THE BLOG
07/26/2011 11:13 am ET Updated Sep 23, 2011

A New Spending Cut for Republicans

It is clear that the struggle to reduce our debt is hampered by many Republicans being shackled to their pledges only to cut spending and never to raise taxes. They fear their supporters' backlash if they violate such a pledge. So let me offer them a way out that will simultaneously provide them with the cover they need and the U.S. with the funds it needs.

Remember the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? Well, they were an expenditure. Hundreds of billions in revenues from the rich were headed to Washington, but Congress decided to spend that money instead on a bonus for such folks. To simplify the gifting procedure, they said, "Wait, wait. You just keep it, rather than our having to send it back to you."

That was a spending measure. One more time: it was a spending measure. So all they have to do is to cancel that spending measure (i.e., stop giving that bonus) and return to the reduced level of government spending before it was offered. This is not a tax increase. It is a spending cut. Got it? Good. Go for it.