Rep. Jim Clyburn told Chuck Todd on MSNBC today that, as far as he is concerned, there won't be new tax increases in the Super Congress plan.
But this snippet is a little more disturbing:
TODD: How powerful are these triggers, do you really believe? How powerful are they for you? Are you going to be incredibly reticent to walk away, to be deadlocked at six-six, simply with a cut, with the fact that the trigger would, so one of the Democrat so-called sacred cows, the trigger would hit Medicare providers?
CLYBURN: Well, I will be very, very reticent to walk away because I, for one, will be sitting on both sides of that issue. I don’t want to see and address the cuts and entitlements, nor do I want to see drastic cuts in Defense. So Defense may be something that most members on the Democrat side will not mind going after. But I do mind going after that. So I’m going to be very reticent. I’ve got to take care of my hometown, if something, where it’s the headquarters, of the ninth air force and the third army here in Columbia, Ft. Jackson, Charleston, the air force base, Paris Island — I’m going to be there to try to make sure that we keep those military installations very viable. So I’ve got a double interest in making sure we get this done.
That kind of defeats the purpose of a Super Congress, hypothetically above the petty, parochial concerns of their own districts. The above pretty much proves the fallacy of that idea. It also shows just how unlikely it is there'll be much in the way of defense cuts coming out of the Catfood Commission II. If a Democrat is afraid of the trigger because of potential defense cuts, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are in for it.
2:42 PM PT: The folks at Strengthen Social Security have crunched the numbers to find out how important Social Security and Medicare are in the Super Congress members' states and districts. Twenty-one percent of Clyburn's constituents in his district in South Carolina receive Social Security, and 17 percent are on Medicare. That's $1.6 billion in annual benefits, money that circulates throughout the district's, and state's, economy.