The media tell us the best chance for a deficit-cutting deal that might be supported by both Congress and President Obama is something close to what's been proposed by the so-called "Gang of Six" senators. They claim their plan would reduce deficits by $3.7 trillion over 10 years.
But Cato's Chris Edwards points out, "The Gang outline has a few specific cuts, but the document mainly consists of promises to restrain spending and raise taxes in the future."
I sure don't trust Congress to restrain spending "in the future."
I'm surprised that Sen. Tom Coburn supports the Gang plan because his office has just released a massive study chock-full of specific spending-cut ideas. The Gang plan is all about avoiding specifics, while Coburn's plan has 621 pages of details.
Coburn's "Back in Black" plan would reduce deficits by $9 trillion over the next decade. The plan includes some tax increases, but the core of the document is a line-by-line analysis of every department's budget, with lists of programs to cut and terminate. The plan includes a wealth of useful information that will aid policymakers interested in cutting spending for years to come.
... The government faces a debt crisis, yet only Coburn, Sen. Rand Paul, and perhaps a few others in Congress have put any effort into identifying unneeded programs.
Look on the official websites of most members of Congress and you will see discussions in support of spending on education, seniors, energy, research, highways and many other activities. When members are in front of TV cameras, they sound like they take the debt crisis seriously, but most congressional websites reveal a different mindset where federal spending is always wonderful and helpful to society.
They think that spending is what gets them re-elected. Maybe it does. That's frightening.