Gang of Six Bag of Tricks

by Mark Steyn

Americans who care about the solvency of this nation ought to be seriously annoyed at the contempt for them shown by the Gang of Six “plan,” which even by the standards of “bipartisan” deal-making is a total joke.

Even if you take seriously their figure of $3.7 trillion in savings over ten years, that represents a clawback across a decade of about two years of current deficits.

If you take Jeff Sessions’s figure of $1.2 trillion in savings over ten years as being closer to the mark, that takes a decade to reverse about three-quarters of the 2011 deficit.

Neither of these numbers is sufficient. Both lead to national suicide.

If you take the Gang’s figure of half-a-trillion dollars in immediate “aggressive deficit reduction” seriously, that represents about what the U.S. government borrows every four months. What’s “aggressive” about that? And what’s immediate about it? It’s all unspecified “discretionary spending caps” and “process reforms” that will collapse like soufflés ten minutes after the signing ceremony. Obviously it’s appealing to Democrats: It accepts their view that 25 percent of GDP should be the new baseline for national (“federal” no longer seems quite the word) government spending. But what’s in it for Republicans?

We are sending a consistent message to the world that the political structures of the United States do not allow for meaningful course correction. That does far more damage to the “full faith and credit” of America than failing to hike the debt ceiling.