Cal Thomas has made the astute observation that Washington suffers from political logjam with budget issues. What's worse is that partisan bickering has made it so that no one in one party trusts what the other party would propose to solve the problem.
The problem with so much of Washington today is that no Democrat will accept a good idea if it comes from a Republican and, conversely, Republicans will reject any good idea that comes from Democrats.
Okay. That sounds about accurate, but it's usually because they for the most part know what sorts of things the other side will propose. But let's give him that. So what's Thomas's plan? To propose the following exercise: report about a bold new plan to fix the budget crisis, but keep the author anonymous until we think hard about the plan.
So here's a plan whose author shall remain anonymous until the end of this column in hopes you will read on.
Excellent! I love party games. This time around, I'll listen to the plan and then weigh its worth based on the merits of what is contained in the plan. Not on the basis of who proposes it. That's, like, unique. Okay. Let's hear the plan.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, this author contends, "consumes 43 percent of today's federal spending." Most people might agree there is ample evidence the federal government is bloated, overextended and not living within its constitutional bounds, which has caused its dysfunction.
Elevators have weight limits. Put too many people on one and it might not run. The federal government has no "weight limits." Increasing numbers of us worry America may be overweight and in decline. We are mired in debt and government seems incapable of telling anyone "no" or "do for yourself" for fear of a backlash from entitlement addicts.
Oh my goodness. Not knowing beforehand that the author of this plan is a rich, well-fed Republican makes me ever so much more sick to hear it. And so, before I got to the bottom of Thomas's column, I tried to make a few guesses about who the author was. Who'd slash 'entitlement spending,' not have anything about tax revenue beyond proposing the flat tax, encourage self-sufficiency and not mention anything about safety nets for those who need help, and propose reducing the size of government? Okay… here were my first three:
Cal Thomas himself
Make your predictions in the comments. A hint: I was wrong.