Jeb Bush, speaking to Charlie Rose, has declared himself a member of the Squishy Sellout Gutless Softy Association for People Who Would Like to Actually Balance the Budget Rather than Just Give Speeches about It, honorary chairman yours truly. Asked about a hypothetical debt deal combining spending cuts with tax increases in a 10:1 ratio, Mr. Bush said that while he understood Republicans’ hesitancy in endorsing such a deal, he hoped that in the real world they would take it.
Reporting from the Iowa Republican debates last summer, I wrote:
Every candidate said he would oppose a cuts-taxes plan that contained a 10:1 ratio of cuts to taxes. Chalk one up to the crazies. If Congress wanted to get rid of tax exemptions and exclusions amounting to $100 billion in new taxes in exchange for $1 trillion in cuts, and Republicans turned the deal down, I would personally drive down to Washington and pelt them with rotten vegetables, and possibly with rocks. $100 billion in new taxes plus $1 trillion in cuts balances the budget in 2012.
I suspect that this hypothetical deal is in fact considerably better than anything the Republicans will actually get. A deal that actually gets our debt under control is not likely to make anybody happy. All it will do is save the country.