Dear Super Committee members,
You are six senators and six congressmen. Half are blue Democrats and half red Republicans.
You know why you’re here. This summer’s debt-ceiling fight is still on. You’ve been selected to duke out a minimum of $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings. Otherwise, on November 23, $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts kick in.
Meeting in the same room won’t be easy. You reds can’t stand you blues, and you blues can’t stand you reds.
Let me help. I’m the purple (as in blue plus red makes purple) messenger. I’m writing on behalf of the gods to help you find common ground, starting with the tax system.
Which gods? All of them. Every god from every religion met last week at the ICDD – the International Congress of Devoted Devines. They’re sick and tired of your bickering. Keep screwing around and, well, don’t ask.
I’m writing you in your own language because you can no longer tolerate each other’s choice of words.
Back to collective reading. If you peeked, expect a visit from the ICDD. You know which one. Otherwise, visit www.thepurpletaxplan.org for more instructions, and then agree to precisely what your enemies suggest. But wait till the last minute. The gods are a bit devilish. They like a good fight that ends well.
Laurence J. Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University.