The Washington Two Step

The Speaker (and his House Republican caucus) has unveiled his plan to raise the debt ceiling, which appears to be a two step process, with a trillion in authorization given now in return for about $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending reductions over ten years. The second authorization, to be given next year, would follow another legislative deficit commission (yes Republicans voted against a legislative deficit commission a short time ago) that would authorize another $1.6 trillion in increased ceiling authorization, while seeking entitlement reductions worth $1.8 trillion.

The Speaker announced that his plan was issued after bipartisan consultations, but I did not happen to catch any Democrats at his announcement. Maybe the Speaker has lined up sufficient Republican votes in the House to pass his partisan bill. But Democrats in the House ought to put that to the test. The Speaker should receive no Democratic support for his bill. In theory the Speaker should still be able to pass a bill. But if the bill was written in a partisan way then it ought to be passed that way. Does the Speaker have the votes in the Republican caucus? Democrats should make him produce that majority.

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4 Responses to The Washington Two Step

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    It appears we are not going to agree on this matter.

    You favor tax increases.
    I favor only spending cuts.

    So I’m going wait for this thing to play out.

    Hang in there Rep Boehner.



  2. Bill Manzi says:


    I do not support hiking marginal rates. I favor closing loopholes that produce results that are nothing short of an outrage. As with the Debt Commission I feel you can broaden the base,LOWER rates, and produce a tax code that has less complication and better results. Why, even the Wall Street Journal is for that.



  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    1. All those outrageous loop holes were put there by legislation on purpose. It is not a bunch of greedy, fat cat business men doing something illegal. It is put there, in all probability, to curry favor or induce some outcomes.

    The only outrage is the enactment of these “loopholes” by the political class.

    2. How about getting rid of the debt commissions and have the politicians do the job they were sent to Washington to do.

    3. Tax code, I remind you is also a child of Legislation in congress. Throw it out and enact tax codes that eliminates the IRS and about 10 gazillion pages of tax code. That won’t happen because the Democrats won’t be able to run class warfare.



  4. Bill Manzi says:


    I will agree that the Democrats are no innocent bystanders with regards to the problems inherent in the tax code. I also agree that Congress should do its job, and not outsource the work. But the Simpson-Bowles report, in my opinion, contained some important recommendations, especially simplification of the tax code that would reduce marginal rates. That is the holy grail for many conservatives. Why don’t more Republicans in Congress agree?



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