Today’s op-ed by Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor is pretty remarkable for several reasons. First, they’re already taking revenues off the table before the Joint Committee has even begun its work. And second, they’re completely incorrect in suggesting that Democrats agree that we should tackle entitlement reform while leaving revenues off the table:
“Over the next few months, as a result of the Budget Control Act, lawmakers of both parties on the newly formed joint select committee will be in a position to make tough choices to rein in the mandatory and entitlement spending that is driving our long-term debt. We believe this work can be done without imposing job-crushing tax increases. We should be able to move forward on the areas in which we agree on the former, without tying them to areas of disagreement — such as the latter.”
Unfortunately for them, Democrats and even some of their own Republicans colleagues disagree with this unbalanced approach. Rather than putting the entire burden of deficit reduction on the middle class and seniors (as their op-ed proposes), Republican leaders should take note of their Joint Committee appointee Rep. Dave Camp’s willingness to consider all options to reduce the deficit:
“‘I don't want to rule anything in or out,’ Camp said. ‘I am willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our short and long-term debt and grow our economy… Everything is on the table, until we as a group rule it out,’ he said.”
Perhaps there’s hope yet that we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way, strengthen the solvency of our entitlements, help support job creation and protect the middle class, seniors and the most vulnerable.