Several years ago when an architect we hired for anaddition to our house unfolded his blueprints on the dining room table, theundisputed general contractor on the job (my wife) assumed the sort of facialexpression one makes when their pleasant-looking blind date doesn't resembleScarlett Johansson or Cristiano Ronaldo.
In other words, we can start here but in no uncertainterms there's going to be a number of revisions and modifications before oneshovel is put in the ground.
That's a similar reaction from some who have examined therecent deficit reduction plan submitted by President Obama's bi-partisan panelwho are charged with finding ways to winnow down the mammoth $1.3 trilliondeficit.
Others, meanwhile, have opined that the entire plan bescrapped.
In a Cliff Notes version, the plan entails enacting some$200 billion in defense and budget cuts, increasing the federal gas tax by asmuch as 15 cents, limiting the popular mortgage deduction and slashing the workforceby 10 percent.
There's certainly plenty to dislike in the draft plan,which was released earlier than its December 1 due date by the panel'sco-chairs, former Senate Republican Leader Alan Simpson of Wyoming, and ErskineBowles, the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.
Simpson in fact quipped that he and Bowles would likelyend up in a "witness protection program" when it was all over.
The panel proposed to raise the retirement age forreceiving full Social Security benefits to 68 from 67 by 2050, and age 69 some25 years later.
Critics apparently took umbrage at the Social Securityproposal, including perennial spending advocate and big government enthusiastPaul Krugman of The New York Times who wrote that raising the retirement age to69 would be difficult for those who still perform physical labor.
Aside from the fact that average life expectancy in theU.S. today is north of 77 years of age (let alone 40 years from now) he must beone of the very few who have seen a preponderance of near-septuagenarianswielding jackhammers or operating backhoes and forklifts.
Among the panel's better and more necessaryrecommendations are the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, and anoption to reduce the corporate tax rate to 26 percent, from its current levelof 35 percent.
Most with a political viewpoint to the starboard of MSNBCor The Nation, have to realize that a higher corporate tax rate does little toincentivize domestic investment.
The plan, as it stands now, probably doesn't have aprayer of passing, but going forward it's essential to hammer home thelong-overdue debate on fundamental tax reform.
But, like an early blueprint, there are points thatshould be non-negotiable and others that should either be revised or discarded.A simple "no thank you" will not address the aftermath of spendingsprees of the 111th Congress.
Otherwise, voters will surely make revisions in 2012.
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