The Simpson-Bowles tax hike can be compared to the message written on rear-view car mirrors: "objects are bigger than they appear."
It seems like every time someone takes a look at the Simpson-Bowles tax hike, it gets bigger.
First, the Simpson-Bowles report itself claims that it is a tax hike of about $1.3 trillion over a decade. We've detailed that report here. That makes the ratio of supposed spending cuts to tax hikes 3-1.
Then, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who opposed the report in part because of the tax hikes, said that he thought it was more like a $2 trillion tax hike. That makes the ratio of supposed spending cuts to tax hikes 2-1. He faults the commission for not including the Social Security payroll tax hike in their plan, and for not using a realistic baseline.
Finally, Brian Riedl at Heritage did his own study in which he claims the tax hike is closer to $3.3 trillion. This would make the ratio is dead even. He thinks the baseline the commission is using is not close enough to a reasonable expectation of current policy.
It was bad enough when President Reagan got tricked into a 3-1 spending-tax ratio in 1982 and when President George H.W. Bush got tricked into a 2-1 spending-tax ratio in 1990. Each time, the tax hikes were real and the spending cuts never materialized. But now it seems those supporting this commission may have in fact signed off on a 1-1 ratio of real tax hikes and fake spending cuts.
Where's Lucy and her football again?