BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Democratic Offer Stands Well to the Right of Bowles-Simpson and Gang of 6
The new deficit-reduction plan from a majority of Democrats on the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “supercommittee”) marks a dramatic departure from traditional Democratic positions — and actually stands well to the right of plans by the co-chairs of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and the Senate's “Gang of Six,” and even further to the right of the plan by the bipartisan Rivlin-Domenici commission. The Democratic plan contains substantially smaller revenue increases than those bipartisan proposals while, for example, containing significantly deeper cuts in Medicare and Medicaid than the Bowles-Simpson plan. The Democratic plan features a substantially higher ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases than any of the bipartisan plans.
Although the new plan thus moves considerably closer to Republican positions than any of the bipartisan plans, Republicans have been quick to reject it. This rejection likely dooms chances that Congress will be able to pass a big, bipartisan plan. The counter-offer by Republican members of the supercommittee, reflecting little or no movement on tax increases and calling for even deeper spending cuts than in the Democratic plan — including severe Medicaid cuts that would impose significant harm on low-income children, parents, and elderly and disabled people — appears to leave little room for progress.Click here for the full report.