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One pretty good rule in making public policy proposals is this: If you’re going to cite a source in support of your plan, first confirm that your source actually does support your plan.
Republican budgeteer, John Boehner, recently put a new deficit reduction proposal on the table, asserting that it incorporated the numbers of a plan put forth earlier by budget expert Erskine Bowles, a Democrat. Aha, gloated the GOP leader to Barack Obama as he plopped down this bit of budgetary bipartisanship – Gotcha!
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Uh… not quite. Bowles promptly retorted that his numbers were not really a plan, but were simply “back-of-the-envelope” ideas, adding that the numbers are no longer correct.
And that pretty well sums up the slapdash package that Boehner called “credible.” For example, he says it “saves” $600 billion by raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67. That’d be no problem for congress critters, who do no heavy lifting and already get full medical benefits from taxpayers. But it’s not a credible idea for millions of working class folks who actually do heavy lifting and are not able to work an extra two years.
Another incredible piece of Boehner’s handiwork is the claim it’ll save $800 billion by eliminating unspecified tax deductions. However, the only way to reach that number is by severely whacking the deductions that people get for donations to churches, hospitals, universities, and other charities. Do Republicans really intend to do that — or did they just not have a calculator on hand when they put this mishmash together.
Boehner keeps failing the “bogusity test,” because his numbers are… well, bogus. And he’s using bad numbers just to prevent pampered rich people from paying a little bit more into our nation’s public treasury. That’s not only deceitful – it’s seriously shameful.
“The House Makes an Offer,” www.nytimes,com, December 4, 2012.
“Republicans Make Counteroffer in Fiscal Talks,” www.nytimes.com, December 4, 2012.