Business

Gang Of Six’s Reasonable $3.7T Debt Plan Calls Republicans’ Bluff

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Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) just may have come up with something to bridge the gap between Dmes and the Repubs on the debt ceiling negotiations.

It even has Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) coming back to the table…

“The plan has moved significantly, and it’s where we need to be — and it’s a start,” Coburn said. “This doesn’t solve our problems, but it creates the way forward where we can solve our problems.” […]

Coburn said the plan would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next 10 years and increase tax revenues by $1 trillion by closing a variety of special tax breaks and havens.

He also noted, however, that the Congressional Budget Office would score the plan as a $1.5 trillion tax cut because it would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. It would generate a significant amount of revenue out of tax reform and reduction of tax rates, which authors believe would spur economic growth.

What’s more Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) says she’ll back it…

“Likely 60 [votes],” she said. “The House should like this plan because it has spending cuts and I believe it will spur the economy.”

Hutchison said she would vote for it and urged House Republicans to back it as well.

“It think that they have produced something that has mechanisms that are concrete, and that’s what I think the House is looking for, and [so are we],” she said.

So…is this now a Gang of Seven?

And we just now hear that Obama is in favor…

In an appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama urged congressional leaders to embrace the proposal, which contains both significant cuts and a revenue component. The plan is, he said, “broadly consistent with the approach that I’ve urged: what it says is we’ve got to be serious about reducing discretionary spending, both in domestic spending and defense, we’ve got to be serious about tackling health care spending, and entitlements in a serious way, and we’ve got to have some additional revenue.”

In all, Obama said, the group’s plan amounts to “an approach in which there is shared sacrifice and everybody is giving up something.”

If you want to take a look at the proposal, check out a pdf here.

In other news, Republicans are set to vote on “Cut, Cap and Balance,” which is little more than a symbolic gesture to their base. After that, I’m sure many will start to fall in line with the Gang’s recommends.

Or at least let’s hope…