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Simply Telling Others to Come Up With All the Details Isn’t Actually a “Plan”

Dick DurbinThe media has being talking about the Gang of Six’s new 3.7 trillion deficit-reduction “plan.” The problem is, having looked at the details that they have put forward, it isn’t even a plan. It’s more just a vague outline.

Besides a few terrible specific points — like cutting Social Security — almost all of the Gang of Six’s so-called “deficit reductions” come from simply saying the relevant Senate committees should come come up with an idea of how to achieve set amounts of deficit reductions in the future.

The Armed Service Committee is told to find $80 billion in savings, Homeland Security is told find $65 billion, the Commerce Committee $11 billion, while health care must take a $400-$500 billion hit.

You can’t claim you have a plan to fix a problem when your “plan” is just telling other people will come up with an actual plan in the future.

A “plan” entails laying out specifically what policies you all agree to change. Saying you told someone else to work out basically every important detail at a later time isn’t a plan. It’s grandstanding. It is just another form of the magic asterisk trick we have used in the past so politicians can pretend they have reached an agreement on a really big numbers without actually doing anything.

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Simply Telling Others to Come Up With All the Details Isn’t Actually a “Plan”

Dick Durbin

The media has being talking about the Gang of Six’s new 3.7 trillion deficit-reduction “plan.”  The problem is, having looked at the details that they have put forward, it isn’t even a plan. It’s more just a vague outline.

Besides a few terrible specific points —  like cutting Social Security —  almost all of the Gang of Six’s so-called “deficit reductions” come from simply saying the relevant Senate committees should come come up with an idea of how to achieve set amounts of deficit reductions in the future.

The Armed Service Committee is told to find $80 billion in savings, Homeland Security is told find $65 billion, the Commerce Committee $11 billion, while health care must take a $400-$500 billion hit.

You can’t claim you have a plan to fix a problem when your “plan” is just telling other people will come up with an actual plan in the future.

A “plan” entails laying out specifically what policies you all agree to change.  Saying you told someone else to work out basically every important detail at a later time isn’t a plan. It’s grandstanding. It is just another form of the magic asterisk trick we have used in the past so politicians can pretend they have reached an agreement on really big numbers without actually doing anything.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is now living in the Washington DC area. He created a politics and policy blog, The Walker Report (http://jwalkerreport.blogspot.com/).