Three Senate Democrats and three Senate Republicans — called the “Gang of Six” — are quietly working on a deficit-cutting plan. Though certainly not perfect, the plan deserves consideration if not, at this point, endorsement.
Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Michael Crapo of Idaho have been joined by Democrat Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Kent Conrad of North Dakota in seeking to negotiate a long-term debt reduction.
The six want to cut both domestic and military spending; reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; and rework the U.S. tax code. There would potentially be some desirable reductions in income tax rates — but also possibly some tax increases from elimination of certain deductions.
We do not support tax increases, though sincere debt reduction proposals are welcome.
If the six senators can focus on spending reductions rather than on “new revenue” — meaning tax increases — their proposal could help move our nation toward fiscal sanity. But they should remember that America’s financial problem is not under-taxation but overspending.