As the deficit reduction super committee remains gridlocked and predictions of failure abound, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions warned Thursday that if the super committee does squeak out a last minute deal, people should be on guard for gimmicks that wouldn’t really cut spending.
Sessions, who has pushed against spending gimmicks and proposed the Honest Budget Act to expose them, warned of a deal made in the wee hours of the night with little oversight.
“It’s less than a week until the deadline, and no language has been made public, and the American people should be able to make their voice heard before the committee votes. Because the truth is, once that vote happens, there’ll be no opportunity to change their product,” Sessions said.
For instance, he said, the super committee could set a cap on war spending that was less than the baseline set by the Congressional Budget Office, and in that way claim they were making spending cuts. But since it would be less than the CBO baseline, that money would never have been spent in the first place.
Another possible gimmick by which the super committee could claim money was saved, he said, would be a proposal of tax increases now, to be balanced by spending cuts in future years.
“The pattern around here is, that once a tax increase is passed, it’s there,” Sessions said. “But a promise of a spending cut in the future very often does not become a reality.”