Are Democratic moderates breaking right on spending?
A nice piece of analysis of the Corker-McCaskill budget proposal from Jed Graham over at IBD’s Capital Hill blog:
On Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., to propose the Commitment to American Prosperity Act, which would gradually lower the ceiling for all federal spending to 20.6% of GDP by 2020, down from a projected 24.7% this year.
The Corker-McCaskill CAP bill goes a big step further than President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, which aimed to reduce spending to 21.8% of GDP by 2020. And it does so without the inducement for Democrats of more than $1 trillion in tax hikes over the coming decade.
Under the Corker-McCaskill vision, entitlements would no longer be entitlements; rather, they’d have to vie for annual budget dollars like any other program and their spending could grow faster than the economy only if spending on other programs were to shrink as a share of the economic pie.
McCaskill is among nine first-term Democrats elected in 2006 who could face challenging re-election battles in 2012. While she is the only Democrat to sign on to the bill introduced with eight GOP backers, McCaskill’s move may be the clearest sign that vulnerable party moderates intend to make significant progress on deficit reduction this year.
“At a time when many families have been forced to tighten their pocketbooks, Congress must also learn to do the same,” McCaskill said in a statement. “This bill isn’t just about cutting back this year or next year; it’s about instilling permanent discipline to keep spending at a responsible level.”