With just two weeks left until the Deficit Reduction Committee must come up with a plan to save over $1 trillion, Alaska’s Representative Don Young is urging it to go big. Young signed on to a bipartisan letter last week calling for the so-called Super Committee to come up with a sellable plan.
The letter supported by 100 House members was notable for its mix of Democratic and Republican signatories and because it acknowledges there may have to be a mix of both cuts and revenue. Previously most Republicans wouldn’t budge on revenue hikes. The letter was vague on details, but Representative Young says it’s the spirit of the message that counts.
“We think – I signed that letter, the 40 Republicans and 60 Democrats, this is an opportunity to step up to the plate and solve this problem. And they may not listen to but we really think this is very very important, and a bipartisan effort,” Young said.
Despite his call for a plan, Young is very pessimistic. He doubts the committee will come up with anything by the Nov. 23 deadline – and if it does, Young doubts it can pass the U.S. House.
“This is their opportunity, on that committee, they asked to be on it, they should do something. Even if it costs them their election. That’s the challenge they have. Now whether they can rise about that concept is another question. If it was a proposal that does address entitlements, which is going to be the biggest argument, not those that receiving it now but those that are receiving it in the future, probably entail some type of tax in certain areas, which is a no to a lot of people on my side of the aisle, but if we don’t do something we’re gonna go in the tank,” Young said.
Young says if the Super Committee doesn’t come up with a viable plan, and if Congress doesn’t pass it by the Christmas deadline, there’s major trouble ahead. If no agreement is reached, automatic cuts will go into affect across-the-board, slashing over a trillion dollars in spending. Young says that would be indiscriminate and disastrous.
“That wacks the military really hard. And it doesn’t solve any of our problems, it’s just a cut. And I’ve said all along cuts won’t solve this problem, controlled spending will. Controlling the spending. And then we have to go forth and try to do something other than controlling spending, Get something in the pipeline that’s real money, not funny money or borrowed money,” Young said.
Young is frustrated by the lack of information coming out of the Deficit Reduction Committee… but says the real reckoning day will be in two weeks, when it has to come up with a plan.