biases of the Gang of Six, and where their proposal is headed.
Here’s another: Tom Coburn only came back to the Gang after they agreed to slash health care spending for him:
A central figure in the Senate’s “Gang of Six” on Wednesday described what he called “ferocious” negotiations over additional cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that were needed to woo back Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican whose return to the group helped cinch a plan to slash federal spending.
Sen. Mark Warner, a charter member of the bipartisan group, said lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum had to show some give before they released their deficit reduction blueprint on Tuesday.
“I understood Sen. Coburn,” the Virginia Democrat said. “He wanted even more reductions in certain entitlement programs. He wanted specific policy adjustments that [Sen. Dick Durbin] and others did not.”
Coburn’s return to the group provided the necessary ballast needed to sway both Democrats and Republicans. But it came at a cost. The group’s Democrats had to concede an additional $116 billion in entitlement cuts to secure Coburn’s endorsement.
This probably includes the pre-emptive strike on the CLASS Act, the voluntary long-term care insurance program, as well as the medical malpractice reform proposal that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Despite all the talk of tough choices and shared sacrifice and taking on sacred cows during difficult economic times, (AFL-CIO President Richard) Trumka says the Gang of Six proposal appears to balance the budget on the backs of middle-class workers and the poor.
“…We keep seeing bipartisan support for plans like the so-called ‘Gang of Six’ that cut Social Security benefits, kill jobs, give tax incentives for corporations to export good jobs overseas, tax health benefits, and lower tax rates for billionaires and corporations,” Trumka said in a statement Wednesday. “There’s no shared sacrifice here. The only sacred cows being gored are working people, the middle class, seniors and the poor.”
It’s just a terrible proposal that benefits elites at the expense of the people. Which is of course why it’s gaining steam in the Senate.